Advisory Picks

Advisory Picks presents artworks by artists who have captured the attention of our advisory team.

Advisory Picks: Christie's
20th Century Evening Sale

New York, 12 May 2021
Pablo Picasso, Femme assise près d’une fenêtre (Marie-Thérèse) (1932). Oil on canvas. 144.78  x 111.76 cm. © Christie’s Images Limited 2021⁠⁠.
Piet Mondrian, Composition: No II, With Yellow, Red and Blue (1927). Oil on canvas. 48.26 x 35.56 cm. ⁠© Christie’s Images Limited 2021⁠⁠.
Lee Krasner, Untitled (1962). Oil on canvas. 162.56 x 147.32 cm. © Christie’s Images Limited 2021⁠⁠.
Ellsworth Kelly, Medium Blue Panel (1986). Oil on shaped canvas. 210.2 x 262.9 cm.⁠⁠ © Christie’s Images Limited 2021⁠⁠.

Picasso, Mondrian, Krasner, and Kelly's works are some our favourites that went up for auction at Christie's 20th Century Evening Sale on 13 May. ⁠⁠

Pablo Picasso, Femme assise près d'une fenêtre (Marie-Thérèse) (1932). Oil on canvas. 144.78 x 111.76 cm.

Piet Mondrian, Composition: No II, With Yellow, Red and Blue (1927). Oil on canvas. 48.26 x 35.56 cm. ⁠⁠

Lee Krasner, Untitled (1962). Oil on canvas. 162.56 x 147.32 cm. Estimate USD 5,000,000-7,000,000. ⁠⁠

Ellsworth Kelly, Medium Blue Panel (1986). Oil on shaped canvas. 210.2 x 262.9 cm.⁠⁠ Estimate USD 3,800,000 - 5,000,000.

NFT: Banksy
at Sotheby’s

11 May 2021

After the historic inaugural NFT sales of works by the digital artists Beeple and Pak at Christie's and Sotheby's respectively, we are beginning to see auction houses adapting to the increased fervour surrounding cryptocurrency as a form of payment and digital arts appeal as the NFT market has emerged.⁠

While cryptocurrency was accepted by Sotheby's for their NFT sale, Banksy's _Love is in the Air _is the first physical work to be offered at an auction house in exchange for cryptocurrency; specifically bitcoin and ethereum.⁠

Read Sam Gaskin's recent coverage on the sale here.

Main image: Banksy, Love is in the Air (2005). Oil and spray paint on canvas. 90 x 90 cm. Courtesy Sotheby's⁠.
Huma Bhabha
at Salon 94

New York, 11 May 2021
Huma Bhabha, Receiver (2019). Bronze. 250.8 x 45.7 x 63.5 cm.⁠ © Huma Bhabha⁠⁠. Courtesy the artist and Salon 94, New York.
Huma Bhabha, Receiver (2019) (detail). Bronze. 250.8 x 45.7 x 63.5 cm.⁠ © Huma Bhabha⁠⁠. Courtesy the artist and Salon 94, New York.
Huma Bhabha, Receiver (2019) (detail). Bronze. 250.8 x 45.7 x 63.5 cm.⁠ © Huma Bhabha⁠⁠. Courtesy the artist and Salon 94, New York.

At eight feet tall, Receiver by Huma Bhabha is an imposing and fabulously evocative sculpture, perfectly embodying the artist's reinterpretation of relics and monuments of the ancient world. ⁠⁠

Her sublime sculptures look to reimagine the power historically attributed to monuments, placing works such as Receiver in the realm of what we understand as counter-monuments. ⁠⁠

Facing Giants, Huma Bhabha's solo show at Salon 94's 89th Street space in New York runs until 26 June. ⁠⁠

Christie's 21st Century
Evening Sale

New York, 11 May 2021
Alex Da Corte, Night Vision (2018). Neon, house paint, vinyl siding, laminate, plywood, epoxy clay, and hardware. 182.9 x 182.9 x 15.2 cm. © Christie’s Images Limited 2021⁠⁠.
Mickalene Thomas, Racquel Reclining Wearing Purple Jumpsuit (2016). Oil, acrylic, silkscreen, rhinestones, faux pearls, glitter, graphite and flock on wood panel, in two parts. 243.8 x 365.8 cm. © Christie’s Images Limited 2021⁠⁠.
Sigmar Polke, Ohne Titel (Bunnies) (2000). Acrylic on paper. 200 x 150 cm. © Christie’s Images Limited 2021⁠⁠.

Ocula Advisory select their favourites from Christie's 21st Century Evening Sale in New York on 11 May.⁠⁠

Alex Da Corte, Night Vision (2018). Neon, house paint, vinyl siding, laminate, plywood, epoxy clay, and hardware. 182.9 x 182.9 x 15.2 cm. Estimate USD 60,000 - USD 80,000⁠⁠.

Mickalene Thomas, Racquel Reclining Wearing Purple Jumpsuit (2016). Oil, acrylic, silkscreen, rhinestones, faux pearls, glitter, graphite and flock on wood panel, in two parts. 243.8 x 365.8 cm. Estimate USD 400,000 - USD 600,000⁠⁠.

Sigmar Polke, Ohne Titel (Bunnies) (2000). Acrylic on paper. 200 x 150 cm. Estimate USD 1,000,000 - USD 1,500,000⁠⁠.

Advisory Picks: Sotheby's Contemporary Auction
New York, 08 May 2021
Cy Twombly, Untitled (Rome) (1970). Oil-based house paint and wax crayon on canvas. 154.9 x 194.9 cm. Courtesy Sotheby's.
Keith Haring, Untitled (1986). Acrylic on canvas. 152.4 x 152.4 cm. Courtesy Sotheby's.
Robert Colescott, George Washington Carver Crossing the Delaware: Page from an American History Textbook (1975). Acrylic on canvas. 199.4 x 294.6 cm. Courtesy Sotheby's.

In anticipation of next week's Sotheby's Contemporary Art Evening sale on 12 May, we take a look at some of the top works up for auction:

Cy Twombly, Untitled (Rome) (1970). Oil-based house paint and wax crayon on canvas. 154.9 x 194.9 cm. Estimate USD 35,000,000 - 45,000,000⁠⁠.

Keith Haring, Untitled (1986). Acrylic on canvas. 152.4 x 152.4 cm. Estimate USD 4,000,000 - 6,000,000.⁠⁠

Robert Colescott, George Washington Carver Crossing the Delaware: Page from an American History Textbook (1975). Acrylic on canvas. 199.4 x 294.6 cm. Estimate USD 9,000,000 - 12,000,000.⁠⁠

Advisory Picks
at Sotheby's

New York, 07 May 2021
Richard Diebenkorn, Ocean Park No.40 (1971). Courtesy Sotheby's.
Clyfford Still, PH-125 (1948-No.1) (1948). Courtesy Sotheby's.
Franz Kline, Mister (1959). Courtesy Sotheby's.

Sotheby's presents a brilliant selection of post-war abstract paintings at their upcoming New York auction, American Visionary: The Collection of Mrs. John L. Marion on 12 May.⁠⁠

Here are a number of our top picks:⁠⁠

Richard Diebenkorn, Ocean Park No.40 (1971). Oil on canvas. 236.2 x 205.1 cm. Estimate $20,000,000 - 30,000,000 USD⁠⁠.

Clyfford Still, PH-125 (1948-No.1) (1948). Oil on canvas. 187.3 x 172.7 cm. Estimate 25,000,000 - 35,000,000 USD⁠⁠.

Franz Kline, Mister (1959). Oil on canvas. 242.6 x 200.7 cm. 15,000,000 - 20,000,000 USD⁠⁠.

Basquiat at Christie's
21st Century Evening Sale

New York, 06 May 2021
Jean-Michel Basquiat, In This Case (1983). Acrylic and oilstick on canvas. 195.58 x 185.42 cm. ⁠Courtesy CHRISTIE'S IMAGES LTD.

Jean-Michel Basquiat's In This Case is the groundbreaking work fronting Christie's 21st Century Evening Sale in New York on 11 May.

In This Case, along with Untitled (1981) and Untitled (1982) are understood as the 'holy trinity' of Basquiat's 'head' paintings, with the latter having gained particular notoriety for being the highest price ever fetched by an American artist after being sold at Sotheby's in 2017 for a little over $110 million. ⁠

In this Case has been exhibited in major surveys at Triennale Milano in 2006, Gagosian in 2013, and more recently, Fondation Louis Vuitton in 2018. ⁠

Frank Bowling at
Hauser & Wirth

New York, 05 May 2021
Frank Bowling, Polish Rebecca (1971). Acrylic paint and spray paint on canvas. 277 x 359 cm. © Frank Bowling. Courtesy the artist and Hauser & Wirth. ⁠⁠
Frank Bowling, Polish Rebecca (1971) (detail). Acrylic paint and spray paint on canvas. 277 x 359 cm. © Frank Bowling. Courtesy the artist and Hauser & Wirth. ⁠⁠

Hidden for 42 years in an attic outside of London, Frank Bowling's uncovered 1971 work Polish Rebecca is on show as part of his inaugural exhibition at Hauser & Wirth, which opened on 5 May in New York and will open on 21 May in London. ⁠⁠

Featuring a large-scale stencilled map of South America and Africa, Polish Rebecca is a gleaming example of Bowling's 'Map Paintings' (1967–1971), an iconic series of works which marked his transition into pure abstraction, through the staining and pouring of acrylic paint onto silk screened images. ⁠⁠

Featuring works from 1967 to the present day, Frank Bowling – London / New York is a wonderful display of Frank Bowling's extraordinary engagement with the materiality of paint, which has guided his search for abstraction throughout his 50-year career. ⁠⁠

Joan Miró at
Newlands House Gallery

Petworth, 01 May 2021
Joan Miró, Femme nue (1931). Copyright Successió Miró ADAGP, Paris and DACS London, 2021. Courtesy Galerie Lelong & Co. Paris.⁠

A survey of works by modernist master Joan Miró spanning the 1930s to the 1980s is now open at Simon de Pury's Newlands House Gallery in Petworth, U.K. ⁠

Comprising 39 sculptures, works on paper, prints, and a painting, the exhibition contains a selection of lesser-known works, with iconic pieces including Paris Mât (1971) and Torse (1969). ⁠

Miró's works throughout his eight-decade career are equally sought after and his 1969 bronze sculpture, Femme (Femme debout) is one to look out for the upcoming Christie's New York 20th Century Evening Sale on 13 May. ⁠

Ugo Rondinone at Sadie Coles HQ
London, 29 April 2021
Ugo Rondinone, zweiundzwanzigsterdezemberzweitausendundzwanzig (2020). Oil on canvas, Perspex plaque. 453.1 x 258.1 x 5.1 cm. © Ugo Rondinone. Courtesy Sadie Coles HQ, London. Photo: Eva Herzog⁠⁠.
Exhibition view: Ugo Rondinone, a sky . a sea . distant mountains . horses . spring ., Sadie Coles HQ, 1 Davies Street W1, London (12 April–22 May 2021). Courtesy Sadie Coles HQ.

Ugo Rondinone's brilliantly garish pigmented rock stack sculpture series, 'Mountain', takes on a new two-dimensional form in his current solo exhibition at Sadie Coles HQ's Davies Street location.

With galleries open, you can now experience the true scale and wonderful painterly surface of these monumental works.⁠⁠ The exhibition is on view until 22 May 2021.

Yuli Yamagata at
Fortes D'Aloia & Gabriel

São Paulo, 27 April 2021
Yuli Yamagata, Cyborg nascendo (2021). Shibori on cotton, elastane, felt, satin, silicone fibre, sewing thread. 180 x 150 x 3 cm. Courtesy Fortes D’Aloia & Gabriel, São Paulo/Rio de Janeiro.⁠ Photo: Eduardo Ortega.

Containing eye-popping sculptures and paintings weaving themes of consumption, the grotesque, and the search for transcendence, the exhibition Insomnia is Yuli Yamagata's first solo show at Fortes D'Aloia & Gabriel's São Paulo space opening on 15 May. ⁠

'The pieces in Insomnia point towards a sort of transition—a deceleration of image consumption. My wish is for the work to be absorbed at a slower pace, to linger in viewers' minds'—Yuli Yamagata in conversation with Rory Mitchell for Advisory Perspectives.

