- A CITY WORTH SAVING: The city of Tel Aviv has approved
a program to restore 1,100 buildings in the city’s historic center
to their original condition - not the splendor of ancient Israel,
but the Bauhaus style that has made Tel Aviv a modern architectural
attraction. "White Tel Aviv" was recently recognized
by UNESCO as a cultural asset worthy of protection. Ha’aretz (Israel) 09/28/00
THAT MOOS: Fibreglass cows and moose and even corn invaded
the streets of American cities this summer. "Yet all the
colorful animals and vegetables and cartoon characters are raising
questions on the nature of public art, with critics branding the
new works as kitsch that avoids controversy. Still, the works
are drawing more praise than censure, and the trend continues
to grow." Christian Science Monitor
TO BE CLEANED: Berlin will begin a $5 million cleaning of
the Brandenburg Gate. "The monument survived two world wars
but has straddled a major traffic axis since the Berlin Wall came
down in 1989 and has been afflicted by pollution."
New York Times (AP) 09/28/00 (one-time registration required
SUIT: Giotto has been considered the father of modern painting
But anewly discovered fresco by Pietro Cavallini in Rome could
rewrite the arts history books. "The crucial thing is to
determine whether it was done before 1288, when work began in
Assisi on the Cycle of St Francis, or after. If it was before,
it means that it was Cavallini who was the master, and thus the
father of modern painting. If it was painted afterwards, then
it will still go down as a beautiful and very important work of
art to be discovered - but nothing more."
The Telegraph (London) 09/28/00
ART SALES: Worldwide art auction sales increased 16 percent
in the 1999-2000 season. "The US sold $922 million worth
of art and the UK sold £578 million; closest behind them were
France with £93 million ($130.8 million) and Germany at £46 million
($64.7 million). Italy came fifth with £26 million ($36.6 million)."
The Art Newspaper 09/27/00
Art auctions are going online. Though online auctions are a relatively
small business yet, the larger auction houses are setting up.
And a new Australian venture is testing the waters: "The
two partners say that by auctioning works on Sold.com they are
making 'highquality investment art' available to the general public
at up to half the normal retail price." The
Age (Melbourne) 09/28/00
ATTENTION TO ME: The Terra Museum is well-endowed - to the
tune of $400 million. It's got an extensive collection of "historic
American art." But the museum is almost completely ignored
in Chicago. So the founder's widow wants to move the collection
to Washington DC. But a Chicago judge won't let her. Chicago
MUSEUM OPENS: Museum dedicated to the history and accomplishments
of women opens in Dallas. "The heart of the Women's Museum
is its exhibits, two dozen in all, ranging from an elaborate
time line of women's achievements to a short film about female
comedians and portraits of female artists and athletes."
Dallas Morning News 09/25/00
A WOMEN'S MUSEUM? "Fewer than 5 percent of the nation's
historic landmarks focus on women's achievements, the organizers
point out. Fewer than 2 percent of textbooks are about women's
history. In cities known for their veneration of the past,
such as Boston and Washington, few monuments to women exist."
Washington Post 09/28/00
- THE ART OF THE QUICK TURN-AROUND:
Prices soared at contemporary art auctions this summer, and aggressive
dealers seized the opportunity to turn the market upside down:
“Gallery owners complain that the extravagant prices achieved
recently at auction have prompted speculators to buy artists'
latest works in galleries, then flip them at Sotheby's, Christie's,
or Phillips for a quick profit, inflating the fragile careers
of artists the galleries have painstakingly nurtured.” New York Magazine 10/02/00
OF CONTROL: Canada's Ontario government decides to turn control
of the disputed McMichael Gallery back to the gallery's founders.
The decision could have a wide impact. "The spectre of government
intrusion into the direction of a gallery robs curators of other
galleries of the ability to assure potential donors that their
artworks will be held securely in the future, said Richard Darroch
of the Canadian Museums Association."
The Globe and Mail (Toronto) 09/27/00
POPULIST? New book charges that Canadian museums have become
too populist in trying to compensate for cutbacks in government
funding in the 1990s. CBC 09/27/00
SALE: The Barnes Collection, deep in financial trouble, considers
selling some objects. "Envisaged for the block are not the
Matisses and Cezannes that the now disgraced former Barnes director
Richard Glanton wanted to sell for $200 million, but pottery and
other personal property which remain in the offices and other
locations that belong to the foundation."
