Leslie Rankow Fine Arts


Airport, please! heads to LA for the premiere of Sun and Sea, the opera on climate crisis that wowed the Venice Biennale 2019

Venice Biennale 2019
Lithuanian Pavilion

Step into a sunny day by the sea. This theatrical installation stunned audiences at the 2019 Venice Biennale, earning its all-female creative team the coveted Golden Lion. The Hammer, MOCA, and CAP UCLA present Sun & Sea’s Los Angeles premiere, transforming The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA with 13 vocalists and 10 tons of sand.

Sunbathing characters offer up a range of seductive harmonies and melodic stories that glide between the mundane, the sinister, and the surreal. From the sprawling tapestry of their lives emerges a piercing exploration of the relationship between people and our planet, captured in one afternoon on a crowded beach. The touring vocalists will be supported by members of LA-based choral group Tonality, best known for concerts on themes of social justice.




A former police car warehouse in L.A.’s Little Tokyo Historic District, renovated by the noted California architect Frank Gehry, The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA (formerly The Temporary Contemporary) opened in 1983. This location offers 40,000 square feet of exhibition space.

MOCA Geffen

WAREHOUSE Programming is open with an expanded bookstore, a reading nook, rest, meet, and workspaces with free WiFi, a coffee cart featuring drinks and food by Cafe Dulce, and several video installations. The current video works on view are by artists Fischli & Weiss and Mark Leckey. Over the course of the coming months, MOCA will be actively transitioning this space into a vibrant, multi-use anchor under the umbrella of WAREHOUSE Programs.

Airport, please! heads to Saanen, Switzerland for Ed Ruscha’s Dedication Stones exhibition

Ed Ruscha
Destination Stones
Gagosian Gallery
Saanen, Switzerland


A destination for skiers, and art collectors. Gstaad offers a beautiful environment that represents offers both physical and artistic opportunities.  From traditional papercutting to modern sculpture, paintings and objects by renowned artists from all over the world are exhibited here. The region has a further 9 chalet villages alongside Gstaad, located at an altitude of between 1,000 and 1,400 metres. Yet despite its style and class, Gstaad has remained genuinely Alpine, proud of its tradition and culture.

Tarmak 22
Gstaad Airport

Over a thousand cultural and sporting events are available to visitors every year. In addition, visitors will find first-class hotels, outstanding shopping facilities along the traffic-free promenade and a private airport in Saanen.

It was inevitable that Gagosian Gallery, with prime locations around the world: New York, Paris, London, Rome, Los Angeles, Geneva, and Basel, would seek out an exhibition space as well in Saanen, Switzerland, where international art collectors congregate. The first exhibit in Saanen was limited edition furniture by Mark Newson, at Tarmak 22 at the Gstaad Saanen private airport.

Mark Newson


Located one floor above ground level at the recently reopened Gstaad Saanen airport in Switzerland, Tarmak 22 is a new 3,000- square-foot gallery bringing contemporary art to new heights. “There are a lot of art collectors in Gstaad, but there aren’t really any spaces to organize shows and get together,” said Tatiana de Pahlen, who cofounded Tarmak 22 with Antonia Crespi, a managing partner at luxury real estate company Engel & Völkers. “There is both a tradition of artists living here — Balthus used to own a chalet in Gstaad — and a couple of well-known not-forprofit art events, like Elevation 1049, an art fair organized by the Luma Foundation,” continued the 28-year-old, who studied contemporary art in Switzerland. “We wanted to find an inbetween.” De Pahlen and Crespi visited the breathtaking space separately, and were immediately taken with the view of the airport’s landing strip with a backdrop of snow-covered mountains

Co-founders Pahlen & Crespi

Since its opening, the gallery, which takes its name both from the tarmac on airport runways and the Saanen airport code, has welcomed a mix of chalet owners, curators from established Zurich galleries and students from Lausanne. The space is open to the public, whether they are planning to travel or not, and hosts a yearly program of conferences and performances. Tarmak 22, co-run by Agnelli heiress Tatiana de Pahlen, is located  on the first floor of Saanen airport in Gstaad, Switzerland. “We’re aiming to get people to just stop by,” de Pahlen said. Following its first exhibition — a selection of grand-scale photographs by Andreas Gursky organized in partnership with the Gagosian gallery — its second event is dedicated to the extensive collection of Mexican art collector Alex Hank.