Thomas Houseago⁠
at Fine Arts Belgium

Brussels, 24 April 2021
Thomas Houseago⁠, Vision Painting I (II) Soul Journey - Arizona (2021). Acrylic on canvas. 274.3 × 182.9 cm.⁠ Courtesy the Artist and Xavier Hufkens, Brussels. Photo: Paul Salveson.

'I have never had a hang-up about art history; I see it as my artistic family, as oxygen. My generation emerged at a time of endings—death of painting, death of the author—and since I come from a place with no sense of culture at all, I had no desire to create a false tabula rasa.'—Thomas Houseago⁠

Thomas Houseago⁠'s show of neoclassical and contemporary works opened on 22 April at Fine Arts Belgium and will be running until the beginning of August. ⁠

Frank Walter
at David Zwirner

London, 21 April 2021

Containing verdant landscapes gleaned from the colour palettes of Romantic painters, Frank Walter's prolific autobiographical works are the subject of David Zwirner's first exhibition of the artist's work in London, running until 22 May 2021.

As Ocula Magazine Editor-in-Chief Stephanie Bailey wrote, Frank Walter's paintings reflect 'a journey in search of worlds capable of accommodating the depth and breadth of far-reaching hopes and visions. He was at once a product of his time and light years ahead of it; an artist who left universes to explore in his wake.'

Read more about Frank Walter's life and work exploring his lived postcolonial experience here. ⁠

Main image: Frank Walter, Untitled (Airplanes over boats in harbor) (n.d.). © Courtesy Kenneth M. Milton Fine Arts. Courtesy Kenneth M. Milton Fine Arts and David Zwirner⁠.
Sue Williamson
at Goodman Gallery

London, 19 April 2021
Sue Williamson, Truth Games: Neville Clarence – hold no grudge – AboobakerIsmael (1998). Laminated colour laser print, wood, metal, plastic. 84 x 121 x 6 cm. ⁠⁠Courtesy Goodman Gallery.
Sue Williamson, Truth Games: Neville Clarence – hold no grudge – AboobakerIsmael (1998) (detail). Laminated colour laser print, wood, metal, plastic. 84 x 121 x 6 cm. ⁠⁠Courtesy Goodman Gallery.
Sue Williamson, Truth Games: Neville Clarence – hold no grudge – AboobakerIsmael (1998) (detail). Laminated colour laser print, wood, metal, plastic. 84 x 121 x 6 cm. ⁠⁠Courtesy Goodman Gallery.
Sue Williamson, Truth Games: Neville Clarence – hold no grudge – AboobakerIsmael (1998) (detail). Laminated colour laser print, wood, metal, plastic. 84 x 121 x 6 cm. ⁠⁠Courtesy Goodman Gallery.

Devoting her 40-year career to the documentation of political and social struggles during South Africa's apartheid, Sue Williamson presents her extraordinary first solo exhibition at Goodman Gallery in London, running until 24 April. ⁠⁠

Included in this exhibition is her 1998 series 'Truth Games', consisting of sliding perspex slats brandished with verbal evidence of apartheid's brutality given in court before the TRC (Truth and Reconciliation Commission), alongside newspaper imagery and text. ⁠⁠

Dexter Dalwood
at Simon Lee Gallery

London, 15 April 2021
Dexter Dalwood, Diane Arbus (2008). Collage on paper. 46 x 46 x 4 cm. Courtesy the artist and Simon Lee Gallery.
Dexter Dalwood, Anthony Blunt (2003). Collage on paper. 46 x 46 x 4 cm. Courtesy the artist and Simon Lee Gallery.

We love Dexter Dalwood's cool cut-and-paste collages of empty domestic interiors weaving themes of art history, politics, and personal experience in his wonderfully patchworked perspectives. ⁠⁠

As households empty across the U.K. with the easing of Covid restrictions, the artist's exhibition at Simon Lee Gallery, running until 8 May 2021, is timely, while reminding us of the supremacy of this space over the past year. ⁠⁠

Lucy Bull at David Kordansky Gallery
Los Angeles, 14 April 2021
Lucy Bull, The Bottoms (2021). Oil on linen. 182.9 x 248.9 x 2.5 cm. Courtesy David Kordansky Gallery, Los Angeles. ⁠⁠Photo: Jeff McLane.
Lucy Bull, The Bottoms (2021) (detail). Oil on linen. 182.9 x 248.9 x 2.5 cm. Courtesy David Kordansky Gallery, Los Angeles. ⁠⁠Photo: Jeff McLane.

Lucy Bull creates visionary synaesthetic works, adopting surrealist rhythmic brushwork to encourage your eyes to dance around the canvas and soak in the daubs and swirls of colour in every inch of the work. ⁠⁠

As the artist has explained, 'The marks oscillate from being imprints from the tip of my brush to more finessed and directionally specific as I start to trace these sensations'.

Bull's latest solo exhibition with David Kordansky Gallery, Skunk Grove, is on view in Los Angeles until 1 May 2021.

Bold Palettes at Gallery 1957
13 April 2021
Otis Kwame Kye Quaicoe, Untitled (2020). Acrylic and oil on canvas. 193.04 x 185.42 cm. Courtesy the artist and Gallery 1957. 
Kwesi Botchway, Self Portrait (2020). 57 x 42 cm. Courtesy the artist and Gallery 1957. 
Kwesi Botchway, Self Portrait (2020). 57 x 42 cm. Courtesy the artist and Gallery 1957. 

Three of West Africa's next generation art world stars are exhibiting at Gallery 1957 in a group show titled Homecoming: The Aesthetic of the Cool, running until 9 May. ⁠⁠

Fellow graduates of Ghanatta College of Art and Design, Amoako Boafo, Kwesi Botchway, and Otis Quaicoe have made headlines for their meteoric rise and sensational auction results in the last few years.

Celebrated for their bold chromatic palettes and vivacious representation of their subjects, all three artists seamlessly reclaim the ideologies of Blackness while redefining West Africa's position within the contemporary art world. ⁠⁠

In recent years, Ghana has taken centre stage as Africa's artistic hub, producing some of the biggest names in art today, including Ibrahim Mahama, El Anatsui, and Gideon Appah.⁠⁠

Ray Johnson at David Zwirner
New York, 10 April 2021
Ray Johnson, Untitled (Max Ern with Elephants and Swans) (1982/1994). © Ray Johnson Estate. Courtesy the Ray Johnson Estate ⁠⁠
Ray Johnson, Untitled (Cupid with Ad Reinhardt) (1974). © Ray Johnson Estate. Courtesy the Ray Johnson Estate.
Ray Johnson, David Bourdon (1971). © Ray Johnson Estate. Courtesy the Ray Johnson Estate.

Timeless and wonderfully wry, Ray Johnson's Neo-Dada collages are the subject of WHAT A DUMP, a solo exhibition running until 22 May at David Zwirner's West 19th Street location. ⁠⁠

Immersed in the artistic community of 1950s New York, Johnson's collages, or 'moticos', of magazines, photography, and doodles are saturated with gay icons of the 20th century.

These collages reflect the ethos of his New York Correspondence School, which gave rise to the Fluxus movement of the 1960s. ⁠⁠

Lenz Geerk at EXPO CHGO ONLINE
Online, 09 April 2021
Lenz Geerk, 'Photograph Series' (2020). Acrylic on canvas. Six canvases; dimensions variable. Courtesy the artist and Roberts Projects, Los Angeles, California.
Lenz Geerk, 'Photograph Series' (2020). Acrylic on canvas. Six canvases; dimensions variable. Courtesy the artist and Roberts Projects, Los Angeles, California.
Lenz Geerk, 'Photograph Series' (2020). Acrylic on canvas. Six canvases; dimensions variable. Courtesy the artist and Roberts Projects, Los Angeles, California.
Lenz Geerk, 'Photograph Series' (2020). Acrylic on canvas. Six canvases; dimensions variable. Courtesy the artist and Roberts Projects, Los Angeles, California.
Lenz Geerk, 'Photograph Series' (2020). Acrylic on canvas. Six canvases; dimensions variable. Courtesy the artist and Roberts Projects, Los Angeles, California.
Lenz Geerk, 'Photograph Series' (2020). Acrylic on canvas. Six canvases; dimensions variable. Courtesy the artist and Roberts Projects, Los Angeles, California.

We love Lenz Geerk's black and white acrylic on canvas works from EXPO CHGO ONLINE, which ran between 8 and 12 April 2021.

Roberts Projects presented these works alongside several other new paintings by Evan Nesbit, and Brenna Youngblood. ⁠⁠

Rebecca Warren at Matthew Marks Gallery
New York, 09 April 2021
Rebecca Warren, The Territory 2020. Hand-painted bronze on painted MDF pedestal. Courtesy Matthew Marks Gallery.

Rebecca Warren is an artist much loved by Ocula Advisor Rory Mitchell, and her latest exhibition at Matthew Marks Gallery is sublime. Among nine hand-painted bronze sculptures is this standout two-part work titled The Territory (2020).

Despite having the appearance of MDF and plywood, the lower arrangements have actually been cast in bronze and meticulously painted to replicate the original pieces of wood from her studio. Each part looks absurdly identical to the other, but on closer inspection, there are subtle differences.

This doubling has been a recurring theme throughout much of Warren's career, although the flag-like figures with richly painted symbols contain an otherworldly feel that is refreshingly new within her oeuvre, and in stark contrast to the seemingly everyday studio materials on which they rest.

Rebecca Warren is also represented by Maureen Paley in London and Galerie Max Hetzler in Berlin and Paris.

Asuka Anastacia Ogawa at Blum & Poe
Los Angeles, 07 April 2021
Asuka Anastacia Ogawa, Home (2021). Acrylic on canvas. 215.9 x 241.3 x 4.4 cm. © Asuka Anastacia Ogawa, Courtesy the artist and Blum & Poe, Los Angeles/NewYork/Tokyo⁠⁠.
Asuka Anastacia Ogawa, Home (2021) (detail). Acrylic on canvas. 215.9 x 241.3 x 4.4 cm. © Asuka Anastacia Ogawa, Courtesy the artist and Blum & Poe, Los Angeles/NewYork/Tokyo⁠⁠.
Asuka Anastacia Ogawa, Home (2021) (detail). Acrylic on canvas. 215.9 x 241.3 x 4.4 cm. © Asuka Anastacia Ogawa, Courtesy the artist and Blum & Poe, Los Angeles/NewYork/Tokyo⁠⁠.

Blum & Poe are showing captivating paintings by Asuka Anastacia Ogawa at their Los Angeles space.

Marking a year since being taken on by the gallery, these works showcase Ogawa's use of flat planes of colour and muted tones that seem to enhance her figures' piercing eyes, unnervingly gazing out towards us.

In Ocula Magazine Associate Editor Tessa Moldan delved further into ⁠Ogawa's dream-like settings, remarking that Ogawa's paintings are 'rooted in a sense of wonderment and the unknown.'

Rudolf Stingel at Sadie Coles HQ
London, 03 April 2021
Rudolf Stingel, Kirchner Wald im Winter 1925 (2021). Exhibition view: Sadie Coles HQ, 8 Bury Street, London (2021). © Rudolf Stingel. Courtesy Sadie Coles HQ, London. Photo: Robert Glowacki⁠.

Fostering his sublime photorealist mountainscapes, Rudolf Stingel's conceptual approach to art-making is brilliantly exemplified in this replica of the German Expressionist Ernst Ludwig Kirchner's 1925 work Wald im Winter, on view at Sadie Coles HQ. ⁠

While the vibrant pink undertones and thick gestural strokes perfectly mirror the original, on closer inspection, Stingel's characteristic interrogation of a painting's authenticity shines through.⁠

Mimosa Echard at Galerie Chantal Crousel
Paris, 02 April 2021
Mimosa Echard, Numbs (Narcisse) (2021). Aluminium frame, analogue photographic print, glass beads, plastic beads, mirrors, elastics, bracelets, synthetic hair, flower pistils, silk rope, fake flower pistils, electric cables, capsules, glass bulbs, sequin thread, pearl beads, organza, acrylic medium, acrylic lacquer, gloss. 260 x 120 x 6 cm. Courtesy the artist and Galerie Chantal Crousel, Paris. Photo: Aurélien Mole. 
Mimosa Echard, Numbs (Narcisse) (2021) (detail). Aluminium frame, analogue photographic print, glass beads, plastic beads, mirrors, elastics, bracelets, synthetic hair, flower pistils, silk rope, fake flower pistils, electric cables, capsules, glass bulbs, sequin thread, pearl beads, organza, acrylic medium, acrylic lacquer, gloss. 260 x 120 x 6 cm. Courtesy the artist and Galerie Chantal Crousel, Paris. Photo: Aurélien Mole. 

