Everyday Objects Are Sliced and Re-Assembled into Distorted Sculptures by Fabian Oefner

“Heisenberg Object V – Cortez” (2021), leather, foam, and resin, 30 x 18 x 15 centimeters. All images © Fabian Oefner, shared with permission

In Heisenberg Objects, Fabian Oefner (previously) translates quantum mechanic’s uncertainty principle into a sculptural series of segmented objects. The Connecticut-based artist uses resin to solidify the everyday items, which include sneakers, a Leica M6, a tape recorder, a Seiko clock, and flight recorder, before slicing them into countless individual pieces. He then aggregates those fragmented parts into dissected sculptures that resemble the original object through a distorted view of the inner and outer mechanisms.

Drawing its name from German physicist Werner Heisenberg, the series is rooted in the basics of the uncertainty principle, which states that no two particles can be measured accurately at exactly the same time. “You can either determine one parameter and ignore the other or vice versa, but you can never … Read the rest

Olivier Meslay on Counteracting Art Depravation

Illustration Denise Nestor.

The 2020–21 issue of Art in America’s Annual Guide, released in December 2020, includes interviews with museum directors about how they responded to the Covid-19 pandemic. In October, A.i.A. spoke with Olivier Meslay, director of the Clark Art Institute, which was privately founded in 1955 and is best known for its collection of European and American fine and decorative arts dating from the Renaissance to the early twentieth century. One of the first American museums to reopen after the worldwide Covid-19 closures, the Massachusetts venue has the advantage of a rural location and sprawling campus, both of which are conducive to social distancing on the institution’s grounds. Below, Meslay details the indoor safety measures that have worked for the Institute, and discusses counteracting the effects of art depravation.

We wanted to welcome our visitors back as soon as possible. After all, our mission is to provide art … Read the rest

A Sprawling Installation Explores the Power of Protest as It Floats Above a MASS MoCA Gallery

“In the Light of a Shadow” (2021), installation view. Photo by Tony Luong. All images courtesy of MASS MoCA, shared with permission

Rocky debris, vintage photographs, and a wooden ship colliding with its own hull are suspended above a 100-yard gallery at MASS MoCA for “In the Light of a Shadow.” The work of Los Angeles-born artist Glenn Kaino (previously), the monumental installation generates a sprawling environment filled with thousands of floating elements that speak to the vast impact of protest and collective movements.

Lined with an aisle of light and constantly moving shadows, the hovering artworks fuse memories of past injustices and a brighter, hopeful path forward in an immersive experience. Specifically, Kaino uses “In the Light of a Shadow” as a response to the horrific events of Bloody Sunday in both Selma, Alabama, and Derry, Northern Ireland. He models the wrecked ship after the Shadow V, a modest … Read the rest

$34.2 M. Phillips London Sale Brings Tunji Adeniyi-Jones Record and Air of Optimism

Phillips’s live-streamed evening sale of 20th century and contemporary art in London tonight brought in a hammer total of £20.1 million, or £24.8 million with premium ($34.2 million), exceeding the auction’s £16.7 million–£23.5 million. Of the 33 lots on offer (a couple works, including the sale’s cover lot by Tamara de Lempicka, were withdrawn), 30 works sold, and 5 were guaranteed at a collected low estimate of £4 million ($5.5 million).

This year’s result is up by 17 percent from the total achieved during last year’s equivalent sale in February 2020, which brought in £21.4 million ($29.5 million) across 40 lots. That was a significantly lower total than the one achieved at March 2019’s sale, however, which, generating £37 million ($51 million) across 29 lots sold.

With the vaccine rollout underway in the U.S. and U.K., there is an air of optimism about businesses opening back up. In a post-sale … Read the rest

Innumerable Spines Cover Amorphous Sea Creatures Sculpted in Clay by Marguerita Hagan

“Blushing,” hand-built ceramic, 3.25 x 5 x 2.5 inches. All images © Marguerita Hagan, by Richard W. Gretzinger, shared with permission

Prior to sculpting the prickly lifeforms that comprise her Marine Abstracts series, Marguerita Hagan plunged into the waters surrounding the Cayman Islands to get a glimpse of the coral and sponges inhabiting the region. “My research is important to my work, whether from seeing firsthand like diving, which manifested the sponge and coral-inspired Marine Abstracts, or visiting labs and working with my scientist friends,” the Philadelphia-based artist says. “I am passionate about learning, and I immerse myself into the life of each piece/species.”