Ed Ruscha
Dedication Stones


I’m interested in glorifying something that we in the world would say doesn’t deserve being glorified. Something that’s forgotten, focused on as though it were some sort of sacred object.
—Ed Ruscha

From July 16 to September 26, 2021, Gagosian presents a special exhibition of new drawings by the great iconoclastic influencer and artist of text and image, Ed Ruscha, entitled Dedication Stones. In each of the Dedication Stones drawings, which evoke sacred objects, Ruscha depicts a different short word or symbol containing the letter x. For Ruscha, x represents the ultimate variable, an endlessly adaptable surrogate for other ideas.

While Ruscha engages with the words as abstract lingual units, their cultural associations ultimately are very much present; each drawing bears a subtitle that places its subject in a specific context. Often, these display the artist’s wry sense of humor—thus Fix (Dedicated to the 1919 World Series) references the notorious baseball game-rigging scandal; XXX (Dedicated to a Jug of Whiskey) alludes to the traditional marker of triple distillation on containers of moonshine; and Xit (Dedicated to Ways Out) (all 2021) employs a deliberate misspelling.

At the same time, the gray tonality, stippled texture, classical serif fonts, and trompe l’oeil pins of the drawings suggest carved stone, evoking an association with monuments and tombstones—even as their ‘torn’ edges seem to depict paper surfaces.


Ed Ruscha


Ed Ruscha was born in 1937 in Omaha, Nebraska, and grew up in Oklahoma City. In 1956, he took Route 66 to California, which would become a central part of his story as an artist. Settling in Los Angeles, he studied art at Chouinard Art Institute (now California Institute of the Arts) and had an early job as a commercial illustrator. In the 1960s, inspired by artists like Raymond Hains, René Magritte, Jasper Johns, and Kurt Schwitters, Ruscha became a vibrant part of the art scene surrounding Ferus Gallery in Los Angeles.

Paramount to Ruscha’s work is that the changing nature of language —as its meaning shifts as a function of font, color, composition, and other visual effects—can be a subject for painting and drawing. He often revisits the same phrase or word in artworks over the course of many years. Often, his words and phrases have a vernacular, familiar tone, but an unfamiliar reference. Along the way, Ruscha teases out and accumulates new meanings from the expression. Though words typically take a secondary role in the history of art, Ruscha places language at the center of his practice, a commentator on contemporary life, especially in Los Angeles, with candor and humor.


Ruscha’s interest in language is frequently coupled with an interest in landscape, especially that of the American west. His words appear on road signs, buildings, and mountains, and across open skies and horizons. At times, words are strangely present through their disappearance. In early photographic work, Ruscha created documentary images and books full of swimming pools, parking lots, buildings on Sunset Boulevard, gas stations, and many other features of L.A. life. In his paintings and drawings, these same subjects combine with language to poetically evoke the changing fabric of the city through themes of evolution and destruction.



In an oeuvre spanning more than fifty years, Ruscha employs a distinctively American lexicon of images, words, and signs in works across a broad range of mediums. Presenting a litany of familiar icons including snow-capped mountains and the American flag, he applies a wry verbal and visual wit to his chosen subjects, exploring the frequent disconnect between ideas and their expression, and celebrating the beauty of what he calls “everyday noise.”

Ed Ruscha
Our Flag

Ruscha has been living and working in the L.A. area for over sixty years. Through his innovative approach to painting, drawing, and photography, Ruscha has influenced artists worldwide and is considered to be one of the most important figures in contemporary art today.

Airport, please!

Airport, please! heads to Mary Weatherford’s exhibit at SITE Santa Fe

SITE Santa Fe

Since 1996. SITE Santa Fe had created significant experiences for visitors by presenting the most innovative visual art in new and engaging ways.  Since its opening, SITE Santa Fe has been committed to supporting new developments in contemporary art, encouraging artistic exploration, and expanding traditional museum experiences.This year, the artist featured at SITE Sante Fe is Mary Weatherford, known for her intriguing paintings that synthesis a new way to use  neon within an expressionist vocabulary.


Mary Weatherford


This year, SITE Sante Fe features the work of the dynamic Los Angeles based artist, Mary Weatherford. For over three decades, she has developed a rich and diverse painting  practice, from early target paintings in the 1990s to the current innovative gestural canvases overlaid with neon glass tubing. As constant experiments with color, scale and materials, these works reveal the continuity of Weatherford’s preoccupation with memory and experience, both personal and historical.

Mary Weatherford
SITE Santa Fe


I’m done with a painting when there is something so compelling that I don’t want to lose it. 
—Mary Weatherford

Mary Weatherford makes large paintings comprising grounds of spontaneously sponged paint on heavy linen canvases, often surmounted by one or more carefully shaped and placed colored neon tubes. The canvas—prepared with white gesso mixed with marble dust and worked on with Flashe paint, a highly pigmented but readily diluted emulsion—supports startlingly diverse applications of color. The surface of the paint ranges from matte and velvety to transparent and translucent. The canvas is at times densely filled, reading as a painterly continuum; at others, it shifts in color from edge to edge; and at yet others it contains clusters of marks set in relatively bare surroundings.

