George Lindemann Journal by George Lindemann - "The Ups and Downs of The Spring Auctions" @wsj by Kelly Crow

George Lindemann Journal by George Lindemann - "The Ups and Downs of The Spring Auctions" @wsj by Kelly Crow


Midway through New York's major spring auctions, collectors of Impressionist and modern art appear to be showing signs of sticker stock, even as contemporary-art buyers prepare to splurge on.

Earlier this week, Sotheby's BID -0.05% Sotheby's U.S.: NYSE $40.48 -0.02-0.05% May 14, 2014 9:51 am Volume (Delayed 15m) : 39,739 P/E Ratio 18.97 Market Cap $2.79 Billion Dividend Yield 0.99% Rev. per Employee $576,249 41.0040.7540.5040.2510a11a12p1p2p3p 05/07/14 The WSJ's Kelly Crow at the So... 05/07/14 Loeb Wins by Losing at Sotheby... 05/07/14 Court Ruling Bolsters New Type... More quote details and news » BID in Your Value Your Change Short position and Christie's sold a combined $611.2 million worth of Impressionist and modern art, a total that fell within their presale expectations and exceeded a similar series last May that sold for $478 million.

Bidding proved thin for some of Christie's priciest works Tuesday—dealer Paul Gray was the lone bidder on a $22.6 million Pablo Picasso —and around a third of Sotheby's offerings on Wednesday went unsold. Sotheby's failures included a Picasso portrait of his mistress Marie-Thérèse Walter, expected to sell for at least $15 million.

But the same collectors who sniffed at Sotheby's art trophies turned up in force the next day for its sale of lower-priced material. It was a clue that this seasoned subset of collectors is willing to bid—but at price levels below $5 million, unless the art on offer is truly museum-worthy.

New York collector Donald Bryant thought he had hit his limit at Christie's on Tuesday after he offered $6.1 million for Constantin Brâncusi's toaster-size stone sculpture of a kissing couple, "The Kiss." But when he bowed out, he got a nudge from his wife, Bettina, and jumped back in at $7.2 million. "Is it because of her?" auctioneer Andreas Rumbler asked, adding with a grin, "She's the boss." The extra effort didn't pay off, though: The Brancusi sold to another bidder for $8.7 million.

Auction specialists say the art market has seen this divergence in collecting categories before. Decades ago, Old Masters enjoyed top billing until Impressionist and modern art became fashionable among wealthy collectors. Suddenly, its roster of artists such as Claude Monet began fetching the kinds of prices once reserved for Rembrandt and Canaletto. Now the art market appears to be shuffling again: With the majority of Impressionist and modern masterpieces now tucked away in museum collections, new buyers are finding it difficult to amass an enviable collection in a short time.

Many Asian collectors are still trying. At least eight of Sotheby's pricier works on Wednesday went to Asian collectors—including a $19.2 million Henri Matisse view of a woman painting at her easel, "The Afternoon Session."

Dealers say the art market will undergo its greater stress test this week, when both houses, plus boutique house Phillips, hold their sales of contemporary art. In recent seasons, auction prices for contemporary artists such as Jean-Michel Basquiat and Christopher Wool have quadrupled—a pace that's encouraged speculators to buy up even younger artists in hopes of profiting later in resales.

Last November, Christie's sold a yellow Francis Bacon triptych for $142.4 million, almost $60 million above its estimate and the most ever paid for a work of art at auction. Next Tuesday, the house will offer up a seafoam-green Bacon triptych, 1984's "Three Studies for a Portrait of John Edwards," for an estimated $80 million. The seller is computer-chip maker Pierre Chen.

Mr. Chen's Bacon carries a third-party guarantee. This means the auction has promised him it will sell—to an outside investor who has pledged to buy it for an undisclosed sum if no one during the sale offers more. If the guarantor is outbid, he or she will reap a share of Mr. Chen's potential profits and take home a financing fee from Christie's no matter what. (Sotheby's doesn't offer financing fees.)

Unlike Impressionist and modern art, next week's contemporary sales are swimming in guarantees—at least $650 million worth across the three houses. The amount eclipses Sotheby's entire guarantee portfolio for 2008, the last market peak.

Both Christie's and Sotheby's say they feel comfortable with their volume of guarantees.

For the Tuesday sales, third-party guarantors claim a financial interest in 39 of Christie's 72 contemporary artworks, which means that 54% of the estimated $500 million sale will change hands whether anyone even shows up with a paddle. This includes Andy Warhol's "Race Riot," a red-white-and-blue silk-screen that recently belonged to a trust of dealer Bill Acquavella's family and that Christie's estimates will sell for around $45 million.

All this means that contemporary collectors, unlike buyers of Impressionist and modern art, are going to unprecedented lengths to keep fueling their segment's momentum, even if they must bankroll the offerings themselves ahead of time. If the strategy works, it could reshape the way art gets auctioned, with sellers essentially preselling their art privately but angling for a higher, backstop price at auction. If the broader financial markets sour suddenly, bidders could get spooked, and these deal makers may be left owning art at prices that may appear inflated. Stay tuned.

George Lindemann, George-Lindemann, George Lindemann Jr, George-Lindemann-Jr, Lindemann, Lindemann George, Lindemann George Jr, George Lindemann Junior, Jr George Lindemann, Lindemann Jr George, George L Lindemann,,,,,,,,,,

George Lindemann Journal by George Lindemann "Strolling an Island of Creativity" @nytimes By KEN JOHNSON and MARTHA SCHWENDENER

George Lindemann Journal by George Lindemann "Strolling an Island of Creativity" @nytimes By KEN JOHNSON and MARTHA SCHWENDENER

The amazing spectacle that is Frieze New York is up and running on Randalls Island. With more than 190 contemporary art dealers from around the world inhabiting a temporary, quarter-mile-long white tent, it’s a dumbfounding display of human creative industry. Reasoning that in the time allowed, no one reviewer could hope to achieve a comprehensive overview of all there is to see, we both went to look and report. What follows is a sampler of things that caught our attention.

GLADSTONE GALLERY (Booth B6) This museum-worthy show includes more than 200 small drawings from the painter Carroll Dunham’s archives. Dating from 1979 to 2014, they are presented on three walls in grid formation chronologically. Like pages from a personal diary, they track the evolution of Mr. Dunham’s antic imagination. From sketches of blobby, surrealistic forms to pictures of battling, cartoony male and female characters to images of naked, hairy wild women and men in edenic scenes, these irrepressibly lively, cheerfully vulgar drawings suggest a psychoanalytic pilgrim’s progress. (K. J.)