Mimicking the porous bodies of the aquatic creatures, the resulting works are amorphous in shape and hand-built in sweeping gestures from low-fire clay. Hagan subjects the ceramic forms to anywhere between three and eight rounds of firing in the kiln before they’re airbrushed with pastel … Read the rest

Victor and Sally Ganz, Picasso Connoisseurs: ‘A Brand That People Were Proud to Own’

In 1997, Christie’s put 58 works, including ones by Jasper Johns, Robert Rauschenberg, Frank Stella, and Eva Hesse, up for sale. All eyes were on a prized group of Picassos, however. At the time, the Spanish artist’s market was on the rise, but no one was sure just how well this cache of art would do—Impressionist art was still the top earner at auction, and Picasso’s market ascent had only recently been cemented.

The Christie’s sale, which drew an astounding 2,000 people to salesroom, ended up exceeding expectations, netting a then-staggering $206.5 million, against an estimate of $125 million. The result was a game changer, setting a record for a single-owner auction. The owners in question were the late New York couple Victor and Sally Ganz, who, having amassed the most significant private holdings of Picassos in the U.S. during their lifetime, gained a reputation as two of the most … Read the rest

With a Focus on Indigenous Knowledge, 2022 Sydney Biennale Names Artists

With just under a year until its opening, the Biennale of Sydney has revealed the first grouping of artists, collectives, and organizations that will take part in its upcoming 23rd edition that will run from March 12 to June 13, 2022.

Taking the title “rīvus,” which means stream in Latin, this iteration will take the concept of waterways and river tributaries as a jumping off point. In particular, close attention will be paid to acknowledge the Indigenous histories of where the Biennale of Sydney is sited—its main venues are situated along the banks of the waterways of the Gadigal and Burramattagal people.

For this edition of the Biennale, artistic director José Roca and his curatorial team have so far invited 59 artists, collectives, and nonprofit organizations from 33 countries—from Australia to Cameroon, Venezuela to Slovenia, Taiwan to Tonga—to participate.

Among the most high-profile artists that will show work are Hera … Read the rest

Candid Moments Captured in Vintage Photos Are Magnified in Mohamed L’Ghacham’s Murals

“Confinamiento” (2019), Cheste, Valencia, Spain. All images © Mohamed L’Ghacham, shared with permission

Whether depicting a birthday party or a child’s first steps, the expressive murals by Mohamed L’Ghacham (previously) enlarge sincere, unposed moments into monumental celebrations of everyday life. The Moroccan artist recreates vintage photographs as wall-sized artworks in locations across Europe that portray a woman readying for bed or the chaotic minutes before a family portrait at a massive scale.

L’Ghacham tells Colossal that his relationship to the original images has evolved in recent years from a simple juxtaposition of the site and the quiet, unassuming beauty of the domestic scenes to a more complex understanding. “Those first murals were done in abandoned, demolished places or simply on the outskirts of cities and public spaces. The impact of seeing an image of this type painted with a technique closer to classical painting than graffiti in such spaces created … Read the rest

The Best Charcoal Pencils for Rich Effects With Less Mess

Love charcoal but hate the mess? Pick up a charcoal pencil, which is composed of compressed charcoal inside a protective layer, typically wood. Suitable for drawing, sketching, or smudging, a charcoal pencil offers a familiar feel and provides you with a lot of control over your marks. Even in this more structured form, it can be manipulated to create an array of rich and dark tones, as well as thin lines and bold ones. Our picks range from beginner to artist-grade sets. Remember that charcoal, even in pencil form, is delicate, so these can still break if dropped. And sharpen with care.

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General’s Charcoal Kit

This trusted brand, which has been manufacturing pencils since 1889, produces drawing tools championed for their smooth, uniform quality. Its charcoal pencils have little drag, take to blending very nicely, and are affordable. This set includes lots of options to achieve different shading Read the rest

150,000 Hearts Representing Lives Lost to Coronavirus in the UK Line the COVID Memorial Wall in London

All photos © Henri Calderon for Colossal

Nearly 500 meters of small, red hearts will soon cover an expanse of concrete facing the River Thames in London. Now dubbed the National COVID Memorial Wall, the poignant display publicly commemorates the 150,000 lives lost to the coronavirus pandemic in the United Kingdom so far. Each heart represents one victim, with short messages of grief, love, and remembrance scribed by loved ones in their centers. It takes about ten minutes to walk by the entirety of the project, which serves as a staggering reminder of the virus’s devastation.

Coordinated by COVID-19 Bereaved Families For Justice, the two-meter-high wall is situated between the Westminster and Lambeth bridges, opposite the Houses of Parliament. According to The Guardian, Matt Fowler helms the ongoing project, which he began a few weeks ago by painting 15,000 hearts on the facade. His father died from the virus … Read the rest