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    UK Museums Guard Against Theft, Wirths Top ArtReview Power 100, and More

    — UK Museums Guard Against Theft: The Arts Council England has issued a “severe and imminent” threat warning for museums to look out for theft. William Brown, the council’s security adviser, told all museums to put their smaller valuables in spaces with “the best available defense against any attack” — the “attack,” in this case, being theft — and stay “extra vigilant to visitors paying undue attention to collections.” A bulletin from the Scottish Council on Archives elaborates: “The National Crime Agency are aware of an imminent threat of theft of collections across the UK. They are aware of a group who has made reconnaissance visits to a number of museums and other venues across the UK. It is thought that smaller, more portable items will be targeted rather than items such as large paintings.” [TAN]

    — Wirths Top ArtReview Power 100: Swiss couple Iwan and Manuela Wirth, of Hauser & Wirth, have topped the ArtReview Power 100 list, beating out David Zwirner, who dropped from second to third since last year’s list, and Larry Gagosian, who rose from eighth to sixth. ArtReview editor Mark Rappolt noted his appreciation for the way Hauser & Wirth elaborated upon the “conventional white cube” of the gallery model: “You can see this in the museum style in LA they are opening next year alongside the more conventional spaces in Zurich and New York, and then having something completely different altogether in Somerset,” he said. “So it’s more of a global enterprise that consistently keeps in touch with the local. To some extent they are reinventing the gallery model, challenging that traditional white space we are all used to.” The top 10 goes as follows: Iwan and Manuela Wirth; Ai Weiwei, David Zwirner; Hans Ulrich Obrist and Julia Peyton-Jones of Serpentine GallerySir Nicholas Serota of Tate; Larry Gagosian; Glenn Lowry of MoMAMarina AbramovićAdam Weinberg of the Whitney Museum; and curator Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev. [GuardianIndependentBBCTAN]

    — Hank Willis Thomas Gives Brooklyn a Finger: A 12-foot arm pointing skyward has been commissioned from Hank Willis Thomas by the city’s Department of Cultural Affairs for the Brooklyn terminus of the Brooklyn Bridge. The bronze sculpture is part of the Department of Transportation’s reconstruction of the Brooklyn Bridge Gateway. Of the arm’s outstretched index figure, Thomas told DNAinfo it could be interpreted a number of ways. “You could read that we are all one, you could read that someone’s checking the wind. You could read that someone’s getting our attention and telling us to look up,” he said. [DNAinfo]

    — Possible Donatello Goes on View: A gilded wooden sculpture several eminent scholars have newly attributed to Donatello is set to go one view October 30 at Moretti Fine Art on New York’s Upper East Side. The renewed interest in the piece supplants earlier doubts cast on such an attribution via the statue’s twin, which is in the collection of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. [NYT]

    — Dutch Museum Secures 20 of 25 Surviving Bosch Panels: The Noordbrabants Museum has managed to borrow a vast majority of surviving works by Hieronymus Bosch for a 500th anniversary exhibition of the artist’s work. A small institution located in the city of Bosch’s birth, the museum persuaded major holders of Bosch’s work with a promise to share research from an international project it has initiated on the artist’s life and work. [Guardian]

    — Germany Grants Ai Weiwei 3-Year Visa: Chinese artist Ai Weiwei has been granted a three-year visa in connection with his appointment at Berlin’s University of the Arts. He will join his partner and child, who have been living in Berlin for much of the past year. [ARTnews]

    — Two pieces from Mike Kelley’s “Memory Ware Flats” series will be sold at auction on November 11, one at Sotheby’s and one at Christie’s. [Art Market Monitor]

    — Around 4,000 artworks from the Venice Biennale are now available to view on Google — which will also offer virtual tours of the show’s major venues, including the Giardini and the Arsenale. [WPNYO]

    — Microbiologist Melanie Sullivan created a version of Van Gogh’s “Starry Night” in mold for the American Society for Microbiology’s “Agar Art” contest — i.e., works created from organisms within the confines of a petri dish. [CNNScience World Report]

    British Museum

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  • 10/22/15--07:52: Top 10 Booths at FIAC 2015
  • Top 10 Booths at FIAC 2015

    The 42nd edition of FIAC boasts 177 galleries from 22 countries. Here are the top booths to see at the Grand Palais this year.

    Galerie Chantal Crousel

    Front and center at the Grand Palais, the Paris gallery celebrates its 35th anniversary this year. Roberto Cuoghi’s ominous mixed media totem looks at the entrance with its scraggly thatch wings rising high above its head. The watercolor portrait “Kristian,” 2014, by Elizabeth Peyton continues the mystery, and Haegue Yang’s paintings “Left and Lower Parts in Tune – Trustworthy #202,” 2015, emphasize texture in smooth geometrics.

