Perrier x Murakami collaboration at SHOWFIELDS NYC. All images © SHOWFIELDS, shared with permission

We recently sat down with SHOWFIELDS head curator Tam Gryn for a conversation about the unique blend of shopping, art, brand activations, and events that drive the innovative retail concept. With locations in New York City and Miami, the relatively new space already has generated fruitful collaborations between an impressive array of artists, companies, and organizations, including Perrier x Murakami, Tax Collection, Brooke DiDonato, Kenny Sharf, Ekaterina Popova, Filthy Luker, and the Whitney and Brooklyn museums.

Often working in response to cultural shifts and consumer demands, Gryn’s curatorial decisions are geared toward sustainability and collective movement. She explains:

As a curator, I try to find patterns in generational truths. What I see since last year is that our whole generation is screaming for healing at the top of their lungs: healing from this pandemic, healing medically,

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Jeff Koons, the world’s most expensive living artist, has departed two major galleries that have long represented him and joined one of their competitors. In a surprise move, Koons will now be exclusively represented by Pace Gallery, which has permanent spaces in New York, Hong Kong, Seoul, London, Palo Alto, and Geneva. He will no longer show with David Zwirner or Gagosian. The New York Times first reported the news on Monday evening.

Koons is widely known for his sculptures riffing on consumer objects and “low” art. Often containing a profane edge, these high-gloss works can be monumental in scale and have been known to command high prices. Koons’s auction record, set by the sale of his 1986 Rabbit sculpture in 2019, sits at $91.1 million. He has been the subject of numerous surveys and retrospectives, including one held at the Whitney Museum in 2014 that went on to travel … Read the rest

Sato Masaharu, “I want to be a wolf” (2017), video (silent), loop, private collection. Image © Estate of Masaharu Sato

Reinterpreting distance in our coexistence with COVID-19, the Japan Foundation presents an online exhibition from March 30 to May 5. 11 Stories on Distanced Relationships: Contemporary Art from Japan features works by Japanese and Japan-based contemporary artists that are centered on the theme of translating distance. The exhibition aims to promote new artistic exchanges in this time of COVID-19, which has brought restrictions to our lives that are forcing us to be conscious of togetherness and separation.

Communication had been speeding up, and now a major turning point has arrived in how we interact. People are beginning to explore and build new relationships based on the assumption that they are apart. Instead of thinking of distance in purely physical terms, what words can we replace those distances with, or translate … Read the rest

For more than 50 years, Frank Bowling, who turned 86 this past February, has been making abstract paintings that not only push the medium in new directions but also fold in nuanced statements about colonialism, racism, and xenophobia. In the ’70s, Bowling was also known as a critic. For the April 1971 issue of ARTnews, he wrote “It’s Not Enough to Say ‘Black Is Beautiful,’” an essay that focused on the double standards to which black artists were regularly subjected. On the essay’s 50th anniversary, ARTnews enlisted Eric N. Mack, an artist in his mid-30s who works with abstraction, to look at the essay anew. “I feel like we should all feel lucky that Frank Bowling is still with us and showing, and not forgotten,” Mack said.

It is as though what is being said is that whatever black people do in the various areas labeled art is Art—hence Read the rest

“A Midsummer Afternoon Dream” (2020), oil on canvas, 106 x 101 x 2.5 inches. All images courtesy of Hauser & Wirth, shared with permission

Amy Sherald plumbs the multitudes of Black leisure in The Great American Fact, a series of arresting portraits that are currently on view at Hauser & Wirth Los Angeles. From a woman resting on a bicycle to two surfers readying for the water, the oil-based paintings observe moments of respite and pleasure at a monumental scale, sometimes spanning nearly nine feet across.

Although she surrounds her subjects with vivid patches of color and portrays them wearing bright garments, Sherald (previously) continues to render her subjects’ skin in her signature grayscale, which she’s described in recent years as a way to have the figures read “in a universal way, where they could become a part of the mainstream art historical narrative.” This new series also features … Read the rest

On Thursday, Sotheby’s set several artist records during an online auction devoted to major figures in photography. The sale, organized by auctioneers in New York and London, brought in a total of $4.38 million with buyer’s fees across 30 lots sold, realizing a 60 percent sell-through rate.

