« December 2007 | Main | February 2008 »

9 posts from January 2008

January 31, 2008

All good things come in three.. The New High Line, Creative Time, and Spencer Finch

Yes.. it's Spencer Finch all the time over here at MAO.. clearly it's not mystery why there's the big-O in this website title! Nothing but Finch! Finch..Finch.. Finch.. What can we say.. MAO hearts SPENCER FINCH !

It was just announced by Creative Time and Friends of the High Line... here's a sneak peak!

Congrats Spencer!

Spencer_finch_high_line_creative_ti SPENCER FINCH

High Line, NYC
Fall 2008 - 2009

Creative Time, Friends of the High Line, and the NYC Department of Parks and Recreation present Spencer Finch’s first major public art installation and the inaugural art commission for the High Line Park. Finch will craft 700 unique panes of glass, representing the water conditions on the Hudson River over a period of 700 minutes on a single day. The work links the movement of the river, viewable from the site, with the historic movement of the railway on Manhattan’s West Side.

We at MAO, think this new Spencer Finch work will be installed at the Chelsea Market Space on the High Line..Maps here... but we're still searching for additional details.. 

January 30, 2008

Photographer Tod Papageorge Talk and Book Signing

OK.. this is a free chance to meet a living photo history legend.. Tod Papageorge.

Todpapageorge_central_park_new_york And despite what this blogging quitter Mr. Soth had to say.. MAO would firmly put Tod Papageorge in the category as one of the last undervalued photographers of the 60's, 70's & 80's. (Photo by Tod Papageorge, Central Park, NY 1973)

So, here are the event details..MAO will be there so you know it will be fabulous!

Plus, you'll get to say.. you whiteness the re-discovery of a great American photographer.

FYI.. his new Aperture book,  American Sports, 1970 is wonderful, witty & totally relevant in today's war time era. The book will clearly become an immediate "must have" for any art photography collector.


Tod Papageorge
American Sports, 1970: or How We Spent the War in Vietnam
Talk and Book Signing

Tuesday, February 05, 2008
6:30 p.m.

Free Admission

Aperture Gallery
547 West 27th Street, 4th Floor
New York, New York
(212) 505-5555

Tod Papageorge will discuss the coolly observational yet intensely engaging work featured in his new Aperture monograph American Sports, 1970 or How We Spent The War in Vietnam. These remarkable images, taken over the course of a watershed year for popular opinion against the war, draw a subtle but sharp parallel between the war in Vietnam and the American attitude toward spectator sports during a time of conflict.

January 25, 2008

More Gloom and Doom for the Art Market from ArtTactic

So.. if the huge sell off in stocks worldwide, the loss of almost $8 Billion by a rogue trader in France, Jill_greenberg_bear_untitled_5 the firing of anyone on wall street who could spell CDO, the emergency panic rate cute by the Federal Reserve, and the paltry Bush stimulus package wasn't enough to get your depressed..

Today there's an Art Research firm ArtTactic.com putting out even more gloom and doom !  TGIF!

(Photo by Jill Greenberg, Ursine Project, Untitled #5) Here's the story by Bloomberg's Scott Reyburn...


Contemporary Art Market Confidence Slumps 40%, Survey Shows,

2008-01-24 23:51 (New York)
By Scott Reyburn
    Jan. 25 (Bloomberg) -- Confidence in the contemporary art
market has dropped 40 percent over the past six months, according
to a survey by ArtTactic, a London-based research company.
     The biannual survey, based on the responses of 155 buyers of
contemporary art, mostly international private collectors, said
the decline in confidence followed the credit crisis in the last
quarter of 2007.
     The full survey, published on Jan. 23, follows a snap poll in
August that showed contemporary art buyers were increasingly
worried about the prospects for the economy, said ArtTactic.
     ``It is clear that the respondents no longer think that the
art market can be detached from economic realities,'' ArtTactic
said in the survey. ``Confidence in the primary market is down
only by 10 percent, and is holding up significantly better than
the auction market.''
     The ArtTactic Market Confidence Indicator was first published
in November 2005. According to ArtTactic's survey's methodology
statement, data is collected and made available every six months.
     Respondents are asked six constant questions on their
perceptions of present and future conditions in the general
economy and the contemporary art market. Answers are in the form
of the response options ``positive,'' ``negative,'' and
     The overall November 2007 Art Market Confidence Indicator,
computed from the totality of the received data, fell by 40
percent since the last reading in May 2007, said ArtTactic.

