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Kim Joon, Bird Land-Armani (detail), 2008

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Miami Basel
November 26 - December 9, 2008

Talk of bursting bubbles and crashing markets has bled through the front page and into the art sections of today's news. And so, as crates of canvas arrive in Miami postmarked from around the world, the most coveted position available in today's art world is that of the spectator. Pockets will be substantially lighter at this year's Miami Basel, but there will be no shortage of eye candy for those of us just coming to look. As usual, Artkrush provides a tidy honor roll of our personal favorites, with special attention paid to Art Basel Miami Beach, as well as Scope and Photo Miami contributor Julia Fullerton-Batten, a London photographer whose studies of adolescence picture girls looming larger than life, suspended in midair, and lost in the uniform masses. Meanwhile, Artkrush editor Paul Laster connects with the Campana Brothers in Brazil to discuss the latest installment in their sci-fi furniture design series TransPlastic, included this year in Design Miami/. Across the bay from ABMB, we highlight the stylish counter-culture publications of PictureBox — exhibiting at Nada Art Fair Miami — before leaving the Sunshine State altogether to review Sze Tsung Leong's photographs of Chinese suburbia in Los Angeles, and Roman Signer's slapstick videos in the Netherlands.

Sotheby's Down $52M in Two Months
(, November 17)
Sotheby's announced steep losses, as hot-ticket canvases guaranteed for large sums in the prosperous summer months met tight pockets on the auction block. The announcement comes as no surprise, however, in light of dismal reports from peer institutions Christie's and Phillips de Pury & Co. While Sotheby's executives remain optimistic — one canvas by Russian constructivist Kazimir Malevich set a $60m record for the artist — The Wall Street Journal maintains that losses are much larger than reported.

Emily Jacir Nabs Hugo Boss Prize
(, November 14)
The seventh Hugo Boss Prize, which grants $100,000 to one artist of any age or nationality every other year, was recently awarded to Emily Jacir, winner of the Golden Lion at last year's Venice Biennale. Jacir's work combines video, sound, photography, and installation to document the difficult, sometimes violent, struggle of Palestinians living on contested ground. Upon receiving the award, the artist had few words but many thanks for the distinguished crowd gathered at the Guggenheim in New York, the city Jacir calls home outside Ramallah. Other nominees for the award included Patty Chang from the US, Denmark's Joachim Koester, and Swiss artists Christoph Buchel and Roman Signer.

Gehry Comes Home to Ontario
(The New York Times, November 15)
Though it's "not a perfect building," according to New York Times critic Nicolai Ouroussoff, Frank Gehry's new glass-and-steel addition to the Ontario Art Gallery has been welcomed into the prolific architect's hometown as part of Toronto's recent architectural renaissance. Crowning the building, a new curvaceous glass facade, shaped like the bow of a ship, draws a sharp contrast to the low-lying brick exterior, but inside, patrons can enjoy a nuanced interplay of ramps and stairways leading between older galleries and the new wing. November's been a busy month for the starchitect: his design for Jerusalem's Center for Human Dignity-Musuem of Tolerance got the go-ahead; his firm announced a 2009 move out of LA; and a UK project has been canceled.

Koh Show Draws Art-World Stars
(, November 13)
All the right names gathered last week in the late Richard Avedon's former studio on East 75th Street in New York City for Terence Koh's Flowers for Baudelaire, organized by 23-year-old collector Vito Schnabel, son of Julian. Few, however, actually agreed to taste the corn-syrup and sugar canvases by Koh, who's been known to mix bodily fluids in with his medium. Olivier Sarkozy, brother of the French President and host, welcomed art-world kingpins Klaus Biesenbach, Mary Boone, and Jeffrey Deitch. The crowd — which also included Simon de Pury and Yvonne Force Villareal — was in exceptionally high spirits, reportedly cutting lines of powdered sugar from Koh's canvases and, yes, even wearing lampshades on their heads.

French police mistake art for porn more »

Layoffs at Damien Hirst's studio more »

New Renzo Piano-designed wing at the Kimbell Art Museum more »

Surviving the art market's crash more »

A sleeker Smithsonian opens in DC more »

Art dealer Javier Peres profiled more »

High marks for Toyo Ito's Berkeley Museum more »

Artists Rally To Save LA's MoCA more »

Taiwan's "strawberry generation" exhibits in Taipei more »

Silver lining for MoMA in market slump more »

Cooper-Hewitt director leaves for London more »

Dallas Museum loses two more curators more »

Lewitt retrospective at Mass MoCA more »

£1m statue identified on BBC's Antiques Roadshow more »

Picturing Naomi Campbell in Art Photo Expo Miami more »

Eli Broad to open his own museum more »

Rufino Tamayo mural defies sales slump more »

Europe's tallest skyscraper cancelled more »

Art that hurts more »

Museum as Hub more »

Murakami to Open LA Animation Studio more »

New Site for Presidio Museum? more »

Picasso art dealer and collector Jan Krugier dies at 80 more »

Ab-Ex Painter Grace Hartigan Dies At 86 more »

Note: Some online publications require registration to access the articles. If you encounter a registration screen, try a shared username and password from BugMeNot.

