Interior Designer Brian McCarthy Curates a Magical Les Lalanne Exhibition at Kasmin

Galerie Magazine

September 18, 2020

Visiting the new exhibition on the work of Les Lalanne, which recently opened at Kasmin gallery on Tenth Avenue in New York, is like stepping into another world. Not just because it’s been months since many have walked into a Chelsea gallery, but also because of the thoughtful curation executed by interior designer Brian McCarthy. Far from the typical white-cube experience, McCarthy has conjured a forest of green walls in which to display a selection of 20 surreal sculptures and furnishings by the legendary French artists Claude and François-Xavier Lalanne, who lived and worked together for some five decades.

“This show is everything that everyone needs right now,” McCarthy tells Galerie. “You walk in and feel like you’re in a bear hug.” That feeling of warmth and happiness comes from the design and the whimsical, imaginative flora- and fauna-driven artworks, each of which is perched on its own special pedestal at varying heights. “Coming out of this surrealist moment in time, they created their own habitat and environment.”

The First Major Posthumous Show of Les Lalanne Is Here

AD Pro

September 10, 2020

Ask AD100 designer Brian J. McCarthy about the work of Claude and François-Xavier Lalanne, and his sentences speed up with excitement. “The many times that I went to the workshops in their house, it always struck me as being like Noah’s Ark,” McCarthy says. “There was something so wonderfully alive about the experience.” Aesthetes can’t get enough of the surreal works of Les Lalanne, known for their otherworldly nature-inspired sculptures that tread the line between art and design. Though their oeuvre is expansive—from Claude’s mirrors dripping in gilded flora to François-Xavier’s multipurpose bronze monkeys—each piece is imbued with a quintessential playful spirit.

Chip off the block – lessons from my father, JB Blunk

Financial Times

September 10, 2020

I can still remember the smell of my father’s studio. A mix of freshly cut wood, sawdust and varnish. It was a warm, dusty, pungent scent that emanated from his sculptures and, at the end of the day, his work clothes. The smell would waft out of the open doors of his studio and envelop me like a strong hug when I stepped inside. 

My father is the late sculptor JB Blunk, best known for his large-scale redwood installations such as The Planet (1969) at the Oakland Museum of California. But before he started working with wood in the early 1960s, ceramics were his focus. When he was drafted into the Korean War in 1949, he saw it as an opportunity to visit Japan and meet the revered studio potter Shoji Hamada. There, a chance encounter with the artist Isamu Noguchi led to apprenticeships with the distinguished potters Kitaoji Rosanjin and Kaneshige Toyo – experiences that deeply influenced his work and way of life. 

Misogyny and making art in the shadow of Jackson Pollock—how Lee Krasner was shut out of art history

The Art Newspaper

August 24, 2020

The rehabilitation of the late US artist Lee Krasner (1908-84) continues apace with the publication of a new long-form essay by the art critic and poet Carter Ratcliff titled Lee Krasner: The Unacknowledged Equal. The new research, published by the New York-based Pollock-Krasner Foundation, provides insights into the evolution of Krasner’s work and relationship with her husband Jackson Pollock—“definitively bringing her out of Pollock’s shadow”, according to a foundation statement.

Three exhibitions to see in New York, London and online this weekend

The Art Newspaper

July 30, 2019

William N. Copley: The New York Years at Kasmin in New York features work from the era following the American Surrealist’s return to the city in 1963 after more than a decade as an expatriate in Paris. The paintings are full of American pathos: their content is said to spring from Copley’s repressive American childhood, and such an observation requires little digging for evidence. His humorous broaching of sexuality, religion and consumerism are delightfully ham-fisted, with a willingness to ladle muffled imagery out of the American subconscious and onto the canvas.

A New Exhibit Reveals Why Lee Krasner Was Not Your Average 1950s New York Artist


July 15, 2020

What set Krasner apart from her contemporaries during the modern art boom is this: She rejected the idea of the artist’s brand (something wildly popular with creatives today on Instagram, for example), battling against the idea of the “signature image,” that being one kind of image or style that would define an artist - and stopped them from being able to go outside of that.

