What’s in the news…

Thursday's links

The controversial ‘Human Zoo’ from 1914 will be recreated as an art project in Norway. “Norway celebrates the 200th anniversary of its constitution this year, and, the artists Mohamed Ali Fadlabi and Lars Cuzner plan to re-enact one of the main attractions from the centenary in 1914: “The Congo Village”, in which 80 Africans were put on display, living in cabins with palm roofs surrounded by African artefacts. A total of 1.5 million visitors came to see the human zoo, more than half of Norway’s population at that time. Their proposal has unsurprisingly met with criticism from anti-racist organisations in Norway, but the artists say their work is meant “to highlight a forgotten event in Norwegian history”.” [The Art Newspaper]

Google’s next big conference will focus on design. “Every year, a few thousand software engineers head to Google I/O at San Francisco’s Moscone Center to eat Goldfish, listen to other geeks lecture, and learn how to tap Google’s intricate and endless code libraries to create the products of tomorrow. This year promises to be different. Google is refocusing I/O to highlight a topic beyond software engineering: They want to talk design, and they’d like more designers to show up for that conversation.” [Fast Company]

Antonio Banderas will play Picasso. “Spanish actor Antonio Banderas said Tuesday “the time has come” in his life to play fellow Malaga native Pablo Picasso. He said he planned to take on the role in Spanish director Carlos Saura’s “33 dias,” a film about the creation of the painting “Guernica.” “I 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,” Banderas, who turns 54 this summer, said. The film “is a portrait of a really hard time, amid the Spanish Civil War, and a request from the Republic to make a mural that Picasso initially rejected and later accepted when the bombing of Guernica occurred,” Banderas told reporters during a ceremony at Malaga city hall in southern Spain.” [Fox News Latino]

Judy Chicago fireworks display will light up Prospect Park on April 26. “A famed feminist artist will light up Prospect Park on April 26 with a massive fireworks display based on her most well-known work. Judy Chicago, the artist behind the “The Dinner Party” — her most famous work featuring sculptures she’s alternately described as inspired by butterflies and female genitalia — said the upcoming fireworks show will bring to life similar themes. “The butterfly imagery is very basic to ‘The Dinner Party,’ so I kind of like that idea of that form getting out of the museum, escaping the confines of the plates and liberating itself into the air,” Chicago said. That liberation will happen in a 20-minute show called “A Butterfly for Brooklyn” that will feature “hundreds and hundreds” of fireworks, 1,200 road flares and 1,600 feet of LED lights set up on an acre of Prospect Park’s Long Meadow, Chicago said.” [DNAinfo New York]

Photo credit: Donald Woodman/Brooklyn Museum
Photo credit: Donald Woodman/Brooklyn Museum (via DNAinfo)

What’s in the news…

Wednesday's Links

The reopening of the Musée Picasso has been delayed again. Andréa Longrais, the spokeswoman, said no date had been set for its opening and declined to give an explanation for the delay. Since the Picasso museum is under the stewardship of the French government, the official date has to be determined by the Culture Ministry. The building site is all but ready, the lights for the art works are in place and except for a few minor technical items, everything is done, Ms. Longrais added. [NY Times]

What did Duchamp stand for? It’s arguable that Duchamp changed the world of art more than anyone else in his lifetime. It’s slightly more concrete to say that Duchamp changed the world of art in the 20th century. Without Duchamp, urinals would still just be urinals and we’d have no idea how great the Mona Lisa would look with a beard. But outside of the obvious, not a lot is known about this incredible man. In a new book, The Duchamp Dictionary, Thomas Girst outlines all of Duchamp’s moments of genius, madness and the many things that came in between. Here, through the very letters of the influential artist’s name, we get to know the man behind the art just a little bit better. [Another Mag]

58-year-old youth centre leader who removed the Banksy is receiving death threats. Mr Stinchcombe took the decision to remove the piece, using a crowbar, on Tuesday afternoon, when he heard its authenticity had been confirmed. Visitors were confronted with an empty doorway and told to return to the youth club, where they could view the work – with donations optional. Mr Stinchcombe, who eventually plans to sell Mobile Lovers to raise funds for the financially struggling project, revealed he had been issued with death threats over his actions. [Mirror]