    Balice Hertling

    The Paris gallery featured in the Salon d’Honneur could become the hotspot for frazzled fairgoers to take a break. Phone battery dead? No problem. Plug directly into one of Niel Beloufa’s plush industrial pieces for a recharge. Gianfranco Pardi beautifully frames crossed suspension wires. Balice’s artist Isabel Cornaro is currently on show at its Belleville gallery, and also has a major installation at the Louvre.


     Lisson is pulling double duty in Paris with the fair and assessing the latest damage to Anish Kapoor’s vandalized “Dirty Corner” at Versailles. Staring into Kapoor’s blue stainless steel and lacquer mirror is trippy. A fluorescent light installation by Spencer Fench captures the color of the Paris sky the artist measured and recorded one day. Jason Martin blends painting and sculpture in his thick textural wall piece “Flintwinchthicken,” which looks like perfectly charred black meringue. And Iranian artist Shirazeh Houshiary’s white steel sculpture “Allegory of Sight,” 2015, plays with light and peers into the origin of centrifugal force.

    David Zwirner

    Carol Bove’s 16-foot-long hypnotic wall piece made of peacock feathers is the centerpiece at Zwirner’s booth. Luc Tuymans’s delicate cream painting “Cloud,” 2014, continues the sophistication found in Zwirner’s gallery, along with Sherrie Levine’s alligator head cast in bronze. Added to the gallery just this year, Levine also shows her postcard series of 18 female nudes, “After Courbet: 1-18,” 2010. Woflgang Tillmans captures the hyper sensuality of fruit laid bare in his saturated photograph “pear, passionfruit and lychee,” 2010.

    Hauser & Wirth

    Making a statement at the fair with a stack of the satirical French newspaper Charlie Hebdo at the booth’s center, curator Paul Schimmel highlights the political works of the gallery’s artists, such as Mark Bradford, Ellen Gallagher, and Paul McCarthy. Wilhelm Sasnal pays tribute to black athletes of the 1976 Olympics, which was boycotted by many to protest apartheid in South Africa. McCarthy makes no mystery of his political opinion with his “Republican (Bush),” 2004-2006, a sculpture of the former president splattered in red. And Fabio Mauri’s mixed media panels, “Tiananmen [Students],” are haunting.

    Kamel Mennour

    With a reputation as one of the coolest galleries in Paris (along with Crousel), the booth draws in large crowds with Huan Yang Ping’s split deer leaping across the entrance. Michel François recalls the myth of Narcissus with his untitled print of water inviting onlookers to peer into mounted pool of cast aluminum. The gallery also shows Polish artist Alicja Kwade’s new work “Hypotetical Figure,” twisted copper trombone bells with a solid granite block and a pile of the crushed rock.

    Gavin Brown’s Enterprise

    Martin Creed’s bright red curtain automatically opening and closing on the booth adds to its spectacle, while Latvian artist Ella Kruglyanskaya’s graphic drawings of ladies with attitude practically explode from the walls. Shoppers may have previously seen in her work in the hip windows of Barney’s in 2011.

    Capitain Petzel

    The Berlin Gallery, founded in 2008, is a polished hipster’s dream. “Maroon Bells (Deer),” 2015, a majestic plaid-pattered stag in the mountains from Sean Landers’s series of North American animals, is a nod to Magritte. Three of Adam McEwen’s white steel jerrycans containing 25 liters of holy water handsomely anoint the space, as well as his matte graphite letterbox, “97 Wooster St.,” 2014.

    Nicolai Wallner

    The Copenhagen gallery is a breath of cool, elegant air among the mayhem. Mexican artist Jose Davila’s sleek suspension pieces feel like moments frozen right before something is about to happen. Slabs of white marble hang off the wall by a single strap. His “Joint Effort (VI),” 2015, of a pane of glass held in place by a strap balanced by boulders makes you hold your breath. Jeppe Hein’s sculpture “Mirror Balloons with Tree Trunk,” 2015, adds a touch of whimsy to counter the gravitas of Davila’s works. A Kassen’s slick amorphous sculptures add some color to stark Nordic minimalism, but only barely in bronze.

