16th April 2020 11:54 BSTMore
George Condo with his work Linear Contact (2020) © George Condo. Courtesy the artist and Hauser & Wirth
Do things actually sell through an online show? And are people even buying during the coronavirus crisis? Hauser & Wirth says its online exhibition of works based on social distancing during lockdown by the US artist George Condo has sold out. The six drawings, entitled Drawings for Distanced Figures, were priced between $100,000 and $125,000.
Condo made the works in crayon, pencil and ink in his home studio in New York state over the past month. “The figures in this new series of works often appear in pairs, linked by intersecting lines, yet their viewpoints do not connect,” says a gallery statement. For Condo, isolation is also positive because it enables seclusion in the studio, it adds.
In a film screened online, Condo says: “Drawing is a way of life, it’s a kind of private activity that you basically do when nobody’s watching, but here we are, in a situation where nobody could possibly be watching because we’re all quarantined. We’re all sitting around at home trying to find our way into some sort of imaginary world that will make life better. I am imagining figures distanced from one another. They don’t want to be but they have to be. There are figures who are invented to resemble those who I wish I could see.”
Hauser & Wirth, which runs nine galleries worldwide, will donate 10% of profits from the Condo show to the World Health Organisation’s Covid-19 Solidarity Response Fund as part of its new #artforbetter initiative.
19th March 2020 21:59 GMTMore
“Last week I had the weirdest experience I think I ever had in my life,” says the Bay Area sound artist Bill Fontana, who returned this week to shelter in place at his San Francisco studio after the coronavirus pandemic shut down his solo show at the Kunsthaus Graz. On Wednesday 11 March “they had a private view, it went great,” he says. “And then Thursday morning we wake up and find out that the Austrian government has closed all the museums.”
Fontana returned to California on a British Airways flight that held only 50 passengers, all of them American citizens. After filling out a questionnaire on the plane and being checked out by a government worker once he disembarked, Fontana was allowed to leave the deserted airport and head home. And while he was “heartbroken” when he first found out about the closure of his exhibition, which included a massive 64-channel floating sound and video installation in the main museum space and a media archive spanning his 50-year career, he hopes the show will be extended when the museum reopens. In the meantime, he continues working in San Francisco on current and future projects. “I’ve got also a huge archive,” he says. “I’ve been working for more than 50 years, so I have to really organise that when I have spare time.”
Bill Fontana: Primal Energies at the Kunsthaus Graz, which was only open on the preview night before Austria shut down all its museums Photo: Universalmuseum Joanneum/N. Lackner
Fontana is among the many artists who have been affected by the actions taken to contain the spread of Covid-19, which quickly reached the level of a global pandemic this month. Those we talked to shared their experiences of cancelled projects, concerns about the long-term impacts, and the ways they are coping with the social isolation that has become as much a symptom of the disease as a means of taking precautions against it.
It already feels very disconcerting, very unsettling, and a real portent of what we’re about to face
Matt Adams, a member of the British art cooperative Blast Theory, is well versed in viruses and pandemics. In 2018, he and his colleagues were the first artists to take part in a residency on contagion at the World Health Organization in Geneva, and last fall they staged a Spit Spreads Death parade in Philadelphia to remember local victims of the 1918 Spanish influenza crisis.
After all his medical research, Adams finds the current coronavirus crisis deeply unnerving. The 1918 pandemic, he notes, killed at least 50 million people. “What’s fascinating now is that with very few actual deaths in the US and the UK, it already feels very disconcerting, very unsettling, and a real portent of what we’re about to face.”
He and his fellow artists, Ju Row Farr and Nick Tandavanitj, have closed their Brighton studio and are working from their homes while communicating via Slack and through video calls. He has remained in touch with other artists as well. “I think that there’s a curiosity I’m feeling from other people, which is, a moment like this has the potential for a significant social reconfiguration–it’s bound to leave a very deep mark on society,” he says. “We’re looking out for one another, but there’s also a sense that we’re going into one of the most significant moments for our generation of understanding what society we live in. It’s almost like science fiction, a moment when all orthodoxies are up for question.”
Blast Theory’s show A Cluster of 17 Cases, features a milled aluminium model of the ninth floor of the Metropole Hotel in Hong Kong where the SARS virus spread overnight in February 2003 Courtesy of the artists
Suspensefully, given the abundance of museum and gallery cancellations across the globe, the Blast Theory artists are still hoping that an exhibition of their interactive work at the Rijksmuseum Boerhaave in Leiden in the Netherlands will open as planned on 16 April: “A team will come in [to the studio] to package that up and ship it next week,” Adams says. The show, titled A Cluster of 17 Cases, is to feature a milled aluminium model of the ninth floor of the Metropole Hotel in Hong Kong where the SARS virus spread overnight in February 2003.
What are the things that make us feel safe?