GAVIN BROWN (B38) This booth is filled by Rirkrit Tiravanija’s installation “Freedom can not be simulated.” It consists of about a dozen plywood walls arranged in parallel about a foot and a half apart. On one side of each wall hangs a large black canvas covered with squiggly chalk lines that you can only see fully by squeezing in between the walls. The first canvas in the series has the title drawn on it in big block letters. The installation offers itself as a pointedly coercive metaphor about the eternally necessary tension between freedom and constraint. (K. J.)

ANDREW KREPS (B54) Goshka Macuga’s “Of what is, that it is; of what is not, that it is not 2” is a giant black-and-white tapestry made on looms in Flanders. Over 10 feet high and 36 feet wide, it presents a panoramic scene copied from a photoshopped collage representing an incongruous gathering of art world luminaries and political protesters at Documenta 13, an exhibition in Germany in 2012. Ms. Macuga’s work pictures the moral and political contradictions of contemporary art and its social support system as powerfully as anything at the fair. (K. J.)

MARIANNE BOESKY (A30) This gallery offers “Revolution,” a sculpture by Roxy Paine that expresses a more ambiguous political sentiment. A chain saw with a bullhorn attached, both realistically rendered in wood, it’s a piece of impressive craftsmanship and a surrealistic dream image of political violence. (K. J.)

RATIO 3 (C56) For technical magic, nothing beats Takeshi Murata’s “Melter 3-D.” In a room lit by flickering strobes, a revolving, beachball-size sphere seems made of mercury. A hypnotic wonder, it appears to be constantly melting into flowing ripples. (K. J.)

303 GALLERY (B61)Many works at the fair meditate on art and the artist. Rodney Graham’s big, light-box-mounted phototransparency “The Pipe Cleaner Artist, Amalfi, ’61”, at 303, depicts Mr. Graham in a lovely Mediterranean studio, leisurely making sculptures from white pipe cleaners. With a sweetly comical spirit, it spoofs a kitschy romance of bohemian avant-gardism. (K. J.)

NOGUERASBLANCHARD (A6) A found-object sculpture by Wilfredo Prieto plumbs the sublime. Suspended by cables a few feet off the floor, it’s a metal cage used by divers to observe sharks. Among its many possible implications is the suggestion of the artist’s descent into the monster-infested depths of the unconscious. (K. J.)


CROY NIELSEN (C1) In a tall, plexiglass display case here is a simple but philosophically resonant assemblage by Benoît Maire. Titled “Weapon,” it consists of a three-sided ruler attached to a rock by a wrist watch’s metal bracelet. It’s about rationalizing the irrational, an enduring task for art. (K. J.)

GALERIE LELONG (B12) A neon sign by Alfredo Jaar that reads “Teach Us to Outgrow Our Madness” is a fine prayer for what art might do for our troubled times. (K. J.)

One thing this fair allows you to do is to sample in one location what critics see around the city and the world. This includes emerging artists and historical shows. You’ll find many of them under a special designation, Frieze Focus, indicating galleries founded in or after 2003, and in Frame, a section that features solo presentations by galleries under eight years old.

SIMONE SUBAL (B21) This Bowery gallery is showing a Florian Meisenberg installation that fits in perfectly at an art fair because it takes its cue from another “nonspace”: the airport, with its spectacle of architecture, patterns, moving people and digital screens. It includes a video with excerpts from the film “Lolita” and an episode of “The Simpsons” in which Homer becomes a lauded outsider artist. (M. S.)

LAUREL GITLEN (B28) This gallery offers Allyson Vieira’s “Meander,” a structure made of metal building studs that uses the ancient meander pattern (also found on classic New York coffee cups) as its floor plan and suggests how certain graphic patterns are recycled throughout various empires. (MS)

CARLOS/ISHIKAWA (B34) This London gallery is showing Richard Sides’s collagelike assemblages, made from a personal archive of what he calls “good trash” collected outside his studio. (M. S.)

MISAKO & ROSEN (B20) This Tokyo-based gallery has objects by Kazuyuki Takezaki, who was inspired by the great ukiyo-e printmaker Hiroshige to recreate “landscapes” that sometimes take the form of sculptures, and include materials like a braided rug. (M. S.)

LE GUERN (A2) Dominating the space in this Warsaw gallery’s booth is a solo presentation of the Brooklyn artist C. T. Jasper, a tent made from around 160 sheepskins. (Get it? a tent within the big tent of Frieze). Inside the tent is a remix of the Polish director Jerzy Kawalerowicz’s 1966 film “Faraon (Pharaoh)” — but with all the human figures digitally removed from the film. (M. S.)

Gallerists are getting good at organizing historical shows, and several at Frieze are standouts.

JAMES FUENTES (C2) This Delancey Street gallery offers a presentation of the Fluxus artist Alison Knowles, best known for performance events like “Make a Salad” (1962). Here you can see objects made by Ms. Knowles from the ’70s to the present. If you hear a loud cascading sound at the south end of the fair, it is someone flipping over her “Red Bean Turner,” which is like an opaque hourglass filled with dried beans. (M. S.)

THE BOX (C14) This Los Angeles gallery has a great roundup of work by NO!Art, a group founded in 1959 that was distinctly (paradoxically, for this setting) anti-commercial. Collages and silk-screens by Boris Lurie, Stanley Fisher and Sam Goodman look incredibly prescient — like Mr. Lurie’s painting “Sold.” (M. S.)

GREGOR PODNAR (A22) In a smaller historical presentation you can see 1970s photographs and Conceptual drawings by two Gorans: Goran Trbuljak and Goran Petercol, Croatian artists who were routinely mistaken for each other in their local Zagreb art scene because of their first names. (M. S.)

PROJECTS Just outside the tent, the Projects section includes the Czech artist Eva Kotatkova‘s “Architecture of Sleep,” an outdoor installation with performers resting on platforms (and who should not be disturbed). Marie Lorenz, who works on New York’s waterways, is offering rides in a rowboat made with salvaged materials. Unfortunately, her “Randalls Island Tide Ferry” doesn’t offer service to or from the fair, but it accomplishes what most art tries to do: It transports you. (M. S.)

Correction: May 10, 2014

An earlier version of this article misspelled the surname of the artist who created “Melter 3-D.” He is Takeshi Murata, not Murato

George Lindemann, George-Lindemann, George Lindemann Jr, George-Lindemann-Jr, Lindemann, Lindemann George, Lindemann George Jr, George Lindemann Junior, Jr George Lindemann, Lindemann Jr George, George L Lindemann,,, ,,,,,,,

George Lindemann Journal by George Lindemann - "Christie’s First Spring Sale Drops Prices Back to Earth" @nytimes By CAROL VOGEL

George Lindemann Journal by George Lindemann - "Christie’s First Spring Sale Drops Prices Back to Earth" @nytimes By CAROL VOGEL

A Modigliani portrait from 1919 was sold for $17.6 million, above its high estimate of $12 million, at Christie’s on Tuesday. Credit Christie's Images, 2014

After all the predictions that prices were only going one way — up — the spring auction season got off to a tepid start at Christie’s on Tuesday night, where some examples of Impressionist and modern art by Picasso, Kandinsky and Dalí brought far less than expected; others barely skimmed by, and two classic works by Degas were left unsold, victims of estimates that were simply too high.

