In the Air
Art News & Gossip

In the Air – Art+Auction's Gossip Column

“Cats in Residence” Returns for a Repeat Purr-formance

Journalists, ready your cat puns: Rhonda Lieberman’s “Cats in Residence” is back. Those up on their kitty news will remember the installation’s inaugural appearance in Lieberman’s wildly popular “Cat Show” at White Columns in June of 2013 — a feline-themed group exhibition that featured over 50 artists, including Cory Arcangel, Mike Kelley, Barbara Kruger, and Marilyn Minter. The centerpiece of the show, however, was the live “purr-formance” piece “Cats in Residence,” in which actual, adoptable cats played in a structure specially designed by Freecell (a.k.a., John Hartmann and Lauren Crahan) and Gia Wolff; following the show’s initial run, 25 of the esteemed “purr-formers” found new homes. Now, Lieberman plans to bring the project to Hartford’s Real Art Ways on November 1 and L.A.’s 356 Mission on a date to be determined this December.

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Concept Art Fair to Debut on Miami Mega Yacht This December

A new art fair is set to join the Miami ranks this December. Called Concept, it will take place on the Seafair mega yacht docked in downtown Miami’s Bayfront Park and focus on “blue chip secondary market work by modern and contemporary masters,” according to press materials. Just down from the city’s new Perez Art Museum, the seafaring fair will have 35 exhibitiors, which have yet to be announced. Created by Next Level Fairs, Concept will run from December 2 through 7.

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Go to Cincinnati for FotoFocus, Stay for the Street Art

Last week, Cincinnati opened to a bevy of international artists and art tourists with the start of the city’s second FotoFocus Biennial. Though the event itself promises plenty of exciting sights, with 50 participating local venues all dedicated to celebrating “lens-based art” throughout the month of October, newcomers to the city should also keep a lookout for some of the impressive mural work that graces its walls. Not that they’ll have to look all that hard: Thanks to public arts organization ArtWorks, the streets of Cincinnati are covered in all kinds of painterly designs. Below is a small selection of some of the most eye-catching examples.

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A Late-Night Round of “Mortal Kombat” at the Whitney

The description, at best, was vague. Or, well, not “vague” — in fact, the program text for “Mortal Kombat” was littered with specific referents, from krumping to Romulus and Remus to Edward Albee’s “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf,” and of course, a shout-out to the infamous early-90s arcade game from which it takes its name. The vagueness, then, lies in trying to imagine how exactly these elements might all come together in a single two-person performance piece. And so, at 11:45 pm on a Thursday, hoards of asymmetrically-coiffed onlookers flooded the Whitney basement to see what might transpire in the “mismatched physical confrontation” between poet/performer Ariana Reines and actor/writer Jim Fletcher, who conceived the piece together this past year during a residency at Toronto’s Gallery TPW.

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Dispatches From Frieze: Kai Althoff’s Surreal Fashion Show

Art and fashion are increasingly intertwined these days — they go together like John Baldessari and Rodarte, after all — but Crown Heights, Brooklyn-based German artist Kai Althoff put a distinctly different spin on highbrow couture during Frieze week. His debut exhibition with Michael Werner Gallery, on view through November 15, includes an array of mannequins; walls and floors covered with beige fabric; and a series of wool jumpers (with extravagantly flouncy sleeves and shoulders) that Althoff designed and fabricated. These leftfield fashion elements complement the artist’s eccentrically captivating paintings: beguiling, murky compositions that are occasionally tough to fully decipher in the low-lit room. The show’s press release, with delightful run-on sentences penned by the artist himself, is also a classic: “Having turned into a heavily opinionated and high-strung personality, which seems to brood with anger that unloads fast, Kai Althoff wishes to create an antidote to this state of mind, by work that aesthetically calms the soul and seeks to feed a notion of shelter in an elegant reflecting the utilization of art in the homes of people with good taste and intellectual brilliance in times long passed.”

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Instagrams of the Art World: Frieze London Frenzy Edition (Plus Beyonce at the Louvre)

All eyes (and instagrams) were on London this week with a flurry of activity surrounding Frieze. First up, here’s Oscar Murillo chomping down on one of Wangechi Mutu’s (mutustudio) chocolate mermaids at Victoria Miro. (Read Scott Indrisek’s blog post for more details.)

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Vancouver Art Gallery Introduces Institute of Asian Art

Today the Vancouver Art Gallery announced the launch of its new Institute of Asian Art — an initiative that will add an endowed senior curator of Asian art, permanent exhibition space, and a host of programming dedicated to the region — with a special emphasis on art from China, India, Japan, and Korea. The museum has already announced two major exhibitions dedicated to China: “The Forbidden City: Inside the Court of China’s Emperors” and “Unscrolled: Reframing Tradition in Chinese Contemporary Art.”

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Dispatches From Frieze: Eric Fischl on Eric Fischl

Over at Victoria Miro’s shockingly spacious Wharf Road space in London, Eric Fischl is showing his series of “Art Fair” paintings: Brushily figurative depictions of the bustle and hustle at the ever-omnipresent, big-tented commercial sales events. Evidently Fischl made these works by lurking around actual fairs with his digital camera, snapping away, and then combining the shots he’d taken into lurid alternate realities. So it seemed fitting that we likewise creeped on the sidelines as Fischl inspected his own likeness — mid-text-message — in one of these paintings.

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Dispatches From Frieze: Wangechi Mutu Wants You To Bite Her Chocolate Mermaids

At a private reception for Brooklyn-based Wangechi Mutu’s solo exhibition at Victoria Miro in London, gallery assistants were pushing small, chocolate figurines representing one of the artist’s signature mutant-mermaid characters. (The stunning mixed-media collage works on view depicted even less plausible, monstrous hybrids.) The deal was that one could take a choco-sculpture home if one agreed to photograph oneself chomping off a piece of the mermaid’s anatomy. We imagine certain savvy collectors are already stockpiling these saccharine mermaids in their fridge, ready to flip at Christie’s inevitable Contemporary Works in Chocolate evening sale. Meanwhile, Instagrammers can check out the attendees who partook by scanning the #mutumermaids hashtag.

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“Women Looking at Art” Tumblr Proves Women Look at Art

So we’re not sure if you guys are aware, but women are doing things. Like, all the time. In all kinds of places, too — probably even in your very neighborhood. (Are you a woman reading this article right now? Case in point.) And still, we here in the Media tend to get very excited when women do these things that they do. Today, however, one Tumblr has soundly lapped us all in appreciating women and their various activities, and that Tumblr is called “Women Looking at Art.” Want to guess what’s in the pictures?

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