From Berta Colón’s letter to the board, in which she accused a co-executive of employee intimidation: “Staff is threatened with the possibility of being fired, they are pitted against each other. … During this period of transition without an executive director, Carlos has created an environment that promotes distrust, fear of retaliation and isolation.” And the museum’s newly hired executive director may not yet have permission to work in the U.S.
Yusaku Maezawa has a collection of Basquiats, and a lot of other art, and plans to open a museum in Japan to showcase it all – and to lend art to other museums as well. “Mr. Maezawa — who does not work with an art adviser — said he was driven entirely by his love of art and not financial investment. ‘I just follow my instinct,’ he said. ‘When I think it’s good, I buy it.'”
One of the heirs of the pre-Nazi-looting owners: “We brokered a compromise, which we signed. It is not really satisfactory, but it is acceptable. It was the best that we could achieve. Ideally, it would have been returned in total to our family. That wasn’t possible, so we settled for what we could get.”
“Italy has over the past two years recruited 20 highly-qualified new directors, seven of them foreigners, to shake up institutions which are richly-endowed with cultural treasures but often poorly run and badly promoted. But a regional court ruled that five of the appointments were null and void, saying that the selection process had not been transparent, that some interviews had been conducted via Skype and that the one foreigner appointed should never have been eligible.”
“In its new home, expect LACMA’s permanent collection to break all the rules. The permanent collection won’t exactly be permanent. LACMA instead plans to install the collection as a continuing series of temporary exhibitions — cross-cultural and interdisciplinary. An impermanent permanent collection, the scheme is unprecedented.”
“One thing that makes it a sculpture is that there’s obviously artifice to it. It is artifice posing as a natural phenomenon. It’s obviously been made, but the fiction is that it hasn’t been made. That tension is an important part of the work.”
James Turrell will have nine different immersive light installations. Jenny Holzer will be showing 200 silk-screened paintings and 21 stone paintings as well as several LED displays, all (of course) featuring text. Laurie Anderson will be playing with virtual reality.
Koons based the 45-foot-tall inflatable, currently installed at Rockefeller Center in Manhattan, on his 2015 stainless-steel sculpture of the same name. It turns out that both of them bear the proverbial striking resemblance to a porcelain titled Balerina Lenochka by Oksana Zhnikrup and the The Kiev Experimental Ceramic-Art Factory. (A Koons representative has subsequently claimed that he copied Zhnikrup’s work “under license”; no details of this license were provided.)
“The Musée Dapper in Paris will close its doors next month, with officials citing high costs and low attendance as reasons for shutting the privately funded, non-profit museum of traditional and contemporary African art.”
Like similar projects in California, Florida, Texas, Connecticut, Maryland and elsewhere, the Marciano Art Foundation isn’t exactly a museum. It’s merely a private collection open to the public. The selection is highly personal. The mission statement is freewheeling (“Through exhibiting a diverse and compelling collection … MAF aims to encourage curiosity and contemplation of art.”) The professional staff is limited, as are public hours.
Conservation scientists say that tiny formations of lead-based soaps—each about a tenth of a millimeter in diameter—are threatening to mar paintings by artists ranging from Rembrandt van Rijn to Georgia O’Keeffe. A team of experts has spent years researching why these microscopic white pockmarks appear—but they can’t figure out how to stop them.
“Old houses, inns, farmhouses, monasteries and ancient castles are all up for grabs – and you won’t have to pay a penny.” And yes, there’s a catch: “Those who take up the offer will have to commit to restoring and transforming the sites into tourist facilities, such as hotels, restaurants, or spas.”
In December 1978 the academy’s secretary, Sidney Hutchison, wrote to Drummonds Bank (with which it had a £675,000 overdraft): “Very confidentially, if this official attempt for subsidy from the Government through the Arts Council should fail, my view is that the Academy would then have no alternative but to sell the Michelangelo Tondo for its worldwide market price, ie in the region of £6,000,000.”
“I think the philanthropy will go up in that more people will see artists as part of a fabric of solving problems, or of addressing a problem. Before this interview, you asked me about what I was doing selling a painting [Lichtenstein’s Masterpiece], and it was because I’m really interested in getting money through that method that can be used for solving problems through art. I think that now artists are really going to come to the fore when it comes to political and social causes. I think art can make a difference. I think art can help.”
The Institute of Arab and Islamic Art opened earlier this month in Soho; “[it] has a gallery space and bookstore, and it aspires to organize quarterly exhibitions, travelling shows, artist residencies, and publications.” Vivek Gupta has a first look.