Christie’s was kicking off two weeks of sales, including the more buoyant segment of the market, postwar and contemporary art, and expectations were running high. The opening night could be seen as a reality check.

“The market continues to be discerning at the highest level,” said Conor Jordan, deputy chairman of Christie’s Impressionist and modern art department. The evening was not without its bright spots. A portrait of a russet-haired young man with blue eyes that Modigliani painted in 1919 brought $17.6 million, well above its $12 million high estimate. It had last been on the market in 2002 at Sotheby’s, where it was sold by Robert C. Guccione, publisher of Penthouse magazine. Back then it brought $8.4 million.

Christie’s had high expectations, having secured several of the season’s high-profile estates, including that of Huguette Clark, the reclusive copper heiress who died in 2011 at the age of 104. Both her father, Senator William A. Clark, and his second wife, Anna, loved all things French, including their art. The most expensive painting was Monet’s dreamy “Nymphéas,” or Water Lilies, painted in 1907 and inspired by the artist’s garden in Giverny. Mrs. Clark had bought it in 1930 from the Durand-Ruel Galleries in New York, and it had not been seen in public since. Four bidders went for the painting, which sold to Elaine Holt, a Christie’s expert in the Impressionist and modern art department based in Hong Kong, who bid on behalf of a client. She paid $27 million, above its $25 million low estimate but far short of its $35 million high.

Asian bidders, especially from mainland China, helped fuel many of the auction’s higher prices, Christie’s officials said. Of the evening’s 53 works, six went unsold. The evening totaled $285.9 million. It had been estimated to bring $244.5 million to $360.4 million.

(Final prices include the buyer’s premium: 25 percent of the first $100,000; 20 percent of the next $100,000 to $2 million; and 12 percent of the rest. Estimates do not reflect commissions.)

Also coming to auction were three paintings by Renoir, including “Jeunes Filles Jouant au Volant” (“Young Women Playing Badminton”), painted around 1887. Mrs. Clark had purchased it in 1958 for $125,000, a high price at the time, when the Minneapolis Institute of Arts deaccessioned it; on Tuesday night it sold with only one bid at its low $10 million estimate, or $11.3 million with fees. (The painting had been on loan to the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington.)

But another Renoir saw some action. “Les Deux Soeurs,” a colorful scene of two sisters with wide-brimmed hats reading, painted around 1890 to 1895, sold to Sumiko Roberts, from Christie’s in London, who was taking bids on behalf of a client. She paid $8 million, well above its high $6 million.

Works from the estate of German collectors Viktor and Marianne Langen brought fairly solid prices and also some bargains. A 1942 Picasso, “Portrait de femme (Dora Maar)” of the artist’s lover and muse, regally posed in purple, was estimated at $25 million to $35 million. Paul Gray, one of the owners of the Richard Gray gallery in Chicago and New York, snapped it up for $20 million, or $22.6 million with fees. “Le Modèle,” one of Braque’s Cubist interiors, this one from 1939, that was expected to sell for $8 million to $12 million, sold for $9.1 million including fees. And a colorful 1909 landscape by Kandinsky sold to a telephone bidder for $17.1 million, above its low $16 million estimate.

Works on paper were in demand. The Langens’ Picasso watercolor, “Composition: Nu sur la Plage,” which he painted on July 13, 1933, was estimated at $1 million to $1.5 million but brought $2.5 million. Five bidders went after a gouache on paper of a Surreal setting — a giant leaf rising and round white ball — with two tiny people in a landscape that Magritte created in 1963. It had been expected to fetch $700,000 to $1 million, and sold for $1.25 million

As the crowd was pouring out of the auction house afterward, people were trying to draw conclusions from the evening’s results. “People are selective,” said Christophe Van de Weghe, a New York dealer. “Yes there’s a lot of money around — but the market is getting smarter.”      

George Lindemann, George-Lindemann, George Lindemann Jr, George-Lindemann-Jr, Lindemann, Lindemann George, Lindemann George Jr, George Lindemann Junior, Jr George Lindemann, Lindemann Jr George, George L Lindemann,,, ,,,,,,,

George Lindemann Journal by George Lindemann "Fight Over Guggenheim’s Legacy Roils Her Palazzo" @nytimes by DOREEN CARVAJAL

George Lindemann Journal by George Lindemann "Fight Over Guggenheim’s Legacy Roils Her Palazzo" @nytimes by DOREEN CARVAJAL

The names of two New York donors next to that of Peggy Guggenheim outside her museum palazzo in Venice. Credit Laia Abril for The New York Times


VENICE — The battle now raging over the Peggy Guggenheim Collection started with just a few words written in brass letters above the sculpted lions that guard the 18th-century palazzo turned art museum here.

On a wall facing the Grand Canal, the names of two Long Island art donors appeared last summer in letters nearly as large as those naming Guggenheim, who bequeathed her home, the Palazzo Venier dei Leoni, and vast art collection to the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation in New York before her death at 81 in 1979. It was a step too far for some of her relatives.

“I will sue. I will sue. I will sue,” Sandro Rumney, her grandson and a former art dealer, vowed when he confronted the museum’s director during festivities for the Venice Biennale last summer, family members say.

And so they have. Seven descendants who live in France are pressing a lawsuit in a Paris court, with a hearing scheduled for May 21. They charge that the foundation ignored Peggy Guggenheim’s last wish for the collection, which consists mainly of Cubist, Surrealist and abstract postwar art: that it be displayed in the palazzo in its entirety and without additions.

Peggy Guggenheim in her Venice palazzo in 1974 with one of her cherished pets. Credit Keystone-France/Gamma-Keystone, via Getty Images

They say the museum has removed nearly half the works and added pieces donated by Rudolph B. and Hannelore B. Schulhof, the parents of Michael P. Schulhof, now a foundation trustee. The relatives are seeking to revoke Guggenheim’s donation if the collection is not restored to its initial state, a requirement that they say was stipulated by the heiress in a 1969 letter. They are demanding that the posted names of the later donors be removed, and that their artworks be taken out of the palazzo and garden.

The family also contends that rentals of the museum garden to well-heeled donors desecrate Guggenheim’s grave. Her remains are interred there in a wall alongside a tribute to “my beloved babies,” as she called them, 14 dogs with names like Cappuccino and Sir Herbert.

