LEFT MY ART IN SAN FRANCISCO (AT GATE B-2): Thanks to San
Francisco's percent-for-art ordinance, $11.1 million of the
$840 million main terminal expansion project will go to commissioning
original artwork in the airport. Sponsored by the San Francisco
Public Art Commission, many of the works deal with "the
romance of travel, with themes such as meeting and greeting
loved ones, saying goodbye, facing the unknown and the technology
of flight." San
Jose Mercury News 07/31/00
ART FLEA MARKET:
What kind of art can you
buy online these days? "Curious about the growing and radical
phenomenon by which people are buying art they can't see from
sellers they can't see, I decided to shop for art online and
assemble my own art collection. My budget: an even $1,000."
York Times 07/31/00 (one-time
registration required for entry)
THE ROYALS: For only the second time ever, the British Royal
Family has its portrait painted as a group (in honor of the
Queen Mum's 100th birthday). "It soon became clear it would
be impossible for six people with engagement diaries as full
as those of his sitters to pose together. Therefore, he was
obliged to draw them separately."
The Telegraph (London) 07/31/00
SIGN THAT CONTRACT: A competition to design Sydney's new
Museum of Contemporary Art prompted confusion from the Japanese
architect who thought she had been the job three years ago.
Instead she got this reply: "I am concerned that Sejima
does not know. If she is not being proceeded with, I think she
should be encouraged not to abandon Australia altogether and
perhaps consider the invitation to continue with a different
Morning Herald 07/31/00
ART: "Performance artists" Yuan Cai and Jian Ji
Xi walked naked across London's Westminster Bridge with slogans
written all over their bodies. The pair last "performed
at the Tate earlier this year when they jumped onto Tracey Emin's
THE BOOM: London's museums are booming these days. But outside
the capital it's quite a different story. "It is no secret
that many of our large regional museums - Bristol, Exeter, Cheltenham,
Leeds, Leicester and, most important of all, Glasgow - are in
serious financial difficulties, as indeed are many university
The Telegraph (London) 07/30/00
ART REVOLUTION STALLS: It's been about a year since the
online art-selling companies launched in a big way, promising
to revolutionize the way is sold. How's business? "Looking
back one year later, that boat looks something like the Titanic:
imposing but doomed."
Auctionwatch.com (Art & Auction Magazine) 08/28/00
REBIRTH OF ART: "All over London, the words 'make it
new' have lately been applied to museums." Art has the
new buzz of the 21st Century. New
York Times 07/30/00 (one-time
registration required for entry)
BOARD AT THE KIMBELL: Fort Worth's
Kimbell Museum has a stellar collection and reputation. But
two of its board members have managed to pocket a rather large
share of the museum's money, paying themselves about $1.5 million
a year for their board services. "At $750,000 and $747,000
each, as reported on the private foundation's 1998 tax return,
the Fortsons are paying themselves far more than they pay their
museum director. They list their hours on the job as 'full time'
even though they have a full-time and well-paid director in
Potts, and Ben runs an oil business (albeit one that's not doing
too well these days)." FW
DILEMMA: Discovery of a long-hidden Leonardo fresco behind
a Vasari painting in the Palazzo Vecchio has put Florence’s
art solons in a difficult spot. "Councillor for culture,
Rosa di Giorgi, is not planning to rip the later fresco off
the wall without strong evidence that the Leonardo is in good
condition, for as she said 'Vasari may not have been Leonardo,
but he is still Vasari'."
The Art Newspaper 07/28/00
TO THE DOGS (ER, COWS?):
The most visible art in New York this summer is of the animal
kind - from the Koons giant dog to cows on parade.
New York Times 07/28/00
registration required for entry)
"MIGHTY HANDBAG"? London's Victoria and Albert
Museum has seen a dramatic fall-off in attendance in recent
decades and it's been overshadowed by the city's other museums.
Now it's being criticized for its plans for a dramatic £80 million
extension designed by Daniel Libeskind. One critic likens Libeskind's
revolutionary design to "the Guggenheim in Bilbao turned
on its side and then beaten senseless with a hammer" (it
is nothing of the sort)" Other "stick-in-the-muds
will feel all the more justified in their belief that the V&A
will be, as Dorment puts it, 'visually raped'."
The Guardian (London) 07/27/00
IS A PROBLEM? The Guerrilla Girls - those champions of getting
women some power in the artworld - come to Philadelphia. "There's
just one problem. More so than probably any city in the country,
Philadelphia has an art world run by women."
