Alexandra Peers covers the Venice Biennale announcement in New York Magazine:
This year’s Biennale is the largest ever, with 77 nations hosting
art pavilions, including first-time exhibitors United Arab Emirates and
the Vatican (now in negotiations). “It’s the biggest art show in the
world,” notes Birnbaum.
Generally, the Venice Biennale has tremendous impact on the market and on artists’ careers.
Biennale president Paolo Baratta stressed that Birnbaum’s job is “not
to give the latest quotation on the market for contemporary art.” But
many deals started in Venice are consummated at the huge Art Basel fair
that opens in Switzerland later the same week.
Birnbaum’s hometown picks include political artist and peace activist
Paul Chan, best known for his “7 Lights” multimedia show at the New
Museum; local filmmaker and artist Tony Conrad; Yoko Ono, whose work
will include performance and poetry and who will receive a “Golden
Lion” for lifetime achievement at the show; and artist duo
Guyton\Walker, who will do “very painterly things … big paintings” and
will be prominently displayed in the show, said the curator.
Some of the other New York artists who got into the Biennale exhibition
are Joan Jonas, Rachel Harrison, Spencer Finch, Rirkrit Tiravanija, and
New Yorkers to Storm the Venice Biennale (Culture Vulture/New York)
Hong Kong’s The Standard highlights the growing interest in Asian art among Gulf States buyers, especially the ruling families:
Maho Kubota, director of SCAI The Bathhouse in Tokyo, said her gallery tries to bring artwork with a Zen aesthetic because it found such works appeal to Middle Eastern collectors. Middle Eastern and Asian art often share a contemplative or meditative outlook, she noted. [ . . . ]
A range of works at this year’s Art Dubai drew their inspiration from antique art forms. The Car series from Ma Jun, one of China’s top young pop artists, evinces this trend. Ma used traditional Chinese vase- painting techniques to decorate a life- size, fiberglass model of a Buick with neon images of dragons, flowers and butterflies. The license plate reads: “Made in Ming Dynasty.” [ . . . ] The work sold to a member of Dubai’s ruling family for US$114,000 (HK$889,200). [ . . . ]
Joan Lee, president of Seoul’s Gallery Sun Contemporary, said her gallery came back to Art Dubai this year after the ruling families of Abu Dhabi and Kuwait snapped up some of the works it brought to the fair last year. Collectors in the region are more familiar with Middle Eastern art but are open in their tastes, according to Lee.
Dubai Calling (The Standard/Hong Kong)
David Velasco’s Artforum Diary on the knot of art fairs in the Emirates in March is the single best take on the event viewed from the ground:
“Dubai is Las Vegas, Abu Dhabi is Beverly Hills, and Sharjah is… Santa Monica,” espoused writer Bob Colacello. [ . . . ] “The media is all too eager to document ‘the end of Dubai,’” Rem Koolhaas said to the audience. “It’s as if we need the reassurance of Dubai’s demise to restore our own confidence.”
It was late Monday afternoon in the emirate of Sharjah, and about a hundred of us were sitting in a darkened room at Dar Al Nadwa trying to catch the tail end of the first day of the March Meetings. Koolhaas had followed Guggenheim Abu Dhabi overseer Thomas Krens, capping off a tag-team of Gulf cultural attachés/apologists who were no less convincing for being on the local payroll. As Koolhaas continued, a curator leaned over. “All he does is critique the critics. Look, he’s bashing Mike Davis again.”
It was the day before the preview of the third Art Dubai fair and two days before the official opening of the ninth Sharjah Biennial—though “official” timelines shifted depending on the person; each tier of participants seemed to have its own itinerary, institutionalizing a certain status anxiety.
The Art Newspaper ties a bow around the recently completed Art Dubai. The third edition of the fair was held during a tough time for the world economy and the region as credit collapse combined with weak oil prices to put the region in difficult spot. With that in mind, there was still plenty of to-ing and fro-ing among the various stakeholders in the Gulf States’ art complex.
In total 80 museum groups attended, with a contingent of 18 patrons and curators from Tate alone. They were fully occupied rushing between a packed programme of talks, forums and performances organised as part of a Global Art Forum. One stop was at the newly opened Museum of Islamic Art in Doha, and the group also visited nearby Sharjah, which had moved its biennial dates to coincide with the fair.Continue Reading