“A video environment called ‘4th Floor To Mildness’ will invite visitors to take off their shoes and stretch out on secondhand beds that the New Museum has collected (and cleaned). The viewers will gaze toward the ceiling at two amoeba-shaped screens, on which will be projected watery footage that Ms. Rist, who lives and works in Zurich, filmed over the summer in a part of the Rhine that she knows by heart.”
“Without ever having spent a night there, the pope ordered the apostolic palace and gardens at Castel Gandolfo, about 15 miles from Rome, be turned into a museum.”
When vandals knocked off the head of the young Christ in a Madonna-and-child statue at a parish in Sudbury, Ontario, the priest accepted the offer of a local artist to sculpt a replacement. Uh-oh: our correspondent describes the result as “Lisa Simpson crossed with King Triton.” Where have we seen this story before?
The original 11 paintings still hang on the walls of the agency’s headquarters, “represent[ing] an elemental approach to art [and] a swashbuckling donor,” according to a brief blurb on the agency’s website. What these paintings represent about the CIA’s relationship to the art world, though, is more complicated. On these walls, the intersection between US art and politics is especially busy.
“The Museo dell’Opera del Duomo [in Florence] presented two little-known 15th-century terra-cotta sculptures on Thursday as the possible work of Donatello and Verrocchio (with, perhaps, the help of Verrocchio’s erstwhile assistant Leonardo da Vinci), proposed attributions that are expected to stir debate in Renaissance art scholarship.”
“Known for her collaborations with biologists and pungent Petri dish works, [Anicka] Yi exhibits smell as sculpture. ‘It isn’t unusual to smell a work by Yi before seeing it stewing in a corner or leaking down a wall,’ Beau Rutland wrote in the January 2013 issue of Artforum. ‘Scent becomes an interception, a piling-up of unexpected triggers, awakening sensations often ignored in aesthetic spaces.'”
“Volunteers on the annual excavations at Vindolanda Roman fort in Northumberland have unearthed an astonishing 421 shoes from a ditch. And one of the shoes is strikingly similar to the Adidas Predator football boot.”
The “museumization of migration,” as one academic has put it, is a significant shift in the history of museums. But the resulting exhibitions deserve as much attention for how they obscure the West’s new relationship to migrants as for how they clarify it.
Two months after guerrilla artists put up nude statues of Donald Trump in five US cities, “the grotesque caricature of the Democratic candidate appeared outside the Bowling Green station during morning rush hour on Tuesday [showing] Clinton with hoofed feet and a Wall Street banker resting his head on her bare breasts. The statue was up for less than three hours before an enraged woman toppled it over and started yelling at the statue’s creator.” (includes video)
The installation, titled Sky Landing, is in Jackson Park, which will also be the site of the Obama Presidential Library. “[It] consists of 12 steel lotus petals and mounds that form the yin yang symbol to symbolize peace.”
“The warning labels on art supplies do not display a skull and crossbones, but alerts about carcinogens and diseases frighten artists, leading art supply stores and paint manufacturers to discontinue certain products and stock the alternative hues.”
“Creative Scotland’s study found that almost half of Scotland’s artists were having to take on additional jobs to make ends. Self-employed artists are said to be earning an average of less than £15,000 a year, compared to the average Scottish salary of £26,000, with even those work more than 15 years experience behind them struggling on little more than £20,000 a year on average.”
“This campaign would keep the shoes’ color from deteriorating, and the money will go toward a technologically advanced display case to preserve them for future generations. Even though the Smithsonian’s museums are federally funded, the institution still solicits private and corporate contributions for major projects if it isn’t covered by their budget. In fact, this is the Smithsonian’s second Kickstarter campaign; in 2015, the National Air and Space Museum raised $700,000 to preserve the spacesuit that Neil Armstrong wore when he walked on the moon.”
Sonnet Stanfill, curator at the Victoria and Albert Museum: “In 2015, the world’s top 12 art museums as based on attendance – what I call the ‘directors’ dozen’ – were all led by men. When Frances Morris became the director of the Tate Modern in April, she became the first woman to join the club. This gender gap extends from Europe to North America, where only five of the 33 directors of the most prominent museums (those with operating budgets of more than $20 million) are women.”
