“In a surprise announcement Tuesday, the Walker said [Olga] Viso, who has led the internationally known center since 2008” – with a considerable record of achievement, it must be said – “will leave by year end. Four sources close to the board characterized her resignation as the end result of a monthslong process fueled by unusually high turnover among Walker staff and demonstrations against the Scaffold sculpture that delayed the gala opening of the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden last spring.”
“In a gesture of inclusiveness that is rare in the region, the workers who had built the Jean Nouvel-designed museum on Saadiyat Island were given their own party. … Yet questions remain over the welfare of these and other construction workers, mostly migrants from the Indian subcontinent, on the island.” Annual reports by PricewaterhouseCoopers note improvements, but the results are still – well, mixed.
Maura Reilly: “[It] is a term I use to designate the practice of organizing art exhibitions with the principle aim of ensuring that certain constituencies of artists are no longer ghettoized or excluded from the master narratives of art. It is a practice that commits itself to counter-hegemonic initiatives that give voice to those who have been historically silenced or omitted altogether.”
A reporter and cameraman for the Swiss public broadcaster RTS say they were arrested while taking images at an open-air market of migrant workers like those who built the museum. The pair were separated, blindfolded, and interrogated for up to ten hours at a time about the nature of their reporting on the migrants; their equipment was confiscated and has still not been returned.
Impressionist, modern and contemporary art with an estimated value of least $1.6 billion will be offered at Christie’s, Sotheby’s and Phillips. The value of these consignments, which include works by Francis Bacon, Andy Warhol, Fernand Leger and Franz Kline, as well as, incongruously, a Ferrari racecar, represents an increase of more than 46 percent over the equivalent auctions last November.
In 1985, Woman-Ochre was stolen from the University of Arizona Museum of Art during opening hours. Thirty-two years later, the $165-million masterpiece wasn’t discovered tucked away in the mansion of a mafioso or for sale on the black market; it was found hanging demurely behind the bedroom door of an elderly couple in rural New Mexico.
“The museum and its development team will re-examine an expansion option on the north and northwest side of the campus connected to the 1905 Building to determine whether this could meet the museum’s needs, while also minimizing impacts on the Albright-Knox’s historic buildings,” according to the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, in a statement Friday afternoon.
Justin Davidson: “Widely mocked and grudgingly admired, the emblematic tower of the postmodern age made its pop-culture debut as a scale model that its maker held aloft like a trophy on the cover of Time in 1979.”
Did she steal the photos from a PS1 exhibit of Carolee Schneemann’s performance art? No one knows (yet). One patron: “Maybe they were really just in love with her artwork that they wanted it for herself, and that maybe they had a change of heart and decided to mail back.”
That’s right, it’s a robin redBREAST, get it? Also, it’s a Christmas card. But for real, what is this company that has massive power over what we see online actually doing with art?
He says yes (after acknowledging that some might feel he’s sold out, what with a clothing line and other commercial commissions): “People get numb to anything that is predictable. Street art has some cliché aesthetics, like stencils or drips or tags or any number of things you associate with the medium. But street art is evolving all the time. So I think the power for street art to impact people is always gonna be there. It’s just a matter of finding a way of staying a step ahead of what’s become cliché.”
The National Museum of African American History has a department – the Community Curation Program – that preserves the images Black and African American families have passed down for decades. “Walter Forsberg, a media archivist with the museum, said even the everyday items offer a glance into black culture of the time that often was left out of movies, TV and other media.”
The rival plan for the building – The Old Royal High School – “aims to create a new home for one of Scotland’s best known music schools, St Mary’s.” Of course it does. And of course the developers want to “mount an aggressive defence of [their] plans.”
The court said that letting the sale go on would pose more of a risk than stopping it … for now. “The sale had been opposed by two groups of plaintiffs, including Rockwell’s sons, as well as the office of the Massachusetts attorney general, which said that it would violate various trusts and restrictions related to how the works must be handled. The attorney general, Maura Healey, who had been seeking additional time to examine the museum’s plan, asked the court on Friday for an injunction halting the sale.”
Her paintings “sometimes look as if they’ve been attacked by a 6-year-old gone berserk on a sugar high” – and indeed, “for some of her installs, she will enlist the child of a friend to add the finishing touches: a crayon scrawl on the walls, piles of silly string underfoot, assorted bits of detritus.”
