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Smoke and Mirrors: Magical Thinking in Contemporary Art

Film still from Imponderable, by Tony Oursler. 5-D feature length film, 90 minutes (2015).

BOCA RATON, FLA.- As South Florida's museums present their highly anticipated offerings for Art Basel Season, the Boca Raton Museum of Art is especially poised to lead the pack with the world premiere of Smoke and Mirrors: Magical Thinking in Contemporary Art, and the sleek new high-speed rail station just blocks from the Museum's front door, luring visitors with a quick escape off the beaten path from the art fairs. The new group show is curated by Kathleen Goncharov, the Museum’s Senior Curator, and features 30 contemporary artists. This is the only exhibition in South Florida (and in the entire Southeast U.S.) to win the prestigious Teiger Foundation 2023 Grant Award for Curator-Led Projects (among only 13 museum shows selected nationwide in the Single Exhibition categ ... More

The Best Photos of the Day

National Gallery of Art acquires work by Belkis Ayón   Design unveiled for revitalised Powerhouse Ultimo   Albatros by Alberto Giacometti sold for almost €4 million at Drouot

Belkis Ayón, Sin titulo [Mujer en posición fetal] (Untitled, Woman in fetal position), 1996. Collograph on four sheets of wove paper, image and sheet: 77 x 53 1/2 in. National Gallery of Art, Washington Patrons’ Permanent Fund and Gift of Funds from Philip D. Berlin, Carmen Corrales, Ernesto Poma, Elizabeth Dascal, and Charles Boyd 2023.47.1

WASHINGTON, DC.- One of the leading Cuban artists of the 20th century, Belkis Ayón (1967–1999) is celebrated for her mastery of the collagraphic relief printing process, in which a variety of materials are applied to a printing plate to produce a single image. Ayón was dedicated to the exploration and depiction of the mysterious iconography of Abakuá, a secret Afro-Cuban brotherhood brought to Cuba in the 19th century by enslaved men from Nigeria that still exists today. The National Gallery of Art has acquired Sin título [Mujer en posición fetal] (Untitled, [Woman in fetal position]) (1996), in which the artist explored the Abakuá foundational ... More

Harris Street View.

SYDNEY, AU.- Powerhouse Ultimo will undergo a revitalisation that will reorientate the museum to connect with the CBD, provide a new outdoor public square, more indoor exhibition space and show off the heritage facades of the original power station built in 1899. The NSW Government today released concept designs for the $250 million project that is going to elevate the much-loved museum with world-class exhibition space focused on the applied arts and sciences. The concept design ensures Powerhouse Ultimo will continue to be an exemplar of adaptive heritage reuse and will deliver new exhibition and public spaces for the community to enjoy. The main entrance to Powerhouse Ultimo will face the Goods Line, the walkway connecting Central Station and Haymarket, under the heritage renewal that will revitalise the 1988 Wran Building on Harris Street. ... More

The collection of Jean and Violet Henson Collection. Coutau-Bégarie, Hôtel Drouot

PARIS.- Hôtel Drouot, November 30, 2023: With a total of €7.3 million, the sale of the Henson collection from their Mediterranean residence attracted bidders from all over the world, spread across the USA, Europe and Asia. The core of the collection was and historic group of works by Alberto Giacometti, probably given to the couple by Jean-Michel Frank in the early 1930s. Four plasters, made fot Jean-Michel Frank between 1930 and 1939, fetched a combined total of €6.7 million, well above their estimate. The highest price goes to l'Oiseau, known as Albatros, a model created around 1937. Estimated between €250,000 and €350,000, this sculpture fetched €3,965,000, after competitive bidding between four telephones. This is the second-highest price ever for an Oiseau by Alberto Giacometti. The second-highest price of the sale goes to the Lotus vase, designed around ... More

NGV Triennial 2023: RIFIFI: Jean Jullien for Kids   First museum exhibition for rising artist Sasha Gordon opens to coincide with Miami Art Week   Museum of Contemporary Art, North Miami celebrates Miami Art Week 2023

RIFIFI: Jean Jullien for Kids on display as part of NGV Triennial from 3 December 2023 – 7 April 2024 at NGV International, Photo: Sean Fennessy; Portrait of Jean Jullien inside.