The Art Newspaper 09/27/00
OF PROTEST: "Artists don't understand politics better
than anyone else. Why should they? So when they turn their political
views into art, something often goes wrong. Not always, of course.
Goya and Picasso made great art out of political protest, but
did so by going beyond the issues of the moment." A new show
in London looks at protest art from the 1960s and 70s.
The Telegraph (London) 09/27/00
- PHOTOS AND MORE PHOTOS:
Two of the U.S.’s major photography institutions - New York’s
George Eastman House and the International Center of Photography
- have entered an alliance to maximize the strengths of both collections.
Educational programs, joint cataloging, and a new Web site are
all planned. New
York Times 09/27/00
required for entry)
BACK TO COURT: Art critic Robert Hughes will have to face
a retrial of his dangerous driving charges from a May 1999 accident.
A Western Australian court upheld an appeal to reopen the case.
Yahoo! News (AFP) 09/26/00
AIDS SOTHEBY'S: "Shares of Sotheby's Holdings rose more
than 15 percent yesterday after the board of the beleaguered auction
house agreed to pay $256 million to settle a class-action claim
that it colluded with Christie's to fix commissions charged to
buyers and sellers." New York
Times 09/26/00 (one-time registration
required for entry)
OVER MUSEUM: Daniel Terra amassed a large art collection and
found a storefront on Chicago's Michigan Avenue to show it. The
museum has assets worth more than $423 million, including more
than 700 works by such artists as Winslow Homer, Georgia O'Keeffe
and Edward Hopper, but is not well-attended. Four years after
Terra's death, "internal documents obtained by The Associated
Press show that a nasty battle over the Terra Museum of American
Art has left board members at odds with one another as they decide
whether its collection will stay in Chicago."
Nando Times 09/26/00
COOPER-HEWITT DIRECTOR: The Smithsonian has chosen Paul Warwick
Thompson, director of London's Design Museum, to lead the Cooper-Hewitt
National Design Museum in New York." Washington
UNDERSTANDING THROUGH BAD ART: Jim Shaw's collection of cheap
thrift store paintings are dreadful. Therein lies the fascination
with them. "The paintings are awful, indefensible, crapulous.
They are inept, stomach-turning and banal. These people can't
draw, can't paint; these people should never be left alone with
a paintbrush. Each has a story to tell, but I'm not sure I want
to hear it." The Guardian (London)
PARLIAMENT UNDER SEIGE: The new Scottish Parliament building,
currently under construction, is now "mired in controversy
and openly mocked as 'Donald's Dome'. From the original £50 million
budget set by Scotland's first minister, Donald Dewar, estimated
costs have spiralled to a minimum of £195 million (plus a further
£14 million for landscaping and roadworks). As always, it is the
architect who catches the blame." (But he died) The
Times (London) 09/26/00
GOES LATE: "In a collective outbreak of sanity, the two
major auction houses have decided to move the evening sales of
Impressionist, modern and contemporary art, held in London in
December, to late January and early February. This should bring
in more business for the London salerooms after years of drift
across the Atlantic to New York."
The Telegraph (London) 09/25/00
THE WALL: Canada's museums and galleries are having a rough
time. "The rapid shift in funding patterns has caused tremendous
stresses within the traditional values and structures of the art
museum. In Canada, where in the past such institutions were majorly
funded through government support, the new environment presents
special challenges and opportunities. But institutions are slow
to change, and in my opinion there is evidence that all is not
well and happy in our galleries - at least not in my experience."
INSTINCT: What, exactly qualifies as "Australian"
architecture? Is there such a thing as a regional identity in
building design any more? Or has it all become a faceless international
style? The Age (Melbourne) 09/25/00
JEAN-MICHEL: Jean-Michel Basquiat's artwork is the top-selling
of the 1980s. "Does the artist's work live up to the market's
hype? While Basquiat produced a lot of junk, if you look at his
high-water mark as a painter, you can't help but be impressed
by the sophistication of his compositions, painterly surface and
effective use of language." Artnet.com
CONCEDES DOME FIASCO: After repeatedly defending the Millennium
Dome since it opened earlier this year, British Prime Minister
Tony Blair finally concedes that the Dome is a dud. "We acknowledge
that it has not been the runaway success that people had hoped
for." The Telegraph (London) 09/24/00
HIGH FASHION: The lines between fashion photography and art
are blurring. "Those worlds are increasingly entwined: not
only because museums and galleries are choosing to exhibit fashion
photography, but also because contemporary artists have engaged
so directly with fashion. It's not just that you see them at fashion
shows and parties wearing the latest Versace, Prada and Vivienne
Westwood. Their involvement goes far beyond that."
