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    ‘I Have to Escape All the Time’: Watch Artist Alejandro Almanza Pereda Transform His Move Out of New York Into Art About Exploration

    As a child in Mexico, the artist Alejandro Almanza Pereda was obsessed with filmmaker John Carpenter’s cult classic, Escape From New York, in which Manhattan has been transformed into a prison and the hero is in a race against time to save the US president from a ticking time bomb. 
    While this premise is a few light years removed from Almanza Pereda’s current life, he felt a kinship with it when he made the radical decision to leave New York (and its outrageous rent) for his native Mexico City. For the artist, New York may not have been a literal prison, as it was depicted in Escape from New York, but it became a figurative one that he describes as “a playground for really privileged people.”
    In an exclusive interview filmed as part of Art21’s New York Close Up series, the artist tasks himself with a seemingly impossible mission: to create an entirely new body of work in the three weeks between the time he purchased a one-way ticket for Mexico and the day his plane departed.

    Production still from the Art21 “New York Close Up” film “Alejandro Almanza Pereda Escapes from New York.” © Art21, Inc. 2015.

    Instead of dwelling on his impending departure, Almanza Pereda channels his frenetic energy into his new project, riffing on Dutch still life paintings by staging similar tableaux that have a twist: the objects are underwater and upside down. The artist gathers knickknacks he accumulated in his Hunter College studio and goes shopping in Chinatown to find more objects. He recounts a lifelong fascination with underwater exploration, Jacques Cousteau, and sea creatures.
    Here, on the surface, everything stays put—the gravity,” he tells Art21. “In the water, you can use those levitations to kind of create different sculptures in a way. It’s pretty spectacular.”
    In the video, Almanza Pereda goes through a bittersweet tour of Chinatown, which he considers one of the most quintessentially New York neighborhoods, as he prepares his final work and his impending escape from the city.
    “I have to say that I think everybody in the world should live in New York at least one or two years to just, kind of, make sense,” he says. “But it’s not the only lifestyle you can have. It’s not the only way of doing things.” Though he is sad to leave New York, the artist isn’t thinking he’ll be in Mexico City forever. “So I might escape from Mexico City, you know? I might go to LA and escape from there. I have to escape all the time.”

    Watch the video, which originally appeared as part of Art21’s series Art in the Twenty-First Century below. The brand new 10th season of the show is available now at Art21.org. 
    [embedded content]
    This is an installment of “Art on Video,” a collaboration between Artnet News and Art21 that brings you clips of newsmaking artists. A new series of the nonprofit Art21’s flagship series Art in the Twenty-First Century is available now on PBS. Catch all episodes of other series like New York Close Up and Extended Play and learn about the organization’s educational programs at Art21.org.
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    Laurene Powell Jobs Is Co-Funding a Global Tour of the Immersive VR Refugee Experience ‘Carne Y Arena’ to Combat ‘Division in Our Society’

