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Dia Chelsea, keeper of the avant-garde flame

Lucy Raven, Ready Mix, 2021. Installation view, Dia Chelsea, New York City. © Lucy Raven. Photo: Bill Jacobson Studio, New York, courtesy Dia Art Foundation, New York.

by Roberta Smith

NEW YORK (NYT NEWS SERVICE).- The saga of the Dia Art Foundation, New York’s venerable nonprofit, begins a new chapter with its return to West Chelsea. Of course it never really left when it decamped for the Hudson Valley. But a welcome back feels appropriate, given the impeccable renovation of 20,000 square feet of public space across three buildings, and including a revived bookstore — all reconfigured and unified by Architecture Research Office (ARO). Dia arrived on the block from SoHo in 1987, rehabilitating a big industrial building from the early 1900s that became its flagship, and staging a string of stunning exhibitions. It triggered the influx of commercial galleries that, for better and worse, made West Chelsea what it is today while also depressing its own attendance: Dia charged admission, the galleries did not. But it didn’t charge admission to its spacious ground-floor bookstore, which was spectacularly tiled and furnished in shades of orange, yellow and turquoise by the artist Jorge Pa ... More

The Best Photos of the Day

Paula Cooper names new partners of the gallery   Mark Rothko's penultimate painting 'Untitled' from 1970 in Christie's NY 20th Century Evening Sale   Sotheby's to offer Robert Colescott's radical challenge to 'Washington Crossing the Delaware'

From left to right: Steve Henry, Lucas Cooper, Paula Cooper, Alexis Johnson, Anthony Allen.

NEW YORK, NY.- Paula Cooper announced that Steve Henry, Anthony Allen, Lucas Cooper, and Alexis Johnson have been named partners of Paula Cooper Gallery, the gallery she independently founded in 1968. The formation of the partnership will enable the gallery to maintain a well-established context for the gallery’s artists, ensuring continuity for years to come. It provides a sense of trust and optimism in an ever-evolving art world and reflects Cooper’s dedication to building a robust future for the gallery. The four partners have a combined sixty years of experience working at Paula Cooper Gallery nurturing the careers of a wide range of influential artists. They will continue to work closely with Paula Cooper to direct the gallery’s future. Steve Henry, Senior Partner, joined Paula Cooper Gallery as Director in 1998. Henry has organized numerous exhibitions at the gallery, from major one-person exhibitions to important gr ... More

Mark Rothko, Untitled. Oil on canvas, 68 x 54 in. (172.7 x 137.2 cm.) Painted in 1970. Estimate on request. © Christie's Images Ltd 2021.

NEW YORK, NY.- Christie’s will present Mark Rothko’s radiant and stately masterpiece, Untitled from 1970, as a highlight of its upcoming 20th Century Evening Sale at Christie’s New York on May 11, 2021 (estimate on request; in the region of US$40M). As one of only three works painted in 1970, during the final months of the artist’s life, Untitled marked his triumphant return to full, vibrant color, and Rothko is said to have viewed these late works at his most profound achievements. Formerly part of the prestigious Paul and Rachel “Bunny” Mellon Collection for decades before entering into a distinguished private collection in 2014—from which it arrives to market at Christie’s in May—Untitled stands as a deeply poignant finale to Rothko’s prodigious oeuvre. Emily Kaplan, Co-Head of Christie’s 20th Century Evening Sale, commented: ... More

Robert Colescott, George Washington Carver Crossing the Delaware: Page from an American History Textbook, 1975 (detail). Estimate: $9/12 million. Courtesy Sotheby's.

