Felicia Murray, “Our Dying Reefs,” felted COVID mask, 2020. All photos shared with permission.

There is perhaps no symbol more representative of contemporary life than the humble face mask. A simple health device crucial to saving millions of lives around the world from a deadly COVID-19 pandemic spread by invisible airborne pathogens, and yet an object that’s been quixotically politicized at the callous expense of humanity for the gain of an elite few. A new exhibition at the University of Denver’s Vicki Myhren Gallery approaches the lighter side of face coverings: the ancient tradition of masks as self-expression.

Arranged on mannequins lining the gallery space, over 40 artists present interpretations of protective face wear in MASK, currently on view by appointment through December 1, 2020. The collection of whimsical, grotesque, quirky, and beautiful masks are medically non-functional but guaranteed to provoke a reaction through their novel construction. Several designs … Read the rest

Amid economic fallout resulting from the pandemic, many institutions are selling works from their holdings in order to raise capital for the care of their collection. The practice, known as deaccessioning, has been undertaken in recent weeks by the Brooklyn Museum of Art, the Everson Museum of Art in Syracuse, New York, Newfields in Indianapolis, and, most notably, the Baltimore Museum of Art, whose controversial plan to sell $65 million in art have become the subject of national news.

There are no official laws guiding deaccessions in the United States, but most museum officials adhere to guidelines set in place by industry groups like the Association of Art Museum Directors, which has recently relaxed its rules in order to alleviate the economic strain of the pandemic on institutions. Yet even though the AAMD’s leadership has made it clear that deaccessioning could be necessary under certain circumstances, some … Read the rest

The artist collective Frankfurter Hauptschule claims to have stolen one of Joseph Beuys’s 1985 Capri Battery works from an exhibition in Oberhausen, Germany. According to a report by the German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung, the group says that they have given the artwork to a museum in Tanzania as part of a “symbolic act of restitution to the former German colony.”

In a video posted to YouTube, Frankfurter Hauptschule appears to document the heist, which the group claims took place on October 18. That video also includes footage of them transporting the work to Tanzania’s Iringa Boma museum. The group has titled their campaign “Bad Beuys go Africa,” and a description accompanying the video states that the Beuys work is now on permanent display at that institution.

“The museum, which is located in a former military hospital of the German colonial rulers, now displays the ‘Capri-Battery’ alongside traditional objects … Read the rest

In March, at the start of what would become a global lockdown, Los Angeles–based artist Patty Chang emailed a Google survey to residents in the city, soliciting lists of their personal fears.

“Personal, global, societal, mundane, or profound,” the survey read. “Everything is valid. Just write down quickly any thoughts that come to your head.” The dozens of responses that Chang received went into the latest iteration of Milk Debt, an ongoing video project based on collective fear—and by extension, fear’s frequent companions of dread, despair, and uncertainty.

In May, with a scheduled solo exhibition postponed by the pandemic, Chang and the 18th Street Arts Center in Santa Monica, California, streamed a preview of the new piece online. The 10-minute clip featured a Zoom call with an unidentified blonde performer who, opening her palm-leaf printed robe, attaches a mechanical milk pump to each of her bare breasts.

As the … Read the rest

To get the backstory behind buyers and sellers in Christie’s Paris and London October evening sales, read Colin Gleadell’s detailed Art Market Monitor report available to AMMpro subscribers.

On Thursday, Christie’s brought in a total of £90.3 million ($118 million) with buyer’s premium across four sales at its Paris and London headquarters. In the auction series, titled “20th Century: London to Paris,” the house deployed the live-streamed format, with Christie’s France president Cécile Verdier and its Europe president Jussi Pylkkänen at the helm.

The total hammer price was £77.9 million ($101.9 million), landing at the low end of the pre-sale estimate of £76 million ($99.4 million). With premium, the sales generated a total £90.3 million ($118.4 million), achieving a solid 84 percent sell-through rate.

