Documenta 14 in Kassel and Skulptur Projekte Münster Open Saturday

View of Documenta in 1955.

Following the opening of the fourteenth edition of Documenta in Athens in April, the second half of the exhibition, taking place in Kassel, will kick off on Saturday, June 10. The opening coincides with the beginning of the Skulptur Projekte Münster’s fifth iteration, which will take place throughout the German town of Münster, the cultural center of Germany’s Westphalia region. Preview days for the exhibitions will begin June 7 and June 9, respectively.

Founded by Arnold Bode, Documenta has taken place every five years in Kassel since 1955. It began as an exhibition of contemporary and modern art that showcased works labeled “degenerate” by the Nazis during World War II. Dubbed a “museum of one hundred days,” Documenta attracted 130,000 visitors for its inaugural show.

This year marks the first time the exhibition is being hosted by two cities. Artistic director Adam Szymczyk told Michelle Kuo, editor in chief of Artforum, that he first proposed holding part of the exhibition in Athens in 2013, at the height of Greece’s economic crisis. He said, “one of the reasons to work in Athens in parallel to Kassel is precisely to make the exhibition in a place where you can see how problematic things are at the moment, and how much worse they may soon become—though not, naturally, to simply induce passive spectatorship.” Szymczyk added that he wanted to focus on the act of exchange between the two countries.

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December 8, 2017

Páramo Gallery Expands to New York

Páramo Gallery’s New York City outpost. Courtesy of Páramo Gallery.

Páramo, a Mexican gallery that launched in Guadalajara in 2012, has opened a New York City outpost on the Upper East Side. Led by Alexandra Garcia Waldman, the gallery will be open by appointment only. Upcoming shows at the gallery will feature artists such as Naama Tsabar, Eamon Ore-Giron, Francisco Toledo and Argentinean duo Faivovich & Goldberg.

“It is a thrill to be re-launching Páramo into, what we think, will be a distinctive gallery experience, bringing new artists to the gallery both established and new, further expanding the gallery’s global visibility by opening the new space in New York and collaborating on our artist residence in Mexico City,” Waldman said.

In collaboration with Casa Pedregal/Tetetlán, the gallery is also opening a residency in Mexico City. The residency will be hosted in Casa Prieto, an iconic residence designed by Luis Barragan. Commenting on the space, Waldman said, “Barragan is a pillar of twentieth-century Mexican aesthetics and being able to use it as a platform for artists to come into contact with Mexico City and Mexican culture is a very unique experience and one we are very excited about.¨

December 8, 2017

Boston Institutions Team Up to Plan Series of Exhibitions on Art and Technology

Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston.

The Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, has announced that it will soon stage its largest show to date. Examining the Internet’s influence on various art mediums, “Art in the Age of the Internet, 1989 to Today” will premiere on February 12, displaying works by approximately sixty artists. Eva Respini, the chief curator at the ICA who conceived of the exhibition years ago, approached other curators about planning programming that would examine the relationship between technology and art at institutions across Boston. Now twelve organizations are teaming up to present shows.

“It wasn’t about me putting an idea on other organizations, but rather asking them what they’d been thinking along the same lines,” Respini told Malcolm Gay of the Boston Globe. “In most cases the shows are based on things that were already percolating at the other institutions.”

The Boston-area organizations organizing exhibitions are the Harvard Art Museums, MIT List Visual Arts Center, the Museum of Fine Arts, the Berklee College of Music, Boston Cyberarts, the Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts at Harvard University, Tufts University Art Galleries, the Rose Art Museum, the Harvard Film Archive, the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, and the deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum.

Respini added that she thinks of the project as “non-hierarchal, like the Internet. . . .So we can all talk about the intersection in a more sophisticated and nuanced way than I’m able to do in just one exhibition.”

December 8, 2017

Editors of the Exhibitionist Resign over Sexual Harassment Allegations Made Against Founder Jens Hoffmann

Jens Hoffmann.

Following the sexual harassment allegations that were made against curator Jens Hoffmann last month, three editors of The Exhibitionist, a journal that Hoffmann founded in 2009, have resigned. Managing editor Liz Rae Heise-Glass announced on Facebook that she was stepping down along with editor at large Piper Marshall and senior editor Julian Myers-Szupinska.