The Telegraph (London) 09/24/00
TOO HARD TO BE HIP: The Royal Academy's followup to "Sensation"
is meant to shock. But "Apocalypse is to the Royal Academy
what a pair of purple hipsters are to an aged librarian. The show
wants so much to be out there, in the loop, feeling the buzz -
but pretending you are out there is not the same as being out
there, and the latest attempt by the Academy, founded in 1768,
to pass itself off as a happening temple of modern culture shock
ends up as a rather sad little show, even a pathetic one. This
was obviously not the intention."
Sunday Times (London) 09/24/00
VIRTUAL MUSEUMS DISAPPOINT: Even as London's Tate and New
York's Museum of Modern Art get set to launch ambitious virtual
museums, a big question still remains: "Why is the Virtual Museum
so boring? And it is. The cyber gallery is nearly always dense,
confusing, difficult to navigate, devoid of passion and, worse,
of intellect. Not only are these sites a betrayal of the 'muse'
function at the core of the name museum, they often demand hours
of downloading special software to handle special effects that
are nothing special." New York
Times 09/24/00 (one-time registration
required for entry)
TO OWNER (OR HEIRS): The two-year-old Commission on Art Recovery
brokers a return of art stolen in World War II by the Nazis. "The
heirs of Gustav Kirstein, a principal in an art printing firm
in Leipzig, will recover an oil painting by Lovis Corinth and
some 80 items, primarily drawings, by Max Klinger."
Jerusalem Post 09/24/00
FIRST ART: A humble ancient stone turns out to be the first
art. "New scientific data suggests that early humans were
producing representations of life 220,000 years ago, 170,000 years
earlier than previously thought. It is a discovery which could
revolutionise our understanding of human development."
The Independent (London) 09/24/00
THE BARNES: Now a plan to restore the fortunes of the Barnes
Foundation in Philadelphia, which is on the verge of running
out of money and says it might have to close if it can't trun
its fortunes around. "The plan would raise 85 million dollars
to re-endow the foundation and increase the budget for administering
the Barnes collection."
Morning Edition (NPR) 9/20/00
[Real Audio clip]
REUNION: A set of 92 Botticelli drawings illustrating
Dante's "Divine Comedy" has been gathered and
reunited in Rome after more than five centuries of being dispersed
throughout Europe. The
SENSATION: The Royal Academy's "Apocalypse"
is the successor to "Sensation" and the RA hopes to
shock on the order of what the first show provoked. But a lot
of what's up is pretty feeble, writes one critic. The
Times (London) 09/21/00
THE GETTY: When the Getty opened its new billion-dollar
home three years ago in Los Angeles, there were those who
thought a period of more modest art acquisitions might
follow. But though some Getty programs have quietly gone away,
the museum is continuing to collect aggressively, says
the museum's new director. The
Art Newspaper 09/21/00
KNOCKOFF: The thieves who stole a Monet from the Polish
National Museum replaced it with a cheap fake. So museum officials
are not certain when the painting was stolen. Ananova
Graffiti artists claim work in a new Brooklyn Museum show belongs
to them and not the museum.
New York Times 09/21/00
(one-time registration required for entry)
MUSEUMS DRAW OPPOSITION: Harvard University has plans to
build two ambitious new museums. "One would be a museum
of modern and contemporary art, the other would relocate Harvard's
Sackler Museum, with its rich collection of ancient, Asian and
Islamic art." But neighbors, worried about crowds and congestion,
are protesting the plans.
Boston Herald 09/21/00
VIEW: "The Tate Modern, which opened in May and is
a branch of the older Tate Gallery up the river, is surely the
most hyped building of the year. Modern art doesn't thrive in
demure surroundings, and the notion of placing it in the gritty
venue of an abandoned power station seemed appropriate. Unfortunately,
the architects of the renovation, Herzog & de Meuron of
Switzerland, a respected firm, have succeeded in bleeding away
most of what should have been a thrilling confrontation of art
Boston Globe 09/21/00
REMAINS FOUND: A skeleton found beneath Florence's
Duomo 30 years ago has been identified as that of Giotto, the
famed early Renaissance artist.
MONET: Monet’s 1882 painting “Beach in Pourville” has been
stolen from the Polish National Museum. Thieves cut the canvas
from its frame and replaced it with a copy which was discovered
News (Reuters) 09/19/00
CONTROVERSIAL WORLD WAR II MEMORIAL: "The National
Capital Planning Commission meets in Washington DC Thursday
to give final approval to the $100-million project's "finished"
design, even though its thematic centerpiece is a complete unknown.
