“The New York of Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney’s day did not respect female artists, did not prize contemporary artists and did not appreciate American artists. Mrs. Whitney set out to change all that.”
“It is hardly debatable that the employment of animals (beings incapable of consenting to spending days, weeks, or merely hours, confined to, and on display in, galleries or museums … ) is exploitative, reflecting a form of domination that does not simply regard living animals as material so much as it deforms animals into material.”
The canvases by Tintoretto, Mantegna, Rubens, and Pisanello were stolen from the Castelvecchio Museum in Verona in November; 13 suspects were arrested for the thefts in March. (Last month, a different set of old masterworks, taken from a Dutch museum ten years ago and held for ransom by a Ukrainian militia, were recovered.)
“Like so many things in Washington, it has been debated, refined and amended. In the process, it has become both a better and a worse building than the 2009 winning design concept presented by the team of Freelon Adjaye Bond.” Philip Kennicott gets into the details.
The new decor “feature[s] details such as bookcases, sconces, decorative wall and ceiling panels, and scenes from the sumptuous gardens” – all made and installed with a new specialized plastic film developed by 3M. The company has also partnered with the Musée d’Orsay to create Impressionism-themed cars for several intercity trains.
“The long-planned — and much-promoted — inaugural exhibit, ‘Never Part,’ highlighting artifacts of Palestinian refugees, has been suspended after a disagreement between the museum’s board and its director, which led to the director’s ouster.”
“Their Tate extension, which is partly a new building and partly the adaptation of previously inaccessible parts of the old power station, enlarges the already-not-small institution’s floor area by 60%. At £260m and nine years in the making, it will have cost more in time, money and agony than the first version.”
“One of my first photo teachers told me to avoid making this kind of portrait at all costs – their recommendation (or commandment!) was meant as an encouragement – to get to know people, explore something deeper, make a connection or challenge me to engage on a deeper level. But what can this sometimes frowned-upon approach disclose in gesture or body language?”
“But San Francisco probably won’t be the only suitor if Lucas gives up on Chicago. Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti reportedly has come up with a possible location for the museum in the city’s arts-rich downtown, and just days ago he issued a statement saying, ‘We would welcome it in Los Angeles.'”
“Faced with putting paintings in storage or donating artworks to museums, which rarely exhibit them, a solution — especially for collectors in cities like Los Angeles, land of rolling lawns — has become the backyard museum, complete with high-tech lighting, humidity controls and 25-foot ceilings.”
“Data centers are boring places. Even Google’s massive facilities — with all the colorful walls and pipes inside — can get a little stale and repetitive. So to liven up the vibe a little bit, the company has invited artists to create murals at several of its data centers.”
“Levin had called Klein’s blue paint ‘cheap poster-paint.’ Musgrave corrected him in a letter to the editor, pointing out that Klein ‘prepares and grinds his own paint, an exacting process which gives it its own especial depth, brilliance and beauty.’ This was Klein’s ultramarine blue, in which the radiance and intensity of the original dry pigment was not compromised or dulled by the medium binding it to the support.”
A spiraling 1955 house that was considered one of the icons of 20th-century organic modernism has been destroyed. And not just demolished but ripped out of the ground, as Bruce Goff’s Bavinger House in Norman, Oklahoma, had been built right into the state’s red earth.
“A walk through the museum shakes visitors out of the passive mode, making them participants rather than viewers as it leads them through rooms of literal and figurative darkness into open, well-lit spaces. The experience is a reminder that the complexity of memory — how it can nourish our identity or encumber us, trap us in the past and paralyze us, or provide tools for our futures — rarely gets discussed as a crucial component of social harmony and well-being.”
Japan sets up an actual art gallery in one of its shikansen bullet trains, while France’s SNCF has partnered with the Musée d’Orsay and 3M to project images of Impressionist landscapes on the ceilings of select train cars.
