The statue known as “Fearless Girl” will soon be moved from its spot at the southern tip of Broadway to a spot facing the New York Stock Exchange, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced on Thursday. And if the city has its way, the bull will eventually go with her.
In the 53-page complaint that includes lines that reference Shakespeare (“Something is rotten in the state of Denmark”) and that are almost Dickensian, New York litigator Aaron Richard Golub charges, “Behind the ostensible façade of Jeff Koons’ art world triumphs and record-breaking auction prices . . . lurks a well-oiled machine, more specifically an established, archaic System as old as the hills applied to the art world to exploit art collectors’ desire to own Jeff Koons sculptures.
Call them potters, ceramicists, or clay sculptors, but there are getting to be more of them, amateur and professional – and their work is fetching higher prices. Reporter Amy Fleming looks at how the trend has developed and the reasons for it.
“The Tate briefly flirted with the idea of splitting in two and setting up an entirely separate Museum of Modern Art, inspired by the success of MoMA in New York. This was in the early 1990s, before the gallery decided to remain a single institution with two London venues: Tate Britain and Tate Modern. The behind-the-scenes efforts of Nicholas Serota, the Tate’s director from 1988 and 2017, to create Tate Modern are revealed in the gallery’s trustee minutes for 1991-92.”
“Civilizations,” like “Ways of Seeing,” is an attempt to update Clark’s series. But it’s also an unprecedented undertaking in the annals of television. Unlike “Civilisation,” which was focused on Western art from the so-called Dark Ages until the 20th century, the scope of “Civilizations” is global and reaches right back to cave painting.
Billionaire Steve Cohen is donating Chris Ofili’s The Holy Virgin Mary to New York’s Museum of Modern Art. “The canvas stirred controversy at the Brooklyn Museum during the 1999 ‘Sensation’ exhibition of works by the Young British Artists from the collection of advertising mogul Charles Saatchi. Giuliani criticized Ofili’s painting as an affront to Catholics. The work remained on display for the show’s duration, amid a First Amendment legal battle, and Giuliani ultimately abandoned his efforts to evict the museum and cut its city financing.”
“Long before dealer Clyde Beswick established CB1 Gallery in Los Angeles, he spent 13 months in prison for embezzlement. Now, more than 20 years later, a group of artists is accusing the gallerist of breaking the law again. In an open letter published on Tuesday, nine artists claim that the dealer, along with partner Jason Chang, stiffed them repeatedly and engaged in a pattern of ‘systematic and unfailing’ abuse.”
“In their daily lives, people interact with all kinds of popular storytelling visual forms, most of which are maybe not what we have historically called fine art. Our purpose as a museum is to highlight and explore and celebrate the best of these forms, and to really unpack the way in which they work. We’re really interested in this through-line of narrative, the fact that so many artists in so many cultures, times, and places have been compelled to tell stories in different mediums. Why do we have this drive and how does it work?”
In London, the Elgin Marbles were hidden in Aldwych tube station – although, alarmingly, it was later revealed it wouldn’t have withstood a direct hit. In Paris, the Louvre was emptied out in 1939, with 3,600 paintings packed off to safe houses. The Mona Lisa – now considered too fragile to be moved – was shuttled round the country five times, moving from chateau to abbey to chateau, to keep her one step ahead of the Nazis.
Matatu are the privately owned buses that have transported at least 60 percent of Nairobi’s population since the early ’60s. The word matatu comes from the Kikuyu word for “three,” referring to the three ten-cent coins used to pay for a ride to the city when matatus first started operating.
The six-inch oval reliquary holding the heart of Anne of Brittany (1477-1514), the only woman to be crowned Queen of France twice, was taken from the Musée Dobrée in Nantes.
There will, no doubt, be many who oppose the decision. Chagall’s lofty position in the pantheon of Modern art is equalled by few, and bested by maybe only two: Pablo Picasso and Henri Matisse. David, a towering figure in French neo-classical painting, is no less important, an art historian would tell you, though in another era and for different reasons.
Even as Instagram surges ahead as the art world’s social media platform of choice, and artificial intelligence is examined for its potential for luring buyers, the overall picture is downbeat as growth slowed for a second year.
“We have been friends for years, our families have stayed with each other and I believed we were close,” James White wrote to Marlowe Goring after his visit. “That is why I have tried to believe in you and refused to accept that you could steal from me and create a story of lies.” “I have been sitting here, knowing that this moment would come and I have dreaded this more than anything in my life,” Goring replied. He blamed sluggish sales, high overhead costs and unpaid taxes. And then he cut to the chase: “I have no money and I also have none of your art.”
Christopher Marcisz makes the case that people don’t go to the Berkshire Museum for art (the area has better art museums already) and barely remember the paintings they see there. People – schoolkids and families, mostly – go for the natural history and science exhibits, and money from the paintings sold will give those exhibits a facelift they desperately need.
Two decorative turrets were blown off the old gates to the site during a storm with heavy rains and winds up to 80 miles per hour. No damage to the white marble mausoleum was found.