Influenced by artists like Hans Hofmann and George Bridgman, Krasner worked in collage, too, and experimented early on in the style of cubism. During the Great Depression, she painted murals, and ventured out on her own as an abstract artist, a style that was unpopular during the 1930s and 1940s. It wasn't until she joined a liasion of abstract artists that she met her contemporaries, all of which were men, including Willem de Kooning, Mark Rothko and Barnett Newman, among others.

Plexiglas Barriers, Sanitizer, and Digital Reservation Systems: How New York Galleries Are Reopening


July 14, 2020

Kasmin, which has reopened with abbreviated hours, has also begun allowing visitors—and making changes to its business. Its online booking system lists around a dozen health and safety protocols that the gallery is taking; visitors must agree to keep in line with them when scheduling appointments, which are mandatory. Under the new guidelines, the gallery will offer gloves and hand sanitizer at the front desk, limit the amount of visitors to the gallery to just three at a time, and screen staff before they enter the gallery. All visitors are expected to wear masks.

“There’s a feeling of caution, but also rebirth and renewal,” said Kasmin’s managing director Nick Olney. “To start to come back together slowly feels wonderful, but we all know that we have to take each day one at a time and be really cautious.”

8 Must-See Exhibitions at New York’s Reopened Galleries

Galerie Magazine

July 10, 2020

AND/ALSO: Photography (Mis)represented

The increasingly blurred boundaries between photography and other media go on full display at Kasmin gallery this summer, as seen through the work of six diverse New York–based photographers. Artists such as Lucas Blalock and Michele Abeles explore the ways in which photography can be manipulated, while Roe Ethridge and Farah Al Qasimi focus on narrative structures and historical genres behind the meaning of a photograph. Erin O’Keefe and Daniel Gordon construct dioramas and collages that become the subject of their work, resulting in completely unique photographs.

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.

This Nature-Focused Design Book Is the Perfect Lockdown Escape

AD Pro

April 9, 2020

As the world remains on lockdown, people are looking to their libraries more than ever for inspiration, comfort, and beauty. A major highlight of the spring season is a new book surveying the work of acclaimed American designer and artist David Wiseman. The sumptuous monograph, David Wiseman (Rizzoli Electra, 2020), edited by the designer’s older brother and business partner, Ari Wiseman, leads readers through a garden of earthly delights, showcasing myriad installations and objects of wonder crafted by Wiseman in homage to nature. The book includes essays by Susan Weber, founder and director of the Bard Graduate Center for Studies in the Decorative Arts; Bobbye Tigerman, curator of decorative arts and design at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; and, in the name of full disclosure, yours truly.

Images of Irretrievable Sound: Theodora Allen

Mousse Magazine

April 7, 2020

In Allen’s From Dark into Light, and Back Again I (2019), the outline of a diamond-shaped frame opens into the portrait of a woman, framed by waxen hair, whose soft jawline is turned upward from a bare elongated neck. The visage, whose features are barely articulated in hues of warm sepia, appears melded into the image of a full Moon, obscured by the texture of passing clouds. Surrounding the frame, moonflower vines and a coiled serpent are bathed in a desaturated emerald-blue glow. Is she looking away or looking back? As Sarah Lippert writes of French Symbolist Gustav Moreau’s Salomé Dancing before Herod (1874-1876), “She need not look, given that she is the object that is viewed.” Two similar portraits are inverted in Allen’s Refraction (One Million Dead Soldiers) (2019), a diptych whose source is a 1974 performance by Todd Rundgren of A Dream Goes On Forever. In a video accessible online, we see him at a piano, long multicolored hair center parted, adorned in a silver halter top, with blue eyeshadow in the shape of a robber’s mask across his gaze. Yet the reference in the portrait could just as easily be to a work by Dutch Symbolist Antoon van Welie, La Douleur (1895), whose paradoxical expression exists somewhere between suffering and ecstasy. Rundgren sings, “All is silent within my dream / a thousand true loves will live and die / but a dream lives on forever.” As Allen proposes, perhaps this is the fate of Eurydice: in the regeneration of dreams, she is eternal.