“In our view it would be incongruous to continue to commission, edit, and publish as normal in these circumstances,” the statement reads. “We wish to make clear that we do not condone sexual harassment, intimidation, or abuse in any context, and that we support those who are coming forward in this profound moment of reckoning.”

Hoffmann was first accused of sexual misconduct by staff members at the Jewish Museum in New York, who came forward on November 30. Since then the Jewish Museum, as well as several other organizations Hoffmann was involved with, including the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit, the Kadist foundation, and the Indianapolis Museum of Contemporary Art, have suspended all ongoing projects that he was working on. With the exception of the Honolulu Biennial, which completely cut ties with Hoffmann, Artnews reports that the other institutions will reevaluate their relationships with the curator once the Jewish Museum completes its review of the complaints made against him.

The joint statement written by Liz Rae Heise-Glass, Piper Marshall, and Julian Myers-Szupinska reads:

December 8, 2017

Louvre Abu Dhabi Claims It Owns Leonardo da Vinci’s Salvator Mundi

A tweet issued by the Louvre Abu Dhabi, claiming it owns the Leonardo da Vinci work, which recently sold for 0 million at Christie’s postwar and contemporary art evening sale.

Following contradictory reports about the identity of the mystery buyer who shelled out $450 million, the largest known sum ever paid for an artwork, on Leonardo da Vinci’s Salvator Mundi, the Louvre Abu Dhabi has issued a statement today claiming that it owns the work.

In a post on Twitter, the recently-opened institution wrote: “Louvre Abu Dhabi is looking forward to displaying the Salvator Mundi by Leonardo Da Vinci. The work was acquired by the Department of Culture and Tourism - Abu Dhabi for the museum.”

The announcement comes a day after the New York Times revealed that the collector who purchased the work was the Saudi Arabian prince Bader bin Abdullah bin Mohammed bin Farhan al-Saud. However, the Wall Street Journal has since published a report stating that Bader was only an intermediary, and that the crown prince Mohammed Bin Salman is the actual buyer of the work.

December 8, 2017

University of Notre Dame to Build New $66 Million Art Museum

The University of Notre Dame.

The University of Notre Dame announced today that it plans to build a new 70,000-square-feet art museum. The institution will be named the Raclin Murphy Museum of Art, after the longtime philanthropists who made the leading gift for the project, Ernestine Raclin and her daughter and son-in-law Carmen and Chris Murphy. The amount of the donation was not disclosed.

“I am deeply moved by this transformative gift that will fulfill the museum’s primary vision—creating an arts district to not only serve Notre Dame faculty and students, but to also form a bridge to community audiences,” said Charles Loving, director of the Snite Museum of Art. “Our current museum is presently turning down some requests for tours and programs because the building is at capacity. We cannot display certain temporary exhibitions offered to us because of limited gallery space, and as the collection has grown we have had to convert some galleries to art storage vaults. In short, the new building will allow us to better fulfill the University’s mission as it relates to the arts.”

The building will be located in Notre Dame’s new arts district on the south end of the campus, facing Angela Boulevard. The project will be the first phase of the university’s new 132,000-square-foot arts complex, which will also include the DeBartolo Performing Arts Center, Charles B. Hayes Family Sculpture Park, Matthew and Joyce Walsh Family Hall of Architecture, and the O’Neill Hall of Music. Construction on the arts museum will begin in 2020. According to a statement issued by the university, the Snite Museum will still “remain an integral part of the campus.”

December 7, 2017

Carolin Eidner Wins 2017 Miami Beach NADA Artadia Award

Carolin Eidner, from the series: “Particularities of Gravity Demands,” 2017.

Artadia and the New Art Dealers Alliance (NADA) announced today that Carolin Eidner is the recipient of the 2017 Miami Beach NADA Artadia Award, a $5,000 unrestricted, merit-based award granted to one contemporary artist exhibiting at the fair. Eidner is the first European artist to ever win the prize.

Eidner’s work is exhibited at Natalie Hug, booth 7.15 at NADA Miami, which opened Thursday, December 7, and runs through December 10.  The artist was selected by a jury comprising Jose Carlos Diaz, the chief curator of the Andy Warhol Museum, and Andria Hickey, a senior curator at MOCA Cleveland.

