Dutch hotel citizenM has opened its first property in the US, adding to its four extremely well-received modern hotels in the Netherlands and the UK. Already building a reputation for revolutionizing the modern hotel experience, citizenM targets the modern mobile traveler, mixing modern art with an offbeat style and ultra convenient tech and TV options that make staying all part of the fun of visiting a new city.
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- 07/08/14--06:27: Shift to the Sensual: Jenny Saville's Gagosian Exhibition
- 07/08/14--06:38: Slideshow: Jenny Saville at Gagosian Gallery London
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BEIRUT, Lebanon – Photographer, author and filmmaker Gregory Buchakjian was born and bred in Beirut. He teaches Art History at the Lebanese Academy of Fine Art and is a PhD candidate in Architectural History at the Sorbonne in Paris.
As a writer and art historian, Buchakjian researches and analyzes trends in modern and contemporary Lebanese art. As a photographer, he focuses his lens on documenting abandoned dwellings that typify the grandeur and grit of the former glory days of Beirut, before the devastating Civil War of 1975 to 1990. But within his sometimes dark and gloomy images, he inserts the human body. “I wanted to bring back life that was in these houses prior to their abandonment”, Buchakjian tells Blouin ARTINFO. “I needed a human presence. Why women?, because there is something very feminine about houses… the household is much more associated to the woman's idea of intimacy… and sensuality.”
Despite increased tensions and a damper on tourism because of the civil war in neighboring Syria, Buchakjian is excited about the future of the art scene in Beirut. The city now does not have a single museum dedicated solely to art. But a museum scene is emerging, with at least four art museums scheduled to open in Beirut in the next five to ten years. “This is extremely interesting”, says Buchakjian. “A museum is a long-term institution, here to last forever, so having art museums with ambitions, expectations, and established curatorial policies, will be an extremely interesting phenomenon to observe.”
Watch other videos in our special series “Art in Beirut”, HERE.
LONDON — Flesh, Willem de Kooning famously remarked, “was the reason oil paint was invented.” It is an opinion with which the British painter Jenny Saville would heartily agree. Her entire artistic output to date has been concerned with translating flesh into pigment. Her latest exhibition, “Oxyrhynchus” at Gagosian (Britannia Street, London; through July 26), shows her triumphantly continuing with that quest.
The new work is, as the title suggests, all about layers. In several ways this marks a departure in Saville’s work. Oxyrhynchus was an ancient Egyptian rubbish dump, a place where precious papyri survived for millennia in the sand. These pictures, though, are more about layers of bodies: different people, different poses, different moments and movements all piled on top of each other.
Unexpectedly, de Kooning himself seems to be part of the mix. Indeed, some of these pictures could be summed up as de Kooning plus Leonardo. In the late ’40s, the former evolved a type of abstract expressionism that was based — at some remove — on human anatomy. Looking closely at a classic apparently abstract de Kooning such as “Excavation,” 1950, you begin to find here an elbow, there a foot.
Saville’s “In the realm of the Mothers III,” 2014, is like that, except that protruding from the melée, in addition to a buttock and leg, you find a couple of beautifully, naturalistically drawn feet. This detail also recalls Balzac’s celebrated story “The Unknown Masterpiece,” which describes how a painter, working over and over a painting of a woman, finally reduced it to an indecipherable blur — out of which one exquisite foot emerged.
An earlier work in the same series, “In the realm of the Mothers I,” 2012-14, reveals more about what is being blurred; it is an image of sexual intercourse between a man and a woman: not at all pornographic, but close to explicit. (The distinction between painting and drawing is also a little smudged in Saville’s art — several of these pieces are charcoal on canvas, sometimes with pastel and oil as well.)
Balzac’s tale was a classic text of modernism, at once a warning and a prediction. Modernists of the 20th century, from Picasso to de Kooning, did indeed deconstruct the body; Saville now seems to be reconstituting it. In some of these new pictures whole bodies are seen, depicted with a painterly relish that brings Manet to mind. A number depict naked mixed-race couples (including, a novelty in Saville’s oeuvre, male nudes).
“Odalisque,” 2012-14, and “Intertwine,” 2011-14, both quote Manet’s Olympia — though the original has been scrambled into constituent parts so that the nude man in the first echoes the pose of Manet’s servant, and the couple in the second collectively — their limbs intermeshed — have something of Olympia’s pose.