    Filmmaker Alejandro González Iñárritu’s virtual reality exhibition, “Carne y Arena (Virtually present, Physically invisible),” which won a rare “Special Award” Oscar for its technical accomplishments, is embarking on an international, multi-year tour starting this month. 
    In Iñárritu’s work, which debuted at the Festival de Cannes in 2017 before traveling to Los Angeles, Mexico City, Milan, Washington, DC, and Amsterdam, visitors don virtual reality headsets for a hyperrealistic journey through the eyes of a refugee in an intense run-in against patrol agents at the US–Mexico border.
    The exhibition’s footage was shot by Oscar-winning cinematographer and frequent Iñárritu collaborator Emmanuel Lubezki, and was based on true accounts from Latin American immigrants and border-control agents.
    Whereas previous iterations of “Carne y Arena” featured a single navigational path, the newly reconfigured experience features three separate spaces across 8,000 square feet, for multiple viewers to experience at once while maintaining social-distancing protocols.
    Arts and technology venture PHI Studio was responsible for the technical updates. The group partnered with the exhibition’s original producers, the Fondazione Prada, Legendary Entertainment, and the Laurene Powell Jobs-founded social-justice organization Emerson Collective, to finance the tour.  
    “The root of the division in our society comes from our inability to see ourselves in one another and recognize our common humanity,” Jobs said in a statement. “‘Carne y Arena’ confronts that division, putting us in the shoes of immigrants and refugees, and making it impossible for us to look away. It is an incredibly moving experience that, I hope, will help bring about a shift in how we see ourselves and one another.”
    Tickets for the experience range from $35 to $55 depending on the venue, with all profits going back towards the work, a representative for the exhibition’s organizers told Artnet News.
    The venture may face some challenges, however, as the experience economy faces new challenges post-lockdown. Representatives for the event said they had no estimates on how many tickets they would be able to sell.
    One of the most successful filmmakers of his generation, Iñárritu has taken home multiple dozens of awards for his unsparing dramas, including Biutiful, The Revenant, and Birdman.
    The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences voted to give “Carne y Arena” a special Oscar in October of 2017 “in recognition of a visionary and powerful experience in storytelling.” It is the first such awarded handed out in more than two decades.
    The touring exhibition will kick off in Aurora, Colorado, this Friday, October 23, before traveling to Montreal in December. Future stops on the tour will be announced in the coming months. 
    See a trailer for the exhibition below.

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    An Eagle-Eyed Art Lover Rediscovered a Long-Lost Jacob Lawrence Painting After Recognizing It in a Friend’s Apartment

    A sharp-eyed visitor to “Jacob Lawrence: The American Struggle,” an exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, has identified a long-lost artwork by the pioneering African American Modernist that was hiding in plain sight—just across the park from the museum.
    The lost painting, which belongs to Lawrence’s “Struggle: From the History of the American People” series (1954–56), was missing for 60 years, and has now been reunited with its companion works for the exhibition. The panel belongs to two neighbors of the visitor who spotted the work, and was purchased by the couple on the cheap around Christmas 1960, at a charity auction for a music school.
    The person who recognized the work had been to the Met exhibition, and suggested the couple reach out to the museum. (The couple that owns the painting are not art collectors and wish to remain anonymous.)
    “It is rare to make a discovery of this significance in modern art, and it is thrilling that a local visitor is responsible,” Met director Max Hollein said in a statement.
    Jacob Lawrence, Panel 27. . . . for freedom we want and will have, for we have served this cruel land long enuff . . . —A Georgia Slave, 1810, (1956). From Struggle Series, 1954–56. © The Jacob and Gwendolyn Lawrence Foundation, Seattle / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.

    Randall Griffey and Sylvia Yount, who organized the traveling show’s Met iteration, were only CC’d on emails about the possible find last week, reports the New York Times.
    Isabelle Duvernois, the Met’s modern paintings conservator, was promptly dispatched to the couple’s apartment and determined that not only was the painting authentic, it had been well cared-for and was ready to join the exhibition in short order.
    Lawrence (1917–2000) painted the 30-panel “Struggle” series during the civil rights movement to highlight the roles of Black people, Native Americans, and women in building the country’s democracy.
    Unlike the artist’s nine other series, which are all owned in their entirety by public collections, “Struggle” was purchased by a private collector, William Meyers, after two shows at Charles Alan’s New York gallery failed to attract an institutional buyer. It hasn’t been seen all together since the dealer’s 1958 show.
    Jacob Lawrence poses in his Seattle, Washington, studio. Photo by George Rose/Getty Images.

    Without a clause in the sales contract requiring the series stay intact, Meyers soon began selling the paintings individually. The current exhibition, which originated in January at the Peabody-Essex Museum in Salem, Massachusetts, is set to travel—in its newly expanded form—to Birmingham, Alabama; Seattle, Washington; and Washington, DC.
    There were no existing photographs of the newly rediscovered work, panel 16 in the series, which was known only by its title, here are combustibles in every State, which a spark might set fire to. —Washington, 26 December 1786.
    “Since reuniting the ‘Struggle series,’ the absence of panel 16 has been felt acutely. Represented in our galleries as an empty frame, it was a mystery that we were all eager to solve,” Peabody-Essex Museum director Brian Kennedy said in a statement. “We are thrilled to learn of its discovery—one that came about thanks to close looking and careful observation by a museum visitor.”
    Jacob Lawrence, Panel 25. I cannot speak sufficiently in praise of the firmness and deliberation with which my whole line received their approach . . . —Andrew Jackson, New Orleans, 1815, (1956.) From Struggle Series, 1954–56. © The Jacob and Gwendolyn Lawrence Foundation, Seattle / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Photo by Bob Packert/PEM.