A recent discovery by Ocula Advisor Simon Fisher was this wonderfully atmospheric work by Mimosa Echard from her inaugural exhibition Numbs at Galerie Chantal Crousel.

Living and working in Paris, Echard's work looks to reexamine the binary between nature and technology by intermixing organic and manufactured materials through collage; a technique which closely aligns her practice with the appropriated reality and assemblage works of artists of the Nouveau Réalisme movement in 1960s Paris.⁠⁠

Park Seo-Bo at White Cube
London, 30 March 2021

The spectacular Park Seo-Bo exhibition at White Cube's Bermondsey space will open to the public on 13 April.

Seo-Bo is one of the most celebrated Korean contemporary artists and a leading figure from the Dansaekhwa movement, which included internationally renowned abstract painters Yun Hyong-keun, Kim Tschang-yeul, Chung Sang-Hwa, and Lee Ufan.

Since 1962, Seo-Bo has incorporated Korean hanji paper into his works. As he has explained in Ocula Magazine, 'hanji absorbs colour and becomes one with the paint. The Eastern view on nature disagrees with the idea of revealing oneself. Hanji absorbs everything because as a paper medium, it is rooted in this Eastern perspective.'

Images: Exhibition view: Park Seo-Bo, White Cube, London (17 March–1 May 2021). Photo: Eva Fuchs, Ocula.
Arshile Gorky at Sotheby's
Online, 27 March 2021

This stunning Arshile Gorky painting, Garden in Sochi (1941) was a highlight for us from the Sotheby's cross-category sale on 25 March 2021 and sold for well over the estimate, fetching GBP 8,585,700 (including buyer's premium).

Main image: Arshile Gorky, Garden in Sochi (ca. 1940–1941). Courtesy Sotheby's.
William Kentridge at Marian Goodman Gallery
New York, 20 March 2021
William Kentridge, Lekkerbreek (2013). Linocut on Universal Technological Dictionary (or Familiar Explanation of the Terms) used in all Arts and Sciences by George Crabb. 182.9 x 121.3 x 5.1 cm (framed). © the artist. Courtesy the artist and Marian Goodman Gallery.
William Kentridge, Mantegna (2016). Edition of 12 plus 4 artist's proofs. Woodcut printed from 12 woodblocks onto 21 sheets of various sizes of Somerset Soft. 215.6 x 213.4 x 7 cm (framed). © the artist. Courtesy the artist and Marian Goodman Gallery.

William Kentridge's show of prints at Marian Goodman Gallery in New York is nothing short of a spectacle.

Lekkerbreek reveals Kentridge's long-standing fascination with trees as a subject, which he paints and prints over dictionary paper.

Lekkerbreek trees are indigenous to Southern Africa, and through placing them within the context of words, they recall a series of associations relating back to Kentridge's childhood.

Touching on themes of procession, history, and memory, the woodcut print Mantegna reimagines Andrea Mantegna's painting Triumphs of Caesar (1484–192), as a means of expressing the weight of one's history.

Isabella Ducrot at Capitain Petzel
Berlin, 19 March 2021
Isabella Ducrot, Eros III (2000). Signed and dated recto, colour and china ink on paper. 170.5 x 131 cm (framed). © the artist. Courtesy Capitain Petzel, Berlin. Photo: Jens Ziehe.

Isabella Ducrot's works on view at Capitain Petzel in Berlin fuse fabrics and drawings that she collected in China, India, and Tibet.

The Rome-based artist, who collected these materials on travels to Asia with her friend and fellow painter Cy Twombly, explores themes of sensuality through the depiction of touch and human emotion.

The artist's solo exhibition runs until 17 April 2021.

Chung Chang-Sup at Axel Vervoordt
Hong Kong, 14 March 2021
Chung Chang-Sup, Meditation (1991). Mulberry fibre, burlap canvas. 130 x 162 cm. Courtesy Axel Vervoordt Gallery, Hong Kong.⁠

Chung Chang-Sup's solo show at Axel Vervoordt, Hong Kong, presents his exploration into 'tak', a natural material from Korea's indigenous mulberry tree.

Through this material, Chung contemplates Korean identity, having grown up in Korea in the years following the Japanese occupation. The artist played a key role in the Dansaekhwa movement of 1970s South Korea.⁠

Louise Bonnet at Galerie Max Hetzler
Online, 12 March 2021
Louise Bonnet, Untitled (2021). Coloured pencil on paper. 64 x 76.8 cm (framed). Courtesy Galerie Max Hetzler, Berlin | Paris | London. Photo: def image © Louise Bonnet.

We loved this brilliantly strange coloured pencil on paper work from Louise Bonnet's OVR with Galerie Max Hetzler, echoing the accentuated Surrealist forms of Man Ray and Dorothea Tanning.

Thomas Demand at FIAC
Online, 09 March 2021
Thomas Demand, Canopy (2020) C-print/Diasec. 180 × 144 cm. © Thomas Demand, VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn, 2021. Courtesy Sprüth Magers.

A highlight from last week's FIAC OVR. Thomas Demand's recent show at Sprüth Magers is exceptional.

Demand's painstakingly detailed and unique approach to model-making and photographing challenges how we make and absorb images, and interrogates artists', as well as society's, relationship with appropriation.

Cindy Sherman at FIAC
Online, 06 March 2021
Cindy Sherman, Untitled (1989). Chromogenic color print. 96.5 x 69.9 cm. Edition of 6, AP 1/1. Courtesy Metro Pictures.

One of Cindy Sherman's 'History Portraits' from the late 1980s featured in Metro Pictures' FIAC OVR last week.

Sherman humorously plays with Old Master portraiture tropes, whilst alluding to the male gaze and more specifically, the objectification of women.

Takesada Matsutani at FIAC
Online, 05 March 2021
Takesada Matsutani, Point de Contact 65-12 (1986). Vinyl adhesive, acrylic and graphite on paper mounted on canvas. 162 x 130 cm. © Takesada Matsutani. Courtesy the artist and Hauser & Wirth. Photo: Thomas Barratt.

This beautiful 1986 painting by Takesada Matsutani, a Japanese artist from the Gutai group, featured in Hauser & Wirth's FIAC OVR.

Incorporating vinyl adhesive to create tactile and curvaceous forms protruding from the canvas, Matsutani's painting expands the possibilities of surface, whilst remaining tightly bound to the colour black, except for a deliciously deep blue emerging from underneath.

Hans Arp at FIAC
Online, 04 March 2021
Hans Arp, Die Puppe der Demeter / La poupée de Déméter (Demeter''s Doll) (1961, cast 1974). Bronze, Ed. 3/5 + 2 AP, 41 x 15 x 15 cm. © Stiftung Arp e.V., Berlin/Rolandswerth / 2021 ProLitteris, Zürich, ARS, New York, and DACS, London. Courtesy Stiftung Arp e.V., Berlin/Rolandswerth and Hauser & Wirth.

Hauser & Wirth featured this small but mighty Hans Arp bronze in their FIAC OVR presentation.

A master at creating biomorphic forms whose curved lines and simplicity are so pleasurable for our eyes to trace, Arp's instantly recognisable amoeba-like shapes are equally satisfying in this smaller scale.

Tom Waring at FIAC
Online, 03 March 2021
Tom Waring, Plutch Jarv (2020) (detail). Oil on linen. 180 x 140 cm. © the artist. Courtesy Downs & Ross, New York.
Tom Waring, Plutch Jarv (2020) (detail). Oil on linen. 180 x 140 cm. © the artist. Courtesy Downs & Ross, New York.
Tom Waring, Plutch Jarv (2020). Oil on linen. 180 x 140 cm. © the artist. Courtesy Downs & Ross, New York.

This recent painting by Tom Waring showing with New York gallery Downs & Ross in their viewing rooms for FIAC was an absolute highlight for us.

Painstakingly created in oil on linen and restricting himself with variations of just one or two colours, Waring constructs claustrophobic compositions that mould together forms and imagery mined from a vast array of art historical references.

Maja Ruznic at Hales Gallery
London, 02 March 2021
Maja Ruznic, Invocation (2019). Oil on canvas. 213.36 x 187.96 cm. Courtesy the artist and Karma, New York.

Maja Ruznic's ethereal works are formed through her experience recalling memories from her diasporic childhood.

Softly rendered washes of oil paint shimmer and fade across the canvas, revealing forms and figures from her past.

Maja Ruznic is represented by Karma, in addition to Hales Gallery, where she recently held her first solo show in their London space towards the end of last year.

Stanley Whitney at Matthew Marks Gallery
Los Angeles, 25 February 2021
Stanley Whitney, Twenty twenty (2020). Oil on linen. Courtesy Matthew Marks Gallery.

'The only system I have really is top, middle, and bottom. Even if I wanted to make a red painting, I couldn't do it. I have to let the colour take me wherever it takes me.'—Stanley Whitney

Stanley Whitney's gorgeous grids of colour are on view in How Black is That Blue at the Los Angeles space of Matthew Marks Gallery, but they are also a joy to absorb online, such is the power of this sublime colourist's compositions.

Robert Rauschenberg at Thaddaeus Ropac
London, 24 February 2021
Robert Rauschenberg, Florida Reservoir (Phantom) (1991) (detail). Silkscreen ink on anodised mirrored aluminium. 127.7 x 307 cm. © Robert Rauschenberg Foundation/Licensed by Adagp, Paris, 2020. Photo: Glenn Steigemann.
Robert Rauschenberg, Florida Reservoir (Phantom) (1991). Silkscreen ink on anodised mirrored aluminium. 127.7 x 307 cm. © Robert Rauschenberg Foundation/Licensed by Adagp, Paris, 2020. Photo: Glenn Steigemann.
Robert Rauschenberg, Portal (Night Shade) (1991). Tarnish and silkscreen ink on brushed aluminium. 104.1 x 124.5 cm. © Robert Rauschenberg Foundation/Licensed by Adagp, Paris, 2020. Photo: Glenn Steigemann.

Two series of Robert Rauschenberg's works produced in the early 1990s are on show in the exhibition Night Shades and Phantoms at Thaddaeus Ropac in London, which will open after the current lockdown restrictions are lifted.

Where his focus on the materiality of paint in 1950s New York alongside Jasper Johns became the precursor for Pop Art, these works from the early 1990s were revolutionary for his ability to assemble painting, photography, and sculpture into a single frame.

On this approach to art-making, the artist David Salle wrote, 'Rauschenberg knew how to let forms and masses invade and affect each other, energising the surface to build a sense of pictorial consequence, itself part of something larger, deeper'.

Jessie Homer French at Massimo De Carlo
London, 23 February 2021
Jessie Homer French, Pine Forest Fire (2019) (detail). Ex. Unique, oil on plywood. 30.5 x 44.5 cm. Courtesy the artist and Massimo De Carlo. Photo: Damian Griffiths.
Jessie Homer French, Pine Forest Fire (2019). Ex. Unique, oil on plywood. 30.5 x 44.5 cm. Courtesy the artist and Massimo De Carlo. Photo: Damian Griffiths.

West Coast is the magical self-taught artist Jessie Homer French's debut exhibition at Massimo De Carlo in their London space.

Homer French's paintings are often naïve in style with unusual details and large areas of flatness, but a sensitivity and softness nearly always pervades.

Henri Rousseau seems an obvious influence, along with Ed Ruscha and his famous painting, The Los Angeles County Museum on Fire (1965–1968).

