In the Air
Art News & Gossip

In the Air – Art+Auction's Gossip Column

Instagrams of the Art World: Emily Ratajkowski Nabs Painting, JR Hits Istanbul, and More

Collector Stefan Simchowitz (stefansimchowitz) posted this shot of model Emily Ratajkowski (of “Blurred Lines” fame), who was apparently pouting because she couldn’t keep this Zachary Armstrong piece — or at least, that’s how we’ve chosen to interpret the caption, “This is what happens when you can’t get something you realy [sic] want,” lest we realize this “wanting” isn’t necessarily directed toward the artwork at all. Armstrong (z___a), meanwhile, regrammed with the caption “#careerpeaked.”

Continue Reading

Paul Chan Awarded Guggenheim’s $100,000 Hugo Boss Prize

Last night, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation announced the winner of its tenth biennial Hugo Boss Prize as Hong Kong–born, New York–based multimedia artist Paul Chan. Chosen from a shortlist of Camille Henrot, Hassan Khan, Sheela Gowda, and Charline von Heyl, Chan will receive a $100,000 stipend, as well as an exhibition at the Guggenheim in spring of 2015. “Paul’s protean ability to work across multiple platforms from his videos to his more elegiac light pieces and community-based performances is what particularly stood out,” said Guggenheim deputy director and chief curator Nancy Spector, as reported in the New York Times. Chan’s work has been featured in the 2006 Whitney Biennial, the 2007 Istanbul Biennial, and the 2009 Venice Biennale; he is also known for founding publishing house Badlands Unlimited, his stagings of “Waiting for Godot” in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, and his overall provocative sociopolitical commentary. (If you’re keen to know more, check out this in-depth — if old — interview from Bomb Magazine.)

Continue Reading

$44m Georgia O’Keeffe Painting Shatters Records at Sotheby’s

Earlier today at Sotheby’s New York’s American Art auction, a Georgia O’Keeffe painting titled “Jimson Weed/White Flower No. 1″ sold for $44.4 million, a sum more than three times the standing record for a work by a female artist. (That distinction was previously held by Joan Mitchell’s “Untitled,” which garnered $11.9 million at Christie’s New York this past May.) Plus, this price is more than seven times that of highest paid for an O’Keeffe painting at auction prior — that is, $6.2 million at Christie’s New York in May of 2001. This sale is not without some controversy, however: The painting, along with two additional O’Keeffe works included in the auction, comes courtesy of Santa Fe’s Georgia O’Keeffe Museum, which announced in September plans to sell off several works — a risky move amid all of the harsh criticism following deaccessions from the Delaware Art Museum and the Maier Museum of Art. At the time, the New York Times reported that “Jimson Weed” was estimated at around $10 to 15 million, already a substantial jump from its 1994 price of $1 million; here’s hoping the surprise profit boon will save the museum from having to part with any additional works.

Continue Reading

The Armory’s 2015 Season: Parreno, Abramović, and More

The Park Avenue Armory announced its 2015 program this morning, including a massive, self-titled installation by Philippe Parreno — his largest ever in the U.S. — co-curated by Alex Poots and Hans Ulrich Obrist, which will be on view from June 10 to August 2. Other highlights include “Tree of Codes,” a new Jonathan Safran Foer–inspired ballet featuring visual design by Olafur Elaisson, from September 14 to 22; the premiere of Laurie Anderson’s latest performance piece, “Language of the Future: The Line,” from October 2 to 4; and “Goldberg,” pianist Igor Levit’s reimagining of J.S. Bach’s “Goldberg Variations” paired with a visual piece by Marina Abramović, from December 7 to 19.

