What’s It Like to Go to a Gallery Right Now?


July 8, 2020

Around the world, for better or worse, the Great Reopening is well underway. First, it was shops, salons, and beaches; later restaurants (if only for outdoor dining); and now galleries and museums are starting to peek through the curtain too.

Kasmin will reopen as well, with “William N. Copley: The New York Years”* and “And/Also: Photography (Mis)represented”*.

These major NYC art galleries are reopening with new exhibits this week

Time Out

July 6, 2020

Galleries have been a step ahead in emerging from the Pause because, technically, they were allowed to reopen during Phase 2, though most venues chose not to. Starting this week, however, numerous galleries are getting back to business, though mainly by restarting shows cut short by the lockdown. Some, however, are kicking off their post-quarantine season with brand new exhibitions. But as with everything in the new normal, certain restrictions apply.

"AND/ALSO: Photography (Mis)represented" at Kasmin Gallery, through Aug 21

The six artists in this group exhibition push the boundaries between photography and sculpture, architecture, painting, drawing, media and computer graphics. The gallery is also opening a solo show of the figurative painter, William N. Copley, on July 14.

Mark Ryden Debuts in China with New Body of Work "Anima Animals" @ Perrotin, Shanghai


July 1, 2020

Some people find it alluring. For others, a little macabre. But if there is an artist who creates a haunting meticulous universe quite like Mark Ryden, we have yet to find them. To call him a master of his craft is an understatement, and his brew of kitsch, subcultural legacies and storytelling are so rare that he doesn’t quite fit into one category of contemporary art. Takashi Murakami, long an admirer of the Portland-based artist, has said of Ryden and his generation, “Once we had full command of both of these (art history and technique), we succeeded in combining historical painting methods with subculture. That, in a nutshell, is our generation.”

High-Octane Sales During the VIP Preview of Art Basel’s Second Online Fair Solidify the ‘New Normal’ of the Socially Distanced Art Market


June 18, 2020

Kasmin Gallery was upbeat about the results of its VIP day. “It’s kicked off with a real sense of enthusiasm. We’ve made sales to clients we know and have had great inquiries from clients we don’t,” said gallery director Eric Gleason.
Among the gallery’s sales were Lee Krasner’s Untitled (circa 1979–80), a mixed-media work on paper, for $240,000, and Max Ernst’s Petite fille jouant aux cercaux (1974) for $115,000.

‘There Have to Be Some Silver Linings to Virtual Art Fairs’: Galleries Try to Look on the Bright Side as They Adapt to an Online-Only Art Basel


June 16, 2020

Kasmin made a more subtle, if still significant, adjustment. The gallery applied to the fair with the idea of presenting a survey focusing on Lee Krasner’s early charcoal works. “It’s a body of work that was unrecognized—before that it was pretty unheralded,” said Eric Gleason, a director at Kasmin and one of the senior staffers who’s stepped up to run the gallery since its namesake, Paul Kasmin, passed away in March.

When it was clear that the Art Basel would become digital, Gleason said they went to the fair brass to ask if they could expand their purview to three artists: Krasner, Max Ernst, and Ali Banisadr, focusing on the process of mark-making in each of the artists’s works. After getting a yes, Kasmin’s team hustled to build out a more ambitious booth, working at a tenacious clip.

Artist Bosco Sodi on his inclusive vision for Mexico’s Casa Wabi

Wallpaper Magazine

May 31, 2020

Usually based in Brooklyn, Sodi has taken refuge at Casa Wabi for the past two months. It’s the longest amount of time he’s been in a place for the last 15 years. ‘I figured that it would be a good idea to come here and focus on improving the foundation. This pandemic is a terrible thing, but we as humans have the obligation to make the most of any tragedy and create a better world’, he says. His reflections on the pandemic may well encapsulate the mission of Casa Wabi: ‘We need to be more connected with the people around us, with all human beings, and with nature.’

Bosco Sodi Embraces the Japanese Philosophy of Wabi-Sabi in Quarantine

Galerie Magazine

May 29, 2020

Located in the sun-drenched Mexican town of Puerto Escondido overlooking the Pacific Ocean, Casa Wabi is a creative haven for artists and the local community that feels a million miles away from the rest of the world. It’s little wonder, then, that the artist Bosco Sodi—who founded the art foundation in 2014—felt it would be the perfect place to hunker down with his wife and three  children when the COVID-19 pandemic hit and quarantine orders were put into effect. “When they announced that schools were going to be closed, we decided to come straight here,” says Sodi, who also maintains studios in New York (his primary residence) and Barcelona.

