Foundation Announces Limited Access to James Turrell’s Roden Crater

Roden Crater.

The Skystone Foundation has announced that James Turrell’s Roden Crater project near Flagstaff, Arizona will be opened from May 14 to May 17 with limited access reserved at five thousand dollars per person.

Categorized as a tax-deductible donation to the Skystone Foundation, which is the organization responsible for realizing the Roden Crater project and founded by James Turrell, the fee will grant admission, a tour of Roden Crater, and dinner at the site. An additional $1,500, charged by the travel company overseeing the package, will cover a portion of visitors' expenses while they're staying on site.

Roden Crater is based on an extinct volcanic cinder cone and located in the San Francisco Volcanic Field near Arizona’s Painted Desert and the Grand Canyon. Turrell has been working on turning the site into an artwork and observatory since construction began on it in 1979 with funds from the Dia Art Foundation.

Roden Crater is not currently open to the public.


August 18, 2017

Members of White House Presidential Arts Commission Resign En Masse

Artist Chuck Close, Lawyer and longtime arts advocate Jill Cooper Udall, architect Thom Mayne, author Jhumpa Lahiri, actor Kalpen Modi (Kal Penn), and musician and founder of Boggs Media, LLC, Paula Boggs.

In protest of President Donald Trump’s response to the deadly white-nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, sixteen members of the Committee on the Arts and Humanities have resigned, Edward-Isaac Dovere of Politico reports.

“Reproach and censure in the strongest possible terms are necessary following your support of the hate groups and terrorists who killed and injured fellow Americans in Charlottesville,” a joint letter released Friday morning reads. “The false equivalencies you push cannot stand. The Administration’s refusal to quickly and unequivocally condemn the cancer of hatred only further emboldens those who wish America ill. We cannot sit idly by, the way that your West Wing advisors have, without speaking out against your words and actions.”

Signed by Paula Boggs, Chuck Close, Richard Cohen, Fred Goldring, Howard L. Gottlieb,Vicki Kennedy, Jhumpa Lahiri, Anne Luzzatto, Thom Mayne, Kalpen Modi (Kal Penn), Eric Ortner, Ken Solomon, Caroline Taylor, Jill Cooper Udall, Andrew Weinstein, and John Lloyd Young, the letter also criticizes the president’s proposal to defund the National Endowments for the Arts and Humanities and his decision to pull out of the Paris agreement, ban refugees and people from Muslim-majority countries, attack trans service members, and threaten nuclear war.

August 18, 2017

Chiara Fumai (1978–2017)

Chiara Fumai, Chiara Fumai reads Valerie Solanas, 2012–13.

Italian artist Chiara Fumai, best known for her performative and multimedia works that engage radical feminism, media culture, language, and repression, has died. The thirty-nine-year-old artist was found dead in the Doppelgaenger gallery in Bari, Italy, Antonella Marino of La Reppublica reports. The cause of death may have been an overdose of drugs.

Born in Rome in 1978, Fumai worked as a DJ of underground techno music for many years before she became involved in performance art. She participated in Documenta 13 where she presented The Moral Exhibition House, 2012, a one-hundred-day performance based on Italian radical feminist literature, for which she channeled Annie Jones, the famous “Bearded Lady” of the Victorian era, and freak show performer Zalumma Agrain, and created a fictional campaign for feminist Valerie Solanas’s S.C.U.M. Manifesto. Written in 1967, the manifesto intended to demonstrate men's inferiority. For the performance, Fumai allowed Solanas to take over her body and voice to recite excerpts from her the work. “I believe that living the artwork in a total way is an intense and generous way of staying in the world.”

For Contour 7, the Biennial of Moving Image, Fumai rewrote the story of her live acts into a seance for The Book of Evil Spirits, 2015. Her works have also been exhibited and screened at the 2009 Venice Film Festival; the Jeu de Paume, Paris; the Overgarden Institute of Contemporary Art, Copenhagen; Museon Arts Park, Moscow; the Fiorucci Art Trust, London; MAXXI National Museum of XXI Century Arts, Rome; and Mendes Wood DM, So Paulo.

August 18, 2017

World’s First Partition Museum Opens in India

The Partition Museum, housed in the Amritsar Town Hall building.

On Thursday, August 17, the world’s first Partition Museum officially opened to the public, seventy years after the division of Pakistan and India at the close of the British Empire. Located in the Indian border city of Amritsar, the seventeen-thousand-square-feet colonial-style Town Hall acquired its collection, comprising personal items from the approximately fourteen million people that were displaced, from the families of those affected by the largest mass migration in history, Tim Cornwell of the Art Newspaper reports.

The London School of Economics and the University of Cambridge have assisted the museum with curatorial work and gave access to key colonial-era documents in the collections of the British Library and the National Archives. The museum staff members finalized exhibitions for the museum’s official inauguration just two days after India’s Independence Day.

The museum’s building, provided by the Punjab government, is now declared part of Heritage Street, a remodeled stretch connected to the Golden Temple complex, Sikhism’s holiest site. Within it are fourteen galleries, which present stories from the period, including how the spread of cholera, hunger, and monsoon rains caused the deaths of up to two million people. Among the artworks currently on view are sketches and sculptures by Sardari Lal Parasher, a former refugee camp commander and vice principal of Lahore’s Mayo School of Arts (now Pakistan’s National College of Arts).

August 17, 2017

Brooklyn Museum Announces Curatorial Appointments

Ashley James and Aysin Yoltar-Yildirim.

The Brooklyn Museum has announced two recent curatorial appointments. Aysin Yoltar-Yildirim joined the museum as associate curator of Islamic art on July 17. She will soon begin work on the reinstallation of the Middle East galleries. Ashley James took up the post of assistant curator of contemporary art on June 26, and will be the institution’s lead on the upcoming exhibition “Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power, 1963–83,” organized by Tate Modern London, where it will be on view until October 22.