    The painting depicts Shays’s Rebellion, in which Revolutionary War veteran Daniel Shays led an uprising of struggling farmers in western Massachusetts in 1786 and ’87. The conflict, a protest against high taxes, is credited with helping to inspire the Founding Fathers to hold the Constitutional Convention.
    “Lawrence’s dynamic treatment of the 1786–87 Shays’s Rebellion reinforces the overall theme of the series—that democratic change is possible only through the actions of engaged citizens, an argument as timely today as it was when the artist produced his radical paintings in the mid-1950s,” Griffey and Yount said in a joint statement.
    Four paintings from the series remain missing. Another long-lost “Struggle” painting, panel 19, turned up at auction during planning for the current show. Art collector Harvey Ross, who owns half the series, spent $413,000 to buy Tensions on the High Seas at New York’s Swann Auction Galleries in 2018.
    “Jacob Lawrence: The American Struggle” is on view at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1000 Fifth Avenue, August 29–November 1, 2020. 
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    FIAC May Be Canceled But the Show Must Go On. Here Are 8 Must-See Exhibitions During the Paris Art Week

    The worsening public health situation in Europe has meant that the FIAC art fair will not be taking place this year as usual in the Grand Palais. While the fair’s cancellation prompted mixed reactions in the Parisian art scene, many are determined to show that the spirit of the art week lives on in the numerous exhibitions opening at the city’s museums and galleries this week.
    Gallery night this year is October 22, with spaces staying open to visit until 8 p.m, leaving enough time for art lovers to get home before the city’s 9 p.m. curfew.
    Here is our pick of eight shows to see around Paris during this very unusual FIAC week.

    Cindy Sherman at Fondation Louis VuittonThrough January 3, 2021

    Cindy Sherman, Untitled #602 (2019). Collection Fondation Louis Vuitton, Paris. Courtesy of the Artist and Metro Pictures, New York © 2020 Cindy Sherman.

    Shape-shifting photographer Cindy Sherman is getting the full treatment at Fondation Louis Vuitton, her first show in Paris since 2006. The works on view span the artist’s long career, from the groundbreaking “Untitled Film Stills” to her more recent “Disasters,” “Headshots,” and “Society Portraits.”
    Due to the influx of visitors, the Fondation recommends guests come in the morning or after 5 p.m.

    “Sarah Sze: Night Into Day” at Fondation CartierOctober 24, 2020–March 7, 2021

    Sarah Sze, Centrifuge (2017). Presented at Haus Der Kunst © Sarah Sze Photo © Sarah Sze Studio​.

    Sarah Sze is debuting two new works at Fondation Cartier that will reflect upon the architecture of the Jean Nouvel-designed building. Sze’s immersive installations are meditations on technology and the ways images are shared, transferred, and created.
    Tickets are available to book online at Fondation Cartier.

    “Hélène Delprat: Je déteste mes peintures. I hate my paintings…” at Christophe GaillardThrough November 7, 2020

    Hélène Delprat, La guerre élégante (2020). Courtesy of the artist and Galerie Christophe Gaillard.

    As the show’s title indicates, Delprat’s work is suffused with self deprecation, and yet, the artist says she persists because it’s her nature to keep doing things despite the pain they cause. In this case, it’s to our benefit, as the large-scale installation works combine fictional characters and universal themes in a delightful combination.

    “Wu Tsang: visionary company” at Lafayette AnticipationsThrough January 3, 2021
    Wu Tsang, production still, “The show is over” (2020), photo by Diana Pfammatter. Produced by Schauspielhaus Zürich, co-commissioned by Lafayette Foundation. Courtesy of the artist and Galerie Isabella Bortolozzi, Berlin.