François-Xavier Lalanne's Sheep Sculptures and Five Decades of an Irreverent Icon


April 7, 2020

When Lalanne unveiled his first flock over five decades ago, the 24 functional sheep-shaped pieces made of sheepskin and bronze made quite the impression at the Parisian salon. The critic Otto Hahn raved about the exhibition in 1966 in the French Journal L’Express, noting that nothing exceptional had been seen there except for Lalanne’s work, which he discussed as furniture: ‘The Salon de la Jeune Peinture nevertheless holds one surprise: François-Xavier Lalanne’s chairs… he has brought an entire flock of sheep. it is the most amazing thing in the show.’

Available online or by appointment: the best new commercial exhibitions to check out during lockdown

The Art Newspaper

April 1, 2020

William N. Copley: The New York Years

Kasmin, online (until 22 April)

Orphaned as an infant, William N. Copley was adopted when he was two by the wealthy Chicago newspaper magnate Ira Copley and his wife Edith—and the toddler became the heir to their fortune. Thus, twists of fate are an enduring theme in his proto-Pop paintings. This show explores the surrealist influences and sexual politics in the artist’s work from the 1960s to 1980s, when he lived in New York. Although the Manhattan gallery is closed due to coronavirus-related shutdowns in New York, Kasmin is offering artist-led Instagram tours and virtual viewings.

Call to action: Lee Krasner was a great painter, not just Jackson Pollock’s wife

The Washington Post

April 1, 2020

She painted “Celebration” in 1960, four years after Pollock’s death. She had moved into his old studio in East Hampton, N.Y., and suddenly had more space. She started painting pink, rounded forms on this canvas, only to abandon her efforts and return to it in a later campaign. Along with black and white, there are three distinct colors. Green. A rusty pink. And maroon. But the sense of teeming action and multiplying incident keeps your eye roving across the entire canvas.

Sex and the city – William N. Copley in New York

Apollo Magazine

March 31, 2020

While it’s easy to understand Copley (whose artist signature was styled CPLY) as treating Surrealist themes with a Pop art aesthetic, the artist developed an eccentric sensibility all his own. Nowhere is this more evident than in his treatment of sex. In the X-rated series (1972–75), for example, which took erotic scenes cribbed from dirty magazines purchased in Times Square, Copley blows up his subject material in bright colours – but also, somehow, makes it fun. The joy and lack of judgement in these scenes of entwined bodies makes them sexual, but avoids lechery. Even though the eye-popping outlining and foreshortened space can feel almost cartoonish, these depictions are as awkwardly charming as the real thing can be.

11 Acclaimed Artists Offer Strategies for Getting the Most Out of Working From Home, Whether From Your Studio or Bedroom Office


March 30, 2020

Use this time to read, to think, to concentrate on important things like family, and the process of creation. These are times to reorganize yourself. You don’t need a big space, you don’t need a big studio or gallery. Do your work: create your art.

—Bosco Sodi

Paul Kasmin (1960–2020)


March 27, 2020

I knew Paul Kasmin all his life. When Paul was a small baby, his father used to have a Tuesday evening soirée, where I met a lot of people, David Sylvester and Francis Bacon among them. And then, in the late ’60s, we used to go to a chateau in the Dordogne at Carennac, which Kas rented every summer. Paul was then seven or eight years old. I always loved him. He used to come and see me in London, then Paris, and then many times in California. From his father he inherited a fabulous eye—the gallery he opened in New York proved it. It was flawless. I last saw him here in Normandy, where his mother has a charming house near Dieppe. The shows he put on in New York were some of the best. He will be very missed.

