Heidi Reitmaeir’s appointment marks the end of a long fallow period for the institution, which, after closing its doors in its previous Queen Street West location in 2015, has endured construction delays and high-profile changes in leadership along its path to reinvention.
The building is a giant dome that lets some light through. When tests were carried out in Stuttgart, Germany, and on a scale mock-up in Abu Dhabi, Nouvel found that even the 5 per cent of sunlight he intended to allow through was too much. In the finished museum, “Only 1.8 per cent of light goes through all layers of the dome,” Hala Wardé says. “We reduced the light to achieve the effect and level of comfort we were seeking.”
“Members of IS are definitely involved in sales,” says one scholar, “particularly now that the so-called state is rapidly unravelling.” However, there’s little independently verifiable evidence of the scale of the ISIS trade in stolen antiquities – not to mention the fact that there are plenty of fakes mixed in with the genuine artifacts.
The 2000-year-old piece was once part of an elaborate mosaic floor in one of the Roman emperor’s floating palaces on Lake Nemi south of Rome. Somehow it ended up in the Park Avenue apartment of an antiques dealer. “Last month, prosecutors seized the mosaic, saying they had evidence it had been taken from an Italian museum before World War II.”
“No other modern-day leader has used the myth-making power of architecture to construct a sense of national identity like Nazarbayev,” says Frank Albo, author of a new book on the Kazakh capital, Astana: Architecture, Myth and Destiny. “What you see here is a blend of postmodernism, Central Asian art, Islamic decor, Russian baroque, neoclassicism, orientalism, all melded into something that looks like Las Vegas meets Disneyland on nationalist steroids.” In a bid to cast off the shackles of the Soviet era, the president has embraced practically everything else.
Why make art when buyers treat works as an alternative currency, hiding them away like bullion bars in storage facilities? Can anything be done about questionable corporations and oppressive regimes using contemporary art to generate a spot of positive PR for themselves? And what links can be made between fuzzy surveillance images and abstract art?
The prize-winning images, chosen by readers of Scientific American, play with our perceptions of shape, motion, and length. Neuroscientist Susana Martinez-Conde talks with the three winners about how their illusions work.
The painting is estimated to fetch $100m (£75m) at auction next month. But “in a forthcoming study, Leonardo da Vinci: the Biography, Walter Isaacson questions why an artistic genius, scientist, inventor, and engineer showed an ‘unusual lapse or unwillingness’ to link art and science in depicting the orb.”
A few hours before right-wing terrorist Anders Behring Breivik shot 69 people dead at a summer camp outside the Norwegian capital in 2011, he left a car bomb in the city’s government district that killed eight and severely damaged two landmark Brutalist buildings which have been empty ever since. Now the Norwegian government plans to tear down and replace one of those buildings and relocate its two murals, created by Pablo Picasso with Carl Nesjar. “Opponents of the decision see it as an affront to Norwegian and global artistic heritage, and a capitulation to Mr. Breivik.” Says one official, “We don’t want the ministry to tear down the building when the terrorist didn’t manage to do that.”
“A group of major cultural institutions in the UK and Europe … is seeking a way to end decades of wrangling over the estimated 4,000 bronze and ivory artefacts looted by the British army from what is now southern Nigeria as part of a punitive expedition in 1897. Since the 1960s, Nigeria has repeatedly called for their repatriation.”
Paul Goldberger: “If, until now, we – architects, critics, building dwellers – have had to guess what makes certain places attractive or comfortable or exciting or awe-inspiring, we now have some scientific basis for our reactions: what [Sarah Williams] Goldhagen calls a new paradigm, which ‘holds that much of what and how people think is a function of our living in the kinds of bodies we do.'”
The piece is a fiberglass sculpture of a daybed, the pinnacle of “The Road to Hollywood,” a large and complex installation by artist Erika Rothenberg. It was removed Thursday from its perch at Hollywood & Highland, the shopping mall adjacent to the theater where the Academy Awards are handed out. In the eyes of some, an innocuous daybed became a casting couch.
As part of “Secret Stans”, a series about the cities of the little-known former Soviet republics of Central Asia, Oliver Wainwright visits Astana, Kazakhstan, where president-for-life Nursultan Nazarbayev brought in the likes of Norman Foster and Santiago Calatrava to create a futuristic capital city from scratch.
A photo tour of the strange and fabulous (in more than one sense) buildings that have gone up in the cities of Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, and Turkmenistan, where the dictators were not going to let themselves be outdone.
“Native voices in the conversation are often put aside, and a lot of times the folks that get the spotlight or the final say are those that are in the higher positions within the field. So it feels like, collectively, what everyone is talking about is this idea of not being heard regularly, not being recognized regularly within larger historical narratives, within the art field in general, and then even within this conversation. So, thank you all.”