Philadelphia Inquirer 07/27/00
YOUR CLIENT: In the late 19th Century one of the greatest
forgers of antiquities set up shop in Jerusalem. “The late 19th
century was the beginning of modern tourism, following the invention
of steamships, and it was also the beginning of archaeology.
Wilhelm Moses Shapira was the first to recognize that archaeology
could be a profitable business.” His career was derailed when
he attempted to sell the British Museum what he claimed
to be ancient Torah scrolls, and was exposed as a fraud. He
killed himself soon after. The
Jerusalem Report 07/31/00
COWS ONLY: A federal US judge has allowed the rejection
of a decorated art cow proposed by People for the Ethical Treatment
of Animals (PETA). The animal rights group wanted to enter its
cow - bearing anti-meat messages - from New York's art-cow parade
currently on view in the city.
Yahoo! (Reuters) 07/16/00
LOST CITIES: The waters of Abu Qir, off Egypt are yielding
amazing archeological treasures this summer. "A team of
French underwater archaeologists working in conjunction with
the Supreme Council of Antiquities (SCA) has uncovered two sunken
cities, believed to be the legendary Herakleion and Menouthis.
'This city is absolutely untouched. It's the first time it has
been seen, that somebody could dive on it. You can see that
everything remains as it was.' "
THE TAJ'S GARDEN: A garden that flourished 350 years ago
when India's Taj Mahal was built may be rebuilt as a way of
protecting the Taj from development. The big question is: what
exactly, did the garden grow?
Chicago Tribune (NY Times News Service) 07/27/00
A committee of MPs in the English Parliament proposed laws yesterday
to make it a criminal offense to trade in looted artifacts and
stolen artwork. The move is to combat the growing illicit market
for illegally exported objects, estimated at between £150 million
and £2 billion a year. Suggested measures included setting up
a national database of stolen art, expediting legislation to
facilitate the return of Nazi-looted art, and allowing museum
trustees to return human remains on display in British museums.
Guardian (London) 07/26/00
HELP: "At present, there are no import controls
on cultural property entering Britain unless they are subject
to other controls, for example in relation to firearms –
a position that many in the museums trade find untenable."
Independent (London) 07/26/00
REVISITED: While he was wildly successful as a commercial
illustrator, Norman Rockwell was almost universally dismissed
in his day as a shallow artist. So what are we to make of the
current campaign to rehabilitate his reputation as a painter?
“The present attempt to add Rockwell to the canon of American
art is almost exclusively the work of critics. It is not the
artists who have adopted Rockwell, but museum directors, curators,
and writers on art.”
York Review of Books 08/10/00
LITTLE-KNOWN PICASSO MUSEUM north of Madrid has sixty of
the master’s artworks - all of which were donated by Eugenio
Arias, the Spanish barber who cut Picasso’s hair for 26 years
while both men lived in the south of France. It pays to barter
- Arias always took his payments in trade.
Age (Melbourne) 07/24/00 (AP)
HISTORY OF LOOKING AT SCULPTURE: "Most modern sculpture
- and its sidekick, installation - occupies space in a quite
aggressive way." Historically, sculpture didn't always
do that. "From the Renaissance until the 19th century,
statues tended to be placed flat against walls or in niches
that neatly framed them. Viewers were expected to contemplate
them from a relatively fixed position, as if they were pictures."
IN PUBS? The chairman of Britain's Council for Museums,
Archives and Libraries says British museums need to loosen up.
"Pointing out that museums across the country have an average
of 75 per cent of objects in store, he advised them to be 'less
precious' about deaccessioning. Lord Evans congratulated the
Museum of London, which has given boxes of Roman artifacts to
primary schools. In answer to a query about his earlier suggestion
that museums should lend to pubs, he argued that this might
sometimes be appropriate for sturdy objects, such as agricultural
equipment (“but not Canalettos”, he quickly added)."
Art Newspaper 07/23/00
ENVY: Why do embassies have a way of always bringing out
the worst in architects? Britain’s newest embassies in Berlin
and Moscow are leaving critics (not to mention the Queen) numb.
