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Bankrupt Bank Logos, Baselitz, Monkey King: Chelsea Art

``Merrill Lynch acquired by Bank of America, September 14, 2008'' (2012) by Superflex. The work is part of the exhibition
``Merrill Lynch acquired by Bank of America, September 14, 2008'' (2012) by Superflex. The work is part of the exhibition "Bankrupt Banks" at Peter Blum Gallery in Chelsea. Source: Peter Blum Gallery via Bloomberg

March 21 (Bloomberg) -- Danish art collective Superflex examines the recent financial crisis with a hanging installation featuring bank logos.

The “Bankrupt Banks” exhibition at Peter Blum gallery in Chelsea has 24 cheerful painted banners, 6.6-feet square, hanging back to back from the ceiling in rows of two and three.

Merrill Lynch’s bull is shown in black on white, while Fannie Mae has its blue-and-white house on a hill and Washington Mutual’s punctured blue “W” is set against a yellow background.

A handout list details what happened to each company: “Alliance & Leicester acquired by Grupo Santander, July 14, 2008,” or “First Federal Bank of California acquired by One West Bank, December 19, 2009.”

The banners are $18,000 each. The show runs through April 14 at 526 W. 29th St. Information: +1-212-244-6055;

Giant Baselitz

Septuagenarian German artist Georg Baselitz packs plenty of punch in his new giant paintings and sculpture at Gagosian gallery.

These “remixes” of works from the 1960s are mostly either 10-by-13-feet or 13-by-10-feet. The artist paints them on the floor, crawling around and leaving a lot to chance.

The vertical canvases depict solitary figures of uncertain gender, split in two parts. Heads and shoulders occupy the upper areas, often on black background. The lower regions are almost abstract, with hands being the only identifiable body parts.

Spidery black lines drip over muscular patches of ochre, orange and pastel pink and blue, with unsettling effect.

A bronze sculpture shows an 11-foot man and a 10-foot woman, their arms linked and bodies chopped and charred -- a hulking, haunting presence.

The large paintings are $750,000. The show runs through April 7 at 522 W. 21st St. Information: +1-212-741-1717;

Chinese Carvings

Chinese artist Wu Jian’an, using hired artisans, takes traditional paper-cutting techniques to a new level in his exhibition “Seven Layered Shell” at Chambers Fine Art.

The most striking are three transparent silk banners. Each is about 12 feet by 11 feet, dramatically lit and decorated with tiny figures carved with manic precision from ox-hides.

The banners star a central image (nine-headed serpent, monkey king) while sharing the same overall cast of 185 characters. Some of the figures are historical, including Darwin, Freud and Mao; others phantasmagoric. The ox-hide glows like gold on one side and resembles shadow puppets on another.

Prices range from $5,000 for works on paper to $160,000 for a sculpture; the silk banners are $65,000. The show runs through April 21 at 522 W. 19th St. Information: +1-212-414-1169;

To contact the reporter of this story: Katya Kazakina in New York at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Manuela Hoelterhoff at

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