One of the world’s most prominent art collectors, Agnes Gund and her daughter Catherine Gund, both signed a letter urging all candidates for the 2020 U.S. Presidential election to call for a wealth tax. She is quoted “Those of us in the richest 1/10 of the richest 1% should be proud to pay a bit more of our fortune forward to America’s future,” the letter reads. “We’ll be fine—taking on this tax is the least we can do to strengthen the country we love.”
Kehinde Wiley is launching a new multi-disciplinary artist residency project in Dakar, Senegal, called Black Rock Senegal after the volcanic rock ubiquitous on the Senegalese coastline. Of African heritage himself, Wiley was raised in LA but his father was from Lagos. In a statement, he said the creation of this project “Came out of a direct need to engage Africa in a much more personal way. After years of exploring the continent’s many cultures and countries I had a personal desire to create a workspace in West Africa. As an artist who works in the west I desired a space of renewal to explore new ideas and to create work outside of a western context—to create work within the context of my own lineage.”
Wiley credits the residency he undertook at the Studio Museum in Harlem, New York as a formative part of his career, and hopes to in part offer similar services. According to Sean Kelly, who represents Wiley at his gallery in New York, “He traces his career back to that point today as the time that sparked the beginning of his professional career. This gives him the opportunity to give back and enfranchise younger artists.” Those accepted to the programme will receive board, lodging, a stipend and studio space for one to three months.
The project will run from June 2019 through January 2010. Applications for the programme are due by April 15th, and the selection of artists is expected to be announced in early May.
When you hear the name Coachella you’d be forgiven for your mind leaping to one thing; the famous annual Coachella music festival. But the Coachella Valley is also making waves on the contemporary art scene as the home of Desert X, a biennial contemporary art show now in its second edition. Desert X was founded in 2015 ‘to bring the finest international artists to the Coachella Valley to create art, engage viewers and focus attention on the valley’s environment.’ The first edition was held in 2017.
Running February 9 to April 21, 18 artists have created site-specific installations in an area spanning 55 miles, influenced by the varied, often barren landscape, its people, history, architecture and economics in an effort to explore how art behaves outside of institutional walls. Neville Wakefield, the Desert X artistic director, said, “What’s exciting about a site-specific show, which is what this is, is that really the place is the curator. The place creates and curates the objects, and I think the experiences.”
Read the Artnews Article here.
It’s early February which can only mean one thing; the contemporary art spotlight falls again on Mexico City, playing host to two of Latin America’s major art fairs from 6-10 February.
The bi-annual Zonamaco is running its 16th edition showcasing over 180 galleries from the Americas, Europe and Asia. Expect to see big names, new galleries, innovation and experimentation in the exhibition spaces and the concurrent conference program. Zonomaco will also be holding its Diseño, Salón and Foto exhibitions alongside the main event at the Centro Citibanamex.
Now in its sixth year, the Material Art Fair will be once again holding court at the Frontón México after a hugely successful 2018 edition in the same location. 73 exhibitors from 37 cities in 22 countries will be representing next generation, emerging and established commercial galleries, as well as not-for-profit and artist-led exhibition spaces. As artists, galleries, buyers and celebrities alike descend on CDMX, there are parallel events, gallery openings, talks, conversations and performances all against the stunning backdrop of Chilangolandia, the City of Palaces.
For the latest updates on the fairs and new artists setting the contemporary art world alight, follow us on Instagram.
It’s no secret that money market investors are in the business of chasing the best possible returns. What we think of as traditional assets, that’s to say stocks and bonds, have performed poorly in recent years amid ongoing market volatility; 2018 saw significant swings and was one of the most turbulent years on record.
Meanwhile, the art market grew 12% in 2017 to an estimated $63.7bn with the USA holding the number one position, according to a report published in March 2018 by Art Basel and UBS. This growth continued through 2018, increasing c.10.6% as at November, outperforming stocks and bonds and coming in ahead of other luxury assets including fine wine and classic cars. The chart reproduced above was published in the Wall Street Journal in December 2018, a sure sign that investors are taking notice.