The foundation counters that its actions are faithful to Guggenheim’s memory, and that she attached no conditions to the donation. But the family says the foundation is violating her principles by pursuing a New York-centric corporate strategy, including aggressive merchandising of the collection. The museum boasts a new mascot, a bright yellow vinyl “Cappuccino” named for one of Guggenheim’s Lhasa apsos that is being sold in a limited edition for 140 euros ($195) each.

“They are absolutely running Peggy’s collection as a corporate enterprise,” said Sindbad Rumney, 27, a great-grandson and filmmaker who sniffs at the mascot, saying it is more appropriate for Disneyland. “In her lifetime, she would open her house for free to make it accessible,” he said in a phone interview. “She was not a merchant. She was an art lover, a patron. She did not want to be involved in commercial things.”

Peggy Guggenheim lived at the palazzo for the last three decades of her life and was one of the last people in Venice to maintain a private gondolier. The child of Benjamin Guggenheim, who died in 1912 in the sinking of the Titanic, she inherited her fortune in 1919, when she turned 21. After buying the palazzo in 1949, she amassed a 326-piece collection that included paintings and sculptures by modern European and American masters including Picasso, Kandinsky, Miró and Calder.

Santiago Rumney Credit Dmitry Kostyukov                    

She began opening her private collection to the public on a seasonal basis in 1951. After her death, the Guggenheim Foundation opened it year round and began expanding the museum by buying up neighboring buildings. The annual number of visitors has since increased to almost 400,000 from 35,000, according to the foundation.

The New York-based foundation, which oversees the Peggy Guggenheim collection, was founded by her uncle Solomon in 1937. The institution owns and controls the Venice museum and exhibitions, which the family acknowledges; what is in dispute is whether managers have respected her wishes as described in the letter.

“The foundation’s efforts have only honored, preserved and enhanced the memory and reputation of Peggy Guggenheim, “ said Betsy Ennis, a spokeswoman for the foundation in New York, noting that none of the works that she collected have been sold, and that they have been carefully conserved. She added that while the family objects to the nature of the garden parties, family members have attended some of them in the past.

But the family’s criticism of the Guggenheim Foundation’s corporate style and ambitions tends to resonate in Europe, where the Guggenheim proposes to create a new €130 million ($180 million) branch in Helsinki and opened a satellite in Bilbao, Spain, in 1997. Another branch is under construction in Abu Dhabi.

The lawsuit filed by the family seeks more financial information about the Venice collection, saying that the foundation has not issued an annual report about it since 2011 and does not disclose information about its revenues. On Monday, the foundation filed a response of nearly 100 pages to the suit in the Paris court, emphasizing that in a 1976 gift deed, no conditions were attached to Peggy Guggenheim’s donation.

Photos of Peggy Guggenheim, Mr. Rumney's great-grandmother. Credit Dmitry Kostyukov

But it also submitted a 1974 agreement spelling out her vision for the collection, including conditions outlined in the 1969 letter to her cousin Harry Guggenheim, then the president of the New York foundation. In the letter, she asked that “the collection be kept as a whole in the palazzo.” She was so detailed that she also directed that her earrings should be kept on display. The foundation argues, though, that the accord was not legally executed by lawyers.

It is not the first legal skirmish between the foundation and Peggy Guggenheim’s descendants. In 1992, they sued in a French court over museum displays in Venice that they said clashed with the collector’s vision. The two sides negotiated a settlement that led to the creation of a family committee to keep the descendants informed about museum activities.

Eleanor Goldhar, a spokeswoman for the Guggenheim Foundation, said the committee was “purely symbolic” and did not hold formal meetings, although descendants “received regular communications and updates from the director of the Peggy Guggenheim Collection.” Relatives contend that communications broke down, and that when some of the grandsons began suffering from ill health, they were ignored.

Santiago Rumney, 22, a son of Sandro who worked as an intern at the Venice museum, suggested that the latest clash began with a series of slights. After relatives were startled by the waterside sign bearing the Schulhofs’ names, he said, he was initially denied entry to an evening gathering in the house. Members of the Schulhof family attended that party to celebrate the donation, but the two sides did not mix, he added.

Hannelore Schulhof died in 2012, and her husband, Rudolph, died in 1999. Michael P. Schulhof, their son, who is now a member of the advisory board of the Peggy Guggenheim Foundation as well as a trustee of the New York-based foundation, declined to comment on the dispute.

The advisory body includes no Guggenheim descendants, something that Santiago Rumney said he wanted to change. “We want to recreate the advisory board with people who care about art, so it is not just for businessmen,“ he said.

George Lindemann, George-Lindemann, George Lindemann Jr, George-Lindemann-Jr, Lindemann, Lindemann George, Lindemann George Jr, George Lindemann Junior, Jr George Lindemann, Lindemann Jr George, George L Lindemann,,, ,,,,,,,

George Lindemann Journal by George Lindemann - "A Romp in Gossamer, 8 Tons’ Worth" @nytimes by HILARIE M. SHEETS

George Lindemann Journal by George Lindemann - "A Romp in Gossamer, 8 Tons’ Worth" @nytimes by HILARIE M. SHEETS

“The Houston Penetrable,” a kinetic sculpture by Jesús Rafael Soto at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, is a sea of plastic tubing for visitors to walk through

The ceiling has been reinforced. The guards have been retrained. Touching is allowed. Swinging like Tarzan is not.

After almost a decade of institutional effort and expense, an installation by Jesús Rafael Soto, a pioneer in the Kinetic art movement, is finally ready to open at the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston. Now come more challenges.

Ethereal and pristine, “The Houston Penetrable,” as it is called, may not remain that way for long after it makes its public debut on Thursday, in soaring Cullinan Hall, designed by Mies van der Rohe in 1958. Sixty visitors at a time will be allowed into its sea of 24,000 glistening clear plastic tubular strands hanging 28 feet from ceiling to floor and spanning the open mezzanine. Floating within is an orb of radiant yellow created by strands painted to compose a perfect ellipse. Viewers can activate the perceptual maze of vibrating light and color by playing among the tubes, as the work’s artist intended.

Born in Venezuela in 1923 and based after 1950 in Paris, where he exhibited alongside Alexander Calder and Jean Tinguely, Soto made over 25 Penetrables in his career; he died in 2005, at 81. A blend of geometric abstraction, Minimalist sculpture and playground, these simple grids of colorful PVC tubing were usually suspended from free-standing frames and often placed outside. Soto always considered them ephemeral, and only a handful have survived the inevitable wear and tear.

The Venezuelan-born artist Jesús Rafael Soto (1923-2005), right, inside one of his signature Penetrables in 1975. Credit via Museum of Fine Arts, Houston

Mari Carmen Ramírez, the Houston museum’s curator of Latin American art, commissioned a Penetrable for its permanent collection when Soto visited the museum for its landmark survey of Latin American Modernism, “Inverted Utopias,” in 2004. Soto completed this site-specific design — his largest piece and the only Penetrable to have a painted image — just weeks before his death.

