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Archives for March 2010

CultureGrrl in Swedish: Hear Me on Sveriges Radio UPDATED

I'm flushing the matzo out of my brain cells with strong coffee and have returned to posting, thanks to those of you who met the CultureGrrl Challenge (more on that below).So here's the moment you've all been waiting for---CultureGrrl in Swedish! As I mentioned last week (scroll to bottom), I was interviewed by Mårten Arndtzén, art critic/reporter for Sveriges Radio (Swedish public radio) about the controversies over the New Museum's Joannou show and LA MOCA's Deitch directorship.My Swedish is a little rusty, so I used my fluent English for … [Read more...]

A Week With Matzo But Without CultureGrrl (unless…)

I have lashed myself to the mast and plugged my ears so that I cannot be tempted by the booting-up siren song of the computer this week. As I mentioned at the end of this post, I'm taking off today and tomorrow for the first two nights of Passover, and then intend to resist blogging for the rest of this holiday week, unless five readers let me know, by clicking my "Donate" button before Wednesday, that they want me back.Here, I'll make it easy for you. This works: So far, my warm thanks go out to CultureGrrl Donor 119 from Atlanta. That's … [Read more...]

Death of Two Connoisseurs: Kimbell’s Ted Pillsbury, Morgan’s and Frick’s Charles Ryskamp

Edmund Pillsbury, left; Charles Ryskamp, rightEdmund (Ted) Pillsbury and Charles Ryskamp, both of whom died late last week, were members of a dying breed---the museum director/connoisseur.Pillsbury, who from 1980-98 served as the Kimbell Art Museum's second leader, may have been the last of the buccaneering museum directors. Armed with a connoisseur's sharp eye and his institution's substantial financial resources, he repeatedly bagged the big game on the art market. His acquisitions greatly enhanced the Fort Worth museum's world-class … [Read more...]

Sejima and Nishizawa, Architects of the New Museum, Win the Pritzker Prize

Ryue Nishizawa and Kazuyo Sejima, 2010 Pritzker Prize winnersNew York's New Museum can now boast of having had its new facility designed by this year's winners of the prestigious Pritzker Prize for architecture. Ryue Nishizawa and Kazuyo Sejima of SANAA, the Tokyo-based architectural firm, won for their explorations "of continuous space, lightness, transparency, and materiality to create a subtle synthesis" and for their "straightforwardness, economy of means and restraint in their work."The $100,000 prize is provided by the Pritzker family of … [Read more...]

The End of Art History: Getty Abandons Preeminent Research Database

Are we about to see the end of visual arts scholarship as we know it? As reported on several art history-related websites (but not, as far as I've seen, in the mainstream media), one of the most lamentable results of the J. Paul Getty Trust's budgetary cutbacks is the Getty Research Institute's withdrawal of financial support for what it had previously called "one of the most powerful tools at the art historian's disposal"---the Bibliography of the History of Art (BHA), which in 2008 was renamed the International Bibliography of Art (IBA). This … [Read more...]

Hear My KCRW Radio Commentary on Getty and MOCA Directorships

I'll have some more Getty-related news for you, probably later today. But for now, you can hear, below, my commentary for yesterday's "Which Way, L.A.?" program (scroll to bottom) on Southern California Public Radio, (KCRW) about the directorial controversies at the Getty Museum and LA MOCA. I was a little disconcerted when the program's host, Warren Olney, stated that Jeffrey Deitch's appointment to LA MOCA's directorship was controversial "because he wants to continue dealing art when he's the director." That was Warren's way of summarizing … [Read more...]

Coming Today: My “Which Way, L.A.?” Commentary on KCRW About Getty and MOCA Directorships

Warren OlneyA very late-breaking development: I'll be speaking on Which Way, L.A.?, Warren Olney's news interview show on KCRW (89.9 FM), Southern California Public Radio, later today. I'll be commenting on the Getty and LA MOCA directorship controversies. CultureGrrl readers already have some advance knowledge of what I'm going to say (which has already been taped).Warren, according to his show's website, is "considered the dean of Southern California broadcast journalists," I consider myself to be the doyenne of New York art journalists. So … [Read more...]