In her paintings from 2017–18, Weatherford focused on her responses to current events, linking them to her experience of premodern narrative pictorial compositions. She thinks of these works as aspiring to the function of earlier history paintings, which tell of actual or mythological happenings to invoke fundamental and topical concerns.

Weatherford’s work expands the expressive potential of neon. Neon, while appropriated by earlier artists for its consumerist and linguistic connotations, in Weatherford’s work the industrial material is transformed into a radically new form of abstract, pictorial drawing.



Launched in 1995 to organize the only international biennial of contemporary art in the United States, with founding director and curator Bruce Ferguson, SITE soon expanded its programming to include exhibitions year round, often accompanied by highly acclaimed catalogues. SITE has since presented nine international biennial exhibitions. Each has drawn global attention and brought important contemporary art to the Santa Fe community and beyond. Conceived to bring the global contemporary art dialogue to the art-rich Southwest, and as a major event on par with such renowned exhibitions as the Whitney Biennial and the Venice Biennale, it has become an integral event for contemporary art aficionados, attracting many visitors from around the world.

SITE Santa Fe

In 2010, Irene Hofmann was named the Phillips Director. Under Hofmann’s leadership, SITE took a step back to evaluate the biennial exhibition format, and in 2012 announced a new focus in its programming, a reimagined biennial exhibition series entitled SITElines: New Perspectives on Art of the Americas, with exhibitions in 2014, 2016, and 2018, which explore contemporary art from Nunavut to Tierra del Fuego. SITElines signifies a radical rethinking of SITE Santa Fe’s signature biennial exhibition. It represents a collaborative structure for planning its biennials, a vision for continuity between biennials, a commitment to community and place, and a dedication to new and under-­recognized perspectives.

Airport, please! heads to the legendary Maeght Foundation for The Giacometti: A family of Creators

Fondation Maeght
Saint Paul de Vence

Starting in the summer 2021, from July 3rd to November 14th, 2021, the Fondation Maeght offers a first time exhibit ever to be held in France entitled “The Giacometti: a family of creators”. The exhibition highlights the famous family of artists from the Swiss village of Stampa. Starting with Alberto Giacometti, the most famous member of the family, known for his emblematic threadlike sculptures, we will discover the work of his father, Giovanni, and his cousin, Augusto, both painters, as well as his two brothers, Diego, the middle brother, sculptor and designer, and Bruno, the youngest brother, architect. This exhibition provides an original overview of this artistic dynasty.

The “The Giacometti: a family of creators” exhibition honors a family of artists. Its curator, Peter Knapp, showcases the talent and originality of the Giacometti: world famous Alberto, his father Giovanni, his cousin Augusto, and his two brothers, Diego and Bruno. They were painters, sculptors and architects, all of whom left their mark on 20th century art.

Brought together for the first time in France, the Giacometti are five artists with different but intertwined paths. This innovative perspective introduces us to the cultural family into which Alberto Giacometti, the most famous among the general public, was born. It bears witness to this family’s place in art and the links forged among the five family members. The exhibition also takes a look at the family’s intimate relationship with its home village, Stampa, in the canton of Grisons, Switzerland, which has now become a must-see destination  for modern art connoisseurs.

Alberto Giacometti

Based on some thirty major sculptures and drawings from the collection, and rounded out by a number of paintings, films, archived photographs and objects, the Fondation Maeght tells the unique, extraordinary story of these five artists from the same family: Giovanni Giacometti, painter (1868-1933), his three sons, Alberto Giacometti, painter, draftsman and sculptor (1901-1966); Diego Giacometti, sculptor and designer (1902-1985) and Bruno Giacometti, architect (1907-2012) and, lastly, their cousin Augusto Giacometti, painter (1877-1947).

As our travel restrictions are relaxing, we are confronted with a huge number of airline delays and cancellations. Airports are filled with travelers stuck at departure gates as people are eager to return to business travel and regroup with family members they haven’t seen since Covid-19 struck. The LRFA blog urges a cautious approach until the new travel landscape  becomes more defined. Since this extraordinary first-time exhibition of all of the creative members of generations of the Giacometti family continues at the Fondation Maeght until November 20, 2021, we should all have time to see this exhibit in person.


