Octavio Abúndez, A Select History of Humanity from the “(Hi)stories” series, 2018. Courtesy of Kohn Gallery.

Nicodim Gallery Opens New Location in Downtown Los Angeles, Octavio Abúndez Joins Kohn Gallery, and More

Nicodim Gallery is moving from its location in the Boyle Heights neighborhood of Los Angeles, which it has occupied since 2009, to the adjacent downtown area. Its new ten-thousand-square-foot space is on the ground floor of an industrial building at 1700 S. Santa Fe Avenue, alongside Susanne Vielmetter’s gallery, which recently underwent an expansion. Founded in 2006 by dealer Mihai Nicodim, who migrated to the United States from Romania before the collapse of the Eastern Bloc, Nicodim Gallery represents artists Razvan Boar, Adrian Ghenie, Simphiwe Ndzube, Katherina Olschbaur, and Zhou Yilun, among others. A solo exhibition of works by the Zimbabwe-based artist Moffat Takadiwa will inaugurate its new venue.

Hirshhorn Museum curator Mark Beasley has been named curatorial director of Pace Live. Based at the gallery’s new global headquarters in New York, which will open on September 14, Beasley will spearhead Pace’s multidisciplinary performance program, which will organize events for a new 150-seat, flexible gallery space. He will also serve as a consulting curator for Pace’s first solo exhibition of works by performance, video, and installation artist Vito Acconci, which will open at its London location on August 27.

During Beasley’s tenure at the Hirshhorn, where he worked as curator of media and performance for the past four years, he curated exhibitions of work by artists such as Kim Gordon, Yoko Ono, and Tino Sehgal. Previously, he held roles at the Institute of Contemporary Arts and the British Council in London and at Creative Time and Performa in New York. “Performance art is a social form; it’s essentially an unmediated encounter that isn’t experienced through a filter or a screen,” Beasley said. “I look forward to working with Marc, Andria and the Pace team, and developing new means of support for contemporary live art in all its varied and fluid forms.”

Kohn Gallery in Los Angeles now represents the Guadalajara-based conceptual artist Octavio Abúndez. Influenced by artists ranging from Ed Ruscha to Walter de Maria, Abúndez plays with the concept of utopias, dystopias, and idealized or dysfunctional societies, often analyzing them through the lens of Hollywood films and contemporary literature. 

“I am delighted to show the work of Octavio Abúndez in the gallery,” founder Michael Kohn said. “Abúndez combines a poet’s delicate touch with the candor and ingenuity of conceptual thinking, and creates paintings with language embedded in color compositions and sculptures with a social conscience.” The artist will have his debut solo exhibition with the gallery in November.

Frieze and BMW announced that the Paris-based artist Camille Blatrix has been commissioned to create the third BMW Open Work. Curated by Attilia Fattori Franchini since its inception in 2017, the initiative helps artists who utilize design and technology to push their practice in innovative new directions in order to realize a “visionary project.” Blatrix’s work, which explores the concept of desire, will be presented at Frieze London 2019, taking place in Regent’s Park from October 3 to October 6.

“My practice is deeply rooted in a close dialogue with makers and suppliers, with ideas emerging intuitively from a direct technical conversation,” Blatrix said. “Working with the BMW Individuality Department on this project, I can harness unparalleled technical knowledge, skills, and facilities in a truly open-ended way.”

Chinese artist Zhang Enli has joined Xavier Hufkens, which has two locations in Brussels. Based in Shanghai, Zhang Enli is known for his “Space Paintings,” for which he paints directly onto the walls of a room or on cardboard structures to create immersive environments. Over the course of his career, he has also produced figurative and abstract works that grapple with themes such as memory and emotion. For his first exhibition with Xavier Hufkens, the artist will display work across both galleries, which will feature his murals and oil paintings.

In a November 2013 interview with Artforum, Zhang Enli said: “When I was younger, I used to paint objects I could find around me, just things that I found either outside or around my studio. I have become much more introspective now. As you grow older you find you don’t want to express what is happening externally as much; now I don’t work from found objects, but rather from memories, or thoughts I have. A lot of my paintings, although specific to their particular environment, also reflect the body itself; the ‘Space Paintings’ mimic the body as it contains you, like a cocoon. But most of all, instead of what’s outside of myself, my paintings now reflect what’s in my heart.”