In the past, Saville has painted the effects on the body of surgery and accidents — as if to replicate the distortions of 20th-century art, but in bleeding skin and muscle rather than fractured cubist planes. These recently completed pictures show a shift from trauma to sensuality.
Her reclining couples belong to a long, long line in European art, going back to Mars and Venus, Titian and Rembrandt. The nude, the body, and sex are all perennial themes. Saville’s brilliance, right from the start, has been an ability to recast those subjects in a manner that seems completely fresh and contemporary. Still only in her mid 40s, she’s been an important artist for two decades, and she’s getting steadily better.
— Cleaned-Up Caryatids Back at Acropolis: The Acropolis Museum’s five caryatid sculptures are back on view after a three-and a-half-year long cleaning that used a special laser process to return the blackened women to their ivory glory. Now the museum is trying to convince the British Museum to return the sixth caryatid in its collection. “It’s been 200 years,” said Dimitris Pantermalis, the president of the Acropolis Museum. “We think in the framework of the new museum, it’s possible to reunite our treasures.” [NYT]
— Kara Walker Visitors Total 130K: Kara Walker’s Domino factory installation, “A Subtlety,” just ended its two-month run and, according to Creative Time, the exhibition drew 130,000 visitors total. A whopping 20,000 people came to see piece on its last Saturday and Sunday. [WSJ]
— Matisse Painting Returns to Venezuela: Henri Matisse’s “Odalisque in Red Pants” was turned over to the Venezuelan police Monday after being stolen from the Museo de Arte Contemporaneo de Caracas over 10 years ago. The artwork was recovered in Miami in 2o12 during an undercover FBI operation that led to the convictions of Marcuello Guzman and Maria Martha Eliza Ornelas. The painting has been valued at more than $3 million. [Art Daily]
— Buzzfeed Polls Art Critics on Terry Richardson: Buzzfeed asked seven leading photography and art critics, including Sebastian Smee, John Yau, and Paddy Johnson, whether Terry Richardson’s work qualifies as art photography. [Buzzfeed]
— Nahmad’s Prison Stint Starts: Helly Nahmad’s “month long, pre-prison party” has come to an end, and the art dealer has finally headed off to jail for running a $100 million international gambling ring. [PageSix]
— Hong Kong’s Ivory Show Protested: The Hong Kong Museum of Art is facing protests for its current exhibition of ivory and rhino horn artifacts. [South China Morning Post]
— Here’s ARTnews’s annual list of the top 200 collectors. [ARTnews]
— Artsy founder Carter Cleveland has written an op-ed about how the Internet is the future of art (what else?). [WSJ]
— Christian Deydier has been fired from his position as president as the French association of antiques dealers. [TAN]
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Buildings perform a variety of functions: They shelter, illuminate, and obscure surrounding people and landscapes. The fundamentally pragmatic purpose of architecture endows edifices with a wide range of functions, but rarely does architecture speak. Curator Joanna Warsza, however, organizes performances and interventions that implore architecture to speak back. “The architecture of Eurasia is performative,” she writes in her 2013 book, Ministry of Highways: A Guide to the Performative Architecture of Tbilisi. Such architecture, she continues, “speaks back about its environment. It looks for the emancipatory and critical potential—what has been unplanned and later added, filled, modified by the social, political, or economic context.” In the post-Communist countries where Warsza has worked—in Poland, Germany, Georgia, and now Russia—performative architecture is not the architecture of performance; there are no literal theaters involved. Rather, her interventions implore local architecture to “speak back” by revealing embedded hierarchies and creating a setting for their interrogation.
Warsza’s curatorial endeavors in the realm of performative architecture seek to reconfigure narratives of place and genre, in part because her own identity is the product of similar negotiations. Born in Poland and trained in the theater, Warsza curates art and architecture installations in and about the post-Communist sphere—dislocating boundaries between East and West, and theater and architecture, in order to examine the cultures in between. For Warsza, Europe—what it is and where it is—does not amount to a set of concrete geopolitical borders. Rather, Europe is a relative concept, and she examines art and architecture at its easterly fringes to expose the paradox of being both within and outside European borders. Buildings, typically relegated to the condition of backdrops and set pieces, are often evoked as actors in her exhibitions. As curator of the Georgian pavilion at the Venice Biennale in 2013 and as the current head of public programs for Manifesta 10, which opened in St. Petersburg on June 28, Warsza explores narratives of place as they are conditioned by architecture, often understood in their relation to the Continent. Such projects reveal that identity, whether local, national, or global, is not a fact but a construction—much like the built environment.