NEW YORK, NY.- Sotheby’s today unveiled Robert Colescott’s icon of American art, George Washington Carver Crossing the Delaware: Page from an American History Textbook from 1975 as a highlight of the Contemporary Art Evening Auction this May in New York. With an estimate of $9/12 million, the painting is poised to shatter the artist’s current auction record of $912,500. Both in title and composition, the work directly references Emanuel Leutze’s iconic scene Washington Crossing the Delaware from 1851 – which is currently held in the permanent collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York – where it has remained since 1897 – and stands as one of the most recognizable images in the American popular imagination. Colescott paints a radical counter to the exclusionary narrative that has long dominated art ... More

UCCA opens Cao Fei's largest and most comprehensive retrospective to date   Property from the Estate of Naples philanthropist Leslie "Mitzi" S. Magin to be auctioned off by Hindman   Dawoud Bey's career retrospective, An American Project, opens at the Whitney

Installation view. Courtesy UCCA Center for Contemporary Art.

BEIJING.- UCCA presents Cao Fei: Staging the Era, the artist’s first major solo show in China and largest and most comprehensive retrospective to date. As one of China’s most prominent contemporary artists, Cao Fei (b. 1978, Guangzhou, lives and works in Beijing) uses multimedia formats—film, video, virtual reality, and installation—to surreally depict the dramatic social changes of a globalizing China and the state of the individual under such conditions, fluidly shifting between documenting reality and creating fantasy in her art. Staging the Era assembles an expansive range of works from Cao Fei’s two decade-long career, featuring celebrated works such as San Yuan Li (2004), Cosplayers (2004), Whose Utopia (2006), RMB City (2007-2012), and La Town (2014), and the debut of her latest large-scale interdisciplinary project HX (2015-2021). This exhibition was curated by Philip Tinari, Guo Xi, Patrick Rhine, and Huang J ... More

Cy Twombly (American, 1928-2011), Natural History Part II: Some Trees of Italy (complete portfolio of 8). 1976. Estimate: $30,000 - $50,000.

NAPLES, FLA.- Hindman announced that it will present Property from the Estate of Leslie "Mitzi" S. Magin in the May 4 Post War and Contemporary Art and May 5 Prints and Multiples auctions. The sale of these works, which were collected by Mitzi and her husband, James F. Magin, will benefit four Naples, Florida charities – St. Ann School Foundation, Ave Maria School of Law, St. John Neumann Catholic High School, and NCH Healthcare System. Magin, a distinguished Naples philanthropist, was a strong proponent of Catholic education and supported numerous Catholic charities including St. Ann Church, St. Ann School Foundation, St. John Neumann Catholic High School, Ave Maria School of Law, The Blessed Edmund Rice School of Pastoral Ministry, as well as Naples Community Hospital and NCH Healthcare Foundation. Prior to moving to Naples, Magin lived ... More

Dawoud Bey, A Boy in Front of the Loew's 125th Street Movie Theater, Harlem, NY, 1976. Gelatin silver print, 14 x 11 in. (35.6 x 27.9 cm). © Dawoud Bey and courtesy of the artist, Sean Kelly Gallery, Stephen Daiter Gallery, and Rena Bransten Gallery.

NEW YORK, NY.- Dawoud Bey: An American Project will open at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, on April 17, 2021. Dawoud Bey: An American Project presents works from throughout Bey's over four-decades-long career and highlights his commitment to portraying the Black subject and African American history in a manner that is at once direct and poetic, immediate and symbolic. The exhibition’s title intentionally inserts Bey’s photographs into a long-running conversation about what it means to represent America with a camera. There is a rich tradition of ‘American’ projects’, including Walker Evans’s American Photographs (1938), Robert Frank’s The Americans (1958), Lee Friedlander’s The American Monument (1976) and Joel Sternfeld’s American ... More

British actress Helen McCrory dies aged 52   Vartan Gregorian, savior of the New York Public Library, dies at 87   Paris Opera names Venezuela's Dudamel as next music chief

English actress, Helen McCrory poses after she was awarded an Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (OBE) for services to drama, by Britain's Queen Elizabeth II during an investiture ceremony at Buckingham Palace. Steve Parsons / POOL / AFP.

