And so, summer is slowly leaving the premises, the weather is getting chill, the art world is getting busier. After the long, hot, uneventful August, the exhibition schedule of galleries around the world is getting filled and the exciting art fairs season is well underway. Autumn is always a great time for collectors looking to expand their collections, and if you’re one of them, make sure you check out our list of Top 10 art fairs coming up in the next two months, and stay tuned for a special feature on those to be held during the month of December. With the art market going through some interesting time, you might wanna know what to expect at art fairs this year, and we’ve got that topic covered for you as well.
The past month was marked by the openings of a few amazing exhibitions by some of the greatest artists out there. Feminist pioneer Judy Chicago is having a show in London, Anish Kapoor is in Moscow, JR is, well, all over the place, Hong Kong welcomed Nick Walker, five iconic female artists are on view in Berlin and Ai Weiwei is exhibiting at the Royal Academy of Arts in London. Of course, we cannot talk September without mentioning Banksy’s Dismaland, which closed only a few days ago and will be on its way to France soon. This is only the beginning, as we’re overwhelmed with exhibition announcements, so stay tuned as we pick out the best of them from every corner of the planet.
Until then, we shall take a walk down the memory lane. Scroll down to check out the highlights from the month behind us.
Graffiti - Vandalism or Art ?
Is it art?
A question sometimes said and heard in museums, galleries, movie theatres, concert arenas, any place of creation. One such place is also the street, where the spectators often seem to wonder: “Is graffiti art or vandalism ?” If we take into consideration that graffiti have been around since prehistoric times, it sounds as if this debate is all too hoary; however, we shall look at graffiti as the phenomenon of a much more recent period, and in that context, the debate is only about fifty years old. As a response to modernism and social segregation, graffiti became the means of communication and identity for young people in New York City in the 1970s. The famous story of the NYC subway graffiti culture and the almost two-decade long struggle of the authorities to eradicate tagging represent the starting point of the conversation, a hot topic of the art world even today.
Find the answer here.
The Arrest of Cope2
The artist has defended himself in an exclusive statement for Widewalls
Apparently, feuds, beefs and other quarrels are sometimes a major part of the street art world. Cope2 has been arrested recently, again. The incident occurred at the Bowery Wall, New York, while Futura was painting. The whole story is yet to be investigated and uncovered fully, but for now the allegations and claims suggest a heated argument went on between Cope2 and someone, some weapons may have been used, it remains unclear so far. The actual statement from the police is that the arrested artist has been threatening someone, which led to his apprehension. With his history of making homophobic rants online and open threats including violence, misogyny and racism, it’s no wonder this guy is often the target of online disputes.
Get more details here.
The Recurring Vandalism of Anish Kapoor’s Versailles Sculpture
Three times and counting.
Whether they support the work of Anish Kapoor or find it offensive, vandals find it pretty convenient to leave messages on his controversial Dirty Corner sculpture which was vandalized for the third time in a short period of time. As you already know the sculpture was defaced previously in June with yellow paint splattered all around its interior, and a week ago when anti-Semitic messages were inscribed on its exterior surface. When the artist decided not to remove the writings new messages were seen, supporting his decision. But not everyone agrees with Anish Kapoor on the subject, as in recent turn of events the artist is sued for refusing to scrub-off hateful messages. So what happened this time? Apparently there were people who weren’t offended only by the racial content of recent slogans, but also the way they disrespectfully interacted with the artwork, ruining its aesthetic appeal.
Read more on the story here.
What to Expect at Art Fairs This Year
Fairs vs The Market
The art fairs season is ahead of us, with many prominent art fairs that will start in the next couple of days, weeks, or months. Among them, the most popular and the most visited ones will be Frieze Art Fair in London (in October), as well as Frieze Masters London (starts day before Frieze), that will be the Mecca for the collectors of Old Masters. London will also host Moniker Art Fair during the month of October, while FIAC Paris art fair will take place in the capital of France. Starting from September, and going deep into November, several Affordable Art Fairs will be held in various places around the world, including New York, Seoul, Bristol, Stockholm, London (Battersea), Amsterdam, Singapore and Hamburg. After that, of course, the whole madness will kick-off in Miami, with tons of art fairs during the Miami Art Week, including the biggest of them all, Art Basel Miami Beach.
More on this here.
Have a safe trip to France.
And so, the bemusement park of irony that took over the headlines around the world is closing. It’s been a month since Banksy stunned everyone with his Dismaland, revitalising the small town of Weston-super-Mare in Somerset to the point of a proper renaissance. As this temporary installation is slowly getting through its last day of existence – it officially closes on September 27th – the numbers are in, and with them they bring a touch of irony. The exhibition condemning capitalism is said to have been visited by more than 150,000 visitors from around the planet, all the while generating some $30 million for the resort town and its residents, who are more than sad to see it go.
Read about the Dismaland closing party here.
Consumerism Art - Praise or Critique?
Once confronted with those artworks inspired by consumerist culture we often find ourselves in the field of uncertainty. Build around familiar imagery of product advertisements, celebrity cults and everyday consumption practices, consumerist art is inherently rooted in the present social context, mirroring the dominant cultural values and making comments on the world we live in. Unlike those movements which follow l’art pour l’art formula, pop art, or any other form of art which deals with consumerist imagery cannot be interpreted outside of the given context. But what is the message? Is it a playful celebration of the carefree consumerist lifestyle or is it critically oriented towards it? Or is it both depending on the interpretation and our way of perceiving it?
See if you agree with our views here.
Cindy Sherman in Berlin
Works from the Olbricht Collection.
It was the autumn of 1996 when the German art collector first came before Cindy Sherman photographs, wandering the streets of SoHo. He was struck by the impact of the portraits staring at him from the window of Metro Pictures gallery – nothing ordinary about them, they were vibrant and large, the woman in the photos simply drawing the viewers in, with all her make-up, engaging expressions and a specific kind of unconventional beauty. It was the first time that Thomas Olbricht purchased photographic works for his collection, and it was the very extraordinary ability of Cindy Sherman to tell a story through meticulously curated scenarios that encouraged him to embark on this exciting and more than successful journey of collecting her works. Before Cindy Sherman’s career skyrocketed after her mid-career retrospective show at MoMA in 1997, Thomas Olbricht managed to get his hands on many other of her photographs, creating an envious collection which was featured in many institutions around the world over the course of many years in the past.
See which Cindy Sherman works are on view here.
Get Shocked by Art
We dare you.
When we talk about shocking art, we usually refer to artworks that managed to insult someone. Because the very nature of art, asking of artists to explore a great variety of topics, it is only inevitable that a part of them will deal with concepts like religion and sex. Others will shock simply because they’re daring, brave, or because they like to push some buttons. Ever since Courbet’s L’Origine du mode or Duchamp’s Fontaine, the world witnessed many pieces of the arts which caused quite a stir, and when it comes to shocking Contemporary art, we can’t not talk about the Sensation exhibition, which took place at the Royal Academy of Arts in London in autumn of 1997, before touring to Berlin and New York. With artworks on loan from Charles Saatchi’s collection, the show was like the meeting point of everyone who had a lot of that “viewers discretion”. The first four artworks you will see on our list of shocking art were exhibited in it, but they’re only a part of it.
Check them all out here.
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