Here Are 13 of Our Favorite Gallery Shows From Coast to Coast That You Can Visit Virtually


March 26, 2020

“William N. Copley: The New York Years” at Kasmin, New York

Price: Free
Time: All day, every day

‘A Master at Dealing with Artists’: Walton Ford, Jamie Nares, and Vincent Fremont Remember Paul Kasmin


March 26, 2020

Walton Ford: Paul and I met in 1996. My then wife and I had just left New York City with our toddler daughter after a 14-year roller-coaster ride to rent a small cottage in the meadows of Hillsdale, New York. I had no gallery representation, and was living on credit cards, carpentry, illustration work, and the occasional sale of a painting. I was 36 years old, and beginning to feel as if there was not so much as a narrow ledge in the art world for me to cling to. One morning the phone rang. “Hello. Paul Kasmin. I’ve been hearing a bit about you and thought I had better ring you up.”

A Writer Remembers Late New York Dealer Paul Kasmin, ‘Our Own Inimitable Prince’


March 26, 2020

Paul Kasmin, who died earlier this week after two years battling cancer, may have been famous as a highly successful Manhattan gallerist but he was also a longtime professional photographer, world traveler, gourmet, collector and connoisseur, voracious reader and bibliophile, a man of lightly-worn erudition and firmly dictated good taste; as such he might be compared not only to a fellow dealer such as Larry Gagosian but also to the likes of Anthony Bourdain and Paddy Leigh Fermor or even Cecil Beaton.

Paul Kasmin, Pioneering Gallerist and Champion of Chelsea Art Scene, Dies at 60

AD Pro

March 24, 2020

Kasmin was a staunch supporter of his artists and possessed a keen eye for talent. A British import, he was a sharp dresser, oenophile, and a consummate conversationalist. “Paul was about beauty and deliciousness of all kinds and stripes,” Louis Bofferding, an Upper East Side decorative and fine art dealer as well as an AD contributor, comments to AD PRO. “He was besotted equally by Titian and Twombly, cordon bleu and curry. His artists were immensely talented, but it didn’t hurt if they, like his friends, were bohemian, erudite, racy, and a bit grand—all qualities he possessed himself, to one degree or another.”

Paul Kasmin (1960–2020)


March 23, 2020

Born in London in 1960, Kasmin’s passion for art was sparked by one of his biggest influences, his father John Kasmin, a leading London dealer and collector who “discovered” David Hockney in the 1960s and helped launch his career. Like Hockney, Kasmin was drawn to America, in his case New York, where he would become a staple of the arts scene after he visited the city with John Kasmin at ten years old. Like his father, Paul Kasmin also bolstered under-recognized artists.

New York gallerist Paul Kasmin, who helped build the Chelsea gallery scene, has died, aged 60

The Art Newspaper

March 23, 2020

Kasmin’s roster famously melded historically pivotal artists such as Constanin Brancusi, Max Ernst, Stuart Davis, Lee Krasner and Robert Motherwell with those of a different generation, including Walton Ford, Bosco Sodi, James Nares, Bernar Venet, Judith Bernstein and others, whose careers were fostered and solidified by Kasmin. He also organised the first US show of the husband-and-wife art and design team Les Lalanne, whose playful, zoomorphic work Kasmin described as among his favorites and whose US market he largely forged. “It's a coincidence that two of my favorite artists, Walton Ford and the Lalannes, are known for animals,” he told WSJ. “I love animals, but I was drawn to these artists for different reasons.”

Prominent New York Gallerist Paul Kasmin, Who Helped Elevate Chelsea Into an Art Hub, Has Died at Age 60


March 23, 2020

In the 30 years since founding the gallery in Soho in 1989, Kasmin developed a program that managed to toe the line between brainy and lighthearted by placing historic postwar artists like Lee Krasner, Robert Motherwell, and Stuart Davis in dialogue with established and emerging contemporary figures. The gallery has fostered the careers of artists including Tina Barney, Walton Ford, James Nares, Mark Ryden, Bosco Sodi, and Bernar Venet. Kasmin also organized the first US show of the now-coveted work of husband-and-wife design duo Les Lalanne.