    For the US artist’s first exhibition in France, Wu Tsang is presenting an immersive show including recent and past film, performance, and sculpture work, centered around the artist’s 2020 work The show is over, a multi-layered opera about liberation and alienation in which dancers perform to the rhythm of the African American poet and academic Fred Moten’s text Come on, get it!
    Visitors do not need to book a ticket but may have to wait if the gallery is busy.

    “Oscar Murillo: News” at David ZwirnerThrough December 19
    Oscar Murillo, manifestation (2019-2020). ©Oscar Murillo Courtesy the artist and David Zwirner.

    Oscar Murillo is showing paintings made while he was in quarantine in Colombia in the spring and summer of 2020. Part of his ongoing “manifestation” series, the works are the largest and most frenetic of the series to date, reflecting the heightened state of global anxiety during the present moment.
    Appointments are encouraged but not required and can be booked online.

    “Yesn’t” at Galerie SultanaThrough October 31 More

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    ‘I Want to Experience the Complexity of the World’: Watch Artist Liu Xiaodong Travel to the US Border to Paint Scenes of Moral Ambiguity

    For contemporary artist Liu Xiaodong, personal history is the greatest source of inspiration. His childhood in rural China and his adolescence spent in Beijing studying to be an artist inform his practice even as he travels and shows internationally today, framing the way he sees the world.
    Best known for his massive paintings depicting everyday people he comes across, Liu often works en plein air, setting up his canvases outside, quickly sketching an outline, getting to know his subjects, and taking photographs to work from later in the studio.
    In an exclusive interview with Art21 as part of its new 10th season of Art in the Twenty-First Century, the artist is seen on a trip to a small town in Texas, just over the US-Mexico border. The border town is inextricably linked to President’s Trump’s anti-immigration policies and the conflict that border patrol officers face monitoring the wall.
    “I prefer to paint places that can’t be easily judged by a single value system,” the artist tells Art21. “I want to experience the complexity of the world.” 

    Video still from Art21 of Liu working on Tom, his Family, and his Friends (2020). Courtesy the artist and Massimo De Carlo, Milan/London/Hong Kong.

    In the video, the artist is seen painting County Sheriff Tom Schmerber and his family, some of whom live across the border in Mexico. Schmerber was interviewed on TV explaining that while he doesn’t approve of Trump’s wall, if he sees migrants trying to cross the border, he is obligated to detain them. The portrait of Tom and his family as well as other paintings Liu created while visiting the US-Mexico border are the basis of his upcoming solo show at Dallas Contemporary called Borders, which will open on January 30, 2021. 
    Liu sees parallels to his own experience being Chinese in America. “Many people don’t like China now, I know…” he says, adding that while politics only leaves room for black or white, art allows for nuance. “For artists, we’re always looking for a different path.” 

    Watch the video, which originally appeared as part of Art21’s series Art in the Twenty-First Century below. The brand new 10th season of the show is available now at Art21.org. 
    [embedded content]
    This is an installment of “Art on Video,” a collaboration between Artnet News and Art21 that brings you clips of newsmaking artists. A new series of the nonprofit Art21’s flagship series Art in the Twenty-First Century is available now on PBS. Catch all episodes of other series like New York Close Up and Extended Play and learn about the organization’s educational programs at Art21.org.

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    Storage, a New Artist-Run Space in New York, Wants to Offer an Alternative to Exploitative Gallery Models