Still unable to host large live audiences, auction houses have engineered new set-ups that focus attention on the bidding dynamic across specialists and auction staff—which acts … Read the rest

“Dendrite” (2019), Q-tips and plaster. All images © Jessica Drenk, courtesy of Galleri Urbane, shared with permission

Montana-born artist Jessica Drenk (previously) employs simple materials, like shopping flyers and standard No. 2 pencils, to create organic sculptures that are chaotic and arresting explorations of the substances themselves. Bundled Q-tips spread across a site-specific installation like the roots of a tree, a carved section of plywood reveals concentric patterns, and strips of junk mail are plastered together in long waves.

While Drenk’s latest series, titled Transmutations, is diverse and ranges from wall pieces to cavernous sculptures, each artwork explores materiality and how disparate shapes and textures combine to create forms that are new both physically and conceptually. The artist explains in a statement:

In treating everyday objects as raw material to sculpt, I practice a form of conceptual alchemy: through physically manipulating these objects their meanings become

Read the rest

Earlier today, Marian Goodman Gallery revealed that it would shutter its London space and pivot its British operations to a new exhibition model called Marian Goodman Projects. Citing uncertainty related to Brexit and the pandemic, the gallery, which also runs spaces in New York and Paris, said it wanted approach that would allow it to be more flexible in London. To hear more about the decision, ARTnews spoke with gallery founder Marian Goodman by email.

ARTnews: What was the rationale behind closing the London space? Did it have anything to do with Brexit or the Covid crisis and the economic fallout from it?

Goodman: Our rethinking of London actually began with Brexit and assessing its impact on the U.K.’s role in the greater E.U. market. We opened our gallery in Paris in 1995 and have been building our presence in Europe ever since. Our long-term investment in Paris has been … Read the rest

“Intimate Immensity” (2016). Photograph by Trevor Good. All images © Clare Börsch, shared with permission

Sprawling across paint-chipped walls and tiny alcoves, the collaged installations of artist Clare Börsch mimic overgrown jungles and whimsical forest scenes. Layers of flora, fauna, and the occasional gemstone or human figure comprise the amorphous paper artworks as they transform spaces into fantastical ecosystems.

In a note to Colossal, Börsch shares that she began her artistic practice as a way to translate her dreams, which are often lucid and informed by memories and a strong tie to nature, into physical objects that others could immerse themselves in. “Growing up in Brazil, I had the ocean, rivers, and jungles that always existed in stark contrast to the industrial cities (I lived in Sao Paulo). So my earliest and most formative memories are of lush, humming tropical ecosystems —and the encroaching industrial landscapes of Brazil’s cities,” she … Read the rest

Jacob Lawrence, who is known for his vibrant figurative paintings focused on Black Americans’ experiences, daily life in Harlem, and events from U.S. history, is one of the most celebrated painters of the 20th century. He once said that his works “express my life and experience. I paint the things I know about and the things I have experienced.” With Lawrence’s series “Struggle: From the History of the American People” on view at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York until November 1 (a missing painting from the series was just found by the museum), ARTnews looked back on the artist’s pioneering career and some of his most acclaimed artworks. The guide below traces key milestones in Lawrence’s life.

Lawrence nurtured his interest in drawing and painting in his school days.
Born in 1917, in Atlantic City, New Jersey, Lawrence moved to Harlem at age 12 with … Read the rest

To get the backstory of auction newcomers like Salman Toor and Portia Zvavhera, two of the evening’s best performers, as well as the sellers of the Baselitz, Warhol, Hirst and Tillmans, read Colin Gleadell’s detailed Art Market Monitor report on buyers and sellers available to AMMpro subscribers.

On Tuesday, coinciding with London’s Frieze week, Phillips held its contemporary art evening sale event at its U.K. headquarters. The sale realized a total of £26.3 million ($34.1 million) with buyer’s premium across 36 lots, seeing a 95% sell-through rate. Without premium, the sale hammered at £21.5 million ($27.8 million), putting it just below the low end of the £21.6 million–£30.1 million pre-sale estimate range. Two lots by Jason Rhoades and Wolfgang Tilmans were withdrawn before the sale’s start.

10 of the sale’s lot were guaranteed, with a combined low estimate of £8.9 million ($11.5 million).

The result beat last year’s equivalent sale … Read the rest