“What is it that makes these buildings second rate? Is it the
architects' failure of nerve, or the clients' desire for nothing
too difficult or arty? Is it a bout of poet laureate syndrome
when faced with designing for Britain?” The
Guardian (London) 07/24/00
FOR THE TINTORETTO: A Tintoretto painting is discovered
in small town Pennsylvania. "From an art-historical standpoint,
the discovery of the Tintoretto in Wernersville is not quite
as significant as the discovery of Caravaggio's "Taking
of Christ" in a Jesuit residence in Dublin in 1990. Yet
the story of the Tintoretto painting is intriguing and involves
several figures of ecclesiastical and historical prominence."
York Times 07/23/00 (one-time
registration required for entry)
DANIEL LIBESKIND: Libeskind's proposal of a crumpled spiral
addition between the thoroughly Victorian buildings of London's
Victoria and Albert Museum was something of a scandal when it
was unveiled in 1996. Now it looks like it may compete with
the Bilbao Guggenheim for attention." The
Telegraph (London) 07/23/00
NEW KIND OF LIBRARY: Rem Koolhaas's design for a new Seattle
Public Library has people talking. "The library is an audacious
reworking of the conventional library, that archaic monument
to civic glory."
Los Angeles Times 07/23/00
ROADS LEAD TO THE BLOB? "Computer technology is rapidly
changing the environment for architects as well as for businesses
and nations. How are they adapting to it? In what form will
architecture survive?" New
York Times 07/23/00 (one-time
registration required for entry)
FOR VAN GOGH: "In the last decade, according to an
ARTnews survey of scholars, museum curators, and art
dealers in Europe and the United States, suspicions about fake
van Goghs have tainted some of the most expensive paintings
in the world, including the Yasuda 'Sunflowers', purchased
in 1987 by the Yasuda Fire and Marine Insurance Company of Japan
for $39.9 million, at the time the highest sum ever paid for
a work of art."
ABOUT STOLEN ART: The World Jewish Congress says it will
step up its efforts to recover artwork stolen by the Nazis and
never returned to rightful owners. "The WJC says it plans
to claim thousands of works of art from American museums using
lists that were made by the U.S. Army after the Second World
ANNUAL ARTNEWS LIST of the world's biggest collectors of
art is out. "The market is very much dominated by Americans.
What's especially healthy is that the whole speculative element
of the '80s is gone. Now the buyers want to keep the works.
They're not going into bank vaults."
BE DISSING GRANDPA: Turns out Stalin's 28-year-old grandson
is an artist - a painter - and judged a good one by those who
have seen his work in London and Glasgow. Just one problem -
what about those views of history he's all too happy to share?
"Stalin was a truly great man," he says. "He
was a great ruler like Napoleon, Genghis Khan, Julius Caesar.
He cannot be erased as if he did not exist. I do not like it
when people pretend he did not really happen in history."
The Times (London) 07/21/00
FUTURE: Venice's Architecture Biennale is imagining the
future. "The theme of this year's exposition is the deep
sense of disorder affecting a society in rapid transformation,
where the architect's reference points have been changed completely."
THIS IN CZECH AND GET IN CHEAP: Several Prague museums charge
foreigners between two and five times more for admission than
they do local Czechs. The practice is against rules of the European
Union and officially discouraged. But special signs written
only in Czech signal that discounts are available.
Prague Post 07/20/00
KEEPERS… In a victory for all museums hoping to borrow works
of art from foreign museums, a federal judge has ruled that
the U.S. government cannot force Austria’s Leopold Museum to
forfeit an Egon Schiele painting that’s been proven to have
been stolen from a Jewish family by the Nazis. On loan to New
York’s Museum of Modern Art, the painting had been seized in
September under a new state law allowing prosecutors to seize
artwork on display while its provenance is under investigation.
A COW: Improbably, the 300-plus decorated cows that spent
last summer on display throughout downtown Chicago raised some
$3.5 million when they were auctioned off for charity. So much
money was raised, the decorated fibreglass animals-on-parade
thing has swept dozens of other cities this summer. Just what
became of the Chicago art-cows that were sold last summer?
YEAR FOR MINNEAPOLIS MUSEUMS: The Walker Art Center and
the Minneapolis Institute of Arts had record attendance this
year. Shows of Andy Warhol drawings and Man Ray photos ranked
"in the top 10 in all-time attendance" at the Walker.
Minneapolis Star-Tribune 07/20/00
RIGHT RUN MUSEUM: Metropolitan Museum director Philippe
de Montebello sits down with Anna Somers Cocks to talk about
the changing roles of curators, museums and collecting art.
"We have a pretty good sense what people want in the museum."