“Building 6, is a three-story, 130,000 sq. ft. structure now outfitted with long-term shows and installations by five artists. They include a 15-year installation by Jenny Holzer, whose art will be projected on the building and surrounding landscape, and a 25-year James Turrell retrospective with nine of the artist’s light works.”
“The neural net has no concept of color space, and no way to see human-color perception,” she says. Instead, it processed colors by their RGB values: the combination of red, green, and blue that come together in each hue. “It’s really seeing [colors] not as a number at a time, but as a digit at a time. I think that’s why the neural net had a lot of trouble getting the colors right, why it’s naming pinks when there aren’t any pinks, or gray when it’s not gray.”
To understand the architects’ approach to design we explored six of their most significant works: a private home, a winery, a running track, their own office, a restaurant and a public space.
“This is very good news for the African modernists who will benefit from the increased visibility. They were, some say, the postcolonial avant-garde, who set out to create new art for independent Africa during the mid-20th century. African contemporary artists have also moved beyond nationalism and are more likely to sound off about globalization and complex identities. But the continent’s masses will be the biggest losers. They will be denied access to artworks that define the age of independence and symbolize the slow process of postcolonial recovery.”
Rowan Moore is not in love with Wright. “Of all the architects officially designated great, he provokes in me a special allergy. It is not that he was a fantasist, liar and egomaniac who left a trail of emotional destruction in his wake, nor that his buildings leaked and crumbled and went many times over budget, nor that the chairs he designed fell over and defied basic norms of comfort, nor that he wrote and spoke pure, shining, transcendent, transparent nonsense, nor that he was a hypocrite who preached democracy and freedom but flirted with tyrants such as Mussolini and Stalin.”
But he’s no starchitect, despite his stylish glasses. “Yantrasast is funny and warm, as intrigued by vernacular culture as he is by high art. During the course of an afternoon interview, he expresses admiration for the choreographies of Pina Bausch and the sculptures of artist Gabriel Orozco. He also stops to admire homegrown modifications on a jalopy Toyota.”
A big sale at Sotheby’s shows off the new potential and new collector interest in modernist African art. But while Western collectors drive up the money for those artists, “whole countries in Africa cannot boast of a single art museum of any renown. On other continents, you might expect to see at least one public art museum in any city big enough to have a sports team. But good luck trying to find a museum in Lagos, one of the world’s largest cities, that displays the work of a big-name Nigerian artist.”
It was performance art with an extremely cool audience (and an extremely cool performance group): “At times, the event took on a mystical cast, Ms. Knowles and her troupe extending their arms toward the crowd in a kind of benediction. The effect was moving, the show itself museum-worthy. As Nat Trotman, the Guggenheim curator of performance and media, noted, it was part of a tradition that dates from the late 1960s, when Meredith Monk first performed in the rotunda.”
“The high price reflects the fact that 20th-century art increasingly dominates the list of the world’s most expensive paintings, partly because such works are more likely to be available for sale – with classics such as the Mona Lisa unlikely to come on to the market. Only three of the top 10 most expensive paintings are pre-19th century, with most of the highest prices attached to works by Willem de Kooning, Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko and Gustav Klimt.”
The obvious incentive is financial. While structural changes to meet earthquake codes can throw an expensive wrench into the works, museums can get a better price per square foot by adapting an existing building if its bones are good.
Gasps escaped from the crowd as the final bid came in for the 1982 untitled depiction of a skull. The price is the highest ever paid at auction for a work by an American artist; indeed, it’s the sixth-highest price paid for any artwork at auction. As Jeffrey Deitch said, Basquiat is “now in the same league as Francis Bacon and Pablo Picasso.”
As Robin Pogrebin and Scott Reyburn report, “the answer to this remarkable trajectory … lies in the art market’s unpredictable but powerful alchemy: a combination of raw talent, compelling biography and limited supply.”
There’s been some talk lately of the Greek capital becoming the next Berlin – a large-and-low-priced city where artists can afford to settle and work. The arrival this year of Documenta – the first time the super-hot art shindig has left its German hometown – was expected to legitimize Athens’s standing as a contemporary art center. But the locals aren’t having it.
“In the late 2000s, there were roughly 10 such experts worldwide—a small number that was poised to get even smaller. Many of these individuals were approaching retirement age, and across the whole of the United States, United Kingdom, and Europe, there were at most two young conservators considering a career in this niche field. This was the worrisome picture that emerged from a survey begun in 2008 by Copenhagen’s Statens Museum for Kunst and funded by the Getty Foundation.”
“Longtime supporters Carl and Alice Bimel left a bequest of $11.75 million to the museum to establish the Alice Bimel Endowment for Asian Art. The endowment will enhance collections in the arts of South Asia, Greater Iran and Afghanistan.”