8 Art World Luminaries Share How They’re Staying Creative at Home

Galerie Magazine

March 23, 2020

Since starting to work remotely with his studio team, London-based artist Ian Davenport has launched a series of Instagram posts called fantasy projects, sharing ambitious artworks on iconic buildings and architectural sites for his over 50,000 followers. “If we can’t actually do them, at least we can dream!” Davenport tells Galerie. “As we try to recalibrate our lives, I want to keep my team motivated and engaged.”

Women’s Art Is Every Kind of Art

The New York Times

March 12, 2020

The “Women of Action” gallery attempts to fill in some of those omissions, featuring “Sunspots,” a 1963 painting by Lee Krasner, who was married to Pollock. Krasner painted the canvas with a broken arm — serving as proof of her artistic obsession, according to Ms. Gadsden — resulting in the small, thick yellow and brown dabs that distinguish the piece from the typically longer brush strokes that came to define Krasner’s style. When she wasn’t painting, Krasner promoted her husband’s career and didn’t receive recognition for her own work until after Pollock’s death in 1956, when she was in her 50s.

In the Face of Sanctions, Supporting Artists in Iran is Difficult. One Ambitious Collector Is Trying to Change That


March 12, 2020

The exhibition brings together the work of more than 22 Iranian-born artists across three generations, from established names like Shirazeh Houshiary, Shirin Neshat, and Monir Shahroudy Farmanfarmaian, to younger figures like Mahmoud Bakhshi and Ali Banisadr.

It’s underwritten by Afkhami’s foundation, which oversees his personal collection of 600-some works—roughly 450 of which are Iranian—and aims to spread Iranian art at a time when local artists themselves don’t have the means to do so.

More News This Week

Architectural Digest

March 6, 2020

Open this week, Kasmin’s latest show, “Valley of Gold: Southern California and the Phantasmagoric,” examines Southern California art through the lens of European surrealists and more. Aesthetes will note the depictions of Hollywood interiors by Man Ray, who photographed cavernous yet eerie residences, and ceramics by Beatrice Wood, an avant-garde potter who was close with Marcel Duchamp. The exhibition also includes works by John Baldassari, Ed Ruscha, Marjorie Cameron, and other greats, and is on view until April 11.

The Armory Show Booths Built to Stand Out on Instagram


March 5, 2020

One booth presenting a stunning blend of work and aesthetics this year is Kasmin Gallery (Booth 700).

The Armory Show VIP Preview Opens To Strong Sales, Resilient Collectors


March 5, 2020

Kasmin was showing a mix of modern and contemporary pieces. "We are mimicking a collector's room, and we've integrated works from both the 20th and 21st centuries: a beautiful Stuart Davis, a Lalanne mirror, a unique David Wiseman bronze chandelier that has been electrified," continued Gleason.

Highlights from The Armory Show 2020

For its presentation this year, Kasmin eschewed the traditional booth treatment in favor of inviting fairgoers into a curated living room of sorts, displaying works from across its modern and contemporary programs. Jasper Morrison’s cork fireplace, shelves, table, and chairs serve as the backdrop for a wide range of works placed around the room, from Max Ernst’s bronze sculptures and William Copley’s ink on paper drawings, to a photograph of Patti Smith by Robert Mapplethorpe and a dreamy oil painting of Union Square by Jane Freilicher.

10 Highlights from The Armory Show

Interior Design

March 9, 2020

Home is revived in a literal sense at Kasmin Gallery’s booth, where numerous artists, including Bernar Venet, Naama Tsabar, Bosco Sodi and Robert Mapplethorpe, are juxtaposed in a living room setting, finished with decorative accents and furnishings, particularly in wood. Small-scale works of photography, painting, and drawing orchestrate a domestic display, drawing unforeseeable parallels between the artists from disparate careers.

