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March 05, 2013
By Erin Schumaker | Art

A New Sculpture at China’s U.S. Consulate
JOEL SHAPIRO (American, 1941) Now 2013

Guangzhou, China—a southern manufacturing hub with a population of 15 million, the third-largest city in the country—is getting a taste of New York this month. From March 10–13, renowned New York–based artist Joel Shapiro will install his 22-foot welded-aluminum sculpture titled Now at the entrance of the city’s brand-new U.S. Consulate. Talks featuring Shapiro at the Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts (March 13) and the Times Museum (March 16) follow the unveiling.

“There’s no collective intent,” Shapiro explained during a chat at his 5,000-square-foot studio in Long Island City late last year. “I wanted to make a sculpture that was lively and vibrant and in the present tense—a metaphor for the human spirit.”

The Foundation for Art & Preservation in Embassies commissioned the angular piece, painted a vivid ultramarine blue. The effort is Shapiro’s second creation for the foundation, the first being a large-scale bronze sculpture called Conjunction (1999), which stands outside the U.S. Embassy in Ottawa.

As for Now, Shapiro said he avoided creating a colossal work and shot for something a bit more life-size. “I’m aware of the parts,” he said. “I want them to correspond with something in your own experience.” 1 Shamian St. S.; fapeglobal.org.

January 28, 2013
By Maud Doyle | Art, Exhibitions, New York

Hauser & Wirth Gallery
Courtesy of Hauser & Wirth

Hauser & Wirth New York unveiled its new branch gallery last week in conjunction with the opening of the exhibit “Dieter Roth. Björn Roth,” which showcases the work of the prolific Swiss father-and-son team.

The gallery (also Swiss) was founded in the early 1990s and began occupying London with several outposts in the new millennium. A mainstay of art fairs worldwide, where it displays tastefully dressed booths, the gallery features names like Louise Bourgeois, Eva Hesse and Henry Moore that balance its contemporary collection of artists, including Roni Horn and Caro Niederer.

Marching steadily westward, Hauser & Wirth established its New York base uptown in September 2009 and recently took over the 24,700-square-foot space that was once home to the Roxy, the legendary roller rink and discotheque (where, incidentally, Keith Richards met Patti Hansen). Hauser & Wirth believes that its new 18th Street location, designed by architect Annabelle Selldorf, will be one of the grandest galleries in New York—though no promises as to whether its former matchmaking powers will extend to its now demure white walls.

“Dieter Roth. Björn Roth” itself, however, may be draw enough. New York Times art critic Roberta Smith once described Dieter as a “performance artist in all the mediums he touched.” (He played materials—paint, sculpture, texts, found objects, prints, film—like instruments in concert.) Dieter regularly collaborated with his son, Björn, who teamed up with his own sons, Oddur and Einar, to construct the latest iterations of Roth père’s never-ending tower projects. The works appear with more than 100 objects created since the late 1970s, from simple paintings to the floor of an artist’s studio raised to vertical as a painting-cum-screen-cum-sculpture.

Dieter also designed several working bars over the course of his life (he died in 1998), so Björn fashioned one for Hauser & Wirth. It will serve patrons coffee and liquor until long after the show has closed and the set readies for another artist’s conquest. Through April 13; 511 W. 18th St.; 212-790-3900; hauserwirth.com.

January 08, 2013
By Erin Schumaker | Art

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James Edward Deeds Jr.

Nearly 80 years ago a young patient at a mental institution in Nevada, Missouri, put pencil and crayon to the hospital’s ledger paper. The drawings that sprung forth from James Edward Deeds Jr. were fanciful and slightly eerie reproductions of daily life—portraits of his family, animals, vehicles—that were essentially lost until 2006, when they fell into the hands of a bookseller who put them on eBay. It took another five years, forensic research and a series of articles in a Missouri newspaper for the artist’s identity to come to light.

This January 30 of Deeds’s 140 double-sided drawings will be on display at Hirschl & Adler Modern Gallery during a monthlong exhibition called "Talisman of the Ward: The Album of Drawings by Edward Deeds." This isn’t Hirschl & Adler’s first foray into “outsider art,” a term rooted in French artist Jean Dubuffet’s notion of art brut, or work created by individuals who are outside the boundaries of established culture. The gallery is also credited with promoting pieces by marginalized artists like Bill Traylor, a former slave in Alabama whose works now sell for upwards of $100,000.

“Many artists conform to the mainstream,” says exhibit curator Tom Parker. “They are always trying to be something that the mainstream wants.” But the art market doesn’t influence outsider artists, and so their work often conveys an intimate feel that resonates with viewers. “Dubuffet loved this notion that art was purely done from the heart,” Parker says. “There’s the sense that it is revealing something in human nature.” Drawings start at $16,000; January 10 through February 9; 730 Fifth Ave.; 212-535-8810; hirschlandadler.com.