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[ Art Basel Miami Beach ]


Katharina Fritsch / Cindy Sherman / Banks Violette

Art Basel Miami Beach is upon us once again, and in full force, despite reports from The Miami Herald and many others of an art-market crash. While the economic draught is destined to take its toll on this year's transactions, let us not forget the ability of Miami's powerhouse art fair to spark conversation, dissolve inhibitions, and cast the spotlight on young talent.

Included in this year's Art Kabinett — an array of small, curated exhibitions — is Miami-bred, Peruvian-born artist William Cordova. In addition to several large-scale gold-leaf drawings, Cordova salvages a chopped-up car from an impound lot to create a makeshift living room, courtesy of Arndt & Partner. Also in Art Kabinett, a kinetic installation by the late Op artist Jesús Rafael Soto incorporates more than 1,500 vibrating metal elements, and Galerie Lelong presents the third installment of Yoko Ono's touch me series, in which a silicone woman instructs viewers to dip their fingers in water and touch any part they choose.

Among the highlights in the galleries section of the fair, Lehmann Maupin's Mickalene Thomas seduces with her new film and series of paintings, while, in a departure from his embroidered works, Angelo Filomeno exhibits black, hand-fired, and hand-polished glass skeletons and skulls. Brussels' Xavier Hufkens shows several new Thomas Houseago sculptures, in addition to the artist's outdoor sculpture in Lummus Park, where viewers find public works comprising this year's Art Projects series. Among these, Miami's Fredric Snitzer Gallery presents COOPER's Dark Fountain, offering thirsty joggers "toxic" water that runs black and oily: a clear indication of public contamination.

Down on the beach, Art Positions joins the recent trend of converting giant shipping containers into art spaces or, in some cases, into sculptures themselves. Renwick Gallery's Jose Davila spent the last week with his arsenal of power tools, evenly vivisecting his container in the vein of Donald Judd's stack sculptures. Quisqueya Henriquez from David Castillo Gallery offers a site-specific collage, while artist collective My Barbarian presents Hysteria-Theater, a red-velvet womb of masked, musical performers, courtesy of Steve Turner Contemporary. Mexican artist Teresa Margolles transforms Galeria Salvador Diaz's container into a mausoleum-like jewelry store; the space takes on an even graver tone as viewers learn that the wares are fashioned from windshield fragments, taken from the scenes of revenge killings in Mexico.

Younger artists get their chance to strike the right chord in the Art Nova section. Sies + Hoke Galerie's Kris Martin, whose 20-foot-tall bronze bell swings silently by a magnetic motor, serving as a solemn reminder of the passage of time. Alexander Gray Associates presents text-based works by Luis Camnitzer, who provides insight into the final thoughts of death-row inmates. Nathalie Djurberg and Jules de Balincourt share Zach Feuer's booth, and Salon 94 debuts Aida Ruilova's five-channel video installation, accompanied by a series of 26 relief posters of the Latin alphabet.

Meanwhile, just across the bay from ABMB, galleries in Wynwood and the Design District are the official annual home to satellite fairs Scope and Art Asia, which share a monster-sized tent this year, featuring site-specific installations by artist collective Friends With You. Additionally, NADA's hammocks are still swaying at the Ice Palace, with Photo Miami, Pulse, and Art Miami just minutes away.  - Daria Brit Shapiro

Art Basel Miami Beach is on view December 4-7; and Scope, Art Asia, Nada, Photo Miami, Pulse, and Art Miami run December 3-7.