“I have always seen this as an end-of-life work, with this sublime ellipse in the middle as a kind of presence,” Ms. Ramírez said, noting that all the previous Penetrables had been monochromatic.

The museum has tried to stay true to the artist’s free spirit toward his Penetrables while carrying out its essential job of preserving artworks. This year, the piece will stay up through Labor Day.

“This is an important thing to do, because many of Soto’s Penetrables, just like other works of Kinetic artists, whether they be Latin American or French or American, have deteriorated,” said Edward J. Sullivan, an art history professor specializing in Latin American art at the Institute of Fine Arts in New York. “There’s been a great deal of debate in conservation circles and in academic circles about how to restore these things and how to display them.”

Ms. Ramírez said, that because Soto’s artworks “really require the viewer to complete the piece,” the museum has “a responsibility to both the artist and audience to figure out how to show those works.”

“Contemporary artists have made it a point to erase the division between art and life and to make their work a participatory experience,” she added. “These works are leading museums to make commitments that would have been unheard-of a few decades ago.”


“The Houston Penetrable” is another in a long line of big-production experiential museum installations in recent years that have included the roof garden environments at the Metropolitan Museum of Art by Dan Graham (its current exhibition) and Doug and Mike Starn’s labyrinthine Big Bambú, in 2010; James Turrell’s immersive light piece filling the rotunda of the Guggenheim last summer; and Random International’s “Rain Room” at the Modern in 2013.

Gary Tinterow, director of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, compared the scope of the Soto undertaking to the efforts to mount Michael Heizer’s “Levitated Mass,” a mammoth boulder installed outside the Los Angeles County Museum of Art in 2012. (Mr. Tinterow declined to give the cost of the project.) Few museums would have dedicated its resources to an artist who, though acclaimed in Latin America and Europe, has little name recognition here. The Houston museum, however, has invested over $50 million in its Latin American program since 2001.

With the artist no longer present, the museum had to assume the primary role of producer. It reached out to Soto’s longtime collaborators in Paris, Paolo Carrozzino and Walter Pellevoisin, for technical expertise. Since no Penetrable had been painted before, they had to do extensive tests to determine what kind of pigment would adhere well to the plastic tubes. (Diluted silk-screen ink was the solution.) Several artisans worked for close to three years hand-painting and labeling the 18,000 elements composing the yellow orb. (Misplace a length of yellow, and it’s no longer a perfect ellipse.)

Mr. Carrozzino, an architect, designed a steel grid with 240 modules, each threaded with 100 strands, that affixes to the ceiling of Cullinan Hall. Other Penetrables were intended to last a few months. “When the museum explains they’re going to keep this for years and years, you need to think about the handling and organization just to mount, dismount, store and remount,” he said. “It’s almost sacred elements that will be part of the collection. It changes the attitude you have.”

Another complication was the weight. Cullinan Hall was designed by Mies so that art could be suspended from the ceiling. But tests showed the hanging points could not support the Penetrable, which weighs more than eight tons. The ceiling had to be reinforced with steel beams, which necessitated asbestos removal. The fund-raising and execution added several more years to the timeline.

Now that the transcendent playground is finally ready, no one knows if the ellipse will warp from the tubes stretching, or how stable the materials will be over time. Cleaning will not come until it’s removed in September for storage.

Ms. Ramírez envisions the Penetrable as a summer perennial. “We hope it will become a cult thing,” she said.

The museum has 400 spare tubes on hand, just in case.

“The Houston Penetrable” is on view at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, through Sept. 1;

A version of this article appears in print on May 8, 2014, on page C1 of the New York edition with the headline: A Romp in Gossamer, 8 Tons’ Worth. Order Reprints|Today's Paper|Subscribe

George Lindemann, George-Lindemann, George Lindemann Jr, George-Lindemann-Jr, Lindemann, Lindemann George, Lindemann George Jr, George Lindemann Junior, Jr George Lindemann, Lindemann Jr George, George L Lindemann,,, ,,,,,,,

George Lindemann Journal by George Lindemann "Minimalist Retrospective Gets a Master’s Touch" @ wsj by RANDY KENNEDY

George Lindemann Journal by George Lindemann "Minimalist Retrospective Gets a Master’s Touch" @ wsj by RANDY KENNEDY

A Minimalist Master Returns

A Minimalist Master Returns

Carl Andre is one of America’s greatest living sculptors. He has been mostly absent from the American art scene for decades, but recently returned to oversee the installation of a new retrospective.

Credit By Oresti Tsonopoulos on Publish Date May 4, 2014

Credit Fred R. Conrad/The New York Times

Carl Andre, a father of Minimalism and one of the greatest living American sculptors, decided to retire a few years ago, in his mid-70s. And for an exacting artist who usually insisted on arranging and installing most of his pieces himself, on site, retirement had a special ring of finality.

“People ask me what I do now,” Mr. Andre said recently. “And I tell them I do something most Americans find very, very hard to do: I do nothing.”

He was so determined to do nothing, in fact, that when the Dia Art Foundation began more than two years ago to plan a huge, long-overdue retrospective of his work — the show opens on Monday at the foundation’s outpost in Beacon, N.Y. — he told a reporter that he had informed the curators in no uncertain terms: “I can’t stop you from doing it, but don’t expect me to do anything to help.”

But over the last several weeks, to the foundation’s surprise — maybe even to his own — Mr. Andre has been making treks from his Manhattan apartment to Beacon to help oversee the installation, emerging from a kind of self-imposed seclusion that had begun long before his retirement; sightings of him in the art world, for more than two decades, were rare occurrences.

Continue reading the main story Slide Show
View slide show|5 Photos

A Minimalist Retrospective

A Minimalist Retrospective

Credit Tony Cenicola/The New York Times

In part, this absence came about because of what happened early one morning in 1985, when Mr. Andre’s third wife, the promising Cuban artist Ana Mendieta, fell to her death from a bedroom window of their 34th-floor Greenwich Village apartment. She had had an argument with Mr. Andre, who later told the police he was not in the room when she fell.

He was acquitted of second-degree murder. But the death and highly publicized trial created a deep divide in the art world. It caused museums to shy away from him and his work for years and cast a shadow over a career that had been difficult to begin with, composed of work that, as much as any made in the 1960s and ’70s, occasioned the sometimes angry question “Why is that art?” (Asked in a 2011 interview about the effect of Mendieta’s death on him and his career, Mr. Andre said only: “It didn’t change my view of the world or of my work, but it changed me, as all tragedy does. But I have people who love me and believe in me.”)