The Art Newspaper 07/19/00
AGENTS WHO AREN'T ART EXPERTS: The export of art - any art
- out of St. Petersburg, Russia has stopped because customs
officials at the airport there say the value of artwork leaving
is too difficult to determine and therefore too tough to figure
the taxes owed.
Petersburg Times (Russia) 07/18/00
BEST POLITICAL FRIEND? In his 24 years in Congress, Patrick
Moynihan helped allocate billions of dollars to important building
projects. He helped create the Pennsylvania Avenue Redevelopment
Corporation, save Walt Whitman’s Long Island birthplace, and
restore New York City’s Grand Central Station. But his crowning
project is getting underway just as he is retiring from the
US Senate - the conversion of New York's Central Post Office
building to the new Pennsylvania Station.
Architecture Magazine 07/00
THIS CORNER LEONARDO... Experts believe they have discovered
a long-lost Leonardo fresco on a wall in in Florence's Palazzo
Vecchio. Problem is, there may be another wall in front of it
with a Vasari fresco on it. Scientists are using thermographics
to pinpoint the Leonardo, but if it's really there and in good
shape do you remove the Vasari in front of it? The
Age (The Telegraph) 07/18/00
WITH THE RULES: Britain has rebuilt its embassy in Berlin
now that the capital has moved back there. But Hans Stimmann,
Berlin's chief architect laid down very conservative architectural
rules (no wonder Norman Foster dropped out of considering the
project). The structure that has emerged, however, " pays
formal lip-service to Stimmann's concerns but then deliberately
subverts them by cutting a great hole in the centre of the façade
and projecting through it an angular glass box and purple drum."
The Telegraph (London) 07/18/00
MULTI-BILLION-DOLLAR INVESTMENT IN CULTURE: The Spanish
city of Valencia is building Europe's most ambitious millennium
project. "At an all-in cost of £2 billion the project eclipses
the Dome in Greenwich and even the Getty in Los Angeles. The
prodigious investment provides Valencia with a spectacular new
Science Museum, an IMAX cinema, a music school, a magnificent
new 1,800-seat opera house, seven kilometres of promenades and
two streamlined road bridges."
Times (London) 07/18/00
OBJECTIONS TO WWII MEMORIAL: National Park Service studies
show that the site of a proposed $100 million memorial to veterans
of the Second World War on the Mall in Washington DC is part
of the historic grounds of the Lincoln Memorial. Washington
Post (LA Times) 07/18/00
ON ART: The Bellagio Hotel may have closed its art gallery
and sold the art, but maybe the peripatetic Guggenheim believes
in the culture of Las Vegas? Reportedly, the Venetian Hotel
is talking with the Goog about building a branch next to the
hotel. The museum is already sending a show to Las Vegas next
year. Meanwhile, the Philips Collection is negotiating with
the Bellagio. "I think Las Vegas could use a little culture."
Times of India (AP) 07/17/00
ON SALE: The theft and destruction of Cambodian artifacts
is massive. Reporters come across a man in the jungle selling
green ceramic bowls. "They were 1,000-years old and from
a kiln on top of the mountain. The seller wanted 10,000 riels
for each bowl - a mere $2.50. We asked the seller whether he
was afraid of breaking the law, and he said he didn't know there
was any law. He had just dug them up in the jungle."
ON ART: Shanghai is in the midst of a massive rebuilding
effort trying to regain its center as the intellectual capital
of China. And what about art? "A prickly individualism
means Shanghai artists never banded together like those in Beijing,
so what 'art scene' there is lies on the fringes of a more generalized
WITNESS: In recent years numerous museums and exhibitions
commemorating the Holocaust have sprung up. But some argue that
attempts to represent the Holocaust falsify it, making it an
aesthetic rather than a history. "On the other hand, however
uncomfortable academics may be with some of the popular representations
of the Holocaust, few would question that films such as 'Schindler's
List' and 'Life is Beautiful' have done more to raise public
awareness of the Holocaust than a thousand scholarly tomes."
ART OF COLLECTING: Collecting art for a museum is an "exhilarating,
suspenseful, satisfying and frustrating" game. Some of
the more interesting acquisitions come through unlikely means...
ON TO DENVER: The Denver Art Museum wants to add to its
building. But the challenge is how to make the $62 million addition
fit in between its neighbors - the aggressively-profiled Gio
Ponti main building and the Michael Graves-designed addition
to the public library. Three finalists for the job present their
ideas this week.