LONDON (AFP).- British film, television and stage actress Helen McCrory has died aged 52 from cancer, her husband and fellow actor Damian Lewis said on Thursday. McCrory "died peacefully at home surrounded by a wave of love from friends and family", Lewis wrote on Twitter, calling his late wife "beautiful and mighty". "We love her and know how lucky we are to have had her in our lives. She blazed so brightly," the actor added, explaining she had died "after an heroic battle with cancer". McCrory was best known as a star of hit BBC crime drama "Peaky Blinders" and for the role of Narcissa Malfoy in the "Harry Potter" films, as the mother of the boy wizard's school-aged rival. She played Cherie Blair, the wife of former British prime minister Tony Blair, twice in both the "The Queen" (2006) and "The Special Relationship" (2010), and played fictional British interior minister Clair Dowar in the the James Bond film "Skyfall" (2012). Born in Paddington in west London in 1968 to a Welsh mother and Scottish ... More

Vartan Gregorian, right, then president of the New York Public Library with Andrew Heiskell, the library's chairman, in New York in 1981. William E. Sauro/ The New York Times.

by Robert D. McFadden

NEW YORK (NYT NEWS SERVICE).- Vartan Gregorian, the ebullient Armenian immigrant who climbed to pinnacles of academic and philanthropic achievement but took a detour in the 1980s to restore a fading New York Public Library to its place at the heart of American intellectual life, died Thursday in Manhattan. He was 87. The death, at a hospital, was confirmed by his son Dareh Gregorian. No cause was given. Gregorian liked to tell the story of “the most painful experience of my entire life.” It happened in 1980, when he was provost of the University of Pennsylvania, its top academic official. Powerful trustees told him that he was a shoo-in to replace the outgoing president. He was so sure of the post that he withdrew his name from consideration as chancellor of the University of California at Berkeley. He heard the bad news on his car radio. The Penn trustees had chosen another academic star. The next day, he resigned. The outgoing ... More

Venezuelan conductor and director of Los Angeles' Philharmonic Orchestra Gustavo Dudamel, newly appointed Paris Opera's music director, poses during a photo session at the Palais Garnier in Paris on April 15, 2021. STEPHANE DE SAKUTIN / AFP.

PARIS (AFP).- The Paris Opera said Friday that Venezualan conductor Gustavo Dudamel will be its next musical director starting from August, bringing his star power to the fabled 350-year-old institution. The 40-year-old, who has built a global reputation with his fiery and flamboyant performances, will take over from Swiss maestro Philippe Jordan, initially for a period of six years, the opera house said in a statement. The head of Paris Opera Alexander Neef described Dudamel as "accomplished and emblematic... one of the most talented and prestigious chefs in the world" during an online press conference from the Palais Garnier. Dudamel said he was "very touched and grateful", adding that he had "not hesitated for a second to say yes". "After a difficult year, I feel a profound responsibility towards our artform," he added. Known for his involvement in education projects around the world, Dudamel has said it will be a priority to use his position in Paris for outreach projects. "Access to music will ... More

After years of wrangling, World War I memorial raises first flag   Alexander and Bonin opens an exhibition of works by fourteen artists   Yale Center for British Art acquires a work by An-My Lê

A statute of Gen. John J. Pershing, who commanded the American Expeditionary Forces in Europe, at Pershing Park in Washington, site of the World War I memorial, on Tuesday, April 13, 2021. T.J. Kirkpatrick/The New York Times.

by Jennifer Steinhauer

WASHINGTON (NYT NEWS SERVICE).- Memorials to the war dead of the 20th century are among the central attractions in the nation’s capital. So it has always been notable that one of the most consequential U.S. conflicts, World War I, lacked national recognition. Now, as the United States withdraws from its longest war, a memorial that recognizes one of its most complicated ones officially opened in Washington on Friday, after years of tangling among preservationists, urban planners, federal officials and the commission that realized its creation. The first flag was raised at the memorial in Pershing Park, near the White House — rather than along the National Mall, where many supporters had envisioned — on a spot once ... More

John Ahearn, Qevin's Friend 1992/2018. Acrylic on plaster, 23 1/2 x 22 x 9 1/2 in/60 x 55 x 24.1 cm.

