A few years ago Karl Haendel wrote down a list of questions he had always wanted to ask his father. For most of us, this would constitute an idle, possibly self-indulgent, possibly cathartic exercise, maybe one assigned as homework in psychotherapy—and would most likely result in a scrap of paper destined for the circular file. But Mr. Haendel is an artist, and for him it became a large drawing called, appropriately, Questions for My Father. He showed it in 2007 at his New York gallery, Harris Lieberman, and then, in 2010, at the Guggenheim Museum. Read More
Museum of Arts and Design
Oct. 12, 2011 – Jan. 15, 2012
Lest we forget that, as Tom Wolfe so eloquently put it once, this is the “museum formerly known as craft,” the place is putting on a mammoth exhibition devoted to craft, specifically to the relationship between it and design after WWII. This is a fascinating proposal because while craft slowly became a four-letter word during that period, design became uber-fashionable, to the point where, today, it sells to the same crowd that buys Damien Hirst and Jeff Koons, and constantly prompts questions like, “Is it design, or is it art?” But forget the concept. Go for the pieces. The show, which is organized by MAD curators Jeannine Falino and Jennifer Scanlan, who are continuing a series of exhibitions presented at the museum in the 1990s, includes stunning pieces by George Nakashima, Isamu Noguchi and many, many others. Read More
When you’re sitting inside Alex Katz’s studio, a spacious, light-filled fifth-floor loft on West Broadway, it’s easy to forget the bustling streets below.
What you might expect to read next is that the 84-year-old painter, whose bald pate and sinewy build lend him a monk-like aspect, who has lived and worked in this space since 1968, when Soho was an industrial slum—before the artists arrived, before the galleries moved in, and before retail forced them all out—leads an isolated life, toiling away at his canvases, far above the fray, immune to any sense of competition.
Not so. Read More
The Observer has learned that the buyer of the Chelsea townhouse just sold by the estate of the late feminist realist artist Sylvia Sleigh Alloway was Swiss art collector Ursula Hauser, whose son in law operates the international contemporary art gallery Hauser & Wirth.
Ms. Hauser, who is known to be an Read More
There is nothing quite as pleasurable as having your mind changed. It’s almost as pleasurable as being right.
I am The Observer‘s Culture Editor — hi — and I am not what you might call a fashion person: I appreciate a fancy frock as much as the next gal; I can slip into an attitude Read More
In this week’s issue of the Observer, columnist Adam Lindemann reveals that, back in June, the Dia Art Foundation quietly closed on the purchase of a $11.5 million building at 541 West 22nd Street, in Chelsea. A representative of Dia confirmed the purchase and said that Dia has a long history on 22nd Street, Read More
Former Metro Pictures bookkeeper Photios Giovanis will open a new gallery on the Lower East Side next week. Callicoon Fine Arts will open at 124 Forsyth Street with a show by Glen Fogel, called “Goldye” on September 7.
Perhaps you are one of the three people in New York not aware that artist Andy Golub has been painting naked models in Times Square. Well, apparently one naked model dropped her g-string and was promptly arrested yesterday.
This is mildly interesting.
What is perhaps more interesting is that a naked model painted Read More
For five years, the Harkness Mansion lay vacant, a shell of its former record-setting self. Built in 1896 by shipping magnate Nathaniel McCready, it would change hands over the years among the city’s industrial elite. IBM president Thomas Watson bought the home in 1939 and sold it years later to the Harknesses, Standard Oil investors who also owned a mansion across the street. It was turned into a studio and school for the Harkness ballet company in the 1960s. In 1987, Jacqui Safra, the Swiss banking heir and Woody Allen investor, bought the rare, 50-foot-wide limestone mansion for $6.9 million. Two decades later, just as the real estate bubble was on the verge of bursting, private equity impresario J. Christopher Flowers dropped a staggering $53 million on the 20,000-square-foot home, the highest price ever for a residential property in the city.
Shortly after taking over the home, he began demolishing the interiors, preparing for a top-to-bottom gut renovation that would cost millions of dollars more. Instead, it was Mr. Flowers who got hit in the gut, when his wife asked for a divorce. For two years, the manse went wanting because buyers tend to prefer a move-in-ready home. “It was a black hole,” Mr. Flower’s broker, Brown Harris Stevens’s Sami Hassoumi, told The Observer last Thursday. “What I was showing wasn’t a house, it was a construction site. I had a temporary construction staircase that was scary. We had to wear hard hats.”
For most buyers, this would have been a nightmare. Not for Larry Gagosian, proprietor of the eponymous gallery empire, which is headquartered two short blocks away at 980 Madison. Not only does he pick up one of the most coveted properties in the city, but like the art he swaps on a regular basis, it was achieved through a deal that almost no one else could have expected or achieved. “They said they weren’t taking a penny less than $40 million,” broker A. Laurence Kaiser said. “And look what he got it for.” He got it for $36.5 million.
Mr. Gagosian’s purchase of the home is in some ways no different from his approach at auction. He knows how to spot value, an opportunity. Witness his purchase, last November, of a 1980 painting by Roy Lichtenstein for $2 million at Christie’s. Mr. Gagosian stayed until the bitter end of the auction to pick up the picture—it did not have many other bidders. In his booth at the Art Basel fair in June, the painting was on offer for $5 million. Read More
Today’s 5.8-magnitude earthquake shook The Observer newsroom in Midtown Manhattan, but once it passed, our minds turned to finer things–contemporary art, namely, that fine and elegant mediator of trauma.
At left, a guide to the works through which we experienced, and are reflecting on, the tumult, from Doris Salcedo’s terrifying cracked floor at Tate Modern—a Read More