“For decades, [Piero’s Madonna del Parto] has been entangled in the type of distinctly Italian bureaucratic standoff that can bend time as well as logic. The contested issue is how and where the fresco should be displayed. The Roman Catholic Church is involved. So is the Ministry of Culture. There has been litigation. There have been government committees. There have been TV specials.”
Yes, that’s exactly what the artist (and his Medici patron) set out to do circa 1490. While he never completed the project (he evidently felt as unequal to the task of depicting Paradise as Dante did), quite a number of his illustrations have survived.
“According to the AP, a court ruled yesterday that Igarashi, who goes by “Rokudenashiko” (“good-for-nothing girl”), is guilty of obscenity for sharing the data but not for exhibiting her physical objects since they qualify as art under Japanese law.”
“As the most ardent promoter of Spain’s pavilion [for the Paris World’s fair], [Juan] Larrea … realized that the obliteration of Guernica would provide the artist with the very subject he had been seeking. When Picasso claimed to have no idea what a bombed town looked like, Larrea replied, ‘like a bull in a china shop, run amok.'”
“This year’s artists include one who made an 18ft sculpture of a man’s bare buttocks, another obsessed by corrugated shop window shutters, another whose sculptures are described as ‘slippery and elusive’ and a fourth who allowed thrilled visitors to ride around the gallery on a choo-choo train.”
“At a time when the Whitney Museum of American Art has opened a sleek new building and the Museum of Modern Art is also expanding, having just announced a $100 million gift from a single donor, David Geffen, the New Museum’s initiative might seem almost modest. But for an institution that began in 1977 in a single room and now has an annual operating budget of only $13 million (MoMA’s budget is $147 million a year), the campaign is a turning point, the largest fund-raising effort in its history.”
“It can do anything, but should it? There’s a lot of hype about this in the commercial sector, but this isn’t about a Star Trek notion of art — push a button, and the machine craps out a sculpture for you. Not at all. We’re asking questions about the nature of the medium — what does it mean to make a printed piece, or make one by hand? What’s the difference?”
“The discrimination lawsuit filed in Los Angeles Superior Court is no laughing matter. If the case were to be decided in court, it could be precedent-setting, affecting the ways that private foundations approach issues of diversity.”
Hartwig Fischer has a big act to follow. But there are a host of urgent issues that need addressing.
“[A] 24-year-old man climbed onto the pedestal of the stone figure of Dom Sebastião, which stood in a niche flanked by large, ornately decorated horseshoe-shaped arches at [Rossio] station’s Neo-Manueline-style façade.” Of course the statue couldn’t support the man’s weight; it toppled to the ground and shattered.
“Owner Alvin Barr had bought the pot, decorated with six beast-like faces, at an estate sale in a barn in Eugene, Oregon, for $300. He was naturally short of breath when Antiques Roadshow’‘s bespectacled expert appraiser Stephen L. Fletcher (specializing in clocks, decorative arts, folk art, and furniture) revealed its alleged market value.”
“On Nov. 26, 2012, [Phani] Guthula, then 27 and working as an engineer for ICF International, was inspecting lighting fixtures in the museum when he fell. The suit contends that the Art Museum, which administers the Rodin Museum, and its security company, AlliedBarton Security Services, failed to protect him from harm when he stepped onto the unprotected glass floor.”
With each new chapter, the story becomes more extraordinary and the main characters more eccentric.
“Lyon resident Ahmed Ziani, who has been buying and selling art after losing his job as a mechanic, may have stumbled across a long-lost masterpiece by French painter Pierre-Auguste Renoir. Browsing classifieds site Le Bon Coin, Ziani thought he was buying an unsigned piece by 18th-century artist Vernet, and offered €700 for the work.”
Megumi Igarashi – a.k.a. Rokudenashiko (roughly, “Little Miss Good-for-Nothing”) – made headlines worldwide in 2014 when she was arrested for making and showing a kayak modeled on a mold of her private parts. Now a judge has ruled that her bright yellow v-boat, as well as little figurines she sells, are indeed art (and thus protected under law), but distributing files for 3D-printing replicas of her vagina is “distributing obscenity.”