an blog | AJBlog Central | Contact me | Advertise

American Art Bonanza Left By Richard Mellon Scaife

JohnKane

Billionaire Richard Mellon Scaife, scion of two wealthy families, died on July 4, leaving a large art collection -- apparently -- to two small Pennsylvania Museums. Scaife's attorney called the art collection "expansive." And according to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review -- which Scaife owned: The Westmoreland Museum of American Art in Greensburg and Brandywine Conservancy near Philadelphia will split Scaife's art collection, according to the will. The will allows the organizations to decide how to divide the collection and sets up a rotating … [Read more...]

Back To Koons: More Food For Thought

hoover-single

So far, the most thoughtful review I've read of the Jeff Koons retrospective at the Whitney is by Thomas Micchelli of Hyperallergic Weekend. It starts well, noting that excepting the vacuum cleaners, "...The rest of the work, however, with few exceptions, reveals itself to be as thin, puerile and derivative as the artist’s harshest critics would expect. But to take Koons’s art to task for the hollowness at its core is shooting fish in a barrel — a truism that leads us nowhere." Most of us have been content to dismiss Koons, blame his fame on … [Read more...]

Koons: One Big Show In More Ways Than One

Koons interview

I've never seen a press preview like the one I attended today. The Whitney was unveiling its Jeff Koons retrospective. When I arrived, safely 10 minutes or so after the doors opened, the line of press people extended around the corner. Inside was packed too. Some of us went straight to the galleries; then there was a program. After Whitney director Adam Weinberg spoke, Donna DeSalvo, the chief curator and deputy director for programs, and exhibition curator Scott Rothkopf took center stage too -- and then, when it was time for Koons to … [Read more...]

Transforming Art: A Look Back At What Mattered

RealArtWays

Artspace -- which makes its money selling art online -- provided a provocative list a few weeks ago: Ten Alternative Art Spaces That Transformed American Art. The writer, Ian Wallace, and maybe others there (I don't know how Artspace works, editorially) specifically tried to consider the national picture, not just NYC, which is good. Just four of the spaces are in New York -- and you might guess their names: The Kitchen, Artists Space, Franklin Furnace and -- Food, which I didn't know. Then again, I wasn't living in New York the years that Food … [Read more...]

Who Would You Pick To Play Picasso? Plus, Best And Worst Artists’ Films

Antonio_Banderas

Most movies about art and artists leave a lot to be desired. We shall see how Picasso is treated in a movie about the making of Guernica, with Antonio Banderas starring as the artist. Banderas, who like Picasso is a Malaga native, said that he "turned down the chance at one point of playing Mr. Pablo, but the time has come in my life where I understand him better, and I am nearly at the age he was when those events happened, in 1937, when he was 55 or 56, and I'm getting close," according to Fox News Latino. Banderas is 54. Carlos Saura will … [Read more...]

Friendship Outs: Giant Gift Of Marin Watercolors Goes To…

Tree, Stonington, Deer Isle

Not a museum in Maine, where he painted for much of his last 40 years. Not a museum in New York, the center of the U.S. art world, or in Los Angeles, the west coast hub. Or New Jersey, Marin's birthplace. No, Norma B. Marin, the artist's daughter-in-law, recently donated nearly 300 watercolors, drawings and sketchbooks to the Arkansas Arts Center in Little Rock, according to the Kennebec Journal. ...Norma Marin’s gift to the Arkansas Arts Center was neither random nor the result of a falling out with Maine’s cultural institutions, as some … [Read more...]

Thelma Golden Adds New Duty To Director’s Role

thelmag

As if museum directors don't have enough to do, Thelma Golden -- director and chief curator of the Studio Museum in Harlem -- has generously decided to be a consultant to artists. It is, of course, an attention-getter (and good for her on that score). Golden plans to hang up a consultant's shingle at the museum at an event on Feb. 9 for artists living or working in Harlem. For three hours, from noon to 3 p.m., Golden will hold 15-minute meetings with artists -- a bit like speed-dating -- where she will review their work and assess their … [Read more...]

Don’t Regret Missing “Civilisation” — Not Anymore

KClarke'sCivilisation

I never saw Civilisation. But I -- and you -- can easily access it now on a free website, along with 492 other documentaries about art, and hundreds more about science, history, war, Britain, America and so on. The site is called DocuWatch, and I have no idea how new or old it is. It was called to my attention today by a Facebook friend, and -- considering the snow that is paralyzing much of the Northeast corridor and some other parts of the country, it seemed like to perfect time to share it with RCA readers. Maybe you'll have Wednesday … [Read more...]

Waugh Fans: Head to California

Waugh-Huntington

If you like Evelyn Waugh -- and I do -- you may be pleased to learn that about 250 rare books and reference books and 135 letters and manuscripts by the great English prose satirist have been given to the Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens in San Marino, Ca.  (Unless, like me, you happen to live in New York, and wish they had gone to the Morgan Library,* which has some Waugh material, but has you will see below, not much by comparison with other institutions). But really, that wouldn't have happened: the Waugh trove … [Read more...]

Calder Heirs’ Fraud Case Against Dealer Perls Is Dismissed

Alexander-Calder

I don't know about you, but I wasn't convinced by an article in The New York Times last October headlined Calder’s Heirs Accuse Trusted Dealer of Fraud. Apparently, neither was the court. On Christmas Eve, New York Supreme Court Justice Shirley Werner Kornreich made public an opinion that dismissed the $20 million suit by relatives of Alexander Calder (at right) against the late Klaus G. Perls, Calder's dealer from 1954 until 1976, when the artist died, and the Perls estate. According to a Dec. 26 article in Bloomberg Businessweek, “All these … [Read more...]

an ArtsJournal blog