October 27, 2013

Lou Reed (1942–2013)

Musician Lou Reed has passed away at the age of seventy-one, reports Jon Dolan for Rolling Stone. Born in Brooklyn, Reed attended Syracuse University, after which he joined Pickwick Records as a staff songwriter. In the 1960s, he met violinist John Cale; together they founded the band that eventually became the Velvet Underground. The group became a fixture at Andy Warhol's Factory, and Warhol produced its iconic debut album, The Velvet Underground & Nico (1967) which Rolling Stone, in 2003, called the “most prophetic rock album ever made.”

In the 1970s, Reed left the Velvet Underground and put out influential solo albums. Among them, Transformer (1972) featured an homage to life as part of Warhol's Factory, in the form of a song—“Walk on the Wild Side”—that became a radio hit. In his later years, married to musician and performance artist Laurie Anderson, Reed continued to release albums. His last, in 2011, was a rock collaboration with the band Metallica.

Music critic Lester Bangs once wrote, “Lou Reed is the guy that gave dignity and poetry and rock ‘n’ roll to smack, speed, homosexuality, sadomasochism, murder, misogyny, stumblebum passivity, and suicide, and then proceeded to belie all his achievements and return to the mire by turning the whole thing into a monumental bad joke with himself as the woozily insistent Henny Youngman in the center ring, mumbling punch lines that kept losing their punch.” In an interview with Bangs, Reed once remarked, “My bullshit is worth more than other people’s diamonds.”

October 27, 2013

Ian White (1971–2013)

Artist, curator, and writer Ian White has passed away at the age of forty-one. In his artistic practice, White often favored performance as a medium. Collaborating with the likes of Jimmy Robert, Pat Catterson, and Emily Roysdon, he appeared in venues including Tate Britain; London’s Institute of Contemporary Arts, and New York’s Museum of Modern Art. As a curator, White organized “The Artists Cinema” at the 2005–2006 Frieze Art Fair among other exhibitions. He worked as adjunct film curator at Whitechapel Gallery from 2001 through 2011. In 2009, he was a guest of the Berliner Künstlerprogramm/DAAD.

October 26, 2013

Arthur C. Danto (1924–2013)

Arthur C. Danto has passed away at the age of eighty-nine, reports the Art Newspaper’s Julia Halpern. In a groundbreaking 1964 essay, Danto coined the term “artworld” to describe the historical, cultural, and social context surrounding the creation of a work of art. Two decades later, he published “The End of Art,” in which he identified Andy Warhol’s Brillo-box exhibition in 1964 as a moment that marked the beginning of post-historical art. A long-time professor at Columbia University, Danto also became art critic for The Nation in 1984, writing about artists such as Eric Fischl and Julian Schnabel. In 1996, he received the Frank Jewett Mather award for art criticism from the College Art Association. He had also served as president of the American Philosophical Association and the American Society for Aesthetics. Danto was the author of numerous articles that appeared in Artforum over the past several decades.

October 26, 2013

Gary Simmons Wins Studio Museum in Harlem’s 2013 Wein Prize

Artist Gary Simmons has been named the winner of this year’s Joyce Alexander Wein prize by the Studio Museum in Harlem. Each year, the prize, which comes with $50,000, recognizes an African-American artist who demonstrates great innovation, promise, and creativity. Simmons received his MFA at the California Institute of the Arts, and has been featured in solo shows at venues that range from the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago and the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden to Kunsthaus Zurich. His work is in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art in New York and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, among other institutions. Previous winners of the Wein prize include Jennie C. Jones and Leonardo Drew.

October 25, 2013

Bloomberg Gives Met Right to Charge Mandatory Admissions

The New York Daily News reports that New York’s mayor, Michael Bloomberg, has spearheaded an amendment to the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s lease that will allow it to charge a mandatory admission fee. The American Museum of Natural History and the Museum of the City of New York will also see similar changes in their leases. A lawyer leading a suit against the Met that alleges it duped visitors criticized this lease change as “a desperate stunt by the museum to defeat claims its lawyers must know are valid.” In the terms of the new lease, the museums can “set the terms of admission to . . . permanent galleries to the general public” with the consent of the commissioner of the City of New Department of Cultural Affairs.

October 25, 2013

Olafur Eliasson Wins MIT’s 2014 Eugene McDermott Award

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, has announced that artist Olafur Eliasson has won its 2014 Eugene McDermott Award in the Arts, reports Andrew Russeth of GalleristNY. The distinction, which recognizes rising and innovative talents, comes with a $100,000 cash prize as well as a residency at the institute. Past recipients include Agnes Denes (1990), Jeff Wall (1995), Isaac Julien (2001), and Santiago Calatrava (2005). Eliasson will accept the award at a gala on March 13, 2014.

October 24, 2013

Anthony Caro (1924–2013)

British sculptor Sir Anthony Caro died on Wednesday, October 23. He was eighty-nine. Born in Surrey, England, in 1924, Caro was educated at Charterhouse School and Christ’s College Cambridge where he graduated with a degree in engineering. After studying sculpture at the Royal Academy in London from 1944 to 1952, he worked as an assistant to Henry Moore. His work, which first became known through his debut Whitechapel Gallery exhibition in 1963, influenced a whole generation of British sculptors, including Phillip King, Tony Cragg, Barry Flanagan, Richard Long, and Gilbert and George. Other major exhibitions include retrospectives at the Museum of Modern Art, New York (1975), the Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo (1995), and Tate Britain, London (2005). Caro was the recipient of many prizes, including the Praemium Imperiale for Sculpture in Tokyo in 1992 and the Lifetime Achievement Award for Sculpture in 1997. He was knighted in 1987 and received the Order of Merit in May 2000.

October 24, 2013

Rachel Delphia Appointed Decorative Arts Curator at Carnegie Museum

The Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, has announced the appointment of Rachel Delphia as its curator of decorative arts and design, reports Marylynne Pitz of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Delphia joined the museum in 2005 and began in the decorative arts and design department as an assistant curator a year later. She received a MA in early American culture from the University of Delaware and a MA in English and a BFA in industrial design from Carnegie Mellon University, where she has taught design history and exhibition design.

October 23, 2013

New President for Allentown Art Museum

David Mickenberg has been named the next president of the Allentown Art Museum in Pennsylvania, according to John J. Moser in the Morning Call. An experienced museum head, Mickenberg has served as the executive director of the Oklahoma City Museum of Art and the president and CEO of the Taubman Museum of Art. In addition, he's worked as the director at the Block Museum of Art at Northwestern University, where he also lectured in the department of art history. Mickenberg will fill a post left vacant by the departure of J. Brooks Joyner, who, during his tenure at the Allentown Art Museum, oversaw a renovation that cost $15.5 million and added almost ten thousand square feet of classrooms and exhibition space.