"Miraculous Beginnings," the title of Lebanese artist Walid Raad's current solo show at the Whitechapel Gallery, East London, takes a Biblical tack while alluding to his country's troublesome first years of existence, following its founding in 1926 and independence in 1942. The exhibition looks at the nature of collective memory in a young country that has never known a sustained time of peace. Organized as a timeline, the exhibition presents some of Raad's work over the last 20 years, with a focus on projects completed through the Atlas Group, an imaginary thinktank he founded
in 1989 to produce art that looked like research, focusing on the Lebanese civil wars (1975–1990/91), and the constant menace and normalization of violence. Read More
Following French president Nicolas Sarkozy's prohibition of the burka and head veil in that nation's work environments this summer, which initiated heated debates all over Europe, a number of galleries and artists participating in the 37th edition of Parisian art fair FIAC (October 21–24) presented work that looked at veiling and concealing, the "other'" and national identity. The collection of works at any art fair represents countless perspectives (and sales pitches), but whether motivated by site and contemporaneity or using the fair's publicity and distribution mechanisms to foreground unheard voices, a variety of works looked to deal productively with France's very present issues of post-colonialism and immigration. Read More
Armenian, Los Angeles-born Larry Gagosian (b.1954) was once nicknamed "Go-Go" for his skill at re-selling art works. Today, with nine eponymous galleries, and artists under his belt ranging from Pablo Picasso to Jeff Koons, he is one of America's most notable success stories. After opening a space in Athens and two in London, he has now landed into Paris, with today's launch of a brand-new space by Paris's Champs Elysées, side-by-side with Christie's, and corresponding the opening of FIAC's 37th edition. Read More
The question of how one defines and delimits a work of art is neither new nor in danger of resolution. This year, Frieze's sculpture park (which closed yesterday) offered a wide range of work with seemingly little in common in media in theme, but for a recurring inquiry as to the role and impact of the viewer as an active agent addressing each piece. Situated in Regent's Park's rambling but manicured English Gardens, minutes from the fair, it by consequence of it location occupies a dual position: an annual index to the significance of monuments, and supplement to Frieze's branding.
Since the assimilation of Jean-Michel Basquiat and Keith Haring, and now perhaps reaching its pinnacle as Jeffrey Deitch prepares his programming at MoCA, street art has been a part of contemporary art around the world. But the institutionalization of the form still is a novelty for Russia, where there is a small underground graffiti scene, but only the best-known—like Misha Most or Valery Chtak—have had gallery exhibitions, and remained marginal.
This, the Moscow International Biennial for Young Art 2010
has decided to redress. Read More