Denver Post 07/16/00
PROFILE FOR THE MENIL: People travel from all over to Houston
to see the famed Menil Collection. But the museum has always
thrived on being low profile. Now a new director and a new attitude.
"Cab drivers don't even know where we are. What's wrong
with publicizing the place? Maybe we'll get twice as many people
in the galleries, which may mean 30 instead of 15."
Dallas Morning News 07/16/00
RUSKIN: What was it that made John Ruskin the greatest art
and social critic of the Victorian age? A new book is great
at exploring his life; less successful at capturing his rhetorical
PLANS FOR BERLIN: The rebuilding of Berlin is apace. But
the new structures are directed to fit into tradition, not reach
for grand contemporary gestures. "But this is not the city
that the Prussian monarchs built with the help of Karl Friedrich
Schinkel; it is the product of developers led by Sony and Mercedes
stumbling to fill the vacuum left by 50 years of uncertainty."
Observer (London) 07/16/00
DOES ART COST WHAT IT COSTS? "Art has always been a
cyclical market. This is hardly surprising: the products may
be beautiful, but can rarely be considered essential and are
often driven by fickle taste. According to art-sales-index.com,
the value of paintings sold peaked in 1990 at $4.5 billion dollars.
From there, economies around Europe and America shrank by less
than one percent, but art sales collapsed to less than $1.5
billion in less than two years." So what's driving today's
Art Newspaper 07/14/00
TATE: The Tate Modern takes to the internet with a commissioned
piece that sets up a parallel Tate
website universe. "Follow a link to the Tate Britain
- a branch of the museum dedicated to 500 years of British art
- and instead of grand Turner seascapes and Hogarth portraits,
you'll see close-ups of canvases collaged with mud, scabby skin,
and baggy eyes."
DISPUTE: The British Museum threatens to institute a £1
admission charge to compensate for taxes it loses on its operations.
The British government threatens to reduce the museum's support
if admission is charged. The
Art Newspaper 07/14/00
BUYBACK: Chinese artifacts have been leaked illegally to
the West for years, ending up in museums and collections around
the world. Now "the Shanghai Museum has been quietly buying
back treasures from dealer showrooms, mainly in Hong Kong. Nearly
one third of the museum's famed collection of bronzes was acquired
over the past 10 years through purchases and donations."
China Morning Post 07/13/00
ART OF NAZI FINANCING:
Did Chase Manhattan bank
help the German ambassador to France steal Jewish-owned artwork
during the Second World War? The World Jewish Congress thusly
accused the bank on Wednesday, saying that according to a U.S.
Treasury Department report, Chase's French branch was actively
aiding Nazi Germany in securing assets. "There is evidence
that German assets were placed at Chase, which were used in
transactions involving Jewish looted art." Yahoo
Who says parks have
to be in beautiful idyllic places? Artist Julie Bargmann creates
parks on land no one would ever call pretty - on the site of
a befouled abandoned mine. "Its central feature will be
a stream of acidic water that will percolate out of the mine
and course down a limestone-lined canal into aerating basins
and finally to a wetland for a final rinse."
SIGNAL: Scotland is testing an ambitious new plan to make
"information about almost every Scottish monument, museum
exhibit or work of art available via mobile phones. All the
background and trivia they ever wanted to know about a particular
place or object will appear on the screens of their handsets."
FATHER: It's been called Ontario's longest-running "culture
war." A collector amassed a gallery of Group of Seven paintings
and gave them to the province of Ontario in 1965. But gradually
the patron was forced out of control of the collection, the
gallery collected new work and became an important Canadian
collection of contemporary art. Now the province's premier wants
to give control back to the patron and let him do away with
the contemporary work. Critics are "going ballistic."
Globe and Mail 07/13/00
ITS TIME: A statue erected 100 years ago of composer Stephen
Foster in his hometown of Pittsburgh shows him with a slave
sitting at his feet. Now a campaign to either remove or explain
the statue. CNN
RENOVATION: When the Berlin Wall came down 11 years ago,
artists from around the world quickly covered what was left
of the eastern side with more than 100 paintings, creating "the
world's longest open-air gallery." Now that most of the
artwork has deteriorated, city officials want the remaining
wall torn down. But the artists have banded together to lobby
for its restoration: "It is symbolic that when the wall
fell the artists could paint in the east. It is necessary for
a new generation to see this history of the division of the
News (Reuters) 07/11/00
EVEN THE CAPITAL DECAMPS: "For almost 30 years, 420
Broadway served as Soho's capital of contemporary art, headquarters
for Leo Castelli, Ileana Sonnabend, and John Weber, as well
as a string of other important dealers." But with most
of the important dealers having folded their tents and headed
to Chelsea, now the building "stands empty, with demolition
crews tearing out the ghosts of exhibitions past to make way
for luxury co-ops."
