In the Air
Art News & Gossip

In the Air – Art+Auction's Gossip Column

Adrian Piper to Stage Participatory Piece at Elizabeth Dee

From May 3 to 31, legendary conceptual artist Adrian Piper will stage a participatory group performance at Elizabeth Dee in Chelsea. Titled “The Probable Trust Registry,” Piper’s project will install three “corporate reception environments” in the main gallery. Above each desk, three different statements are affixed to the walls: “I will always be too expensive to buy,” “I will always mean what I say,” and “I will always do what I say I am going to do.” Visitors to the gallery will be invited to sign one such “Personal Declaration” and at the end of the exhibition all declarations will become part of Adrian Piper’s APRA Foundation Berlin’s confidential inventory and sealed to the public for 100 years. Bound photocopies of all of the declarations will also be sent to all of the signatories of each specific statement.

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High Museum’s Photo Department Transformed By $4M in Gifts

Not long after SFMOMA revealed that it would be launching a new photo center in 2016, another museum has also shown a serious commitment to its photography department. Atlanta’s High Museum of Art announced this morning that it has received four major gifts, totaling $4 million, that will each contribute significantly to the expansion of its photography department and collection.

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YBCA Awards Residency to Dee Hibbert-Jones and Nomi Talisman

San Francisco’s Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (YBCA) has named collaborators Dee Hibbert-Jones and Nomi Talisman as the recipients of its second annual artist residency award. Awarded in collaboration with Bay Area-based online magazine Art Practical, the prize includes $10,000, a three-month residency, a profile in the magazine, and support for the development of a public program. For their residency, the pair plans to expand their storytelling platform and animated film “Living Condition,” which deals with the experiences of families of death row prisoners.

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Noguchi Museum Gives Inaugural Award to Foster and Sugimoto

At its annual spring gala next month, the Noguchi Museum will hand out the very first Isamu Noguchi Awards to British architect Norman Foster and Japanese photographer Hiroshi Sugimoto. Established to “recognize like-minded spirits who share Noguchi’s commitment to innovation, global consciousness, and Japanese/American exchange,” the awards will be presented by Japan’s ambassador to the United Nations, Motohide Yoshikawa, on May 13.

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Maria Brito Wants You to Take a Kenny Scharf Clutch to Frieze

With Frieze New York just around the corner, interior designer and art collector Maria Brito has designed a series of  limited edition clutches that feature the work of Erik Parker, Kenny Scharf, and Carlos Rolon/DZINE. SoHo boutique Kirna Zabete will sell the $895 bags in store and online beginning May 8 (not coincidentally the same day Frieze opens to the public). Each bag will be sold in an edition of 20. Brito says she is working with artists to develop more artsy clutches to come.

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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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