Donald Kuspit on Keith Sonnier


March, 1, 2020

Red, yellow, and blue neon tubes were illuminated. Wires hung loosely and were expressively slack. A flat black plane, rectangular or square, was often thrown into the mix. Everything was finessed into the gallery’s smooth, white walls like a bas relief. The works’ finitude and self-containment were exacting, perfect: Such is the formula for Keith Sonnier’s technological constructions, which were arranged like altarpieces within Kasmin’s West Twenty-Seventh Street space in Manhattan’s Chelsea. The compositions have a peculiarly sacramental character, all the more so because their radiant colors cast an auratic spell. Sonnier created a church of pure art—inside of which audiences paid fealty to its hypnotic concoctions.

Loplop Persists: Max Ernst’s Collages Reviewed by Elina Alter


February 26, 2020

As with most of the images he used in his collages, Ernst found this “Amazon” in books that reproduced nineteenth-century engravings. In the process of scrambling these stories, Ernst revealed their unintentional humor (riding a lion) and absurd piety (the monk is patting a plant) while assembling them into images that can’t be used to tell a coherent story.

Who’s in and Who’s Out at Art Basel? See the Exhibitor List for the Swiss Fair’s 50th Anniversary Edition


February 26, 2020

The 288 galleries at this year’s edition hail from 35 countries and territories, numbers that are in keeping with previous iterations of the fair. Several notable names are making the trip to the Swiss fair for the first time, including Kasmin, which will show early charcoal drawings from Lee Krasner. 

Here’s the 2020 Exhibitor List for the World’s Biggest Art Fair, Art Basel


February 26, 2020

Of the fair’s four main sections, Feature and Statements present booths that are curated primarily around solo presentations of artists. Among the highlights of in Feature are presentations of sculptures by Mary Beth Edelson at New York’s David Lewis, charcoal drawings by Lee Krasner at New York’s Kasmin, and rarely seen pieces from the 1960s by Peter Saul at New York’s Venus Over Manhattan.

Art Basel announces exhibitors for its 50th anniversary edition this June

The Art Newspaper

February 26, 2020

Lee Krasner's formative charcoal drawings presented by Kasmin follow on the heels of the artist's European retrospective, which started at London's Barbican and this year travels to the Zentrum Paul Klee in Bern, Switzerland, and the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain.

Alma Allen

Brooklyn Rail

February 15, 2020

The fluid, organic nature of Allen’s work argues for a sense of sculpture that is biomorphic and process-oriented. His sculptures are hardly urban, belonging instead to woods and fields and ponds—this despite the monumental tenor of the work on hand. Kasmin’s show, installed in a high-ceilinged gallery space in Chelsea, argues for a distinct perception of form. No work is very much like another, but the organicism of the overall project ties the discrete sculptures together in ways that generate meaning, in terms both of the individual works and also the overall gestalt resulting from their placement.

The Six Best-Designed Items of the Month

Wall Street Journal

February 13, 2020

A show of William N. Copley paintings opening March 11 at New York’s Kasmin gallery explores the surrealist influences and sexual politics in the artist’s work from the 1960s, ’70s and ’80s. Once beloved by Duchamp and Lichtenstein, he’s now adored by Beyoncé.

The Collages of Max Ernst

The Paris Review

February 6, 2020

Few bodies of work represent the splintering of the twentieth-century Western psyche like the collages of Max Ernst. Striking and playful, the German surrealist’s clipped-together creations, produced throughout his life, attest to a roving eye for materials and a deep curiosity about harmony and dissonance. The art historian Werner Spies has said that “collage is the thread that runs through all of his works; it is the foundation on which his lifework is built.” A new exhibition of Ernst’s collages (on view at Paul Kasmin’s 297 Tenth Avenue location through February 29, 2020) presents approximately forty of them, some of which are being displayed for the first time.