    White Cube

    Sinister pieces dominate the space. Damien Hirst’s shiny aerial cityscape of the US capital, “Washington,” 2014, could be a circuit board from afar, but a closer look reveals it’s made entirely from pins and scalpels. Mona Hatoum’s “Still Life (metal cabinet),” 2015, is a case of jewel-tone glass grenades. Jake and Dinos Chapman’s creepy bronze mash-up of African sculpture and the Ronald McDonald clown holding a spear welcomes visitors to the hyper sleek booth.

    FIAC Paris 2015

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    Proenza Schouler Displays Helen Frankenthaler's Works, Inspiration for Their FW15 Collection, in Soho Store

    Proenza Schouler, which was inspired by Abstract Expressionists of the New York School for its Fall-Winter 2015 collection, is bringing the canvases from its catwalk into the store.

    As the clothes trickle into retail now, two of Helen Frankenthaler’s large-scale paintings, Freefall (1993) and Gateway (1988), will be up on display at Proenza Schouler’s Soho flagship (at 121 Greene Street in New York) for a week starting October 22.

    Drawing heavily from Frankenthaler's drippy canvases, as well as minimalist sculptor Robert Morris' voluptuous wall hangings, Proenza Schouler’s creative directors Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez created a plethora of off-shoulder tops, knit dresses slashed at the midriff, and coats with twisty appendages or panels that seemed to peel away from the body — resulting in a mélange of raw, organic pieces that were cut and pieced together to create a feeling of movement and freedom.

    The designers said Frankenthaler’s “instinctual and spontaneous approach to painting shaped the development process of the collection,” which focus was on “forward-looking clothes that speak to the woman of today.”

    Partnering with the Helen Frankenthaler Foundation, the New York label will also donate 15% of its sales for the week to the Helen Frankenthaler Scholarship Fund at the painter’s alma mater, Bennington College.

    To view looks from Proenza Schouler’s Fall-Winter 2015 collection, click on the slideshow.

    Helen Frankenthaler's Freefall (1993)

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    Elmgreen and Dragset’s Poetic “Selfies” at Victoria Miro London

    The London and Berlin based, Danish-Norwegian collaborative art duo Michael Elmgreen and Ingar Dragset, aka Elmgreen & Dragset, continue their ongoing interrogation of the conventions of public institutions in their third solo exhibition at Victoria Miro, which is on show at the gallery’s Mayfair, London space until November 7.

    Titled “Self-Portraits,” the exhibition features a new series of works comprising representations of museum wall labels of other artists’ works including David Hockney, Ross Bleckner, Roni Horn, Martin Kippenberger, and Nicole Eisenmann, among others, which the artist duo have appropriated and transformed into works of art in their own right.

    The duo explains: “It is a response to the projections put upon one from other people, as well as one’s urge to project a fuller, richer image of one’s self. But in order to obtain this, one is dependent on using signs and codes with connotations that are common, or else they will not be able to recognise the attempted image of one’s self.”

    “Today, endless self-portraiture in the form of ‘selfies’ – each one following conventions resulting ultimately in images which are similar in appearance – makes it clearer than ever that a self-portrait does not reveal the ‘true nature of one’s inner self’. A self-portrait will always be a reflection of how one sees one’s self and wants to stage one’s appearance in relation to the surrounding world.

    To find out more about “Self-Portraits,” BLOUIN ARTINFO caught up with the duo and asked them a few questions.

    Self-Portraits at Victoria Miro Mayfair features a new series of works that are representations of museum wall labels of other artists’ works. What was the inspiration and motivation behind this new series?

    We’ve been working together as an artist duo since 1995, which makes this year our 20th anniversary, and so recently we’ve been reflecting on the past two decades, our creative process, our dialogues over these many years, our sources of inspiration, etc. We decided to make a show that was about our shared history.

    The titles depicted on these wall label works each reveal something that has been important to us: an event, a situation, a moment, or a conversation between us. Our work arises from our ongoing dialogues and when read together, the titles of the labels interact with each other and form a kind of poetry. The works of all the artists referenced in the labels have been influential to us, some personally, some professionally, throughout the years.

    The funny thing is that we were never big fans ourselves of having labels next to our works when we’ve done museums shows in the past—we always tried to avoid them since we thought they were distracting. However, the labels isolated without the works next to them function in quite an intriguing way, we think.

    What is the significance of the title of the show, “Self-Portraits,” and what does it reveal about the new series?

    Well, a “Self-Portrait” of two artists working together is somewhat impossible—how could we write an autobiography, as we are two different people? We wanted to make a series of “Self-Portraits” that showed some of the things we share, and by exploring this sort of imaginary third persona that has developed between us, through our collaboration.