“It is always exciting to see the work of artists who are little known in the United States,” Hickey said.“Carolin Eidner’s concrete paintings shown as a solo booth at Nathalie Hug are fantastic and represent only a fraction of her multifacted practice which has primarily been shown in Europe.”

December 7, 2017

Frick Purchases Its First Painting in Thirty Years

François-Pascal-Simon Gérard, Camillo Borghese, ca. 1810. Photo: Michael Bodycomb.

The Frick Collection has acquired its first work since 1991, a 7-feet-tall portrait of Prince Camillo Borghese by François-Pascal-Simon Gérard, an influential nineteenth-century artist who was popular at the time of the French Revolution. Gérard, whose works are in the permanent collection of the Louvre, was a student of the neoclassical painter Jacques-Louis David.

“The last opportunity the Frick had to purchase a major French School painting was nearly thirty years ago, with the acquisition of [Jean-Antoine] Watteau’s Portal of Valenciennes,” director Ian Wardropper said. “Today, it is deeply rewarding to have the rare opportunity to bring to the museum such an important work as this one, a historic portrait we feel would have compelled Henry Clay Frick. While the portrait has been shown in Rome, it has never been seen publicly in America.”

Borghese was the brother-in-law of Napoleon Bonaparte and a prominent arts patron. His family was considered one of the most important within the Roman aristocracy. Today, many works from his family’s collection remain in the Greek and Roman holdings at the Louvre. Gérard’s role as portraitist to the Bonaparte family helped advance his career. Even after the fall of the French Empire in 1815, the artist continued to find work. The full-length portrait, which is the only known portrait of Borghese and the first work by Gérard to join the Frick’s collection, will be exhibited in October 2018. 

 

December 7, 2017

Blanton Museum of Art Raises $23 Million for Ellsworth Kelly–Designed Structure

Architectural model of Ellsworth Kelly’s Austin, 2015.

After a $23 million capital campaign, the fabrication of Ellsworth Kelly’s Austin, a 2,715-square-foot structure, is finally finished. The stone building, featuring prismatic glass windows and black-white-marble tiles, is the first and only freestanding structure conceived by the artist. Kelly gifted the design for the piece to the Blanton Museum of Art at the University of Texas at Austin in 2015, making it one of the last works he produced before he passed away in December of that same year.

“The opening of Austin further cements the Blanton as an international cultural destination,” Blanton director Simone Wicha said. “The broad geographic support we received for this project is reflective of the audience we anticipate visiting Kelly's monumental achievement.”

Akin to the Rothko chapel in Houston, and Matisse chapel in Venice, the chapel-like structure is meant to be a place for joy and contemplation, “without religious program.” The debut of Austin on February 18 will coincide with the opening of an exhibition dedicated to the artist, “Form into Spirit: Ellsworth Kelly’s Austin.”

December 7, 2017

Lauren Halsey Wins 2017 William H. Johnson Prize

Lauren Halsey, The Crenshaw District Hieroglyph Project Sketch, 2017, digital rendering, 20 x 24 inches.

The William H. Johnson Foundation for the Arts announced today that Lauren Halsey is the recipient of this year’s William H. Johnson Prize, an annual $25,000 award that recognizes emerging African American artists. Previous prize winners include Laylah Ali, Sanford Biggers, Jennie C. Jones, Robert A. Pruitt, and EJ Hill.

Halsey, a Los Angeles-based artist known for creating fantastical environments that reimagine the urban community, was selected for her Crenshaw District Hieroglyph Project, a massive monument and participatory public art installation coming to South Los Angeles. The piece will allow the public to engrave their own stories into the surface of the monument to share with the neighborhood. Commenting on her work, Halsey said, “I aim to empower blackness in the form of constructing spatial paradigms that amplify positivity while conjuring new perspectives of economic autonomy, self-definition, and love.”

The jury comprised Jonathan Griffin, an independent arts writer and critic; EJ Hill, an artist and the 2016 recipient of the William H. Johnson Prize; Jamillah James, a curator at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; Nicole Miller, an artist and the 2015 recipient of the William H. Johnson Prize; and Lanka Tattersall, an assistant curator at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles. In a statement they praised “the artist’s conviction, unique and focused vision, and the urgency and timeliness of her project.” Painter Andy Robert and Houston and performance artist Autumn Knight were finalists of the prize.