“5Pointz, a former factory owned by Jerry Wolkoff, was a haven for graffiti artists from around the world and became a prominent tourist attraction. Wolkoff had given the artists permission to use the building as a canvas for “aerosol art” and the building was covered in multicolored murals and tags. But in 2013, when Wolkoff decided to demolish the building and replace it with apartments, he whitewashed the graffiti art in the dead of night. On Wednesday the jury decided that the artists’ work was legally protected under the Visual Artists Rights Act (Vara), and that meant that Wolkoff had broken the law.”
Well over 17,000 works from the USSR’s artistic underground, collected by the late economist Norton Dodge and his wife, Nancy, are going to the Zimmerli Art Museum at Rutgers University. The trove, worth an estimated $34 million and accompanied by $10 million to support maintenance, is the largest gift of any kind in the university’s history.
“Mana Fine Arts, an art storage complex in New Jersey, has been ordered by a New York judge to turn over the Mugrabi family’s entire 1,400-piece art collection, including works by Andy Warhol, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Tom Wesselmann and Damien Hirst.” The Mugrabis say Mana “is holding the collection hostage over disputed back storage fees, bringing their business to a standstill and preventing them from either selling or showing the art.”
The Emperor Qin Shihuang’s Mausoleum Site Museum in Xi’an has signed a formal partnership agreement with the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia, where an exhibition of the terracotta figures is currently running. The director of the Xi’an museum and colleagues were especially impressed with the Institute’s educational programs and its focus on culture and technology.
Historians face bills of thousands of pounds to illustrate academic books with little commercial potential, the 28 signatories say. “We urge the UK’s national museums to follow the example of a growing number of international museums and provide open access to images of publicly owned, out-of-copyright paintings, prints and drawings so that they are free for the public to reproduce,” the letter says.
The items once belonged to the extinct Calusa tribe, which lived on the island between 700 and 1200 AD. Archaeologists have long suspected that the area was rife with historical artifacts, but the excavation of public land is illegal and wouldn’t have been approved by the local government.
“Over the decades the business went from a struggling housepaint store to one of the most prominent brands in art supplies, with 24 stores nationwide and James Rosenquist and Red Grooms as regular customers. The Canal Street location was one of the last bastions against the flood tide of IRS investigations, bankruptcy, unsellable inventory and empty shelves. It was also there, in a no-man’s land between SoHo, TriBeCa and Chinatown—and with a steady stream of traffic feeding the Lincoln Tunnel—that the store got its foothold in the arts community in the 1970s and 1980s.”
“The results are startling. You may feel as though you’ll bump your head into the paintings, whose surfaces seem palpably close as you lean in to get a closer look – closer than you might in real life. Even the frames are stunningly 3-D.”
“For over a century, it went unnoticed in the finished work, Olive Trees (1889), now owned by the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, but a recent study by the museum’s curators, conservators, and outside scientists has revealed its old, brown carcass.”
Isaac Kaplan looks at the research that’s been done on the question over the past 16 years – and finds that the answer has hardly changed over that time span.
“The sarcophagus of the pharaoh Seti I, carved from a single vast block of translucent alabaster, cost [Sir John] Soane £2,000 after the British Museum turned it down … Almost 900 people trooped through his rooms and into the basement renamed ‘the Sepulchral Chamber’, where the sarcophagus glowed eerily, lit by candles placed inside. [His] museum recently recreated the experiment.”
The broadened, democratic use of the word “curating” seems in part to reflect our growing need to impose order and organization on the busy, buzzing abundance that surrounds us. It also suggests the ways that we are increasingly using social media to put ourselves on display, making ourselves into spectacles.
“Writing on Instagram, the 41-year-old entrepreneur [Yusaku Maezawa] says: ‘Good-bye for a while my Basquiat. I am hoping that you will be loved by people all over the world and move the hearts of people around the world. See you again soon. Have a good trip! #JeanMichelBasquiat #worldtour #imissyou.'”
“Judge John Agostini ruled that plaintiffs in two civil actions, and the state Attorney General’s Office itself, failed to make their cases to halt a large-scale deaccession by the museum. The judge is unsparing in his view that the Attorney General’s Office conducted an anemic review of the art sale after it was notified about it by the museum in June.”
“National Gallery of Art Director Earl ‘Rusty’ Powell, whose tenure has been marked by the collection’s growth, the renovation of nearly every space and a startling lack of controversy, will retire in early 2019 after more than 25 years in charge. … Next year, the trustees will begin the process of finding a successor for the longest-serving director in its 76-year history.”