Brooklyn Museum’s Artists Ball will feature unique table designs by artists. The 16 artists tapped by the museum to create installations for the event include Ellen Altfest, Oliver Clegg, Rico Gatson, Orly Genger, Alejandro Guzman, Nina Katchadourian, Olek, Adam Parker Smith, Iona Rozeal Brown, Carrie Schneider, Alyson Shotz, Courtney Smith, Nick Van Woert, Marianne Vitale, Heeseop Yoon and Ghost of a Dream (comprised of Lauren Was and Adam Eckstrom). [WSJ]

     Installation by Alejandro Guzman. Liz Ligon for Brookyn Artists Ball/Brooklyn Museum

Installation by Alejandro Guzman.
Liz Ligon for Brookyn Artists Ball/Brooklyn Museum

Register for VIP status at Toronto’s newest contemporary art fair – Love Art

Zack Herrera. Off Valley Blvd, El Sereno, 2011. Archival print, plexi flex mounted. 24x36 in. $1,200. Darger HQ
Zack Herrera. Off Valley Blvd, El Sereno, 2011. Archival print, plexi flex mounted. 24×36 in. $1,200. Darger HQ

Love Art (sister fair to global brand Affordable Art Fair) is a fun, four day contemporary art fair hosting its first edition in Toronto May 7-11, 2014. The concept is simple, yet unique: an inspiring and friendly atmosphere in which you can find thousands of original paintings, prints, sculptures and photographs all under one roof, ranging from $100-$10,000, with more than half priced under $5,000.

Love Art Fair Private View
Join us for the kick-off party of Toronto’s newest contemporary art fair!
Wednesday, May 7, 6pm – 10pm
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Be the first to see 50 local, national and international galleries showing affordable contemporary art by both emerging and established artists. Drinks provided. VIP pass provided unlimited access during all fair hours.

For more information visit loveartfair.com/toronto

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What’s in the news…

Tuesday's links

Los Angeles officials are trying to free up $7.5 million in city government funds for art projects. The amount – which is almost on a par with the Department of Cultural Affairs’ $9 million annual core budget – was rendered virtually unspendable in 2007 when then-City Attorney Rocky Delgadillo ruled that the fees developers are required to pay to fund public art had to be spent within a one-block radius of the construction project that generated the fees. Since it doesn’t make sense to install artworks or put on cultural events in every block where a building has been newly built or renovated — in a warehouse district or industrial corridor, for example – the Cultural Affairs Department has sat on the money while hoping to get the 2007 ruling changed. [LA Times]

Banner taken down due to complains from Guggenheim Bilbao. The large vinyl banner shows an inverted image of the Frank Gehry-designed building digitally altered to look like two heavily-gunned ships. Tentatively titled Bilbao Battleship Billboard, the piece went up on 1 April and was intended as a caricature, according to one of the artists, Mike Bouchet. It is part of a joint exhibition at Portikus, “Powered A-Hole Spanish Donkey Sport Dick Drink Donkey Dong Dongs Sunscreen Model” (until 20 April), which uses military imagery to explore “the US domination of the visual arts industry since World War II”, the Frankfurt gallery says on its website. [The Art Newspaper]

Italian design production could disappear. Italy‘s design manufacturing capability is at risk of disappearing, according to the president of design brand Alessi. The country’s producers could go the same way as its great designers of the last century and be outsourced abroad, Alberto Alessi told Dezeen. “The risk is that it disappears,” he said in an interview in Milan last week during the Salone del Mobile. “Maybe Italian production will disappear.” Alessi said that until the 1970s, Italian design was characterised by Italian designers working for Italian manufacturers. [Dezeen]

Finnish Postal Service is releasing Tom of Finland stamps to honor the iconic artist. Timo Berry, the artist who helped select which images to use for the stamp, credited the “sensual life force” and importance of “being proud of oneself” portrayed by Tom of Finland. “There is never too much of that in this northern country,” he wrote. Notably, same-sex marriage is currently illegal in Finland, despite a bill being debated in February after 166,000 people called for a change in the law. [Independent]

tomoffinland-stamp2-1

What’s in the news…

Monday's Links

Demolition date for American Folk Art Museum is set within the month. Last week, the museum filed plans with New York’s buildings department to conduct a “partial demolition” of the building, as well as other construction work, for $1.6m, according to the New York Daily News. Building crews are scheduled to begin erecting scaffolding and protective netting on the structure on Monday 14 April. The process is expected to last about two weeks and deconstruction will follow. The demolition work is due to be complete by this summer, according to a MoMA spokeswoman. [The Art Newspaper]

