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Studio Job, Gonzalo Fuenmayor, Manuel Ameztoy to Debut Works in Miami

Faena_Unexpected Guest_Credit Gonzalo Fuenmayor
Gonzalo Fuenmayor, The Unexpected Guest, 2014 (Photo: Collection of Alan Faena and Ximena Caminos)

The Rem Koolhaas/OMA-designed Faena Forum doesn’t open ’til the next edition of Art Basel Miami Beach, but that won’t stop it from being the talk of this go-round. The building-in-progress, slated to be the 50,000-square-foot centerpiece of Alan Faena‘s Miami Beach mixed-use wonderland at 33rd and Collins, is making a splash with the newly opened Faena Collaboratory.

Designed with Koolhaas and Atelier Marko Brajovic, the pop-up pavilion provides a window into the creative process behind the Faena Forum through an installation of models, drawings, notes, and research and will also serve as the temporary home for site-specific commissions by Studio Job (we hear the Antwerp-based design collective is riffing on the Fountain of Youth) and Colombian-born, Miami-based artist Gonzalo Fuenmayor, who is promising nothing short of “Eden”: an outdoor installation of tropical-themed, trans-American opulence.
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Mediabistro Course

Mediabistro Job Fair

Mediabistro Job FairLand your next big gig! Join us on Janaury 27  at the Altman Building in New York City for an incredible opportunity to meet with hiring managers from the top New York media compaies, network with other professionals and industry leaders, and land your next job. Register now!

Duncan Campbell Wins Turner Prize

duncanportraitArt Basel Miami Beach week kicks off with some breaking news from across the pond: Duncan Campbell is the winner of this year’s Turner Prize. The Dublin-born, Glasgow-based artist is known for his films about controversial figures such as Irish political activist Bernadette Devlin and automotive superstar/conman John DeLorean.

In accepting the £25,000 prize (approximately $40,000 at current exchange) from presenter Chiwetel Ejiofor (star of 1999 Turner Prize winner Steve McQueen‘s 12 Years a Slave) this evening at a ceremony at Tate Britain, Campbell bested the rest of the shortlist: Ciara Phillips, James Richards, and Tris Vonna-Michell. Here’s an excerpt from the winning work, If for Others (2013), a response to Statues Also Die, a 1953 film essay by Chris Marker and Alain Resnais about historical African art and colonialism. Made for the Scottish pavilion at this year’s Venice Biennale, Campbell’s film includes archival footage and photos, reenactments and monologues, as well as new work by choreographer Michael Clark.
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Levitated Mass Documentary Opens in NYC

levitated mass

Now New Yorkers can get the story behind the Los Angeles County Museum of Art’s rock star, Levitated Mass (2012), a 456-foot-long slot over which is placed a 340-ton granite megalith. The process of installing the Michael Heizer artwork, which entailed a $10 million, 22-city tour for the boulder and its custom-made trailer, is the subject of a documentary by Doug Pray (Art & Copy, Surfwise) that opens today at the Film Society of Lincoln Center.

“I had always wanted to do a film about L.A., so this seemed about as L.A. as it could get,” Pray told us earlier this year. “The idea that they had to get permits and permissions to allow a giant rock to roll through their town, all in the name of conceptual art, was absurdly entertaining, and often drew shrugs and confused laughter, and controversy.” Levitated Mass weaves together Heizer’s biography, the dreams of a major museum, and the uniting of a city—all while proving that it is possible to make a fascinating film about a massive rock.
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Robert Wilson Creates ‘OK’ Cup for Illy

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In the unlikely event that the name Robert Wilson does not immediately ignite intense excitement in multiple regions of your cerebrum, stop reading this and go watch Absolute Wilson (yes, it’s on Netflix), Katharina Otto-Bernstein‘s smashing documentary-cum-archival footage deep-dive devoted to the indefatigable maestro of avant-garde theatre. Among the director, designer, and visual artist’s latest collaborators is illy, the Trieste-based espresso purveyor that has invited the likes of Robert Rauschenberg, James Rosenquist, and Marina Abramovic (a Wilson chum of longstanding) to reimagine its trademark white porcelain cup, originally designed by Matteo Thun.
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On the Art of the #Artselfie

artselfie“In deciding how a picture should look, in preferring one exposure to another, photographers are always imposing standards on their subjects,” wrote Susan Sontag in On Photography. “Although there is a sense in which the camera does indeed capture reality, not just interpret it, photographs are as much an interpretation of the world as paintings and drawings are.” But what about when the subject is the photographer, with his or her face jutting into the frame alongside a painting, drawing, or other work of art? Then you’ve entered the meta-interpretative world of the #artselfie. The keen cultural observers over at DIS Magazine peg the birth of this self-portrait-with-artwork phenomenon, now ubiquitous at most any museum or gallery exhibition, to 2012, “right as the recent photographic phenomenon known as the selfie reached its tipping point.” Having seized upon the #artselfie as an “aggregated mode of art-tourism and documentation” with a dedicated Tumblr, DIS teamed with Mathieu Cénac and David Desrimais‘s Jean Boîte éditions to publish a book full of them. Recently feted at Galerie Yvon Lambert in Paris, the volume includes an introduction by Douglas Coupland and a discussion between Swiss Institute director Simon Castets and DIS. Order a copy here and then take a photo of yourself reading it for an #artselfieselfie.