Raised in her native Warsaw, Warsza came of age during the 1990s, a decade of rapid change in the economic, cultural, and geopolitical fortunes of Central Europe, where Communist regimes began collapsing in 1989, giving way to an admixture of nascent capitalist democracies. “Growing up in Poland,” says Warsza, “I was put in the cultural mind-set of being a very Western-centric person.” Like many of the other independent states that toe the historic and physical border between Eastern and Western European identities, Poland sought to shed the Soviet yoke by aspiring to join the latter and distance itself from the former. Russia crystallized into a symbol of oppression and backwardness, whereas the idea of Europe became a beacon of progress, culture, and high living standards. Twenty-five years after the fall of the Iron Curtain, Poland has integrated into Europe with more success than almost all its former brethren in the Warsaw Pact. An E.U. member state with a burgeoning, educated middle class and a lively art scene, the country remains entrenched between geopolitical poles; it is still understood to be east of cultural epicenters like New York and London. While some Polish artists and curators of her generation continue to look to the West for inspiration, Warsza instead performs a reflexive gesture: She looks to Poland’s east.
Performance is the generative force behind Warsza’s curatorial efforts in art and architecture, one “that carries me forward in my research,” she says. She initially studied at the Aleksander Zelwerowicz State Theatre Academy in Warsaw, Poland’s central drama school. After a brief interlude studying performance theory in Paris, Warsza returned to Warsaw to work in the capital’s theater industry. “I tried to question the performative aspect of institutions,” she says of her initial work as a curator for theater. In one short piece from 2005, she invited theater patrons to order a play directly to their homes; those clients who made bookings expected a Shakespearean number. Called “Milk–Take Away Theater,” the entire production was staged inside a client’s home, using marketing tactics as acting methods to sell the spectator commodities. Not only did the piece and others like it reveal the easy manipulation of a society enthralled by the still-recent mass availability of consumer goods, it also fueled Warsza’s interest in the divergence of public and private space.
By the time Warsza began working on a series of showsat Warsaw’s 10th Anniversary Stadium in 2006, once the city’s largest, the 1955 structure had been in disuse for more than 15 years. It was given over to a flea market by municipal authorities, where Vietnamese vendors (Warsaw’s sizable community of Vietnamese immigrants lived nearby virtually unnoticed) set up shop. “Every hundredth Varsovian is a Vietnamese, yet Asians are symbolically absent from the homogeneous city,” she explained. “A Trip to Asia,” the first of Warsza’s seven interventions at the stadium, drew attention to the ignored building and community by sending Polish “tourists” on a self-guided exploration of the site. Complete with an audio recording in Vietnamese and Polish of what a Vietnamese immigrant in Warsaw would hear around the neighborhood, the program was also the beginning of a project to document the stadium before its demolition in 2008. By creating an experience of navigating an altogether foreign place within an otherwise familiar city, Warsza activated the decaying stadium building as a comment on the willful oblivion many Poles felt at the site: The Vietnamese went unrecognized as fellow citizens because they did not fit the country’s Eurocentric sense of itself, and the Communist-era building was slated for demolition as the marker of an undesirable history. Warsza released her first book, Stadium X: The Place That Never Was, in 2009, while the site was being paved over to make room for a brand-new national stadium in anticipation of the Euro 2012 soccer games.
“And then I went to Georgia,” explains the curator, “and I saw that there is another way, a completely different possibility of referring to the past—which is to grow on top of it, or to appropriate it, or to domesticate it.” Commissioned in 2009 by Polish nonprofit ArtZone to curate a public art project in Tbilisi, Warsza found a local alternative to the Western habit of razing old architecture and building anew. In the Georgian architectural tradition, old buildings are not replaced but, rather, expanded upon. Addition has historically been an essential characteristic of vernacular architecture in Georgia, such that the narrative of a building’s genesis is encoded into its form. The practice of building on top of preexisting ruins has been used since the Middle Ages in the region to establish a national architecture that does not monumentalize the past but instead expands in constant conversation with preexisting structures.
