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August 01, 2012
By Francesca Giacco | Art

The Parallax Art Fair Debuts in New York
"Flying" by Mahtab Firouzabadi

The Parallax Art Fair makes its New York debut this weekend, bringing a uniquely democratic buying experience to the city’s formidable art world. The fair prides itself on a direct art-to-consumer approach and an open admission policy, allowing both established and emerging artists to showcase their work equally to the public. The international fair—this weekend marks Parallax’s fifth appearance worldwide—will feature more than 180 artists from 30 countries presenting more than 2,000 pieces, all equally represented without commission charges in an exhibition format. “It may be said that the world meets at Parallax Art Fair,” says show creator and curator Dr. Chris Barlow. “The diversity of artistic genre and method, as well as cultural, national and political difference, is breathtaking and simply inspiring.”

In keeping with the exhibition’s unfettered philosophy is its location at 82 Mercer, an impossibly cool 50,000-square-foot industrial space in the heart of SoHo. The show kicks off with an invitation-only VIP viewing on Friday evening and is open to the public Saturday and Sunday. While entrance to Parallax is free, all donations will benefit the P(AF) Artists Benevolent Fund, which supports the children of artists. August 3–5; 82 Mercer St.; parallaxaf.com.

July 25, 2012
By Ingrid Skjong | Art

Photography Exhibit “Lee Miller” Opens in Berlin
© Bettmann/CORBIS

From fashion shoots to war zones, American photographer Lee Miller had a knack for capturing moments wherever she was. Opening August 3 at Galerie Hiltawsky in Berlin, the exhibit “Lee Miller” showcases that versatility through 40 of her photographs.

Born in Poughkeepsie, New York, Miller started out as a model for photographers like Edward Steichen before moving to the other side of the lens. The exhibit pays special attention to her portrait work done in Paris in the late 1920s, where she developed a sharp eye for Surrealism. She also took numerous portraits of her friends, including Picasso, Marlene Dietrich and Surrealist poet Paul Éluard. (Her photos are also currently on display at dOCUMENTA (13) in Kassel, Germany.)

She moved to New York in 1932. From there, her story reads like a sweeping adventure saga: She married Aziz Eloui Bey, a well-to-do Egyptian businessman. She shot for Vogue magazine and worked with Man Ray. She was a war correspondent in 1944, accompanying U.S. troops into battle as possibly the sole woman covering the war from the field in Europe. “She would unerringly find an image that contained the marvelous in the everyday,” says her son, Anthony Penrose. “The result is often humorous, sometimes shocking and always present at some level in her work—even in the combat photographs she took in WWII.” On view through October 6; Tucholskystraße 41; 49-171/813-4567; hiltawsky.com.

July 25, 2012
By Erin Schumaker | Art

Art Southampton Debuts in the Hamptons
Rhythme by Sonia Dalaunay / Nikpla Rukaj Gallery, Toronto

Long Island heats up this summer with the first ever Art Southampton, a four-day contemporary art fair presented by Art Miami, its heavyweight sister fair. The new installment will feature at least 50 international galleries—from New York to Germany—and works by the likes of Columbian figurative artist Fernando Botero, installation artist Kaarina Kaikkonen and pop-art phenomenon Roy Lichtenstein.

Modeled after Art Miami, Art Southampton takes place in an elegant 75,000-square-foot pavilion with a true floor (no need to leave the heels at home) set on 18 acres of fairgrounds. An invitation-only VIP preview and ribbon cutting kick off the festivities on July 26, followed by the premiere of HEAARTBEAT, Alexandra Fairweather’s documentary about her stepfather, sculptor John Chamberlain, who passed away last December. Fairweather’s film focuses on Chamberlain’s desire to create art “that makes your heart beat,” and offers insight into the personal side of the man, who was primarily known for his crushed and twisted stainless-steel sculptures made from automotive metal. The documentary will show again on the evening of July 27. July 27–30; Art Southampton Pavilion, Southampton Elks Lodge, 605 County Rd. 39; 631-488-4584; art-southampton.com.