The artist Trevor Paglen is meanwhile hunkering down in his New York studio, contemplating the indefinite postponement of a solo show of his work at the Officine Grandi Riparazioni (OGR) gallery in Turin, Italy that was to have opened on 12 March. (The art was half installed, he says, when the show was deferred.) Paglen said he was using the time to take “a much deeper dive” into some research he has undertaken for his art projects, which often centre on themes such as surveillance, data collection and the mapping of power.
Trevor Paglen’s postponed show Unseen Stars at the Officine Grandi Riparazioni in Turin was to have included his Orbital Reflector art satellite project
While keeping in touch with his larger studio in Berlin, Paglen says he is also pondering some philosophical questions. One theme is safety, “which seems apropos at the moment”, he says. “What are the things that make us feel safe in a very broad way?”
“I’m trying to take this as an opportunity to look at the world and think, ‘What are all the things we do almost by default, that don’t have to be?’ and to reassess what’s important,” Paglen says. “I’m trying to not panic and not despair and instead take the time to ask questions about what it is we are doing and what we want to be doing.”
I am focusing on very small formats… it is exactly this kind of concentration I am searching for in my current situation here in quarantine
Amid a quarantine in Brescia in Italy’s Lombardy region, an artist residency program in the 13th-century Palazzo Monti is coping with the withdrawal of four participants who were due in March and another two who were due in April, leaving just one resident artist from Germany remaining.
Two of the artists withdrawing fled overnight back to their homes in Israel and France on 8 March after hearing that a lockdown was to be put in place, according to Edoardo Monti, the founder, and director of the residency. A planned group show has been postponed from 14 March to June.
Maximilian Arnold is the only artist remaining in residency at the 13th-century Palazzo Monti in Brescia, and he has kept on working while under quarantine
The remaining artist, Maximilian Arnold, says that the isolation has enabled him to “concentrate fully without pressure and any distraction” on the art he planned to execute during his residency. “Right now, I am focusing on very small formats, which I haven’t been doing for almost five years, and it is exactly this kind of concentration I am searching for in my current situation here in quarantine and hopefully may transform into a certain kind of density in these small paintings,” he says.
At the same time, he hopes that when he returns to his studio in Berlin, “there will be support for artists and creatives to cope with the immense damage as we are naturally one of the first who suffers economically”.
Vanessa Thill, a New York freelancer who is primarily employed by other artists, shares this concern. The artists she works with “have been generous in wanting to make sure to still compensate me, but many of their shows and projects are being postponed and no one is really doing business right now. Exhibitions and talks I had planned to participate in during April have all been postponed indefinitely,” she says. “I’m lucky to have a home studio, so the one upside is having more time to make work.”
But the bigger lesson the coronavirus has revealed is “how we were all hanging on by a thread”, Thill says. “So many people have absolutely nothing to fall back on. I am deeply worried, but also starting to think about how we can rebuild our society from the rubble of this, and what radical new forms can we usher in. Right now people are calling for aid for workers and small businesses, for stopping evictions, freezing rent. Things that seemed politically out of reach but were needed before are now absolutely urgent.”
This really forced to think about how the experience can be non-physical or detached from a physical presence
The social practice artist Pablo Helguera (whose Artoons regularly appear in The Art Newspaper) was in Providence, Rhode Island when the university he was teaching at decided to immediately shut down. It was on a mostly empty Amtrak train back into New York that he came up with the idea of offering to read stories over the phone to anyone who needed to hear a friendly voice. “I came of age as an artist at a time before the internet launched—I feel like I’m part of the last analog generation,” Helguera says. “My instinct as an artist is always to connect physically with people, and that’s also what I do as an educator. My whole life has been about talking about art or experiencing art with people directly. And that’s why I am interested in performance, face-to-face interaction.” But such encounters have become impossible under the threat of the coronavirus, as people are forced to stay home, avoid large gatherings and stay at least six feet away from one another in public.
“This really forced to think about how the experience can be non-physical or detached from a physical presence,” Helguera says, adding that this was especially difficult since the art world has always been “very suspicious of distanced experiences”. So he began to think of other forms of proximity and decided on sound since it was such an important element of his life, coming from a family of musicians. “It can be a very intimate experience, it’s a very personal thing that we can also record,” he says of hearing the sound of another person’s voice.
The decision to work with a narrative was natural, Helguera adds. “Stories can have great power—even if they don’t explicitly address what you’re going through at that moment, we’ve been through things like this in the past, through 9/11, and hurricanes and earthquakes.” And since posting his offer on Facebook last week, he has been happily inundated with requests. “I’m reading stories to kids, I’m reading stories to people that I hadn’t talked to in decades,” he says. “It’s actually been really beautiful. And of course, whenever I call someone, they might be in London or they may be in Mexico, or they may be in like California, they just tell me what’s going on through their minds.”
