In the Air
Art News & Gossip

In the Air – Art+Auction's Gossip Column

The 2015 Art Basel Galleries List Is Out

It’s here: the list for Basel’s original hometown fair “Art Basel in Basel,” as it’s now officially (if perhaps redundantly) known, has been released in ample anticipation of the fair’s June 18 to 21 runtime. This year promises 283 galleries overall — 222 in the central “Galleries” sector and 61 divvied between Edition, for editioned works; Features, for special curatorial projects; and Statements, for emerging galleries with solo presentations, two of whom will receive the Bâloise Art Prize and accompanying promise of a museum exhibition during the fair. The only thing missing thus far is the low-down on the Unlimited section, curated this year by the Hirshhorn’s Gianni Jetzer; details on the proposed 70-some nontraditional / booth-unfriendly works are apparently forthcoming. But in the meantime, without further ado, check out the extensive list, below.

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Artists Celebrate “Scenes for a New Heritage” at MoMA

“It’s like Chinese Mario,” the young man said, his Red Army avatar hurdling over pixilated, orange flames that expanded across two parallel gallery walls. On Monday night, a small crowd at the Museum of Modern Art gathered around as — mostly men — took turns playing Feng Megbo’s “Long March: Restart,” 2008, which pits the Chinese Communist Party against the Nationalists. The hundred or so tony guests and a handful of artists gathered at the museum to inaugurate the rehanging of the contemporary wing, which has geared itself toward a broader, more global story of art today. (Cue New York Times critic Holland Cotter to rejoice.)

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The Art World’s So Boring We’re Just Shredding Money Now

The Observer reports on what they are implausibly expecting to be “one of the most discussed-slash-controversial artworks of New York’s huge Armory Arts Week” — namely, a collaboration for the SPRING/BREAK art fair between omnipresent Dustin Yellin and Bazaar Teens that involves putting $10,000 in a woodchipper. Long story short: The ground-up cash is then used to compose 8 paintings, priced at $10,000 a piece, the sales of which will “go toward the creation of eight grants for high school seniors interested in pursuing art.” Woohoo! First off, such a project should only serve as a warning to said high school seniors re: whether or not they actually want to dip their toes into such an exhausted pool of faux-sensationalism. At least when K Foundation pulled this shit back in the 1990s they burned a million British pounds on a boat. (Sadly, no high school students benefitted from that one.) The impetus behind the project, evidently, is SPRING/BREAK’s theme this year: “Transaction.” I’d like to take this opportunity to announce that, in honor of that theme, I will personally be staging a groundbreaking project that will certainly be the most discussed and controversial highlight of the coming week: For a mere $20,000, I’m going to have sex with a private collector, on camera, in a hotel room. Who said the art world is out of ideas?

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Instagrams of the Art World: RIP Leonard Nimoy, and More

Kenny Scharf (kennyscharf) gave some love to his “main man,” Mr. Spock — RIP, Mr. Nimoy.

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Eat Pray Thug: Das Racist’s Himanshu Suri Curates Indian Art

You probably remember Himanshu Suri, a.k.a. “Heems,” as half of Das Racist, the New York rap group who hit the Internet running with their single “Combination Pizza Hut and Taco Bell” in 2008. From there, they produced three albums’ worth of tracks that took on politics in step with alliterative lists of junk food — a career perhaps best summed up by the cheeky hypnotic loop of a chorus on 2010’s “hahahaha jk?”: “We’re not joking. Just joking, we are joking. Just joking, we’re not joking,” and so on. Now, however, Suri has jumped into the (marginally) more serious business of curating his own gallery show: “Eat Pray Thug,” the same moniker he’s given his forthcoming solo album, which runs through March 10 at Aicon Gallery on Great Jones Street. The multimedia group show of artists with ties to India and Pakistan, including Suri himself, also features a parallel series of live events, including an appearance from Muslim punk band The Kominas on March 7.

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Misreporting of Islamic State Looting Does Damage

A propaganda video released by the Islamic State, or ISIS, purporting to show the systematic destruction of ancient statutes at Iraq’s Mosul Museum circulated widely yesterday, even drawing a statement of condemnation from Metropolitan Museum director Tom Campbell, but experts soon determined that “most, if not all” of the statuary on view at the museum were plaster fakes. Anticipating the possibility of looting or destruction, officials at the Mosul Museum had transported the originals to the Baghdad Museum, London’s Channel 4 reported.

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Arsham, Bordo, and More Contribute to Tribeca Film Festival

Don’t let the name fool you — the Tribeca Film Festival (TFF) isn’t just about moving pictures. Or, well, not entirely anyway: Thanks to the festival’s ongoing Artists Awards Program, winners in each of its eight categories don’t just get a trophy, they get to take home a contemporary artwork. And now, we know which artists will be providing the 2015 awards: Longtime contributors Stephen Hannock and Clifford Ross return, joined by newcomers Daniel Arsham, Robert Bordo, Elizabeth Colomba, Prune Nourry, Jean Pagliuso, and Piers Secunda. See below for more images of the works — Arsham’s “Ash Eroded Film Reel” (below) feels especially topical — and/or see for yourself in person at the free public exhibition, held from April 13 to 22 and 24 to 25, 9 am to 5 pm, at the TFF’s 50 Varick Street headquarters.

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Iturbide, Fink, and Frazier Among ICP Award Winners

The International Center of Photography (ICP) has announced its annual Infinity Award winners. While the honorees utilize a wide range of image-making tools, from drones to Rolleiflex cameras, they are united often by their commitment to social change. The winners will be honored at a gala — ICP’s biggest fundraiser — on April 30 at Manhattan’s Pier Sixty, Chelsea Piers.
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Rosenberg Granddaughter Will Open Her Own Gallery

Marianne Rosenberg — granddaughter of the legendary Modern art dealer Paul Rosenberg, whose family reclaimed more than 300 of their Nazi-looted artworks over three generations — will open a gallery on Manhattan’s Upper East Side next month. Occupying the ground floor of 19 East 66th Street, Rosenberg & Co. will carry on the family’s legacy, dealing Impressionist and Modern art. The gallery also reports that it will venture into contemporary work.

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The Onion or the Art World?: Meet the Feline Van Gogh

As part of In the Air’s intrepid art world coverage, we’re continuing with our exciting new feature that answers the age-old question, “Is it an Onion article, or just the art world?” Because sometimes these headlines just seem too good to be true, but then they are, and that’s even better. (Check out our last installment, regarding Sven Sachsalber’s quest to find a needle in a haystack, quite literally, at the Palais de Tokyo.) Today, we’d like to talk about Van Gogh — no, not the one-eared Dutch painter of classics like “Starry Night,” the one-eared shelter cat who paints with fruit juice. On Wednesday, the Telegraph reported that this three-year-old feline, who was rescued in January and rehabilitated at London’s Mayhew Animal Home, has begun to create unique abstract pieces, pictured above, which the hospital now sells as a fundraising measure.

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