D. Neal Bremer, a Kalamazoo resident who worked as COO of the GRAM from June 2015 until his termination on June 28 of this year, claims that museum executives regularly misused donor-restricted funds on other expenses, “including general operations expenses,” according to the lawsuit filed on Sept. 22 in the 17th Circuit Court for Kent County.
According to a statement issued by the museum, Beatrix Ruf resigned because of “the speculation in the media in recent weeks which may have an impact on the reputation of the museum.” Her duties will be taken over by the current management team, along with a short-term interim business director.
“After more than a year and a half of renovation work, the Freer reopened to the public over the weekend, along with a raft of new exhibitions at its partner institution, the subterranean Sackler Gallery to which it is connected by an underground tunnel. With the director of the Freer/Sackler, Julian Raby, set to retire early next year,” writes Philip Kennicott, “this project serves as a summation of his tenure: Sensible, accessible and stylish in a low-key way.”
“The art world lost track of acclaimed sculptor Auguste Rodin’s bust of Napoleon in the 1930s, but it’s apparently been on display for the past 85 years in the most unlikely of places – the council chambers in Madison Borough Hall.”
The architectural sculpture titled Domestikator was rejected by the Louvre for installation in the Tuileries Gardens because they were thinking of the children: the work was thought too sexually suggestive to be displayed outdoors. (A playground is not far away.) So the work will end up outside the Pompidou Centre instead.
Curious, Tim O’Brien asked Trump about the painting: was it an original Renoir? Trump replied in the affirmative. It was, he said. “No, it’s not Donald,” O’Brien responded. But, once again, Trump protested that it was. “Donald, it’s not,” O’Brien said adamantly. “I grew up in Chicago, that Renoir is called Two Sisters on the Terrace, and it’s hanging on a wall at the Art Institute of Chicago.” He concluded emphatically: “That’s not an original.”
Landscape architects put rain gardens at the new Sandy Hook Elementary School to allow observation space before anyone enters the building, for instance. But “security focuses on what happened in the past. That can mean large barricades to stop cars from entering, bomb-sniffing dogs to check abandoned backpacks, and bag checks at gated entrances. Yet, all these defenses share a failure in common: there are protections against what previously worked.”
The story is quite amazing: “The artist, Tova Berlinski, was born in 1915 in the Polish town of Oswiecim, better known by its German name — Auschwitz. Newly married, she and her husband left for what was then known as Palestine in 1938, a year before the Germans conquered Oswiecim and began building the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration and extermination camp on the edge of town.”
Maybe: “We want the promise that everything is going to be O.K. … We want the joy back. We’ve moved away from the dark Edison bulb toward something bright.”
Artist Dianna Cohen says that oceanographer Sylvia Earle helped inspire her to found her biggest art project: A non-profit that’s working on cleaning up the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.
Kennicott: “If there’s a safe center to the cutting edge, the Obamas seem sure to find it. Like the Obamas’ personal presentation, the paintings are almost sure to look a lot tailored and just a little trendy, without crossing any lines that might discomfit popular expectations.”
Sitting down, in a museum, can be an almost radical act: a refusal to flow along with the distracted crowd, idly passing by art as if it was just one more stream of visual enticement in a visually saturated world. A good sit is all about committing to the depth, not the breadth, of the art itself, seeing more by deciding to see less.
“The newly refurbished Tate St Ives – which reopens this week (14 October) following an ambitious four-year building project – should draw an extra 50,000 visitors and raise an extra £10.5m annually for the local economy, says the executive director, Mark Osterfield. The waterfront venue, nestled into the rock face, has enlarged its exhibition spaces, adding almost 600 sq. m of new galleries. Tate St Ives opened in 1993 and draws around 250,000 visitors each year.”
“Though the hammer’s coming down on a major price in front of a crowd is good for headlines, auction houses have dealt with the pressures of the business by branching out. Private sales are increasingly important to the bottom line, as are advisory businesses — the auction houses help a collector manage her treasures, for instance, or broker acquisitions for museums.”
“As one-off fees, you might say, ‘that’s not so bad’. But consider that your average art history PhD will have dozens, if not perhaps hundreds, of images, then soon even an unpublished PhD can become prohibitively expensive. You want to discuss mid-18th Century portraiture, and show perhaps 50 images? That’ll be £750. You want to turn that PhD into a book? £3050 please, before you’ve even thought of printing costs. Want to put on a Hogarth exhibition, with a decent catalogue? £8600. Ouch. And Tate are on the cheaper end of the scale.”