The top lot was a photographic album created by 19th-century British photographer William Henry Fox Talbot. Gifted by the photographer to his sister, Henrietta Horatia Maria Gaisford (née Feilding) in the 1840s, and passed by descent through the family, the collection is comprised of photographs and personal albums depicting scenes of Victorian Britain.

Six bidders competed for a trove of around 200 early photographs, moving the hammer price up to $1.6 million, with a final price of $2 million, four times its low estimate of $300,000. The winning bidder was dealer Hans R. Kraus Jr. The result set a new auction record for … Read the rest

All images © WASP

Last summer, The New York Times Magazine published a series of articles declaring that climate migration—a global exodus that’s predicted to displace between 50 and 300 million people worldwide—has begun. As more regions surrounding the equator become uninhabitable due to rising temperatures, crop losses, and disasters, entire populations will be forced to relocate to regions with more stable environments and economies. This impending movement coupled with an ongoing lack of affordable housing has sparked a wave of conversation about how best to remedy the looming crisis.

As a partial antidote, a Bologna-based studio, Mario Cucinella Architects, teamed up with the 3D-printing company WASP to design a low-carbon home that’s easily and quickly reproduced. Called “Tecla,” the prototype is a pair of sloping domes that can be built in only 200 hours using an average of six kilowatts of energy. It’s made of 350 layers of coiled … Read the rest

Faber-Castell’s Perfect Pencil makes a bold claim in its name. Can one pencil really satisfy every single need? As John Steinbeck once observed, “A pencil that is all right some days is no good another day. . . . I have my plastic tray you know and in it three kinds of pencils for hard writing days and soft writing days.”

Equipped with a rich, B-hardness core, the Perfect Pencil might be best suited for those soft days, but Faber-Castell confidently calls it a “true all-rounder” for writers and artists. What makes this implement particularly notable is not just its ability to lay down silky-smooth, grit-free strokes but also its design: It’s equipped with a protective cap that doubles as a sharpener so a clean point is always immediately attainable. When flipped to cover the velvety eraser, the cap also extends the length of any pencil that’s worn down to … Read the rest

“Life” (2021), installation view at Fondation Beyeler, Riehen/Basel. Photo by Mark Niedermann, courtesy of the artist; neugerriemschneider, Berlin; Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, New York / Los Angeles, © 2021 Olafur Eliasson

A flood of murky water overwhelms the stark white galleries of Fondation Beyeler in Basel, Switzerland. The new exhibition, simply titled “Life,” is the work of acclaimed Danish-Iceland artist Olafur Eliasson (previously), who set the Swiss institution awash in floating ferns, dwarf water lilies, shell flowers, red root floaters, and water caltrops.

To install the sprawling project, Eliasson removed the windows on one side of the museum’s facade, which allows visitors and nearby wildlife to enter the space at any time of day or night. The open-air environment subjects the manufactured reservoir indoors to the naturally occurring elements outside the building, like the weather, daylight, humidity, and smells and sounds of nearby public gardens. At night, a combination of UV … Read the rest

Kevin McNamee-Tweed’s proclivity for the fragment and for small to very small formats can make his shows read like trails of clues. “Probable Presence,” an assemblage of nearly seventy works dated between 2019 and 2021, feels like an unspooling of partial disclosures, an aggregation of winks and nods. Throughout his drawings, paintings, and works in clay, McNamee-Tweed borrows words and images from vintage comics, art history, advertising, and other sources, replicating and repurposing each bit of material to archive wonders from the external world, and fashion an ongoing portrait of his domestic, psychic interior. Across media, he quotes and cheekily misquotes. One of his colored pencil drawings, Long Red Haired Woodpecker (2020), transforms a naturalist’s record of a hairy woodpecker into an incongruously sultry pinup by trading the bird’s distinctive red cap for a long, cherry-red tress. Another drawing, Blowing Bibbles of Sibbles (2020), recasts Chardin’s Soap Bubbles (ca. 1733–34) … Read the rest