In 1871 the American entrepreneur Minor Keith won a contract with the government of Costa Rica to build a railroad from the capital city of San José to the port city of Limón. The project would modernize the country and increase exports, like in Chile and Peru, following the industrial expansion of the U.S. But before the Costa Rican railroad was complete in 1890, the government defaulted on its payments and renegotiated a deal which gave Keith’s company 800,000 acres of tax-free land along the railway and a 99-year lease on its operation.
For seven years, a man explored the length, width, and height of the territory of Mexico. He traveled 33,302 kilometers, documenting the borders, cities, mountains, and volcanoes that shape the country. The explorer, Santiago Arau, is a photographer and filmmaker whose project, Territorios, is the subject of an exhibition at the Museo Amparo in Puebla.
The Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) in Los Angeles has acquired a work of performance art by the multimedia artist Xu Zhen. Titled In Just a Blink of an Eye, it is only the second performance for MOCA’s permanent collection of some 7,000 works of postwar art.
At 10:34 a.m. on December 3, 2018, the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. Two hours later, 350 miles above Earth’s surface, it released 64 satellites into orbit for the largest satellite launch in US history. One of those, Orbital Reflector, will be the first “purely artistic” object in space.
At the Marciano Art Foundation in Los Angeles, a massive installation by Ólafur Elíasson creates an immersive experience that, unusually these days, encourages visitors to take their time inside the space.
The art world’s newest biennale is also the smallest. On an uninhabited Caribbean island, works by 14 artists comprise In a Land of, the inaugural edition of the Biennale de La Biche.
Five years after Maurizio Cattelan announced his retirement, following a 2011 retrospective at the Guggenheim in New York, a new exhibition at the Monnaie de Paris marks his return to the art world. Not Afraid of Love includes 44 artworks installed within the Monnaie’s 18th century salons and is Cattelan’s largest exhibition in Europe to date.
In České Budějovice, a historic capital in the south of the Czech Republic, the city’s public art gallery has temporarily appropriated a fountain within the town square. Designed by Jan Šépka Architects for the Domu umění města (House of Art), the project creates an experience to reconsider perceptions of public space.
Each summer since 2008, the Château de Versailles presents a contemporary monographic exhibition by a guest artist. For the ninth edition in 2016, Ólafur Elíasson has installed a series of site-specific works – three in the gardens and six inside the palace – to produce new perceptions of the iconic site.
At Dawson Cole Fine Art in Palm Desert, an exhibition of realist paintings by Tom Betts opens on April 1. The exhibition, Fire Light, brings together eight new works from a series of the same title.