January 03, 2013
By Maud Doyle | Art, Wine

Pommery Estate
Photo courtesy of Vranken Pommery

Late last year, 70 highly coveted magnums of Les Clos Pompadour Champagne by Pommery arrived at Sherry-Lehmann Wine & Spirits on Park Avenue. Going for approximately $520 a bottle, the sparkling wine is the only portion of the 3,000 bottles of Les Clos Pompadour produced this year that will reach the United States.

In case you missed it, we recommend heading to the Pommery Estate in Reims, France, where tastings are offered year-round. An unusual, annually developed show of contemporary art also occupies the estate’s historic landscape, with much of the same elegant mischievousness that a magnum of Champagne brings to a party in a Manhattan apartment.

This year Bernard Blistène, director of cultural development at Paris’s Centre Pompidou, curated Expérience Pommery. Rather than using existing works, the estate—under Blistène’s guidance—commissioned artists such as Piero Gilardi, Haim Steinbach, Alicja Kwade, Huang Yong Ping, Pascale Marthine Tayou, Richard Fauguet, Anita Molinero and Davide Balula to create new, site-specific works. Blistène spoke to us about creating a contemporary show in a historic space.

Q: How were you introduced to Expérience Pommery?

A: I followed the Pommery Expériences from the beginning. Each time I was struck not by the audacity, but by the freedom that Nathalie Vranken—wife of Pommery’s proprietor, Paul-François—gives the curators she invites. It seemed to me that one could recognize in that freedom the state of contemporary creation.

Q: What did you enjoy about curating this exhibition?

A: I have organized numerous exhibitions in historical buildings, such as the Château at Chambord or the Conciergerie [the old palace and prison] in Paris, but the cellars in Reims are unique. It goes without saying that the idea of white cube has been questioned for many years—but here you will find, perhaps, its antidote or its opposite. I believe that there is no experience of art without drama, and this place offers a drama that most places with which we’re familiar cannot.

Q: Sculpture parks like Storm King in the United States or Gibbs Farm in New Zealand have grown increasingly popular in recent years—clearly contemporary art loves a landscape. Do you think exhibits on private estates will become more common?

A: After the skepticism—or even moral indignation—that contemporary art generated originally, today it creates curiosity. This is partly due to the influence of institutions like the Centre Pompidou, but also largely because of individuals, at the same time or after Vranken, who realized that art should be shared and taught.

Q: Where were some of your favorite installations?

A: The artists invited to this anniversary exhibit have occupied a lot of corners. Art is in the trees, the rooftops, the staircases—regardez bien!

Sherry-Lehmann Wine & Spirits, 505 Park Ave.; 212-838-7500; vrankenpommery.fr.

December 27, 2012
By Erin Schumaker | Art

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© Courtsey Museum of Modern Art

As part of a nearly month-long cinematic retrospective of Italian film director Pier Paolo Pasolini, New York’s Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) will showcase Pasolini’s films through January 5, and an exhibit of 40 rarely seen paintings and drawings by the director will also continue through Saturday at Location One (26 Greene St.; 212-334-3347; location1.org). The director, who proclaimed allegiance to the Italian Communist Party in 1947, is considered one of the most provocative filmmakers of his time.

To supplement the film series at MoMA, the museum’s sister offshoot, Long Island City–based MoMA PS1, held a live performance series of contemporary artists inspired by Pasolini in mid-December, with the director’s films screening continuously in the background. Other events included a roundtable discussion at New York University addressing the artist’s legacy and a seminar hosted by the Italian Cultural Institute of New York. With many of his films recently restored, the social drama and controversy that surround his legacy are just as relevant now as they were in the beginning. 11 W. 53rd St.; 212-708-9400; moma.org.

December 12, 2012
By Alexandra Wolfe | Art, Miami Art Basel

Art Basel Miami Beach: Pharrell Williams
Photo by WorldRedEye.com

While some top art dealers and collectors boarded the first plane home as soon as the most exclusive pre-fair vernissage festivities were finished, many celebrities stayed through the weekend at Art Basel Miami Beach. Among the 70,000 attendees who traipsed through the 250 or so galleries was a transplanted Tinseltown. Instead of collecting, however, the stars went clubbing. Le Baron, the Parisian nightclub-turned-art-fair pop-up hot spot, emerged at Nikki Beach Club Miami, where by Friday night the entire fashion world had flocked.