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  Sze Tsung Leong: History Images
Los Angeles

Shoshana Wayne Gallery
Now through November 29

Sze Tsung Leong describes himself as a British/American and claims Mexico City as his birthplace, but in the latest edition of his History Images at Shoshana Wayne Gallery, he turns his attention toward the urbanization of modern China. These massive, detailed C-prints depict the cold rubble from which homogenous buildings sprout. Including minimal touches of color and only a few ant-like figures in his compositions, Leong enhances the sterility of the works, a reflection of the anonymity that consumes the setting. The characteristic starkness of these photographs gives viewers an unsettling look at urban sprawl in China.  - Ashley Tibbits

  Haeri Yoo: Pain Patch
New York

Thomas Erben Gallery
Now through December 6

Blurring the boundary between abstraction and representation, Brooklyn-based, Korean-born painter Haeri Yoo hits the mark with Pain Patch, her first solo show in the US. Painting with frenzied, expressive brushwork and a lively palette, Yoo slices and dices figures and furniture with her brush, until erotically charged, semi-abstract mounds are all that remain. Shore suggests the washed-up remains of a dreadful shipwreck, with severed heads and torsos littering the beach, while Chin Table proposes a dissected room where the inhabitants are fragmented in their surroundings. Gestures and body parts come alive on the canvas and bond together in a moving image of life.  - Paul Laster

  Douglas Kolk: Doom Holiday

Pilar Parra & Romero
Now through December 23

For his first solo exhibition in Spain, Doom Holiday, Douglas Kolk displays his chaotic view of modernity with nine poster-sized collages and a life-size sculpture at Madrid's Pilar Parra & Romero. Pop-culture images of shadowy fashionistas are interspersed with colorful lines that faintly allude to an urban grid. Occasional snippets of text and spray-painted silhouettes of animals, leaves, and tires haunt works such as Garden and Let's Go to the Devil. In a torrent of fragmented images and the haphazardly dressed sculpture Drinking man, the American multimedia artist interprets contemporary anxiety frozen in place. Enveloped in a sense of vulnerability and death, each composition slips between hollow distortions of the real and depictions of reality itself.  - Sarah Stephenson

  Bharti Kher: Sing to them that we listen

Galerie Emmanuel Perrotin
Now through January 10

In Sing to them that we listen, Bharti Kher appropriates materials already steeped in significance. Large panels of multi-colored or all-white felt bindis — the decoration worn on the forehead in parts of India and Southeast Asia — are stacked, patterned, and presented like paintings. Certain spermatozoa-shaped bindis swim outward, evoking concerns of mutation, migration, and origin. Three life-size, fiberglass, female figures animate the space; one of the more confounding of the three, a decapitated Kali, holds an ape's head and a teacup while fornicating with the stem of her pedestal. A large wall piece of white bindis winds outward, recalling that an inward force is required for all that circular motion.  - Erin Cowgill

  Roman Signer: Reisebilder zwischen Leben und Tod

Now through January 18

A master of slapstick, Roman Signer makes photographs, sculptures, installations, drawings, and short films that poke fun at everyday objects and situations. Reisebilder zwischen Leben und Tod, which roughly translates as, "Travel pictures between life and death," provides an intimate overview of his work. Photographs of charming food stands and handcrafted memorials shot in the Ukraine and Romania fill the walls of one of the galleries, surrounding an installation that Signer made by riding a bike around a central structure, wrapping it with yellow caution tape. In Nachfahrt, a video projected out of the back of a small Italian postal truck captures a rainy drive from a town to the countryside, lit by the truck's headlights. Signer's dry sense of humor is best exhibited in a series of Super-8 films that records a variety of absurd actions, such as his hat being yanked off by a bottle rocket. In addition to these, some 70 drawings on view illustrate the planning behind his farfetched works.  - Paul Laster

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[ Julia Fullerton-Batten ]


Julia Fullerton-Batten

A rising star in the photography world, London-based artist Julia Fullerton-Batten alternates easily between fine art photography and commercial commissions, with the ability to capture the aloofness and allure of modern living.

Born in Germany and raised in the US and the UK, Fullerton-Batten leapt into the photography industry as a freelance assistant after completing a BTEC Diploma in Photography at Berkshire College of Art and Design. There, she developed a distinct style, characterized by careful lighting — often supplementing natural light with flash bulbs — and fastidious location scouting, costumes, and composition. Her photographs have a slick air about them, subtly counterbalanced by unsettling narratives that grate on otherwise flawless images.

This contrast is manifest in her ongoing series of photographs of teenage girls. In Teenage Stories, street-cast models act out scenarios in model cities, while School Play focuses on the rites and rituals of uniformity in institutions of learning. In the most recent series, In Between — which alludes to the transition from childhood to adult life — Fullerton-Batten captures girls in suspended motion using post-production techniques. Her subjects are frozen, yet propelled by a beckoning force — floating from a four poster bed or poised for take-off amid shards of a shattered glass at her feet. These strangely detached images, and others in her personal oeuvre, evoke the isolated urban scenes of Edward Hopper, who Fullerton-Batten cites as inspiration, along with artists Eric Fischl and Gerard Schlosser.