In the meantime…

Fondation Maeght
The Giacometti


Architect Josep Lluís Sert designed a vast and impressive studio for his friend and fellow Catalan, the surrealist artist Joan Miró, in Palma de Mallorca in the 1950s. It was this sculpture-like architecture that led Aimé Maeght, Miró’s gallerist and editor since 1947, to entrust his major project to Sert: the creation of the first private foundation dedicated to the visual arts in Europe.

La Fondation Maeght is not a museum. It was born from the desire for a place in which Aimé and Marguerite Maeght could present modern and contemporary art in all its forms; and where their artist friends could visit to create and exchange ideas as much as to exhibit work. Sert created La Fondation hand in hand with the Maeghts, Miró and a number of artists, who gave life to some of its main features: the sculpture garden entrance; the Giacometti Court; buildings wrapped around patios; a bell tower for the chapel and a home studio.

Augusto Giacometti


La Fondation Maeght is home to one of the largest collections of modern art in Europe, featuring paintings, sculptures, drawings and graphic works by renowned 20th-century figures including Pierre Bonnard, Georges Braque, Alexander Calder, Marc Chagall, Diego Giacometti, Wassily Kandinsky, Barbara Hepworth, Fernand Léger, Joan Miró, Pierre Tal Coat, Germaine Richier, and Raul Ubac. The collection also contains work by post-war and contemporary artists including Anna-Eva Bergman, Pier Paolo Calzolari, Eduardo Chillida, Christo, Marco Del Re, Gérard Garouste, Jörg Immendorff, Ellsworth Kelly, Wifredo Lam, Joan Mitchell, Takis and Antoni Tàpies.

On its opening in 1964, La Fondation Maeght prefigured the modern concept of a cultural centre by organising exhibitions, dance events, concerts and works of theatre. This continued range of programming runs alongside an annual roster of temporary exhibitions, providing a panorama of modern and contemporary art.

Alberto Giacometti
Portrait of his Younger Brother, Bruno

The initial bequest of Marguerite and Aimé Maeght consisted of 1,000 artworks alongside the works created in situ. In keeping with with his parents’ standards, Adrien Maeght, the current president of La Fondation, has contributed to the enrichment of the estate by donating buildings and land, and through donations of works of art, notably with his half-sister Sylvie Eon Baltazart. Through regular bequests, Adrien Maeght and his children continue to perpetuate the family spirit.

Today a selection from the permanent collection is exhibited in the rooms and garden of La Fondation to complement the program of exhibitions. With a rich collection of 13,000 items, La Fondation Maeght also regularly loans works in the collection to several museums in France and around the world.

Diego Giacometti


La Fondation was established by Aimé and Marguerite Maeght, a visionary couple who were publishers and art dealers, and who represented and were friends with some of the most important artists of the era, including Braque, Miró and Giacometti, as well as Alexander Calder, Fernand Léger, Marc Chagall, and many others. La Fondation Maeght was opened on July 26, 1964, by Charles de Gaulle’s legendary Culture Minister André Malraux, a close friend of the Maeghts. It was France’s very first private art institution and was modelled on American institutions such as the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, the Barnes Collection and the Phillips Collection, which the couple visited during their frequent trips to the US in the 1950s.

Fondation Maeght

Airport, please! heads to Aspen for Intersect Art and Design

Simone Leigh
2021 Honoree Anderson Ranch

Intersect Art and Design has united three art fairs into one: Intersect Aspen (formerly Art Aspen), Intersect Chicago (formerly SOFA Chicago), and Intersect Palm Springs (formerly Art Palm Springs). Intersect Aspen believes that through art,  and the diverse voices of their exhibitors and their artists, they encourage discussions that promote social awareness and foster positive change.

Khalilah Birdsong

Intersect is a partnership of brothers Tim and Dirk von Gal, who are event industry veterans with more than 50 years of combined experience creating successful trade shows and conferences for business, consumer, and art industry sectors. The three fairs had been under the umbrella of Tim von Gal’s former company Urban Expositions (founded in 1995), which was acquired by Clarion in 2015.

The von Gal brothers’ launch of Intersect in April 2020 brings the fairs back under their management once again and reflects the dedication of its outstanding Managing Director Becca Hoffman, who joined Intersect Art and Design in April 2020. She was the Director of the Outsider Art Fair from 2013 – 2020 and received her B.A. in Fine Art Photography from Dartmouth.  In these times of continued concern and unpredictability, the threat of the Delta variant and a fiercely divided nation, Intersect Art and Design is a voice of hope in a beautiful setting.