In Images of Ancient Frescoes, Hidden Legacies Are Exposed

The Wall Street Journal

May 29, 2020

In a career spanning five decades, Robert Polidori has accepted only two assignments for ad campaigns. One of them, in the fall of 2004, held a surprising revelation. “I was brought to Italy by a company that makes electrical systems,” he recalls with a wry laugh. “I never understood the concept. They were tying their designer fittings in with high fashion.” Although the goal of the advertising project remained a mystery (“I’m not a product person”), Polidori was given a car and driver to travel across Italy. The itinerary included Naples—his first visit to the southern coastal city. Polidori swore to come back alone.

Why Do We Cling to Art in Apocalyptic Times?

Art in America

May 28, 2020

Yet we must entertain the unnerving possibility that this world, the one in which humanity is doomed to wander the desert of its own profligacy, is overseen not by Benjamin’s Angel of History, but rather by Max Ernst’s Angel of Hearth and Home (1937). In this painting, a gargantuan polymorphous horror thunders across an empty landscape, screaming in fury and pain. The creature’s hands flail in agonized spasms; its grotesque birdlike mouth gapes with what must be a howl of grief; its clothes, even its body, are nothing but motley tatters; some parasitic needle-toothed being clings to its side, merges with it, is stuck to it, feeds on it. The angel’s eyes are closed in mindless rage, as if it sees nothing, knows nothing. We imagine that over its own piercing screams it can hear nothing, not even the cries of those it is about to crush: the painting’s viewers, unnoticed at its feet.

“Radical Women”

The New Yorker

May 18, 2020

The first season of the Getty’s “Recording Artists” podcast is hosted by the renowned curator Helen Molesworth, whose enthusiasm for her subjects—six formidable twentieth-century artists—is as illuminating as the audio interviews at the heart of the series. In the first episode, Molesworth describes herself as a “fangirl” of the figurative painter Alice Neel, but she’s erudite and critical, too. Lee Krasner, Betye Saar, Helen Frankenthaler, Yoko Ono, and Eva Hesse are each the focus of a subsequent episode. Molesworth deftly sets up the archival recordings—conversations conducted by the feminist art historians Cindy Nemser and Barbara Rose mostly in the nineteen-sixties and seventies—with lively biographical accounts and commentary from an outstanding group of guests. The artists Catherine Lord and Sanford Biggers have refreshing takes on Ono; the painters Amy Sillman and Lari Pittman are great on Krasner. And it’s a treat, of course, to hear the old recordings. In a memorable moment, Frankenthaler, speaking of a studio visit with the critic Clement Greenberg circa 1951, states, as though it’s a matter of fact, that “to his astonishment, I was knocking out paintings that were pretty terrific.” The self-reflective insights and smile-provoking swagger in the entire series are pretty terrific, too.

The T List: A Look at an Artist Inspired by the Natural World

T Magazine

May 14, 2020

Best known for his large-scale public sculptures — like “Santa Cruz (Blunk’s Hunk)” (1968), a gnarled piece of redwood carved like a boat — J.B. Blunk was also a proficient painter and jeweler who turned his Inverness, Calif., home into a showcase for the artistic splendor of natural materials, including redwood burls and stones made smooth by the Eel River, which he foraged himself in the north of the state. Given his output and the fact that, in the 1950s, he was an apprentice to Japanese masters like Rosanjin and Kaneshige Toyo, it’s surprising that no monograph on his life and work has existed until now. “J.B. Blunk,” which publishes tomorrow, has been meticulously curated by Mariah Nielson, Blunk’s daughter and the director of his estate, and spans the artist’s long and varied career. What makes his oeuvre so exceptional, according to Nielson, is “the confluence and synergy between life and work, and the fact that he didn’t distinguish between art, design and craft the way we do in Western culture.” The book is laid out to reflect Blunk’s approach: Images of sculptures of wood and stone sit alongside those of early ceramic works and items of gold jewelry, many of which served as studies for the sculptures. Its release was initially meant to coincide with Blunk’s first (and also long-overdue) solo show in New York, at the Kasmin Gallery, which will now take place in the fall and feature works from both the artist’s home and private collections. Head to Vimeo to flip through the book and see some of Blunk’s home.