 Artists can pay their taxes with art in Mexico. The program was hatched in 1957, in the throes of the so-called “Mexican Miracle,” a period of 40 years that saw sustained annual economic growth of between 3 and 4 percent. As legend has it, muralist David Alfaro Siqueiros, one of the most influential artists of his generation, approached the secretariat of finance in 1957 with a proposal to keep a friend and fellow artist out of jail for tax evasion: Let him pay his debt in art. The agreement laid the foundation for Pago en Especie, which today is a public collection of nearly 7,000 paintings, sculptures, and graphics accepted as tax payments from some of Mexico’s best-known artists. [The Atlantic]

UK art exports climbed to £10.5bn. London’s red-hot property market is not alone in attracting wealthy foreigners. The capital’s art market is also booming, as millionaires from overseas pour money into trophy assets. The value of art exports from the UK climbed 7pc to £10.5bn in the year ending April 2013, the highest level for five years, according to Thomson Reuters. Licensed sales of Middle Eastern antiquities jumped 106pc, while those of Oriental furniture climbed 27pc, indicating demand from millionaires in the emerging markets, the information group said. [Telegraph]

Statue of homeless Jesus in Davidson, N.C. makes wealthy residents in the community uncomfortable. Jesus is huddled under a blanket with his face and hands obscured; only the crucifixion wounds on his uncovered feet give him away. The reaction was immediate. Some loved it; some didn’t. “One woman from the neighborhood actually called police the first time she drove by,” says David Boraks, editor of DavidsonNews.net. “She thought it was an actual homeless person.” That’s right. Somebody called the cops on Jesus. [NPR]

The Rev. David Buck sits next to the Jesus the Homeless statue that was installed in front of his church, St. Alban's Episcopal, in Davidson, N.C. Image via NPR.
The Rev. David Buck sits next to the Jesus the Homeless statue that was installed in front of his church, St. Alban’s Episcopal, in Davidson, N.C. Image via NPR.

What’s in the news…

SF MoMA set to open the largest photography center in the US. “The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art will open a new photography center in 2016 that leaders are saying will be the largest exhibition space for photography in any art museum in the United States. The John and Lisa Pritzker Center for Photography will feature more than 15,500 square feet of space and will almost triple the current amount of space for photography at the museum, according to the museum. The center will be located on the third floor of the museum when it reopens in 2016 after extensive renovations.” [Los Angeles Times]

The Nobel Prize ceremony will get a permanent home in Stockholm. “For the first time in its 113-year history, the Nobel Prize Ceremony is to have its own home, a building on the Stockholm waterfront designed by the British architect Sir David Chipperfield. It was announced on Wednesday that Sir David’s Berlin office, with a team led by his colleague Christoph Felger, had won the competition to design the new Nobel Centre, beating two Swedish architects, Johan Celsing and Gert Wingårdh. The building, to be known as the Nobelhuset, will be sited on Stockholm’s Blasieholmen, next to the Swedish National Museum, in the centre of the city.” [Financial Times]

The world’s most expensive piece of porcelain sold at auction for $20million at Sotheby’s this week and it happens to be a small chicken cup. “An extremely rare 500-year-old wine cup from the Ming dynasty has sold for £20 million at auction, taking the top spot as the most expensive piece of porcelain ever sold. The cup was described as the “holy grail” of Chinese art and was snapped up by Liu Yigian – an eccentric multi-millionaire art collector from Shanghai during the Sotheby’s auction. Measuring just 3.1″ in diameter, the 15th-century cup features delicate hen and cockerel decorations and is believed to be one of just 17 left in the world, only four of which are in private hands.” [HUH.]