This startling fact is a plain example of what a sham the review
process for the World War II Memorial has been these past five
Angeles Times 09/20/00
REVIEW: "That any monument could work in such a
loaded context is doubtful. But it is hard to imagine one
more insensitive to the spirit of the site. Pompous and
unimaginative, St. Florian's ring of towering archways and
repetitive stone pillars smacks of the worst kind of authoritarian
architecture. To build it would not only desecrate one of
the world's great democratic forums. It would do an injustice
to the memory of those it is meant to celebrate."
Los Angeles Times 09/20/00
MUSEUM GROWS IN BROOKLYN: The Brooklyn Museum of Art "unveiled
a $55 million plan yesterday to transform the institution's
front entrance into a major civic plaza, with tiered seating,
reflecting pools and programmable fountains flanking a modernistic
new lobby of glass and steel."
York Times 09/20/00
registration required for entry)
SUCCESS: “Half the towns in Europe now dream of building
a modern masterpiece like the Bilbao Guggenheim. Amazingly,
sedate Bexhill-on-Sea, East Sussex, achieved one 65 years ago.
The De La Warr Pavilion is a masterpiece twice over. First because
of its supremely elegant design by Europe's leading Expressionist
architect, Erich Mendelsohn, and secondly because it still functions
almost exactly as intended - as a highly flexible community
and arts centre, thronged with people all day, with a theatre
playing to packed audiences almost every evening.” London
OF THE KILLER MOLD! China’s famed 2,200-year-old terracotta
army, one of the greatest archaeological finds of the 20th
century, is eroding due to an attack of virulent mold. Reports
blame raised temperatures and humidity in the museum which houses
the soldiers. China
THE PEOPLE: The community public art movement started 33
years ago in Chicago. "It is art where art is unexpected.
And, more, it is art that is subversive. An art that undercuts
expectations about creativity, ownership and power. An art that
is rooted not in a fashionable world of galleries and collectors
and appraisers and museums, but in neighborhoods, often poor
neighborhoods, and in the people who live there." Chicago
STORIES: California developer gives the Smithsonian $80
million to refurbish the National Museum of American History.
"The museum should talk about who we are. Sometimes it
is easy to forget how we started, who made the country. I hope
we can put something here to inspire people to chase the American
Washington Post 09/19/00
FRIDA KAHLO STORY: "Julie Taymor is negotiating to
direct Salma Hayek in the Miramax biopic 'Frida Kahlo'. Antonio
Banderas and Ashley Judd have already agreed to appear in supporting
roles, and Edward Norton in a cameo."
OLD ALLURE: The Biennale of Paris opens. "With such
a very French emphasis on style and with the opening night a
cornerstone of the social calendar, the Biennale hardly suffers
from a low profile. But this year the Syndicat has decided that
in today's increasingly global art market it is no longer enough
to be the most important fair in France; it must have a more
The Telegraph (London) 09/18/00
HISTORY: Publications are selling original photos from their
archives. In a digital age, they say, retaining electronic copies
of the images is sufficient. "But to critics of such sales,
what is at stake is history itself. Newspapers and magazines
can make any number of prints from their negatives, they say,
but a new print, however well made, will lack the palimpsest
of the past." The
New York Times 09/18/00
registration required for entry)
MUSEUM: Los Angeles' two-year-old Latino Museum of
History, Art and Culture is in deep financial trouble. Documents
obtained by the LA Times claim that "the institution's
management has mishandled its financial affairs and squandered
numerous fund-raising opportunities to keep the museum afloat."
Angeles Times 09/18/00
FOR HELP: The Barnes Collection is in trouble again. The
museum has 2000 works of art valued at $6 billion. But it's
broke, and museum officials have declared an emergency. "People
don't believe it when I say we don't have any more money. They
ask about the [$10 million] endowment and I have to tell them
it's gone." The
New York Times 09/17/00
registration required for entry)
MEN ONLY: Why are only 12 percent of the architects in the
UK women? And why are there only about 100 architects from black
and ethnic minority backgrounds in a profession of 27,000? That
is an appalling statistic. Where, for example, are all the second-generation
children of the Ugandan Asians who are making such strides in
other professions such as the law, accountancy or medicine?"