MELBOURNE.- RIFIFI: Jean Jullien for Kids transforms NGV’s dedicated kids' gallery into a bold and graphic underwater world designed by prodigious French visual artist Jean Jullien. Presented as part of NGV Triennial 2023, RIFIFI: Jean Jullien for Kids is an NGV-exclusive presentation and is the first time Jullien has exhibited in Australia. Jullien is renowned for his irreverent observations of everyday life, which he captures in an idiosyncratic illustrative style characterised by black brushstrokes and bold block colour. His singular aesthetic has garnered him a cult-like following, including more than 1.2 million dedicated followers on Instagram. His practice traverses painting, illustration, photography, video, costume, installations, books, posters and clothing. In 2016, Jullien launched Nounou with Jae Huh, a Korea-based label producing a wide range of items including clothing, ... More

Sasha Gordon, Concert Mistress, 2021. Oil on canvas 72 x 48 x 2 1/4 in. Collection of ICA Miami. Courtesy the artist and Matthew Brown Gallery.

MIAMI, FL.- The first solo museum presentation for rising artist Sasha Gordon opened at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Miami (ICA Miami) this December, debuting a suite of new paintings and recent work. The exhibition demonstrates the ongoing evolution of Gordon’s signature, surrealistic practice, which explores the complexities of bodily experience in hyperrealistic detail. Coinciding with Miami Art Week, and curated by Alex Gartenfeld, ICA Miami’s Irma & Norman Braman Artistic Director, Sasha Gordon is on view at ICA Miami since December 4, 2023, to April 28, 2024. Often depicting herself, Gordon is keenly aware of the art historical themes of portraiture and self-portraiture, and of the politics of representation. She approaches these categories with inventiveness and humor and a unique ability to make fantasy real. Gordon’s images survey a wide range of emotional possibilities while exploring ... More

Installation view. Transparency of God gallery through El Rostro de Dios, 1987-1988. By Juan Francisco Elso. Courtesy of El Museo Del Barrio. (detail)

MIAMI, FL.- In celebration of Miami Art Week, the Museum of Contemporary Art, North Miami (MOCA) is hosting a series of public programming opportunities introducing three artist presentations—Jamea Richmond-Edwards: Ancient Future, Juan Francisco Elso: Por América, and Chris Friday: Narcissist—to both global and local audiences. During the evening of December 5, MOCA invites the public to an Art Week opening reception of Ancient Future and Por América. The festivities include presentations by Miami'z Finest Majorettes along with the Antoine Roney Trio, and BERRAKKA. Refreshments will be provided throughout the evening by partners Rhum Barbancourt, Justin Wines, Tripping Animals Brewery, and Semaj's One Way Catering. Ancient Future premieres as Richmond-Edwards’ largest solo exhibition to date. Spanning large-scale assemblages and immersive new installations, ... More

Photographer John Pinderhughes is having work shown by June Kelly Gallery   Noonans to sell the Colkirk hoard of Roman silver coins   TarraWarra Museum of Art unveils major survey exhibition of leading contemporary artist Brent Harris

John Pinderhughes, Untitled/Breadfruit On Beach, ca.1980. Archival Ink Jet print. Image: 19 x 12.75 inches. Edition: 3/10.

NEW YORK, NY.- An exhibition of captivating photographs by John Pinderhughes reflecting on his enduring quest to delve into subjects revealing both impressiveness and mysteries opened at the June Kelly Gallery, 166 Mercer Street, on November 30. The works will remain on view through January 16, 2024. Pinderhughes, about whom professors C. Daniel Dawson and Robert G. O’Meally of Columbia University described in an exhibition invitation, as a fine art photographer who seeks to capture “beauty we almost saw in life but somehow missed.” Further, Pinderhughes’ photographs reflect carefully structured and highly disciplined preparation following painstaking, arduous rituals that enable him to move “beyond the limits of mere technique into the realm of spirituality, where … he uncovers the uncommon beauty of things usually taken for granted or not seen at all.” Pinderhughes has said, I tend to be a little seriou ... More

“The hoard had in fact spread out over a third of an acre through disturbance by ploughing and has been recorded under the treasure act and returned to the finder after being disclaimed.”

LONDON.- It was in January 2020 that a metal detectorist searching a field near Fakenham in Norfolk found a silver coin. Looking closely, he recognised it as a siliqua from the late Roman period. He then spent the rest of the day searching in the vicinity and found 40 coins in total. Returning the next day another 40 were recovered. With the Covid lockdowns it took two years before the total reached 432 silver coins, with each coin plotted using a GPS unit. The first 73 will be offered at Noonans Mayfair in a sale of Ancient Coins and Antiquities on Tuesday, December 5, 2023. This tranche is estimated to fetch £10,000-12,500. Nigel Mills, Coin & Artefact Specialist at Noonans, expands the story: “The hoard had in fact spread out over a third of an acre through disturbance by ploughing and has been recorded under the treasure act and returned to the finder after ... More

Brent Harris, Listener, 2018. oil on linen, 152.0 x 110.0 cm. Collection of Patricia Mason and Paul Walker, Melbourne © Brent Harris.