During an era when many artists were pulling sculpture off the plinth and making it part of the world in a new way, Mr. Andre went further, taking it all the way to the ground, in pieces made up of metal tiles arranged simply in grids, lines or triangles, meant not only to be looked at but also walked on and experienced with the body. And while other artists were finding beauty and new meaning in raw industrial materials, Mr. Andre used such materials barely altered: aluminum ingots piled in pyramids; firebricks in rectangular stacks; timbers in dimensions available from the sawmill, arranged in basic geometric shapes.

“He was interested in the matter of matter, in what was right underfoot,” the sculptor Richard Serra said. “For me, when I first started out, that was enormously important.” He added: “I hope that Carl’s work is given the recognition that it deserves. And I really hope that younger sculptors pay attention to it.”

While Mr. Andre’s work is in many prominent public collections, there has not been an American survey of his career in more than 30 years, and awareness of his pioneering role in an important postwar sculptural movement has diminished along with his public presence. More than most artists of his generation, his presence was also integral to his art: He worked without a studio, traveling the world to galleries or places that commissioned pieces and often finding the materials to make the works in whatever city he was in. The sculptures were decisively human scale; Mr. Andre usually chose components sized so that he could move them all himself.

“It’s always been easier for me to do it myself, rather than to explain to somebody what to do,” Mr. Andre said, sitting one recent morning, looking at a 1979 piece composed of 121 square pieces of Douglas fir. “But I must say, as I have grown older, my physical capacities have been very much reduced. So I used to be able to sling those timbers around like nothing at all. And I don’t want to try nowadays.”

Asked why he decided to become personally involved in the installation of the retrospective, he shrugged. “People keep un-retiring me,” he said, “and eventually I just give in.”

Mr. Andre — who was raised in Quincy, Mass., and once worked as a railroad brakeman to pay his bills — is slightly unsteady on his feet these days. But he is as quick-witted and dryly caustic as he was said to be in his youth, when he was known as a kind of philosopher-scourge of SoHo, a Marxist who chafed at the commercial art world and being “a kept artist of the imperial class.” At 78, he looks like a Melville-ian sea captain, with a thick white beard under his chin and blue bib overalls, a utilitarian uniform he has worn for years, varied only by the occasional addition of a loose blue sweater vest knitted for him by his fourth wife, the artist Melissa Kretschmer, who is usually at his side.

Yasmil Raymond, Dia’s curator, said the prospect of installing more than four decades’ worth of his work without his input would have been daunting. Before his arrival one recent weekday, she and others had arranged a 2005 work of copper plates and graphite blocks, intended to be placed along a floor with a look of randomness.

“He might just laugh when he sees this,” said Ms. Raymond, who organized the show with Philippe Vergne, Dia’s former director, and the curator Manuel Cirauqui. “I’m trying to make it look random, but I’m looking at it and I’m seeing too much order.” (Upon arriving, Mr. Andre didn’t laugh; he suggested some changes and sympathized with the curator: “Even listing random numbers is hard, you know? Patterns start appearing.”)

Surveying the vast space allotted to his work inside Dia:Beacon, a former box-printing factory, Mr. Andre seemed a little daunted himself. “My work isn’t so big,” he said, almost plaintively. “It’s not big enough.” But he allowed that the diffused daylight coming in through angled skylights was ideal for seeing his sculpture as he intended, with a degree of directness that might seem simple but is never easy to achieve. “People want to spotlight things, and I hate that,” he said. “I like even light, shadowless.”

“No melodrama,” he added, waggling his fingers in the air.

Later, as Mr. Andre stood outside the museum supervising the re-creation of a 1968 piece, “Joint,” which consists of nothing more than hay bales he uses to “draw” a straight line on the earth, joining woods to field, it became apparent just how difficult simplicity can be. The line kept stubbornly curving, as workers laid the bales up the incline into the woods. “How many people does it take to make a straight line?” Ms. Raymond whispered to Mr. Andre.

George Lindemann Journal By George Lindemann "Sotheby's, Third Point Reach Settlement" @wsj by David Benoit

George Lindemann Journal By George Lindemann "Sotheby's, Third Point Reach Settlement" @wsj by David Benoit

Sotheby's expects Picasso's 'Le Sauvetage' will fetch at least $14 million at auction on Wednesday. Sotheby's


Activist investor Daniel Loeb and auction house Sotheby's reached a settlement on Monday that concluded his seven-month campaign to shake up the company a day before shareholders were to vote on his board candidates.

The pact gives Mr. Loeb three board seats by expanding the board to 15 people rather than having Mr. Loeb's candidates go up against company nominees. The deal also caps Mr. Loeb's stock ownership at 15%. His hedge fund, Third Point LLC, currently owns about 9.6%, but it had sought the ability to go to 20%, a request the company had blocked, leading Third Point to sue.

On Monday, Sotheby's shares closed up 3.25%, or $1.41, to $44.80, at 4 p.m. in New York Stock Exchange trading.

Settlements, even just hours before a scheduled vote, have become more common for activists and their targets because advisers believe it is better to hammer out a deal than risk a divisive shareholder vote.

Through last week, there have been 20 settlements between companies and activists so far this year, tied for the most to date since 2009, according to FactSet SharkWatch, a data provider.

In a joint statement on Monday, Mr. Loeb said: "As of today we see ourselves not as the Third Point Nominees but as Sotheby's directors, and we expect to work collaboratively with our fellow board members to enhance long-term value on behalf of all shareholders." Sotheby's Chairman and Chief Executive William Ruprecht also said the last-minute agreement "ensures that our focus is on the business."

The agreement came after a Delaware judge blessed Sotheby's so-called poison pill that limited how much stock Third Point could acquire. Beyond that legal issue, a court hearing last week in the suit enabled Third Point to surface internal board emails showing support for Mr. Loeb's point of view; also disclosed were inflammatory comments by Mr. Loeb. The airing of the various remarks added to the drama of a campaign that had captivated Wall Street and the art world.

Mr. Loeb is not a stranger in board rooms where he has spent time publicly attacking. At Yahoo Inc., YHOO +0.51% Yahoo! Inc. U.S.: Nasdaq $37.10 +0.19+0.51% May 6, 2014 1:23 pm Volume (Delayed 15m) : 8.24M P/E Ratio 30.58 Market Cap $37.15 Billion Dividend Yield N/A Rev. per Employee $383,012 37.2037.0036.8036.6010a11a12p1p2p3p 05/05/14 Sotheby's, Third Point Reach S... 05/05/14 Box Still Targets Microsoft, G... 05/05/14 CMO Today: Facebook Getting Ag... More quote details and news » YHOO in Your Value Your Change Short position before he joined the board, he waged a several-month war that saw a newly hired CEO fired. Yahoo's shares rose more than 85% during the time he was on the board, which was just over a year.

