March 2018

Featuring over 3000 artworks from 248 galleries, Art Basel Hong Kong opened this week with the $35 million sale of Willem de Kooning’s Untitled XII (1975). Given that all other major first day sales were male artists, the status quo could use some shaking up, especially in Women’s History Month. Enter the indomitable Guerrilla Girls, feminist art activists based in New York. Known for their signature blend of humor, hard facts and bold graphics, the Guerrilla Girls have been fighting for gender and racial equality in the art world since 1985.

The Museum of Fine Arts Houston installed and unveiled their new gleaming Anish Kapoor sculpture this week. "Cloud Column," conceived in the late 1990s and executed in 2006, is a 21,000-pound stainless steel vertical oblong. Situated in front of the future Glassell School of Art, the piece will be a focal point for the Museum’s newly redeveloped campus, set to open in May.

The installation sparked mockery from the Chicago Tribune. In the coming decades, Houston is predicted to overtake Chicago as the nation's 4th largest city.

Opening this month at the de Young in San Francisco is “Cult of the Machine: Precisionism and American Art.” This comprehensive survey of America’s first homegrown art movement showcases art of the machine age. Known for its clean lines and smooth surfaces, these works celebrated the industrial age and presented a distinctly American point of view. Including decorative arts in addition to painting and photography, "Cult of the Machine" gives an in-depth and scholarly view of this movement that has not seen a major exhibition in 20 years.

Yesterday the Saint Louis Art Museum unveiled a collection of ancient treasures from the sea in “Sunken Cities: Egypt’s Lost Worlds.” On view through September 9th, “Sunken Cities” showcases important artifacts and incredible finds recovered from two ancient Egyptian cities. Submerged for over a thousand years, Thonis-Heracleion and nearby Canopus were rediscovered by underwater archaeologist Franck Goddio and his team. Using clues from the fifth century B.C. Greek historian Herodotus and first century B.C.

Recently opened at the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Do Ho Suh’s ‘Almost Home’ invites us to tour Suh’s ethereal memories. Suh is known for his delicately crafted “fabric architecture” pieces. These large-scale installations are sewn from sheer material, making them both solid, immersive objects, while also being light and transparent enough to appear fragile. In ‘Almost Home,’ Suh has recreated the hallways from several of his homes from around the world. Born in 1962 in Korea, Suh currently splits time between Seoul, New York, and London.

“I chose to use photography, with my camera as a time machine to travel back into the past.”
— Hiroshi Sugimoto

On February 27th, Fernand Léger’s (1881-1955) L’usine or Motif pour le moteur sold at Christie’s London at the Impressionist and Modern Art Evening Sale for over 1.9 million pounds ($2.9 million), far exceeding the auction house’s estimate of nine hundred thousand to 1.2 million pounds.

Beginning this month, the Museum of Arts and Design in New York presents a dialogue about immigration in a new format. La Frontera: Encounters Along the Border uses contemporary jewelry to engage new narratives surrounding immigration and life along the US-Mexico border. The fourth stop for this exhibition, including one in Mexico, La Frontera brings together 48 artists from around the world working in a range of media. These intimate objects of adornment personalize a larger dialogue that can often be dehumanizing.

At Brian Gross Fine Art this month, two artists approaching drawing with similar interests and parameters achieve intriguingly different results. Andrea Way and Adam Fowler both craft meticulously detailed layered drawings featuring intricate repetitive patterns. A Delicate Crossing, Way’s fifth solo exhibition at Brian Gross Fine Art, consists of ten mixed media drawings of systematically layered patterns, occasionally adorned with glass beads, adding texture and radiance to her work.

Armory Arts Week filled Manhattan with art fairs and their patrons over the weekend. Centered around the Armory Show with an additional eight satellite fairs, there is truly something for everyone in every part of Manhattan. In addition to parallel fairs Art on Paper, Collective Design, Independent, Moving Image Art Fair, NADA, Scope, Spring/Break Art Show and Volta NY, museums and galleries held special events and openings. Works of art from masters of Modernism to emerging artists had offerings in every price range, bringing a full roster to Manhattan.