The experience is also already informing his future projects, and instead of canceling a performance lecture that was meant to take place in May at the now-closed university in Providence, he is trying to find a way to continue to hold a performance “completely alone in the theater”, Helguera says. “Maybe there will be other ways in which I can connect with the audience.”
Jane Tardo received the call last Friday, March 13, while resting after installing her solo M.F.A. thesis exhibition at the University of New Orleans’s St. Claude Gallery. A professor informed her that major galleries in the neighborhood were canceling their openings due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Tardo’s exhibition, which features a playable, quilted racetrack, was set to open the next day. Recognizing the risks of inviting people to experience this hands-on, gamelike work (delightfully titled Snake Tube Adventure Racing), she made the difficult decision to cancel the opening for the show as well as its regular viewing hours.
“It’s crushing,” Tardo told ARTnews in an email. “I feel like I’m mourning. The weight of lost opportunities is very heavy. I imagine so many emerging student artists, musicians, film/theatre, etc. are feeling a lot of this, too. It’s not only a relief to finish a three-year M.F.A. program and to show off your work, but it’s also your moment to feel proud and to be celebrated for your accomplishments.”
As the novel coronavirus spreads through all 50 states, university life has been disrupted at all levels, with low-income and international students hit hardest. Hundreds of thousands of students have left campuses, classes have moved online, and at some schools, B.F.A. and M.F.A. exhibitions—seen as the culmination of art students’ education—are being canceled. The fast-developing news has left young artists, many of whom will graduate in May (some sans ceremony), feeling frustrated, confused, and helpless in an unprecedented moment.
Now, many are finding some solace in a new Instagram account that is soliciting and posting artworks from B.F.A. and M.F.A. thesis shows amid the coronavirus pandemic. @SocialDistanceGallery was launched on Friday by painter Benjamin Cook to give students an alternative space to exhibit their work; as of press time, it has more than 15,000 followers.
An adjunct professor at the Art Academy of Cincinnati in Ohio, Cook decided to create the account after the school set limitations on the number of visitors its students can invite to their shows. Tardo’s installation was the account’s inaugural post, followed by artists enrolled in schools such as the University of Tulsa, Boston Conservatory, and Duke University.
“The general concern [of students] everywhere is that they wasted their time,” Cook said. “They’ve put four years of work in and, over the past couple months, feeling like it was so close and getting really excited, are having it fall apart at the last minute to something they had no control over.”
In an age when so much art is already being consumed through Instagram, @SocialDistanceGallery is a logical alternative to physical shows. Like many resources born in response to Covid-19, it is also a scrappy and fast-adapting one. Cook currently runs it alone and is anticipating more cancellations. (Cook said he is starting to feel overwhelmed. Thankfully, strangers have volunteered to help with the labor.) To streamline his process, he’s asked classes of students to submit together; he then gradually publishes exhibitions, turning each post into a mini solo show. “Part of this is trying to figure out what an art show means in a time when some of the worries are much larger,” he said. “But I’m hoping this can at least help take people’s mind off things and help build communities and networks.”
The account has already brought some showcased artists consolation. “It’s amazing compensation to connect with so many delightful, talented emerging artists from all around the world,” Tardo said. “The support has been pouring into my otherwise sleepy Instagram. It has been so uplifting and motivating.”
Cook will be running the account for “the foreseeable future”—probably months, he said. Since the start of this week alone, schools that have canceled or suspended their B.F.A. and M.F.A. exhibitions (in addition to many other events) include Pratt Institute in New York and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, both of which rank among the top art schools in the country. These schools have closed facilities for nonessential operations; SAIC, which opened the largest B.F.A. show in its 154-year history last Friday, is also closing residence halls on March 22.
Students are struggling to process all the updates. “Everyone was taken aback by how abruptly things have ended, but we all know that staying isolated right now is important,” said Jonathan Azarpad, a graduating senior at SAIC.
“Most likely, I will not see most of my teachers or classmates IRL ever again,” said Mia Margita Neumann, a fellow SAIC B.F.A. candidate. “As an art student, I’ve lost an incredibly valuable resource to cultivate a network of artists. As a graduating senior, I’ve lost countless connections and future job opportunities by being forced out of a community of my peers in this isolated and somber way. As a person, I’ve lost the opportunity for closure, and it’s heartbreaking.”
They continued, “Now we are all scrambling to see what we can conceivably recover from this inadequate semester—which many of us have already paid for. We are young, and we are resilient, but those who were set to graduate have been pushed off the ledge with no net beneath us.”
Like many of their classmates, Neumann has been following @SocialDistanceGallery and sharing their experience over the last week with Cook. While he has not been posting these stories publicly, he has taken each private message to heart.
“Students are reaching out and sounding really excited about this project, and that has done a lot to keep me going,” Cook said. “There’s a lot no one was prepared for, and it’s going to be a lot of experimentation. I hope this will take some things off people’s plates so we can focus on the education side of things because the school year is really not over. We have to figure out so much more.”