    When artist Onyedika Chuke emerged from months of lockdown in New York City, there was one thing he felt he needed to do—and it wasn’t to see friends or to eat outdoors. It was to start a gallery.
    He opened his space, called Storage, last month inside the basement art studio he’d been renting underneath a Korean restaurant on the Bowery. “It was a really run-down dusty space that I knew something magical could happen in,” Chuke told Artnet News.
    The gallery—which opens at a moment when many other art businesses are facing financial challenges of historic proportions—aims to serve as an extension of Chuke’s artistic practice and activism. From the front end, it looks like a traditional commercial gallery, with a focus on work by women and people of color. But Chuke says he has embedded within it policies and practices that he hopes can model a more just art ecosystem.
    Storage, he said, is “a gallery in form of a protest.”
    The inaugural exhibition is an intergenerational group show featuring young artists such as Austin Martin White, Jazmine Hayes, Rena Anakwe, Sam Chun, Yanira Collado, and Daniella Portillo, as well as more established figures including William Cordova, Rick Lowe, and Emory Douglas, the minister of culture for the Black Panthers. (The gallery will be holding virtual conversations with the artists to discuss connections between their work.)
    Emory Douglas, Germ Warfare Declared Against Blacks (1972). Photo by Storage, courtesy of the artist.

    While Storage will take the standard 50 percent commission on art sales, Chuke is putting a portion of the proceeds toward the gallery’s new mentorship program for young artists, ages 16 to 24. (The program will also be funded by prints and editions produced in the gallery’s in-house print studio.) “It’s more of a social enterprise then it is a full-on commercial outfit,” Chuke said. To help him meet the overhead, he is keeping his jobs as an educator at Cooper Union and director of outreach at Foster Pride.
    Artists and writers also receive a special discount, though, Chuke said, most artists ended up waiving it. Works in the inaugural show range in price from $750 to $50,000, and have nearly sold out, according to Chuke.
    Chuke, who was the inaugural New York City public artist in residence at Rikers Island in 2018, hopes to fill a gap in the industry that he’s experienced as an artist himself. In 2011, disillusioned by dealers who he felt didn’t understand his practice, Chuke placed a ten-year moratorium on sales of his own work.
    “I became a gallerist because I thought I needed to be,” he said. “I want to be that thing that I haven’t been able to find.” And with ten years of working at art galleries under his belt—Chuke is a veteran of New York’s Susan Sheehan Gallery—he feels fully prepared to run the business side of things.
    In order to ensure the art is going into the right hands, and won’t be flipped for profit, he relies on a network of elder art dealers. “It is possible to have a healthier environment of patronage,” Chuke said. “Saying no to veterans and newer collectors with harmful habits is a part of that process.”
    William Cordova, Tetragrammaton. Photo by Storage, courtesy of the artist.

    The concept of the gallery was born after Chuke visited Nigeria for the funeral of his grandfather and returned home to a soon-to-be-locked-down New York, struck by feelings of loneliness. “Then you started seeing images of people being killed by the police… All this stuff was compounding: this isolation, all this death, and COVID was really hitting Black people more than most people,” he said.
    He had the realization that “I can either be depressed or I can be active.” At first, that meant participating in Black Lives Matter protests, but when the movement began to quiet down, “I realized I had to keep it going.”
    He chose the name Storage in the hopes that it would give an artistic community space to reexamine, recontextualize, and respond to history. “It’s the place where you unpack, you pull things apart, you reorganize,” he said.

    Austin Martin White, Untitled (Iron bit mask). Photo by Storage, courtesy of the artist.

    In curating the inaugural show, Chuke was inspired by a quote from “Discourse on Colonialism” a 1950 essay by Afro-Caribbean poet and politician Aimé Césaire: “It is not a dead society that we want to revive. We leave that to those who go in for exoticism.”

    “That quote cemented everything for me. There’s a lot of talk about a rebuilding the world, almost fanned by the flames of COVID,” Chuke said. “The way I’ve cleansed myself and revived myself in the past was to make art. Then I thought, what would other makers do if we had a space to do that?”

    See more works from the show below.
    Leslie Hewitt, Riffs on Real Time With Ground-(Green Mesh) 2017. Photo by Guillaume Ziccarelli, courtesy of the artist and Perrotin.

    Rick Lowe, Untitled (2018). Photo by Storage, courtesy of the artist.

    Jazmine Hayes, A Round of Applause, video still. Courtesy of the artist and Storage.

    Alicia Grullon, Female as Nymph #2 C (2005). Photo by Storage, courtesy of the artist.

    Alicia Grullon, Eyes Watching (2005). Photo by Storage, courtesy of the artist.