Max Ernst "Collages"

Brooklyn Rail

February 2020

Well, the most wonderful things about this most wonderful exhibition—and goodness knows, we have all seen many exhibitions of this Dada/Surrealist/genius guy—are the “Lettrines". These are the illuminations of various letters, many D’s, some A’s, and some M’s. So many responses are elicited from the observers we are, going up close to the amazing small images whose impact and whose intricacies are enormous. Where to start to say anything? Perhaps with the repetitious details, for to me, this all felt like poetry, in its rhythms, its small figures, and its large resonance.

Artist Alma Allen’s Story Is Wilder Than Fiction. Here’s How He Went From Whittling Sticks in the Utah Desert to a Splashy Solo Show in Chelsea


January 31, 2020

Allen grew up in a landscape dotted with canyons, mines, and petroglyphs, which he describes as “the first things [he] understood as art.” He began creating small objects—carved stones or bits of wood—to leave behind in the hopes of communicating with the indigenous people he imagined might still be lingering nearby.

Raised in a Mormon family without television and with few outside influences, Allen spent a lot of time alone in nature, and it was against that backdrop that he forged an enduring relationship with the types of materials he still uses today: marble, wood burl, stone.

Saturday Selects: Week of January 27, 2020

Sight Unseen

February 1, 2020

Alma Allen’s new exhibition at Kasmin Gallery showcases the artist flexing his resplendent imagination in bronze, wood and stone at scales only achievable with the employ of a custom-built robotic arm. (Injuries sustained early on in his career necessitated getting crafty, in the highest-tech way possible.) The pieces, situated as in a spartan sculpture garden, look at first glance like elegantly oversized Pokemon. I’d glibly suggest you catch them all, but you’d probably have to take the gallery, too — where else could you store such a collection? Where else would you want to?

Alma Allen reaches great new heights in New York exhibition


January 26, 2020

Comprising 12 large-scale sculptures, including a bronze that measures five metres at its highest point, the new pieces create a unique dialogue with the architecture of the gallery. Ranging from bronze sculptures displaying an unnerving malleability to the use of unexpected stones such as peach onyx, obsidian and green cantera, Allen’s works are psychologically charged, yet effortlessly expressive and reflect the artist’s inherent curiosity about the life of objects.

Of his work, Allen reflects, "I’m interested in describing a moment or an instant, not necessarily an archetypal thing. I like to capture things in-between that are still progressing beyond the moment I make them. I’m interested in that split second. They are a moment in the life of something rather than a symbol for something, they are more a symbol for an idea or feeling."

10 Standout Dealers at FOG Design + Art

Architectural Digest

January 17, 2020

What appeared to be a patinated and rather charming cabbage with chicken legs sitting high on a pedestal was, in fact, Choupatte—a 2014 bronze sculpture by Claude Lalanne, from an edition of eight, and in a manageable size somewhere between grand and petit.

The Idiosyncratic Work of Sculptor Alma Allen

WSJ Magazine

January 15, 2020

Surfaces are highly expressive and specific for Allen, a result of the intuitive conversation he holds with each material. Forms may yield outcrops that suggest beaks, tentacles, nipples, stems, tails, though his references are never so explicit. Regardless of its final form, a piece always starts small, as a lump of soft clay or wax the size of a walnut.

“I like making new things every day,” he says. “When I was working by hand, I would often have a hundred pieces going at a time. I still do that, but I don’t produce all of them. And I don’t make drawings. Whenever I have a plan, I end up changing it. Maybe that’s why I have always loved working small.”

New York-Based Artist Ali Banisadr Presents the Beauty in Chaos

Harper's Bazaar Arabia

January 14, 2020

For American-Iranian painter Ali Banisadr, creating art is beyond a pure hobby or a choice, it’s a necessity. Growing up amidst the Iranian Revolution and the Iran-Iraq war during a time of upheaval, art became not only a coping mechanism, but a way to understand the world around him and organise his thoughts. “At a young age, the only way I could process that chaos was in a visual manner,” Banisadr says. “That same habit continued throughout my life. There are so many abstract thoughts that for me, can only be expressed visually."