Becca Hoffman
Managing Director
Intersect Aspen

Intersect Aspect has united three great art fairs into a single voice, which may be a predictive model for the future as a great solution for the overabundance of pre-Covid art fairs.

Intersect Aspen (formerly Art Aspen) is an annual art and cultural event in the heart of one of the nation’s most prestigious collector communities. In 2020 it was an online-only event, replacing Art Aspen, which has been running since 2010.

Intersect Chicago (formerly SOFA, Sculpture Objects Functional Art), the largest and oldest of the three fairs, takes place annually at Chicago’s Navy Pier, and focuses on three-dimensional artworks that cross the boundaries of fine art, decorative art, fiber arts, and design. It has been running since 1993.

Alexander Holler

Intersect Palm Springs (formerly Art Palm Springs), which traditionally has occurred in conjunction with Modernism Week at the Palm Springs Convention Center, presents post-war and contemporary art and has been running since 2012.

Intersect 21, a virtual exhibition taking place in February 2021, presents a focused, curated selection of artworks from 21 galleries in the Middle East, North Africa, and southern California.

Intersect Art invites about 30 galleries to exhibit, holds a full calendar of talks, events, films and ends with a great Aspect August Gallery Night

Aspen Art Museum
Shigeru Ban Architects

In partnership with the Aspen Art Museum, Intersect Aspen, the Aspen Resort Chamber Association, Aspen Daily News, and Aspen Sojourner, Aspen galleries will keep their doors open late for a self-guided gallery crawl, featuring a last look of ArtCrush Auction Works at the Aspen Art Museum, as well as a special cocktail by artist Adam Stamp’s Slippery Slope bar. The crawl will also include the Red Brick Art Center’s opening receptions for Ineffable Green Thing and Griffin Loop’s Launch Intention.

Galerie Gmurzynska
Yves Klein

Anderson Ranch Arts Center is worth the trip alone!

It was the vision of prominent American raku ceramist Paul Soldner combined with an incredible land opportunity that paved the way for Anderson Ranch today—one of the most respected visual arts programs in the country.

In 1966, just as the ski industry began to blossom, local resort developers envisioned an arts and cultural center for the valley and surrounding community. They called on Soldner, who chose the Anderson Ranch property as the location for that venue, to make it a reality. There was much personal sacrifice required to make those initial dreams a reality—one which continues to evolve and grow.

At Anderson Ranch, its mission is to recognize human beings’ lifelong need to develop personal creativity and to discover, learn and grow. Artists of all levels come from across the country and around the world to explore new ideas, hone their art making skills and engage in meaningful dialog at the Ranch. Both an international center and a close community, Anderson Ranch welcomes adults, art students, children and teens―from beginners to the leading artists of our time.

Anderson Ranch Arts Center

This July, Anderson Ranch celebrated the extraordinary Simone Leigh as its 2021 International Artist  and offered special appearances by The Guerrilla Girls, featured collaborations with Aspen Film, Aspen Words, Jazz Aspen Snowmass and much more!


Shoppable Objects presented by Anderson Ranch Arts Center and Carbondale Arts

Intersect Aspen partners with Anderson Ranch Arts Center and Carbondale Arts to present Shoppable Objects, a space to discover functional design and craft created by local artists, open to visitors of the fair daily in the Intersect Screening Room.

Intersect Aspen offers a memorable almost post-Covid experience!

Airport, please! Heading to Fort Worth where east meets west with the Rockefeller Collection at Asia Society

Kimbell Art Museum
Fort Worth, Texas

Buddha, Shiva, Lotus, Dragon: The Mr. and Mrs. John D. Rockefeller 3rd Collection at Asia Society opens at another extraordinary venue, The Kimbell Art Museum in Fort Worth, Texas. The LRFA blog has always been transfixed by Asian objects, probably because this is an area of art so distant from the business of the known and need to know modern and contemporary art market.

Tamil Nadu Saint Sambandar

This exhibition showcases the extraordinary range of bronzes, ceramics and metalwork that John D. Rockefeller 3rd (1906–1978) and his wife, Blanchette Hooker Rockefeller (1909–1992), thoughtfully assembled between the 1940s and the 1970s. With highlights including spectacular Chinese vases, dynamic Indian Chola bronzes and exquisite Southeast Asian sculptures, the exhibition reveals great achievements in Asian art spanning more than two millennia. This selection of masterpieces drawn from Asia Society’s permanent collection is a visually stunning presentation that illuminates social and artistic histories from across Asia and underscores the visual arts’ capacity to encourage cross-cultural dialogue.