The museum also established two newly-funded curatorial positions: the Phillip Leonian and Edith Rosenbaum Leonian Curator of Photography and the Sills Family Consulting Curator, African Art. “We are extremely thankful to Phillip Leonian and Edith Rosenbaum Leonian, and to the Sills Family,” said museum director Anne Pasternak. “The growth of our curatorial staff would not be possible without their generosity.” The search for these two positions will begin in the coming months.

August 17, 2017

55th New York Film Festival Reveals Lineup for Projections

Still from Nel Beloufa’s Occidental, 2017.

The Film Society of Lincoln Center has announced the lineup for the Projections section of its Fifty-Fifth New York Film Festival, which will take place from October 6 to October 9. It is made up of fifty-one experimental moving image works—eight features and eight shorts programs—that draw on a broad range of innovative modes and techniques such as experimental narratives, avant-garde poetics, crossovers into documentary and ethnographic realms, and contemporary art practices.

“Projections is the New York Film Festival’s home for adventurous work, and our 2017 lineup attests to the sheer number and variety of ways in which our most vital artists are exploring the possibilities of cinematic language,” said Dennis Lim, FSLC director of programming and one of the curators of Projections.

Among the highlights of the festival are the debuts of several visual artists, including Xu Bing’s Dragonfly Eyes, winner of the International Critics Prize at the recent Locarno Film Festival; Nel Beloufa’s Occidental; and mid-length works Rubber Coated Steel by Lawrence Abu Hamdan and The Welfare of Toms Hallissy by Duncan Campbell. Zhou Tao’s The Worldly Cave, which was included in this year’s Venice Biennial, will make its North American premiere, as will Jaakko Pallasvuo’s Filter.

August 17, 2017

Denver Art Museum Moves Forward with $150 Million Renovation

Rendering of the the Anna and John J. Sie Welcome Center adjacent to the Denver Art Museum’s North Building.

The Denver Art Museum has decided to continue with its plans for a $150 million renovation project without waiting for the city’s vote on a bond package this November, John Wenzel of The Know reports.

The museum is hoping to receive about a quarter of the refurbishment money from the city’s $937 million General Obligation Bond. The city’s support is considered crucial to the project, which aims to overhaul the Gio Ponti–designed North Building and erect a new fifty-thousand-square feet welcome center. The institution has been working to raise funds for the last five years. In February, Colorado philanthropists Anna and John J. Sie gifted the museum $12 million for the campus revitalization project.

“We’re very optimistic, but you always have to prepare and be realistic,” museum director Christoph Heinrich said. “We just had a meeting today looking at what could be deferred, and if this is something we could do over ten years instead of two years. The scope would switch dramatically, and we would have to continue fundraising like crazy.”

August 17, 2017

Man Steals Bronze Horse from Florida Gallery

Grand Bohemian Gallery.

According to News4Jax, a homeless man was arrested and charged with grand theft for trying to steal a bronze statue of a horse from a gallery in Saint Augustine, Florida. The work was valued at $4,200. Police investigating the theft found the suspect, sixty-six-year-old Richard Talach, after a man walked into the Grand Bohemian Gallery on King Street to inform the staff that he had seen Talach carrying the statue in a black suitcase. After the police apprehended him, he confessed to the crime.

August 16, 2017

Yayoi Kusama Museum Will Open in Tokyo this October

Yayoi Kusama Museum. Photo: Masahiro Tsuchido

Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama, is opening her own museum in the Shinjuku neighborhood of Tokyo on October 1. David Zwirner gallery, which represents Kusama, confirmed the news. Her new series of paintings, “My Eternal Soul,” will be featured in the museum’s inaugural exhibition, “Creation Is a Solitary Pursuit, Love Is What Brings You Closer to Art,” which will run October 1 through February 25.

The New York Times reports that the artist commissioned the new institution’s glowing lantern-like structure, designed by Kume Sekkei, years ago. While the five-story building was completed in 2014, Kusama has remained quiet about its purpose. She may have alluded to it in an interview with the Washington Post in February, when she was asked what had been the highlight of her career. “It’s still coming,” Kusama responded. “I’m going to create it in the future.”

The museum will be directed by the president of Tama Art University and director of the Saitama Museum of Modern Art, Tensei Tatebata. Dedicated to Kusama’s own work, the venue will mount two exhibitions each year. It will also house the artist’s popular “infinity rooms” and other installations, a reading room, and archival materials.

August 16, 2017

Duane Michals Wins German Society for Photography’s Culture Prize

Duane Michals. Photo: DC Moore Gallery

The German Society for Photography has awarded Duane Michals its prestigious Culture Prize, reports Monopol. The American photographer is best known for his personal, philosophical, and, at times, whimsical sequential images, which often incorporate text and depict scenes ranging from the surreal to the political.

Born in McKeesport, Pennsylvania, in 1932, Michals studied graphic design at the University of Denver between 1949 and 1953. He then served in the US Army and was stationed in Germany. After his military service, Michals continued his graphic design studies at the Parsons School of Design in 1956. The artist’s interest in photography wasn’t ignited until he vacationed in Russia in 1958.

The artist’s early work was featured alongside Bruce Davidson, Lee Friedlander, Danny Lyon, and Garry Winogrand in the 1966 exhibition “Towards a Social Landscape” at the George Eastman House in Rochester, New York. In 1970, MoMA staged a solo show titled “Stories by Duane Michals.” Today, the eighty-five-year-old artist continues to exhibit in museums and galleries across the globe, including, most recently, at OSMOS in New York.