NEA’s First Webcast of Council Meeting Tomorrow; Cornell’s Game-of-the-Century Tonight!

What is this? A sports blog?Okay, the century is still young (and Cornell undoubtedly has a lot of great hockey games in its future). But my alma mater has captured the imagination of the whole country (except for certain parts of Kentucky) with its good-guy basketball team's glorious, improbable ascent to the NCAA's Sweet Sixteen. You can watch us continue our winning streak (no snide remarks, please) on CBS-TV at 9:57 p.m. I'll be heading out to a Cornellian bash for this occasion, in full Big Red regalia. (No photos!)Here are a few fun … [Read more...]

Getty Museum’s Open Call for “Inspiring Leaders”: Director Application Now Online!

Images from the Getty Museum's two campuses: Los Angeles (left), Malibu (right)Want to apply for the vacant directorship of the J. Paul Getty Museum? Now you can!Two weeks ago, the online application (who needs a search firm?) for the director of the two-campus Los Angeles/Malibu museum was posted on the Getty's website. As CultureGrrl readers may remember, the position was precipitously vacated by Michael Brand at the end of January. (Soon after he departed, Michael discussed with CultureGrrl some of the circumstances surrounding his decision … [Read more...]

Nouvel on the Redesigned MoMA/Hines Tower: “More Like a Skyscraper”

Architect Jean Nouvel at press lunch for planned National Museum of Qatar, held yesterday at Museum of Modern Art Although I was preempted by the NY Time's Nicolai Ouroussoff from reporting on the plans for the National Museum of Qatar, I did elicit some new information from the architect, Jean Nouvel, about his project just next door to the Museum of Modern Art, where the Qatar press lunch was held. Nouvel told me that he's still working on his redesign of the MoMA/Hines tower, necessitated by the city's requirement that he lop off 200 … [Read more...]

(Non-)Ketchup Journalism: Full Plate at the Qatar/Nouvel Press Lunch

Fabulous fare at press lunch for the National Museum of Qatar, served today at the Museum of Modern ArtWhat, no ketchup? French fries but no ketchup?!?After having been miffed that the NY Times had already been served a full-course meal of publicity before the rest of us scribes had even unfolded our napkins at today's press lunch for the planned National Museum of Qatar, I promised to bring you CultureGrrl's first (and presumably last) foray into "ketchup journalism" (as distinguished from "catch-up journalism," in which I declined to … [Read more...]

Unveiling Nouvel’s Qatar Museum: Ouroussoff Yesterday, Lowly Scribes Today UPDATED

Invitation to cover old newsThe press lunch that I'll be attending today will be at the Museum of Modern Art. That means that at least the food should be good.But, really, how do Al Mayassa Bint Hamad Bin Khalifa Al-Thani and Marie-Josée Kravis expect journalists like me to feel about our invitation to cover a story that was spoonfed to the NY Times' architecture critic in advance, so that he could scoop all of us in this morning's newspaper (and on the web before 8:45 last night, when I saw his admiring appraisal of Jean Nouvel's design … [Read more...]

Gothamist Sale: Blogger Buyout vs. Blogger Burnout

The Triumph of the UnderdogsThe Gothamist blog network (which has linked to many a CultureGrrl story) has reportedly been bought by Cablevision-owned Rainbow Media for "between $5 million to $6 million."Hey, Dolans! CultureGrrl can be bought---fast and cheap.Or maybe there are some (very venturesome) venture capitalists out there, who want to help me with the business side of blogging, enabling me to actually hire some staff for advertising sales and expanded editorial content.Wait a minute! I think the combination of tallying my paltry 2009 … [Read more...]