Continue Reading

Manifesta 11 Names Artist Christian Jankowski Chief Curator

German multimedia artist Christian Jankowski will be the chief curator for Manifesta 11, Europe’s contemporary art biennial, scheduled to take place in Zurich in 2016. “For the first time in Manifesta’s history, an individual artist will take the position of Chief Curator and will work on a project for an entire urban environment,” said Hedwig Fijen, Manifesta’s director and chair of the curatorial selection committee, in a press release. “Jankowski will investigate the whole array of art’s authorship, its production and its reflection on Zurich’s professional landscape. In doing so, Manifesta 11’s Chief Curator approaches the complex identities of the city in an unexpected way, reaching out to audiences beyond the inner circle of contemporary art biennials.” Based in Berlin, Jankowski participated in the Venice Biennale in 1999 and 2013, and in the Whitney Biennial in 2002; his work often consists of large-scale performance pieces that engage large numbers of participants, some of them unwitting. For example, in 2009, he staged “Strip the Auctioneer,” a performance held at Christie’s in Amstersam, in which auctioneer Amo Verkade sold off his clothing piece by piece.

Continue Reading

Instagrams of the Art World: Harry Brant’s Best-Ever Burger, Biesenbach’s Epic Selfie, and More

Klaus Biesenbach (klausbiesenbach) and Hans Ulrich Obrist joined forces to take a quadruple selfie (note the flattering MySpace-style high angle).

Continue Reading

Marlborough Chelsea Signs Keith Mayerson and Michel Auder

Marlborough Chelsea announced the addition of two artists today, both of whom were included in the 2014 Whitney Biennial: Keith Mayerson, whose paintings engage with American history by incorporating scenes from his own life as well as those of political and pop cultural icons, and Michel Auder, who through his six-decade career has become “nothing short of a titan of video art,” according to Marlborough Chelsea director Pascal Spengemann.

Continue Reading

The Onion or the Art World?: Artist Seeks Needle in Haystack

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 Maurizio Cattelan’s recent show at Artissima, titled “Shit and Die.”) Today, however, we’re here to talk about the fact that Italian performance artist Sven Sachsalber will spend two days trying to find a needle in a haystack at the Palais de Tokyo — literally. Repeating a performance held at London’s Limoncello Gallery in 2012, the artist will spend from noon through midnight sifting through a large pile of straw, looking for a needle that has been placed therein; though the performance is only billed to last for 48 hours, the museum acknowledges that it may well take longer.

Continue Reading

Original Batmobile for Sale (DC Geeks, Start Your Engines)

Luxury car auctions may not quite be everyone’s bag, but a lot going up at Heritage Auctions in Dallas on December 6 should snag some serious attention, if only because, you guys — you guys it’s the Batmobile. As in, the Batmobile — the first-known DC Comics–licensed model from 1963, even predating the version that appeared on the Batman TV show in 1965. (Apparently, it was built by an independent mechanic just for kicks in his New Hampshire garage, before a DC-affiliated dairy company leased it and toured from town to town to promote Batman-themed fruit drinks.) Okay, sure, it may not be that high-tech, Hum-Vee-esque, explodes-into-a-motorcycle deal Christian Bale drives in The Dark Knight, but given its recently restored swooping black exterior, complete with red accenting, the swank factor is high. So, for those DC enthusiasts holding onto some priceless first editions, this may be the time to hit eBay and drum up the estimated $500,000 needed for this pinnacle of vintage comics cred. If nothing else, you’d be ensured some sweet Caped Crusader–themed LARPing.

Continue Reading

NADA Miami Beach Announces Exclusive Preview on Artsy

Furthering its ongoing partnership with Artsy, NADA Miami Beach will release an exclusive fair preview on the site on November 25, allowing collectors to peruse galleries’ offerings more than a week prior to its opening at the Deauville Beach Resort from December 4 to 7. Plus, Artsy will have a physical presence in Miami with the second edition of #ArtsyTakeover, a series of site-specific exhibitions at its partner fairs. This time, both Artsy’s booth and a hotel guest room will feature digital video projections from new media collective WALLPAPERS (AKA, artists Sara Ludy, Nicolas Sassoon and Sylvain Sailly), as curated by Artsy’s Julia Colavita and East Hampton Shed’s Nate Hitchcock, also a NADA exhibitor.

Continue Reading