    The title also points to a potential alternative to the current all-consuming “selfie” culture. It seems like any beautiful landscape, any prominent landmark or significant event, has been reduced to only a faded background all over social media for people to pose in front of with their smiling faces. This trend unsettles us—since it is as if the world does not exist unless you yourself are placed as the ultimate center point—and it made us want to suggest another, quieter way to display one’s self, and to speak about what can constitute an identity today.

    Where does “Self-Portraits” sit in the context of your wider practice and how does it relate to your previous works?

    Many of our works investigate the conventions of public institutions, not only art institutions. With these projects we often emphasize the seemingly insignificant elements of each spatial setting, be it a wall label in a museum, another kind of signage, or a security guard, in order to get people thinking about these features from a different perspective. This investigation into institutional spaces started with our performance “12 Hours of White Paint” in 1997, where we added about 160 liters of white paint to the walls of a white cube gallery. The space seemed to dissolve, just by adding more layers of its basic make-up.

    At the Serpentine Gallery we filled an otherwise empty room with guards dressed in uniforms, just sitting there on chairs all along the walls, staring at you as an audience when you entered. We have also made works dealing with donation boxes, VIP lounges, and flip boards normally used for advertisements, as well as the works that deal with how airports, prisons and hospitals are organised.

    At what point, and because of what factors and characteristics, do the labels become works of art in their own right?

    Usually artwork wall labels are printed on disposable materials, and they exist solely to communicate details about the corresponding work: the title, year, materials, dimensions, courtesy, etc. Our labels are instead rendered in time-honored materials that have endured throughout art history: paint on canvas, engraved marble and charcoal on paper, and their sizes have been altered. They morph from typical, unobtrusive museum labels and become artworks themselves through our formal transformation and our added conceptual layers.

    The conscious act of appropriation has been a core practice for many artists before us who were preoccupied with identity issues. Altogether it is about changing the perspective on an object, and adding a different set of values to it that allows for new readings.

    Elmgreen & Dragset In the studio, 2015

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    Poland Questions Provenance of Austria’s $77M Bruegel, Berlin to Host Works From Tehran’s Museum of Contemporary Art, and More

    — Poland Questions Provenance of Austria’s $77 Million Bruegel: Allegations have surfaced in Krakow, Poland that the 1559 Bruegel painting “The Fight Between Carnival and Lent,” which currently hangs in the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna, was looted from Poland during World War II. Archival documents discovered by the director of the National Museum in Krakow tell that the wife of the city’s Nazi-era governor took several paintings from the Polish museum when she relocated back to Austria in 1942 — the Bruegel among them. Speaking to the significance of this discovery, Meredith Hale, a fellow in Netherlandish art at Cambridge, noted: “It is impossible to overstate the importance of this painting. If it was taken unlawfully from Krakow to Vienna it would be a huge story for the art world — as big as it gets.” [FTArtnet]

    — Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art to Loan Works in First Post-Thaw Deal: A major loan of 20th-century art acquired by the Shah’s regime in the 1970s has been negotiated for an exhibition by the State Museums Berlin and the Prussian Cultural Foundation next year. The collection, thought by some to be the finest of its period outside the West, includes works by Francis BaconPablo PicassoJackson Pollock, and Claude Monet, but the details of the new loan remain unknown. Though works from the Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art collection have been put on loan before, this is the first such deal since what has been termed the “Iranian thaw” — or nuclear agreement — came earlier this year. [TAN]

    — Thomas Jefferson Statue Provokes Ire at Missouri University: A monument to founding father Thomas Jefferson at the University of Missouri in Columbia has incited aggressive debate on campus, with many students and social media commentators piqued that Jefferson, a slave owner, should have a memorial devoted to him at all. An online petition demands that the statue be removed from the university’s central quad area, while supporters of the Twitter hashtag #standwithJefferson have been making the opposite case. The university Republicans are blaming the row on an excess of political correctness and reminding observers of the “important moral and political” values that Jefferson stood for. [LAT]

    — Swizz Beatz Joins Brooklyn Museum Board: Kasseem Dean (a.k.a. Swizz Beatz) and Barbara Vogelstein have joined the Brooklyn Museum’s “growing” board, the institution stated in a release last night. The board appointments, which bring the museum’s governing body to 33 members, are the first since Anne Pasternak assumed her directorship of the Brooklyn Museum on September 1. [Brooklyn Museum]

    — Loic Gouzer Named Deputy Chairman of Post-War and Contemporary at Christie’s: The Swiss-born Christie’s executive has been promoted from senior vice president, though he told ARTnews he is “not really impressed by people’s titles.” Artworks’ titles, on the other hand, will do just fine: Gouzer was responsible for the record-setting $706 million “Looking Forward to the Past” sale at the auction house last May. [ARTnews]

    — Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art Appoints CEO: Curator, writer, and administrator Chantal Pontbriand has joined the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art in Toronto as CEO, a newly created position. Pontbriand has previously served as the commissioner of the Canadian pavilion at the Venice Biennale in 1990, among other appointments. [Globe and Mail]

    — The Guardian offers a quiz on the architectural eccentricities of higher education institutions: how many Brutalist blocs and sculptural towers can you recognize? [Guardian]

    — Carolina Miranda combs through the Yelp reviews for L.A.’s new Broad Art Museum and finds mixed reactions: “Much anger” over the long line for a 45-second appointment at Yayoi Kusama’s infinity room, but also general sentiments to the end of “ahhh-mazing.” [LAT]

    — The 2015 W. Eugene Smith Grant has been awarded to photographer Matt Black, for documenting the rural poverty of California’s farming communities. [Artforum]

    Austria and Poland Spar Over Bruegel Provenance, Berlin to Show Works From Tehra

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    Countess Jacqueline de Ribes is Focus of the Met's Fall Fashion Exhibition

    As the oldest child of the Count and Countess Jean de Beaumont, Countess Jacqueline de Ribes grew up with the fortune her father had built for the Rivaud Group, which, founded in 1910, held interests in rubber, banana, and palm-oil plantations in Africa, Indonesia, and Indochina.

    Lanky and graceful, de Ribes would go on to be compared by the designer Yves Saint Laurent to “an ivory unicorn,” be referred by the Prince Nicolas Dadeshkeliani as “the de Gaulle of fashion,” and be dubbed by Valentino as “The Last Queen of Paris.” In 1999, Jean Paul Gaultier even dedicated his haute couture collection to her by titling it “Divine Jacqueline.”

    But beyond having the glacial beauty and attractiveness of a swan, “she was actually negotiating in the world, working to be in business all her life. Even when she was newly a mother, she always had a job,” said Harold Koda, Curator in Charge of The Costume Institute, which is staging Jacqueline de Ribes: The Art of Style to celebrate the fashion icon from November 19 through February 21, 2016.

    De Ribes, who as a child had wanted to be a ballerina, started her associations with the fashion world when, shortly after World War II, her uncle, Count Étienne de Beaumont, took her as an adolescent to see his friend Christian Dior shortly after the designer opened his couture salon, in 1947.

    After marrying the Vicomte Édouard de Ribes at the age of 19, she nurtured her passions by quietly working for fashion designers Oleg Cassini and Emilio Pucci. (The traditions of her in-laws had precluded her from having a career.)

    Photographed by Richard Avedon and written about by Truman Capote, who both waxed lyrical about her swan-like qualities, de Ribes first landed on the International Best-Dressed List in 1956, when she only had a handful of couture dresses, with the majority of her wardrobe made by a dressmaker but designed herself. By 1962, she was inducted into the International Best-Dressed List Hall of Fame. While continuing to be a muse to Paris’ finest couturiers, de Ribes launched her own label in 1982, which continued until 1995.

    Jacqueline de Ribes in Christian Dior (1959), photographed by Roloff Beny. Copyright Roloff Beny Estate, Courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art

    Now, de Ribes owns at least 1,000 pieces of haute couture and her own designs. For the show, Koda spent six months personally combing through that collection and, together with de Ribes, who is now 85, has come up with 60 pieces that best convey how the Countess has solidified her status as fashion royalty.

    They comprise ensembles from the who’s who of fashion, including Giorgio Armani, Pierre Balmain, Bill Blass, Marc Bohan for House of Dior, Roberto Cavalli, John Galliano, Madame Grès, Valentino Garavani, Guy Laroche, Yves Saint Laurent, and Emanuel Ungaro, that date from 1959 through to the present.

    While the exhibition will focus on her style and taste, material from her personal archives will also illustrate the variety of her professional life, including her roles as television producer, interior designer, architect, and organizer of international charity events.

    “A close study of de Ribes’ life of creative expression yields illuminating insights into her strategies of style,” added Koda. “Her approach to dress as a statement of individuality can be seen as a kind of performance art. When she established her own fashion house, her friend Yves Saint Laurent gave his blessing to the venture as a welcome projection of her elegance.”