LA Gallery History: Copley Galleries by Jonathan Griffin

Gallery Platform LA

May 14, 2020

It’s impossible to quantify the impact of the Copley Galleries. If Copley is to be believed, few people saw its exhibitions (at least, not in the light of day, its boisterous booze-fueled previews notwithstanding). But countless people have since been inspired by the mere fact of its existence, as improbable and fleeting as a snowstorm in Beverly Hills. Some may even have opened galleries themselves. Among the gallery’s regular audience was a ragtag bunch of local children. Copley and Ployardt welcomed these visitors, even arranging for one keen 16-year old to visit Man Ray’s studio. That boy was Walter Hopps, who less than ten years later would go on to found perhaps the most famous gallery in Los Angeles’ art history.

Frieze New York exhibitors bring a domestic touch to online viewing rooms

The Art Newspaper

May 7, 2020

Kasmin gallery presented works that explore “interior states, a sense of contemplation and reflectiveness”, says the director Nick Olney. David Hockney’s photographs of his friends and lovers captured in the privacy of their homes were some of the first works to sell in the day, ranging in price from $6,000 to $10,000 each.

The Painter Lee Krasner Has Long Been Eclipsed by Her Much More Famous Artist Husband. Now, a New Book Is Rewriting Art History on Her Terms

artnet news

May 6, 2020

When asked how she managed to face the canvas again, she said, “Painting is not separate from life. It is one. It is like asking—do I want to live? My answer is yes—and I paint.” With Krasner, there is never a singular style, even if she wanted one, “My own image of my work is that I no sooner settle into something than a break occurs. These breaks are always painful and depressing but despite them I see that there’s a consistency that holds out, but is hard to define.”

Frieze New York Moves Online With Brisk Sales and Blue-Chip Art


May 6, 2020

Blue-chip dealers trotted out big-ticket works—and saw sales in return. New York’s Kasmin gallery, still going strong after the recent passing of its founder, had Robert Motherwell’s all-black oil painting Untitled (Iberia), from 1963, priced at $1.7 million.

7 Artists on the Self-Care Rituals that Keep Them Creative


May 3, 2020

For Naama Tsabar, self-care means waking up early. She begins her days slowly, rising at least two hours before she needs to leave her home. This gives her body and mind “time to adjust,” she noted. Tsabar completes a short workout and, when the weather’s good, bikes from her Bedford-Stuyvesant apartment to her Greenpoint studio. Maintaining a strong body is important to the sound and installation artist. Tsabar said that the performative aspect of her work can “be very taxing” and the sculptural part of her practice requires “working with large, heavy materials.”

With New York in lockdown, Tsabar is no longer commuting to her studio. She has more time to read and listen to music. She’s particularly excited to hear Fielded’s new album, Sacrifice Zone, out May 1st, which the musician has written and produced in quarantine. Tsabar said she also “loves looking at things grow,” and her houseplants—palms, spider plants, succulents, coleus, cacti—and fruit and vegetable garden “have never been happier.”

The Gallery Paul Kasmin Built Continues with William Copley, California Surrealism, Barry Flanagan Exhibitons


April 23, 2020

“He was always really interested in aesthetics,” Olney continued, “and how you show work to its best.” Kasmin was always someone who was “ahead of the game and really nimble and often looking for what might have been out of fashion for a bit that needs to be in fashion now.” To sum it up, Olney says Kasmin “was always looking for quality and interesting characters.”

“We have this brand new space to move back into it,” Olney said. “So it’s going to be like Christmas morning when we when we get back in there […] and, you know, really run this machine that Paul created.”

How Surrealism Changed Los Angeles Forever


April 17, 2020

Curated by Harmony Murphy and Sonny Ruscha Grande, the show posits a loose aesthetic lineage that starts with the Surrealists and ends with contemporary artists. Instead of declaring explicit connections, as Murphy writes in the exhibition essay, the show posits “a traceable legacy of influence” revealed in “a flicker of mischievousness, an uncompromising approach,” and a “re-writing of rules.”

The paintings of Luchita Hurtado and Lee Mullican help tell the story, as well. Mullican co-founded the Dynaton group of Post-Surrealist artists in San Francisco in the late 1940s. The movement enjoyed a major exhibition in 1951 at the San Francisco Museum of Art. Over the next decade, Hurtado and Mullican settled in Los Angeles, taking Dynaton aesthetics with them. Hurtado’s spare, uncanny landscapes exemplify her avant-garde influences.

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