November 5, 2012 - art-agenda - October round up
November 5, 2012

October round up

Zoe Leonard, “453 West 17th Street,” 2012. Lens and darkened room. Image courtesy of Murray Guy, New York.

Art Agenda October round up

The month of October heralded a mad rush of art fairs and inaugurations. Frieze London upped the ante with the well-received debut of Frieze Masters, running parallel to the ten-year-old contemporary art fair. Was it quickly overshadowed by the goings on in Paris just a few days later, where “extramural” openings and events made FIAC feel like a champagne-fueled week-long affair? Whose coffers were the fullest?

Across the ocean and just a few short weeks later, needless to say these high points in many a gallery’s sales calendars feel like a distant memory. In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, the lights went out in an untold number of New York City’s Chelsea galleries as flood waters poured in. A manic rush to salvage art works, archives, and years of labor is on and the clock is ticking. The last two New York shows reviewed on Art Agenda are memorable but by no means unique examples of the remarkable exhibitions that are regularly on view in the neighborhood. At Paula Cooper Gallery, Stephen Squibb saw in the pairing of Walid Raad and David Diao nothing less than a call for the curatorial profession to consider getting back to basics. And at Murray Guy, Zoe Leonard turned a darkened room in the new space into a camera obscura, which turned the goings on on West 17th Street into a prismatic, moving image of the city inside the gallery. Karen Archey wrote about the move as an interpretation of “the gallery as a social space, one in which we can collectively watch the messy, evolving neighborhood of Chelsea together…” It now seems an elegiac turn. Say what you will about blue chip dealers and secondary-market fortunes, it doesn’t cost a dime to see the art at galleries in Chelsea. “It’s the craziest freebie in the world,” David Zwirner told critic Roberta Smith just days after the hurricane hit, as he feverishly oversaw conservation efforts at his gallery. Here’s to rooting for Chelsea to bounce back.

Recently on Agenda:

Kerry Tribe’s “There Will Be _____” at 1301PE, Los Angeles
September 29–November 10, 2012
Delving into the Greystone Mansion’s strange afterlife on the silver screen, Kerry Tribe’s latest work suggests, to Kevin McGarry, a promising extension of her “exploration of film to an exploration of cinema.”

Theaster Gates’s “My Labor Is My Protest” at White Cube, London
September 7–November 11, 2012
Gil Leung unravels the layers of personal history, political resistance, and alternative notions of labor packed into the works—including two fire trucks—on view in Theaster Gates’s show at White Cube’s vast Bermondsey outpost.

“La Demeure Joyeuse II” at Galerie Francesca Pia, Zürich
October 2–November 17, 2012
Aoife Rosenmeyer visits Galerie Francesca Pia’s new space and discovers a motley cast of design and art objects standing in, perhaps, for the kind of messy domestic (dys)function suggested by the “happy home” of the title.

FIAC, Grand Palais, Paris
October 18–21, 2012
Mara Hoberman joins the crowd at FIAC, hot on the heels of the Frieze London fair, and weighs in on what’s new on the outskirts of Paris this season (dueling Anselm Kiefer shows at Gagosian and Thaddaeus Ropac, anyone?).

Slavs and Tatars’s “Too Much Tłumacz” at Raster Gallery, Warsaw
September 28–November 10, 2012
Some say East versus West is old news, but Slavs and Tatars can’t resist playing with that rhetorical fire; Karol Sienkiewicz considers how seriously we should take the puns beloved of this artist collective.

Walid Raad & David Diao at Paula Cooper Gallery, New York
September 22–October 27, 2012
In this audacious and fruitful pairing of artists, Stephen Squibb sees a kind of anonymous curatorial coup d’état that reminds us of the potential of “suggestive affinity.” 

Frieze London, Regent’s Park, London
October 11–14, 2012
Gareth Bell-Jones does the rounds at the Frieze London fair, and considers what the addition of Frieze Masters (highlighting “historical works” from the past right up to the year 2000) might herald for this ever-expanding empire.

David Maljkovic’s “A Long Day for the Form” at T293, Rome
September 18–November 10, 2012
In the wake of David Maljkovic’s many recent exhibitions, Barbara Casavecchia explains how the artist’s decision to leave T293′s new space seemingly empty is entirely in keeping with his explorations in “subtraction and repetition.”

“Modern Monster/Death and Life of Fiction,” Taipei Biennial, Taipei and “Reactivation,” 9th Shanghai Biennale, Shanghai
September 29, 2012–January 1, 2013 & October 2, 2012–March 31, 2013
It’s unavoidable to compare and contrast these two Asian biennials: one thoughtful, well organized, and articulated; the other plagued by mismanagement and a chorus of unhappy artists. Carol Yinghua Lu wonders if the failures of the Shanghai project “mirror some of the challenges and problems perturbing Chinese society today.”

Zoe Leonard at Murray Guy, New York
September 15–October 27, 2012
Karen Archey is dazzled as Zoe Leonard, in her first New York gallery show in over ten years, inaugurates Murray Guy’s new space by turning one of its rooms into an oversized camera obscura. 

Highlights from “curated by_,” Vienna (Galerie Martin Janda, Galerie Meyer Kainer, Galerie Georg Kargl), September–October, 2012
Kimberly Bradley finds that a handful of first-rate group exhibitions on view as part of “curated by_” manage to dodge the au courant taste for slapping the political label on art, while nonetheless working through “interpretations of biopolitics with, gulp, actual artwork.”

Coming soon, reviews of Füsun Onur at Maçka Sanat Galerisi, Istanbul; Artissima, Turin; Hito Steyerl at Wilfried Lentz, Rotterdam; Pilvi Takala at Carlos/Ishikawa, London; “Believers” at KOW, Berlin; and many more.


Art Agenda’s exhibition announcement service distributes press information on select international exhibitions of contemporary art.

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