“It remains one of the hottest tickets in town, it is an essential stop for out-of-town tourists, and it has succeeded in attracting a diverse, engaged, multicultural and international audience. It has also changed the center of gravity on the Mall, drawing crowds to its symbolic nodal point, where the Washington Monument connects the White House and Jefferson Memorial to the Capitol and Lincoln Memorial. There is an energy along 14th Street and Constitution Avenue NW that feels new, and welcome, in the city.”
Art Berlin, featured 112 galleries, almost 80 percent of which were based in Germany. The event, owned and co-organized by the owners of the Art Cologne, replaced the gallery-run Art Berlin Contemporary (ABC), which for the previous nine years had struggled to market large-scale artists’ projects within the commercial context of a fair.
“It’s part of what the New Yorker calls the ‘Peter Pan market’: a vogue for youthful things (coloring books, summer camps, even faux pre-school classes) rebooted for an adult audience. And while some may bristle at the conceit – which, fair enough, can occasionally seem ripe for a Portlandia parody – it’s worth considering the merits. For some, it might even be a fast-track to recover a lost creative impulse, all over the course of a long weekend.”
The mayor of the German city of Kassel, which hosts and helps fund Documenta, acknowledged that this year’s unprecedented €7 million deficit was the result of extending the show to Athens. (This was the first time Documenta had taken place in any other city.) Even so, the organizers argued that, with total attendance of more than 1 million, this year’s Documenta was the most visited contemporary art exhibition of all time.
In a post on Facebook and Twitter, the Museo Nacional de Antropologia e Historia reported that all staff was safe. Other museums, monuments, and archaeological sites appear to have been affected by the earthquake, and many institutions and archaeology sites in Mexico City and the states of Hidalgo, Morelos, Puebla, and Tlaxcala are currently closed as a safety measure.
“I would be the first to admit that many of the institutions here are new to me—though to be fair, I am not a military history buff, and therefore am unfamiliar with institutions like Hungary’s House of Terror or Singapore’s Battlebox, which seem quite popular. It’s not all just war, though: In Uruguay, the top museum is the Museo Andes 1972, an institution dedicated to the 1972 flight disaster that became the subject of the 1993 Ethan Hawke cannibalism drama, Alive. And it is truly endearing to know that Croatia’s favorite museum is the Museum of Broken Relationships, which began as a quirky art project.”
An untitled canvas that had been in the Nazis’ notorious “degenerate art” exhibition and thought lost seemingly turned up at a show in Brussels last year. No such luck. “What started out as a potentially major cultural discovery now turns out instead to be a cautionary tale about the dangers of presenting works of art owned by private collectors that have not been systematically vetted.”
“ARTnews has reached out to various museums, galleries, and arts organizations to better understand how they fared. This post is being continuously updated with details about how the earthquake has impacted the Mexican art world.”
“There are certainly questions about whether the museum” – called Urban Nation – “marks the institutionalisation of an art movement valued for its anarchic spirit, where works are mainly painted at the dead of night, dodging the prying eyes of police and angry landlords. All the works in the museum’s opening show were created specifically for the gallery space, with some sculptures but mainly canvases.”
The show of work by Grayson Perry with that hyperbolic title was, by average daily visitors, the busiest show that London’s Serpentine Galleries have ever held, according to Serpentine management. (Reporter Gareth Harris cites a show from last summer that had higher numbers; a Serpentine spokeswoman gives reasons why that one doesn’t count.)
David Hammons’s Gansevoort installation is expected to feature a ghostlike image of the original Pier 52 building on that site, according to those who have been briefed on the project — an open minimalist framework of what had originally been there, like a pencil line drawing in space. The project would rest on 12 pilings — five of them on the peninsula, with a sixth out at the end of it and another six in the water to the south.
“Gates is a fitting choice at a time when the United States has immersed itself in a re-examination of race and the divisions it spawns in American society. He doesn’t shy from taking on civil rights as an issue in his expansive portfolio, which [Nasher Sculpture Center director Jeremy] Strick said is tied ‘to the most traditional kinds of object-making and the most traditional materials.'”
“Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art founder Alice Walton has established a nonprofit foundation to focus on sharing American art across the country through collaborations with museums and institutions. Art Bridges, which was announced Wednesday, will develop and fund exhibitions to expand access to American art. Walton’s new venture is separate from the Crystal Bridges museum in Bentonville but is aligned with the museum’s mission.”
“The acquisition gives the university a gracious formal parlor a few blocks from its Broad Street campus in a neighborhood populated by many of the city’s most generous arts donors. … The change marks a bittersweet epoch for the Art Alliance, which had once brought to the city the likes of Man Ray, Martha Graham, and Andrew Wyeth, but which lost a good deal of its cutting-edge sheen in recent decades. Its six small galleries now mostly exhibit contemporary crafts and design.”