New York-based Sotheby's had criticized his exit at Yahoo in its presentations to shareholders, just one of the points of contention that will now need to be put aside in the auction house's boardroom.

In one such instance, according to a Friday court ruling, Mr. Loeb had emailed allies that he was waging a "holy jihad," with the plan being to "undermine the credibility" of Mr. Ruprecht. Mr. Loeb said the email was intended as a joke and not meant to offend.

Mr. Ruprecht referred to Mr. Loeb as "scum" to another board member and said the campaign was about "ego," the judge's ruling said.

But other directors worried Mr. Loeb's criticisms were on point and raised concerns about the company's spending and Mr. Ruprecht's compensation, according to court testimony.

Putting such distractions behind the company is "good for shareholders," Stifel Nicolaus & Co. analyst David Schick wrote on Monday, because it allows the firm to get back to focusing on its auction business.

That will include Sotheby's spring series of Impressionist, modern and contemporary art sales, which are expected to total at least $684 million during the next two weeks. Mr. Loeb has argued that Sotheby's has fallen behind rival Christie's International PLC in selling contemporary art. Christie's contemporary sale on May 13 is expected to bring in at least $500 million.

Mr. Loeb is among an emerging class of hedge-fund executives and art collectors who frequent both the major auction houses, ratcheting up prices for contemporary artists and quickly reselling their purchases for a profit.

The average holding period for contemporary art works has shrunk to about two years from at least a decade previously, according to a former Sotheby's specialist.

—Kelly Crow contributed to this article.

Write to David Benoit at and Sara Germano at

George Lindemann, George-Lindemann, George Lindemann Jr, George-Lindemann-Jr, Lindemann, Lindemann George, Lindemann George Jr, George Lindemann Junior, Jr George Lindemann, Lindemann Jr George, George L Lindemann,,, ,,,,,,,

George Lindemann Journal by George Lindemann - "A Day in the Life of Artist Dan Colen" @wsj by Christopher Ross

George Lindemann Journal by George Lindemann - "A Day in the Life of Artist Dan Colen" @wsj by Christopher Ross


FARM BOY | Colen at his property in upstate New York, where many of his large-scale pieces are constructed. Photography by Tim Barber for WSJ. Magazine

THE 34-YEAR-OLD ARTIST Dan Colen lives in Manhattan's East Village, but the majority of his work is made either at his new studio in Brooklyn's Red Hook, overlooking a blue expanse of the Upper New York Bay, or at his 40-acre farm in Pine Plains, New York, where roosters crow and the air smells of manure.

These are not his native environments: Raised in Leonia, New Jersey, he came to fame in the mid-aughts as a member of a gritty, decadent clique of artists (including Dash Snow and Ryan McGinley) who helped define the New York downtown arts scene and whose bacchanalian exploits are still legendary. Colen is sober now, and the location of his studios says something about the scale, direction and pace of his work these days. "Walking out of your studio and seeing water instead of the Holland Tunnel, that's going to affect how you create," he says.

This month, the Brant Foundation, in Connecticut, is mounting a comprehensive exhibition spanning his entire career. His trademark pieces blending abstraction with low materials—paintings made from bubble gum or resembling bird poop, papier–mâché boulders covered in graffiti—will be displayed alongside newer works that seem to reflect his change in scenery: small landscape paintings, a heap of scrap metal occupied by canaries. Preparing for the opening, he lopes around the museum with a rangy energy, wearing a tight-fitting jean jacket and Chuck Taylor All-Stars. Sporting a terrifically cowlicked head of hair, he sometimes resembles an overgrown boy. His irreverent former self appears in flashes, like when he mentions, as a cop car passes his Range Rover on the highway, that there is currently a warrant out for his arrest (he missed a court date for carrying a type of knife that's illegal in New York City).

Descending from a line of makers—his father sculpts with wood and clay, and his grandfather was a mechanic and inventor—it's not surprising that Colen now nearly resembles a construction foreman. In the course of a day, he consults with riggers installing an outdoor piece at Brant and discusses with foundry workers how to move boulders. At his farm, one member of his crew is strapping an ash-wood barrel shut while another is tinkering with guitar cases. He counsels his staff of artisans and workers not to focus so much on formal perfection as on an intuitive process of discovery. "I tell them it's not about virtuosity," he says. "It's about commitment."

George Lindemann, George-Lindemann, George Lindemann Jr, George-Lindemann-Jr, Lindemann, Lindemann George, Lindemann George Jr, George Lindemann Junior, Jr George Lindemann, Lindemann Jr George, George L Lindemann,,, ,,,,,,,

George Lindemann Journal by George Lindemann - "Sotheby’s Poison Pill Is Upheld by Delaware Court" @nytimes By MICHAEL J. DE LA MERCED AND ALEXANDRA STEVENSON

George Lindemann Journal by George Lindemann - "Sotheby’s Poison Pill Is Upheld by Delaware Court" @nytimes By MICHAEL J. DE LA MERCED AND ALEXANDRA STEVENSON

Daniel S Loeb is seeking a seat on Sothebys boardSteve Marcus/ReutersDaniel S. Loeb is seeking a seat on Sotheby’s board.

A Delaware state court judge on Friday blocked efforts by the hedge fund mogul Daniel S. Loeb to overturn a crucial corporate defense at Sotheby’s, the auction house.

In a ruling issued Friday evening, Donald F. Parsons, a vice chancellor of Delaware’s Court of Chancery, decided that he would not overturn a so-called poison pill plan that limits Mr. Loeb to no more than 10 percent of Sotheby’s shares while letting passive investors hold as much as 20 percent.

The company’s annual shareholder meeting is Tuesday, when shareholders will cast their votes in what may be a watershed moment in the company’s 270-year history. And it may pave the way for companies to enact tougher defenses against outspoken activist investors pushing for change.

Mr. Loeb and his firm, Third Point, have nominated three director candidates, including himself, pitted against the current board at Sotheby’s.

Sotheby’s poison pill, formally known as a shareholder rights plan, had set off debate within the corporate governance community. While companies have used such defenses for decades, the auction house’s version specifically discriminated against activist investors, a move that Third Point had contended was unfair.

But in his ruling, Vice Chancellor Parsons wrote that Mr. Loeb’s primary argument — that the poison pill unfairly impedes his ability to wage his campaign — was flawed. Sotheby’s had presented evidence that the rationale behind its defense could be seen as both rational and proportional to the threat of an activist investor.

And even with his current 10 percent stake, Mr. Loeb has been able to fight the company to a draw. Vice Chancellor Parsons noted that the hedge fund manager had roughly 10 times the number of shares that Sotheby’s board now owns, and that his own expert witness testified that, even now, Third Point has a roughly 50-50 chance of winning the proxy contest.

