Read more at Reuters
James Meyer, the former assistant to Jasper Johns convicted of stealing and plotting to sell works from the artist’s studio, has been sentenced to over a year in prison. “I am truly devastated that I destroyed the close relationship that I had with the man who was my mentor, employer and friend since I was 21-years-old,” Meyer said in court.
Read more at Reuters
The fully realized design proposals for the Guggenheim Helsinki are set to be unveiled at the Kunsthalle Helsinki today, marking the next step in the museum’s proposed expansion to Finland. “We hope this exhibition and its programs will inspire the Finnish public to engage with the possibilities of a Guggenheim museum in Helsinki, and to think about the potential of a prominent site on their waterfront,” says Guggenheim Director Richard Armstrong.Read more at Art Daily
The Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement at this year’s Venice Biennale will go to Ghanian artist El Anatsui. “The Golden Lion Award acknowledges not just his recent successes internationally, but also his artistic influence amongst two generations of artists working in West Africa,” says Biennale Director Paolo Baratta. “It is also an acknowledgment of the sustained, crucial work he has done as an artist, mentor and teacher for the past forty-five years.”
Read more at Venice Biennale
The Institut Giacometti, the foundation museum dedicated to the life and work of Alberto Giacometti, is set to open next year in Paris, featuring a meticulous recreation of the artist’s small, 270 square-foot studio. The opening of the museum is the result of settled disputes over the estate of the artist, as brokered by Institut head Catherine Grenier, former deputy director of the Centre Pompidou. “When I got here a year ago,” Grenier says, “this foundation was not at all well known, for one essential reason: It was closed to the public. My priority is to make its activities and its extraordinary collection accessible.”Read more at New York Times
Currently on view at The Metropolitan Museum of Art is a retrospective focusing on the work of Polish-born artist Piotr Uklanski, many of which are pulled from the rarely seen Joy of Photography series that the artist executed in the years following his move to the United States following the fall of Communism.Uklanski’s aesthetic project makes for an interesting conceptual fold in a period of photography already fascinated with the potentials for the repositioning and reappropriation as challenges to photographic integrity and history. Cultural signifiers are afforded their own conceptual space, independent of the image itself, often lending a certain distance between the final product and the act of creation. The skull itself is taken from a classic Dali image, but is altered with the presence of a male body, notably in a central position of dominance that reinserts a certain instability to the work. Placing gender power structures in the work itself, Uklanski makes a subtle mockery of Dali’s sexualization of death, while underlining the Spanish artist’s presence in the generation of the work.
Elsewhere, Uklanski shows a more material fascination with the composition and capturing of the photographic image. In one particularly compelling work, notable despite its small size, the artist renders a speed blur on a palm tree blowing in the wind. The introduction of a violent forward motion to the work surface bears striking resemblance to the imagery of a scorched photograph, underlining a sense of destruction tied to the work’s execution. In another, Uklanski creates a dizzying swirl from the act of exposure during film development. Presenting a iridescent pool of colors, the work places the act of creation as image itself, the alluring material elements that enable the image’s existence.
The exhibition also features some of Uklanski’s exercises in accumulated images as a photographic archive, including a massive wall covered with photographs of various cultural depictions of Nazi’s, from press images to cartoons and propaganda posters. The piece, exploring the variation in context and implication present in media depictions of “evil” forces, is a strange, yet occasionally chilling work, especially when examining characters that very nearly carry a cartoonish appeal.
The exhibition is also accompanied by another exhibition at the museum, showcasing a range of figurative selections from across the Met’s broad collection of holdings, curated by Uklanski himself. Ranging from early Egyptian jasper carvings to contemporary photographs, the artist’s work here investigates the continued presence of both the erotic and the deadly throughout the range of artistic history.
Piotr Uklanski: Fatal Attraction, is on view through August 16th. His exhibition of works from the museum collection closes on June 14th.