Artist Sarah Lucas is now designing furniture too. “Fancy sitting on a breeze-block couch? A chair made of, er, breeze blocks set in MDF? Artist Sarah Lucas is offering an eponymous furniture range that elegantly, albeit uncomfortably, parodies modern design and spartan chic. Lucas is not the kind of artist who blandly celebrates the veneer of the new. She’s a trasher of the times, a suburban satirist with an eye for the embarrassing.” [The Guardian]

The breeze-block sofa that will turn you into art … Sarah Lucas’s new furniture line. Photograph: Sarah Lucas/Sadie Coles HQ (via The Guardian)

What’s in the news…

New trading platform lets you invest in art for as little as £5. “We are different from other [art share schemes] because our aim is simply to be more democratic. We are making the art market more affordable and accessible,” Bastok says. Potential investors need only part with a minimum £5 to own a share of around 100 works available by artists including Basquiat and Banksy. The value of works available ranges from £500 to £100,000, but the “sweet spot” says Bastok is around the £25,000 level. On average, 100 shares are available in each work (though pricier works have more shares available in order to keep their cost down). [The Art Newspaper]

Creditors show court potential offers for DIA’s collection. Each of the four “expressions of interest” holds out the possibility that Detroit could obtain more money for its art than it could through a deal it has already been putting together with the support of Michigan’s Republican governor, Rick Snyder. That deal would transfer the art collection to a new nonprofit owner to keep it out of Detroit’s bankruptcy dealings. [NY Times]

Would you buy a jar of “clean air” for $860? Beijing artist Liang Kegang returned from a business trip in southern France with well-rested lungs and a small item of protest against his home city’s choking pollution: a glass jar of clean, Provence air. He put it up for auction before a group of about 100 Chinese artists and collectors late last month, and it fetched 5,250 yuan ($860). “Air should be the most valueless commodity, free to breathe for any vagrant or beggar,” Liang said in an interview. “This is my way to question China’s foul air and express my dissatisfaction.” [Huffington Post]

Richard Serra plants four steel towers in the middle of the desert in the Zekreet Peninsula. The works are stunning, rising like great pillars in a one kilometre corridor between the crumbling cliffs that make Zekreet a regular destination for residents and tourists. Although obviously modern, built in smooth steel already beginning to acquire the russet patina of rust that is the trademark of Serra’s latter works, as opposed to his early sculptures in lead, they seem timeless: as though they have already stood there for centuries and will stand there for centuries to come, watching civilisations rise and fall. “Let’s hope!” says Serra. “It’s hard for me to speak of that, but I think that’s implied in the work.” [Independent]

Image via Independent.

What’s in the news…

A $3.7 million Chinese ink painting is missing and may have been taken out with the trash. “Local media said police officers saw video footage of a packaged painting sitting near a pile of trash that was later thrown away. (Hong Kong’s Apple Daily news site has an animated version of what it believes happened.) Police were reportedly searching a landfill in Hong Kong’s northern district of Tuen Mun for the missing painting Wednesday morning. Poly didn’t respond to requests for comment. In a Wednesday statement, police said the painting is now considered “lost property” and is no longer being treated as a theft.” [WSJ]

Grigory Revzin, the commissioner of the Russian pavilion at the 2014 Venice Architecture Biennale, was fired. In a statement posted on its website, the culture ministry said on Tuesday that he was fired due to his “extremely active” public positions. Revzin wrote an essay last month for the online newspaper Lenta.ru in which he said the Russian president has dropped any pretence of playing to liberal values. “He pretended he is like Stalin, he said that he is going to rub them out—now he has to do it for real,” Revzin said of the president’s actions in Ukraine. He also criticised the Russian military’s incursion into Crimea in blog posts for the radio station Echo of Moscow. [The Art Newspaper]

Russian art market analyst Sergey Skaterschikov just acquired ARTnews. “I have decided that it’s time for a new generation to take over ARTnews,” he continued. “I am delighted that Sergey Skaterschikov and Skate Capital will be leading ARTnews into the future and will be building both the print and digital arenas internationally.” In a separate email, Mr. Skaterschikov also looked to the future. “The art media market is poised for a massive change as print advertising budgets shrink, fashion and lifestyle media outlets cross over into art and major dailies around the world cannibalize art coverage from specialty publications,” he wrote. “Scary times. I love it and have a great strategy for ARTnews, stay tuned.” [Gallerist]

Sotheby’s gets a new look. Over the last few years, Pentagram has redesigned everything from the logo, website and app to the stationery and related print collateral, auction catalogues, Sotheby’s magazine, advertising and promotions, signage and environmental graphics, and even auction ephemera, such as aprons and bid paddles. Like other big auction houses (including Bonham’s and Phillips), Sotheby’s had in recent times introduced a san serif logo, partly in an attempt to give the company a modern look. [Phaidon]

The designers established a cohesive format for the hundreds of catalogues Sotheby’s produces every year.