As they seek to enhance returns in tough markets, investors find themselves increasingly looking towards luxury alternative assets for their returns potential and as a means of diversifying their risk. So-called ‘real assets’ tend to be uncorrelated to large market swings and provide something more tangible for an investor; gold was the traditional preserve of the real asset however it too has struggled. At this point, art is becoming a more compelling proposition for many.
You can download and read the full Art Market Report here.
The Menil Drawing Institute (MDI) will open to the public on Saturday, November 3, 2018. Designed by Los Angeles-based architects Sharon Johnston and Mark Lee (Johnston Marklee), the MDI is the fifth art building to join the Menil neighborhood. ‘Architects Sharon Johnston and Mark Lee have delivered a marvel of light, shadow and lines defined by the slant of a razor-thin metal roof andrecessed walls of dark gray cedar and glass. In some interior areas, the ceiling is punctuated by deep, diagonal angles that suggest folded paper above the white oak floors. Virtually every element of the building and most of the furniture is custom-designed, but purposefully simple.’ Can’t wait to welcome this work of mastery to the neighborhood.
Exciting news - After 6 months of renovation and reinstallation, the Menil Museum will reopen to the public this weekend. Menil members are invited to a special viewing of the newly refreshed galleries this Thursday, September 20th. “We want people to be surprised,” senior curator Michelle White said. “We want people to encounter old friends, but we also want them to see entirely new things — and they will.” Read more at www.houstonchronicle.com
Reading Now: Gallerist Mary Boone Pleads Guilty to Filing False Tax Returns. "In a statement, Geoffrey S. Berman the United States attorney in Manhattan, described Ms. Boone as “playing a shell game with bank accounts to hide her true assets,” adding: “As Boone has learned, tax laws are not abstract.”
“My work often relates to past events in American history that have been marginalized or silenced or entirely erased,” Valdez told artnet News. “With a large image in black and white, it’s very cinematic. Some viewers may glance at this and assume this is a haunting image of the Klan in 1939 in the American South, but when you look very closely, I lure you in with those details. It’s really critical that I blur that line between past and present.”
The 2018 Toni Beauchamp Prize in Critical Art Writing is now open for sumbissions! This year's guest judge is Wendy Vogel, independent writer, art critic and curator based in New York. A former editor at Art in America, Modern Painters and Flash Art International, Vogel contributes to a variety of art and culture publications, including Artforum, art-agenda, Art Review, frieze, The Guardian and Mousse.
Deadline is September 15th! See more information on the Gulf Coast Website!
Reading Now: The British artist Anish Kapoor has filed a complaint in U.S. District Court against the National Rifle Association of America, citing copyright infringement over the gun rights organization’s inclusion of an image of his 2006 sculpture Cloud Gate, known colloquially as the Bean and located in Chicago’s Millennium Park, in an advertisement put online last year.
Reading Now: New York magazine’s art critic Jerry Saltz deliver a speech on the state of the art:
1. Your number one job as an artist is to embed thought in material. That means your idiot idea has to be there in your idiot art.
2. Being an artist is tough. So only be one if you really, really, really, really have to be.
3. If you’re in a relationship, when you are lying awake in the middle of the night fretting over something (or everything), for god’s sake, do not wake up your partner.
4. Work late, stay up late with your peers, and support each other. You’re only as strong as the weakest among you.
5. You will be poor, but your life will never be boring—accept it.
6. Make an enemy of envy today—tomorrow is almost too late.
7. Remember that you do not own the meaning of your work. As Oscar Wilde said, “The minute you think you know a work of art, it is dead to you.”
8. Have an elephant skin—and grow a pair of… whatever you need a pair of.
9. If you have the opportunity to travel, go to the Prado Museum in Madrid. Fly in coach, be jetlagged—but whatever you do, drag yourself to that museum. Then spend three days there. You don’t need to go anywhere else.
10. You only need to convince seven people that your work is worth taking a chance on: four collectors, one art dealer, and two critics. Just seven!
11. Be vulnerable, expose yourself, have an opinion. And remember: You know a lot less than you think you do.