Anri Sala Selected to Create Sydney’s 2017 Kaldor Public Art Project

Anri Sala. Photo: Marc Domage.

Nicholas Forrest of Artinfo reports that Albanian-born French artist Anri Sala has been selected to create Sydney’s 2017 Kaldor Public Art Project, a sculptural sound piece called The Last Resort that will be installed in the Observatory Hill Rotunda, a century-old bandstand that overlooks the Sydney Harbor.

“We are proud to present the world-premiere of a major version of new work by internationally acclaimed artist Anri Sala,” said John Kaldor, director of Kaldor Public Art Projects. “This new work, one of the artist’s largest and most ambitious to-date, speaks to the Australian context and the extraordinary site of the Sydney Observatory.”

Sala’s piece will feature thirty-eight specially made snare drums that will be suspended from the rotunda’s ceiling. When activated it will play a reimagined and augmented version of Mozart’s Clarinet concerto in A Major, K. 622. “I look at this work like a musical artifact that we have thrown in the ocean. . . .The winds, the waves, [and] the water currents take it one way and the other and it eventually reaches somewhere, though not as it originally started out as it is transformed by the journey,” said Sala.


September 22, 2017

Chinese Conceptual Artists’ Video at Guggenheim Museum Incites Animal Rights Activists

Collage of several scenes from Sun Yuan and Peng Yu's video Dogs That Cannot Touch Each Other.

Matthew Haag reports in the New York Times that a video set to be included in an upcoming exhibition at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York next month is causing an outcry, along with calls for the work to be pulled from the show. Sun Yuan and Peng Yu’s video Dogs That Cannot Touch Each Other is a seven-minute clip recording a performance from 2003 wherein eight American pit bulls were placed on eight treadmills as they charge at each other, though the treadmills are actually holding each animal back from contact. There is currently a petition circulating to promote “cruelty-free exhibits” at the museum.

The artists themselves addressed criticism of the piece some time ago, with Peng saying “Where is the soft spot in all of this?” She also questioned the claims of animal cruelty: “Were the dogs being abused? The answer should be no. These dogs are naturally pugnacious.”

The exhibition that will include the piece, “Art and China After 1989,” opens October 6 and will feature about 150 works by Chinese Conceptual artists. The show will run for three months, and a statement released by the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum addressing the controversy is as follows.

September 22, 2017

KölnSkulptur Announces Artists for Ninth Edition

Bernar Venet, Four Arcs, 1999. Installation view, Skulpturenpark Köln.

After naming Chus Martínez as curator for the ninth edition, KölnSkulptur has now announced the artists participating in the upcoming the biennial exhibition, to be titled “La Fin de Babylon. Mich wundert, dass ich so fröhlich bin!” (“The End of Babylon. I wonder, that I’m so happy!”), and which opens on October 15 to run through 2019. The exhibition will be held at the Skulpturenpark in Cologne—founded by Michael and Eleonore Stoffel in 1997—an organization that over the years has commissioned over one hundred and fifty artworks by major artists such as Rosemarie Trockel, Louise Bourgeois, Jenny Holzer, Isa Genzken, Dan Graham, and Peter Fischli and David Weiss. The Michael and Eleonore Stoffel Foundation has been funding exhibitions at the park since 2005.

The opening of the ninth edition coincides with the park’s twentieth anniversary, and the artists who will participate in the exhibition are as follows.

September 22, 2017

Hauser & Wirth Opens New Location in Hong Kong

Rendering of the H Queen's development in Hong Kong.

Anny Shaw reports in the Art Newspaper that the gallery Hauser & Wirth—which has several spaces already in the US, a couple in the UK, and another in Zürich—is adding a new branch in Hong Kong due to open next spring. Planned for the new H Queen’s development, Hauser & Wirth Hong Kong will occupy the fifteenth and sixteenth floors of a building designed by William Lim of CL3, along with other galleries such as David Zwirner, Pace, and Pearl Lam. Architect Annabelle Selldorf, who has helmed the renovation of six Hauser & Wirth galleries in Zürich, London, Somerset, New York, and Los Angeles, will design the new 10,000-square-foot space.

Additionally, the gallery will also have offices in Shanghai and Beijing as of next month. Of the development, dealer Iwan Wirth noted: “Hong Kong’s multicultural spirit makes it an ideal base for connecting with the rest of Asia. Shanghai has a diverse and dynamic arts scene, and Beijing’s proximity to government and infrastructure makes it an important cultural hub and powerhouse of the future,” adding that he spent two years researching “the most appropriate ways” to expand in this region, “to become a fully present part of the art scene in China and engage meaningfully.” Hauser & Wirth currently only represents one Chinese artist, Zhang Enli, although Wirth also said he intends to add more Chinese and Asian artists to their stable.

