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]