The Telegraph (London) 09/16/00
EYE FOR CLUTTER: Francis Bacon's studio will be reconstructed
exactly the way he left it and moved to Dublin to be put on
display. "The curators will re-create the studio down to
the precise positions where Bacon left an old newspaper or dropped
a gob of paint. Most of the walls are original, with some inscrutable
handwritten notes Bacon sent to himself as reminders of how
to organise his compositions."
Sunday Times (London) 09/17/00
PAINTINGS: Ex-Beatle Paul McCartney has been painting for
20 years. Magritte and de Kooning are his big influences (Magritte
inspired the Beatles' apple logo). McCartney's first public
show is about to open in London. The
Telegraph (London) 09/16/00
THE LEADER: What's wrong with Australian museums? Leadership.
"Appointing people because they interview well, are good
publicists, claim to (or do) know the rich and famous, know
more than anybody else about art (or science or history) is
of little use, if not dangerous. People follow leaders because
they want to, because they not only believe in the vision but
can see a place for themselves in the sun, because they receive
Sydney Morning Herald 09/15/00
MEANING OF ART: What is it about Tracey Emin, anyway? What
makes what she does "art"? "If she decides that
a tent with the names of 102 people she’s slept with is art,
that’s her prerogative. That unmade bed, for instance, 'illustrates
the themes of loss, sickness, fertility, copulation, conception
and death'." The
THE MUSEUM EXPERIENCE: "Museum retailing, an emblem
and essence of the thriving American art museum of the 1990s,
is going through turbulent times, rocked by competition in the
marketplace and from cyberspace, and changing consumer shopping
Boston Globe 09/15/00
SANDS: Tibetan monks spent days making a sand painting at
a Connecticut hospital in an attempt to aid the forces of healing
there. But a couple of kids, mistaking the painting for a sandbox,
destroyed it a couple of minutes. "The monks said it was
good for them if the children were happy playing in the sand.
They plan to start the project again."
NEXT SENSATION: Two curators talk about the Royal Academy's
follow-up show to 1997's "Sensation." "Apart
from Monet, 'Sensation' was the most successful exhibition we've
had in recent years, we had 300,000 visitors and, above all,
they were young visitors, and everybody likes young visitors.
There's this perception that young people are more important,
so Sensation gave a kind of buzz to the Royal Academy which
was unique, and they said 'Do it again'."
The Independent (London) 09/14/00
COLLABORATORS: Hans Haacke’s controversial installation
at the Reichstag isn't yet a success. “Because it was designed
to involve MPs' active participation, the artistic statement
will never be complete. It will be missing Mr Haacke's most
important ingredient: earth. For the trough is supposed to be
filled with dirt scraped together by MPs from their own constituencies.
So far, about 30 [of 669] have filled the sacks provided by
the artist." The
Independent (London) 09/14/00
TO HAVE LOVED AND LOST? There’s never been a shortage of
filmmakers (from “The Agony and the Ecstasy” to “Basquiat”)
trying to get inside a painter’s mind and tell the imagined
backstory of a work of art. Spanish director Carlos Saura’s
new film, “Goya in Bordeaux” blames a thwarted love affair for
the Spanish master’s nightmarish masterpieces.
The Guardian (London)
MITCHELL, ART QUEEN: By the time it closes this week, singer/artist
Joni Mitchell's first-ever painting retrospective will have
drawn some 80,000 visitors to a small gallery in Saskatoon,
Canada. This "in a city of 210,000 people."
The Globe and Mail (Toronto) 09/14/00
CALL: London’s Millennium Dome received a last-minute reprieve
from demolition plans Wednesday, after its financial backers
cited “grave financial consequences” if it were to close early.
Independent (London) 09/14/00
COLLECTION ON VERGE OF CLOSING: Pennsylvania's Barnes Collection,
which has one of the best Impressionist collections in the US,
has blown through its $10 million endowment and has about six
months left before it is completely out of money and has to
close. "The Barnes cashed in the last of its endowment
a year ago after running up a $5.3 million cash deficit in the
last three years, tax filings show."
Philadelphia Inquirer 09/10/00
SHOCKS ANYMORE? For some time now, the definition of modern
art was to shock us in some way, take us aback a little. "Lately,
newness—changeable by nature—has transformed itself into something
harder to see, especially at first sight. Now, when people aren't
hit with a shock of the new, they think they haven't been hit
at all. When they don't find the Next Big Thing, or find it
fast enough—and this may be a contemporary definition of
complacency—they blame art."