NEW YORK, NY.- Alexander and Bonin announced Index, a group exhibition of work by John Ahearn, Carlos Bunga, Michael Buthe, Roman Cochet, Willie Cole, Eugenio Dittborn, Willie Doherty, Emily Jacir, Robert Kinmont, Stefan Kürten, Jorge Macchi, Rita McBride, Ree Morton, and Sylvia Plimack Mangold. John Ahearn has made casts directly from life models since 1979. The resulting portraits - through their vivid pallets and highly individualized, naturalistic feel - provide a dynamic account of the different sitters’ personalities. Ahearn met and cast the subject of Qevin's Friend (1992/2018) while working on a community project in Anacostia in Washington D.C. in 1992; he revisited and completed the work in 2018. Carlos Bunga’s Three Legs Coffee Table (2020) was created for his recent solo exhibition, A Sudden Beginning, at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Toronto. The sculpture was made using locally sourced furniture to ... More

An-My Lę, Fragment II: Restoration of J. M. W. Turner's Port Ruysdael, Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, Connecticut, 2018, from the series Silent General, pigment print, Yale Center for British Art, courtesy of the artist and Marian Goodman Gallery, © An-My Lę.

NEW HAVEN, CONN.- The Yale Center for British Art announced the acquisition of a large-scale photograph by An-My Lę (Yale MFA 1993). Fragment II: Restoration of J. M. W. Turner’s Port Ruysdael, Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, Connecticut, 2018, from the series Silent General, is an intriguing, behind-the-scenes image of the Center’s Turner painting while it was being restored. “Impressive in its scale and ability to capture the painterliness of its subject, this photograph is the first work by a Yale School of Art alumna to enter the Center’s collections,” said Director Courtney J. Martin. “Following the energy galvanized by the anniversaries of Yale’s coeducation in 2019–20, the Center has made a concerted effort to diversify our collections by including more women and artists of color and to support alums.” Lę, whose ... More

More News
$40,000 swindle puts spotlight on literary prize scams
LONDON (NYT NEWS SERVICE).- The organizers of the Baillie Gifford Prize, a respected British award for nonfiction writing, woke up Nov. 25 to an excited email signed by author Craig Brown. “Words cannot even begin to describe how over the moon I am,” the email gushed. The night before, Brown had won the 2020 prize for “150 Glimpses of the Beatles” (titled “One Two Three Four: The Beatles in Time” in Britain), a witty retelling of the Liverpool band’s story. There was just one problem, the email said: “I’m currently experiencing a few hiccups with my bank and also with the pandemic.” Could the organizers transfer the 50,000 pounds prize money — about $69,000 — to a PayPal account? “If that’s OK?” the email added. The message was written with “tremendous confidence,” Toby Mundy, the prize’s executive director, said in a telephone ... More

For Belgian guitarist, pandemic church concerts a godsend
CLAVIER (AFP).- A plucky Belgian guitarist fed up with an ongoing Covid ban on giving concerts has turned to performing in churches, where up to 15 people are allowed to congregate if masked and seated far apart. Quentin Dujardin is relying on that loophole to get around a prohibition on playing in public that could otherwise see him fined 4,000 euros ($4,800), and each member of the audience 250 euros, as part of a law designed to curb the spread of the coronavirus. He first tested that ban on February 14 with a protest concert in a small church in southern Belgium. Although police had him prosecuted, a court threw out the case. "No expert can say that I'm more contagious than a priest," said Dujardin, who has scheduled more than a dozen concerts this month in a 12th-century chapel in the town of Clavier. The musician -- a 43-year-old former ... More