    Jacqueline de Ribes in her own design, 1983

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    Under Surveillance: Trevor Paglen at Metro Pictures

    With origins in visual material he encountered as cinematographer for the 2014 Edward Snowden documentary Citizenfour, as well as deep thematic ties to the efforts of the whistleblowers and activists involved in that film, Paglen’s work here seeks to locate and describe the ostensibly invisible infrastructure of surveillance programs implemented by the NSA and other government organizations. In a format similar to his older images of gauzy, cloud-streaked skies whose titles reveal them to be populated by unseen drones, Paglen, who holds a Ph.D. in geography, captures the routes through which surveilled data flows. In NSA-Tapped Fiber Optic Cable Landing Site, Morro Bay, California, United States (all works 2015), serene coastal images show waves swelling along a beach under gray skies, surfers dotting the horizon (oddly reminiscent of Catherine Opie’s “Surfers” series); lest the viewer find the landscape calming, however, it is paired with annotated maps densely layered with information detailing in an appropriately nonlinear fashion the programs in place there. Having trained to scuba dive as part of his research, the artist also captures portraits of deep-sea cables tapped by the NSA. These rich, murky, and essentially abstract scenes—almost all shadow, the otherworldly structures emanating dark blues and greens—convey not so much a glimpse into the heretofore covert operations transpiring behind them as they do a sense of the fundamental opacity that characterizes the entire information enterprise.

    Military ephemera—including small commemorative patches offering slogans like “Nothing is beyond our reach,” accompanied by an angry octopus wrapping its tentacles around the earth—illustrate another side of the aestheticization of surveillance culture, one that comes from inside. (As Paglen’s work offers few opportunities for humor, one hopes that the title of this series, “Symbology,” is indeed a dark joke somehow playing on the academic discipline Dan Brown invented in The Da Vinci Code.) The fruits of this research are interesting, but secondary to the work performed by his images, which seems at times to slip away from those engaging with his practice. Paglen’s heavily researched output is often informative, even journalistic, and it’s easy to like work that feels useful and urgent in this way, particularly for those disillusioned with the less grave recent offerings of the commercial art market. But Paglen is at his best and most complex when parsing the new ways of seeing that are enabled by the networks and entities he studies.

    Take, for example, the video Eighty Nine Landscapes, a somber two-channel montage of landscapes bearing the traces, however subtle, of military surveillance interventions. In a nod to art historical tradition, the film moves through a collection of panoramic views familiar from the artist’s still photography: communications machinery sprouting from a cliff, a skyline punctured by an eerie array of white domes. Evidence of human population occasionally appears, as with the surfers in his coastal photographs, as specks on the horizon or lights emerging in the dark. At one point, Paglen offers a voyeuristic view through a kitchen window at night. Then the camera pulls back, and the window becomes one of many orange-tinted points of light on the face of a massive apartment building—a jarring move into abstraction, the image containing an overwhelming swell of human narrative transformed into data that we viewers aren’t yet equipped to comprehend.

    A version of this article appears in the November 2015 issue of Modern Painters.

    Trevor Paglen

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    Astronaut Dave Scott's Bulova Watch Crosses Block for $1.6M

    A Bulova wrist chronograph worn by Dave Scott, the seventh person to walk on the moon, has fetched $1.6 million at an auction by Boston-based RR Auction.

    Scott reached for the watch, his personal backup after his government-issued Omega Speedmaster reportedly failed, during his third and final moonwalk of the Apollo 15 mission. It can be seen on his left wrist in a photo capturing him with the American flag against the majestic expanse of Hadley Delta.

    Apollo 15 was the ninth manned mission in the United States' Apollo program and the fourth to land on the moon. Beginning on July 26, 1971, and ending on August 7, it was what NASA called at the time the most successful manned flight ever achieved.

    The mission’s third lunar excursion, which lasted 4 hours, 49 minutes, and 50 seconds, was heavily reliant on time expenditures, as Commander Scott, along with Lunar Module Pilot James Irwin conscientiously balanced their resources before departure, and eventual journey home. In fact, the watch exhibits significant wear from exposure while on the moon.

    “We are extremely pleased with the results and honored to have been able to offer such an historically important timepiece — the only American-made watch that was worn on the surface of the Moon,” said Bobby Livingston, RR Auction's executive vice president.

    The watch headlined the auction house’s Space and Aviation Auction, which brought a total of $2.6 million. It included other artifacts as the flown flight plan and roller used by Gordon Cooper on Mercury 9, which fetched $89,774.13, and an American flag carried into lunar orbit on board Apollo 8, which brought $7,136.85.

    Bids for the watch reportedly soared from $475,000 to the final hammer price in a span of just five minutes. Sold to a Florida businessman who collects "one-of-a-kind items," it is believed to be the highest price ever paid for an astronaut-owned artifact. In 2001, a cuff checklist used by Charles Conrad, the third man to walk on the moon, reportedly sold for $1.3 million to a private buyer.