Source : artnews.com
Tessa Solomon 7-8 minutes
As governments attempt to mitigate the spread of the new coronavirus (Covid-19), many have ordered museums to shutter temporarily. Below is a continually-updated list, organized alphabetically by country, of major institutions that have closed in response to the outbreak.
Updated: March 16, 2020, 8:20 p.m.
Museum of Old and New Art, Tasmania
Belvedere, Vienna (three locations)
Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien, Vienna
Leopold Museum, Vienna
Paintings Gallery at Academy of Fine Arts Vienna
WIELS Contemporary Art Centre, Brussels
Museu de Arte de São Paulo
Guangdong Art Museum, Guangzhou
National Art Museum of China, Beijing
Power Station of Art, Shanghai (reopened March 13)
Shanghai Museum (reopened March 13)
Union Art Museum, Wuhan
UCCA Center for Contemporary Art, multiple locations
Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Humlebaek
Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, Copenhagen
National Museum of Denmark, Copenhagen
Hirschsprung Collection, Copenhagen
National Gallery of Denmark, Copenhagen
Centre Pompidou, Paris
Centre Pompidou-Metz, Metz
Jeu de Paume, Paris
Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris
Musée d’Orsay, Paris
Musée de l’Orangerie, Paris
Palais de Tokyo, Paris
Alte Pinakothek, Munich
Gropius Bau, Berlin
Haus der Kunst, Munich
Jewish Museum, Berlin
KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin
Museum Barberini, Potsdam
Museum Brandhorst, Munich
Museum Ludwig, Cologne
Pinakothek der Moderne, Munich
Sammlung Schack, Munich
Staatliche Museen zu Berlin (consortium of 19 museums in Berlin including the Altes Museum, Gemäldegalerie, Pergamonmuseum, Neue Nationalgalerie, and Museum für Fotografie)
Hong Kong Museum of Art, Tsim Sha Tsui (partially reopened on March 11)
Hong Kong Heritage Museum, Sha Tin (partially reopened on March 11)
Hong Kong Film Archive, Aldrich Bay (partially reopened on March 11)
Hong Kong Museum of History, Tsim Sha Tsui
Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin
National Museum of Ireland, Dublin and Castlebar
National Gallery of Ireland, Dublin
Fondazione Prada, Milan
Galleria Borghese, Rome
Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Venice
Palazzo Grassi, Venice
Scuderie del Quirinale, Rome
Uffizi Gallery, Florence
Vatican Museums, Rome
Kyoto National Museum
Mori Art Museum, Tokyo
National Museum of Western Art, Tokyo
National Museum of Art, Osaka
Ōta Memorial Museum of Art, Tokyo
Tokyo National Museum
Nouveau Musée National de Monaco
Mauritshuis, the Hague
Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam
Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam
Garage Museum of Contemporary Art, Moscow
Leeum Samsung Museum of Art, Seoul
National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Seoul
National Museum of Korea, Seoul
Fundació Joan Miró, Barcelona
MACBA Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona
Museo del Prado, Madrid
Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid
Museo Nacional Thyssen-Bornemisza, Madrid
Fondation Beyeler, Riehen
United Arab Emirates
Sharjah Art Foundation
Institute of Contemporary Arts, London
Wellcome Collection, London
Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art and the Momentary, Bentonville
Asian Art Museum, San Francisco
The Broad, Los Angeles
CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts, San Francisco
The Fine Art Museums of San Francisco (de Young and Legion of Honor)
Fowler Museum at UCLA, Los Angeles
Getty Center and Getty Villa, Los Angeles
Hammer Museum, Los Angeles
Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens (partial closure: indoor spaces closed, gardens remain open)
Los Angeles County Museum of Art
Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (both Grand Avenue and Geffen Contemporary locations)
San Diego Museum of Art
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art
Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco
Aspen Art Museum
Denver Art Museum
Kirkland Museum of Fine & Decorative Art, Denver
Wesleyan Center for the Arts, Middleton
Yale Center for British Art, New Haven
The Dalí Museum, St. Petersburg
Pérez Art Museum Miami
Art Institute of Chicago
Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago
Museum of Contemporary Photography, Columbia College Chicago
National Museum of Mexican Art, Chicago
Contemporary Arts Center, New Orleans
New Orleans Museum of Art
Ogden Museum of Southern Art, New Orleans
Portland Museum of Art
Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge
Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston
Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Boston
MIT List Visual Arts Center, Cambridge
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
Norman Rockwell Museum, Stockbridge
Rose Art Museum at Brandeis University, Waltham
Detroit Institute of Arts
Minneapolis Institute of Art
Walker Art Center, Minneapolis
Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City
Artists Space, New York City
Brooklyn Museum, New York City
Bronx Museum of the Arts, New York City
Children’s Museum of the Arts, New York City
The Drawing Center, New York City
El Museo del Barrio, New York City
Frick Collection, New York City
Jewish Museum, New York City
Judd Foundation, New York City
Leslie-Lohman Museum of Art, New York City
Lincoln Center, New York City