Charline von Heyl at Corbett vs. Dempsey
Chicago, 20 February 2021
Charline von Heyl, The August Complex (2020). Acrylic on linen. 208.28 x 198.12 cm. Courtesy the artist and Corbett vs. Dempsey, Chicago. Photo: Tom Van Eynde.

If anyone can be attributed with keeping painting progressive and shifting its parameters—without resorting to the re-hashing of past tropes—it must surely be Charline von Heyl.

This incredible recent painting, showing at Corbett vs. Dempsey until 13 March, perfectly encapsulates her relentless desire to create startlingly unique images through the medium of paint.

Her use of jarring colours and motifs interplay with a crisp flatness that jolts us into clutching at why we feel a certain sensation from absorbing these enigmatic compositions.

A unique visionary within the realm of contemporary image making.

Lubna Chowdhary at Jhaveri Contemporary
Mumbai, 20 February 2021
Lubna Chowdhary, Code 4 (2020). Gouache and acrylic on gessoed board. 29 x 23 cm. Courtesy Jhaveri Contemporary.

Ocula Editor Stephanie Bailey, on Lubna Chowdhary in Ocula Magazine:

'There is an undeniable dynamism in the charged currents of movements, fusions, and disjunctions that are contained within Chowdhary's formal arrangements, wherein a restrained minimalism is offset by the weight of matter, the fluidity of memory, and above all, an enigmatic use of colour.'

Read the full article here.

Ljiljana Blazevska at 15 Orient
New York, 19 February 2021
Ljiljana Blazevska, Untitled (Slika) (c. 1975–1985) (detail). Oil on canvas. 130 x 150 cm. Courtesy Orient 15.
Ljiljana Blazevska, Untitled (Slika) (c. 1975–1985). Oil on canvas. 130 x 150 cm. Courtesy Orient 15.

The paintings of late Macedonian artist Ljiljana Blazevska are a stunning new discovery for us, thanks to the painter's beautiful exhibition at 15 Orient in Brooklyn, running until 14 March.

This fantastical scene is unashamedly painterly and gorgeously rendered in vivid colours. Deliciously unexpected treats for the eyes emerge all across the canvas.

Jonathan Gardner at Casey Kaplan
New York, 16 February 2021
Jonathan Gardner, The Bathhouse (2020). Graphite on paper. Paper size: 51.12 x 46.04 cm; Framed: 55.88 x 50.8 cm. Courtesy Casey Kaplan.
Jonathan Gardner, Reader in the Mirror (2020). Graphite on paper. Paper size: 43.82 x 40.64 cm; Framed: 48.26 x 45.09 cm. Courtesy Casey Kaplan.
Jonathan Gardner, Grand Hotel (2020). Graphite on paper. Paper size: 53.50 x 45.09cm; Framed: 57.78 x 49.21 cm. Courtesy Casey Kaplan.

New York-based Jonathan Gardner's simplified forms and illusory framing devices recall Modernist masters, whilst his depiction of everyday scenes playfully root them in the contemporary.

His refined use of tone and shade assures these drawings pack the same punch and compositional clarity as his much sought-after paintings, though this is exquisitely softened by tactile and surreal details.

Casey Kaplan are showing these works online until 6 March 2021.

Thomas Demand at Sprueth Magers
Online, 13 February 2021
Thomas Demand, Pond (2020). C-print/Diasec. 200 x 399 cm. Courtesy Sprüth Magers. Photo: © Thomas Demand, VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn, 2021.
Thomas Demand, Pond (2020) (detail). C-print/Diasec. 200 x 399 cm. Courtesy Sprüth Magers. Photo: © Thomas Demand, VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn, 2021.
Thomas Demand, Pond (2020) (detail). C-print/Diasec. 200 x 399 cm. Courtesy Sprüth Magers. Photo: © Thomas Demand, VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn, 2021.

Thomas Demand recreates sourced images in detailed scale models and then photographs them to produce large-format images compelling us to question both how photography functions as a medium and our own relationship with images.

As the artist once said, 'Models provide us with a focus on our world, as its complexity would place an inconceivable load on our apprehension without such filter'.

This incredible image of water lilies is a highlight from his online exhibition showing at Sprueth Magers until 30 April.

The exquisite depiction of natural light and reflection moving across the surface envelops the image with drama and an uncanny illusion of depth.

Mark Rothko and Frederic Edwin Church at Mnuchin Gallery
Online, 12 February 2021
Mark Rothko, Untitled (1960). Oil on canvas. 235 x 205 cm. Courtesy Mnuchin Gallery, New York. Photo: Tom Powel Imaging.

'The whole of man's experience becomes his model, and in that sense it can be said that all of art is a portrait of the idea'—Mark Rothko.

Sublime, available via Mnuchin Gallery's OVR, brings together the works of Mark Rothko and the 19th-century American landscape painter, Frederic Edwin Church.

Glauco Rodrigues at Bergamin & Gomide
São Paulo, 11 February 2021
Glauco Rodrigues, A Nave do Destino (1969). Acrylic on canvas on hardboard. 64 x 76 cm. Courtesy Bergamin & Gomide.
Glauco Rodrigues, Maçã Azul (1969). Acrylic on canvas on hardboard. 44 x 44 cm. Courtesy Bergamin & Gomide.

Bergamin & Gomide recently opened an exhibition of the late Brazilian artist Glauco Rodrigues (1929–2004). Acontece que somos canibais [We happen to be cannibals] is on view until 13 March 2021.

These still-life works painted with acrylic on canvas are from the late 1960s after Rodrigues had returned from a few years living in Europe, where he took influence from the Pop Art movement.

The vivid yellow and blue colours used to depict the fruit playfully remove them from the real world, whilst imbuing them with sociopolitical connotations due to their obvious ties to the national flag and Brazilian culture at large.

His use of white as a background and framing device envelops the images with another layer of symbolism referencing Brazil's relationship with colonialism.

Rodrigues excavates objects and symbols associated with Brazilian identity, transforming them into satirical critiques of the foundations these ideals are based on.

Anke Weyer at Canada
New York, 09 February 2021
Anke Weyer, Entrueckte Ebene (2020). Oil and acrylic on canvas, 182.88 × 226.06 cm. Courtesy the artist and Canada, New York.

Anke Weyer's exhibition Heart, Heart is currently showing at Canada in New York alongside an OVR until 27 February.

Weyer's large-scale abstract paintings explode with energy and luscious colour. Her thickly applied, loose brushstrokes trace the gestural movements of her body, immediately connecting the viewer to the performance of painting.

Heart, Heart is in reference to the organs' kinetic motion which is channelled through Weyer's rhythmic process. This is the sixth solo exhibition at the gallery for the Brooklyn-based German artist, having been represented by Canada since 2000.

Joel Mesler at David Kordansky Gallery
Los Angeles, 06 February 2021
Joel Mesler, Untitled (In n Out) (2020). Pigment on linen. 213 x 165 cm. Courtesy David Kordansky Gallery, Los Angeles, Photo: Jeff McLane.

Art dealer turned artist Joel Mesler is exhibiting his new paintings and works on paper in a solo show titled Surrender at David Kordansky Gallery, Los Angeles, until 6 March.

Mesler's playful vocabulary brilliantly merges language and consumer culture imagery to explore themes of childhood, specifically the loss of innocence, while hinting to the continuous journey of self discovery in adulthood.

Untitled (In n Out) is a continuation of this autobiographical approach. Inside a Beverly Hills Hotel plastered in banana leaf wallpaper, Mesler recalls the memory of an event that marked the deterioration of his parents' marriage.

His transition to becoming a painter and his amusing relationship with David Kordansky when the two began their careers in the L.A gallery scene is documented in Boris Kachka's brilliantly written 2018 New York Times article 'How an Art Dealer Became an Up-and-Coming Painter'.

Strange Fruit by Michael Armitage
London, 06 February 2021
Michael Armitage, Strange Fruit (2016). Oil on Lubugo cloth, 300 x 170 cm. © Michael Armitage. Photo: © Ben Westoby. Courtesy White Cube.
Michael Armitage, Strange Fruit (2016) (detail). Oil on Lubugo cloth, 300 x 170 cm. © Michael Armitage. Photo: © Ben Westoby. Courtesy White Cube.

Strange Fruit is the brilliant work of Kenyan born artist Michael Armitage, spotlighted in our most recent Curated Selection by Filipe da Costa Leite.

The tensions between figuration and abstraction, tradition and modernity, play flawlessly in Armitage's works, which tackle socio-political issues in Kenya today. Velázquez's undulating figures and the haunting expressions of Goya's protagonists are brought together in his unique lyrical vision.

Strange Fruit, pictured here, presents a sublime example of this mastery. His whimsical brushstrokes and rich colour palette are both heavily influenced by the East African landscape Armitage has encountered throughout his life, having grown up and now living part time in Nairobi.

Represented by White Cube, Armitage's solo exhibition Paradise Edict is currently showing at Haus der Kunst, Munich until 14 February when it will move to London's Royal Academy of Arts from 13 March to 6 June.

Clarence Holbrook Carter at Various Small Fires
Los Angeles, 05 February 2021
Clarence Holbrook Carter, Transection No. 2 (1991). Oil on canvas. 142 x 101 cm. Courtesy the estate of Clarence Holbrook Carter and Various Small Fires, Los Angeles/Seoul.

Various Small Fires is hosting a retrospective of the late Clarence Holbrook Carter, an American artist who began his career capturing scenes of the American Midwest during the years of the Great Depression.

As his career progressed, his representational forms transformed into more unearthly landscapes, closely aligning him with that of Max Ernst and Kay Sage and the metaphysical world of Giorgio de Chirico.

Transection No. 2 is part of his series 'Transection', the second of three series being shown in this exhibition. The ovoid, a recurring motif throughout his work, hovers above the open tomb in a state that appears to transcend life and death, and reflecting a metaphysical realm that his psychological landscapes beautifully explore.

American Surrealist is running at Various Small Fires' Los Angeles space until 27 February.

Paul Mogensen at Blum & Poe
Los Angeles, 04 February 2021
Paul Mogensen, no title (cobalt violet and cadmium yellow, sixteen square progression on the edges) (2019). Cobalt violet oil and cadmium yellow medium oil. 182.8 x 182.8 cm. © Paul Mogensen. Courtesy the artist, Blum & Poe, Los Angeles/New York/Tokyo, and Karma, New York.

Following the announcement towards the end of last year by Blum & Poe and Karma of their co-representation of the painter Paul Mogensen, Blum & Poe are presenting a retrospective of the artists' works in their Los Angeles space until 6 March.

While his works appear to reflect the minimalist tendencies of the post-war period, Mogensen rejects such categorisation in favour of the basic principles of geometry and colour, theorised by Russian artists and poets, Rodchenko and Tatlin.

His geometric forms are a product of mathematical ratios and numerical sequences, creating spiralling visual patterns and pathways, however his reductionist approach encourages your eyes to migrate around the canvas to form your own unique path to interpretation.

Seth Price and Stefanie Heinze at Capitain Petzel
Berlin, 30 January 2021
Seth Price, 90s Style Teeth (2018). Inkjet, acrylic polymer, gesso, glue, plastic, wood, metal. 121 x 174 cm. ⁠⁠Courtesy Capitain Petzel.
Stefanie Heinze, As You Treat Me (Specious Prosperities) (2020). Oil and acrylic on linen. 170 x 235 cm. Courtesy Capitain Petzel.

Two brilliant works by Seth Price and Stefanie Heinze were included in Capitain Petzel's group exhibition Infinite Games in Berlin.

Through experimenting with materiality and reconfiguring the digital image, Seth Price creates unique and intriguing works investigating our shifting relationship to images and the role of art in an increasingly digitised world. ⁠⁠

Stefanie Heinze's similarly playful, anthropomorphic forms and bright hues are a product of what she describes as 'newsense', a concept of working towards the unknown, where uncertainty and failure is not just inevitable, but welcomed. ⁠⁠

We are particularly looking forward to Heinze's solo show at Pippy Houldsworth Gallery opening on 23 April 2021.⁠⁠

Imi Knoebel at White Cube
29 January 2021
Imi Knoebel, Kadmiumrot C C1-C5 (1975/2018). Acrylic / wood, five parts. 228 x 344 x 9 cm. © Imi Knoebel. Courtesy White Cube⁠. Photo: © Ivo Faber.

