• Dog Days of Summer


    Last Sunday my dog Rulo and I caught the final afternoon of dOGUMENTA, a three-day event promoted as “America’s first art show for dogs,” organized by NYC-based art critic Jessica Dawson and Mica Scalin, a creative development consultant and partner at Another Limited Rebellion, an art and innovation studio.

    It was a slick operation, as one would expect in a highly branded environment like the Waterfront Plaza at Brookfield Place, a luxury retail and housing development on the North Cove Marina. Dog-friendly art aficionados might recall Brian Jungen’s elaborate Dog Run designed

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  • Naked Truth

    MAJOR KUDOS TO THE WELL-HEELED GUESTS who attended the Watermill Center benefit on an unseasonably chilly July night. The step-and-repeat, which wound from the main road down to the nonprofit’s rolling campus, was an eveningwear obstacle course: paths of giant pine needles, steep grassy stairs, and a stretch of river rock, not to mention large installations by Jared Madere and Miles Greenberg.

    I walked back and forth three times. Not once did I see a fall, not even in Raúl de Nieves and Erik Zajaceskowski’s temporary sound-cave installation, where a floor of large stones acted as a musical

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  • Cosmic Thing

    FOR SOME PERSPECTIVE, SOME ART: In 1917, the year Duchamp signed a urinal, the one-hundred-inch reflecting telescope on Mount Wilson saw what astronomers lovingly call “first light.” The cost of a certain Basquiat would build the so-named Hooker telescope and dome ten times over. Its famous mirror alone took five years to coat and polish—as long as a Koons balloon dog.

    But to really get a feel for the instrument that bounced light at the retinas of Edwin Hubble and Albert Einstein, and that first gauged the redshift of our expanding universe and peeped a galaxy beyond our own—it helps to see it

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  • Peake Performance


    Rival factions of the Camorra, the crime syndicate that rules sanitation and trade in the Gulf of Naples, had set waste dumps on the slopes ablaze and the town was heating up, in more ways than one. It wasn’t just the mercury that was sizzling. People were going around naked.

    Cue Volcano Extravaganza 2017.

    Fiorucci Art Trust director Milovan Farronato and founder Nicoletta Fiorucci annually import this summertime bonding-in-art experience from their base in London. The Vinyl Factory returned as producing partner for the Extravaganza’s seventh edition (July 13 to 16), an

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  • Faded Memories

    IN AN AGE OF FRANCHISE ENTERTAINMENT, the best sequels might be those not planned too far in advance. Or so it seemed at last Friday’s opening of “FADE IN 2: EXT. MODERNIST HOME – NIGHT,” an exhibition that seeks to blur the lines between art and cinema.

    Organized by Swiss Institute director Simon Castets and curator Julie Boukobza and hosted by the Museum of Contemporary Art Belgrade’s Gallery-Legacy Čolaković, the show marks the inaugural outing of the freshly launched Balkan Projects, a Los Angeles–based cultural platform fronted by actress Marija Karan.

    The exhibition’s first iteration—“FADE

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  • Under Pressure

    THIS TRADE–CUM–BANKING MEGALOPOLIS just hasn’t been the same since the Brexit blowtorch caught aflame last year. Boiling blisters of social unrest last burst in the 2011 London riots, and had been temporarily covered by courtly Band-Aids. How surprised should we really be to find that the wounds wrought by inequality, racism, isolationism, and xenophobia still fester? The slate and chalk hills feel like all that’s left holding this country together as the continuous surge of violent attacks and gut-wrenching tragedies like Grenfell Tower make it hard to believe in a society based on faith and

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  • Second Coming

    SUMMER IN NEW YORK IS DISMAL. It turns your face into a pus farm, the air is rich with the scent of garbage cooking on the sidewalks, and my friends’ lengthy trips to Montauk or Morocco remind me of what everyone else seems to have and I don’t.

    Thankfully, others approach the season with a spirit of generosity—specifically Vanessa Carlos, Simone Subal, and Nicole Russo, the organizers of Condo New York, “a large-scale collaborative exhibition of international galleries” (as per Condo’s website) that sidesteps the enervating costs and madness of the art-fair circuit and promotes collaborative

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  • Greek to Me

    IN SOME PLACES, the art bubble can be benevolent—say, in Greece, the birthplace of democratic ideals.

    Remember ideals?

    If the country is in crisis politically, its art world is thriving. Or so it seemed when the plane landed in Athens during a drenching rain, unusual for the middle of June. Perhaps the gods objected to the art horde arriving from Basel for a weekend jaunt. Perhaps they just wanted to wash away the turmoil of the past—the recent past, that is. Ancient history lives in the visible foundations of this city. And what are foundations for if not to build something new?

    There lies Documenta

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  • Julia’s Child

    SOMETIMES THE UNIVERSE throws you a curveball. Like at the ten-year anniversary exhibition of the Julia Stoschek Collection in Düsseldorf, where, standing in front of Ed Atkins and Simon Thompson’s SKY NEWS LIVE, a gripping newsfeed depicted the unfolding results of the British general election. Having witnessed from afar the Westminster, Manchester, and London Bridge attacks, sandwiched by Theresa May’s hard-line Brexit rhetoric and her snap election, I was ready to give up when reading a poll predicting the biggest Tory landslide since Thatcher. (No prizes for guessing my politics.) But as

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  • Making History


    “Our most successful ever.”


    “One of the most upbeat fairs I can remember!”

    That’s pretty much the consensus—from dealers—on the forty-eighth edition of Art Basel.

    Now that it’s over we can say that collectors paid big—hundreds of millions—for the big names and spent more good money on the next tier and the one after that. Even as the world ties itself into sorrier knots every day, the market for modern and contemporary art is booming.

    Is it like anxious eating? “Either that,” one dealer told me, “or it’s a demonstration of faith in art and a willingness to invest in

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  • Five and Dime

    THE ART WORLD IS A TRIP. With the Whitney Biennial, the Venice Biennale, Documenta in Athens and Kassel, and Skulptur Projekte Münster all coinciding in one “süperkunstyear,” it’s hard for even the most veteran art traveler to keep up.

    Over the weekend, the venerable Skulptur Projekte Münster began to draw crowds from Documenta or those en route to Zurich and Basel for its fifth edition since its inception in 1977. Skulptur Projekte’s unique model—new sculptural commissions installed mostly in public spaces every ten years—makes for a provocative scavenger hunt of public art. The show is deeply

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  • Mediterranean See

    THE ITALIAN REGION OF PUGLIA is where the eighteenth edition of the Mediterranea Young Artists Biennale kicked off, its theme a perennial and problematic formula: “History + Conflict + Dream + Failure = Home.” The shows and performances, in Tirana and Durrës, Albania, present the work of 230 young artists and performers, aged eighteen to thirty-four, from Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and the Mediterranean diaspora. It is fitting that the biennial is located this time in Albania, a nascent country with an elusive national identity.

    The biennial’s inaugural conference took place on the periphery

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