    Dave Scott's Bulova chronograph

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    Q&A: Anna Haughton, Co-Founder of the International Show

    Bringing together dealers of art, antiques, and design, the International Show returns to the Park Avenue Armory for its 27th edition from October 23 through 29. Previously known as the International Fine Art and Antiques Show, the fair’s pared-down name is one of several changes—including the October 27 launch of the Young Collectors Party and a section dedicated to 20th-century and contemporary art and design—intended to attract a broader audience. “We have a loyal following among collectors and interior designers, but the idea now is to cultivate new generations of collectors and art lovers,” says fair cofounder Anna Haughton. “Our exhibitors [at the International Show] say that they always meet and sell to new people, people they do not see anywhere else. For fair organizers, this is the highest compliment!”

    The name is not the only new thing about this year’s fair. New dealers, such as Galerie Ary Jan of Paris, Kagedo Japanese Art from Seattle, Palm Beach’s Holden Luntz, and New York’s Hollis Taggart will have booths. Also from New York is Rosenberg & Co., a gallery opened in March of this year by the granddaughter of the famed 20th-century French collector Paul Rosenberg. Rosenberg’s collection of modern art was stolen by the Nazis at the outbreak of World War II and has been fiercely won back by his family in recent years. Most notable was the return of Femme Assise, painted by Henri Matisse in 1921 and found in the possession of Cornelius Gurlitt when his Munich apartment was raided by German authorities in 2012. The Rosenberg’s Matisse is one of the first paintings to be returned to its original owners. At this year’s International Show, Rosenberg & Co. brings Etude de la série “Circulaires et rectilignes,” a 1932 gouache on paper by František Kupka.

    Among returning exhibitors are Axel Vervoordt from Belgium, New York’s Maison Gerard, Frank Partridge of London, Monaco’s Véronique Bamps, and Jeffrey Bael Henkel from Pennington, New Jersey. Brian Haughton Gallery, located in London, will present rare European ceramics, including a complete Nymphenburg réchaud—a food warmer—that was likely modeled by Johann B. Haringer circa 1765. A fine example of German porcelain, it boasts a provenance that includes a prince of the Hohenlohe-Schillingsfürst family. The réchaud, which measures 13 1/2 inches, is capped by a phoenix with outstretched wings, rising from the flames that lick across the porcelain.

    Highlights from New York private dealers and galleries include the Olmec jadeite figurine from the Middle Preclassic period (900–300 b.c.), pictured here, offered by Ancient Art of the New World, a partnership; a headless but sensuous Roman statue of Venus at Ariadne Galleries; a collection of 1840s Swiss gold and enamel snake necklaces from A La Vieille Russie; a glass-topped coffee table by the French designer Jacques Quinet, made in the 1960s, at Bernd Goeckler Antiques; and from Schillay Fine Art, Four and Twenty Blackbirds, a 1998 watercolor by Andrew Wyeth, in which the titular birds attack an ominous figure in a pumpkin patch—an image not out of place in late October.

    Cofounder Anna Haughton shared her thoughts with Art+Auction in September.

    Why the decision to change the fair's name?
    The fair has long been affectionately called "The International Show" by dealers, museum curators and collectors. The name change is basically an official simplification of its former name: The International Fine Art and Antiques Show. We felt it was time!

    Other than the name, what else is new at this year’s fair?
    We have changed the graphics, logo and marketing materials for the fair to go along with its updated name. The fair will have some wonderful new exhibitors who have added a fresh dimension to the line-up. Modern, contemporary, and design are very much full-fledged collecting areas at the fair now. It is so exciting to see historical material alongside modern and contemporary. It is how people collect and I feel it is more visually interesting. Collectors who are active over many different areas will find that there is a lot for them to see at the fair.

    How have participating dealers reacted to this changes?
    They have been very receptive. Some of these exhibitors we have worked with for more than 30 years, and the new exhibitors coming in to the fair are very supportive.

    What are you particularly looking forward to seeing this year?
    It's hard to choose, there are so many fantastic things. I must say, I am very drawn to the work of Maio Motoko who is the incredible screen artist represented by Lesley Kehoe Gallery from Melbourne, Australia. Lesley is joining the International Show for the first time. She recently sold a monumental work by Maio Motoko to the Asian art department of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, so her work is in very good company.

    We are also launching a fantastic new event aimed at young collectors on Tuesday, October 27.  It is called “The International Circle” Young Patrons Party, and it has a very vibrant life on social media among New York's most eminent cultural institutions. The response has been utterly fantastic.