Joseph Beuys' approach to structural composition and Malevich's exploration of colour and form to attain 'pure perception' are visible influences in Imi Knoebel's works. ⁠

Achieved through an exploration of unique colour combinations and materials' physical possibilities, Knoebel's simplified forms made him a pioneer in minimalist abstract art alongside Blinky Palermo, Ellsworth Kelly, Carmen Herrera et al. ⁠

As the artist once said, 'Colour is the keyboard, the eyes are the hammer, the soul is the piano with its many chords. The artist is the hand that, by touching this or that key, causes vibrations in the soul'.

Knoebel's solo exhibition of recent works is showing in White Cube's OVR until 27 February. ⁠

Michaël Borremans at Zeno X Gallery
Antwerp, 28 January 2021
Michaël Borremans, The Pope (2020). Oil on canvas. 60 x 40 cm.⁠ Courtesy Zeno X Gallery.

Michaël Borremans is one of the most exciting contemporary artists working today.

Represented by Zeno X Gallery in Belgium, his solo show Coloured Cones is currently exhibiting at their space in Antwerp until 20 February.⁠

Coloured Cones was a product of his time in lockdown in his studio outside Ghent. Not able to work from models, these still-life works were conjured from various coloured and shaped satin fabric samples found in his studio—the choice of fabric a nod to sitters' clothing in Western portrait paintings. ⁠

In conversation with Ocula Magazine contributor Diana d'Arenberg prior to his 2018 solo show at David Zwirner Hong Kong, Borremans spoke of the figures in his portraits resembling a still life; posed, passive, and frozen, creating an atmosphere of suspense. ⁠

What makes the works in this exhibition so interesting is how each individual satin cone takes on a character of its own, becoming portraits in their own right.

The Pope, pictured here, is an ode to Velaquez's renowned portrait of Pope Innocent X produced circa 1650. ⁠

Andrej Dubravsky at LAUNCH F1
New York, 27 January 2021
Andrej Dubravsky, Big black caterpillar in the sky (2020). Acrylic and oil pastel on canvas. 143 x 137 cm. ⁠Courtesy the artist and Dittrich & Schlechtriem.

Andrej Dubravsky is a brilliant young painter living and working in Rastislavice, Slovakia.

The artist is represented by Berlin-based gallery Dittrich & Schlechtriem and LAUNCH F18, where his New York debut show Friendly Slav is currently showing until 6 February. ⁠

Reinventing the subjects of Old Masters, Dubravsky paints scenes of adolescent boys, idyllic landscapes, and animal portraits that express his reflective journey through adolescence in understanding the discourse of male identity and sexuality.⁠

Dubravsky's recent works focus on the natural world, specifically the paradox of the caterpillar's anatomy through the magnified lens. When seeing these creatures, any initial feeling of fright or repulsion is quickly replaced with an appreciation for their beautiful yet vulnerable forms. ⁠

This young artist's use of effervescent layers of colour is what really catches the eye, recalling the alchemical paintings of Sigmar Polke.

He Xiangyu at Andrew Kreps Gallery
New York, 22 January 2021
He Xiangyu, Hard Palate 20-2 (2020). Pencil, Japanese ink, coloured pencil, oil coloured pencil, oil stick, crayon on paper. 660 x 522 cm. ⁠Courtesy the artist and Andrew Kreps Gallery, New York.

Running from 15 January to 21 February 2021, Soft Dilemma is He Xiangyu's first solo show both at Andrew Kreps Gallery and in the U.S. ⁠

Living and working between Beijing and Berlin, He Xiangyu's conceptual works are spaces of exploration into his personal and political experiences. ⁠

Hard Palate 20-2 is part of his ongoing series named 'Palate Project'. Xiangyu began this series in response to the language barrier he encountered after relocating to the U.S. in 2012, and the subsequent difficulty he experienced in navigating his new surroundings. ⁠

Swathes of black Japanese ink form the backdrop of this work, while coloured pencil and crayon is both scrubbed or, in parts, worked in softly to create Xiangyu's undulating forms.

This repetitive and meditative process reflects the movements of his tongue on his palate and the various possibilities as a result of this. ⁠

Louise Bourgeois at Tarmak22
Gstaad, 21 January 2021
Louise Bourgeois, Untitled (No.7) (1993). Bronze silver nitrate patina. 12 x 69 x 43 cm. ⁠ © The Eastern Foundation / 2020, ProLitteris, Zurich. ⁠Courtesy The Eastern Foundation and Hauser & Wirth.⁠

On view both online and at the exhibition space Tarmak22 in Gstaad, Hauser & Wirth present a selection of sculptures and drawings by the brilliant Louise Bourgeois. ⁠

The Heart Has Its Reasons running until 3 February, exhibits works that explore the emotional and psychological aspects of Bourgeois' life from 1949 until the year before her death in 2010.⁠

An ode to safety and a couple's happiness, a house sits upon one of the arms in Untitled (No.7), pictured here. Gleaned from experiences of love, family, and memory, many sculptures were borne of a therapeutic process in the wake of her tumultuous childhood. ⁠

Bourgeois' understanding that rational explanation is eluded as a result of our emotional and psychological experience of the Other, was a product of the teachings of Blaise Pascal who she ⁠came across while studying at the Sorbonne, Paris.⁠

As Pascal once said, 'The heart has its reasons of which reason knows nothing'.⁠ —[O]

Raoul De Keyser at David Zwirner
Hong Kong, 19 January 2021
Raoul De Keyser, Across (2000/2009). © Raoul De Keyser / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / SABAM, Belgium. Courtesy Family Raoul De Keyser and David Zwirner.

The first exhibition in Asia of work by the brilliant Raoul De Keyser recently opened at David Zwirner Hong Kong. ⁠

Viewing a work of De Keyser's, one can't help notice his lightness of touch and almost deliberately evasive manner.

Although gleaned from a deeply personal perspective of reality, his works can be understood as an improvisation, one of repeated editing, which can be seen in the pencil marks underneath the pink daubs of paint in Across (2000/2009) pictured here.⁠

Despite this avoidance of any formal discourse, De Keyser managed to carve out a distinct visual language that marked him out as a truly unique voice and one that had the utmost influence on a host of younger painters including fellow Belgian superstar, Luc Tuymans and Turner Prize winner Tomma Abts.⁠ —[O]

Katja Seib at dépendance
Brussels, 15 January 2021
Katja Seib, Medusa in vain (2020). Courtesy the artist and dépendence, Brussels; Sadie Coles HQ, London. Photo: Elon Schoenholz.⁠

Katja Seib's exhibition, Happy Endings Don't Bore Me—her first at dépendance, Brussels—closes this week.⁠

Seib is one of the most exciting young painters living and working in Los Angeles, where she is represented by Château Shatto. She also shows with Sadie Coles HQ in London and her work was recently included in Made in L.A. 2020: a version at the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles.⁠

Seib's paintings shift between reality and illusion, often enveloping casual everyday scenes or intimate moments with surreal imagery that transforms them into strangely psychological works. ⁠

In this painting, Medusa in vain (2020), the Greek mythological figure looks into a mirror. A tear falls off her cheek appearing to merge with the pearls of her necklace. It was said that those who gazed into her eyes, turned into stone.—[O]

Reggie Burrows Hodges at Karma
New York, 09 January 2021
Reggie Burrows Hodges, Community Concern (2020). Courtesy Karma.

After showing some beautiful works on paper at the online version of Art Basel Miami Beach in December, a solo show of paintings opens in New York today, complete with a fully illustrated catalogue including a text by the great Hilton Als.

Hodges begins his paintings with a black ground. Acrylic and pastel are then added over the top in scumbled warm tones, blocks of vivid colour, and sharply drawn lines.

The faces are often left as outlined forms, as are the often bare legs or arms, transforming them into silhouettes magnificently set against a richly colourful palette. In Community Concern (2020), Hodges' masterful use of colour creates a deeply atmospheric and timeless image of a dancing figure.

Born in Compton, California in 1965, Hodges now lives and works in Maine.

Julie Mehretu at Marian Goodman Gallery
New York, 08 January 2021
Julie Mehretu, Conversion (S.M. del Popolo/after C.) (2019–2020). © Julie Mehretu. Courtesy the artist.

One of the standout gallery exhibitions last year was Julie Mehretu's about the space of half an hour at Marian Goodman Gallery in New York (2 November–23 December 2020).

Mehretu will be the subject of a major mid-career survey at The Whitney Museum of American Art from 25 March to 8 August 2021.

Pictured here is Mehretu's Conversion (S.M. del Popolo/after C.) (2019–2020) from her exhibition at Marian Goodman Gallery.

In Mehretu's recent conversation with Fawz Kabra in Ocula Magazine, she charts the development of her practice:

'In my work, the language of abstraction has evolved. Painting evolves slowly. But through years of working and mark-making, how I think about space, surface, the marks, and what can happen in a painting has transformed.'

Mehretu's paintings are visceral, time-bending journeys that evoke unnerving memories and sensations from deep within our subconscious.—[O]

Paul Chan at Greene Naftali
New York, 06 January 2021
Paul Chan, neuartig (anew) (2020). Ink on paper. Paper: 126.7 x 97.5 cm; Frame: 134.9 x 105.7 x 4.4 cm. Courtesy Greene Naftali.
Paul Chan, die Galerie (gallery) (2020). Ink on paper. Paper: 126.7 x 97.5 cm; Frame: 134.9 x 105.7 x 4.4 cm. Courtesy Greene Naftali.
Paul Chan, der Quatsch, quatschig (nonsense, nonsensical) (2020). Ink on paper. Paper: 126.7 x 97.5 cm; Frame: 134.9 x 105.7 x 4.4 cm. Courtesy Greene Naftali.
Paul Chan, Spekulieren (to speculate) (2020). Ink on paper Paper: 381 x 243.8 cm each; Frames: 393.7 x 134.6 x 7.6 cm each. Courtesy Greene Naftali.

'I like drawing with my left hand because it feels as if different stakes about what matters on paper became visible to me. Maybe that's all we're ever looking for in making any work: new ways to see the stakes that matter.'

Paul Chan explains his approach to the drawings he has made in response to reading about Ludwig Wittgenstein's text book, Wörterbuch, compiled through his experience teaching children in rural Austria in 1921.⁠

As the U.K. goes back into another lockdown, we were reminded of Paul Chan's exhibition at the end of last year. Going back to basics to re-learn how to view the world, Chan's work draws interesting parallels to the Covid-19 pandemic that restricted so much of modern activity.⁠

Paul Chan's solo exhibition, Drawings for Word Book by Ludwig Wittgenstein, showed at Greene Naftali from 6 November to 19 December 2020.

Elisa Sighicelli at 55 Walker Street
New York, 17 December 2020
Elisa Sighicelli, Untitled (3333) (2020). Courtesy the artist, Andrew Kreps Gallery, Bortolami Gallery, and kaufmann repetto. ⁠

Elisa Sighicelli's new photographs on satin are showing in a joint exhibition hosted by Andrew Kreps Gallery, Bortolami Gallery, and kaufmann repetto in New York.

These works are heavily influenced by Carla Accardi's sicofoil paintings from the late 1960s and early 1970s. Both artists push the boundaries of their respective mediums, manipulating light and space to create abstract images that hover between the illusory and material.

The strict formal qualities of these works by Elisa Sighicelli firmly roots them within a conceptual framework, but their playfulness and startling beauty is magical.⁠

Modernist Sculpture Highlights at December Auctions
14 December 2020
Alexander Calder, Mariposa (1951). Sheet metal, rod and paint.⁠ Courtesy Sotheby's.
Isamu Noguchi, Light Sculpture (Lunar) (1943).⁠ Magnesite, plastic, electric components and wood.⁠ Courtesy Christie's.
Ruth Asawa, Untitled (S.045, Hanging Five-Lobed, Multilayered Continuous Form within a Form, with Spheres in the First, Second and Third Lobes) (Executed circa early 1960s).⁠ Courtesy Philips.