What’s in the news…

Tuesday's links

Broad Art Museum adds Yayoi Kusama’s “Infinity Mirrored Room” to their collection. Yayoi Kusama’s “Infinity Mirrored Room,” the LED-studded walk-in installation that inspired eight-hour lines and countless selfies when shown at the David Zwirner Gallery in Manhattan last fall, is now heading to Los Angeles. The collectors Eli and Edythe Broad have bought the room-size installation for the Broad, their new art museum, for an undisclosed price. [NY Times]

The Kyiv Sculpture Project is postponed until 2015. “It’s not the right time; the agenda changed dramatically in Kiev,” Volodymyr Kadygrob, the director of the project, told The Art Newspaper by email. Tensions have been mounting over pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine and “potential aggression from Russia is quite high”, Kadygrob said, which “makes it quite difficult to organise an international project on the same level that it was planned”. [The Art Newspaper]

Miami pastor charged with selling two counterfeit Damien Hirst’s signature paintings. Sutherland tried last year to sell two counterfeit spin paintings and three bogus spot prints for $185,000 to a seeming buyer — actually an undercover officer — though Sotheby’s auction house had told the pastor the authenticity of one of the paintings was in question, the Manhattan district attorney’s office says. When the undercover officer asked about potential problems with the artworks, Sutherland said he wasn’t aware of any issues, authorities said. [ABC]

Architectural firm SHoP will be designing a green roof to add to the Barclays Center. SHoP originally designed the stadium back in 2009, and they included plans for a green roof that were cut during development, according to the Wall Street Journal. SHoP’s green roof will span 13,000 square feet, replacing the white roof with a more appealing view for future apartments that are supposed to go up around the Barclays Center. “It’s going to be a nice green surface to cast your eyes down onto,” Chris Sharples, a partner at SHoP Architects, told the Wall Street Journal. [Complex]

Image via SHoP

What’s in the news…

Mayor de Blasio names Tom Finkelpearl of the Queens Museum to be the Commissioner of Cultural Affairs. Tom Finkelpearl, the president and executive director of the Queens Museum, is scheduled to be named the cultural affairs commissioner by Mayor Bill de Blasio on Monday, the mayor’s office confirmed, putting Mr. Finkelpearl in charge of a $156 million budget and making him the point person on the arts for a city widely considered the cultural capital of the world. [NY Times]

Edward Dolman, executive director and acting chief executive of the Qatar Museums Authority (QMA), steps down. “During his tenure, Edward Dolman oversaw the opening of several internationally-renowned exhibitions and successfully delivered the QMA’s ten-year strategic plan,” says an official statement. Despite his departure, the National Museum of Qatar, designed by the French architect Jean Nouvel, is due to open in two years’ time. The QMA also oversees the Orientalist Museum, which has a collection but no building yet. [The Art Newspaper]

‘Art Everywhere’ is coming to the U.S. this summer. In August, images of 50 great American artworks will pop up on as many as 50,000 billboards, subway platforms and public advertorial displays across the country as part of “Art Everywhere” campaign celebrating America’s artistic legacy. The campaign is coordinated by the Outdoor Advertising Association of America in concert with five museums: the National Gallery of Art, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Dallas Museum of Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Washington Post. [Washington Post]

Under Philippe Vergne’s direction, MOCA Los Angeles is focusing on performance art. “It is essential,” he said reassuringly, after theatrically skipping a beat. Vergne has headed the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis and Dia:Beacon in New York — places that put a premium on performance — and he explained that you simply cannot understand the contemporary art world without considering performance. [LA Times]

Performance at the Temporary Contemporary at the opening of MOCA in 1983. Available Light, dance by Lucinda Childs, music by John Adams, set by Frank Gehry. (Beatriz Schiller / MOCA)