Village Voice 09/13/00
DEMOLITION? Emergency plans were drawn up to tear down the
beleaguered Millennium Dome and sell its land for redevelopment
after the Japanese bank Nomura pulled out of talks to purchase
the monument - “a humiliating end to a project once hailed by
Tony Blair as a symbol of ‘British flair and genius.’” The
Guardian (London) 09/13/00
FALLOUT: If the Dome closes, approximately 1,900 employees
will lose their jobs, and “the ultimate victim is likely
to be the New Opportunities Fund, which gives lottery money
to children, the sick and ‘green’ causes.”
IN THE DIRT: Work has started on Hans Haacke’s controversial
project at the Reichstag: Each of the 669 members of Parliament
has been asked to bring a bag of soil from their voting district
and dump it into a 69-foot wooden trough - Haacke’s statement
on ethnic and cultural diversity. Times
of India (DPA) 09/13/00
OR GUERRILLA ARTISTS? Described variously as art terrorists,
opportunists, or “gimmicky” provocateurs, Chinese performance
artists Yuan Cai and Jian Jun Xi say they’re trying to “fuel
artistic debate and celebrate the spirit of modern art."
How, exactly? Recent pranks include urinating on Duchamp’s famous
urinal and vandalizing Tracey Emin’s “My Bed” installation at
REBORN: According to one critic, visiting Rome is no longer
the frustrating endeavor it has long been for art lovers who
encountered museums covered in scaffolding and prize treasures
locked away out of view. “Jubilee Year has galvanised the owners
of churches, galleries and temples into cleaning their finest
possessions and placing them on view. Rome has refurbished more
than 700 monuments, works of arts and sites. The results are
BLAME: A British member of parliament has attacked Suzanna
Taverne, director of the British Museum, over the use of the
wrong stone for a new museum portico. "It amazes me that
Ms Taverne is now saying they were 'mugged'. It seems as if
those responsible for the scheme are trying to pass the blame."
London Evening Standard 09/12/00
CITY: Edinburgh has traditionally been a net exporter of
artists. "But now, just as fledgling artists have always
flocked to ply their trade in Paris, New York or Florence, some
of today’s young talent is beginning to head for Edinburgh.
It is now a city which holds more publicly funded art galleries
than any other outside London."
The Scotsman 09/12/00
TIMES FOR SMITHSONIAN: The Smithsonian is setting attendance
fundraising records. "Overall attendance at the Washington
and New York facilities for the first eight months of this year
totaled 26.1 million, compared with 23.5 million for the same
period in 1999." The Smithsonian raised $200 million last
year and its endowment is close to a record $755 million and
has grown by $100 million a year over the last two years.
Washington Post 0912/00
PALACE DISCOVERED: Archeologists have found an enormous
Maya palace built nearly 1,300 years ago in Gutamala. "Found
at the site of Cancuén, which means 'Place of Serpents', on
the Río Pasion in the Petén region, the three-story palace covers
some 270,000 square feet has more than 170 rooms built around
11 courtyards. Its solid limestone masonry walls are six feet
thick in places."
BRAVEST ART CRITIC I KNOW": Time Magazine art critic
Robert Hughes survived a traumatic accident in Australia, then
watched as Aussies took him to task. It's part of the country's
love/hate attitudes about high culture, Hughes believes. "The
whole Aussie experience has left him seriously considering throwing
in his citizenship - renouncing the country he has so often
defended. 'What's the point of going back? It's like a dog returning
to smell its vomit,' he told me in our most recent telephone
PAINTING REHUNG: Last week the North Carolina Museum held
a ceremony for a Cranach painting that had been stolen by the
Nazis and had ended up at the museum. Two sisters came forward
last year to claim the art as stolen from their great-uncle
during World War II. "The museum struck an extraordinary
agreement, persuading the sisters to sell the artwork below
its market price as a tribute to the museum's sense of fair
play, as well as its commitment to educating the public about
the evils of the Nazi era."
Globe and Mail (Toronto) 09/11/00
FOR CULTURE: In the you-can-rest-easier department, isn't
it nice to know that NATO is protecting our interests in culture
as well as in the skies? "The aim of NATOarts is to advance
the North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s goals in the cultural
realm. There was also a feeling that an organization such as
NATO should take a more proactive role in the formation of international
York Press 09/06/00
STRIKE SETTLED: The Museum of Modern Art and its union of
about 250 workers have settled a four-month strike. The
agreement "awards an 18 percent wage increase over five
years and promises to give jobs back to any union members furloughed
when much of the museum is closed during a five-year, $650 million
expansion and renovation. Some employees will be assigned to
a temporary museum to be set up in Long Island City, Queens."