Quote of Note | Frank Gehry

frank g“I’ve always talked to artists about designing art museums. I’ve always heard the same thing, which is the opposite of what Glenn Lowry [of MoMA] and those people always push for: the white pristine box. I guess they don’t know any better. Most of the artists I know complain about that, and younger artists today are refusing to be in that white box—it’s imposing a ‘purity’ that is in fact intrusive. You can see that those galleries at MoMA have failed; they have to redo them now….I’ve been listening to artists for 40 years about what galleries they want. Every artist I know loved Bilbao. Every museum director I know hated Bilbao.”

Frank Gehry, in a recent interview with Jori Finkel for The Art Newspaper

Mark Your Calendar: Passport to the Arts

master slave system (afterglow)
An installation view of Master Slave System (afterglow), an exhibition of the work of German artist Klaus Merkel that is on view through December 7 at Joe Sheftel Gallery.

The New Yorker‘s Passport to the Arts is back. The venerable magazine and its promotions department have organized a gallery crawl, evening cocktail party, and silent auction (to benefit Creative Time) on Saturday, November 8. A $55 ticket gets you a “limited-edition passport” that each of the 25 SoHo and Lower East Side galleries and venues on the self-guided tour will stamp with a replica of a featured work of art. And with a list of participating galleries that includes Joe Sheftel, Laurel Gitlen, and Invisible-Exports, this year’s Passport to the Arts promises to be quite a trip.

Editions/Artists’ Books Fair Returns

eab fair 2014

As you bid Archtober adieu with a Halloween-themed candy binge weekend, ready your sturdiest tote bag and a swath of shelf space for New York’s Editions/Artists Books Fair. The extravaganza of contemporary art publishers and dealers gets underway Thursday evening with a festive preview (tickets here) and then runs through Sunday, November 9, at the newly-renovated Art Beam building in Chelsea. Back after a brief hiatus (see also: “Sandy, Hurricane”), this marks the sixteenth installment of the fair, which has lined up 44 exhibitors, from Michael Steinberg Fine Art and the paper maestros at Dieu Donné to Bartleby & Co. and Purgatory Pie Press (“a sanctuary for artists, designers and typographers who are seduced by the kiss of type and the touch of metal”), presenting works by hundreds of emerging and established artists. Speaking of the latter category, Enoc Perez has whipped up a limited-edition benefit print for the fair—Fontainebleau, Miami—that looks ahead to the next big event on the global art calendar: Art Basel Miami Beach.

Quote of Note | John Currin

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Detail from Gustave Courbet, Apples, Pears, and Primroses on a Table, 1871-1872.

“I’ve always had this thing about yellow—I don’t like cadmium yellow. I always liked chrome yellow instead of cadmium, which are real bright, chemical-looking yellows, and they weren’t really available to painters before 1870, 1850. So I thought, it’s tacky. It’s like a polyester shirt to use those yellows. And then I was just looking at this Courbet still life and it’s filled with chrome yellow and chemical yellows. So I’m starting to realize that this whole thing about being genuine and authentic is ridiculous. And I’m not conscientious or methodical enough to work that way.”

-Artist John Currin in his recent conversation with James Cuno, president and CEO of the J. Paul Getty Trust, at the Getty Center. Watch a video of their entire talk below.
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For Picasso’s Birthday, a Guernica Made of Legos

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Picasso’s Guernica made of Lego bricks by Veronica Watson. (Photo: Legoland Discovery Center Westchester)

Today marks the 133rd anniversary of Picasso‘s birth, and while some will celebrate by taking in the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s spellbinding show of Leonard Lauder‘s Cubist collection, others will admire the artist’s famous Guernica—recreated in Legos in Yonkers. The blocky birthday tribute is the work of Veronica Watson, a master model builder at Legoland Discovery Center Westchester. It took her a couple of days and 800 Legos to create the replica, which is seven inches tall and just under fifteen inches wide, but little convincing: Guernica is one of her favorite Picasso works. “The style used to represent the chaotic subject matter of the Spanish Civil War makes it an incredibly powerful piece in 1937 and in 2014,” Watson told us, before answering a few of our questions about her Lego homage.

What was the most challenging aspect of making a Lego version of Guernica?
The most difficult aspect of making the Lego version was deciding how much detail to include. There is a lot going on in the painting. Rather then explicitly recreating every detail, I worked at suggesting the right forms so that the painting would be instantly recognizable.
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