Writing about the Armory Show comes with a caveat: people lie. Ask a dealer if they’ve made any sales, and they’ll often say “yes,” whether or not they’ve actually sold anything. Often, though, those tales reveal themselves. Some lies come with errors. This year, for example, a dealer told us collectors only buy at the end of a fair—an obviously false statement—but yes, she’d sold some small works. Other tales reveal themselves years later. Like when a dealer tells you he was “losing his shirt” at a past fair, forgetting that he’d told you that very same year that he’d sold out the booth.
After a Tuesday night opening at the Manarat Al Saadiyat that involved a near two hour Patti Smith performance and the glitteriest of the glitterati, Wednesday afternoon at Abu Dhabi Art seemed quiet by comparison. A steady stream of collectors were milling about the halls this first day of the fair, though just as often, so too were the dealers.
By now, we’ve surveyed the fall landscape in New York City, and we’ve seen enough to confidently air some complaints about that. If this tells you anything, Jen and Paul’s bus tour, which drives around mocking Chelsea, tops our list.
And among the other gems: a reconstruction of a 2007 installation by the late Jason Rhoades; Regina Rex’s new Manhattan gallery; and a show by Sadie Benning. And surprisingly, Paddy Johnson likes the Dan Graham pavilion on the Met’s rooftop. Those, and other redeeming shows, after the jump!
Twenty-two hours ago On Kawara’s Twitter feed published a single message: I AM STILL ALIVE. The account publishes that same message every day, and has done so since 2009. The updates are probably automatic, and not authored by the artist himself. He died yesterday at the age of 81.
Wearing only his underwear, a thief stole a truckload of bread and then made all the scheduled deliveries on the truck driver’s route. [The New York Post]
Jerry Saltz tells the Met what he thinks they should do when they redesign their Modern and Contemporary Wing. The short of it: more rooms, less atriums. [New York Magazine]
Part one of Hyperallergic’s Art Basel Hong Kong coverage reports on some crazy shit. Singaporean artist Lee Wen said that something inside China needed to change at the fair’s symposium, and was then found beaten and unconscious in the bathroom. Part two has a solid round up of art work—mercifully not all of it is object based—and reports that the fair, next year, will run in March. That’s not good news for The Armory art fair and The ADAA Art Show, which take place that month as well. [Hyperallergic]
Oh my God. In the months after Bill de Blasio appointed notorious “broken windows” NYPD Commissioner William Bratton, the NYPD has allegedly smashed a 14-year-old kid’s head through a window. We hope he sues like the 84-year-old man who was bloodied for jaywalking this January. [Thinkprogress]
Oooh. Christian Viveros-Faune writes that “No Problem: Cologne/New York 1984–1989″ at David Zwirner is “neither a school, nor a movement, nor a style. It is, instead, a coordinated history.” Our favorite passage here:
Cologne’s premier bad boy, Martin Kippenberger, squares off with America’s king of banality, Jeff Koons, in a single 19th Street gallery that holds a number of period works by each. The effect is bracing. Rather than call up similarities among the button-pushing works of each artist, the invited comparisons favor the anarchic, self-immolating energy of Kippenberger. Dead or alive, he calls out Koons’ millimetrically calculated excess for what it is—a lightweight reflection on commodity fetishism, this time in the form of kitsch statuary. [Artnet]
Time’s “100 Most Important People” is out. Sheikha al-Mayassa Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani has been dubbed “important” because she’s really rich, collects lots of art, and will make some of it available for view to the public. The piece was written by Takashi Murakami, who barely speaks English. Looks like the magazine found a translator. The other bullshit art entry is Marina Abramovic, with a write up by James Franco. Barack Obama does the write up for Pope Francis but also gets his own entry. [TIME]
Sotheby’s expects pre-tax loss of $6 million for first quarter 2014, an improvement on $32 million loss for first quarter 213. Where exactly are they losing money? The press release doesn’t say. [Benzinga]
Say goodbye to net neutrality. The F.C.C. has shifted its position and now supports an Internet with fast lanes and slow lines for web traffic. You can expect more from us on this today. [The New York Times]
Chelsea real-estate woes continue, this time on 26th Street. Tony Shafrazi, Lehmann Maupin, and Stephen Haller will lose their entire building to developers who plan to bulldoze it in order to make a “130,000-square-foot commercial, office, community facility space.” [Gallerist]
Bushwick will get a new art fair, the NEWD Art Show, at 592 Johnson Avenue. It’s set to run May 30 – June 1. [Hyperallergic]
FREE CHOCOLATE-COVERED MARSHMALLOWS AT DAVID ZWIRNER! [artnet news]
Art, fashion, and Michelle Obama:
Michelle Obama will cut the ribbon on Anna Wintour’s Costume Center at the Met on May 5 (morning of Met ball)
Yes! Now we can watch untold hours of British newsreels, thanks to the archive British Pathé, which has uploaded its entire archive of 85,000 films on YouTube. The featured video is of Arnold Schwarzenegger winning the Mr. Universe contest. [YouTube, h/t The Baffler]
Is Detroit “the new Brooklyn”? ArtINFO interviews Jane Shulak, the founder of the Culture Lab Detroit Conference, a summit on building Detroit’s cultural industry. [BLOUIN ArtINFO]
Three years after getting assaulted by police, OWS protestor and journalist has gotten a $55,000 settlement from the city. [ANIMAL]
Omg! The Andy Warhol Museum has uncovered new Warhols, which were made on the Amiga computer program, and to this point trapped on floppy disks. They have been liberated. Here’s a video of him painting Debbie Harry. [The Warhol Museuml]
Even more mystery art has been unearthed. A “virtually unknown portrait” by Gustav Klimt will be unveiled in May. Alas, “The identity of the sitter remains a mystery.” [The Art Newspaper]