HEALESVILLE.- TarraWarra Museum of Art unveiled a major survey exhibition this weekend exploring the work of senior contemporary Melbourne-based artist Brent Harris, on view from 2 December 2023 until 11 March 2024. The exhibition Brent Harris: Surrender & Catch, curated by Maria Zagala and co-presented with the Art Gallery of South Australia from 6 July – 20 October, brings together over 100 paintings, drawings, studies and prints, traversing the artist’s practice and stylistic shifts over his career. Brent Harris: Surrender & Catch maps the ways Harris’s art has developed over the past four decades, featuring a broad selection of works from 1987 to 2022. Harris’s distinctive style, which moves between figuration and abstraction, deploys both humour and the grotesque to examine psychological subject matter as he visualises his complex and contradictory feelings. Indeed, the exhibition title refers to Harris’s interest i ... More

Ninth edition Jimei x Arles International Photo Festival program announced   Exhibition of new paintings by Odili Donald Odita on view at David Kordansky Gallery   Tolarno Galleries announces representation of Guruwuy Murrinyina

Emma Sarpaniemi, Self-portrait as Cindy, 2022, Two Ways to Carry a Cauliflower series. Courtesy of the artist.

XIAMEN.- Ninth edition Jimei x Arles International Photo Festival will take place from 15 December 2023 to 21 January 2024 in Xiamen, China. Co-initiated by Three Shadows Photography Art Centre and Les Rencontres d'Arles in 2015, Jimei x Arles International Photo Festival supports and encourages the creation, study and curation of Chinese photography so as to facilitate its presence on the international stage. Since its inception, the festival has presented nearly 300 exhibitions from China and other Asian countries, as well as a selection of outstanding works from Les Rencontres d'Arles. Over 600 artists’ works have been presented and the festival has attracted a total of 430,000 visitors. • This year the ninth edition establishes an Art Committee including director of Les Rencontres d’Arles Christoph Wiesner, noted ... More

Odili Donald Odita, Open, 2023, acrylic on canvas, 70 x 140 inches (177.8 x 355.6 cm). Photo: Dario Lasagni.

LOS ANGELES, CA.- David Kordansky Gallery is presenting Degrees of Separation, an exhibition of new paintings by Odili Donald Odita and the artist’s first solo presentation with the gallery. The show is on view in Los Angeles at 5130 W. Edgewood Pl., from November 11 through December 16, 2023. Degrees of Separation features a group of new paintings in which Odita poses pointed questions about the meaning and perception of darkness in a variety of social and aesthetic contexts. In so doing, he elaborates and expands upon themes that have characterized his work for more than twenty years, exploring ways in which color, line, geometry, implied movement, and patterning inform shared experiences of the world at large. Executed with acrylic paints on either canvas or reconstituted wood panels, the paintings are distinguished by shifting, angular, and ray-like ... More

Guruwuy Murrinyina next to her bark painting Dhatam, 2023. Courtesy of the artist and Buku-Larrŋgay Mulka Centre.

MELBOURNE.- Tolarno Galleries announced representation of Guruwuy Murrinyina. Born in 1975, Guruwuy Murrinyina lives with her son at a very remote homeland in Gangan, in the Northern Territory. Gangan is a village of ten houses adjacent to a chain of billabongs, inland from Blue Mud Bay. The nearest town is a four hour drive along dirt roads. This is where her art centre is at Yirrkala. In one of these deep waterholes resides Wititj – the Rainbow Serpent which is encoded in her paintings of lillies. Guruwuy is the daughter of deceased artist Malaluba Gumana. Guruwuy is one of her five children. Malaluba was a highly esteemed award winning artist who was celebrated for the delicacy of her hand and deft colour mixing skill with earth pigments. Guruwuy's father was Yaŋalka Murrinyina of the Djarrwark clan whose homeland is Balma to the ... More

More News
Broadway babies, singing show tunes for seniors
NEW YORK, NY.- “Oh, baby, give me one more chance,” sang Corey J, a former Little Michael in the Broadway musical “MJ.” Dressed in a black rimmed hat and a black turtleneck, jacket and pants, he slipped through the explosion of joy that is the chord progression of the Jackson 5 song “I Want You Back.” He had performed the song hundreds of times in the Broadway show, a biographical Michael Jackson jukebox musical, at the Neil Simon Theater. But on this particular afternoon, he was on a much smaller stage: an Upper East Side senior center, where about 50 residents seated in floral chairs clapped along to the beat. It was the latest in a monthly series of Broadway-related events staged in the dining room of the senior living community, Inspir Carnegie Hill, by Evan Rossi, its senior director of resident experience, in partnership ... More