                       `Economic Realities'

     The primary market refers to art offered for the first time
in galleries and by artists in their studios. Prices are often
lower than when the same works reach the secondary market of
auctions and resales by dealers and collectors.
     ``There are so many collectors in the primary market now and
they want to carry on buying,'' especially works by younger
artists that have relatively low prices, said the London-based
contemporary art dealer Thomas Dane.
     ArtTactic's findings come less than two weeks before
Christie's International, Sotheby's and Phillips de Pury hold
Impressionist, modern and contemporary art sales in London that
have a record overall low estimate of 429 million pounds ($838
million), according to figures released on Jan. 22 by the auction

                          Auction Records

     Last July, before the global credit crunch triggered by the
U.S. subprime mortgage crisis, record prices for contemporary
artists such as Damien Hirst, Piero Manzoni, Ilya Kabakov and Yue
Minjun pushed the total for these auctions in London to an
unprecedented 462.5 million pounds, including fees, compared with
a low estimate of 322 million pounds.
     Since then, Wall Street banks have declared more than $100
billion of writedowns. On Jan. 21, two days before ArtTactic's
survey was published, London's FTSE 100 stocks index fell 5.5
percent, the biggest drop since Sept. 11, 2001.
     Rising concern that a housing slump will damp consumer
spending in the U.S., causing a recession, has dragged down stock
markets around the world this year. London's FTSE 100 index fell
as much as 17 percent this year before recovering part of the
     ``We'll have to see how the stock-market volatility plays
out before the sales,'' said James Roundell, Impressionist and
modern art specialist at London dealers Simon C. Dickinson Ltd.
``If anything, it should have more effect on the contemporary
auctions. The Impressionist and modern market is much more
     Roundell said Russian and Eastern European buyers are
increasingly important at London's Impressionist and modern sales.
``They've been behind quite a few of the stand-out prices in
recent years,'' he said. Sotheby's said clients from the former
Soviet Union bought 9 percent of the lots at its evening sale of
Impressionist and modern art in London a year ago.

                         Soaring Estimates

     The 89 million pound and 82 million pound low estimates for
Christie's and Sotheby's respective February evening
Impressionist and modern art auctions are the highest ever seen in
     In July, Christie's and Sotheby's evening contemporary
auctions carried low estimates of 54.5 million pounds and 40.5
million pounds, respectively. Both houses' February sales in
London are expected to fetch at least 72 million pounds.
     Christie's Feb. 6 contemporary auction includes a Francis
Bacon triptych with a low estimate of 25 million pounds, a record
for a work of art offered at auction in London. Three weeks later,
Sotheby's will offer a single-panel painting by Bacon with a
guarantee of around 18 million pounds, also a record for London.
At the contemporary art auctions in July in London and in
November in New York, more than 80 percent of lots typically
found buyers.
     ``I'd expect the general mood of buying everything and
anything to come to an end,'' said art dealer Dane.

                            Mood Change

     According to the ArtTactic November 2007 survey, there has
been a negative mood change toward some of the less established
artists that saw a rapid and significant increase in prices during
2006 and 2007. Marlene Dumas, Neo Rauch, Franz Ackerman, Cecily
Brown and Peter Doig were among the artists that had seen
a ``significant decrease in confidence'' from buyers.
     ArtTactic said auction performance is a major influence on
the market's confidence in a particular artist.
     ``The auctions will be the test of what is happening,'' said
Thomas Dane. ``People are definitely putting off certain decisions
until after the sales.'

January 23, 2008

New Work by Spencer Finch

We at MAO have been a long time fan of Artist Spencer Finch..ever since the 2004 Whitney Biennial.

Art_in_america_spencer_finch_on_cov His show up at Mass MOCA "What Time Is It on the Sun?" is amazing (now extended through Spring 2008)..

The D.A.P. Monograph book..a total WOW!

And now, finally he's got some well deserved attention by Art In America this (Jan 08) month. FYI... They don't have the story on-line.. so you'll just have to buy the deadwood media magazine!

But Spencer now has a new show opening up in Germany!  And the work looks as thought provoking as ever! 

Spencer Finch: In Praise of Shadows, Berlin, Galerie Nordenhake, Now through January 26.

The gallery has almost every work up on their website..very nice.   Aaaah.. there's nothing like German engineering !

The dusty old Black and White photography maven in MAO just loves the Atget references! Bravo Spencer!