New York Times 09/10/00
registration required for entry)
APPEAL: As the fall season gets underway, the gap between
frothy entertaining exhibitions and higher-aiming art fare seems
to be growing. In Boston you can "blame the increase in
the former partly on the box-office success of the Guggenheim
Museum's 1998 'The Art of the Motorcycle,' the most highly attended
show in the New York institution's six-decade history."
Boston Globe 09/10/00
What influence does an artist's studio have on his or her work?
"For many, the studio is a sensitive issue; Tracey Emin
also didn't want to talk about hers let alone allow a stranger
near such a 'private place'. Lucian Freud has painted his studio
with its sagging sofa and pile of paint rags into his pictures
for years. Picasso once referred to his workplace as the 'scaffold',
hinting that each time he approached the canvas it was like
meeting the hangman; that any public execution of him as an
artist would begin at the canvas."
The Observer (London) 09/10/00
DOME DOO-DOO: London's Millennium Dome managers have been
covering up the scale of the facility's disaster. Managers knew
only 4-5 million people would attend this year while public
estimates were 12 million. Public anger over the mismanagement
of the dome intensified last week when the commission said it
had given £47m to the NMEC to prevent it from going bankrupt.
The grant followed a £43m donation only last month after public
assurances in July that it would be 'extremely difficult' to
give the dome more money."
Sunday Times (London) 09/10/00
SOLD IT ON EBAY: Individual artists have discovered eBay
as a way to bypass the gallery system. And they're selling their
work. "It appears that the practical lessons of Warhol
have been absorbed: self promotion is as American as one of
Jackson Pollock's apple pies. What ebay artists have learned
is to be pragmatic. They can get real and promote themselves
or wait forever for a dealer to do it and create a classier
SUCCESSES: Paris' "Biennale International des Antiquaires"
is the Super Bowl of antiques fairs, and this year business
is great as the fair convenes. "As antiques dealers, we
are experiencing a fantastic era. We are witnessing Paris's
comeback on the big chessboard, which the international art
New York Times 09/08/00
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WORTH: Old master paintings come to us with a history of
consideration and validation. But what makes a piece of contemporary
art a masterpiece? "To find out, ARTnews asked eight
people, including art historians, museum directors, curators,
and an artist, to discuss what they consider to be the greatest
works of three pivotal artists of the last 50 years: Jasper
Johns (b. 1930), Andy Warhol (1928-87), and Gerhard Richter
(b. 1932). Each focused on one of the artists while sometimes
commenting on the others."
LITIGATION: The Seattle Art Museum is fined by the court
for causing unnecessary litigation expenses for New York's
Knoedler Gallery, whom the museum is suing over a Matisse that
the gallery sold to a SAM donor. The painting later turned out
to have been stolen by the Nazis, and after deliberation, the
Seattle museum returned the painting to the original owners'
The Art Newspaper 09/05/00
MONEY GAME: When casino mogul/art collector Steve Wynn sold
the Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas earlier this year, he got the
buyer to agree to give him right of first refusal on the sale
of the hotel's artwork. A shareholder is suing Wynn's company,
saying Wynn will be unfairly enriched by the deal to the detriment
Las Vegas Sun 09/06/00
THE WALL: California's Bay Area has 47 wall mural businesses.
The region's hot economy has piqued demand for murals to adorn
buildings and they're showing up everywhere.
San Francisco Chronicle 09/06/00
COVERAGE OF THE DOME DEBACLE: The future of London’s troubled
Millennium Dome hangs in the balance after yesterday's announcement
that it needs an additional £47 million to stay open until the
end of the year. The
Guardian (London) 09/07/00
DISASTER: London’s much-hyped (and much-maligned) Millennium
Dome was mired in a new crisis Tuesday as it was forced, due
to poor attendance, to reveal it’s on the verge of bankruptcy
and ask the government for an emergency hand-out of £47 million
- the Dome’s fifth cash injection in less than a year. The
Independent (London) 09/06/00
MUSEUMS FREE: There is a general feeling in the UK that
entrance to museums should be free. Many already are, but those
that charge a nominal admissions fee don't do it for the money
from ticket sales. They do it to exempt themselves from VAT
taxes. "The system is absurd, but the problem is not intractable.
A solution is now at hand."