This exhibition represents a special opportunity to experience the unparalleled quality of the Mr. and Mrs. John D. Rockefeller 3rd Collection outside of its home at Asia Society Museum in New York City. In addition to investigating themes of Buddhist sculpture, Hindu sculpture and ceramics and metalwork, the show also examines the Rockefellers’ connoisseurship as well as their collecting and exhibition practices in an age when political and economic circumstances informed the reception and availability of Asian artworks in the United States. With an emphasis on beauty, ingenuity and tradition, this exhibition manifests the dynamic ideas and philosophies that animate histories of Asian art and renews the Rockefellers’ vision of promoting a deep understanding of different cultures through experiences with astonishing works of art.


Louis B. Kahn Building

The Kimbell 1972 building, designed by architect Louis B. Kahn, is regarded as one of the most outstanding achievements of the modern era, a mecca of architecture. Kahn designed a building in which “light is the theme.” Natural light enters through narrow plexiglass skylights along the top of cycloid barrel vaults and is diffused by wing-shaped pierced-aluminum reflectors that hang below, giving a silvery gleam to the smooth concrete of the vault surfaces and providing a perfect, subtly fluctuating illumination for the works of art.

Renzo Piano Pavilion
Kimbell Art Museum

Renzo Piano Pavilion

Surrounded by elms and red oaks, Renzo Piano’s colonnaded pavilion stands as an expression of simplicity and lightness—glass, concrete, and wood—some sixty-five yards to the west of Louis I. Kahn’s signature cycloid-­vaulted museum of 1972.

Piano’s low-slung, colonnaded pavilion with overhanging eaves graciously acknowledges Kahn’s museum building by way of its kindred height, emphasis on natural light, and use of concrete as a primary material. The positioning of the pavilion on the site focuses attention on the west facade of the Kahn Building, which Kahn considered to be the main entrance.

Installation view
Rockefeller Collection

The pavilion is made up of two sections connected by a glass passageway. The front, or easternmost, section conveys an impression of weightlessness: a glass roof system seems to float high above wooden beams and concrete posts. Sleek, square concrete columns flank the central, recessed glass entrance and wrap around three sides of the building. The tripartite facade articulates the interior, with a spacious entrance lobby and large galleries to the north and south.

Tea Leaf Jar
Rockefeller Collection


Even before John D. Rockefeller 3rd (1906–1978) established Asia Society in 1956, he was deeply involved with the arts and culture of Asia. He firmly believed that art was an indispensable tool for understanding societies, and thus made culture central to the new multidisciplinary organization that would encompass all aspects and all parts of East, South, and Southeast Asia and the Himalayas.

The group of spectacular historical objects they assembled—including sculpture, painting, and decorative arts—became the core of the Asia Society Museum Collection and is now world renowned.  To this day the objects remain an important means for sharing the talent, imagination, and deep history of the peoples of Asia with audiences all over the world.


WARNING! You will want to put aside a good amount of time to experience this extraordinary art complex in Fort Worth!

Airport, please! A triumph of art and fashion: Doug Aitken’s experiential Green Lens in Venice, Italy

Green Lens
Doug Aitken
Venice, Italy

This summer of activity marks a significant return to the city of Venice for Doug Aitken, who was awarded the prestigious Golden Lion for his electric earth installation at the 48th Venice Biennale in 1999.

GREEN LENS, a site-specific installation
‘Green Lens is a living artwork. It is simultaneously an artwork, installation and stage. It’s like a lighthouse that one can journey to and have a very personal experience, while it also transmits light, ideas and questions. A focal point that allows all of us to share our ideas and visions for the future post Covid… a celebration and inquiry into the future.’ – Doug Aitken

Located on the island of Isola della Certosa, Green Lens is a living experiential artwork and destination. From the exterior it creates a choreography of changing reflections of clouds, mist and wild green vegetation. As day turns to night Green Lens glows and becomes a kinetic light sculpture and sound composition.

Green Lens will be activated with a sequence of performances and conversations that are thought-provoking and provocative, focusing on the future as interpreted by musicians, speakers and dancers. These activations will be filmed by Aitken and released for the public to have access to this living artwork and stage for voices and culture.

Green Lens is an artwork by Doug Aitken, commissioned by Anthony Vaccarello in partnership with Saint Laurent.

