May 10, 2013

White Box Appoints New Executive Director and Chief Curator

Antoine Guerrero has been named the executive director and chief curator of White Box, a nonprofit art space in New York. Guerrero, who will begin his position there on July 1, is currently the director of visual arts at the French Institute Alliance Francaise. He has also worked as director of exhibitions and operations, as well as director of the artists residencies program, at MoMA PS1. Founded in 1998 by a group of curators and artists, White Box has since been nominated twice for “Best Group Show” by the International Art Critics Association.

May 10, 2013

Metropolitan Museum of Art to Open Newly Renovated Painting Galleries

The Metropolitan Museum of Art will open its newly refurbished painting galleries after a renovation that has lasted two-plus years, reports Carol Vogel of the New York Times. These forty-five galleries have not been restored since 1951 and will include about six hundred works of art dating from 1250 to 1800. The chairman of the European paintings department, Keith Christiansen, explained that the works will be displayed chronologically by countries, emphasizing “moments when different cultures and artists meet.”

May 10, 2013

MoMA to Consider Salvaging American Folk Art Museum

The Museum of Modern Art has announced it will reconsider razing the American Folk Art Museum, reports Robin Pogrebin of the New York Times. As Artforum.com reported here, the plan to destroy the Folk Art Museum—which sits next door to MoMA—raised massive controversy among architects including Richard Meier, Thom Mayne, Steven Holl, Hugh Hardy, and Robert A. M. Stern. All of them joined the nonprofit Architectural League of New York in a petition to prevent the demolition plans. MoMA has subsequently acquiesced—at least partially—requesting Diller Scofidio & Renfro, the firm hired for the expansion, to see if the original structure can be salvaged. Said director Glenn D. Lowry: “The principals of Diller Scofidio & Renfro have asked that they be given the time and latitude to carefully consider the entirety of the site, including the former American Folk Art Museum building, in devising an architectural solution to the inherent challenges of the project. We readily agreed to consider a range of options, and look forward to seeing their results.”

May 9, 2013

Taylor Mead (1924–2013)

Artist, Warholian actor, and poet Taylor Mead died yesterday in Colorado at the age of eighty-eight, reports Gothamist. He was temporarily living there after having to vacate his apartment of thirty-four years on Ludlow Street in New York in April due to developer construction. Born in Detroit, Michigan on December 31, 1924, Mead gained notoriety in the 1960s and ’70s after appearing in a variety of Warhol’s films. Village Voice film critic J. Hoberman once called him “the first underground movie star.”

May 9, 2013

Cooper-Hewitt Museum Announces Winners of 2013 National Design Awards

The Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, New York, has announced today the winners of its fourteenth annual National Design Awards. The awards recognize excellence and innovation across a variety of media, from architecture and landscape to fashion and interior design. Among the ten 2013 recipients, James Wines, founder and president of the architectural studio SITE, has been honored with a lifetime achievement award; Studio Gang Architects, a Chicago-based collective of international architects, designers, and thinkers, has won in the architecture design category; and Aidlin Darling Design has been recognized for its interior designs.

Begun in 2000 at the White House, the National Design Awards initiative aims to promote design as an essential tool in shaping the visual world. “This year’s National Design Award winners have made a major impact in their respective fields through groundbreaking projects and visionary ideas,” said Cooper-Hewitt director, Caroline Baumann. “They have truly transformed the way we live, think, work, and communicate with each other.” The award recipients will be honored at a gala dinner on Thursday, October 17, 2013, in New York.

May 7, 2013

Speed Art Museum Receives $18 Million

The Speed Art Museum in Louisville, Kentucky, has been granted eighteen million dollars by the late philanthropist Owsley Brown II. The funds will enable the museum to complete its renovation and expansion by 2016, nearly a decade earlier than planned, reports Elizabeth Kramer of the Courier-Journal. The donation has been bestowed by Brown’s family as a way to honor his legacy. Said Brooke Barzun, one of Brown’s three children: “In his final years, he worked passionately and hard at every level to make this project happen.”

May 7, 2013

Crosby and Bebe Kemper Resign from Kemper Museum’s Board

Crosby and Bebe Kemper have resigned from the Kemper Museum’s board of trustees, a museum the couple founded in Kansas City in 1994, reports Artdaily. The couple’s daughter, Mary Kemper Wolf, has been appointed chairman of the board. For nearly two decades, the museum’s permanent collection, which includes works by artists such as Helen Frankenthaler, Andy Warhol, and Hung Liu, has tripled; the museum also added two more locations where more than two hundred special exhibitions have been organized. Said Kemper Wolf: “My parents’ boundless enthusiasm and support for the arts has inspired many, including me, and I look forward to continuing their legacy through the Kemper Museum for many years to come. Kansas City has a thriving arts culture, and next year the Kemper Museum reaches a significant milestone—its twentieth anniversary. I recognize the influential role the Kemper Museum plays in creating connections between the artists of our time with the entire community.”

May 6, 2013

John Byam (1929–2013)

New York–based artist John Byam died on March 30. Byam, in his latest solo exhibition at Andrew Edlin Gallery, New York, was praised by critics for being more than just a self-taught craftsman. Jerry Saltz of New York Magazine described him as “an upstate visionary” and “an artist, period.” Born on April 20, 1929, Byam held various odd jobs throughout his life, working as a D&H Railroad water boy, a grave digger, a trailer park attendee, and an American soldier. It was only in the Army in 1950 that Byam left his hometown for the first time, stationed in Japan during the Korean War for two years. Byam’s wood carvings included depictions of everyday objects such as stairs, caskets, ladders, and furniture—reflections of the culture he came to know while living in Oneonta, New York. In addition to being featured at Edlin, his work has also been exhibited at Martin Mullen Gallery, New York, and Parker’s Box, Brooklyn.

May 6, 2013

Jens Hoffmann Appointed Adjunct Curator at Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit

The Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit has named Jens Hoffmann as its senior adjunct curator, reports Mark Stryker of the Detroit Free Press. He will concurrently work as director of exhibitions and public programs at the Jewish Museum, New York. In this new role, Hoffmann will also be responsible for the curatorial program at MOCAD, which includes two to three exhibitions per year. Hoffman previously served as the director of the CCA Wattis Institute of Contemporary Arts, San Francisco, and as curator or cocurator of numerous biennials, including in Shanghai (2012), Istanbul (2011), and Berlin (1998).