July 20, 2012
By Maud Doyle | Art

Richard Hamilton's Man, Machine and Motion
Richard Hamilton, "Man, Machine and Motion," 1955. Thematic exhibition. Hatton Gallery, Newcastle upon Tyne, and ICA, London. © 2012 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/DACS, London. Courtesy the Estate of Richard Hamilton

Technology both distinguishes humanity from our evolutionary ancestors and threatens some of our species’ greatest qualities. The man-versus-machine debate has reached fever pitch in recent years, with East Coast students decrying a cyborg generation and the biography of Steve Jobs flying off shelves faster than his gadgets function. “Ghosts in the Machine,” which opened July 18 at the New Museum, offers a “prehistory of the digital age,” which investigates—without judgment—the relationship between art and technology and explores the debate through the minds of more than 70 artists, writers and thinkers. Hope and fear—two definitively human qualities—propel many of these works, from Kafka’s mechanical torture device to Richard Hamilton’s Man, Machine and Motion (pictured above), which uses modern technology to imagine a new role for art in society. On view through September 30; 235 Bowery; 212-219-1222; newmuseum.org.

Meanwhile, the collages of cult artist Mark Flood are fun-house mirrors held up to that same society, which, in his vision, is artless, populated by the relics of American pop culture. His early work—as well as a smattering of his more recent, acerbic lace paintings done in the colors of an oil spill—has taken over the townhouse gallery Luxembourg & Dayan in “The Hateful Years.” The top floor has been turned into a basement-like punk-rock lounge filled with small works and the scraps of a celebrity obsessive, complete with a Mark Flood stand-in chosen from the ranks of the artist’s studio.

Flood’s work parallels the appropriative collage art of the Pictures Generation (a movement including artists like Richard Prince and Cindy Sherman), but his is more abrasive, emotive and obsessive—and more difficult. Instead of engaging intellectual abstractions like “What is art?” it questions the sources of the dreams we share and the identities we idolize, puncturing holes in our assumptions with xeroxes of a paperback copy of the book Sybil and thrift-store canvases. “Peel Back to See If You Are a Winner” demands one piece in block letters. It is a warning—suddenly you realize you’re not sure if you are. On view through September 29; 64 E. 77th St.; 212-452-4646; luxembourgdayan.com.

July 11, 2012
By Susan Michals | Art

A Klimt Exhibit at the J. Paul Getty Museum in L.A.
A Klimt Exhibit at the J. Paul Getty Museum in L.A.

Most artists hope for one great exhibition a year. But most artists are not Gustav Klimt, perhaps best known for his painting The Kiss. To commemorate the 150th anniversary of his birth, there are ten shows in Vienna alone, another at New York’s Neue Galerie and a special exhibit of his drawings at the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles, which opened July 3. “Gustav Klimt: The Magic of Line,” on display through September 23, showcases more than 100 drawings by the Austrian artist dating from the 1880s to the early 20th century. “In looking at four decades of drawings by Klimt,” says James Cuno, president and CEO of the J. Paul Getty Trust and acting director of the Getty Museum, “this exhibition reveals how he tackled line, space and the human figure, developing into one of the most distinctive, seminal figures in Modernism.”

This retrospective is the first fully dedicated to Klimt’s drawings, and the works come mostly from the Albertina Museum in Vienna, which houses one of the most comprehensive collections of his sketches. The artist reportedly drew live models virtually everyday, and approximately 4,000 of his drawings still exist. 1200 Getty Center Dr., 310-440-7300; getty.edu.

July 02, 2012
By Ingrid Skjong | Art

An Exhibit of Native American Art at the Museum of Arts and Design
Courtesy Ari Plosker /©2012 Ari Plosker, all rights reserved

Arranged over the span of a decade and broken into three distinct shows, the exhibit series “Changing Hands: Art Without Reservation” at the Museum of Arts and Design delved into the mystery, beauty and heritage of Native American art. With “Changing Hands: Art Without Reservation 3,” the third and final installment that opened June 26, the discovery continues with a focus on contemporary native North American art from the North- and Southeast.