Doug Aitken, Green Lens, Isola Dela Certosa, Venice, July 16 – 30, 2021

Doug Aitken

Born in 1968, Doug Aitken currently lives and works in Los Angeles. Major exhibitions for 2021 include a solo exhibition at Museum of Contemporary Art Australia, Sydney. Previous major solo presentations of the artist’s work have been staged at institutional venues including Faurschou Foundation, Beijing (2019); Copenhagen Contemporary (2018); Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth (2017); The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA, Los Angeles (2016); Schirn Kunsthalle, Frankfurt (2015); Nam June Paik Art Center, South Korea (2013); Seattle Art Museum (2013); Tate Liverpool (2012); LUMA Foundation, Arles, France (2012); Deste Foundation, Hydra, Greece (2011); Cincinnati Art Museum (2010); Museo d’Art Contemporanea Roma, Rome (2009); Museum of Modern Art, New York (2007); Aspen Art Museum (2006); Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris (2005); The Fabric Museum and Workshop, Philadelphia (2002) and Serpentine Gallery, London (2001).

Doug Aitken
Victoria Miro Venice

The artist was awarded the prestigious Golden Lion at the Venice Biennale in 1999; he has been the recipient of the 2012 Nam June Paik Art Center Prize, the 2013 Smithsonian Magazine American Ingenuity Award: Visual Arts, and the 2016 Americans for the Arts National Arts Award: Outstanding Contributions to the Arts. Aitken is the inaugural recipient of the Frontier Art Prize, a new contemporary art award that supports an artist of international stature pursuing bold projects that challenge the boundaries of knowledge and experience to reimagine the future of humanity.




Doug Aitken’s works, at their core, invite us to consider the nature of our present and signal possibilities for the future. His latest textiles are a continuation of a body of work generated over the past year and take as their starting point clothing and other everyday found materials that the artist was able to access within his home. Cutting fragments and reassembling them into abstract visual fields, Aitken has created elaborate wall hangings, patterns emerging and disappearing within their collaged layers.

Discussing the work the artist says, ‘For the last few months I’ve been working a new body of art, Microcosmos. Initially I was inspired by Béla Bartók’s 1926–36 stunning piano works, which are made as 153 progressively complex piano lessons from the very easy beginner études to very difficult technical displays. In total, according to Bartók, the piece “appears as a synthesis of all the musical and technical problems.”

Doug Aitken


However, as I listened I started to imagine the similarity between these piano works and their simple to complex structures and how we’re experiencing life in the information era. ⁠⁠How we absorb images and information almost as “notes” and transform them into a larger and complex compositions.⁠⁠ Creating these works allowed me to slow down and to reflect on the structure and complexity of how we move forward. ⁠⁠

Foregrounded throughout these works are poetic tensions between the digital and the handmade, fast and slow media. Repeating elements within the works appear like handcrafted digital glitches, while the physical process of their creation suggests the slow-paced craft of quilting. Resembling flags and banners, mandalas and targets, they also bear connotations of protection, comfort or shelter – the very nature of cloth being at the same time intimate, personal and universal. These shifting symbolic qualities resonate with the dynamic abstractions of each composition: these are signs, devoid of text, that allow for open-ended investigations into our collective experience.

Victoria Miro Venice
San Marco

Victoria Miro Venice is housed in the former Galleria Il Capricorno in the San Marco district of the city at
San Marco 1994, Venice, Italy

Links to streaming platforms for STRONGER FOR LIFE!

Stronger for Life

Hi again,
Stronger for Life has been released!
Our social media pro has created a Link Tree!

Gravitas Ventures has verified the film is live on the following online platforms

I bought it on iTunes and on the 20th. Although I am clearly prejudiced, it is truly an inspiring and well-made documentary. Please support it and please pass this request along to friends, colleagues and family you think would enjoy it.

Thank you!

Leslie Rankow

Executive Producer


Stronger for Life, documentary on Ilaria Montagnani, July 20, on Apple/iTunes and VODs!


A message from Ilaria Montagnani, founder of Powerstrike, athlete, warrior, cancer survivor, documentary filmmaker!

It has taken a lot of commitment, support, team work and unwavering determination to complete this project.
I am proud of all the hard work and I want to thank everyone that has helped me in this challenging journey, even if I haven’t had a chance to thank you enough in person.
On July 20th the Stronger for Life documentary will be available on TVOD and Apple/iTunes. Special sale and offer coming up soon!
From Leslie Rankow, co-Executive Producer, Stronger for Life
I am so proud to be a part of this team and to see the long-awaited launch of this inspiring, beautiful crafted documentary that Ilaria was so determined to realize, to spread her message that Exercise Makes You Stronger for Life.
No one is a better symbol of strength, determination, grit, and generosity. Your support has made this possible and I hope you will all continue with one final step- take advantage of the special $6.99 Flash Sale on July 20th on Apple/iTunes and circulate this to all your friends, families and colleagues. The fate of this small independent film airing on streaming platforms in the fall depends on all of you.