Sculptures by Alexander Calder, Isamu Noguchi, and Ruth Asawa all demonstrated market confidence in high-quality works. Each of these iconic artists used their own seductive visual language to play with form, surface, and the movement of light.⁠⠀

Alexander Calder, Mariposa (1951) sold for $18,188,400 at Sotheby's, Isamu Noguchi, Light Sculpture (Lunar) (1943) sold for $562,500 at Christie's, and Ruth Asawa, Untitled (S.045, Hanging Five-Lobed, Multilayered Continuous Form within a Form, with Spheres in the First, Second and Third Lobes) (Executed circa early 1960s), sold for $3,539,000 at Phillips.

Jennifer Packer at Serpentine Galleries
London, 10 December 2020
Exhibition view: Jennifer Packer: The Eye Is Not Satisfied With Seeing, Serpentine Galleries, London (5 December 2020–14 March 2021). Courtesy Serpentine Galleries. Photo: George Darrell.

At Serpentine Galleries in London, the personal as political is foregrounded in Packer's work.

'My inclination to paint bodies, especially from life, is a completely political one', the artist has said. 'We belong here. We deserve to be seen and acknowledged in real time. We deserve to be heard and to be imaged with shameless generosity and accuracy.'

Learn more about Jennifer Packer's solo show at Serpentine Galleries in Advisory Perspectives.

Dana Schutz at Art Basel OVR: Miami Beach
Miami Beach, 05 December 2020
Dana Schutz, Floating Pieta (2020). Gouache and graphite on paper. 112.08 x 77.15 cm. Courtesy the artist and David Zwirner.

One of our highlights at Art Basel OVR: Miami Beach this year is this Dana Schutz gouache and graphite on paper work showing with David Zwirner, who recently announced representation of the artist.

The bulging eyes and pained expressions of Dana Schutz's figures, together with a classically triangular arrangement, recall the Christian pietà scene from a Gothic sculpture that inspired the artist.

Schutz's creation owes more to the German Expressionist paintings of Max Beckmann, but the energetic physicality and vivid colours are typical within her oeuvre.

Faith Wilding at Art Basel OVR: Miami Beach
Miami Beach, 04 December 2020

Faith Wilding's eco-feminist art practice was born out of her MFA at the California Institute of the Arts, from where she established herself as a forerunner of the feminist art movement of Los Angeles in the 1960s.

The artist's bold colours and intricate biomorphic line drawings explore the female form and the natural world.

In Hildegard and I, showing with Anat Ebgi at Art Basel OVR: Miami Beach, suggestions of the life cycle include a figure in the foetal position, encased in a cell, surrounded by creatures that appear half animal, half human.

Main image: Faith Wilding, Hildegard and I (1986). Mixed media on paper. 55.9 x 76.2 cm. Courtesy the artist and Anat Egbi.
Lynette Yiadom-Boakye at Tate Britain
London, 02 December 2020
Lynette Yiadon-Boakye, A Passion Like No Other (2012). Collection Lonti Ebers. © Courtesy Lynette Yiadom-Boakye.

'Across Yiadom-Boakye's work, resistance and rebellion are central—an approach to painting that resonates profoundly at a time when the Western art historical canon is being necessarily upended, revised, and challenged.'

Jareh Das discusses Lynette Yiadom-Boakye's approach to portraiture in Ocula Magazine, on the eve of her solo show at Tate Britain opening (2 December 2020–9 May 2021).

Eleonore Koch at Modern Art and Mendes Wood DM
London, 28 November 2020

Modern Art and Mendes Wood DM have teamed up to produce two concurrent exhibitions by German-Brazilian artist, Eleonore Koch.

Koch studied under Alfredo Volpi in São Paulo but moved to London in 1968, the year this work was painted.

Disenchanted with the strictly abstract style of her Brazilian Constructive contemporaries, Koch found solace in the similarly pared-back figurative work of British artists, such as Patrick Caulfield and David Hockney.

Her paintings are warm, atmospheric spaces that generously allow small detailed objects—or figurative elements—the room to be transformed into strange stand-alone forms floating mysteriously within pools of rich colour.

Magically poetic and eerily dreamlike, these works seem to exist in another time or place.

Main image: Eleonore Koch, Untitled (1968). Tempera on canvas. 59.5 x 82 cm. Courtesy Mendes Wood DM and Modern Art.
Liu Ye at David Zwirner
New York, 26 November 2020

'Many of Liu's works are rooted in his understanding of art history, which he recreates to make an imaginary world.'

Ocula Advisory interviewed Leo Xu about Chinese painter Liu Ye on the eve of the artist's first solo show in New York, Liu Ye: The Book and the Flower, which opened at David Zwirner on October 29 and runs through to 19 December 2020.

Main image: Liu Ye, Banned Book No. 5 (Balthus Variation) (2019–2020). Acrylic on canvas mounted on wooden panel. 80 x 100 cm. © Liu Ye. Courtesy the artist and David Zwirner.
Henni Alftan at OVR: Miami Beach
Miami, 25 November 2020

Henni Alftan is a favourite painter of ours and showing this sublime new painting with Karma OVR: Miami Beach.

Born in Helsinki, Finland, Alftan is now based in Paris. Her pared-back paintings are figurative but restrained, and often feature close-ups or cropped compositions reminiscent of photographs.

Areas of flat warm colour and her playful but delicate treatment of light and texture make these images so seductive. She possesses many of the best qualities of an abstract painter, whilst simultaneously teasing us with fragments from her lived experience.

Images: Henni Alftan, Midnight (2020). Oil on canvas. 146 x 114 cm. Courtesy Karma.
Matthew Barney at Sadie Coles HQ
London, 24 November 2020

This exquisite graphite and gouache work on paper is one of 20 works in a series from Matthew Barney's solo exhibition Cosmic Hunt at Sadie Coles HQ.

A response to the 2018 film Redoubt, these detailed works depict the wild landscape of the Sawtooth Mountain region of Idaho, where the film is set, and nearby to the artist's hometown.

Each graphite work intricately depicts characters and imagery from the film, which sees a reinterpretation of the ancient myth of Dian and Actaeon. Rendered in a range of hues—magenta, ochre, blue, and orange—the colours evoke the sky, fires, and wilderness of the mountains seen in the winter months.

Cosmic Hunt is showing at Sadie Coles HQ in London at 1 Davies Street from 17 November 2020 to 16 January 2021.

Main image: Matthew Barney, Omega Net (2020). Graphite and gouache on paper in high-density polyethylene frame. 33 x 38.1 x 3.2 cm. © Matthew Barney. Courtesy Sadie Coles HQ, London. Photo: Robert Glowacki.
Sotheby's Contemporary Art Day Auction
New York, 20 November 2020
Ken Price, Vulcan Island (2003). Acrylic and ink on paper. 31.2 x 24.5 cm. Courtesy Sotheby's.
Keith Haring, Untitled (1988). Sumi ink on paper. 76.2 x 101.6 cm. Courtesy Sotheby's.
Alexander Calder, Big Boulder, Filled Spiral (1970). Gouache and ink on paper. 109.2 x 74.3 cm. Courtesy Sotheby's.

Ocula Advisory selects three highlights from Sotheby's Contemporary Art Day Auction: Online on 18 November 2020.

Sanam Khatibi at rodolphe janssen
Brussels, 19 November 2020

Born in Tehran, yet raised and currently living in Brussels, Sanam Khatibi's paintings take influence from Northern Renaissance painting, in particular the work of Hieronymus Bosch.

Atlantic is included in Khatibi's current exhibition Cyanide at rodolphe janssen, which presents 21 miniature vanitas paintings. Common symbols from the Golden Age genre include flowers, skulls, and butterflies—here re-presented by Khatibi to reflect on the empty pursuit of goods and pleasures, as well as the transience of life.

Removed from their original function, Khatibi renders these objects as ornamental, their details spotlighted and almost floating amidst this overwhelmingly dark vastness.

Main image: Sanam Khatibi, Atlantic (2020). Oil on panel. 21 x 31 cm. Courtesy rodolphe janssen.
Salman Toor at the Whitney Museum of American Art
New York, 18 November 2020

One of the most exciting new figurative painters to have emerged over the last few years is Lahore-born New Yorker, Salman Toor, whose solo show at the Whitney Museum of American Art recently opened in New York and will be on view until 4 April 2021.

Toor's interior scenes—often rendered in his unmistakable emerald green tones—depict imagined narratives heavily influenced by his own experiences as a queer Asian man living in New York. Intimate scenes of lovers kissing or talking over glowing iPhone screens combine with theatrical poses on the dance floor to conjure up an alluringly whimsical atmosphere.

Toor's painterly mark-making and flair for figurative composition, together with his figures' engaging facial expressions imbue these narratives with a sense of nostalgia and emotional intensity; reflecting a depth of understanding and appreciation for Expressionist and Impressionist painters from the past.

Main image: Salman Toor, The Bar on East 13th (2019). Courtesy the artist and Perrotin. Photo: Guillaume Ziccarelli. 
Art021 Highlights: Wolfgang Tillmans
Shanghai, 15 November 2020

One of our highlights from Art021 Shanghai Contemporary Art Fair is this inkjet print from Wolfgang Tillmans' celebrated 'paper drop' series, presented by Maureen Paley.

Tillmans makes abstract works that challenge pre-existing hierarchies around photography. He constructs cameraless photographic images via a process of exposing photosensitive paper to light sources.

In the case of his 'paper drop' series, Tillmans photographs curved sheets of photographic paper. In these works, the sheet of photographic paper becomes sculptural, transformed into a voluminous, almost liquid state.

Tillmans does not view his abstract work as separate from his figurative output, and their power lies in the startlingly personal sensation elicited from something so abstract.

Main image: Wolfgang Tillmans, paper drop (green) (2019). Unframed inkjet print. 135 x 200 cm. © Wolfgang Tillmans. Courtesy Maureen Paley, London / Hove.
Art021 Highlights: David Douard
Shanghai, 13 November 2020
David Douard, EV''R 3 (2020). Aluminium frame, silk screened fabric, silk screened wood, silk screened plastic. 151 x 110 x 14.5 cm. Courtesy the artist and Galerie Chantal Crousel, Paris. Photo: Martin Argyroglo.

We love this David Douard work that Galerie Chantal Crousel are showing for Art021 Shanghai Contemporary Art Fair.

Poetry and text feed into Douard's sculptures as vital components, shaping the meaning of his objects and their surroundings. The result is the creation of a strange fictitious world made up of organic, whimsical sculptures.

Douard explains that the use of poetry in his work, which he sources from the internet, started early on in his career and represents a prolongation of the relationship he had with graffiti in his past.

'Nobody expresses anything in the street now. Everything happens on the internet,' Douard has said.

Art021 Highlights: Judy Chicago
Shanghai, 12 November 2020

Salon 94 are showing this Judy Chicago work in the online viewing rooms of Art021 Shanghai Contemporary Art Fair.

For the Birth Project (1980–1985), Judy Chicago collaborated with over 150 needleworkers to create a series of embroidery and paintings dedicated to the multifaceted experiences of giving birth.

Birth Trinity (1985), a print version of the original 1983 needlework on mesh canvas, takes a mystical turn on the process: three figures are entangled, merging into and emerging from one another, with bands of softly pulsating colours that radiate from their forms.

Main image: Judy Chicago, Birth Trinity (1985). Screenprint in colours. 35.6 x 87.6 cm. © Judy Chicago. Courtesy Salon 94.
Art021 Highlights: Brancusi
ART021, 10 November 2020
Constantin Brancusi, Jeune Fille sophistiquée (Portrait de Nancy Cunard) (1928–1932). Polished bronze. 54.9 x 14.9 x 21.9 cm. Cast by Susse Fondeur, Paris, France in 2013. © Succession Brancusi, all rights reserved/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/ADAGP, Paris. Courtesy Kasmin Gallery, New York.  

Kasmin Gallery are showing this sublime sculpture by Brancusi for Art021 Shanghai Contemporary Art Fair.

The 1932 unique cast of this work fetched USD $71 million at Christie's in 2018 and, although this is a posthumous cast, one cannot deny the sheer beauty of this object.

Brancusi's iconic polished bronze lends itself so well to more recent casting, and invites intriguing questions around authorship.