Thought provoking, colorful and often inspiring, the more than 130 works are courtesy of 85 artists hailing from places like the Great Lakes and the Canadian Sub Arctic. While the previous two exhibits—“Art Without Reservation 1” (art, craft and design from the American Southwest) and “Art Without Reservation 2” (pieces by artists indigenous to lands located west of the Mississippi)—concentrated on themes of traditions being passed down from generation to generation, this one tends to look toward the future. Innovative works make use of traditional techniques (baskets by artist Jeremy Frey (pictured above) that recall basketry art from early Maine), iconography (stylized masks of wood and melted glass by Robert Tannahill) and materials (strands of fishing wire sprinkled with hooks by Frank Shebegaget). 

“I realized that these cultures were the earliest assimilated and likely decimated and, in some cases, needed to relearn much of what had been lost,” says co-curator Ellen Taubman. “Many of the artists are also educators. Many have gone back to their native lands to rediscover what came before and bring it back to life.” Through October 21; 2 Columbus Circle; 212-299-7777; madmuseum.org.

July 02, 2012
By Maud Doyle | Art

Yellow Right Turn by Louis Eisner
Louis Eisner, Yellow Right Turn, 2012, Oil on Linen 64 X 62 inches, Courtesy The Still House Group

Of all American myths, it is that which surrounds the land that has enthralled us most through our nation’s young history. A kind of manifest destiny, the inalienable right of all Americans to stake their claim has returned in recent years in the face of a sudden identity crisis with the loss of houses at its heart. Eight photographers’ perspectives on the notion of home and place make up the almost entirely peopleless exhibition “Real Estate” at Pace/MacGill Gallery.

From the glowing, noir-ish L.A. nightscapes of Henry Wessel’s “Nightwalk” series to the exquisitely colored prints of Richard Benson, the show’s dreamlike images capture not just the landscape but also the imagined lives with which this real estate is imbued. “My mother did not love my father,” Duane Michals scrawled beneath a photograph of his childhood home. “She loved another.” Works such as this illustrate how it is the American condition to hold our brightly tinted dreams over the head of a faded reality. “Real Estate” runs through August 22. At 32 E. 57th St.; pacemacgill.com.

The rebellious patriotism of the The Still House Group’s young artists has taken a slightly different form: a pioneering move from the art capital of Manhattan to a Civil War–era industrial building in Red Hook, Brooklyn. But on June 28, they returned to the island with an energetic, self-curated show called “Here Comes” at Mark Fletcher’s project space. “Here comes what?” asks cofounder Isaac Brest. “We wanted to convey our vision of an exhibition as an announcement without a subject [and] without a conclusion.”

Whether or not a conclusion is possible, the refusal to strive for one reveals itself in the show’s heavy use of irony: Cinderblocks balance on their corners, building blocks holding up nothing; a painting of a yellow slide twists to the right too quickly, negating the risk of it spilling into the room. The greatest moment is a pencil made to look like it was thrown into a ceiling, giving the sense that if it was pulled out, the levees would break. “Here Comes” runs through July 27. At 24 Washington Square N.; markfletcher.com.

June 28, 2012
By Maud Doyle | Art

Requiem for the Sun, Gladstone Gallery
Photo by David Regen / Courtesy Gladstone Gallery, New York and Brussels, and Blum & Poe, Los Angeles

Artistic innovation often follows in the wake of war, borne of both necessity and an urgent desire to record a changed landscape. In late-1960s Japan, this tendency gave rise to the Mono-ha phenomenon (“The School of Things”), which pulled away from a more traditional investment in objects, permanence and symbolism and moved toward ideas of perception and encounters, blurring the definitions of reality.

“Requiem for the Sun: The Art of Mono-ha”—a monochromatic show of suspension and contingency done in grainy photographs, works on paper and sculptures built out of juxtapositions—opened last Thursday at Gladstone Gallery (through August 3; 530 W. 21st St.; 212-206-7606; gladstonegallery.com), in collaboration with Blum & Poe in Los Angeles. The disconcerting, eerily-lit land images of Koji Enokura call to mind the recent meltdown at Fukushima, and the smooth stones in pieces by Nobuo Sekine (pictured above) resonate with tension.

Two more monochromatic and somewhat ethereal shows also opened last Thursday: “More and Different Flags” at Marlborough Gallery in Chelsea (through July 27; 545 W. 25th St.; 212-463-8634; marlboroughgallery.com) and “Moving Spirits: François Morellet & Gerhard von Graevenitz” at Sperone Westwater (through July 27; 257 Bowery; 212-999-7337; speronewestwater.com).