i8 Gallery exhibits a group of fifty watercolours by Callum Innes
REYKJAVÍK.- i8 Gallery and OSL contemporary are presenting a pure land, a solo exhibition by Callum Innes. The show comprises a group of fifty watercolours constituting a single, major work by the artist. a pure land is presented collaboratively by i8 and OSL; this marks the artist’s third show with each gallery. The exhibition is on view 16 April to 29 May at i8 in Reykjavík, after having been presented at OSL in Oslo in February and March. Watercolour has been an integral part of Innes’s practice for several decades, and the artist cites its luminosity as the reason he continually returns to the medium. Innes eschews the looseness and quickness often inherent to watercolour, instead relying on his methodic style of painting to explore the possibilities of colour and form. As is common for the artist, these works possess a harmony between simplicity ... More

Carol Prisant, elegant design writer, dies at 82
NEW YORK (NYT NEWS SERVICE).- Carol Prisant, an elegant design writer who was the New York editor of the idiosyncratic British magazine The World of Interiors, died April 9 at a hospital in Manhattan. She was 82. Her son, Barden Prisant, said the cause was lung cancer. Prisant was a former antiques dealer with no editorial experience in 1989 when she wrote to Min Hogg, the autocratic editor of The World of Interiors, a magazine she revered, inquiring about a position there as an antiques editor. It took her a week to craft the letter, with just the right tone: deferential but charming. There was no such position, but Hogg, famously spontaneous, wrote her back anyway, and offered her a job as a writer. Prisant was 51. On her first assignment, she forgot to bring batteries for her tape recorder. Her third assignment was to write about Bill Blass. ... More

Space Exploration & Aviation Sale featuring The Al Worden collection up for auction
BOSTON, MASS.- RR Auction's spring Space and Aviation sale brings 700+ items to the auction block, including many offered publicly for the first time with online bidding April 15 through April 22. The auction is headlined by Apollo 15 CMP Al Worden's collection, filled with flown items, personal mementos, and autographs. Born and raised on a farm outside Jackson, Michigan, Al Worden (1932–2020) made history as the Command Module Pilot on Apollo 15, which celebrates its 50th anniversary this summer. On that mission—deemed the 'most scientific' of all Apollos—Worden famously performed the first-ever deep space extravehicular activity, exiting the spacecraft at a distance of more than 196,000 miles away from Earth to retrieve film canisters from the Service Module. Highlights from the Al Worden collection include; a flown "IV Crewmen ... More

Important Tiffany illuminates at Heritage Auctions
DALLAS, TX.- Lamps from Tiffany Studios are renowned in part for the way in which they demonstrate the ability to replicate nature. A trio of such lamps will shine brightly in Heritage Auctions' Tiffany, Lalique & Art Glass Including Art Deco & Art Nouveau Auction April 29, including a stunning Tiffany Studios Leaded Glass and Patinated Bronze Nasturtium Lattice Floor Lamp, circa 1910 (estimate: $80,000-120,000) that stands nearly 64 inches tall."Tiffany Studios' Nasturtium Trellis shade was produced initially as a hanging shade, and is presented here on a beautifully patinated junior floor base, capturing the interplay between rigid architectural and sinuous natural elements, " Heritage Auctions Senior Vice President of Special Collections Nick Dawes said. "Native to South America, nasturtium was common in American gardens by the turn of the century, ... More

Original 'Star Wars' art zooms to Heritage Auctions
DALLAS, TX.- Consider them "promises kept." John Alvin often said that his work created "the promise of a great experience." For more than three decades, he established himself as the preeminent movie poster artist in the industry, conjuring some of the most memorable images in the history of films for more than 200 movie campaigns, among them Blazing Saddles, E.T. – The Extra-Terrestrial, Jurassic Park, The Color Purple, Empire of the Sun and Batman. He became synonymous with the images associated with many of the top films in the last 40 years, often partnering with Hollywood giants like George Lucas and Steven Spielberg. His poster for The Phantom of the Paradise even made it to The Smithsonian in Washington, D.C., heralded as one of the best posters of the 20th century. But an argument can be made that none of his artwork ... More