“Critics — some of whom had also demanded the impeachment of the president — accused the artists of promoting pedophilia and child pornography. Rowdy protesters harassed museumgoers outside and inside the exhibition and posted a video that was seen by more than 1.4 million viewers on Facebook. On Sunday, Santander Bank unexpectedly closed the exhibition, which is at its cultural center in the southern city of Pôrto Alegre, a month ahead of schedule. The curator found out when a friend of his sent him a text message.”
More than 200 artists, including Nairy Baghramian and Nikhil Chopra, have subsequently backed the curatorial team in an open letter. “Criticisms of Documenta 14 have been expanded to suggest that a deficit in the operating budget is primarily due to the Athenian chapter of Documenta. We are concerned about this urge to put ticket sales above art,” the letter says.
Art historian Brian T. Allen: “Understanding American art doesn’t necessarily require special training. There’s lots of insider baseball and tons of nuance, to be sure. It’s a big, complex country well into its third century. More than the art of most countries, though, it’s accessible by instinct. Basically, it’s about what makes Americans tick.”
“The Barbican Centre is ‘in discussion’ with the City of London Corporation about how to preserve the two murals by the British street artist Banksy that appeared near the gallerySunday. The works pay homage to Jean-Michel Basquiat, who was originally a graffiti artist and is the subject of a major show opening at the Barbican this week–almost 30 years after he died.”
“Located on the grounds of the Ayers Rock Resort in the Northern Territory, this remarkable exhibition” – titled Field of Light Uluru in English and Tili Wiru Tjuta Nyakutjaku (“looking at lots of beautiful lights”) in the language of the indigenous Pitjantjatjara people, to whom Uluru is sacred – “from artist Bruce Munro has already drawn some 120,000 visitors since it opened in 2016.”
The works, near the Barbican Centre, mark the opening of an exhibition by American artist Jean-Michel Basquiat.
“At the beginning and end of the program, all of the students took a series of tests. They were asked to describe, in detail, images that depicted artworks, retinas, and the faces of patients suffering from various eye-related diseases. The observational skills of the 18 students who took the art course increased significantly over the three months. Somewhat surprisingly, those of the 18 who did not take it actually declined during that same period.”
“What is so obvious to me – a professional photographer – as well as colleagues, photography bloggers and social media users, was not obvious to Nikon. Instead, it seemed to have worked on the campaign, from the concept stage through to development, marketing and public relations, without a thought for its female clients.”
“Tinkering with Austen’s image has a long history. According to Kathryn Sutherland and Freya Johnston in Teenage Writings, their new edition of her juvenilia, even writing that Austen never intended to publish didn’t escape others’ propensity to touch it up.”
“It can remind us of a place, a smell, a time of year, a person; our memories and cultures are filled with colour associations. They can even have different meanings from one culture to another. For example, in Japanese culture, yellow represents bravery and wealth, whilst in France the same colour represents jealousy and betrayal. In many cultures, blue represents masculinity, whereas it is considered a feminine colour in China. And red – the colour of danger, passion, love and fear in countless western cultures – is actually symbolic of mourning in South Africa.”
What we think of as a camera is largely a collection of software algorithms that expands with each passing year.
“Whether appearing as a drug or disease, the visual language of the Northern Renaissance was clearly influenced by the ergot fungus. Further research into this historical intersection will offer a better understanding of the way artists have responded to forces of temptation and torment with visual representation and might do so in the present day.”
Institutions like the British Museum do not come about by accident. The idea of the public museum is an “artifact of imperial enlightenment,” writes James Delbourgo in his new book, Collecting the World: Hans Sloane and the Origins of the British Museum. “Only a collector at the center of an empire could draw so many things together in order to tell them apart, in an astonishing attempt to catalogue the entire world.”
“Nobody thought that the electricity bill in Athens would be horrendously high because the exhibition venues had to be cooled from 40 degrees outside temperature to 23 degrees. Immensely expensive were also the transports of the works of art from Athens to Kassel.”
“We feel that casting a false shadow of criticism and scandal over documenta 14 does a disservice to the work that the artistic director and his team have put into this exhibition. Shaming through debt is an ancient financial warfare technique; these terms of assessment have nothing to do with what the curators have made possible, and what the artists have actually done within this exhibition.”
“Attendance to the fair, especially by Parisians just back from the summer holidays, was notably lower that previous years and far from that of Frieze Masters in London or Tefaf Maastricht. In the middle of the week, late in the day, the aisles were almost empty. The organisers did not provide attendance figures or information on sales, but the press reviews have been grim.”