Bernar Venet Frames Belgian Motorway in Monumental Corten Steel l’Arc Majeur


January 12, 2020

Exhibiting art as a challenge to technology, renowned sculptor Bernar Venet inaugurates his monumental work entitled ‘l’arc majeur.’ along a highway in Belgium. The installation of l’arc majeur began in <arch of 2019 along the E411 motorway, bordering the Belgian provinces of Namur and Luxembourg. the artist had initially conceived the corten steel project over 35 years ago in 1984 — intending for it to be sited along a highway in France — during a time when art was just emancipating itself from the museum space and asserting its presence in the public space to be enjoyed by one and all.

Why 2020 promises a revolution for women in art

The Financial Times

January 3, 2020

What a year it was for women artists — unprecedented, glorious, diverse. In New York, the Kenyan-American Wangechi Mutu’s towering caryatids currently front the Metropolitan Museum. In Shanghai, the Colombian Doris Salcedo won the inaugural $1m Nomura Art Award, the world’s largest art prize. In London no show compared, for memories of colour punching the eye, with the magentas, spring greens and shooting blues of Lee Krasner’s abstract paintings at the Barbican: a joyous revelation. Dora Maar’s photomontages and Nan Goldin’s photo diary “The Ballad of Sexual Dependency” at Tate Modern, Cindy Sherman’s identity puzzles at the National Portrait Gallery, celebrate women as indomitable pioneers in photography. 

Peter Marino-designed Raleigh Gardens host immersive Les Lalanne's sculpture exhibit in Miami


December 23, 2019

Honoring the hotel’s epic past as an icon of culture and style, Les Lalanne at the Raleigh Gardens is a colossal public art exhibition featuring more than 40 sculptures.

The exhibition hosting Les Lalanne’s amusing creations includes anthropomorphized creatures that have been installed throughout the luxuriant gardens. It features famous works like Porte du jardin (1992) framing the entrance to the garden; The Choupatte, très grand (2008), a fantastical anthropomorphized cabbage with bird’s feet; and culminates with the imposing masterpiece, the large scale gorilla – Singe avisé très grand (2010).

Art Review: Edith Halpert and American Modernism

National Review

December 14, 2019

Edith Halpert and the Rise of American Art is now at the Jewish Museum. If there’s a show to see in New York, it’s this one. It’s beautifully done, as are all the Jewish Museum’s shows, with great art and a majestic personality at its center. Halpert (1900–1970) was self-made, tough, kind, focused on the next buck, a charming woman with a canny sense for under-the-radar art. She took trompe l’oeil gun paintings, old weather vanes, American cubism, and Georgia O’Keeffe and made an American whole. As a young woman, at the start of the Depression, she opened the cutting-edge Downtown Gallery, which represented Stuart Davis, Charles Sheeler, and Jacob Lawrence through thick and thin.

Finally out of the shadows: the biggest exhibition trend in 2019

The Art Newspaper

December 13, 2019

One of the best painting exhibitions of the year was Lee Krasner: Living Colour at the Barbican Art Gallery in London, the artist’s first major exhibition in Europe since 1965, which would have surely left many visitors wondering why there had not been one sooner. Krasner is nowhere near as well-known as her husband, Jackson Pollock, the poster child of Abstract Expressionism, and although her show garnered near universal five-star reviews, most critics could not help but pepper their copy with “Pollocks”. Krasner was once told her work was “so good you would not know it was painted by a woman”. Hopefully this travelling exhibition—now at the Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt (until 12 January 2020) and then the Zentrum Paul Klee Bern followed by the Guggenheim Bilbao—will lead to people thinking her work is so good you would never have known she was married to a famous artist.

All About Armory


March 5, 2020

The following evening, guests gathered at the piers off 50th Street to see and shop some art. The VIP preview (which was populated by galleries like Gagosian, Kasmin, and Axel Vervoordt) ended promptly at 8 p.m., which was also the start time of the fair’s after-party, hosted at the nearby Museum of Modern Art.

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