Mr. Loeb even testified in a deposition that nothing has hurt his ability to reach out to other shareholders.

“There is a substantial possibility,” the vice chancellor wrote, “that Third Point will win the proxy contest, which would make any preliminary intervention by this court unnecessary.”

Mr. Loeb has already won the support of Marcato Capital, another activist hedge fund and Sotheby’s third-largest shareholder. Last week, the influential proxy advisory firm Institutional Shareholder Services weighed in with support for Mr. Loeb, advising shareholders to vote for two of his three board nominees.

Mr. Loeb has criticized Sotheby’s for not adapting quickly enough to sweeping changes in the art industry in recent years and has accused it of falling behind its main rival, Christie’s, in crucial parts of the auction business, Impressionist and modern art. He has also railed against the compensation packages of board members, specifically singling out the pay of the chief executive, William F. Ruprecht, who received $6.3 million in 2012.

Sotheby’s adopted its poison pill last October, after Mr. Loeb called for Mr. Ruprecht to step down, arguing that it was in the best interests of all shareholders to ”encourage anyone seeking to acquire the company to negotiate with the board prior to attempting a takeover.”

During the hearing earlier this week in Delaware, Vice Chancellor Parsons was shown emails in which board members discussed the merits of some of Mr. Loeb’s criticisms. In one email, a board member, Steven B. Dodge, wrote that Mr. Ruprecht’s compensation was “red meat for the dogs.”

Mr. Dodge also wrote that the board was “too comfortable, too chummy and not doing its jobs,” in an email to another director, Dennis M. Weibling. “We have handed Loeb a killer set of issues on a platter.”

A rival proxy advisory firm Glass Lewis has supported Sotheby’s slate.

Representatives for Mr. Loeb and Sotheby’s declined to comment.

Gregory P. Taxin, president of the activist hedge fund Clinton Group, said the ruling was disappointing: “In Delaware, stockholders are apparently supposed to be like children in the 1950s: the good ones do not speak unless spoken to.”

A version of this article appears in print on 05/03/2014, on page B7 of the NewYork edition with the headline: Sotheby’s Poison Pill Is Upheld by Court.

George Lindemann, George-Lindemann, George Lindemann Jr, George-Lindemann-Jr, Lindemann, Lindemann George, Lindemann George Jr, George Lindemann Junior, Jr George Lindemann, Lindemann Jr George, George L Lindemann,,, ,,,,,,,

George Lindemann Journal by George Lindemann "Camille Henrot: An Art World 'It Girl'" @wsj by Ellen Gamerman

George Lindemann Journal by George Lindemann "Camille Henrot: An Art World 'It Girl'" @wsj by Ellen Gamerman

RESTLESS ART Camille Henrot says she's inspired by eBay, turtles and nail polish, among other sources, for her videos, like 'Grosse Fatigue,' above. © Camille Henrot/ADAGP/Silex Films/kamel mennour, Paris

Turtles figure prominently in artist Camille Henrot's ambitious video chronicling the history of the world in 13 minutes. She sees the creatures as symbols of a prehistoric past and a burdened future. "The turtle, she's slow because she is carrying this massive round thing—it's like a figure of Atlas," she says.

Thinking hard about reptiles—and most everything else—is a hallmark of the 35-year-old French intellectual's work. On the heels of that video, "Grosse Fatigue," which won her the Silver Lion award for most promising young artist at the recent Venice Biennale, the artist is unveiling her first comprehensive U.S. museum exhibit. "Camille Henrot: The Restless Earth" opens Wednesday at the New Museum in New York.

The show features her abstract video telling the story of humankind through quick cuts of images like turtles and eyeballs, dead birds and oranges, fizzy water and the cosmos. Other pieces on view include her works on paper and a new installation of literature-inspired Japanese ikebana flower arrangements.

This spring, the New Museum is dedicating separate floors to three young artists rather than doing a group show. "It's a way to give exposure, to show the artists who are changing how art is being made," says curator Gary Carrion-Murayari. "Camille was a very easy choice for us in that respect."

Ms. Henrot created "Grosse Fatigue" during an artist fellowship at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington last year. She scoured the collections, filming employees opening drawers of exotic-bird specimens, flipping through files filled with dead bees, and so on. The film advances quickly through time by using overlapping windows on a computer desktop—search results from the Smithsonian's database. She incorporated her own footage and studio shots of brightly painted fingernails—a nod to her discovery that even the weightiest words in a Google search often seem to match the name of a nail polish.

It wasn't a solitary effort: Ms. Henrot worked with a cinematographer and film editor, as well as a makeup designer, models and production assistants. A writer created the text, which is performed like a spoken-word poem, and her partner, a musician named Joakim Bouaziz, created the score.

Ms. Henrot finds inspiration from disparate sources including eBay, where her purchases range from firemen's boots to nude vintage photographs. Sometimes she buys an item just because she likes the picture of its seller. After moving from Paris to New York in late 2012, she says the cargo container with all her stuff was held up by authorities for months—she suspects because its contents were so weird.

As a child, she wanted one day to have a "real job," eager to distinguish herself from her mother, an artist. Nevertheless, she attended art school in Paris, studying animated film. She took a job in an advertising agency, where she learned tricks like how to shoot a piece of cake to make it look more delicious (blow it with a hair dryer so it seems fluffy). Along the way, she was making films on her own, including an inventive music video for the band Octet in which the musicians were rendered as half-real, half-animated bodies. The film was shown in a 2005 exhibition at the Fondation Cartier, a contemporary art center in Paris, and her career as an artist was launched.

Ms. Henrot didn't grow up traveling—she says her mother was afraid of flying—but now her experiences in foreign cultures feed directly into her work. The videos featured at the New Museum include "Coupé/Décalé," an experimental film illustrating a coming-of-age ritual on Pentecost island in the Vanuatu archipelago where young people jump into a void while being held by liana vines around their ankles.

Sometimes her images can be hard to watch. Those turtles in "Grosse Fatigue" are featured with close-ups of their slick tongues and stony eyes. Ms. Henrot, who as a child had a pet turtle named Zoe that escaped through a window of her Paris home, shot the creatures during a vacation in the Seychelles. She filmed a little girl giving a huge turtle a banana and included the footage in her video. "I was interested in the stupidity of man feeding wild animal," she says.

Ms. Henrot brought home a souvenir from that trip: A scar on her hand from a turtle that bit her when she too tried to feed it.           

George Lindemann, George-Lindemann, George Lindemann Jr, George-Lindemann-Jr, Lindemann, Lindemann George, Lindemann George Jr, George Lindemann Junior, Jr George Lindemann, Lindemann Jr George, George L Lindemann,,, ,,,,,,,,