The detention of artistAi Weiwei on unspecified charges by Chinese authorities has become a worldwide controversy, but is it having any effect on the thriving art market in China? The answer would seem to be “no,” at least judging by Art HK, the Hong Kong International Art Fair, May 26-29, 2011, now in its fourth year, which has attracted 260 galleries from 38 countries, as well as sponsorship from Deutsche Bank.
In less than a month, El Museo del Barrio launches its sixth biennial survey of cutting-edge art by Latino, Carribean and Latin American artists -- and the show is bigger than ever. “El Museo’s Bienal: The (S) Files 2011,” June 14, 2011-Jan. 8, 2012, presents 75 artists at the Fifth Avenue museum and six additional venues (see below), an increase of 50 percent over the 51 artists included in the previous edition, which was held in 2007 (the 2009 bienal was postponed due to El Museo’s renovation).
If great artists are eccentric, obsessive and disorganized, as the stereotype goes, it follows that they have to work even harder to organize their thoughts. That, at least, is the implication behind the new exhibition “Lists: To-dos, Illustrated Inventories, Collected Thoughts, and Other Artists’ Enumerations from the Smithsonian’s Archives,” opening at the Morgan Library and Museum, June 3-Oct. 2, 2011. [Image: A list by Picasso, 1912]
Tobacco and contemporary art -- they’re made for each other. After 12 years visiting Virginia tobacco farms, cigarette factories and the Philip Morris manufacturing center in Richmond, Chinese artist Xu Bing unveils his third “Tobacco Project” this fall at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Sept. 10-Nov. 27, 2011. The hallmark of the show is a 400-pound sculpture made from pressed tobacco and imprinted with the words “light as smoke.” Also on view is a book of 50 vintage tobacco slogans on cigarette paper and a 40-foot tiger-skin-like rug created from 500,000 cigarettes. [Image: Xu Bing printing on a tobacco leaf, 2000]
The New York Post reports that real estate titans Michael Fuchs and Aby Rosen, owner of Lever House and the Seagrams Building, have filed a lawsuit against Harry Lis, their longtime partner at RFR Holdings. Needless to say, both Rosen and Lis (to a lesser extent) have been big players in the Andy Warhol market.