ON THE COW PARADE: The 500 New York painted fiberglass cows
and their "suburban cousins" in New Jersey and Connecticut
won't be off the streets until fall, when they'll be auctioned
off for charity. Here are seven reasons why that's way too long
a wait. New
York Times 07/12/00
registration required for entry)
TRUNK FULL OF ART: For years a Minneapolis woman guarded
a trunk full of old photos taken before World War I without
caring much what they were. When she finally went searching
for their history she was "rewarded with a family story
that involves murder, prison, an earthquake, royalty, musicians
and the photographer's affair in Vienna with an Italian count."
Minneapolis Star-Tribune 07/12/00
THERE'S A THESIS TOPIC FOR SOMEBODY: "In March, Christie’s
Auction House of New York City unloaded all of the 60 paintings
created by artists that happen also to be elephants, including
Sao (a former log-hauler in Thailand’s timber industry), whose
work was likened by Yale art historian Mia Fineman to work of
Paul Gauguin for its 'broad, gentle, curvy brush strokes' and
'a depth and maturity.' Fineman said she is writing a book on
the three distinct regional styles of Thai elephant art."
Plain Dealer 07/12/00
JOB: At least 150 rare antiquarian books and artworks were
stolen from the Japanese embassy in London, by the very man
employed over the last three years to organize the valuable
collection. Recovery will be difficult since the discovery came
months after the collection had already been sold through auctions
at Christie's. Japan
IN PICTURES: Until very recently, photography in Russia
was regarded as a documentary exercise rather than an artform.
Now the Hermitage has appointed its first curator of photography,
and the daunting task of sorting through thousands of photos
- just to see what's there - begins.
FOR THE REAL WORLD: The
former Soviet republic of Uzbekistan is restoring Bukhara, a
stop on the ancient 'Silk Road' trading route that became an
Islamic center of learning. "Restorers desperately want
to maintain the city's vitality and avoid the mistakes that
turned the historic center of Samarkand, a Silk Road city 150
miles to the east, into a gleaming, but lifeless museum piece."
NEW CURATOR: Washington's Hirshhorn Museum picks a new chief
curator - Kerry Brougher, an American who is director
of the Museum of Modern Art in Oxford, England.
Washington Post 07/11/00
PAPER TO THE REAL WORLD:
He's one of the
world's most celebrated architects, but so far he hasn't had
much built to show for it. Now Rem Koolhaas's buildings are
starting to pop up everywhere and he's at the forefront of what
has become "arguably the most exciting branch of culture."
York Times Magazine 07/09/00
SALES: Usually London is not where the major action in Old
Master paintings is to be found. But last week's sales racked
up record after record.
The Telegraph 07/10/00
THE BUBBLE: At a cost of $360 million, Beijing's Grand National
Opera House, now under construction, figured to be controversial.
Its bubble shape and the fact it wasn't designed by a Chinese
architect makes for a triple whammy. But the real battle here
is for the soul of the capital - protests erupt as old Beijing
is cleared away to make room for the new.
Washington Post 07/09/00
BY A HAIR? A New Zealand family contends it has a painting
by Gauguin that the artist gave to one of their ancestors. Guaguin
experts doubt the claim so the family is having four hairs embedded
in the canvas tested for DNA to prove their case.
a quarter of a century in which high-rise architecture was completely
off the agenda, we have embarked on an unprecedented bout of
skyscraper building. Cities determined to make their mark have
decided that a crop of new towers, preferably as exhibitionistic
as possible, is the way to get noticed. In urban-renewal projects,
a conspicuous high rise is now regarded as one of the most effective
ways to make the middle of nowhere feel like somewhere."
Observer (London) 07/09/00
BACK AT WHAT? After years of indifference about its
architectural past, Los Angeles is looking backwards. But how
to preserve and protect? And what? "In the end, a city
should be a repository of memory but not a graveyard for buildings.
As Los Angeles grapples with what to preserve and how to preserve
it, it must also preserve the openness of spirit that created
the great architectural experiment that runs from Gill to Gehry."
