Archive for the 'Art News' Category

RIP: Christo, Who Worked on a Monumental Scale, Passes Away at 84

Monday, June 1st, 2020

Christo at The Floating Piers, June 2016 Photo Wolfgang Volz
Christo at The Floating Piers, June 2016, Photo: Wolfgang Volz

Christo, the Bulgarian artist known for massively scaled environmental works that spread miles of fabric and other materials across natural landmarks and buildings at sites around the globe, has passed away at the age of 84.  Working for much of his life alongside his late wife, Jeanne-Claude, who passed away in 2009, the artist’s iconic pieces, like 2005’s The Gates in New York’s Central Park, or his wrapping of the Reichstag in Berlin, turned modern locales into subtle, surreal echoes of themselves.   (more…)

Museum Directors Outline Reopening Strategies in Art Newspaper

Friday, May 29th, 2020

A group of museum directors speak to Art Newspaper this week about their plans to reopen, and how they plan to respond to COVID-19 concerns.  The directors detail a range of strategies, from timed entry to controlling flow in and out of galleries. (more…)

Ai Weiwei Creates Face Masks to Benefit COVID-19 Charities

Friday, May 29th, 2020

Ai Weiwei has created a set of surgical masks to aid coronavirus charities. “It is such a waste. There is so much argument around the mask,” he says of the face mask as a cultural artifact of the era. “A face mask weighs only three grams but it carries so much state argument about global safety and who has it and who doesn’t have it.” (more…)

Adam Lindemann Sues to Break Lease on Venus Over Manhattan Space in NY

Thursday, May 28th, 2020

Collector and dealer Adam Lindemann is suing real estate mogul Aby Rosen to break his lease on the Venus Over Manhattan space at 980 Madison Avenue in New York, asserting he can no longer due business there due to the COVID-19 pandemic. “Is it only the tenant’s responsibility when the tenant can’t use the space as intended or may never be able to?” says Errol Margolin, the gallery’s lawyer. “When you have a gallery opening, you have 500 people. If you have social distancing, how can you have 500 people in the future?” (more…)

Philadelphia Museum of Art Employees Seek Union

Thursday, May 28th, 2020

Workers at the Philadelphia Museum of Art are seeking to unionize, Art Newspaper reports.  “The PMA serves the people of Philadelphia, and it must emerge from the Covid-19 crisis as a safe, accessible and equitable place where all can engage with the arts,” the group of organizers said. “For this to be possible, working people must have a seat at the table in museum decision-making.” (more…)

2020 Turner Prize Cancelled, Replaced with Artist Support Fund

Thursday, May 28th, 2020

The Tate has cancelled the 2020 edition of the Turner Prize, replacing it with a little £100k fund to help support struggling artists during the pandemic.”The practicalities of organizing a Turner Prize exhibition are impossible in the current circumstances, so we have decided to help support even more artists during this exceptionally difficult time,” says Tate Britain director Alex Farquharson.  “I think JMW Turner, who once planned to leave his fortune to support artists in their hour of need, would approve of our decision.” (more…)

Museum of Fine Arts Houston Reopens

Thursday, May 28th, 2020

Museums are beginning to open again in the U.S., with the Museum of Fine Arts Houston leading the way. “It’s good to be out of the house,” says one visitor. “I’ve been looking for something uplifting, something beautiful.” (more…)

AO DIGITAL ROUND-UP – NADA FAIR, May 20th – June 21st, 2020

Saturday, May 23rd, 2020

Edward Kay, via Rob Tufnell
Edward Kay, via Rob Tufnell

Making its own entry in the string of fairs and digital viewing sites embaraced by the art world to mitigate some of the damage caused by COVID-19, the New Art Dealers Alliance has launched a new project, the aptly titled FAIR.  Spanning several weeks of curated exhibitions from member galleries in New York and further afield, NADA’s new project will look to keep attention and focus on smaller galleries and artists amidst a time where many are suffering from the drop in physical contact and face to face encounters that make up so much of the art world’s business model.   Taking place May 20–June 21, 2020, FAIR will directly support 119 NADA Gallery Members and 81 other galleries that have been financially impacted by the COVID-19 crisis, totaling nearly 200 galleries around the world.   (more…)

UK Appoints Commissioner for Cultural Recovery and Renewal

Thursday, May 21st, 2020

The UK has appointed Neil Mendoza as Commissioner for Cultural Recovery and Renewal, overseeing the country’s response to the coronavirus’s impact on the arts. Mendoza previously led a review of England’s museums three years ago, offering recommendations on how to further bolster the arts institutions in the country. (more…)

Austrian Culture Minister Resigns

Wednesday, May 20th, 2020

Austrian culture minister Ulrike Lunacek has stepped down after fierce criticism of the government’s arts-sector pandemic response.  “This is not worthy of one of the richest countries in the world,” she said of the current state of the country’s artists. (more…)

Damien Hirst Speaks on His Working During Lockdown in The Guardian

Wednesday, May 20th, 2020

Damien Hirst has an interview in The Guardian this week, as he charts his experience during lockdown, and how it has affected his work. “I used to listen to music a lot when there was more activity and people,” he says of his experience working alone. “The paintings are going more successfully, which is really strange. Maybe it’s my focus, maybe that’s why I’m not playing the music. I’m kind of getting lost in the paintings.” (more…)

LA City Council Redirects Developer Fees to Emergency Arts Grants

Tuesday, May 19th, 2020

Los Angeles City Council has approved a measure to redirect developer fees to into emergency arts grants, the LA Times reports.  “This includes tiered grants of between $500 and $2,000 for individual artists, with the highest amounts reserved for artists who are full-time freelancers, and therefore “more vulnerable in an economic downturn,” The COVID-19 Emergency Response Program text reads. (more…)