This sculpture feels contemporary, in part due to Brancusi's aesthetic influence on modern sculpture that has trickled down over the years, but also through his ability to convey modernity as an expressive form of universality.

Brancusi eschews physical characterisation for more abstract forms, but a subtle suggestion of curves, swirls, and verticality leaves us with this powerful sensation of a sophisticated woman.

Günther Uecker at Lévy Gorvy
London, 05 November 2020
Exhibition view: Günther Uecker, Lévy Gorvy, London (27 October–2 December 2020). Courtesy Lévy Gorvy.

Coinciding with his exhibition at Lévy Gorvy's new space in Paris, Günther Uecker is showing at their space on Albemarle Street, London from 27 October 2020.

Uecker's statuesque sculptures appear to be threatening relics from a turbulent past, but they are extraordinarily tactile, revealing the process involved in their making.

The artist's repetitive hammering of nails into readymade objects becomes a ritualistic process indulging Uecker's interest in Buddhist, Taoist, and Islamic philosophies.

Art Basel OVR Highlights: Adriana Varejão
Basel, 30 October 2020

Fortes D'Aloia & Gabriel showed this work by Adriana Varejão at Art Basel OVR20:c—a highlight from the fair for us.

Varejão has been one of the most critically acclaimed and commercially successful Brazilian artists over the last 25 years.

Her work unpicks the layers of colonialism and diverse cultural histories making up her native Brazil. Fragments from different times and places are assembled and recontextualised within the framework of Varejão's painting. This early canvas from 1993 is ruptured with flesh wounds, revealing a morbid violence simmering beneath the surface of the remnants of colonialism.

Varejão provides us with text from ancient maps detailing different oceans alongside beautiful variations of painted waves. Pieces of broken porcelain in an array of colours and patterns are strewn across the canvas, interconnected by delicate threads of material.

This intricate web alludes to the fragility of our cultural histories, whilst also questioning the stability and authenticity of a globalised society. Varejão uses pieces of Brazilian culture as props to construct beautifully poetic and, at times, visceral images that reflect contemporary life.

Images: Adriana Varejão, Linha Equinocial (1993). Mixed media. 220 x 160 cm. © Adriana Varejão. Courtesy Fortes D'Aloia & Gabriel.
Art Basel OVR Highlights: Lucio Fontana
Basel, 29 October 2020

Lucio Fontana's work is being shown alongside Alexander Calder's at Ben Brown Fine Arts for Art Basel OVR:20c.

Known as the father of Spatialism, Argentine-Italian artist Fontana worked with a variety of materials and techniques to experiment and pioneer conceptual limits in art.

The Movimento Spaziale was the result of the 'Manifesto Blanco', a manifesto written by the students and teachers at the Academia Altarmira, which Fontana founded in 1945. The manifesto called for art that combined elements of colour, movement, time, and space.

This work is part of Fontana's 'Concetto Spaziale' series. The linen was stretched and painted in monochromatic colours, to which Fontana would stab to create buchi (holes), exposing the space beneath. In creating this void, Fontana investigated and manipulated the space between the viewer, the canvas, and the space beyond.

The painting is significant for marking the beginning of Fontana's distinctive 'Tagli' (cuts) series. Tagli being the process of vertical or diagonal energetic slashes made to the canvas made with a sharp blade. Earlier Tagli work can be delineated for their rougher, more ragged tears, whereas later works were characterised by definitive slashes.

Main image: Lucio Fontana, Concetto Spaziale, (1958). Incisions on paper canvas. 96 x 130 cm. © Fondazione Lucio Fontana. Courtesy Ben Brown Fine Arts.
Luc Tuymans at David Zwirner
Hong Kong, 28 October 2020

Drawing on Flemish traditions of Realism, featuring representations of found images or photographs, Luc Tuymans' work engages with the world in a way that defies traditional narratives and histories to instead 'start from something real'.

His figurative paintings executed in muted colours and a hazy application of paint, create a dream-like frame, drawing on themes of memory and his interest in photography and moving image.

Still is inspired by a scene from David Lynch's film, Mulholland Drive (2001), in which Justin Theroux's character is confronted by a cowboy mysteriously advising him on his predicament.

Together with Outfit—a painting of the cowboy costume of Hollywood actor, Tom Mix—these works also investigate the image of the cowboy as a cultural embodiment of the U.S.A. and how this was exported globally. The title of the show, Good Luck, also hints to a more ominous or threatening message when considered alongside images of cowboys.

Luc Tuymans' exhibition Good Luck is showing with David Zwirner in their Hong Kong gallery, running from 27 October to 19 December 2020.

Main image: Luc Tuymans, Still (2019). Oil on canvas. 90.6 x 176.2 cm. © Luc Tuymans. Courtesy David Zwirner.
Vojtěch Kovařík at Mendes Wood DM
Brussels, 28 October 2020
Vojtěch Kovařík, Island of Ogygia, (2020). Acrylic on canvas. 250 x 200 cm. © Vojtěch Kovařík. Courtesy Mendes Wood DM.

Mendes Wood DM have announced representation of the young Czech painter, Vojtěch Kovařík.

Vojtěch Kovařík featured in their exhibition at Villa Era in Italy that opened on 26 September 2020. His paintings are figurative and monumental; using spray paint techniques, he creates a patina akin to the stone surface of sculptures.

Although hugely influenced by artists such as Baselitz, Lupertz, and Picasso—Kovařík also cites his father's readings of Greek myths from a book by Eduard Petiska as a huge influence to him.

Soviet Brutalist sculpture and murals also permeate his imagery, imbuing them with melancholy and rooting them to his native Czech Republic.

Vincent Fecteau at Galerie Buchholz
Berlin, 28 October 2020

This wall-based sculpture was part of a group of 12 new works by Vincent Fecteau for his exhibition at Galerie Buchholz, running from 11 September to 31 October 2020.

The San Francisco-based artist is also represented by Matthew Marks Gallery in New York and greengrassi in London. Recent museum solo shows have included the CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts, San Francisco (2019) and Secession, Vienna (2016).

Fecteau often uses papier-mâché, together with various everyday materials to construct his sculptures. These works contain free-flowing forms that shift in and out of legibility as our eyes wander around the surface. Each object or shape of recognition is twisted or merged into another; Fecteau's use of colour playfully intersecting this apparent malleability.

A tactile quality is alluded to via the use of felt and cotton, and although his work often invites comparison with Ken Price and Ron Nagle—perhaps due to their modest scale and abstract nature—these works seem more architectural and energised, revelling in the process of excavating and constructing forms in three-dimensional space.

Main image: Vincent Fecteau, Untitled (2020). Papier-mâché, acrylic, wood, felt. 46 x 72.5 x 32 cm. © the artist. Courtesy Galerie Buchholz, Cologne and Berlin.
Qian Jiahua at ASIA NOW
Paris, 22 October 2020
Qian Jiahua, Fountain (2019). Acrylic on canvas. 55 x 50 cm. © Qian Jiahua. Courtesy HdM Gallery.

HdM Gallery showed this painting by Qian Jiahua for ASIA NOW online, presented on Ocula, from 21 October to 7 November 2020.

Qian Jiahua is a young Chinese artist based in Shanghai and known for her geometric abstract paintings in acrylic. Her work has been included in group exhibitions at K11 Museum and the Long Museum in Shanghai.

Using thin lines of paint to dissect planes of colour applied in varying textures, Qian Jiahua's compositions are activated through these contrasting edges that form an illusion of layer and depth.

In Fountain, a thin line casts an elegant shadow, transforming the blue beneath into an airy natural tone, which is offset by a deep blue opposite. This rich blue is dramatically interrupted by a stroke of white—subtly appropriated from Hockney's famous splash paintings—and alluding to the fountain's spurting water; Qian Jiahua teases out these natural sensations and memories from within us.

Meekyoung Shin at ASIA NOW
Paris, 21 October 2020
Meekyoung Shin, Translation - Vase Series (2020). Soap, pigment, varnish, fragrance. 53 x 27 x 27 cm. © Meekyoung Shin. Courtesy Lee-Bauwens Gallery.

With her solo show In the Shadow of Time at Lee-Bauwens Gallery, Meekyoung Shin is one of two artists being shown by the gallery for ASIA NOW, which ran from 21 October to 7 November 2020.

Having received an MFA from Slade School of Art, Shin splits her time living and working between Seoul and London. Her works have been exhibited in both group and solo shows internationally.

As an artist from Korea, training in European sculpture in the U.K., Translation - Vase Series is part of her main body of work focusing on the theme of cultural hybridisation. Her detailed chinoiserie vases, a style synonymous with the antiques created for American and European export, probes viewers to question how cultural displacement affects interpretation and appreciation.

This slippage is elucidated further as we realise that the artefact is made out of soap, adding connotations of impermanence and washing or cleanliness.

Kim Tschang-Yeul at ASIA NOW
Paris, 21 October 2020

ASIA NOW ran from 21 October to 7 November 2020. One of our highlights from the previews is this Kim Tschang-Yeul painting exhibited with Almine Rech.

Korean artist Kim Tschang-Yeul is internationally renowned for his abstract paintings depicting exquisitely detailed and perfectly formed drops of water. These droplets are depicted in a moment of equilibrium, whilst reminding us of the fragility of our existence.

Kim's family fled Communist North Korea when he was a young boy, and he was to later fight in the civil war from 1950 to 1953, which left an indelible mark on his practice. As he remarked in his conversation with Vivian Chui, 'I wanted to break away from the experience of the war. When I discovered the water drop, I thought I had found a playing ground that could be my own.'

Over the course of several decades living in Seoul, New York, and Paris, Kim Tschang-Yeul developed a precise, contemplative abstract style that moves far beyond the immediacy of hyperrealist trompe l'oeil effects, revealing a powerfully meditative atmosphere. The end result is long lasting and universal in its scope.

Main image: Kim Tschang-Yeul, Waterdrops (1985). Oil on canvas. 50 x 50 x 1.5 cm. © Kim Tschang-Yeul. Courtesy the artist and Almine Rech.
Louise Bourgeois
at Sotheby's

London, 17 October 2020

Included in the major 2007 Tate retrospective and derived from a similar bronze 30 years prior, here is Louise Bourgeois' Fragile Goddess from the Contemporary Evening Sale at Sotheby's on 21 October 2020.

Autobiographical in both theme and material, Louise Bourgeois' body of work represents a therapeutic desire to emotionally repair her tumultuous childhood. A Surrealist tactility—through her use of fabric—is combined with biomorphic forms, invoking themes of gender and womanhood. With rough, fragmented stitching in stark contrast to the body's soft fabric, Fragile Goddess is a potent evocation of the traumas of motherhood and childbearing.

On womanhood, Bourgeois wrote, 'I have endeavoured during my whole life time as a sculptor to turn woman from an object into an active subject'.

Main image: Louise Bourgeois, Fragile Goddess (2002). Fabric. 33 x 12.6 x 14 cm. Courtesy Sotheby's.
Alberto Giacometti
at Phillips

London, 17 October 2020
Alberto Giacometti, Femme debout, (1961). Bronze. 44.5 x 7.8 x 11.1 cm. Courtesy Phillips.

Alberto Giacometti's exquisite Femme debout sculpture was included in the 20th Century & Contemporary Art Sale on 20 October 2020 at Phillips.

Giacometti's incredible ability to work the female form through his obsessive technique of whittling the figure down to a delicate yet domineering presence is conveyed perfectly in this sculpture.

Giacometti had a deep fascination with the human gaze and its ability to discern the life of the individual. 'If I can hold the look in the eyes, everything else follows', Giacometti once said. The artist would expect his sitters—often his wife Annette Arm—to maintain a presence as attentive as the artist himself.

Detailed, smooth and dominating, the head is in stark contrast to the rigid ultra-thin vertical body that falls beneath. The fragile proportions yet soulful presence of the figure reinforces the awe we experience when faced with this masterpiece. Commenting on his innate ability to create such contradiction, Jean-Paul Sartre noted that Giacometti's depictions on humanity were 'always mediating between nothingness and being'.