Paul Lynch feared his novel would end his career. It won the Booker.
NEW YORK, NY.- When Paul Lynch started writing his novel “Prophet Song,” he worried it might destroy his career. The story — an unsettling dystopian parable — was stylistically daring, relentlessly dark and more emotionally taxing than anything he had attempted before. He thought it would never get published. But when he sat down in his Dublin home and typed out the novel’s opening passages, he couldn’t stop. “The damn thing had its own momentum,” Lynch said. “It just sucked me in.” Four years later, “Prophet Song” won the Booker Prize, one of the world’s most prestigious literary awards, putting to rest any lingering self-doubt Lynch may have had about his future as a writer. The novel, which Atlantic Monthly Press will release in the United States on Tuesday, follows Eilish, a biologist and mother of four whose busy domestic ... More

Review: At 'Dancing With Glass,' the spotlight rests on the composer
NEW YORK, NY.- “Dancing With Glass: The Piano Etudes” is titled a little misleadingly. The five dance selections on the program, now at the Joyce Theater as part of the Dance Reflections festival, are all set to piano études by Philip Glass. But before and after each, pianist Maki Namekawa plays another of the Glass keyboard exercises. Really, the show is Glass with dancing. That is not a fault in itself, since Namekawa plays excellently. Besides filling out what would otherwise be a rather slight program, the extra musical selections give you a chance to rest your eyes and focus on listening. Or to watch the loving attention Namekawa gives to the technical challenge that each étude addresses, and to every little shift in Glass’ repetitions. The pleasure is visible. The five distinct choreographers, or choreographic teams, face a different challenge, ... More

Laurent Grasso presents a new film shot in Taiwan along with new series of sculptures and paintings at Perrotin
PARIS.- Perrotin is presenting Orchid Island, the eighth solo exhibition by Laurent Grasso with the gallery and the fourth in Paris. On this occasion, the artist presents a new film shot in Taiwan along with new series of sculptures and paintings. In our world of images, there is perhaps nothing more familiar than a landscape. Painted and photographic depictions of nature—sublime or pastoral—abound in museums, on postcards, in our Instagram feeds, and on our computer screens. They inspire awe or nostalgia, offer moments of contemplation or escape, but, in a world where there is no place on earth left untouched by humans, these depictions of an idealized or untamed nature can be felt as deceptive. ... More

Vian Sora now represented by David Nolan Gallery
NEW YORK, NY.- David Nolan Gallery announced representation of Iraqi-American painter Vian Sora (b. 1976, Baghdad; based in Louisville, KY since 2009), who has in the past six months been the subject of multiple museum acquisitions including the Baltimore Museum of Art. The representation announcement coincides with Sora's first New York solo exhibition, currently on view at David Nolan Gallery (24 East 81 Street, a block from the Met). Visitors to Art Basel Miami Beach this month will see four of Sora's works presented by David Nolan Gallery (Booth A51), as well as an ambitious 7-by-29-foot painting in Art Basel's large-scale Meridians section, presented by Luis de Jesus Los Angeles. Sora's current body of work futhers her practice's abstract, gestural distillation of her experience coming of age in Baghdad under the dictatorship ... More

10 performances that pushed emotional limits
NEW YORK, NY.- For me, 2023 was a year of entertainment that captured people pushed to their emotional limits, whether that was the rage of two bitter enemies, the desperation of a widow who only sees a future of annihilation or the pent-up aggression of a bunch of high school girls. But it was also a year of colorful, funny and biting Black stories on stages. Throw in a dancing Goth, a freshly single New York City fashionista and a chronicle of a dying band, and you’ve got my top picks for everything that tickled my fancy in the past year across theater, film and TV. Call me a masochist, but what I most loved about Rebecca Gilman’s devastating play was that it tapped into multiple registers of despair: individual, communal, ecological. Peg, a widow living on a prairie in Wisconsin, is nursing concerns about endangered animals and environmental ... More