Many such buildings, constructed according to the historic practice that Warsza calls “palimpsestic architecture,” are located in the medieval Betlemi neighborhood of Tbilisi’s historic center. Instead of preserving such homes in the traditional manner, the municipal government often demolishes them, selling the land off to profit-driven real estate developers. Warsza organized Betlemi Microrayoni, named after both the medieval and the Soviet-era housing neighborhoods, in protest against the desecration of architectural patrimony—a program that included the systematic destruction of a 20th-century apartment in Tbilisi by local performance art collective the Bouillon Group. “They picked a very nice apartment,” says Warsza, arranged the interior to resemble a bourgeois Soviet-era home, and welcomed the public to attack the space until it was reduced to rubble. The performance was “a comment on this self-destruction of the city of Tbilisi,” she says—showing that the sheer energy required to demolish architecture would be better spent on its reconstruction.
Warsza’s most subversive curatorial project in the realm of Georgian architecture transpired at the 2013 Venice Biennale, where she brought the Biennale’s geopolitical biases to the fore even while celebrating Georgian inventiveness. The Kamikaze Loggia, a pavilion in the form of a makeshift balcony typically attached to the frames of concrete modernist housing blocks in Tbilisi in the post-Soviet years, transported vernacular Georgian architecture to the Italian city. While most small countries without a permanent pavilion rent a warehouse in the Arsenale to house their pavilions, Warsza eschewed the standard procedure for countries outside the coterie of global powers that hold court in the Giardini—the United States, France, and other such Western states—by translating Georgian architecture into the Venetian context. Building on her research for Betlemi Microrayoni and her 2010 exhibition in Tbilisi called “Frozen Moments: Architecture Speaks Back,” Warsza worked with artist-cum-architect Gio Sumbadze to erect a makeshift plywood balcony based on the Tbilisi archetype, attached “parasitically,” she says, to the side of the Arsenale. The loggia type originated in Venice, but the construction of new architecture is prohibited inside the city’s historic center; Warsza, however, was able to circumvent Venice’s strict urban planning laws by asserting that the Kamikaze Loggia was an art installation, not architecture. Filled with performances, talks, and art on the theme of post-Soviet urbanism in Tbilisi, the pavilion and its aggressively modest form flouted the Biennale’s proprietary glamour better than even Warsza had initially hoped. “The Loggia, its representation, the way it was built—it ended up kind of disarming what the Biennale is all about,” she says.
The Kamikaze Loggia, however, stood out not only for the atypical architecture of its pavilion; the structure succeeded in capturing something fundamental to the character of post-Soviet Georgia, and simultaneously essential to the nation’s historic identity. Even while balconies have been the definitive features of Georgian houses since the Middle Ages, the years of political and economic tumult in communism’s wake gave rise to a balcony form that is also less stable. These informal additions occasionally collapse, but the balcony typology persists. The Kamikaze Loggia, too, still stands in Venice. Yet it took a foreigner, with an empathetic and critical eye, to conceive such a fundamentally Georgian project.
“Georgia helped me understand my position as a Polish person,” explains Warsza. “Because before that, I’d think, ‘Yes, I want to work in London or New York.’ Those were the points of reference. But actually Georgia shifted my perception and also it shifted my understanding of Europe,” she continues. As a Pole, Warsza became a representative of the European West in the Georgian context, all the while remaining “half local,” as she puts it, due to the shared Communist past. Her latest curatorial endeavor brings Warsza back to the post-Communist sphere—to Russia, against which her native Poland so eagerly identifies with Europe. As curator of Public Programs at Manifesta 10—at a moment when Russia is yet again trying to exert control in its former Western territories—Warsza is inviting artists from Russia’s old Western frontier to respond with time-based commissions in Petersburg. With the impending arrival of Lithuanian, Romanian, and Georgian artists and their Eurocentric kith in the city of European-style palaces, one wonders whether the city’s Italian-designed State Hermitage Museum, where Manifesta will take place, or the Soviet-era mass housing blocks on its outskirts will remind them more of home.
A version of this article appears in the May 2014 issue of Modern Painters magazine.