Metropolitan Museum of Art (all three locations), New York City
MoMA PS1, New York City
Morgan Library & Museum, New York City
Museum of Modern Art, New York City
New Museum, New York City
New-York Historical Society, New York City
Rubin Museum of Art, New York City
The Shed, New York City
Whitney Museum, New York City
Cincinnati Contemporary Arts Center
Cleveland Museum of Art
Columbus Museum of Art
Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland
Toledo Museum of Art
Wexner Center for the Arts, Columbus
Portland Art Museum
Institute of Contemporary Art Philadelphia
Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts
Philadelphia Museum of Art
Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh
Contemporary Arts Museum Houston
Dallas Museum of Art
Judd Foundation, Marfa
The Menil Collection, Houston
Museum of Fine Arts, Houston
Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond
Frye Art Museum, Seattle
Seattle Art Museum
Hirshhorn National Museum of Modern Art
National Gallery of Art
The Phillips Collection
Smithsonian Institution (19 Washington, D.C. museums, plus a couple in New York)
Gareth Harris 3 minutes
The Sedgwick Museum in Cambridge is one of the beneficiaries of the Arts Council England’s grants programme © Sedgwick Museum of Earth Sciences
Arts Council England (ACE) has announced an action plan to help the UK’s culture sector withstand the coronavirus (Covid-19) crisis, including helping artists and freelancers who may lose money as a result of the pandemic. The long-term aim, say ACE officials, is to have as “strong a sector as possible when we come out the other side of this crisis”. Crucially, it also warns that “if you are a public-facing venue you may have to close for a period of time”.
ACE, an arms-length non-departmental public body, invests money from the government and the National Lottery fund in arts and culture initiatives and institutions across England, encompassing museums and libraries.
In a statement, it says: “We will refocus some grant programmes to help compensate individual artists and freelancers for lost earnings. This will require further planning. It may take about ten days before we can announce the details.”
Meanwhile, the National Portfolio Organisations and Creative People and Places groups—the arts bodies funded by Arts Council England—will continue to receive financial support, though funding conditions and requirements will not apply for at least three months with immediate effect. “We can also advance grant payments to assist with cashflow,” ACE says.
ACE’s measures sparked a flood of responses on Twitter. The Florence Nightingale Museum in London says: “It’s going to be a challenging time for our small charity. We were planning for a bumper year celebrating Nightingale’s bicentenary. Instead we will struggle to recoup investment and face big overheads.”
“This is just the start,” says ACE, which stresses that it is collecting intelligence from across the sector, so “we can understand what is needed”, adding that “we are in constant conversation with colleagues at the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport about the short and long-term financial implications”. The Arts Council of Wales says it will publish its coronavirus strategy on 17 March.
Sarah Cascone, March 13, 2020 8-10 minutes
As the global health crisis continues to heighten, we may be all be looking at spending quite a bit of time at home and indoors in the coming days—or maybe longer.
With New York City instituting a ban on gatherings of more than 500 people and many offices enacting work-from- home policies, that reality is already here for many in the Metropolitan area.
If the idea of not being able to leave the house makes you stir crazy, we’ve put together a selection of artworks to set your mind at ease. Each of these works—some historical, some contemporary—serves as a reminder of the quietly enjoyable ways of passing time of home, such as reading a book, playing board games, and indulging in a midnight snack.
Although it may feel isolating, staying in is at least a sure-fire way to keep from getting sick, or passing the illness on to those who are most vulnerable. Wishing everyone good health—or a speedy recovery—in these trying times.
Pierre Bonnard, Nude in the Bath (1925)
Pierre Bonnard, Nude in the Bath (1925). Courtesy of the Tate.
Pierre Bonnard’s muse Marthe bathed to soothe herself during a longstanding illness. You too may want to try a nice long soak in the tub, as in Bonnard’s Nude in the Bath at the Tate in London.
March Avery, Bedtime Story (1989)
March Avery, Bedtime Story (1989). ©March Avery, courtesy of the artist and Blum & Poe, Los Angeles/New York/Tokyo.
This intimate March Avery painting reminds us why it’s always important to read to your kids. (We also couldn’t think of any great paintings of children glued to their iPad.)
Jean Honoré Fragonard, Young Girl Reading (circa 1769)
Jean Honoré Fragonard, Young Girl Reading (circa 1769). Courtesy of the National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC.
Find a good book for yourself, like this girl in a Jean Honoré Fragonard painting from the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC.
Rosemarie Trockel, Living Means Not Good Enough (2002)
Rosemarie Trockel, Living Means Not Good Enough (2002). Photo courtesy of the artist and Sprüth Magers, Berlin. ©Rosemarie Trockel.