— D. Creahan
The Telegraph looks at the growing competition among the world’s wealthiest for high-priced art trophies as status symbols, and notes the growing trend towards the establishment of non-profit foundations and museums as an even more appealing demonstration of wealth. “Making your collection available to the public, understanding the journey you have been on, your taste,” says Celine Fressart, head of special projects at 1858 Ltd. “That, really, is the ultimate in bragging rights.”Read more at The Telegraph
This year’s Armenian pavilion at the Venice Biennale will commemorate the 100th anniversary of the massacre of more than one million Armenians by Ottoman Turks during the First World War. The exhibition, titled Armenity and held on San Lazzaro degli Armeni island (home to the Armenian Catholic Monastery), will feature works by artist Sarkis, and is curated by Adelina Cüberyan von Fürstenberg, who has often worked with the artist. “It is very important for me to keep the production going, for culture but also to keep the dialogue open,” Sarkis says. “We are the link between two pavilions. We are the breath. Whoever thinks otherwise is free to think so, of course.”
Read more at Art Newspaper
The New York Times profiles Prada Foundation’s new Milan arts complex, designed by Rem Koolhaas and serving as the arts foundation’s permanent location. “After more than 20 years of staging exhibitions around the world, my husband said he thought it was about time we do something permanent in Milan,” Miuccia Prada says.
Read more at New York Times
The Art Institute of Chicago has received a major donation of contemporary works this week, totaling 42 works valued at over $400 million, including iconic pieces from Andy Warhol, including an Elizabeth Taylor portrait and Mona Lisa Four Times, as well as several “Film Stills” from Cindy Sherman. “It’s a powerful statement to have a collection of this international stature staying here in Chicago,” says Robert Levy, chairman of the Art Institute’s board. “It’s unbelievably exciting for the Art Institute, for the City of Chicago, for the entire art community of Chicago. It’s all good.”
Read more at Chicago Tribune
The completed Whitney Museum is set to open in a matter of days, and articles in both New York Magazine and the New Yorker are already praising the space for its massive exhibition spaces and intriguing design by architect Renzo Piano. “The audacity of the building shows that, yes, the Whitney will survive the new era,” writes Jerry Saltz. “But the better question is whether it has found a way to thrive in it. And, believe it or not, I am in love with what this building represents.”
The Robert Rauschenberg Foundation is no longer represented by Gagosian Gallery, Artforum reports, a move which ends a partnership first started in 2008. The organization will now look to Pace Gallery (which represented Rauschenberg later in his career), Thaddaeus Ropac, and São Paulo’s Luisa Strina for worldwide representation.
Read more at Artforum
As the Los Angeles County Museum of Art continues its 50th-anniversary acquisitions campaign, the museum announced over $200 million in new art received as “anniversary gifts” to the institution. A number of the works go on view this week as part of the museum’s “50 for 50: Gifts on the Occasion of LACMA’s Anniversary” exhibition.
Read more at New York Times
Alfred Taubman, the shopping mall developer and business mastermind who turned Sotheby’s from a private auction house to the publicly traded art market power it is today, has passed away at the age of 91.
Taubman earned his fortune during the years following World War II, re-engineering the American retail experience through his design and development of the modern shopping mall, and used his earnings to purchase Sotheby Parke Bernet for $130 million in 1983. Within five years, Taubman had retooled its customer experience and sales strategies before taking the company public in 1988.
Taubman is also remembered for his generous philanthropy, including multimillion dollar donations to the University of Michigan. “Aside from his support, which was substantial, I never stopped marveling at his energy and his concern that others might live a better life,” said Paul Anger, editor of the Detroit Free Press. “He never stopped looking for ways to make the community better, to make lives better, to give back.”
Taubman is survived by his wife, Judith Mazor Rounick.
Read more at Detroit Free Press
Former Walt Disney President Michael Ovitz has filed a $2.5 Million bad faith breach of contract lawsuit against insurance company American International Group (AIG) and Chartis Property Casualty Co. for allegedly failing to reimburse Ovitz for a lost Richard Prince work. “While Defendants ultimately acknowledged coverage and full insurance benefits for another loss under almost identical circumstances, Defendants steadfastly, unreasonably, and without probable cause, refused to provide coverage for the loss at issue herein,” and thus represented bad faith, the suit says.