— British Museum Statue Sale Angers Egypt: The British Museum has come under fire from Egyptian officials after listing an ancient Egyptian Sekhemka statue for sale with Christie’s, where it is expected to fetch more than £4 million. According to a statement from the foreign ministry, Ashraf Al-Kholy, Egypt’s ambassador in London, has demanded that the sale be suspended or postponed, and claims that auctioning the statue is not only an “offense against the ancient Egyptian civilization” but “violates the ethical norms that govern international museums.” The statue was discovered in the burial city of Saqqara near Cairo, originates from Egypt’s 5th dynasty, and is nearly 4,500 years old. [Daily News Egypt]
— Budget Cuts Threaten Rome’s Museum: Alberta Campitelli, the former director of the Museum of Contemporary Art in Rome (Macro), has told the Italian newspaper La Repubblica that budget cuts by the city council are putting the institution at risk for closure. The city has reduced the municipal budget from €350,000 in 2013 to just €61,000 this year. The museum’s program is still expected to run through the spring of 2015, in addition to its eight annual artists residencies. [TAN]
— Michael Govan’s Big Plans for LACMA: LACMA’s director, Michael Govan, detailed ambitious long-term plans for the museum’s Peter Zumthor-designed expansion. Govan told the LA Times he hopes to tear down four of the seven museum buildings and replace them with one, all-inclusive structure that will be elevated by “five legs of glass.” Demolishing the sections could cost the city of Los Angeles an estimated $750 million to $1 billion. [LAT]
— Monumenta Switches to Biennial: French Minister of Culture Aurélie Filippetti has announced that Huang Yong Ping will be the next artist to create Monumenta Paris’s commissioned installation for the Grand Palais, and that the annual event will transition to a biennial, with its next date in 2016. [Art Review]
— Pittsburgh’s Art Scene Gains Steam: This summer’s Pittsburgh Biennial is bigger than ever, and the city’s museum directors and curators are hoping it will draw attention to the city as hub for the arts. [TAN]
— A New Computer for Digital Art: A Kickstarter project called Electric Objects is creating a new computer just for displaying digital art. [TechCrunch]
— Graham Holdings, the company that once owned the Washington Post, is selling off most of its corporate art collection. [WashPo]
— The Van Dyck portrait discovered on “Antiques Roadshow” failed to sell at the Old Master and British Paintings sale at Christie’s London. [Telegraph]
— The Huntington Library has acquired two paintings by the important African American artists Robert S. Duncanson and Charles White. [LAT]
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Faile—composed of two members, Patrick McNeil and Patrick Miller—exist in an interesting nexus between high and lowbrow, and between the gallery and the street. One moment they might be completing a silkscreen-heavy project for the New York City Ballet, while the next they’re installing a 16-foot-tall fiberglass, steel, and granite sculpture in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. This summer, as part of Summerhall’s programming for the Edinburgh Art Festival, Faile will reprise DeluxxFluxx, a room-filling installation of video games last presented during Miami Basel (and including faux-titles, supposedly from the ’80s, like Wrestling With Faile and Fantasy Island). They’ll also present a series of acrylic, spraypaint, and silkscreen works that jam image and text together into hyperactive, collaged compositions. The exhibition is on view August 1 through September 26. We asked Faile to share some of the songs that inform their eclectic practice.
“Mess on a Mission” — Liars
“I met band member Angus Andrew living in my old flat when I went to visit a friend in Berlin in 2005 and was introduced to Liars’ music. Ever since then I have followed each new album they have released with a child-like excitement. This song, from their new album Mess, is one of my new favorites filled with all the fast paced highs and lows that take me to another place—where I can make the mess necessary to create art that’s not stiff.”
“The Ego’s Last Stand” — The Flaming Lips
“I was introduced to the Flaming Lips by Miller, and they have a special place in my heart, working late nights in the studio with him. I picked this song because I like the title. Collaborating together for so many years the one thing I have learned is key is to not let ego get in the way. Ego kills everything good inside.”
“Chamber of Reflection” — Mac Demarco
“I just discovered Demarco a few weeks ago and have listened to his album Salad Days several times a day since then. This song takes me to that quiet place in myself to reflect for a few brief minutes of play on the way home (and allows me to be a better dad when I get home). I like the pace and the slight discord of the keyboard synthesizer that rolls through the song. Mac’s voice has a way of chilling me out that cools me to the bone.”
“Play by Play” — Autre Ne Veut
“I don’t know if it’s the synthie, R&B feel, or the fullness of the sound, but this song just overtakes you. Our work tends to be about layering image and color and density. This does the same for me with sound.”
“New Lands (Live)” — Justice
“The live version of this song is always sure to get things going when you’re in the ‘doing’ phase of a show. It’s somewhere between stadium rock and electronic dance party.”
“Everything In Its Right Place” — Radiohead
“Kid A is my all-time favorite album. It came out right after we started Faile and it’s always been an inspiration: to push ahead in one’s creative journey and create something new. If you get a chance to see Radiohead live with Andi Watson doing the lights, it’s truly a mystical experience.”