Here's a brief description from todays ArtKrush :

In Spencer Finch's current exhibition at Berlin's Nordenhake, the American artist explores the nature and inadequacies of perception. In a diverse array of works — twelve serial photographs, nine drawings, a light installation of color-filtered fluorescents, and five glasses filled with progressively darkening liquid — Finch aims to replicate the measurement, memory, and color of specific shadows. Each work reproduces the spectrums of light that Finch has encountered while visiting historic locations, including Goethe's home and Parisian alleyways photographed a century earlier by Eugène Atget. By revealing the precise inspiration for his pieces, Finch reminds viewers of their present circumstances, creating works that are both chromatically beautiful and absurd in their attempt to reproduce a fleeting sensory experience.

January 18, 2008

Free Artist Lecture at the New Museum!

For anyone willing to brave the cold.. and the Lower East Side this weekend..

There's going to be a fun group talk tomorrow, Saturday, Jan 19th at 3pm at the New Museum.

And to answer the question... YES. We at MAO are now Obsessed by the New Museum.. so we're going to be posting more and more about it! It's All NEW. all the time!

The talk...  :  Mark Bradford, Christian Holstad, and Wangechi Mutu discuss “Collage: The Unmonumental Picture” this talk will be moderated by Chief Curator Richard Flood. Pretty Cool..

It should be fun, here are the 3 artist biographies..

Wangechi_mutu_peltart750 Mark Bradford, Born 1961, Los Angeles, California/Lives and works in Los Angeles, California. 

The social dynamics of community, determined by race, class, gender, sexuality, migration, and their attendant stereotypes, inspire Mark Bradford’s work in collage, video, photography, and installation. Bradford explores public space by excerpting and recomposing its contents—from billboard posters to beauty salon endpapers—to create abstract compositions whose grids, lines, and fields of color flicker with the visual and informational juxtapositions that characterize the urban experience. Through the formal limitations and restrictions that he imposes on his artistic practice, Bradford structures his works’ explosive energy, elegantly corralling it into an abstract narrative that reflects our geographical and geopolitical surroundings.

Christian Holstad. Born 1972, Anaheim, California/Lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. 

Holstad’s artistic practice consists of photography, drawing, sculpture, installation, and collage. A selfdescribed “visual junkie,” the subject of his work includes the ways in which appearance-based stereotypes obscure individual sexual identity. Referring both to the mainstream and subculture, Holstad’s collages often depict erotic couplings of gay men whose bodies are composed of decorative patterns and textures extracted from magazines ranging from high-end fashion and lifestyle rags to small-press porn publications. These intimate scenes are set in unexpected or even contradictory surroundings such as immaculate, designer-home interiors, monumental architectural settings, or surreal landscapes. This juxtaposition of at least two kinds of decadence and desire serves to both charge conventional environments and cheerfully normalize same-sex erotic activity.

Wangechi Mutu, Born 1972, Nairobi, Kenya/Lives and works in New York. 

Wangechi Mutu’s wall paintings, collages, and installations make reference to race, politics, fashion, and African identity. Mutu assembles portraits that challenge media depictions of fashion, pornography, and ethnography. Her idiosyncratic renderings of female sexuality catalyze multiple interpretations: each exquisite portrait incorporates the contradictions, stereotypes, and expectations of African women and the African diaspora. (Photo #1, by Wangechi Mutu, from her "Exhuming Gluttony Exhibit" courtesy of Salon 94 Gallery)

Plus you'll get to see the great lecture hall they have built in the basement of the New Museum.

Here are the details from the New Museum website... Click Here For More Info

We at MAO have heard Mark Bradford speak before.. and let's just say.. she's one totally Fierce Artist!

So OK... MAO-ettes... if you attend the talk... Please be sure to say hi to MAO!!

January 17, 2008

Yet another Gallery Opens, and not on the Lower East Side!

So we went to the Grand Re-Opening of the new New Museum last night..  and WOW.. it's amazing how different a  museum feels with Art on the Walls.. !!  Imagine that!! The new collage works are a huge improvement to their current: The Unmounumental Picture show.

Mark_bradford_helter_skelter_i_2007 We love the pieces by Mark Bradford, Wangechi Mutu, Kelley Walker, Kim Jones and the Christian Holstad works.. all very impressive. The Wangechi Mutu "Moon Mural",  complete with flying pigs with fur.. is a not to be missed!! (Photo of Artist Mark Bradford, working on Helter Skelter I, 2007, collage)

Very telling, of what total drunks we have become we got to the Museum Preview a bit too early.. and so went to the nice new bar next door for a quick drink or 2 or 3.. But the bar bill came to an amazing $58 dollars for 4 tiny drinks!! Ouch..!! Well.. clearly things are seriously changing on the Lower East Side!! Has it become too expensive already?