Rachel Jones
at Thaddaeus Ropac

London, 16 October 2020
Rachel Jones, A Slow Teething (2020). Oil pastel, oil stick on paper. 160 x 250 cm. © the artist. Courtesy Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac, London-Paris-Salzburg. Photo: Eva Herzog.

This painting by Rachel Jones was shown at Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac, London, as part of their group exhibition, A Focus on Painting (12 September–21 October 2020).

Rachel Jones recently completed her MA at the Royal Academy Schools and lives in London. Painted on unstretched canvas or paper pinned to the wall, she constructs powerfully visceral images bursting with colour.

Abstract forms slowly reveal an interior landscape of teeth and gums; the depths of Jones's internal body are unearthed, becoming an expression of her own inner life. This gloriously imaginative and ambient interpretation of her self invites us to reconsider how society views the Black body in other forms of imagery or media. Although Jones's innate talent as a colourist envelopes us with such sensorial power, it's this energy that has the most telling affect on us.

Kai Althoff
at Whitechapel Gallery

London, 16 October 2020
Photo: Ocula Advisory.

'Beauty in your work takes many forms, and includes your febrile drawing, so sensitive, so ornate; and your effulgent colours, which to me evoke Renaissance tapestries. Your subjects, at times, describe the essence of perfect companionship, which by definition is beautiful in its equanimity and balance.'

Laura Hoptman quoted from her conversation with Kai Althoff in the catalogue that accompanied the artist's solo exhibition at MoMA in 2016.

The elusive artist's exhibition with Bernard Leach recently opened at Whitechapel Gallery in London.

Jill Mulleady
at Gladstone Gallery

Brussels, 10 October 2020

Gladstone Gallery opened their first solo show by Jill Mulleady at their Brussels space recently.

Uruguayan-born Mulleady lives and works in Los Angeles. Her work was included in last year's Venice Biennale group exhibition, and she will be in the Hammer Museum's Made in L.A. 2020 later this year.

Mulleady's figurative paintings oscillate between complex narratives—broad in scope—and micro-cosmic details that harness metaphorical potency. Her world is imagined and fantastical.

Narrative elements are gleaned from literature and art history, but these are interwoven with contemporary references, resulting in slippery, time-bending ensembles.

Main image: Jill Mulleady, Gardens of the Blind (2020). Oil on linen. 168 x 200 cm. © Jill Mulleady. Courtesy the artist and Gladstone Gallery, New York and Brussels.
Frieze OVR Highlights:
Vaughn Spann

London, 10 October 2020
Vaughn Spann, Laurel Canyon (Saguaro) (2020). Mixed media, silk, polymer paint, canvas on stretcher bars. 156.8 x 126 x 11.1 cm. © Vaughn Spann. Courtesy Almine Rech.

Almine Rech exhibited this Vaughn Spann work in Frieze Art Fair's 2020 online viewing rooms.

Since graduating with an MFA from the Yale School of Art in 2018, Spann has already been included in more than three dozen group shows across the U.S., and there is a lot of heat around his work after recent strong secondary market auction results.

Avoiding the temptation to settle on one signature style, Spann has remained committed to making surreal figurative scenes and abstractions, as well as works that float between the two.

'I don't want to choose one conversation,' the artist has explained. 'I want to be rebellious and think through lots of ideas. I learn through the chaos.'

Frieze OVR Highlights:
Alex Da Corte

London, 07 October 2020
Alex Da Corte, Cavatica's Moon Song (2020). Neon, vinyl siding, laminate, plywood, house paint, velvet, hardware. 182.9 x 182.9 x 11.4 cm. © Alex Da Corte. Courtesy Sadie Coles HQ, London.

Sadie Coles HQ showed this Alex Da Corte sculpture for Frieze Art Fair's 2020 online viewing rooms.

Informed by Pop Art and Surrealism, Alex Da Corte creates exploratory and fantastical works. Frequently combining video and film, his hypnotic installations often fall in the category of Gesamtkunstwerk or 'total work of art', where different art forms are combined to create a single cohesive work.

Da Corte combines high and low brow American cultural references to explore the psychological complexities, desires and illusions so prevalent in capitalist culture. Cavatica's Moon Song represents a continuation of the artists use of window imagery in his work.

The shape of the hand carved out by spider webs in the open window can be seen as both beckoning and ominous, suggesting the sinister potential of the home.

Frieze OVR Highlights:
Prafulla Mohanti

London, 07 October 2020
Profulla Mohanti, Padma (1979). Mixed media on canvas. 140 x 99 cm. © Prafulla Mohant. Courtesy Jhaveri Contemporary.

We picked out this wonderful work showing with Jhaveri Contemporary for Frieze Art Fair's 2020 online viewing rooms.

Led by Zoe Whitley (Director of Chisendale Gallery), Prafulla Mohanti features in Possessions: Spirituality and the Art of our Time, Frieze's new curated section focusing on the theme of spirituality in contemporary art.

After graduating as an architect in Bombay, Mohanti moved to the U.K. in 1960 working as an architect-town planner in London. Now devoting himself to painting and writing, Mohanti's mixed media works—inspired by Indian traditional theories of cosmogony—feature concentric circles in vivid colours.

Born and having grown up in Nanpur, a village located in the east of Odisha, India, Mohanti's paintings are simultaneously rooted in his village culture, particularly yoga and tantra.

Reflecting on old village life and his move to the U.K., Mohanti notes 'Actually, I have never left the village, either physically or emotionally or spiritually because for me the two worlds are not really separate, they are one. Wherever I go, I carry my village inside of me'.

Frieze OVR Highlights:
Philip Guston

London, 07 October 2020

Hauser & Wirth included this Philip Guston painting in their Frieze Art Fair 2020 online viewing room.

Tate and several other American museums recently announced their postponement of a major touring Guston retrospective due to the sensitivity of his material during this time of political and social unrest, particularly in America.

From within the art world, there has been widespread criticism of the decision, given the overtly thoughtful nature of Guston's work that critiques many facets of Western society. There have been numerous comparisons of the present political context to that of the 1970s in the U.S. and despair at the lack of progress made.

This painting was made five years after Guston dramatically eschewed his abstract style for a more crude figurative approach. Thick brushstrokes are applied in fleshy tones, imbuing the image with a menacing grotesqueness.

Guston often focused on specific domestic or studio objects, transforming them into harrowing metaphors for broader existential doubts he felt so acutely. At times surreal and lugubrious; Guston uses visceral texture as a vehicle for ridiculing our modes of living, whilst profoundly expressing his own impending confrontation with mortality.

Main image: Philip Guston, Paw II (1975). Oil on canvas. 170.2 x 203.2 cm. © The Estate of Philip Guston. Courtesy the Estate and Hauser & Wirth. Photo: Genevieve Hanson.
Frieze OVR Highlights:
David Hammons

London, 07 October 2020
David Hammons, Untitled (Body Print) (1974). Pigment on paper. 93.7 x 78.7 x 4.1 cm. Courtesy David Hammons. Courtesy the artist and Hauser & Wirth. Photo: Jeff McLane.

Hauser & Wirth showed this historic David Hammons Body Print work in their online viewing room for Frieze Art Fair 2020.

Born in Illinois in 1943, David Hammons' diverse oeuvre, spanning the past 60 years, encompasses conceptual, performance, and installation art.

Untitled (Body Print) is part of Hammons' earliest and most renowned Body Print series. Coating bodies—usually his own—with grease or margarine, Hammons would press these body parts against a sheet of paper. Black pigment would subsequently be dusted onto the work leaving behind a figure detailed with skin, hair, and clothing.

On the process, Hammons notes, 'I have to carefully decide how to get up after I have made the impression that I want. Sometimes I lie there for perhaps three minutes or even longer just figuring out how I can get off the paper without smudging the image that I'm trying to print'.

Recording his presence in his works, and bringing visibility to the narratives and experiences of racism, Hammons reckons with the absence of Black representation in 1970s America, which he has endeavoured to confront and rectify through his work.

Frieze OVR Highlights:
Paula Rego

London, 07 October 2020
Paula Rego, Dame with Goat's Foot 1, (Undressing the Divine Lady) (2011–2012). Pastel on paper. 137 x 102 cm. © Paula Rego. Courtesy the artist and Victoria Miro, London/Venice.

Paula Rego is now represented by Victoria Miro Gallery and this is one of three pastel on paper works from their Frieze Art Fair 2020 online viewing room.

Rego is rightly considered the grand dame of figurative painting in her native Portugal, as well as the U.K., where she has lived for much of her life after studying at the Slade School of Fine Art in the 1950s.

Rego exhibited with The London Group in the 1960s, alongside David Hockney and Frank Auerbach but it was in the 1980s that she received more notable institutional support with solo exhibitions at the Gulbenkian Foundation and the Serpentine Gallery. Later, Rego was to become the subject of comprehensive survey shows at Tate Britain and the Reina Sofia.

Typically for Rego, this work incorporates fantasy or folklore into an intimate domestic scene depicted through a distinctly feminist lens.

She has described her method of using pastels as 'like painting with your fingers'. Soft, smooth tones combine with her confidently drawn line to define the form and expression of her figures.

Her hand has become looser and more economical with large parts of paper left untouched, although her figures enchant us with their melancholic gaze and the psychological complexity of their relationship. Rego's male figure seems angry and vulnerable, whilst he clings onto the 'divine lady', who confidently looks out towards us whilst propped up above him leaning on her guitar.

Numerous foreboding narratives threaten the scene, but Rego never forces them on the view, allowing us space for our own reflection.

Frieze OVR Highlights:
Alina Szapcoznikow

London, 06 October 2020
Alina Szapcoznikow, Lamp Double Mouth on Phallus (1967). Sculpture, design, coloured polyester, lightbulb and electrical wiring. 55 x 49 x 38 cm. © Alina Szapocznikow. Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris. Courtesy of Richard Saltoun Gallery, London.

This gem of a sculpture shown at Frieze Art Fair 2020 with Richard Saltoun online.

Imprisoned for over ten months in concentration camps during the Second World War as a Polish Jew, Szapocnikow's work functions as a record of both her memory as well as a commentary on the female form. Best known for her resin casts of body parts, her sculptures explore a black humour rooted in the fragility and sexualisation of the female body.

The death of Stalin in 1953 saw the Polish government loosening control over creative freedom and prompted Szapocznikow's move to figurative abstraction.

Lamp Double Mouth on Phallus (1967) is part of her sculptures produced in the 1960s that employ bright polyester resins and the forms of lips and breasts. With light bulbs concealed within, these works take the form of functional desk lamps, adding to the artist's commentary on consumer culture and modular reproduction.

Frieze OVR Highlights:
Suzanne Jackson

New York, 06 October 2020
Suzanne Jackson, El Paradiso (1981-84). Acrylic wash on canvas. 139.7 x 157.5 cm. Courtesy Ortuzar Projects. Photo: Tim Doyon.

In the late 1960s, Suzanne Jackson studied art and ballet at San Francisco State University, before touring internationally with a modern dance company and eventually settling in Los Angeles.

There, she met and studied under the influential African-American artist, Charles White, who encouraged her to set up and run Gallery 32, which endorsed the use of art as a vehicle for social activism and also gave early shows to David Hammons and Betye Saar.

For the last 28 years, Jackson has lived in Georgia, teaching at Savannah College of Art and working in her studio. The Jepson Center, Telfair Museums in Savannah honoured her with a comprehensive survey last year.

This figurative painting from the 1980s is one of our highlights from Frieze Art Fair's 2020 online viewing rooms, showing with Ortuzar Projects who held a solo show of Jackson's work at their New York space last year.

A dream landscape depicting the profiles of two faces that are tantalisingly close to kissing is rendered in layers of washed acrylic, revealing a multitude of colours that brim to the surface, whilst others fade away.

Jackson is an alchemist with colour; natural hues swirl together with richer blues and purples, imbuing the canvas with a translucent depth that is beautifully counterbalanced by solid areas of vibrant orange heat and deep red.

Jackson's silhouettes recall mystical paintings or hieroglyphic inscriptions, but the lips are curvier and the tones richer. The couple are bound together by a heart-shaped motif echoed by the bird-of-paradise plant root. Jackson's playful and poetic imagination transports us to her own alluring Eden.

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