“This year is the worst in memory, like perhaps in this millennium,” said one MFA program head, adding that his impression is that schools that were once getting two applications for every seat may now be getting less than one.
According to an investigation by the newspaper La Stampa, “the ‘ndrangheta and Camorra mafia groups in southern Italy … are reportedly handing over to [ISIS] weapons smuggled out of Moldova and Ukraine by Russian criminal groups in exchange for Roman and Greek artefacts illegally excavated from ancient sites including Leptis Magna, Cyrene and Sabratha in Libya – all UNESCO World Heritage Sites.”
“When [Andrew J.] Hall set out last year to stage an exhibition of [Leon] Golub’s art at the private rural museum he operates in [a Vermont] village, he found out to his surprise that more than a third of the Golubs he had bought were forgeries, according to a lawsuit he filed last month. And the people he says hoodwinked him … seem to have disappeared.”
“Look, art doesn’t have to be daunting. It’s helpful to think of works of art in ways similar to how we think about other people in our lives. Some people are harder to get to know. Some are more open and accessible and we feel we know them straight off. Other people, we feel as though their essence is more guarded.”
“The work of the Icelandic artist Ragnar Kjartansson is all about the quest for beauty and the ways in which that quest is doomed to failure, bogging down in mediocrity or kitsch, or, in these works, the trappings of Las Vegas. But the work radiates so much theatricality and glitz and humor that it feels like a big party. For a show about failure, it sure is having a good time.”
“Before Lygia Clark was getting major museum retrospectives; before Adriana Varejão was represented by leading galleries; before Beatriz Milhazes was achieving high prices at auction, Patricia Phelps de Cisneros was collecting Latin American art … Over the last 16 years, Ms. Cisneros and her husband, Gustavo A. Cisneros, have donated 40 of these pieces to the Museum of Modern Art, where she has served on the board since 1992. Now, they are giving 102 more and establishing a research institute at the museum for the study of Latin American art.”
“The new layout drastically modifies how the museum’s sizable collection of Botticelli paintings and works by Pollaiolo, Hugo van der Goes, Rogier van der Weyden and Domenico Ghirlandaio are exhibited, giving all the works sufficient space to shine.”
“One artist always seems to have been methodical and technically gifted, the other impulsive and instinctive; one artist tends to have been socially adept, the other rather reticent; one artist seems to have been senior while the other played catch-up… before the rubbing off on (and up against) each other began in earnest.”
“The bare walls of the gallery — where priceless American paintings were long displayed — reflected the mournful tone of the discussion about the museum and school. In 2014, a District judge approved a deal that gave the National Gallery of Art custody of the museum’s 17,000-piece collection and George Washington University control of its renowned art school.”
“‘It’s no less ambitious than an effort to reframe art history,’ said Ms. Joyner, who sees herself as righting a wrong. ‘First, to include more broadly those who have been overlooked — and, for those with visibility, to steward and contextualize those careers.'”
“I’m also a little timid, so I needed a medium to get rid of the rigidity in myself for the art. In my hometown [Quanzhou, China], there were so many firecracker factories, so I had easy access to gunpowder. Using gunpowder as a medium became a way to liberate myself.”
“‘Let’s use the 2018 election to change the culture of fear,’ Ms. Bruguera said in the one-and-a-half-minute video, adding, ‘To make a Cuba that is run by us all, not by a few.'”
“One of the most potent weapons in its outreach to African-Americans in cities across the country was its artwork. In posters, pamphlets and its popular newspaper, The Black Panther, the party’s imagery was guided by the vision of Emory Douglas, its minister of culture.”
“This calls into question the long-held belief that art history experts can identify the hand of a master simply by looking at a work, and could have major implications for the Old Master market moving forward.”
If the piece can be repaired does the artist have to do it? If not, does the piece then lose its value because it’s no longer authentic? And who pays what to whom?
“The National Museum of Beirut, which stood on the deadly Green Line during the Lebanese civil war, has reopened fully to the public after more than 40 years. On 7 October, [dignitaries] inaugurated the restored basement galleries dedicated to Lebanon’s ancient funerary art.”