Philadelphia Museum’s Salander Morass: Case of the Missing Painting UPDATED

The interior of the former home of Salander-O'Reilly GalleriesWith art dealer Lawrence Salander having last week pled guilty to stealing some $120 million from clients and backers, his Salander-O'Reilly Galleries' numerous creditors and high-and-dry consignors are engaged in a scramble to try to receive compensation from Salander assets for their financial losses and for works of art that got caught up in the bankruptcy. Bloomberg's Philip Boroff, who owns this story, reports on the plans to auction art from the gallery (possibly in June).From … [Read more...]

MOCA Responds to LA Times on Deitch’s Art Disposals

Selling art from one's current gallery inventory after becoming a museum director? That's fine and dandy with LA MOCA's trustees.Mike Boehm today posted an update on his LA Times story, which followed up on CultureGrrl's Wednesday post. I had revealed that Jeffrey Deitch intends to continue selling works that are currently in his gallery's inventory after he assumes the museum's directorship in June. Planning to recategorize those works from "inventory" to "private collection" once he closes his gallery, he argues that such "private-collection" … [Read more...]

Kentridge X 2: MoMA + Met Opera = Harmonic Convergence

William Kentridge's banner for the façade of the Metropolitan Opera House. The black silhouette of the renegade Nose is at the top, astride a horse. I love those rare moments when New York's preeminent cultural institutions work together in scintillating synergy. Sometimes it occurs through sheer serendipity. But in the case of the William Kentridge retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art and his production of Shostakovich's "The Nose" at the Metropolitan Opera, it was all gloriously intended. MoMA's show includes a whole section related … [Read more...]

Deitch Deals: LA MOCA Director-Designate’s Self-Defense in LA Times

Jeffrey DeitchMike Boehm of the LA Times expertly moves the reportorial ball down the field today in his interview with Jeffrey Deitch regarding yesterday's revelations in CultureGrrl.LA MOCA's incoming director told Boehm one aspect of Deitch's plans that I hadn't learned about during my brief conversation with him after Jeffrey had addresssed an audience at the Guggenheim Museum. (Deitch's stated plan to sell works from his gallery's inventory after becoming the museum's director, as I indicated yesterday, would appear to run smack into the … [Read more...]

Dealer-to-Director: More on Why Jeffrey Deitch is Wrong for LA MOCA

Jeffrey Deitch in front of LA MOCA's Giacomettis Just when New York dealer Jeffrey Deitch might have thought that the blow-up had subsided regarding his controversial appointment as the incoming director of the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art, more negative news was reported yesterday by the LA Times. What's more, CultureGrrl is about to break even more startling news today. Art critic Christopher Knight yesterday reported: On March 25, the Museum of Contemporary Art will hold a fundraising event at Blum & Poe, an important … [Read more...]

Sehgal, Abramović: Who’s more interesting—performers or visitors?

Screenshot from the Museum of Modern Art's live video feed of Marina Abramović's endurance performance in the atrium, "The Artist is Present" (Color-coordinated with her visitor, Abramović is on the right.) As an arts writer who (almost) always obeys the rules, I confronted a reportorial quandary at the recently concluded Tino Sehgal performance pieces at the Guggenheim and the recently commenced Marina Abramović gig at the Museum of Modern Art. I really wanted to bring back some photos for you, art-lings. But that would have been against … [Read more...]

Ouroussoff and the Knox Notch: The Critic Sees (or doesn’t)

"At last, he's got to mention it!" I thought excitedly as I began reading Nicolai Ouroussoff's hot-blooded embrace in today's NY Times of architect Jean Nouvel's almost finished 100 Eleventh Avenue. As I perused the detailed appraisal of the building and its environs, I felt confident that the Knox Notch---the gap in Nouvel's building that permits barely a glimpse of a fragment from Knox Martin's 1970 "Venus" mural---would at last get its moment of mainstream-media acknowledgement, if not sympathetic homage.Nouvel's luxury apartment building, … [Read more...]

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