Arts Sector Employment Shrinks by Over 50%

Tuesday, May 19th, 2020

A look at unemployment and income data by FiveThirtyEight shows that the U.S. arts sector has suffered a contraction of over 54% since the beginning of lockdowns. (more…)

Guggenheim Keeps Growing Tomatoes During Lockdown

Tuesday, May 19th, 2020

The Guggenheim is closed, but its installation of blossoming tomatoes, part of its last show before lockdown, Countryside, The Future, is still growing, yielding pounds of fruit each week from an installation on Fifth Ave.  “This tomato-growing module couldn’t just be turned off with the lights,” says curator Troy Conrad Therrien. “We brought the exhibition to the street, and the street is still accessible.” (more…)

Venice Biennale Postponed

Tuesday, May 19th, 2020

Heading off logistical and safety concerns surrounding COVID-19, the Venice Biennale has postponed its next two editions, moving its architecture show to next year, and the next iteration of its art exhibition to 2022.  “I hope that the occasion will mark a new celebration of togetherness,” says curator Cecilia Alemani, “a new sense of participation and communion.” (more…)

Hong Kong – Bosco Sodi: “A Thousand Li of Rivers and Mountains” at Axel Vervoodt Through September 5th, 2020

Saturday, May 16th, 2020

Bosco Sodi, A Thousand Li of Rivers and Mountains (Installation), via Art Observed
Bosco Sodi, A Thousand Li of Rivers and Mountains (Installation View), via Art Observed

As the city of Hong Kong gradually reopens, galleries are slowly returning to business as usual, with shows returning to their exhibition schedules, albeit slowly and gradually.  Among these shows is a quite striking exhibition of new pieces by Mexican artist Bosco Sodi at Axel Vervoodt, incorporating a range of material investigations and variations on his already enigmatic and exploratory processes. Titled  A Thousand Li of Rivers and Mountains, the exhibition takes the artist’s own hand and his engagement with traditional Chinese art techniques in equal stride. (more…)

Mayors of Major U.S. Appeal to Congress for More Arts Funding

Thursday, May 14th, 2020

A group of mayors from major US cities have appealed to Congress for more funding support for the arts. “This is about individuals—artists and cultural workers alike—whose livelihoods are being threatened if not already irrevocably impacted,” the letter reads. “This is also about the soul of our communities: It is the arts that make each of our communities unique. And it is the arts that will help our communities survive and thrive economically.” (more…)

Former Paddle8 CEO Sued

Wednesday, May 13th, 2020

Valentine Uhovski, former CEO of Paddle8, is being sued for alleged misuse of company funds in the days before the online auction house declared bankruptcy. (more…)

MoMA Cuts Budget by $45 Million

Wednesday, May 13th, 2020

MoMA has cut its budget by $45 million, seeking to reduce its operations in the face of coronavirus.  “We will learn to be a much smaller institution,” says Glenn Lowry.  (more…)

AO Digital Round-Up – Frieze Art Fair’s Online Viewing Rooms, May 8th – 15th, 2020

Monday, May 11th, 2020

Mark Manders, via Tanya Bonakdar
Mark Manders, via Tanya Bonakdar

Taking the challenges raised by the COVID-19 pandemic head-on, the Frieze Art Fair has opened its Online Viewing Room program, bringing a selection of works by its exhibitors to view on its website.  Opened as a stand-in for the cancelled New York edition of its international fair program, the online show has created an expansive online show, welcoming those left working from home or sheltering in place to take a leisurely browse through the show. (more…)

Billionaire Sean Parker Embroiled in Dispute Over Rubens Work

Wednesday, May 6th, 2020

Tech entrepreneur and Napster founder Sean Parker is embroiled in a dispute over a Peter Paul Rubens work he purchased at Christie’s, after the seller attempted to cancel the sale.  “A consignor sought to cancel a completed auction sale and following repeated attempts to settle the matter amicably, the matter was submitted to arbitration,” a Christie’s spokesperson said. “The arbitrator ruled that Christie’s complied with its contractual obligations and that the successful bidder had lawfully acquired the painting. Christie’s is now seeking to confirm the arbitration award in federal court to conclude this matter, and transfer the painting to the buyer and the significant sale proceeds to the consignor.” (more…)

Christopher Knight of LA Times Wins Pulitzer for Criticism

Tuesday, May 5th, 2020

LA Times critic Christopher Knight of  has won the 2020 Pulitzer Prize for criticism. The committee praised Knight for “demonstrating extraordinary community service” and for “applying his expertise and enterprise to critique a proposed overhaul of the LA County Museum of Art and its effect on the institution’s mission.” (more…)

Marina Abramović Retrospective Moved to 2021 at London’s Royal Academy

Tuesday, May 5th, 2020

The Royal Academy of Art will press on with its plans for a Marina Abramović survey, Art News reports, opening the show in 2021. “We have almost 80 percent of the show ready,” Abramović said. “I have never been more ready in my life. So, now I have an entire year to rethink or change things,” which she hopes will make for “the best show of my life.” (more…)

Sotheby’s Selling Lichtenstein Brushstroke in June Auction, Est: $20 Million

Tuesday, May 5th, 2020

Sotheby’s is moving forward with its marquee New York sale this June, and will feature Roy Lichtenstein’s White Brushstroke I (1965), estimated at $20-$30 million. “This is Pop at its most profound core” says David Galperin, head of Sotheby’s contemporary art auctions in New York. “White Brushstroke I is an icon of Pop Art, capturing in a single painting the rupture that this movement invoked in an entire generation of postwar picture-making.” (more…)