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Anita's Art Diary

Cuba Visit

Wednesday 21 January 2015

I was lucky enough to visit Cuba for a few days, it was so much fun.

Cuba Visit

As soon as we arrived we met up with my lil sis Yana Peel

Cuba Visit

and took off in a wonderful bubble gum pink convertible.

Cuba Visit

All the wonderful old cars were queuing up to be hired by the visitors.

Cuba Visit

Headed to ceramicist José Rodríguez Fuster. There were ceramics everywhere, he had covered the whole neighbourhood in ceramics - including his amazing home.

Cuba Visit

Architecturally Havana is a feast for the eyes, building after building...

Cuba Visit

after building. The people in the streets all smiles.

Cuba Visit

Everything was worn down, all but rack and ruin. No money to build and refurbish. No Capitalism.

Cuba Visit

The old architecture was stunning with so many palatial and modernist styles. Public sculptures all over the place. All sorts.

Cuba Visit

Political Sculptures. Modernist Sculptures. Outdoor Wall sculptures.

Cuba Visit

The evenings were fun - partying with Marco and Dagoberto from Los Carpinteros.

Cuba Visit

One of Cuba's most popular artists, Roberto Diago.

Cuba Visit

Or checking out the beautiful Cuban Homes: Ella Cisneros opened up her doors for us and showed us her amazing modernist paintings and the studio of artist René Francisco.

Cuba Visit

Then it was back into the throes of New York City and all the shows were starting to open. At Clifton Benevento Zak Kitnick had organized a wonderful show. A question of art or not art arose with this box of realistic looking bottles.

Cuba Visit

I loved the work of Charles Harlan.

Cuba Visit

The work of Roelof Louw was interesting having been shown alongside Joseph Beuys, Barry Flanagan and Richard Tuttle in 1969. He has recently entered the Tate collection.

Cuba Visit

Marlborough Contemporary's show 'Space Jam' was also interesting. A new artist, Devin Troy Strother had created an Instagram splash.

Cuba Visit

They were also showing this amazing Tony Matelli work, ‘Sleepwalker.’ The work was so real - very unsettling.

Cuba Visit

At Pace, David Hockney was showing some very colourful and naïve paintings of dancers and sitters.

Cuba Visit

Managed to check out Greer Patterson's work. Was all about his childhood. I remember these painting by numbers, maybe this was the spark to my intense love of art.

Cuba Visit

My highlight was at James Fuentes to see the Amalia Ulman show ‘stock images of war’. It was very full on, there was a huge intensity, amazingly loud music playing in the background and very unusual sculptures of wheelchairs and tricycles made of flimsy wire material. Amalia again dealing with her accident. After this it was time for me to leave and get back to an even busier London.

Miami and Back Again

Friday 09 January 2015

Had a wonderful trip to New York for my birthday

Miami and Back Again

and received a stunning Rachel Whiteread library as a gift. I have had my eye on this work since the late 90s so it was not only an amazing surprise but a very welcome addition to the Collection.

Miami and Back Again

A big NYC highlight was ‘Forever Now’ at MOMA although it seemed the critics weren’t in line with my thinking. It really felt like a painting show full of artists that have great futures. ‘Contemporary painting in atemporal world.’ Three that stood out were three we collect in depth; Matt Connors, Josh Smith and Michael Williams, whose work is pictured. However, I did love the work of Oscar Murillo, Joe Bradley and Laura Owens, all of whom will definitely be around for some time. There was certainly no pigeon-holing with a variety of different styles and languages being represented. Oh come on critics! The show isn’t so bad?

Miami and Back Again

I also took the chance to rehang our Soho apartment with the bedroom benefitting from a wonderful Jon Rafman pillow and a Matthew Chambers quilt cover that highlights our Painting from the Collection show in 2013.

Miami and Back Again

We managed to catch ‘Time To Hit The Road’ curated by Alex Gerson and Matteo Zevi and showing at Leila Heller Gallery. They were exhibiting work made by a number of artists during Gerson and Zevi’s Land Art Road Trip residencies which saw them exploring pioneering work by Land Artists across Southwestern United States. I rather loved ‘Tunnel Mediator’ by Alex Getty, taken through another artists work.

Miami and Back Again

From the young to the more established, we then revelled in the Chris Ofili’s ‘Night and Day’ at the New Museum. Spanning his practice over the past two decades, it was a powerful celebration of his work.

Miami and Back Again

Then a quick zip across the country for a fun visit to L.A. and Shaun Regen. Regen Projects was celebrating its 25th anniversary with many of the represented artists and most of the L.A. art scene there. The gallery kicked off its celebrations with ‘Everyone’ by Gillian Wearing. Featuring a variety of thought provoking work with a large sculptural piece, ‘Me as a Necklace’ really standing out.