    “storage_” is on view at Storage, 96 Bowery, Basement, New York, September 10–October 25, 2020.
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    Hiroyasu Tsuri aka Twoone – RAW MARK MAKING

    RAW MARK MAKING – Hiroyasu Tsuri (b. 1983)

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    Hiroyasu Tsuri aka Twoone – RAW MARK MAKING

    “Raw Mark Making is quite a simple idea. It’s literally the meaning of the words. Mark making. In my context, it is making marks that are not commonly used in traditional art practice. Unusual movements, using any kind of tools, embracing a mood or attitude, mixed with the physical speed or controlling the level of impact on to the surface… that’s what I call raw mark making.”
    – Hiroyasu Tsuri

    Since pre-historic times it has been an instinctual human behaviour to make marks. Whether an individual or a group of people, mark making has been a constant outlet for human beings to leave behind a record of their existence and experiences. Hiroyasu Tsuri (TWOONE) is driven by this same innate behaviour. Tsuri creates marks with a childlike freedom of expression, open mindedness and this instinctual human desire to leave behind a legacy of visual depictions of the his interpretations of the human experience. Tsuri calls this ‘Raw Mark Making’.

    The concept of ‘Raw Mark Making’ is the culmination of a decade of experience taking every opportunity to paint marks whenever and wherever Tsuri finds himself around the world. This experience began in the early 2000’s, studying composition and mark making techniques with graffiti writers in Melbourne Australia. In 2014 Tsuri relocated to Berlin Germany and it was this move that sparked a philosophical desire to survey his practise over the last decade and acknowledge and consider the concepts, motivations and ideas behind why he creates marks, and why he chooses to do so in his distinct manner.

    Since 2012 Tsuri has exhibited four unique solo exhibitions with Backwoods Gallery – SevenSamurai (2012), Outsiders (2014), 100 Faces (2016) and Object (2018). Raw Mark Making (2020) celebrates Tsuri’s history, and development of, the different kinds of ‘Mark Making’ that have been exhibited in these exhibitions and that have become pivotal to first decade of his oeuvre. The selected works represents the different stages of discovery of Tsuri’s own unique expression of, and place within, the human history of ‘Raw Mark Making’.
    hiroyasutsuri.com
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    @T_W_O_O_N_E
    BACKWOODS GALLERY
    25 Easey St Collingwood, Victoria, Australia
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    A French Museum Puts Its Genghis Khan Exhibition on Hold After China Pressures It to Rewrite the History of Mongol Culture

    Censorship pressure from Beijing has prompted a French museum to postpone a planned exhibition on Genghis Khan that involved loans from China. The Chinese communist party reportedly insisted that the show omit any use of the words “Genghis Khan,” “empire,” or “Mongol,” as well as demanding control over exhibition texts, maps, and brochures.
    “We made the decision to stop this production in the name of the human, scientific, and ethical values that we defend,” said Bertrand Guillet, director of Nantes’s history museum, the Château des ducs de Bretagne, in a statement.
    The “censorship of the initial project,” he claimed, was characterized by “biased rewriting of Mongol culture in favor of a new national narrative,” such as the attempt to change the exhibition’s title from “Sun of the Sky and the Steppes: Genghis Khan and the Birth of the Mongolian Empire“ to “Chinese Steppe Culture of the World.”
    The show, which was being organized in partnership with the Inner Mongolia Museum in Hohhot, China, had already been postponed from its October opening. Now, instead of debuting in February, it is on hold until at least 2024 as curators scramble to replace Chinese loans of artifacts with works from European and American collections.
    Monument to Ghengis Khan—the world’s largest equestrian statue—in Tsonjin Boldog, Mongolia. Photo via Flickr Creative Commons.

    During the 13th century, Khan united the nomadic tribes of northeast Asia and conquered much of Eurasia through deadly invasions, founding what became, after his death, the largest contiguous empire in history.
    Today, China has a fraught relationship with its ethnic Mongol population, which lives largely in the Inner Mongolia province. School reforms passed in August replaced ethnic Mongolian with Mandarin as the official language in school instruction in three subjects. The move was met with widespread protests in the province.
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