Airport, please! A must see: Social Works curated by Antwaun Sargent at Gagosian Gallery NY

curated by Antwaun Sargent
Gagosian Gallery

If you are a resident of New York, this should read Taxi, please! but for everyone else who is nice enough to follow the LRFA blog the title applies. Social Works, curated by Antwaun Sargent, a recently appointed director at Gagosian Gallery,  is an important exhibition that reflects the major post-pandemic shift in the art market, tracking the change in the shift of interest at galleries, art fairs and auction from longtime icons such as Jeff Koons to NFT digital artists, ceramicists and historically ignored artists. This is not, in my opinion, temporary but reflects the fiercely political and social concerns of our times that result in a serious shift in what we choose to look at and to collect.  There is a mainstream reevaluation going on of what is important and compelling.

Rick Lowe
Black Wall Street

As Kelly Crow in the Wall Street Journal Magazine astutely observes, Some collectors are leaning further into technology by amassing digital artworks, while other sets of buyers are coping by prizing ceramics, with their fragile, lumpen tactility. Demand for dozens of artists has been upended and it’s compelling the art world’s power players to reckon with the fallout.


David Adjaye
Asaase, 2021

All the mega-galleries and smaller venues have added historically unrecognized black and women artists, and all those whose work confronts issues of black, gender and race and the material at auction houses, particularly Phillips, echoes these concerns. The auction houses have adopted new ways to reach new collectors with Non-fungible Tokens by digital artists. It is not an evolution, but a revolution!

Antwaun Sargent is one of the most interesting new curators has joined the ranks of Gagosian Gallery launching a group exhibition, Social Works. Participating artists include David Adjaye, Theaster Gates, Titus Kaphar, and Carrie Mae Weems, to name a few.  In Social Works, Sargent considers the relationship between different kinds of space- personal, public, institutional, mental- and Black social practice. The works are united by their engagement with today’s cultural momentum in which numerous social factors have converged to produce an urgency for Black artists to utilize space often as a community building tool and always as a means of empowerment.


Antwaun Sargent
Gagosian Gallery



Antwaun Sargent is writer and critic living and working in New York City. His writing has appeared in the New York Times, The New Yorker, The Nation, W, Vice amongst others. He has recently contributed essays and interviews to museum and gallery publications for artists Ed Clark, Mickalene Thomas, Arthur Jafa and Yinka Shonibare. Sargent has lectured and been in conversation with artists at Studio Museum in Harlem, Brooklyn Museum, Museum of Contemporary Art, Denver, Art Gallery of Toronto and various other institutions. He curated the 2018 Aperture Summer open and is currently working on exhibitions at Jenkin Johnson Projects, Lehman College and Aperture. His first book “The New Black Vanguard: Photography between Art and Fashion” is out this fall from Aperture.

The New Black Vanguard
by Antwaun Sargent
Published by Aperture



DAVID ADJAYE approaches architecture as way to promote inclusive accessibility and reflect upon the legacies of the past. Asaase, 2021, is his first large-scale sculpture, a maze of nested earthen was referring to West African architecture such as the royal complex in Burkina Faso and the walled city of Agadez.

THEASTER GATES is the founder of the Rebuild Foundation, a non-profit organization that has transformed Chicago neighborhoods and focuses on art and cultural development. This work is dedicated to legendary DJ Frankie Knuckles, whose sound shaped the Black and queer 1980s music scene

LINDA GOOD BRYANT’s installation features an operational farm and video, bringing together her work as a filmmaker and gallerist, Just Above Midtown, launched in 1973 showing artists of color with the urban farming organization she founded, Project EATS.

LAURAN HALSEY constructs a radical version of urban life, incorporating signage, graffiti and community-based hieroglyphics that enliven her neighborhood of South Central Los Angeles.

TITUS KAPHAR, artist/activist, is the cofounder of NXTHVA, a nonprofit arts hub in New Haven, CT, His painting, A bitter trade, 2021, is a work  he whitewashed at a live NXTHVN event. Social Works includes five artworks by former NXTHVAN Studio Fellows.

RICK LOWE’s abstractions refers to “domino culture”, the sense of community that comes about through the game. A Houston artist, Lowe’s most recent series memorializes the 1921 Tulsa massacre.

CARRIE MAE WEEMS has included a powerful photographic series of self-portraits in which she appears at numerous sites: Roman palazzos, rustic settings and museum facades.

All of these artists are impressively engaged not only with the practice of art but with the communities that thrive because of their commitment to them and to their work.

Theaster Gates
A Song for Frankie