Rosie Lee Hooks has been director of Los Angeles’ Watts Tower Arts Center since 2010, and she has grown programs, attendance, and attention by leaps and bounds. Now, supporters say, there’s an art program at the heart of her three-week suspension. They claim it’s “related to the mural that local artist Jacori Perry had started to paint depicting jazz musician and Watts hero Charles Mingus on the side of the campus’ Charles Mingus Youth Arts Center building.”
“Known for an accessible and punchy writing style that decodes the complexities of contemporary art for a wide audience, Saltz is, perhaps, the most famous art critic in America. … [His] winning essay, ‘My Life As A Failed Artist,’ published last April, chronicles his pain and regret over an art career that never quite got off the ground – and what his experience as an art-school dropout taught him about being a critic.”
As much as I share the Bay Area’s love for these two great museums, I see endemic weaknesses that threaten their otherwise promising future. The Fine Arts Museums’ board cannot control the ambition of its director, and shouldn’t even try. What the board most needs at this crucial moment is not someone it can master, but a willing partner.
In a world where Banksy street-pieces — essentially, illegally created public art — cut from buildings can generate hundreds of thousands of dollars, proprietary domain is a hot-button issue. Legally, according to attorney Eric Baum, who represented artists in litigation involving the 5 Pointz mural space in Long Island City, “The owner of the building can sell [or keep] the artwork.” And, he adds, the property owner can also destroy it.
Writer Renno Eddi-Lodge: “Design is something that seamlessly slots into your life: my clothes, the tech I use, the bike I ride, kitchenware. I try to prioritise function; I am not someone who thinks about beauty that much. I like things to be clean, tidy and functional.”
Historians may rejoice, while fans of mythology might be a little sad: “One driving force behind the renovation was to put artworks into proper historical context. Mr. Potts and his team have rearranged works in the permanent collection galleries to tell a more chronological story, from 3000 B.C. to 400 A.D., largely presenting Greek works on the first floor and Roman on the second. Gone are the entertaining themes like ‘gods and goddesses’ that mixed figures from different periods in a pantheon of superheroes.”
The increasingly popular, and increasingly subtle and detailed, style comes from prison culture. “Black and gray used to be referred to as joint-style or prison-style, because of its roots in penal institutions, where inmates made homemade machines from ballpoint pens, guitar strings, needles, and parts from old boom boxes. The machines had one needle. No color ink was available in lock up, so the ink was black. But if you watered it down, it turned gray.”
Let loose a British architecture critic on the complexes maintained by Amazon and other massive delivery services, and you get (rather depressing) poetry: “You couldn’t call it country or town: it is a node, a zone. It approaches a sort of sublime, you could say, in which the vast whiteish rectangles resemble conceptual art and the engineered terrain unwittingly becomes land art. Its scale is that of the national and international networks of which it is part, not the locality.”
The line between subjective truth and propaganda is as old as war, politics and religion, but what’s disquieting today is the velocity at which it moves, and how impossible it is to shove the genie back into the bottle. What are we to believe? Social media have given a populist, liberating edge to what we see, but how do we discern fiction from truth? And will images resonate in the eye long enough to meaningfully shape a generation with an insatiable fascination for the next swipe and click.
In concert with news of Ellen Salpeter’s departure, which will occur in June, the museum announced a change in its leadership structure through which deputy director and chief curator Alex Gartenfeld will now work as artistic director and associate director Tommy Ralph Pace will now be deputy director. Citing their shared status as members of ICA’s founding leadership team, the museum’s announcement said, “Gartenfeld has spearheaded the museum’s curatorial voice in particular and Pace has been responsible for special initiatives, daily operations, and public affairs.”
“Is Museum of Contemporary Art Director Philippe Vergne on his way out? That’s the question swirling in the art-world air following his surprise firing of MOCA’s chief curator one month ago, the sudden cancellation of the museum’s annual gala fundraiser and, perhaps most important, the pending expiration of Vergne’s contract. … Vergne has placed his $4-million Hollywood Hills mansion on the market, and on Tuesday, real estate websites showed a sale pending.”
“The painting, titled Othello and Desdemona, belonged to retired jeweler and art collector Ernest ‘Pick’ Heller and his wife Rose ‘Red’ Heller, and was stolen from their New York apartment back in 1988, along with numerous other paintings, sculptures, and art objects including jewelry, carpets, silverware, and Steuben china.”
When Max Hollein joins the Met he will share responsibility for running the institution with Weiss in a new power-sharing arrangement which may prove difficult to manage. Similar arrangements have proved dysfunctional at the Getty and at the Guggenheim, leading to premature departures by high-profile directors who felt interfered with or undermined. The leadership-by-committee model is in stark contrast to the Met’s hierarchy under Campbell and especially his predecessor, Philippe de Montebello, who ran the Met like a semi-divine sovereign.
“In February, when the embattled Berkshire Museum in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, announced it had reached an agreement with the state’s attorney general to sell as many as 40 works from its collection, the juiciest detail was that an undisclosed institution had agreed to purchase and exhibit the lot’s most valuable work: a Norman Rockwell masterpiece titled Shuffleton’s Barbership (1950).” That institution has now been disclosed: it’s the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art, founded by Star Wars and Indiana Jones creator George Lucas and now under construction in Los Angeles.