The title of “More and Different Flags” is borrowed from a poem by Agnes Martin called “The Thinking Reed.” The show displays the work of 11 artists who “share a loose affinity with her approach” (Martin dealt in deeply subtle, densely deployed horizontal and vertical lines) but whose investment in lines and patterns is used to remarkably different ends. Look for Mexican artist Gabriel Dawe’s large-scale, floor-to-ceiling installation of rainbows of thread, and the smaller, layered infinitely subtle works of former diamond expert Yoshiaki Mochizuki.

In “Moving Spirits,” the hypnotic ’50s and ’60s Light-Kinetic works of friends Morellet and von Graevenitz are at once abstract and highly physical—to the point that they could almost be taken as images of the materials from which they are cut or made. The shows consist of individual mesmeric objects. But taken as a whole, pattern upon pattern begins to echo and the intended depth is lost. As the ending line of Martin’s poem says, “There are two endless directions. In and out.”

June 27, 2012
By Erin Schumaker | Art

Gallery Tours with One&Only Cape Town
Courtesy One&Only Cape Town

One&Only Cape Town, the South African luxury resort known for its stunning views of Table Mountain and eye-catching art installations, is launching a series of half- and full-day art tours for guests, just in time for Cape Town’s 2014 designation as World Design Capital.

It’s not One&Only’s first foray into art. Design guru Adam Tihany did the hotel’s interiors and was part of a group that commissioned South African artists to create installations for the resort. The group also launched a branch of the Goodman Gallery—a contemporary art gallery with spaces in Cape Town and Johannesburg—on the mezzanine level of the hotel.

One&Only is offering two curated options for tours. The first is the Galleries Art Tour, featuring an art expert who guides guests through Cape Town’s most inspiring art galleries, including the Irma Stern Museum, Everard Read’s waterfront art space and the innovative What if the World Gallery, named one of the “Top 50 Emerging Galleries from Around the World” by Contemporary Magazine in 2007.

The second offering is the Contemporary Art Tour, which begins at The Foundry, in the once run-down suburb of Woodstock. Today the area is reinvented, and guests can chat with the metalworkers, sculptors and jewelers who craft there, as well as explore myriad shops and studios in the neighborhood. After an afternoon of meet-and-greets with artists, the final stop is in the Kalk Bay artist’s district, where tour-goers can immerse themselves in Cape Town’s thriving hub of color and creativity. Half-day tours from $385; full-day tours from $545; At Dock Road, Victoria & Albert Waterfront; 27-21/431-5888; oneandonlyresorts.com.

June 25, 2012
By Ingrid Skjong | Art

couple by Bruce Weber
Photo by Bruce Weber

For a small town tucked away in Suffolk County, New York, Bellport has a big fan in preeminent fashion photographer Bruce Weber. And the Bellport-Brookhaven Historical Society—whose exhibit “A Bellport Tale: Photographs by Bruce Weber” remains on display through Labor Day—is happy to support him in return. (The society has hosted other shows, on the likes of Ingrid Bergman, whose daughter Isabella Rossellini is a Bellport resident.)

Weber, who began paying visits to the village in the late 1970s, became a resident in the early 1980s. Continuously drawn to the town’s scenery and historic architecture, he ultimately shot several of his most iconic images there during the formative years of his career.

mother daughter by Bruce Weber
Photo by Bruce Weber

“A Bellport Tale” presents 33 photographs from a 1982 fashion shoot commissioned by British Vogue called “Under Western Eyes.” (Grace Coddington, current creative director of American Vogue, styled it.) The shoot, inspired by Edward Weston—a pioneering photographer known as much for his rocky personal life and numerous affairs as for his work—included Bellport locals as well as models, giving it an authentic, slightly unpredictable feel.

women by Bruce Weber
Photo by Bruce Weber

“A big part of this story was finding all these people with different personalities and putting them in photographs together without knowing what was going to happen next,” says Weber. On view Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays through Labor Day; 12 Bell St.; 631-776-7640; bbhsmuseum.org.

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