The Telegraph (London) 09/06/00
THE BID IS... Artist Julian Schnabel offers one of his famous
plate paintings for a charity auction in Venice. But when the
opening bid is set at $150,000 the silence is deafening.
New York Observer 09/06/00
FEAR: A painting of a small nude figure was removed from
an exhibition in Delhi by the government over fears it might
offend. In protest, all 25 artists in the show withdrew from
ART SUFFERING: "Few cities in the world, let alone
the UK, have public displays of old masters and cutting-edge
local art to rival the works that can be seen on the walls of
the Kelvingrove, or the Burrell collection in Glasgow. But unless
a £10 million shortfall in funding can be found, masterpieces
by the likes of Rembrandt, Botticelli and Turner – some worth
far more than the grandiose buildings in which they are housed
– will deteriorate beyond the point where they can be restored."
The Scotsman 09/01/00
TOWERS OF LONDON: Suddenly the rush to fill London's skyline
with tall towers has turned into a flood, with new proposals
announced almost every week. What's behind the plans to transform
the city's views?
The Times (London) 09/05/00
TO REMEMBER: US Gulf Coast artist Jane Brokl will create
memorial paintings for your loved ones - incorporating their
ashes into the paintings. "Brokl's paintings are vivid
and colorful, with small lines of the ash and bone pieces incorporated.
They are designed to last, with memorial plates attached, and
cost under $500."
Sun-Herald.com (Mississippi) 09/04/00
POLITICS OF RETURNING STOLEN ARTWORK: Earlier this year
the Seattle Art Museum returned a Matisse painting that had
been stolen by the Nazis. Then the museum sued New York's Knoedler
Gallery, which had originally sold the painting to some Seattle
collectors back in 1954. SAM is trying to reclaim the painting's
market value, now estimated at $11 million, from the gallery.
"But some legal complications recently led to a court order
for the museum to pay $143,000 for part of the gallery's legal
PICASSO HAVE MIGRAINES? "A Dutch doctor will tell a
world congress on headache which begins in London today that
Pablo Picasso may have experienced bizarre visual migraine auras.
Some people who suffer from migraine experience a disconcerting
distortion of their vision. When they look at people or objects,
they see them split into two parts, usually on the vertical
plane. Others say they see just an illusion of a fractured face."
The Guardian (London) 09/04/00
WHAT? Picasso was dismissive of critics who saw his
Cubist paintings as philosophical exercises and tried to
understand them through "mathematics, trigonometry,
chemistry, psychoanalysis and whatnot". He was even
more dismissive of the idea that he was an abstract artist.
Picasso's visual distortions are always poetic.
The Guardian (London) 09/04/00
LIVING THROUGH DESIGN: Russian design has gone through a
rough patch lately - the rockets don't fly, the submarines don't
come up and the communications towers burn. Simple cause? No
money for infrastructure. "Even so, it would be unwise
to demean the Soviet achievement. Soviet architecture continues
to inform the designs of some of the world's most intelligent
and adventurous architects."
The Guardian (London) 09/04/00
NON-WESTERN ART: For the first time, the Louvre has opened
a gallery of African and Asian art. "Some have criticized
the exhibit for being merely a political maneuver; others are
skeptical that it truly will help the public understand African
art. What's interesting is that the controversy highlights the
ambivalence with which the art world regards African and other
non-Western art forms."
Baltimore Sun 09/03/00
FOR THE PAST: Shipwrecks are a rich source of history and
our artistic past. There are thousands of wrecks in international
waters that have yet to be found. "Archaeologists warn
that with no international legal barriers, highly-sophisticated
and well-funded multinational corporations seeking specific
shipwrecks for the booty they may contain, will turn the high
seas into the Wild West." The
Art Newspaper 08/00
ART SAGS: Australia's art market has been robust in the
past year. But the air seems to have suddenly gone out of the
boom. "Trading in art - at least for the many anonymous
auction suppliers - is much less attractive under a new regime
that embraces a GST and an increased buyer's premium."
Financial Review 09/01/00
MIRROR (NOT) ON THE WALL: Two ancient mirrors, dating
back to the 1st century B.C., have been discovered in a burial
site in Fukui, Japan. While the inscriptions are illegible,
mirror-ologists believe the two pieces were imported from China
and used for ritualistic purposes. Daily Yomiuri 09/01/00
ART: Museums are not the first thing you think about Maine.
But the state's natural beauty has always attracted artists.
And where there are artists there are museums. Seven good ones
in fact. New York Times 09/01/00
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