If you’re anything like the subject of this Rosemarie Trockel photograph, we’re guessing you’ve already got quite a backlog of reading material to work through.
Aliza Nisenbaum, La Talaverita, Sunday Morning NY Times (2016)
Aliza Nisenbaum, La Talaverita, Sunday Morning NY Times (2016). Courtesy of the artist, Anton Kern Gallery, and Mary Mary. ©Aliza Nisenbaum.
In these uncertain times, it’s important to stay up to date on current events. But can we suggest curling up with the Sunday Times, rather than the maelstrom that is cable news? These pieces by Aliza Nisenbaum—this one and the one at top—both from last year’s Whitney Biennial, makes a lazy weekend morning at home look practically idyllic.
John Singer Sargent, The Daughters of Edward Darley Boit (1882)
John Singer Sargent, The Daughters of Edward Darley Boit (1882). Courtesy of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.
The schools aren’t all closed yet, but it seems more and more likely you’ll be home with the kids in no time. Yes, there’s the risk of cabin fever, but hopefully your children will be as poised and serene as the girls in this John Singer Sargent masterpiece at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.
Shona McAndrew, Asia (2019)
Shona McAndrew, Asia (2019). Courtesy of Chart, New York.
If you’re holing up in your apartment this weekend, consider the freeing possibilities of lounging in your underwear. Another plus side? Easy access to the fridge. Shona McAndrew’s beautifully detailed late-night scene shows a fully-stocked larder—probably belonging to one who braved those shopping market lines before settling in for the long haul.
Marianne Stokes, Candlemas Day (circa 1901)
Marianne Stokes, Candlemas Day (circa 1901). Courtesy of the Tate.
Many people are turning to prayer as the crisis continues to grow around the world. Time alone at home will provide time with the rosary and the Bible, as in Marianne Stoke’s contemplative Candlemas Day, from the Tate—or reconnect with your own personal faith traditions. There’s also meditation, for those who aren’t religious.
Jan Steen, Woman at Her Toilet (1663)
Jan Steen, Woman at Her Toilet (1663). Courtesy of Buckingham Palace.
Like this Jan Steen scene at Buckingham Palace, we’ll all probably lounge around in a state of partial undress, bed unmade and belongings scattered about our increasingly untidy homes.
David Hockney, My Parents (1977)
David Hockney, My Parents (1977). © David Hockney, photo by Jack Taylor/Getty Images.
David Hockney’s famous 1977 canvas of his parents, housed at the Tate in London, presents a quiet domestic moment, a long-married couple enjoying their golden years. It’s also a reminder that we don’t have to wear pajamas and sweatpants the whole time we’re home.
Jordan Casteel, Kimmah (2019)
Jordan Casteel, Kimmah (2019). Courtesy of the artist.
If you’re focused on comfort, just kick off your shoes and relax, like Kimmah in this Jordan Casteel portrait. (And don’t think about the news.)
Arcmanoro Niles, Bad Kid, It Wasn’t Love (Like My Daddy’s the Devil), 2018
Arcmanoro Niles, Bad Kid, It Wasn’t Love (Like My Daddy’s the Devil), 2018. Courtesy of the artist and Rachel Uffner Gallery, New York.
Expect to eat at home for the time being—but mealtime can still be special if you set the table and dine as a family. We love the birthday cake and candles in this depiction of a child in the dining room by Arcmanoro Niles.
Mary Cassatt, Little Girl in a Blue Armchair (1878)
Mary Cassatt, Little Girl in a Blue Armchair (1878). Courtesy of the National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC.
If you’re going to be bored, at least be comfortable. This Mary Cassatt portrait, also from the National Gallery of Art, is a classic interior scene.
Hilary Pecis, Harper’s Game (2019)
Hilary Pecis, Harper’s Game (2019). Courtesy of Halsey McKay Gallery, East Hampton, New York.
This is a great time to break out board games to fight the inevitable boredom of being cooped up inside. And Hilary Pecis’s cozy painting Harper’s Games is also a reminder, for those of us lucky enough to have a collection, to appreciate our works of art in the home, since we we can’t get out to museums.
Johannes Vermeer, Woman in Blue Reading a Letter (1663–64)
Johannes Vermeer, Woman in Blue Reading a Letter (1663–64). Courtesy of the Rijksmuseum Amsterdam.
The Rijksmuseum’s Woman in Blue Reading a Letter, one of Johannes Vermeer’s most beautiful works, is a visual love letter to the lost art of mailed correspondence. Maybe we’ll all get good at letter writing—or at least sending nice, thoughtful, personal emails—while we can’t go out to see our friends and family.
Destiny Belgrave, After the Christening (2019)
Destiny Belgrave, After the Christening (2019). Photo courtesy of the artist.