Read more at Hollywood Reporter
A new report released by fine art insurance company Hiscox finds that an increasing number of collectors, at least 75% of those surveyed, are viewing online art sales as an investment opportunity. “I wonder whether this change in attitude is genuine,” says Robert Read, the head of fine art at Hiscox, “or whether it is a dot.com moment where people feel they are missing out if they don’t.”
A thorough forensic study dating Francisco Goya’s private series “Witches and Old Women” has resulted in an exhibition at the Courtauld Gallery in London, showing the works in chronological order for the first time. “His work is all about capturing that human spark,” says Goya scholar Juliet Wilson-Bareau. “From his youth onwards, he observed everything that life had to offer. He was utterly fascinated by the human animal form from the word go.”
Read more at Art Newspaper
An article in Bloomberg this week notes the statement of Laurence D. Fink, head of the world’s biggest asset manager, BlackRock Inc., that contemporary art has surpassed gold as a more secure investment. “Historically gold was a great instrument for storing of Fink said at a conference in Singapore. “Gold has lost its luster and there’s other mechanisms in which you can store wealth that are inflation-adjusted.”Read more at Bloomberg
The Guardian reviews the ongoing rebuilding efforts at the Glasgow School of Art, after the school’s Mackintosh library was destroyed in last year’s massive blaze. A fundraising campaign has already launched to help finance a new building, but a debate over rebuilding the space or starting over is currently drawing considerable attention. “[Mackintosh] was driven by a lifelong search for new forms in architecture and technology and was never a copyist,” architecture professor Alan Dunlop says. “I have no doubt that he would reject the approach of building a replica.”
Read more at The Guardian
This year’s edition of Art Basel in Switzerland will feature a specially commissioned collaborative sculpture and performative work by Rirkrit Tiravanija, architects Nikolaus Hirsch and Michel Müller, and chef Antto Melasniemi, titled DO WE DREAM UNDER THE SAME SKY. “Creating a place of hospitality, visitors can engage through the activities on offer, such as the drinking of herbal tea plucked fresh from the on-site garden, the preparation and eating of food,” the organization said in a statement. “The food will be rooted in Thai tradition and will be available with no fixed schedule, menu or price list: compensation is self-determined, by self-serving, serving others, donations or even participating in the cooking or washing up.”Read more at Art Basel
The 2015 Artindex France report, annually released by Art Newspaper sister publication Journal des Arts has been released this week, with Berlin-based, French-Albanian artist Anri Sala topping the list, followed by François Morellet and Christian Boltanski, respectively. The survey bases its findings on the number of solo exhibitions worldwide, compounded by each venue’s level of recognition and prominence.Read more at Art Newspaper
Continuing a week of announcements regarding next month’s auctions, Christie’s has revealed that it has acquired the Sonnabend Collection for its May sales in New York, valued at $50 million. The Collection has never before been offered on the secondary market. “Many of Sonnabend’s exhibitions helped determine the course of art history in the late 20th Century,” says Laura Paulson, Christie’s chairman for post-war and contemporary art. “She discovered and promoted some of the most significant artists of her time.”Read more at Art Daily
Random Darknet Shopper, a robot-based art project designed to randomly shop on Deep Web and black market websites, has been returned to the !Mediengruppe Bitnik collective after being confiscated in Janurary for purchasing MDMA during the piece’s performance. Any potential prosecution over the work has also been withdrawn. “The public prosecutor states that the possession of Ecstasy was indeed a reasonable means for the purpose of sparking public debate about questions related to the exhibition,” prosecuting attorneys state. “The public prosecution also asserts that the overweighing interest in the questions raised by the art work Random Darknet Shopper justify the exhibition of the drugs as artifacts, even if the exhibition does hold a small risk of endangerment of third parties through the drugs exhibited”
Read more at The Independent
A pair of bills introduced in Congress this week will look to improve artist rights and benefits regarding their works, The Art Newspaper reports. One bill will look to push for an artist’s resale royalty in the US, bringing the country up to par with current measures being undertaken in Europe, while the second offers a tax deduction of fair market value for artists donating works to museums. Both bills have been proposed before, but have yet to be passed.
Read more at Art Newspaper