Vogue editor-at-large Hamish Bowles, designer Riccardo Tisci, print magnate Peter Brant’s sons, Harry and Peter, and sartorialist Scott Schuman showed up that evening, followed on Saturday by Jay-Z, Beyoncé and Demi Moore. Actress Kate Mara hung out at the Architectural Digest Oasis pop-up lounge at the Raleigh Hotel, designer Roberto Cavalli hosted cocktails at the SLS Hotel South Beach and the Moncler fashion house fêted its 60th anniversary at 1111 Lincoln Road. And by the weekend’s end art and its admirers were competing for attention, with the hype over Latin American and Brazilian artists nearly reaching the buzz surrounding a budding celebrity romance.

December 11, 2012
By Alexandra Wolfe | Art, Miami Art Basel

Art Basel Miami Beach
Photo by Carly Otness/BFAnyc.com

Our picks for Friday night’s top places to see and be seen at Art Basel Miami Beach:

10. The Glass House Café at Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden had a breakfast celebrating its exhibitions: “Chamberlain at Fairchild,” “Design at Fairchild: Sitting Naturally” and “Garden Lights.”

9. Marcelo Krasilcic’s book 1990s debuted at Lords South Beach Hotel with music by Kai Kuhne and Renata Abbade.

8. Freehand Miami Hostel hosted a “Bow-B-Q” with Bow and GrandLife Hotels.

7. New York’s Neue Galerie exhibition “Postcards of the Wiener Werkstätte: Selections from the Leonard A. Lauder Collection” was fêted at Wolfsonian-Florida International University, hosted by director Cathy Leff.

6. Architectural Digest celebrated the AD100 list and designer Mark Cunningham at the Oasis lounge at the Raleigh Hotel.

5. Photographer Matthew Rolston launched his book Talking Heads: The Vent Haven Portraits at the Fontainebleau Miami Beach, sponsored by Hendrick’s Gin, with four five-by-five prints from the book on display.

4. The Morrison Hotel Gallery at Dream South Beach hosted a second night of cocktails at the Electric Room pop-up. On exhibit: Jack White, White Stripes Canada Tour, 2007 by Autumn de Wilde; Keith Richards and Ron Wood, Los Angeles, CA, 1979 by Henry Diltz; Bruce Springsteen, Darkness, 1978 by Frank Stefanko; Debbie (Harry. Shades by Chris Stein; Black Keys, 2009 by Danny Clinch; and Jim Morrison, NYC, 1967 by Joel Brodsky.

3. Artist Bill Viola and director of MoCA, North Miami Bonnie Clearwater were in conversation for Art Basel Miami Beach’s Art Salon series.

2. Paddle8, the online auction house, had a party for its exhibition of GIFs called “Moving the Still,” in Wynwood (pictured here).

1. Folks raised money for Sandy victims during a MoMA PS1 benefit at the Delano Beach Club on Friday, with a DJ set that included Dave 1 of Chromeo and Arthur Baker.

December 11, 2012
By Alexandra Wolfe | Art, Miami Art Basel

Art Basel Miami beach: Jeremy Piven and Martha Stewart
Photo courtesy of Art Basel/InterContinental Miami

Our picks for Thursday night’s top places to see and be seen at Art Basel Miami Beach:

10. Russell Simmons hosted a party celebrating Raphael Mazzucco’s collection at the St. Regis in Bal Harbour with Talent Resources and Rosenbaum Contemporary.

9. Miami Art Museum director Thom Collins had a reception for the new exhibit “New Work Miami 2013,” with music by Spam Allstars.

8. Chopard and W magazine editor Stefano Tonchi previewed the Milton Greene photography collection “Marilyn Forever” at Soho Beach House.

7. Hyde Beach at the SLS Hotel South Beach was booming with Visionaire magazine and Net-A-Porter’s Art Basel party.

6. Scope Miami officially kicked off with an outdoor VH1 lounge where Metric performed against a backdrop of Artists on the Rise, a group of three emerging artists whose work was featured in the lounge.

5. Fendi Casa’s exhibit celebrating Andy Warhol’s contemporary artwork opened at the Fendi Casa Luxury Living Showroom.

4. Russian heiress Maria Baibakova hosted a cocktail party in her penthouse apartment at the Setai, in honor of artist Matthew Brannon’s commission for Lincoln Center.

3. Also at the Setai, designer Domenico Vacca opened his club, DV Club Miami, for the season.

2. The InterContinental Miami officially opened its new restaurant Toro Toro, with Chef Richard Sandoval at the helm. To celebrate the hotel’s $30 million renovation, actor Jeremy Piven plugged in the lobby’s new Digital Canvas installation.

