Friday, April 21, 2017

A late post about NY Armory show 2017

     So with all the busy stuff of life going on, I realized after scanning through older photos on the celly that I didn't post the ones from the NY Armory! Yikes! Without further ado and just a few notes, here are some photos I took.

     Some of my favorite pieces were at El Apartamento, a gallery from Havana, Cuba. At first glance, the Degradation Series by Diana Fonseca looked like abstract paintings. Upon closer inspection and with info by the gallery rep, I learned that they're actually made up from peeling paint from walls in Cuba, and reassembled into these pieces on canvas. Creative, surprising and gorgeous.

      This book piece, also by Fonseca, has this cutout filled with rice, meticulously placed into a pattern, a grid. Unreal patience and craftsmanship to put this together, right? Click on the image to get a larger view of it.

"Lampenfieber" by Luthor Hempel at Sies & Hoke, Dusseldorf

      Paintings on album covers by Mike & Doug Starn at Wetterling Gallery, Stockholm, Sweden:

""Untitled 2004" by Chantal Joffe, oil on board at Rhona Hoffman Gallery, Chicago

Another piece by Chantal Joffe, saw her work at about 4 galleries

"Forms Derived From a Cube" by Sol Lewitt 1991
     Jeffrey Deitch had an eye-catching installation at his large booth, one of the most talked about (which he made sure to tell several people while I was there). A group exhibit, loud, pink, with paintings, sculpture, and an interesting mix of work. And fun!

There's JD on the right.
"Workplace" by John Currin - 2002

"And Everything Was True" by Chloe Wise - 2017

It was very interesting to see this rare piece by Giorgio Morandi, the Italian painter known for his still-lifes of bottles because, well, all I've ever seen of his work IS the bottles. Here is a cityscape of his done in 1954 in the same wan, almost monochromatic palette he uses in his bottle pieces.

Cotile di Via Fondazza

Forgive me if I have this wrong, but some notes were sloppy. I think these are by Howard Hodgkin @Alan Cristea (London)

     These 2 pieces are all about the Benjamins, dollah bill y'all, and at the Armory money talks.
I don't have the artist's name who did the first piece (a hit when posted on my Instagram account) and the lower one is "Money" by Mel Bochner, 96x65" at 2 Palms, NY

Friday, April 7, 2017

Damien Hirst's Venetian Shipwreck Show

     It's amazing what an artist can accomplish with money, backing, and fame. Damien Hirst can be a polarizing name in the artworld (the taxidermy work was really something, the spin art stuff was a joke, IMHO). The scale, creativity, craftsmanship, and audacity to come up with and execute the "Venetian Shipwreck Show" is all that and the link to this article has several photos to prove it. The Gallery Guy wishes he could see it in person!

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Art Market 2017 (Art basel and UBS)

Received this email today:
"Art Basel is proud to announce the launch today of The Art Market 2017, a joint publication by Art Basel and UBS that offers a comprehensive analysis of the international art market. Written by cultural economist Dr Clare McAndrew, founder of Arts Economics, the report covers macro-economic trends within the industry, spanning the dealer and auction markets, as well as the online sphere. The Art Market 2017 is available for free download from

The report tracks the development of the international art market over the course of 2016, analyzing regional performance and global wealth trends, and exploring the economic impact of the art business.

Key highlights as follows:

  • The global art market achieved total sales of an estimated USD 56.6 billion in 2016, down 11 percent from 2015.
  • Dealer sales rose just under 3 percent on aggregate to reach USD 32.5 billion, although performance was mixed between sectors and segments.
  • Sales at public auction of fine and decorative art and antiques came under pressure in 2016, with aggregate values falling by 26 percent to USD 22.1 billion.
  • The United States was again ranked in first place for global sales by value with a market share of 40 percent. The United Kingdom was the second largest global market with 21 percent, followed by China with 20 percent.
To learn more, please download the Art Basel and UBS Global Art Market Report 2017 here. "

Monday, February 27, 2017

Raymond Pettibon at the New Museum

     These days Twitter looms large ala Trump. If one didn't know that Raymond Pettibon started adding text to his work in the mid-2000s, it would seem as if he was inspired by Twitter, which is not the case. Most of the text in his pieces do resemble short social media posts, some clear and concise, some scattered or truncated like a random late night thought (cough, Trump reference again, cough)  or lines lifted from poems or lyrics.

The political bent of many pieces read at times like the work of an internet troll, except the internet wasn't around for someone to remark on Manson, the hippie movement, drugs, Watergate, JFK, Vietnam and so on. Pettibon comments on these with the tone of someone who lived through it all and saw upclose the effects on his and others' lives.

     I get the feeling that there's a bitterness, a disappointment for him the way some of these things turned out that many were optimistic about at first like LSD or the hippie lifestyle. Although not really old enough to be fully invested in either (he was 10 in '67, 13 in '70, etc) he was old enough to be aware of the turmoils in society, to see and hear the ripple effects of the War, Nixon, drugs etc. Later, the Iraq War and Reagan would rear their heads in his work. One cannot help but wonder what Mr. Pettibon is going to produce now and in the next few years with the unusual and extreme election we just had and the results that are yet to unfold.

     His first notoriety came from doing the artwork for older brother Greg Ginn's punk band, Black Flag in 1976.

     There are several aspects to his work: juvenile doodler, prolific output, strong composition, illustration, fine art, activistic commentary, and an "outsider artist" aspect to some of the artwork as well as the seemingly burning pace and "need" to produce. True or not, several who've seen this show have expressed similar thoughts. One thing for sure, this exhibit is intense, almost exhausting because there is so much to see and most of it reaches out and grabs or punches the viewer.

     Other subjects of Mr. Pettibon's pen and brush are surfing (monster waves), baseball, cathedrals, war, celebrities, cartoon references like Gumby and Va-Voom from Felix the Cat, music and politics. His illustrator's composition skills are apparent as he weaves these images with text, a feat not as easy as it might seem to the viewer.

     One thing is clear, the addition of text is what set his work apart and brought it to another level.
Some of it is lengthy with additional text being added on at different times. Some is clear and succinct, other bits of text are convoluted, snippets, or one liner jabs/jokes. One of the more interesting parts of the exhibit shows pages from books and magazines where he cut out lines and marked them up for use in his art. A cool insight into his process.

     This quote from the NY Times is his answer to a question about how much of his text is original:  “I wouldn’t hazard a guess. But it’s not one or the other. Nothing comes out of thin air. We all live with the same language and influences.” He added, “I’m just the conduit, the messenger.”

"Raymond Pettibon: A Pen of All Work"
Runs through April 9, 2017
New Museum, Manhattan; 212-219-1222,

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

More pics from Miami Art Fairs

Just realized I had these photos, so due to time constraints just going to post without reviews. From a mix of fairs in Miami 2016, enjoy! Look for reviews for the upcoming NY Art Fairs in March!