So.. Here's yet another Gallery choosing NOT to open in Chelsea (or the LES).. but to open on the expensive & stuffy hot and not chic Upper East Side of NYC.. story by Linda Sandler of Bloomberg news..

     Jan. 16 (Bloomberg) -- Asher Edelman, a Wall Street raider
turned art dealer, is seeking space to open a gallery on New
York's Upper East Side that will show young and emerging
     Edelman, 68, has been a private dealer for about seven
years, trading impressionist and modern works through Edelman
Arts Inc. while promoting younger artists such as Yasmine
Chatila, Christopher Winter and Cathy McClure. He is ending a
joint venture in the Neuhoff Edelman Gallery because he prefers
working on his own, he said.
     Art dealing isn't as lucrative as trading stakes in
companies, according to Edelman. In the 1980s and 1990s, the
investor bought holdings in more than three dozen companies,
from Canal-Randolph Corp., a real-estate holding company, to
computer company Datapoint Corp. and champagne group Taittinger
SA, sometimes profiting as he took control or induced management
to boost the stock price.
     ``I can't make as much money in art as I used to on Wall
Street, but I can make a good living,'' Edelman said in a
telephone interview yesterday.
     Edelman said the art market is showing scattered signs of
weakness as bank losses mount from subprime mortgage
investments. In the private art market, purchasers of high-
priced works are driving harder bargains than they did two years
ago, and some dealers are hurting after borrowing to finance an
inventory that's losing value, he said.
     ``I think the time might come when some people stop bidding
at auctions,'' Edelman said. ``I would still rather have art
than dollars.''
     The dealer said he isn't concerned about opening a new
space at what may be the top of the market. Some staff from his
private dealing business could move over to the new gallery,
limiting the overhead to about $1 million a year, Edelman said.
     His commission from brokering a sale of a $10 million
Willem de Kooning or Andy Warhol picture would cover the cost,
he said.

January 16, 2008

Some new shows not to Miss in Chelsea..Sarah Pickering and El Anatsui

We did the rounds of many of the new dull shows opening around Chelsea last Thursday.. Of course...every gallery was just packed with people looking for free drinks great art.

Interestingly, not too many were sold out.. But there were at least 2 shows we all thought were... not to be missed..

1. Sarah Pickering's New "Fire Scene" Show at Daniel Cooney Fine Art ..

Pickering__glue_sniffing_kids_2007 We at MAO have been a long time fan of

this hot British photographer.. and

this is Sarah's second solo show in NYC... Congrats!

and she's done it again.. with an impressive new heated body of work.

(Photo #1, by Sarah Pickering,

Glue Sniffing Kids, 2007)

The Artist, also has her own fiery website, with more of her fabulous work.. so you can check it all out here...


2. The El Anatsui,  "Zebra Crossing" show at Jack Shainman Gallery..

El_anatsui_bleeding_takari_ii_2007_ totally amazing!

(photo #2 by El Anatsui, Bleeding Takari II, 2007)

FYI, You can see another one if his works on the wall  at the Metropolitan Museum! Here's a brief NYT mention of it!

The first major work of contemporary African sculpture acquired by the Met..

Oh.. and if you have a chance..

be sure to check out the well fluffed thoughtful and fun Christopher K. Ho show at the Edward Winkleman Gallery, and the new "Caucus" group show at Schroder Romero which includes one kick ass great David Wojnarowicz photograph!

January 04, 2008

Something to look forward to.. The New Museum's Next Show!

So..we at MAO love the new New Museum Building.... but the first show didn't exactly hit a high note Newmuseum_building with the MAO editorial staff. Even Dr. Quiz said it totally sucked was a bit disappointed at the opening night.

Oh.. and in case you missed it...here's a story..by Roberta. We agreed with her "visually messy, way too hip, and a tad monotonous" part of the NYT story..

But January 16th... they add part 2 of the (4 part) "Unmonumental" Series, which will continue to run until March 30th.... and this time it even includes some of MAO's favorite artists..

So.. you'll see us at the next opening...

and hey..

it has to improve the current show..

Well... at least now, they will have something on those nice new walls !

Here's the list of artists

included in the Collage : The Unmonumental Picture (with a A big MAO congrats to all these artists)

Mark Bradford
Jonathan Hernández
Thomas Hirschhorn
Christian Holstad
Kim Jones
Wangechi Mutu
Henrik Olesen
Martha Rosler
Nancy Spero
John Stezaker
Kelley Walker

Oh.. and MOA-ettes... be sure not to miss Mark Bradford's new solo show opening up at Sikkema Jenkins & Co. on Jan 17th !! It's sure to be a total MAO WOW!