    What is the future of the International Show and what do you see as its role in the world of art and antique fairs?
    The international flavour of the International Show is very important and has set it apart. It would take collectors months, maybe years, to travel around the globe to see what they can see at the fair. It offers a truly international experience. Going forward, our major commitment is to help inspire and cultivate a new generation of collectors. This is the only way to ensure the future. Through the International Circle Young Patrons initiative, we have found that young collectors are very keen. Fairs still offer the best opportunity to train one's eye over a wide variety of categories and, of course, learn from the best dealers in the world. We hope the rebranding and new collecting categories will attract new audiences and inspire seasoned collectors to buy across diverse categories.

    A version of this article appears in the October 2015 issue of Art+Auction.


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    See Highlights From The International Show in New York

    The International Show — formerly the International Fine Art and Antiques Show — returns for its 27th edition at the Park Avenue Armory, running October 23-29. In addition to its sleek new name, the fair is making strides toward an overall contemporary vibe, with a whole new section for 20th-century art and design, and a Young Collectors Party on the October 27. Plus, new galleries have joined the fray this year, including New York’s Hollis Taggart, Paris’s Galerie Ary Jan, Seattle’s Kagedo Japanese Art, Palm Beach’s Holden Luntz, and the recently opened Rosenberg & Co., founded by collector Paul Rosenberg’s granddaughter. 

    Still, not everything has changed: a number of notable dealers are returning, from Belgium’s Axel Vervoordt to New York’s Maison Gerard, London’s Frank Partridge, Monaco’s Véronique Bamps, and Jeffrey Bael Henkel from Pennington, New Jersey. Some highlights include a Roman statue of Venus at Ariadne Galleries; 1840s Swiss gold and enamel snake necklaces at A La Vieille Russie; a 1960s glass-topped coffee table by Jacques Quinet at Bernd Goeckler Antiques; and Andrew Wyeth’s watercolor “Four and Twenty Blackbirds,” 1998, at Schillay Fine Art. 

    Click on the slideshow to see highlights of work on view.

    International Show

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    Designers Tap LACMA's Permanent Collection for Dresses, Jewelry, and Bags

    An 18th century man's vest, knitted in a red, blue, and white graphic pattern, replete with caterpillars on the lapels, is an intriguing garment in the permanent collection of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA).

    For handbag designer Clare Vivier, it was the kind of inspiration needed to create one-of-a-kind, vintage-style coin purses, one beaded in red, blue and white, and another in black and white fringe.

    Elsewhere in the museum’s collection, a French earthenware water pitcher, circa 1710, inspired Monique L’Huillier to design a stunning ballgown that appropriated the piece’s blue and white designs and shapely curves. Meanwhile, Jennifer Meyer tapped Edward Ruscha’s Made in California (1971) for some necklaces, and Gregory Parkinson looked to an ancient Mayan mask of turquoise, lapis lazuli, and shell to reproduce it in the form of a vest.

    These pieces are part of this year’s Wear LACMA project, which launched in 2012 to enable L.A.-based designers to merge art and fashion by creating limited-edition products — from dresses, T-shirts and tote bags to fragrances, jewelry, and leather pouches — that are inspired by objects in LACMA’s permanent collection.

    This year’s edition of Wear LACMA celebrates the museum’s 50th anniversary, and includes 19 designers: Anita Ko, Cathy Waterman, Clare Vivier, CO, dosa, Esquivel, FREECITY, Greg Lauren, Gregory Parkinson, Irene Neuwirth, Jennifer Meyer, Juan Carlos Obando, L’oeil du Vert, Libertine, Monique Lhuillier, NewbarK, Nick Fouquet, Rodarte, and The Elder Statesman.

    The pieces that inspired them range from 16th- and 17th-century European paintings and ancient pieces from Mexico and Iran, to textiles, archival photographs, prints, and contemporary works.

    Also new this year is the project’s partnership with global web retailer Farfetch, which has launched an exclusive online boutique to tout these unique pieces.

    "As a company that encourages customers to unfollow the crowds and thrive on diversity, Farfetch is pleased to partner with LACMA on its Wear LACMA: 50th Anniversary Edition of bespoke products," said Stephanie Horton, Farfetch Chief Marketing Officer, in a statement.

    The collection will be available for purchase at the LACMA Store, both on site and online, as well as on beginning November 4, with all proceeds benefiting the museum.

    To view some designs and their inspirations, click on the slideshow.

    Water pitcher; dress by Monique Lhuillier

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