A choreographer diving into grief looks to whales
NEW YORK (NYT NEWS SERVICE).- Light is important in any dance, but in Mayfield Brooks’ latest, the right lighting is everything. “The light at 1 p.m. is when we want it,” said the choreographer, bathed in a morning glow during a recent video interview. While working on “Whale Fall,” a video piece filmed in the Experimental Theater at Abrons Arts Center, Brooks, who uses the pronouns they and them, made a discovery. “I’ve been in this theater so many times, but the windows are always blacked out,” they said. “I basically started being here as much as possible and watching the light as it changed. So part of the piece is that I enter at a time when the light is coming through the windows.” That one stream of light was the “thing that calmed me down,” Brooks said. “I was working through the grief of this moment and of this emptiness ... More

Staatliche Kunstsammlung Dresden presents Wordless-Falling Silent Loudly in the Japanisches Palais
DRESDEN.- What words can express the apparently inexpressible? What steps can societies take to overcome the speechlessness sparked by collective experiences of loss and violence? The exhibition Wordless–Falling Silent Loudly in the Japanisches Palais from April 16 to August 1, 2021 is dedicated to exploring possible ways of shattering the phases of silence that result when people suffer collective trauma. Based on the works of the poet Paul Celan, the presentation examines, from a multitude of angles, how poetry opens up a pathway out of speechlessness and offers a space for empathetic remembrance. It presents items from the Völkerkundemuseen (The Ethnological Museum) in Dresden and Leipzig, in dialogue with contemporary works of art probing the circumstances and effects of silence—in photographs, videos, mixed- ... More

Exhibition showcases ski jumping's development in the Pacific Northwest
SEATTLE, WA.- The National Nordic Museum and the Washington State Ski & Snowboard Museum present Sublime Sights: Ski Jumping and Nordic America. The exhibition opens April 17 and will be on view at the National Nordic Museum through July 18. Sublime Sights draws from the National Nordic Museum’s rich permanent collection of nearly 80,000 objects. The exhibition features equipment, photographs, film clips, and oral history interviews to showcase ski jumping’s development in the Pacific Northwest as well as demonstrate its cultural significance. “We are so grateful to the Board of the Washington State Ski & Snowboard Museum, especially to WSSM Co-Founder and President Dave Moffett for bringing this idea to the curatorial team at the National Nordic Museum, and to Kirby Gilbert and John Lundin who shared their expertise and ... More

303 Gallery opens an exhibition of works by Dan Graham
NEW YORK, NY.- Treating the gallery as a kind of automobile showroom, Graham's installation of models allows the viewer to become both participant and spectator in perceiving the space physically and psychologically in relation to other spectators. As Graham put it in a recent interview with Antoine Catala, "In my own work, walking around is important because not only do you see yourself seeing in the reflection, but you also see other people seeing each other as you see them." In addition to the models, a video projection will be displayed of Graham’s design for the runway for Celine’s SS17 collection (2016) at Paris Fashion Week, along with the large graphic of a park design using a curved hedge and curved two-way mirror; this design was a renovation of a small city park in Culiacán, Mexico, the hometown of El Chapo, former head of ... More

Hong Kong Spring Fine Art Sales | A Virtual Exhibition Tour

On a day like today, Ukrainian-American sculptor Louise Nevelson died
April 17, 1988. Louise Nevelson (September 23, 1899 - April 17, 1988) was an American sculptor known for her monumental, monochromatic, wooden wall pieces and outdoor sculptures. In this image: Installation view of an exhibition at McCabe Fine Art that presented a diverse selection of Louise Nevelson’s late career works.

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