January 02, 2008

Happy New Year 2008

Champagne_cork723814 Happy New Year to Everyone!!

Let's hope 2008 can't get any worse on wall street is better than 2007.

Here's one of the first Year End 07 reviews by Linda Sandler of Bloomberg News.. I'm sure there will be many more boring ones to come!


Bill Gross's Stamps, J.K. Rowling Tale Starred at 2007 Auctions
2007-12-30 19:49 (New York)

By Linda Sandler
     Dec. 31 (Bloomberg) -- This was the year Bill Gross said his
stamps had outperformed his bond fund, Stanley Ho beat Damien
Hirst in bidding for a truffle, and Amazon.com Inc. paid 39 times
estimates for a book of J.K. Rowling stories. Among the mishaps,
Marie Antoinette's pearls and a Van Gogh painting didn't sell.
     New money poured into the salerooms in New York, London and
Hong Kong, swelling auctions by 46 percent at Sotheby's, to $5.33
billion; Christie's International's totals aren't in yet. Andy
Warhol and Mark Rothko paintings fetched more than $70 million
apiece in May, and Jeff Koons in November deposed Hirst as the
priciest living artist.
     Analysts are watching to see if prices continue to rise in
2008. The biggest financial institutions have marked down more
than $80 billion after a surge in U.S. subprime mortgage defaults
prompted investors to shun higher-risk debt.
     ``The art market will soften, and an adjustment in values
will take place, but it may not happen for six months to a
year,'' California collector Eli Broad said in August. ``Many of
the buyers of contemporary art have been hedge-fund managers and
other investors who obviously are having a difficult time and
have lost lots of money,'' Broad said in an e-mail.
     The 2007 boom boosted values of all kinds of collectibles,
from Chinese ceramics and antiquities to diamonds and stamps.
Here are some high points and low points of the auction year:

                           Pimco Profit

     -- Billionaire fund manager Gross raised $9.1 million for
charity in June by selling early British stamps -- mostly bought
in 2000 -- that outperformed his Pacific Investment Management
Co.'s bond fund, the world's largest.
     ``It's four times cost,'' Gross said after the sale in New
York. ``It's better than the stock market.''
     -- Amazon, after selling more than 12 million Harry Potter
books online, paid almost $4 million at Sotheby's for Rowling's
``The Tales of Beedle the Bard.'' Amazon's Web site has summaries
and reviews of the best-selling author's handwritten stories,
which no one currently has permission to publish.
     -- Christie's sold Steve McQueen's 1963 Ferrari Lusso for
$2.3 million, or twice the top estimate at a California auction
in August. Christie's soon after dismantled its car auction
business, which has much lower commissions than art sales.
     -- Casino billionaire Ho this month paid $330,000 for a
white Italian truffle at a charity auction, exceeding the
previous record by about 50 percent. In September, Ho paid
HK$69.1 million ($8.9 million), the highest price ever for a Qing
Dynasty bronze horse head, giving it to the Chinese government,
which is trying to recover its treasures.
     -- Banksy's ``Di Faced Tenners,'' or 10-pound banknotes
carrying Princess Diana's face instead of Queen Elizabeth II's,
tripled their top estimate at a Bonhams sale in October, fetching
24,000 pounds ($48,000) as demand for the artist soared. Not
everyone is so enthusiastic about the Bristol, England-born
graffiti painter: On London's Charterhouse Street, a defaced
Banksy rat image says, ``Go Back to Bristol, Boy.''

                             No Buyers

     There were scattered signs the auction houses are entering
more difficult markets, in items that found no buyers after
featuring in the press from the Middle East to Europe, the U.S.
and Asia.
     -- A necklace made from the pearls of Marie Antoinette, who
was guillotined in 1793, failed to sell on Dec. 12 at Christie's,
which valued it at as much as 400,000 pounds.
     -- The same day, Maria Callas's love letters to Giovanni
Battista Meneghini, her former husband and mentor, failed to sell
at a Milan auction. Sotheby's, which had priced the opera
singer's letters at as much as 70,000 euros ($102,739), reoffered
them successfully at the end of the auction at a 50 percent
     -- The year's big loser was Vincent van Gogh's ``The Fields
(Wheat Fields),'' estimated by Sotheby's at as much as $35
million. It received no bids at a Nov. 7 auction and Sotheby's
stock plunged 35 percent over three days as it took a $14.6
million loss on guaranteed impressionist works that sold below
their estimates.