Escobedo Solíz Studio Named Winner of MoMA and MoMA PS1’s Young Architects Program

Escobedo Solíz Studio, Weaving the Courtyard (rendering), 2015

Escobedo Solíz Studio has been selected by the Museum of Modern Art and MoMA PS1 as the winner of the annual Young Architects Program. Now in its seventeenth iteration, the program selects an environmentally sustainable temporary outdoor installation that offers MoMA PS1 visitors shade, seating, and water.

Escobedo Solíz Studio describes the firm’s winning project as “neither an object nor a sculpture standing in the courtyard, but a series of simple, powerful actions that generate new and different atmospheres.” Embankments with platforms of soil and water will appear together with a reflective wading pool, alongside a canopy suspended over the courtyard made of woven brightly colored ropes.


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 Neďl 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; Neďl Beloufa’s Occidental; and mid-length works Rubber Coated Steel by Lawrence Abu Hamdan and The Welfare of Tomás Ó 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.

August 16, 2017

Baltimore Removes Confederate Statues Under Cover of Night

Workers removing one of four Confederate statues during the middle of the night in Baltimore yesterday. Photo: Alec MacGillis

Following the deadly white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, over the weekend, Baltimore mayor Catherine Pugh ordered the removal of four of the city’s Confederate monuments on Monday, which were carted away “quickly and quietly” last night, Nicholas Fandos and Russell Goldman of the New York Times report.

Pugh is the latest city official to relocate statues commemorating Confederate-era figures. The mayor of Lexington, Kentucky, also announced on Monday that two public works would be taken down. Other politicians from across the nation, including the mayors of Gainesville, Florida; Nashville, Tennessee; and Louisville, Kentucky, also responded to the alt-right rally—organized as a protest of the removal of a monument of Confederate general Robert E. Lee from Charlottesville’s Emancipation Park—by denouncing racism, bigotry, and intolerance, and by calling for a review of the public artworks in their cities.

“For me, the statues represented pain, and not only did I want to protect my city from any more of that pain, I also wanted to protect my city from any of the violence that was occurring around the nation,” Pugh said. “We don’t need that in Baltimore.”

August 16, 2017

Blanton Museum of Art Acquires Trove of Leon Polk Smith Works

Leon Polk Smith, Untitled, 1950.

The Blanton Museum of Art at the University of Texas at Austin has announced that it has been gifted seven works by American abstract painter Leon Polk Smith. The works come to the museum from the Leon Polk Smith Foundation and longtime Austin-based philanthropists Jeanne and Michael Klein.

“This concentration of works by Leon Polk Smith brings historical depth to our holdings of postwar American painting and allows us to highlight Smith’s pioneering role in the development of abstract painting in the United States, from the new dynamism he brought to geometric abstraction to his prescient shaped canvases,” museum director Simone Wicha said.

The seven works, which were created between 1942 and 1959, showcase the artist’s interests in line, color, and the concept of space as “a positive force.” Three paintings—GWB, 1945/94, Moon, 1958–59, and Yellow White Sun, 1958–59—will be displayed at the museum this fall and one of the works on paper will be part of an exhibition in museum’s paper vault gallery, opening in the spring.

August 16, 2017

Nassau County Museum of Art Appoints Charles A. Riley II as Director

Charles A. Riley II.

The Nassau County Museum of Art in New York has announced that its curator at large Charles A. Riley II has been named director, Long Island Weekly reports. Riley succeeds Karl E. Willers, who led the institution for seven years.

The writer, curator, and educator has authored thirty-two books on art, business, and public policy, including the recently published Free as Gods: How the Jazz Age Reinvented Modernism (2017), Art at Lincoln Center (2009), The Art of Peter Max (2002), and The Arts in the World Economy (1994). His next book, a study of Rodin in Chinese and English, will be published by the Chimei Museum in the fall.

Riley previously served as a reporter for Time and Fortune, and as the editor in chief of WE magazine, a bimonthly devoted to people with disabilities. His writings have also appeared in Art & Auction and Art & Antiques and Antiques and Fine Art. Riley also worked for Doubleday publishing house and as a professor at the City University of New York.