In the Air
Art News & Gossip

In the Air – Art+Auction's Gossip Column

Awol Erizku Curates First Show of Yale MFA Artists of Color

Rising star Awol Erizku, who we profiled back in 2012, has attained plenty of art world accolades over the past few years, the latest of which is graduating from the Yale School of Art’s MFA program. Before he departs New Haven, Erizku has curated a show of all of the artists of color currently in the program, something he says has never been done before.

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Forum Gallery’s Robert Fishko Fires Back at McKenzie Suit

At the end of March we reported that Richard McKenzie, a collector and the founder of the arts non-profit Seven Bridges Foundation, had filed two lawsuits against Robert Fishko, the director of the Forum Gallery in New York. The first suit, filed in federal court in New York, seeks to recover $3.8 million in what McKenzie’s lawyer Eric Grayson referred to as “overcharges and inflated pricing” on artworks McKenzie purchased from Fishko over the years. The second, filed in Connecticut, concerns a Renoir sold to McKenzie by Fishko that McKenzie now says is a forgery. McKenzie claims that Fishko orchestrated a meeting in a dark Parisian apartment with a desperate woman willing to unload an undiscovered Renoir for $325,000.

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Pawel Althamer Throws Bowery Sidewalk Party

Last night, en route to an orgy of ego and cash (a.k.a. Julian Schnabel’s opening at Gagosian in Chelsea), I was lucky enough to pass by the New Museum, where a panda bear was playing the xylophone, backed up by a trio of pink gorillas on dueling stand-up bass. The strange occasion was an element of Pawel Althamer’s current New Museum show: a mini-exhibition, on view only through Sunday, for which he had collaborated with a number of other people, some of them hailing from the Bowery Mission next door.

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Jonas Wood, Keegan McHargue, and Others Spin Silk for Massif Central Scarf Line

A new line of wearable art from Massif Central officially launches today, featuring silk scarves in editions of 50 by the likes of Jonas Wood, Keegan McHargue, Ellen Berkenblit, Joshua Abelow, Ry Fyan, and Chris Lux. “There have been a few opportunities in the past to do projects within the realm of fashion, but I never fully committed to them because it wasn’t clear why my work belonged on this or that,” said McHargue, whose paintings and drawings depict an often flattened, surreal universe. “With this project I didn’t hesitate, because I’ve always wanted to make a silk scarf. It’s a perfect setting for an artwork, and I myself have been influenced deeply by the tradition of bold, popping prints, a la Hermes.”

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Kasper Konig Talks Curating in Russia


Manifesta 10 opens in St. Petersburg on June 28, right in the midst of a rather interesting slice of Russian history, to say the least. Curator Kasper Konig, formerly of the Museum Ludwig in Cologne, Germany, has remained adamant about the importance of the exhibition despite — and perhaps in reaction to — the fraught context, though he stressed that Manifesta should “go beyond the daily political situation.” While he said that he didn’t have much personal experience in Russia before being tapped to curate the biennial, he described St. Petersburg itself as a selling point for Manifesta. “It’s a hybrid, complex, utopian city,” he said. “The history is a little bit overpowering — it’s not so easy, so much history. It hasn’t really been let out. I hope the show will reflect all of this without being sentimental, and without trying to speculate.”

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Gavlak Gallery to Open Second Space in LA

Palm Beach’s Gavlak gallery has announced that it will open a second location in Los Angeles on June 26. The 5,000-square-foot Hollywood space at 1034 North Highland Avenue is located near Hannah Hoffman Gallery, Michael Kohn Gallery, and Regen Projects. An inaugural group show of gallery artists Orly Genger, Scott Reeder, and T.J. Wilcox, among others, will kick off the new venue.

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Artists Ball Celebrates All Things Brooklyn

On the red carpet of the Brooklyn Museum’s annual Brooklyn Artists Ball last night, director Arnold Lehman buzzed around snapping pictures with honorees Kehinde Wiley, Jenny Holzer, and David and Jane Walentas, as well as notable people in attendance like New York’s First Lady Chirlane McCray and prodigal son Jeffrey Deitch. Plenty of artists — including usual suspects Chuck Close, Mickalene Thomas, and Dustin Yellin — also turned out for the 2014 edition of the museum’s gala and fundraiser.

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Aimia Photography Prize Announces Longlist

Following Aimia AGO Photography Prize’s recent announcement that New York photographic and film artist Laurie Simmons and internationally itinerant curator Okwui Enwezor were named to its 2014 panel, the leading Canadian prize for photography has released its longlist of 22 international photographic artists.

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Flint Public Art Seeks Architect for Art House

Michigan non-profit the Flint Public Art Project (FPAP) is currently seeking an architect-in-residence to take charge of their current project to turn a former funeral home in downtown Flint into an alternative art space and design incubator called Spencer’s Art House. The Theaster Gates-like project will turn the dilapidated house into a space for exhibitions, performances, an outdoor screenings, studios, and artist residencies. While some renovation has already taken place on the foundation, exterior, and grounds, FPAP is seeking someone to take charge of the second phase of the project that will include repairing the roof, installing plumbing and electric, and seeing the project through to completion.

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Expanded Sobey Art Award Announces Longlist

Following the announcement earlier this year that the Sobey Art Award prize money would increase by 50 percent, the Nova Scotia-based Sobey Art Foundation released the 2014 longlist of nominees yesterday. The list includes 25 artists under the age of 40 and spans five regions across Canada. A curatorial panel comprised of one representative from each region will pare down the list to five finalists, announced June 4, and ultimately a single prize winner, who will be announced November 19. The winner will receive $50,000, with $10,000 going to each of the four runner-ups. The remaining 20 longlisted artists will receive $500 each.

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