Miami and Back Again

Post celebration we dropped in to visit the François Ghebaly Gallery. They had so many interesting works including this cheeky Joel Kyack.

Miami and Back Again

Loved the Patrick Jackson ceramics.

Miami and Back Again

The icing on the L.A. cake was a visit with François to see Sayre Gomez. Sayre proudly showed us his Christmas present.

Miami and Back Again

Night Gallery was also fun, showing great work by Pentti Monkkonen. Really rich work in both material and production.

Miami and Back Again

Back in New York...Maxwell Graham at Essex Street was showing some really interesting artists in ‘The Contract’ with all sales requiring the use of THE ARTIST'S RESERVED RIGHTS TRANSFER AND SALE AGREEMENT as written by Robert Projansky and Seth Siegelaub in 1971.

Miami and Back Again

There were a few instances of the usual ‘art or not art?’ query.

Miami and Back Again

A few doors down at Tomorrow Gallery Bed-Stuy Love Affair and Bobby Jesus had curated an unusual show with a large number of contemporary artists I had never heard of. Great little popcorn by Carlos Reyes.

Miami and Back Again

The XYZcollective at Brennan & Griffin gallery gave us more fun with ‘Man & Play.’ I have talked about this group before in my diary. I love those fried eggs and ‘Tasty’ was equally as fun.

Miami and Back Again

Then it was time to hit mid-town with a brilliant talk by Thomas Struth at the Public Library. He spoke about when he photographed Her Majesty the Queen and Prince Phillip. Really engaging.

Miami and Back Again

The next day he came to inspect his work at Zabludowicz Collection, New York which we had just installed in the lobby. I have lovingly designed the new lobby in Times Square so it was wonderful to show Thomas his work in pride of place. In another life, before art, I was a designer so it was also rather nice to touch back on my roots.

Miami and Back Again

Then it was up to Chelsea to see the wonderful Christopher Williams show at David Zwirner.

Miami and Back Again

To my surprise, Zwirner’s Neo Rauch exhibition was stunning. The paintings were surreal, depicting strange human tasks taking place.

Miami and Back Again

Gagosian Gallery was showing the all-powerful Takashi Murakami. So pleased I didn’t miss this one. The scale was humungous and the effect; monstrous.

Miami and Back Again

Me and my other half feeling very comfortable being with this George Condo at Skarstedt Gallery.

Miami and Back Again

Casey Kaplan was showing a unique history of sculpture through the eyes of Geoffrey Farmer in ‘Cut nothing, cut parts, cut the whole, cut the order of time.’

Miami and Back Again

Then a few final 2014 New York goodbyes beginning with an amazing cluster inside Klaus Biesenbach’s wardrobe. We had such a fun sandwich, all squashed together with Lady Gaga and some of my faves: Ryan McNamara and Laurel Nakadate.

Miami and Back Again

Breakfasts in New York are amazing. Filing up at the Mercer with Laurel and my girls.

Miami and Back Again

We spent a fabulous Christmas with Jon Rafman and his mum Sandra. Did selfies in front of an Alex Israel…

Miami and Back Again

And caught Rob Pruitt both at the De La Cruz Collection

Miami and Back Again

And the ICA Miami, which we loved. Alex Gartenfeld had worked wonders with the help of Pedro Reyes. This was a brilliant work where you entered your confession into a bottle and took somebody else’s out!

Miami and Back Again

Then we bounced off to St. Barths and spent New Years Eve at THE party hosted by Larry Gagosian and Dasha Zhukova with The Black Keys playing. A day or two later we checked out the Art and Barth where Harmony Korine had created a bit of a splash on land. Now I am back in snowy New York about to embark on a trip to Cuba. It’s always good to be in New York, I love feeling the energy of this amazing city.

My top 10 instagrams from December

Thursday 08 January 2015

In the chilly December weather here are 10 instagrams that brought me a little warmth...

My top 10 instagrams from December

Rashid Johnson @exhibitiona @lacma

My top 10 instagrams from December

David Altmejd @ghl_please @museedartmodern

My top 10 instagrams from December

Sterling Ruby @myfaveart @hauserwirth

My top 10 instagrams from December

Mark Bradford @ceramicjock

My top 10 instagrams from December

Li Hongbo @saatchi_gallery

My top 10 instagrams from December

Urs Fischer @karenrobinovitz @gagosiangallery

My top 10 instagrams from December

Larry Gagosian, Charles Saatchi and Leo Castelli @theartreporter

My top 10 instagrams from December

Violet Dennison and Peppi Bottrop @bignickberlin

My top 10 instagrams from December

Harmony Korine @lizny3

My top 10 instagrams from December

Mary Wetherford @nielskantor @davidkordanskygallery

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