This delicate cut paper work, a standout at last week’s SPRING/BREAK Art Show, is typical of the work of Destiny Belgrave, who aims to celebrate strong female family bonds in her quiet domestic scenes.
Auguste Renoir, Two Young Girls at the Piano (1892)
Auguste Renoir, Two Young Girls at the Piano (1892). Courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
If you or a family member or roommate are musically inclined, consider an impromptu singalong or performance. This famous Auguste Renoir canvas, from the Metropolitan Museum of Art, speaks to the joys of learning to play the piano.
Nikki Maloof, Separation Anxiety (2018)
Nikki Maloof, Separation Anxiety (2018). Courtesy of Shane Campbell Gallery.
And you know who’s always happy to have you at home? Your dogs. We like to imagine this delightful canine in Nikki Maloof’s Separation Anxiety is greeting its returning owner, not knowing they’re about to have way more time together.
Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Le Lit (In Bed), 1882
Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Le Lit (In Bed), 1882. Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.
And lest we forget, there’s endless pleasure in cuddling up in bed, as perfectly illustrated in this Henri de Toulous-Lautrec painting. Get some rest and stay healthy, everyone!
Sarah Cascone, March 16, 2020 3-4 minutes
Want to avoid catching the coronavirus? Maybe you should have been an artist.
Fine artists, including painters, sculptors, and illustrators, have a remarkably low risk for contacting the disease, according to new data compiled by the New York Times. The chart plots two axes—the degree of physical proximity to others inherent in the profession, and how frequently the different occupations bring their workers into contact with disease.
Art is the second-safest career, with a physical proximity score of nine and a disease exposure of zero. That ranks it behind only loggers, who score one on exposure and seven on proximity, and just ahead of authors and writers, who are at zero on exposure but 14 on proximity.
Curators, on the other hand, are clustered solidly in the lower middle of the pack, ranking five for exposure and 44 for proximity. (The amount of travel required by the job probably doesn’t help.) Museum conservators, meanwhile, score zero for disease, but 55 for proximity (presumably since they cannot do their job from home). Graphic designers have comparatively less risk: they score zero for exposure and 34 for how close they typically get to other people.
Artists are the second safest profession when it comes to coronavirus risk. Image courtesy of the New York Times.
Those at the highest risk to contract the disease, as one might expect, are health care workers, including registered nurses (they rank 80 for exposure, 77 for proximity) as well as paramedics (89 for exposure, 97 for proximity).
To compile the graph, which can be searched by profession, the Times used O*NET, a Department of Labor database that tracks the physical attributes of different jobs, such as how often a telephone is used and how often a job requires the worker to bend down.
Supplies in an artist’s studio. Photo by Stephane Grangier/Corbis/Getty Images.
Though the lack of risk to artists is certainly heartening to those who work in the art world, the industry is still likely to be hit hard economically by the global spread of the disease. With museums and galleries shutting down for the foreseeable future, many workers are without jobs. And artists—who, like other freelance workers, often lack health insurance or paid sick leave—will certainly experience a blow from canceled shows and speaking gigs as well as a lack of buying activity.
It remains to be seen how how small businesses, meanwhile, will weather the crisis, and how people in low-paying art jobs such as security guards, gallery assistants, and art handlers will survive what will almost certainly be an extended period without pay.
Sarah Cascone, March 16, 2020 7-9 minutes
Each week, we search New York City for the most exciting, and thought-provoking, shows, screenings, and events. This week, in light of the global health crisis, we are highlighting events and exhibitions available digitally. See our picks from around the world below.
Monday, March 16
Supplies in an artist’s studio. Photo by Stephane Grangier/Corbis/Getty Images.
1. Livestreaming Panel: Artists In a Time of Global Pandemic at Howlround Theatre Commons
It is a particularly scary time to be an artist right now—most are freelance workers with no health insurance or sick pay. That’s why Howlround Theatre Commons has organized a panel of experts to discuss how COVID-19 is having an impact on freelance artists from all disciplines, and where they can find support. Listen in for tips about how to take your work virtual, how to seek out emergency funding, and how to save smartly in a time of crisis. Panelists include Mark Rossier (director of grants at the New York Foundation for the Arts) and Avita Delerme (senior counsel at The Public Theater), among many others. The event will be livestreamed with ASL and captions.
Time: 8 p.m. EST
Through Saturday, March 28
2. “Robert Morris: Voice 1974” at Castelli Gallery
The physical exhibition, which is open by appointment only, re-stages one of the artist’s rarely presented audio installations along with preparatory drawings and diagrams. By making sound a key element in Voice, the artist “challenges the expectation that a work of art must be material, visual, and actively created by the artist,” according to a statement. The gallery is also presenting video of a recent panel discussion of the show, moderated by Pepe Karmel with Mónica Amor, Christophe Cherix, and James Meyer.