Los Angeles Times 07/09/00
ARCHITECT/DIFFERENT VISION: Twelve years ago David Childs
designed a vast new project for New York's Columbus Circle.
But the version he redesigned which is now being built differs
substantially. "There is more than one way to interpret
this difference: public opinion could be changing; Mr. Childs
could be changing his aesthetic; or the difference could mean
less than meets the eye."
York Times 07/09/00
registration required for entry)
Tate Modern has been harshly criticized by the director of another
London museum for relying on insider jargon, failing to coherently
contextualize its work, and explaining very little in fact about
modern art. "I went to Tate Modern as someone who knows
very little about modern art but is keen to learn. I left in
exactly the same state. Why doesn't Tate Modern try to help
its visitors learn techniques for assessing a piece of modern
art instead of plonking the art in a gallery and hoping for
the best?" The
SEARCH FOR KHAN: A Chicago attorney who has spent more than
40 years studying Genghis Khan, "claims to have found in
an ancient book a vital clue that will take him to the tomb's
location" and will lead a team to look for it. The whereabouts
of the Khan's final resting place somewhere in Mongolia has
been an enduring mystery. Discovery
LOVES A WINNER: The Art Gallery of Windsor in southern Ontario
made a deal with the provincial casino. In return for renting
the museum's old space, the casino paid $8 million in rent and
built the museum a new $20 million home. Now the city council,
eyeing the museum's good fortune, wants to discontinue the museum's
annual $500,000 city support. CBC
BIG NIGHT AT AUCTION: A rare collection of old master paintings,
French furniture, silver, and sculptures from the collection
of diamond merchant Julius Wernher (former governor of the South
African conglomerate De Beers) sold at Christie's in London
Wednesday night for $30.4 million, twice its $15 million estimate.
York Times 07/07/00
(one-time registration required for
THE JOKE IS ON... A
lecturer who dislikes modern art decided to make his own. "He
found a piece of scrap wood with grooves in from a cutting machine,
painted it white and called it Millennium Dawn" and entered
it in an art competition. Judges at Nottingham University awarded
it a prize. Ananova
LOGICAL APPROACH: The Art Loss Register, a private
organization dedicated to recovering art looted during
WWII, has located and returned art valued at $100 million. How?
"The first is the moral argument, the second is the threat
of embarrassing negative publicity, which affects both individuals
and institutions, and the third is the claim that the work has
become completely worthless from a financial standpoint because
it can never be sold on the market as long as it remains on
the list of looted Holocaust art." Ha'aretz
PAIN NO GAIN? Smithsonian Secretary
Lawrence Small is in the middle of two more controversies -
over the closing of a popular Woody Guthrie folk music exhibition,
and over the possible confiscation of $16 million in research
funds. In office only
six months, Small has been controversial himself as he attempts
a thorough shakeup of the institution. Chicago
TAKES RISK, LOSES: After the heirs of one of its patrons
decided to sell a Picasso to another buyer, the San Francisco
Museum of Modern Art sued the family for $18 million. Now a
judge has thrown out the museum's claim (and other donors and
potential donors have got to be feeling a creeping chill). San
Francisco Chronicle 07/06/00
FOR ALL THE PEOPLE: On the tenth anniversary of the Americans
with Disabilities Act, the Museum of American History stages
an exhibition complete with aids for those with disabilities.
"The exhibit includes a telecaptioner for TV, a note-taker
for the blind that uses the Braille alphabet, a CD for access
to the Internet and two kiosks with computer monitors."
Times of India (AP) 07/06/00
CONTEXT: How faithfully should a museum try to reproduce
the historical context in which pictures were originally made
and shown? Do you distort or diminish a work of art by showing
it in a way that the artist never intended? A new exhibition
of Turner at the Tate Gallery tries for recreation but betrays
The Telegraph (London) 07/05/00
DRAWING which inspired his statue of the risen Christ sold
at auction Tuesday for a record $12 million.
Times of India 07/05/00
Young good-looking 20-
and 30-something American artists have been turning up in the
pages of glossy magazines in the past few months. "Some
people want to take these images as signs of the non-art world
media's renewed interest in the art world, and therefore of
the return of an 1980's-style art boom. But the glossified 80's
artists were overwhelmingly male. The mediagenic artists of
the oughties, as the current decade is sometimes called, are
York Times 07/05/00
registration required for entry)
IN NORFOLK, GIANT CORN IN BLOOMINGTON: Some three dozen
US cities have deployed art on their downtown streets after
Chicago reported a hit with its art cows last year. Now Chicago
is talking about putting a twist on the idea next summer. "If
Chicago can reinvent itself and come up with something even
more inventive, I'd say we're up for a decade of things on parade."