A version of this article appears in the July/August 2014 issue of Modern Painters magazine.
Much can be said about “Closed Curtain,” which is receiving a theatrical run at New York City’s Film Forum beginning July 9. But the most important thing, the most astounding thing, is that the film exists at all.
Technically, the film’s existence is against the law. Jafar Panahi, who wrote and co-directed the work with Kambozia Partovi, was arrested in March 2010 by Iranian authorities under suspicious claims. After a state prosecutor was quoted as saying the arrest was “not political” and “was linked to another case that was already under investigation,” Panahi spent 86 days in jail. After pressure from the media, he was released on bail. Later, it was revealed that Panahi, along with family and friends (most of whom were quickly released), was detained due to his work on an “anti-regime” film about the unrest surrounding the Green Movement in Iran. The official charge, or as official as any charge against a dissident artist in Iran can ever be, was, of course, creating “propaganda against the state.” For his crimes, he received a 20-year ban of filmmaking, speaking to the press, and leaving the country, effectively ending the career of the then 50-year-old filmmaker.
But the imposed silence ended up having the opposite effect. In the last four years, Panahi has made two films in secrecy, blatantly in protest. “This is Not a Film,” which was quietly smuggled out of Iran on a USB drive stuffed in a birthday cake, premiered at the Cannes Film Festival in 2011, just past the one-year anniversary of his incarceration. Shot partly by Panahi on his iPhone while under house arrest, it went on to be one his most celebrated films, a self-reflexive documentary about making movies under absolute power that obliterates the lines between the personal and political.
“This is Not a Film” was Panahi’s dairy of a moment of exile, with the director attempting to forge new ways to make a film from within his locked-down home. “Closed Curtain” is that film as it exists in his head or in his dreams, just as personal and political but more oblique, less directly confrontational. Shot with digital cameras at Panahi’s seaside home, it concerns a screenwriter hiding out with his dog (canines are technically against Islamic law), who unwillingly accepts a female intruder hiding out from police. A dialogue suddenly emerges within the space between the need to speak out against tyranny and the desire to accept fate. As the screenwriter closes the black curtains in the house, the female intruder follows him opening them back up, letting the daylight flood through the windows.
But “Closed Curtain” is more than just a simple allegory. Toward the end of the film, Panhai interjects himself into the narrative, a ghostly presence entering and exiting through the frame, examining the action unfolding, and complicating the viewer’s reading of the film on screen. Slowly, “Closed Curtain” becomes explicitly about Panahi and his constant struggle — a brave struggle — to create art with the heavy weight of state oppression pushing against him. It’s the only film Panahi can make in his current condition, and it’s a film that needs to be made, over and over again.
Amsterdam-based hoteliers citizenM target modern mobile travelers with their first US property
The heart of Manhattan is the location for citizenM’s debut in the US, where it hopes its mid-range pricing for a stylish luxury hotel will see it fill 230 rooms. Guests are able to check themselves in via touch-screen screens and digital keycard-emitting devices, and then enter their room and customize it as they please via MoodPads – touchscreen devices that enable the entire color of the room to be instantly changed.
The beds in the guestrooms fit wall to wall, giving the feeling of a kids playroom. The otherwise simple design is homely, but it’s the clever touches added to the Samsung MoodPad that make life easy. A stack of the latest films are a swipe away, as are music options, window blind controls, room temperature, alarms and digital artwork.
The hotel lobby is designed like a large living, with a 26-foot ceiling and bookshelves lining the wall – mostly holding books showcasing the designer’s love of art. Not surprise then that art itself is prominent, pieces by Daido Moriyama, Andy Warhol and David LaChapelle decorate the space.
Two works were commissioned especially for the hotel. The lobby’s 26-foot installation was created by English sculptor and artist Julian Opie, best known for working with the likes of U2 and Blur, while an exterior piece that wraps around the façade was created by Smithtown, New York’s own Jen Liu.
The 21-storey hotel was designed by Montroy Andersen DeMarco Architects and includes a green courtyard on the ground floor, and a mezzanine with two terraces. The rooftop boasts an indoor space with a fireplace, and an outdoor terrace, supplemented with its own bar serving cocktails by Critical Mass. The gym too has its own yoga terrace.