Location: Castelli Gallery, 25 West 40th Street, New York
Time: The gallery is open by appointment only. Panel discussion available on the Events page.
Opening Wednesday, March 18
A man walks past a billboard for the Art Basel art fair in Hong Kong on March 13, 2015. Hong Kong’s biggest art fair, Art Basel, opened its doors with thousands of visitors expected over the next five days. Photo by Philippe Lopez courtesy of AFP/Getty Images.
3. Art Basel Online Viewing Rooms VIP Preview
In February, after more than a month of concerned letters from exhibitors and collectors, Art Basel cancelled its Hong Kong fair due to the novel respiratory illness that had ravaged the region for months. While a major disappointment for the fair’s parent company, it was seen as a necessary step, and one that could be offset with alternative buying platforms. Enter the Online Viewing Rooms, a series of portals accessible from your living room that would open the same week the Hong Kong fair was supposed to take place, with the galleries offering the exact same works they were had been planning to bring. Basel’s directors could not have imagined that their timing would be so tragically relevant: when the viewing rooms open to VIPs Wednesday, most of the collecting world will be in self-quarantine, and even if if they might not be in the mood for art shopping, they might be thirsty for a some sense of normalcy.
Time: Beginning 6 a.m. EST
Thursday, March 19–Saturday, April 25
Ella Walker, The Inscription Over the Gate (2020). Courtesy of Huxley-Parlour.
4. “Ella Walker: Cosmati Floor and Wax Fruit” at Huxley-Parlour
A medieval, carnivalesque atmosphere suffuses the canvases of London-based painter Ella Walker. Rich with color and historical references—from Chaucer’s The Wife of Bath to Commedia dell’arte—these images collapse contemporary time into long-ago histories that seem bizarrely relevant today. See the suite of intriguing work online, here.
— Katie White
Through Saturday, April 4
Installation view of “Invisible City: Philadelphia and the Vernacular Avant-Garde” at the University of the Arts, 2020. Photography by Joseph Hu. Courtesy of University of the Arts.
5. “Invisible City: Philadelphia and the Vernacular Avant-Garde” at University of the Arts, Philadelphia
In conjunction with a physical exhibition that opened across four campus buildings on January 20, the University of the Arts has created a rich online resource that digs deeper into the story of Philadelphia’s cutting-edge contributions to visual art, music, architecture, and other disciplines between the years 1956 and 1976. In addition to images of the works themselves, the institution has compiled a dynamic chronology of events in Philly’s avant-garde community during that span, as well as more than a dozen video interviews with key players in the scene. Exploring any or all of the above gives new insights and fresh context to a city that, as the exhibition’s title indicates, is too often overlooked in the development of postwar American art.
Through Sunday, April 19
Srijon Chowdhury, Pale Rider, 2019. Courtesy of Foxy Production.
Srijon Chowdhury’s first solo show in New York opened at Foxy Production during Armory Week, and despite the closures of galleries across the city, it was enough of a highlight that it’s worth catching it on the gallery website. Born in Dhaka, Bangladesh, Chowdhury’s saturated paintings of flowers are often framed with botanical or architectural elements. The result resembles religious tableaus or prayer cards, while the intensity in which Chowdhury applies color gives the canvas an almost fluorescent look. “Color affects a person viscerally and quickly,” the artist has said. “I think about the chakras which begins with crimson that roots us to this reality and this body.” Also included in the exhibition are portraits and scenes from parenthood and an enormous 16-foot-wide oil painting titled Pale Rider.
Through Sunday, April 26
Aki Kuroda, Space Magic (2019). Photo courtesy of Richard Taittinger Gallery.
7. “Aki Kuroda: Happy Boy in Manhattan” at Richard Taittinger
Aki Kuroda (1944–) has never had a solo show in New York before, but he’s renowned in his native Japan, where he became the youngest artist to get his own exhibition at Tokyo’s National Museum of Modern Art, in 1993. The curator, Yoyo Maeght has been friends with Kuroda for 40 years, since Kuroda’s first exhibition in France in 1980. The gallery is currently closed, but you can enjoy a virtual walk-through of the show from Eazel.
March 15, 2020-ongoing
8. “Savage Beauty” at Galway 2020 European Capital of Culture
A rural stretch of Ireland’s Connemara mountains were meant to be the site of “the largest site-specific light artwork ever created” as part of Galway 2020 European Capital of Culture program, and while the live event was cancelled, the show lives on thanks to the internet. Flemish artist Kari Kola’s installation is comprised of 20 kilometers worth of cables attached to 1,000 lanterns powered by some 16 generators, many of which were put into position via helicopter. Oscar Wilde once referred to the rugged terrain of Connemara as a “savage beauty,” inspiring the work’s title, and as pubs and bars close in Ireland (and far beyond) due to the global health crisis, we can all toast St. Patricks Day remotely while we take in the luminous video.
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