1. Vito Schnabel held a buzzy Dom Pérignon party at Wall, the nightclub in the W South Beach Hotel.

December 06, 2012
By Alexandra Wolfe | Art, Miami Art Basel

Chanel Art Basel Party
Photo © David X Prutting/BFAnyc.com

Art.sy president and COO Sebastian Cwilich spent Art Basel’s VIP preview day walking around the fair with Wendi Murdoch, passing celebrities like André Balazs and Chelsea Handler, P. Diddy and his entourage, and designer Tommy Hilfiger. We caught up with Cwilich before his Soho Beach House bash.

Q: How did the Art.sy/Design Miami collaboration come about?

A: Dasha Zhukova thought it would be a great idea to extend the Art.sy platform to include collectible design, given that collectible design can be a more accessible way for people to get comfortable with art. So Dasha introduced Carter [Cleveland] and me to Craig Robbins and Marianne Goebl, and here we are.

Q: How will this collaboration change the experience of the fair?

A: Most importantly, this allows the design enthusiasts and collectors from around the world who can’t make it to Miami to view a substantive portion of the objects at the fair and, if they’re interested, go on to connect with the dealers. For people who are coming to the fair, this allows them to preview the fair and come prepared. Additionally, Art.sy’s functionality allows people in Miami and around the world to read live posts related to Design Miami and the works on view—written by dealers, curators and collectors at the fair.

Q: How has technology changed collecting more generally?

A: It used to be that a collector in New York could walk down to the Soho Gallery Building on West Broadway and get a sense of what was happening in contemporary art. Now, as the art world has become much bigger and much more geographically dispersed, collectors need a better way to find out what’s happening. Online platforms are one great way to do that.

Q: What were the challenges of adapting the fair to an online platform? What have been the greatest benefits of doing so?

A: I think the key is not to adapt the fair to online, but rather to focus on ways we can extend the experience to greater numbers of people. We can’t allow someone to touch the objects online—yet!—but some of the storytelling possible via Art.sy posts, or via filtering technology that allows us to immediately see the 60-plus chairs on view at the fair, are things you can’t do so easily in person.

December 06, 2012
By Alexandra Wolfe | Art, Miami Art Basel

Art Basel Miami
Photo by MOS Architects 2012

The 11th annual Art Basel Miami Beach kicked off on Wednesday with a star-studded schedule. Our picks for opening night’s top 10 places to see and be seen:

10) Billed as the “first upscale hostel in the U.S.,” the owners of New York’s NoMad Hotel launched the Roman & Williams–designed Freehand Miami Hostel with a party for Timo Weiland and music by Weiland and Alan Eckstein.

9) Designer Diane von Furstenberg discussed art, creativity and the market with W magazine editor Stefano Tonchi at Design Miami.

8) Guests watched live music at the Absolut Art Bureau’s art bar installation by Los Carpinteros. The open-air bar, Güiro, will serve Absolut cocktails each night until midnight.

7) Pop-Up Piano Miami launched on Wednesday with a fundraising concert at the Perry South Beach Hotel with hors d’oeuvres by the One Group and Grey Goose cocktails. The night continued with DJ Yissel Cabrera and eight pop-up pianos on display before being scattered across the city.

6) Interview Magazine and Valentino took over the rooftop of the Webster Miami boutique to showcase Valentino’s new Pop Art–inspired Pop Pois capsule collection.

5) To celebrate the long-awaited Drive-In in far West Texas, Ballroom Marfa hosted cocktails at Cabanas in the SLS Hotel South Beach.

4) Daphne Guinness dined with Will Smith, Chris Bosh and Ray Allen at the Roger Dubuis Velvet event at Villa Azur Restaurant & Lounge, hosted by Haute Living magazine and Dom Pérignon.

3) NetJets, the private aviation company, held its annual Collectors Cocktail party (in collaboration with online art site Artspace) at the Bath House, highlighting works by six international artists selected by curator Micaela Giovannotti.

2) From 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., VIPs got a first look at Art Basel Miami Beach at the convention center. The vernissage started at 6 p.m., where collectors mingled over cocktails near the main fair’s opening. Inside the collectors’ lounge, Ruinart Champagne’s mirrored installation, in collaboration with neo-Baroque designer Hervé Van der Straeten’s “Miroir” collection, was on display.

1) The Chanel-sponsored Art.sy party at Soho Beach House was one of the most elusive tickets in town. Last year the entire art world showed up, along with Hollywood stars like Owen Wilson, Adrien Brody and Val Kilmer. And if history is any indication, those who were able to finagle their way onto the guest list made sure to stay for dinner. Last year’s crowd of 600 was treated to petite filet mignon with béarnaise sauce, chorizo and shrimp, and stations piled high with paella, meatballs, and quinoa with squash blossoms.

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