The hotel’s interior design was developed by Dutch specialists Concrete, and features inside include Apple iMac stations in a communal workspace, a MENDO bookstore, and canteenM, which offers 24 hour food from an open kitchen, as well as cocktails and a coffee bar.
citizenM was established by Rattan Chadha, formerly of the Mexx International fashion company, and its creative team have already made their mark at properties in Glasgow, London, Amstersdam and Rotterdam. Room prices for the all new citizenM New York start at $199.
citizenM new york: 218 West 50th Street, New York, NY, 10019, tel. 212-461-3638.
In recent years, art fair organizers have turned their attention to Hamptons, and it’s really no surprise. As the New York art world slows down to a sleepy lull, fairs head out to the beach to take advantage of the Hamptons’ status as a weekend getaway for the city’s major players. With three established fairs setting up shop on Long Island’s east end this month — ArtHamptons and Art Market Hamptons from July 10 through 13 and Art Southampton from July 24 through 28 — collectors have the opportunity to snap up works at a wide variety of price points without traveling far from their beach-side vacation homes.
“There are many collectors who don’t make it across to Basel in June,” Art Southampton director Nick Korniloff told ARTINFO. “So it’s a wonderful opportunity for those people to buy work while they’re staying for the summer. The fair is well positioned in that manner.”
The bluest of New York’s blue chip galleries tend not to participate in the Hamptons fairs, but with Zwirner away, smaller galleries get face time with New York’s vacationing heavy hitters and create new collector relationships. And for new galleries, it also doesn’t hurt that the fairs are a short trek from the city.
“Art Market Hamptons is in Bridgehampton. It is a two hour drive from the city,” explained Tali Wertheimer, who opened her gallery Two Rams on the Lower East Side this past March and will show paintings by Ryan Schneider at Art Market Hamptons. “It costs very little to transport a seven-foot painting there. I am currently investigating shipping costs to Paris for a satellite fair during FIAC, and it’s far more complicated. Next week, we just rent a van. It’s really a no-brainer.”
THE HAMPTONS VETERANS
Now in its seventh year, ArtHamptons is the oldest of the current Hamptons fairs and caters to a classic idea of the community. This year’s theme is “escape from the everyday.” “We keep hearing people say they are ‘escaping to the Hamptons’ so we thought maybe they can escape from their world into the world of art,” founder Rick Friedman said. According to Friedman, such an escape is facilitated by the fair’s placement within the 95-acre Sculpture Fields of Nova’s Ark in Bridgehampton and events like ArtPolo (where you can “experience the thrill of social and economic exclusivity,” according to the online description).
The fair has also included some celebrity names in its events lineup. Hamptons local Robert Wilson will be honored with the fair’s 2014 Arts Patron of the Year award. Musician Moby will also be there to give a talk and show his photography. “He’s never really done a show in New York,” Friedman said. “He wanted to do it in the Hamptons because he likes the Hamptons.”
With 87 exhibitors, the fair is the largest of the three. Exhibitors hail from a sampling of cities across the United States and 12 countries. This year, the fair has a special section devoted to contemporary art from Korea with 15 galleries from the region including UM Gallery, Nine Gallery, and Keumsan Gallery, among others.
“The Korean gallery association and the government put together a list of the top galleries that they are financing to come to the Hamptons,” Friedman said. “That’s a big thing. The international flavor is really special. I said, ‘Let’s do it here and bring everybody to the beach and have an international cultural exchange in Bridgehampton.’ It’s a representation of the state of Korean art right now. I think the fairgoers will really enjoy it.”
THEBROOKLYNITES AT THE BEACH
Organized by the Brooklyn-based Art Market Productions team that is also behind fairs in Miami, San Francisco, and Houston, Art Market Hamptons (formerly artMRKT Hamptons) will launch its fourth edition this year. With far fewer galleries (40) and foodie lunch offerings (Roberta’s, Red Hook Lobster Pound, and Van Leeuwen will be there this year), Art Market Hamptons seeks to satisfy vacationers. “What we wanted to do was present something that was manageable in size, that people could come and see the entire show in about an hour,” director Max Fishko said. “They can get something really good to eat, explore programs they might otherwise not know, and be back on the beach by four o’clock. You don’t want to take eight hours of someone’s life when they’re on their vacation.”
Fishko also hopes the culinary offerings might lure a younger crowd out to the beach for the day. “Take the Jitney. You can literally walk into the fair from the Jitney stop in Bridgehampton.”