Phillips and Digital Art Fair present an online auction celebrating the convergence of art and technology
HONG KONG.- Phillips, in partnership with the Digital Art Fair, announced Digital Art Fair x Phillips online auction showcasing an extraordinary selection of digital artworks. Open for bidding from 6-13 December, the innovative sale will feature work by artists such as Refik Anadol, Emily Xie and David Ariew, representing a significant moment in the digital art world. Selected highlights from the sale will be on view at Phillips' galleries at the West Kowloon Cultural District in Hong Kong with TV screens sponsored by LG. Benjamin Kandler, Project Lead for Digital Art, Phillips, said, “Phillips’ partnership with the Digital Art Fair is a testament to our ongoing dedication to embracing the evolving landscape of art. This sale not only highlights the incredible talent of institutional artists like Refik Anadol as well as emerging talent like Emily Xie ... More

Firstsite opens 1st major exhibition of Lucy Harwood's paintings in five decades
ESSEX.- A new exhibition has filled Firstsite with bold and beautiful paintings – an immediacy of colour and energy – commanding the space with their vibrancy and confidence. As part of its ongoing series of exhibitions focusing on painters of The East Anglian School of Painting and Drawing at Benton End, Firstsite now shines a light on the life and career of Lucy Harwood (1893 – 1972). In this first major Harwood exhibition since 1975 – the largest ever survey of her work - visitors can explore over 100 of Harwood’s artworks, described by artist Matthew Smith as featuring ‘great delicacy and detail, bold palette and flamboyant impasto’ (Colchester Art Society). Harwood described herself as a dedicated Post-Impressionist with a clear affinity for artists such as Van Gogh and Gauguin. Similarly, her work included a variety of landscapes, ... More

'Roberts Koļcovs: Botanist and Unicorn' now being presented at the Latvian National Museum of Art
RIGA.- Botanist and Unicorn, a solo exhibition by Roberts Koļcovs, is on view in the 4th Floor Exhibition Halls of the main building of the Latvian National Museum of Art in Riga (Jaņa Rozentāla laukums 1) since 2 December 2023 to 18 February 2024. In the exhibition Botanist and Unicorn, Roberts Koļcovs continues to explore the theme of the inseparable coexistence of nature and humans, a subject he considers to be of utmost importance. The central topic of his oeuvre is feelings, which can be understood both as expressions of human emotional states and as sensuality seeking a form that corresponds to a spiritual condition. Sensuality manifests not only in images but also in forms, textures, lines, and the overall composition and mood of the works. Therefore, by delving into the nuances of the artwork, the viewer is invited ... More

Debut solo exhibition in New York of work by Cynthia Lahti on view at James Fuentes
NEW YORK, NY.- James Fuentes is presenting Cynthia Lahti: Little Storms, the artist's debut solo exhibition in New York. Surrounding herself with an assembly of found images—culled from museum visits, art-historical reproductions, magazine spreads, and other pop-cultural ephemera—coupled with her internal cache of direct observations, Lahti re-animates static forms into ceramic figures who express a peculiar and potent emotion. Having worked in metal, glass, plaster, and collage over the course of her career, Lahti gravitated toward clay as it facilitated an immediate connection to the forces of intuition, paradox, and spontaneity that guide her practice. Preceding each sculpture is a gestural line drawing that bleeds into swaths of watercolor. This study on paper opens up a guide for how the figure may be postured ... More

Now open: Galerie Farah Fakhri launches with Collin Sekajugo
ABIDJAN.- Galerie Farah Fakhri is now open in Abidjan, Ivory Coast. Dedicated to artists from the African continent and the diaspora, the gallery programme showcases contemporary art across painting, sculpture, textile, and mixed media installations. The gallery’s inaugural exhibition 'Dreams' spotlights Ugandan artist Collin Sekajugo. Placing the question of cultural identity at the heart of his work, Sekajugo invites viewers to engage with the familiar. Presented in the gallery are XX figurative collages produced using found and locally sourced objects, offering commentary on contemporary consumer culture. Sekajugo delves into the complexities of assimilating into a dominant culture while simultaneously highlighting the ambiguity of cultural identity, which often leads to internal conflicts. Through his work, the artist challenges preconceptions ... More

LIVE from New York | The Now and Contemporary Evening Auctions

On a day like today, French impressionist painter Claude Monet died
December 05, 1926. Claude Monet (14 November 1840 - 5 December 1926) was a founder of French impressionist painting, and the most consistent and prolific practitioner of the movement's philosophy of expressing one's perceptions before nature, especially as applied to plein-air landscape painting. The term Impressionism is derived from the title of his painting Impression, Sunrise (Impression, soleil levant). In this image: A visitor looks at a painting by French artist Claude Monet (1840-1926) entitled Nympheas during a press preview in Hong Kong, China, 27 May 2011. The painting was expected to fetch in excess of 17 to 24 million GBP (19 to 27 million Euro), at auction at Christie's London Impressionist Modern Paintings on 21 June 2011.

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