Employing her eye for the whimsical, Fullerton-Batten has garnered a wide range of commissions, from a series of 16 portraits of leading NHS professionals (A Picture of Health) for London's National Portrait Gallery, to advertising campaigns with Sony and Ligne Roset. With a number of prestigious awards under her belt (the Prize of the Royal Photographic Society London and the Prix de la Fondation HSBC 2007) and regular appearances at art and photography fairs and biennales, Fullerton-Batten is clearly in full flight.  - Helen Holtom

Julia Fullerton-Batten is exhibiting at London's Eric Franck Fine Art through November 28. Her work is also on view from December 3 through 7 with Madrid's Camara Oscura Galeria de Arte at Photo Miami and with Jenkins Johnson Gallery, as part of Scope Miami's special projects program.

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[ Campana Brothers ]  

Campana Brothers
View more images »
Fernando and Humberto Campana have shaped the look of contemporary design for more than two decades. Celebrated for their whimsical furniture and lighting, the Campana Brothers have received the 2008 Designer of the Year at Design Miami/. Artkrush editor Paul Laster recently connected with the prolific duo in their studio in São Paulo, Brazil to discuss their practice and new designs.
AK: I've read that one of you practiced law and the other studied architecture. How did you start designing furniture?

CB: After receiving his law degree, Humberto took some classes in terracotta sculpture, and he saw his calling in the art world. Then he opened his studio, where Fernando soon joined him to give him a hand during the summer, and that evolved into a partnership of more than 25 years.

AK: What inspires your design practice?

CB: Brazil is what inspires us — its people, habits, and landscape. We take inspiration from everyday scenes, from what we see on the streets, the music we hear, and the trips we take.

AK: You've referenced the famous favelas of Rio de Janeiro in your chairs, sculptures, and installations. Why are these neighborhoods so influential for you?

CB: These housing complexes are untouched by globalization. They are fragile, poetic, and spontaneous. The favela people have their own design viewpoint, which is influenced by their needs and the availability of supplies.

AK: You grant your assistants a lot of freedom in creating studio pieces, such as the Banquete, Multidao, and Sushi chairs. What role does their collaboration play in the end product?

keep reading the interview »

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PictureBox is one of the most adventurous art publishers working today. Touted as a "Grammy Award-winning visual culture studio and publishing house" — after taking home the award for its 2005 cover design for Wilco's A Ghost Is Born — the Brooklyn-based company produces a lively assortment of books, comics, zines, posters, and apparel. Publisher, editor, and art director Dan Nadel co-founded the company in 1999 in order to publish the graphic-art zine The Ganzfeld, which recently put out its seventh, largest, and final issue. PictureBox also has a number of new and noteworthy counter-culture publications. The massive Gary Panter monograph contains everything you need to know about the design whiz behind Pee Wee's Playhouse, with one of the two volumes documenting 23 years of the titular punk cartoonist's sketchbooks. For the Love of Vinyl reproduces the album art of the dynamic British design firm Hipgnosis, which created iconic covers for Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, Peter Gabriel, and many others during the '60s and '70s. Meanwhile, Overspray covers the LA airbrush art market of the same era, focusing on four of the greats — Charles E. White III, Peter Palombi, Dave Willardson, and Peter Lloyd — who made ads, album covers, movie posters, and magazine pages pop with fantastic, hyper-real imagery.  - Paul Laster

PictureBox is exhibiting at the Nada Art Fair Miami 2008 from December 3 to 7 and will produce the exhibition catalogue.

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Cover Art
Kim Joon
Bird Land-Armani, 2008
Lambda print
39 1/2 x 69 in./100 x 175 cm
Courtesy Keumsan Gallery, Seoul
All Rights Reserved

Paul Laster

Deputy Editor
Joel Withrow

Contributing Editors
Adda Birnir
Erin Cowgill
Shana Nys Dambrot
Sarah Kessler
Doug Levy
Andrew Maerkle
H.G. Masters
Marlyne Sahakian
Sarah Stephenson
Greg Zinman

Helen Holtrom
Lauren McKee
Daria Brit Shapiro
Ashley Tibbits

Mailer Design
Jessica Bauer-Greene
Mark Barry

Cultural Partner
Morgan Croney

Sascha Lewis
Mark Mangan

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Artkrush is a twice-monthly email magazine, featuring current news, people, and events in the international art community. All stories and links are pure editorial, never paid advertisements.

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