The fair has a large proportion of New York galleries, including mid-sized space like Freight + Volume, Morgan Lehman, Joshua Liner, and Kathryn Markel Fine Arts. Dealer and curator Catinca Tabacaru, who opened her Broome Street space this past May, will participate in both Art Market Hamptons and Art Southampton. “Max is a person I really like,” she said. “I think he is doing some really smart things.” Tabacaru plans to bring work by Shinji Murakami. “He’s a pop artist. It looks like a simple thing and yet it’s actually very tedious. Everything is done by hand. It’s hearts and puppies and flowers, so very much on the happy side. When you think about the Hamptons, well, people go there to be happy.”
THE FLASHY MIAMI IMPORT
Art Southampton, now three years in, is part of the hydra-like Art Miami conglomerate that manages fairs in Miami, San Francisco, and New York. Scheduled to take place two weeks later than the other two fairs, Art Southampton purposefully overlaps with the Watermill Center’s summer benefit party and the annual Super Saturday fundraising party. “Traditionally that weekend is a very busy weekend.” Korniloff said. “The goal is to be positioned as far west at the mouth of the Hamptons so anybody who’s traveling can come and visit the fair on the way out or on the way back. We stay open on Monday. None of the other fairs do that.”
While Art Market Hamptons might encourage a more laid-back atmosphere, Korniloff emphasized the seriousness of his fair. “The breadth of our audience that’s been attending over the last two years is a very serious audience — some of the top collectors that you’ll see in the Basel fairs, Miami in December, curators, art advisors.”
Korniloff emphasized the international scope of the fair’s 83 participants. “We have a really strong roster of international galleries that we work with throughout the year — galleries from different parts of Germany, the UK, Asia, France, Basel,” Korniloff said. “We’ve also learned quickly that the Hamptons is a very international audience. It’s surprising how many of our galleries that are coming from abroad have clients that come from their home country that are vacationing in the Hamptons for the summer. It’s actually much more international than I ever imagined it to be.”
— DIA Gets New Appraisal: The Detroit Institute of Arts collection reappraisal ordered by the city has valued the work at $2.7 billion to $4.6 billion — with a catch. In its report, appraiser Artvest Partners warned that lawsuits, a flooding of the market, and unpopular styles would likely cause the work to bring a sum as small as $850 million at auction. “A significant segment of D.I.A.’s collection is in areas that have fallen out of favor with collectors, and that are underperforming their market peaks in 2007,” reads the firm’s report. [NYT]
—Marina Abramovic Makes Adidas Ad: Marina Abramovic has jumped the shark — while wearing a pair of Adidas sneakers. The “grandmother of performance art” struck up a corporate partnership with the sportswear company to film a commercial for the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil. The commercial, which has sparked online debate, recreates her 1978 performance “Work Relation” and features men and women wearing Adidas and hauling large rocks across the Brooklyn art space Pioneer Works. [GalleristNY]
— Yorkshire Sculpture Park Wins Top Prize: The Art Fund has named Yorkshire Sculpture Park as museum of the year, an honor that comes with a £100,000 prize. Stephen Deuchar, the Art Fund’s director and chair of judges, said in a statement that the YSP was “a perfect fusion of art and landscape” and emphasized its growth “from modest beginning to one of the finest outdoor museums one might ever imagine.” The YSP was part of a shortlist of institutions that include the Tate Britain, the Hayward Gallery, the Mary Rose Museum, the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts, and the Ditchling Museum of Art + Craft. [Guardian]
— LACMA Dreams Big: LACMA is in talks with the city to add a skyscraper to its expansion. [LAT]
— Pubic Painting Back on View: After a portrait featuring female pubic hair was removed from London’s Mall Galleries last week, an uproar about censorship has prompted the Leyden Gallery to hang the piece. [Art Daily]
— Caravaggio Finds Final Resting Place: Caravaggio’s remains, which were discovered in an Italian church in 2010, will be moved to a special Tuscan memorial park that is set to open July 18. [TAN]
— The Obelisk that stands on Greywacke Knoll behind the Metropolitan Museum of Art is being cleaned with lasers, thanks to the Central Park Conservancy. [NYT]
— Yilmaz Dziewior has been named the new director of the Museum Ludwig in Cologne. [AiA]
— Christopher Y. Lew, formerly MoMA PS1’s assistant curator, has been appointed associate curator at the Whitney Museum. [GalleristNY]
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