TRANSPORT: Singapore plans a new underwater subway station
under the Singapore Art Museum. The roof of the station will
allow sunlight to filter through into the 10-storey-deep Museum
station. Those viewing the water from above can see the reflection
of the museum in it. Singapore
FOR LEONARDO: In 1503 Leonardo da Vinci was commissioned
to paint a mural in Florence's Palazzo Vecchio. But the image
disappeared and conjecture is that rather than being destroyed
the mural was obscured when a wall was built in front of it.
Now scientists are on the hunt. "We will look through ancient
walls using the most advanced technologies."
IN FROM THE LIGHT: The art world loathes Thomas Kinkade's
precious paintings. But America's mall-goers can't buy them
fast enough and have made Kinkade a wealthy man. Reviled
by the critics and scorned by galleries and agents, his work
has been described as everything from 'pseudo' to 'a damning
indictment of our society'. Some question whether what he does
is art at all." Now Kinkade's taking his show to England.
Telegraph (London) 07/04/00
SIDE OF BACON: Vanity
Fair is said to be publishing a story claiming that painter
Francis Bacon, who died in 1992 aged 82, was a tax dodger. The
magazine alleges that Bacon avoided paying tax in Britain by
failing to declare payments made by his dealers Marlborough
Fine Art to a Swiss bank account.
Evening Standard 07/04/00
CRASH IMPACTS ART SALES: With much of Seattle's new wealth
built on the dotcom boom, the recent downturn in the market
has affected gallery art sales. "Everybody's afraid to
bring it up, because everybody wonders at first if it's just
us, if our business is down and everybody else is doing fine."
ART IN BRITISH MUSEUM:
A 12th Century manuscript
in the British Museum is shown to have been looted from Italy.
"The missal, from the chapter library of Benevento, was
acquired by a UK army captain during World War II and bought
by the British Museum library (as it then was) at Sotheby’s
Art Newspaper 07/03/00
BACK FOR THE FUTURE: The latest style in Moscow is what
might be called reconstructivism. Wherever a historic building
once stood but was destroyed, a more or less exact replacement
now seems to be called for. Although not official policy, this
growing attempt to re-create pre-revolutionary, pre-Stalin Moscow
is largely driven by the office of the capital's mayor, Yuri
MAKES ARTISTIC DEAL: Instead of being the only Cimabue to
ever have been auctioned, the rare panel painting will be accepted
by the British government to pay the estate taxes of the current
owner. The painting will join the collection of the National
Art Newspaper 07/03/00
DIANA IN A JEEP? When
attempts to place statuary atop Trafalgar Square's fourth vacant
plinth began last year, officials were surprised by how seriously
Londoners took up the task. Suggestions ranged from a statue
of Princess Di to a giant pigeon. A year of trading art on and
off the pedestal has suggested a plan for the future.
London Times 07/03/00
TOUR: Norman and Lear and a partner who bought a copy of
the Declaration of Independence on the internet last week, plan
to tour it. "I don't want to see it sitting on a wall,
I want to take it where Americans can see it. I made a film
in Greenfield, Iowa, and that's a place I know well. If that
living document came to Greenfield, people would come by the
Los Angeles Times 07/03/00
SENDS ARTIST'S CAREER SOARING: Artist Katherine Sherwood
was always an artist. But a debilitating stroke at the age of
44 transformed her career. "Critics see a huge change
in Sherwood's work. From the restricted, analytical style of
the art professor she once was, she has been transformed into
a vibrant, free-flowing painter. She has just finished a show
at New York's prestigious Whitney Museum, and her abstracts
sell for $10,000. "I have sold more paintings in the past
few months than in 25 years as an artist," she says with
a smile. The
Times (London) 07/03/00
TREASURES: Italy has a wealth of art treasures. But how
to take care of it? "Art restoration in Italy is in a mess.
It's not that we lack restorers of the highest ability. It is
rather that the organisation of the whole, and the role of the
government, is chaotic... The government may get involved when
some world-famous building has collapsed, or a world-famous
fresco starts peeling off its wall. But there's no interest
at all in the thousands of buildings and churches that are quietly
crumbling, along with the objects inside them, in the centres
of Italy's ancient cities."