Though a schedule of exhibitions for the new space has yet to be announced, Hauser & Wirth Hong Kong will be codirected by Vanessa Guo, who came from Christie’s in early 2016, and Lihsin Tsai, who prior to joining the gallery had managed the exhibition space of the Shanghai collector and entrepreneur Qiao Zhibing.

September 22, 2017

Gerhard Richter to Donate Artwork to City of Münster

Gerhard Richter.

German artist Gerhard Richter told the Deutsche Presse-Agentur in Cologne on Wednesday that he wants to donate a multi-part work to the city of Münster. The piece will be site-specific and will reference Foucault’s pendulum.

The eighty-five-year-old artist said that he has been visiting different sculpture projects in Münster with his friend Kasper König, artistic director of the decennial exhibition Skulptur Projekte Münster, and will continue to do so until October. He hopes to install the artwork at the Dominican church in the Westphalian city’s old center, but first the city council must approve the donation and its location. More details regarding the gift are expected to be announced in the next few days.

To read more about the 2017 Skulptur Projekte Münster, which closes on October 1, check out Harvard University professor Benjamin H. D. Buchloh’s recap of the exhibition in the September 2017 issue of Artforum.

September 21, 2017

Mexico’s Arts Organizations Assess Damages as Death Toll from Major Earthquake Passes 250

The Museo Nacional de Arte in Mexico City. Photo: Christian Uziel via Twitter

Following a 7.1 magnitude earthquake that struck Mexico early Tuesday afternoon leaving at least 250 dead and countless people missing, arts venues are banding together to assess their damages and help those in need.

According to the New York Times, the natural disaster occurred around 1 PM and caused prolonged shaking in the capital. Since its epicenter was located about one hundred miles from Mexico City, around forty buildings there had collapsed, trapping people under rubble and creating chaos for emergency workers. It hit only two weeks after a more powerful quake, which registered at a magnitude of 8.1, killing at least ninety people and destroying homes in the states of Chiapas and Oaxaca.

Terremoto, the free bilingual quarterly print and digital publication based in Mexico City, announced that its offices staff survived the quake. It also sent out an open letter informing people where they can donate to help those impacted by the disaster. The New York Times also compiled a list of international organizations that are providing aid to the country here. Among the organizations accepting financial support is Topos México, a nonprofit created in response to the 1985 earthquake, which killed around 10,000.

September 21, 2017

The University of the Arts and the Philadelphia Art Alliance Join Forces

The University of the Arts in Philadelphia. Photo: Dave Jackson

The boards of trustees of the University of the Arts and Philadelphia Art Alliance announced that the two century-old institutions will merge. The agreement was finalized with a unanimous vote on August 28.

The Art Alliance will be incorporated into the University of the Arts, which will be renamed as the Philadelphia Art Alliance at the University of the Arts. The University of the Arts president and CEO David Yager will head the rebranded institution.

“We are thrilled that the Art Alliance will continue to be an active part of the future of Philadelphia’s cultural life as a result of this merger with the University of the Arts,” said Carole Shanis, chairperson and president emerita of the Art Alliance. “The Art Alliance has been a multi-disciplinary art center, guided by artists, since it was founded in 1915. While over the last ten years our focus has been on contemporary craft and design, we welcome the new resources and broader perspective that will come with this partnership.”

September 21, 2017

The Broad Welcomes Thomas Campbell and Other Members to Its Board of Directors

The Broad museum in Los Angeles.

The Broad museum in Los Angeles has announced that it has added four new members to its board of directors, including Thomas Campbell, the outgoing director of the Metropolitan Museum of Art; Sherry Lansing, CEO of the Sherry Lansing Foundation; Joanne Heyeler, the Broad’s founding director; and Deborah Kanter, the Broad Art Foundation’s chief legal officer, will also join its ranks.

“As the Broad celebrates its second anniversary, Edye and I are delighted to see the museum expand its board,” said Eli Broad, the museum’s founder, in a statement. “The four new members reflect a wide variety of experience in industries including the arts, philanthropy, media, and business, and we look forward to applying their insights as the Broad looks to the future.”

The institution’s board now has a total of eight members. Its founding members are Eli Broad, Bruce Karatz, Robert Tuttle, and Jay Wintrob.

September 21, 2017

Museum of Fine Arts Houston Names Bradley Bailey as Curator of Asian Art

Bradley Bailey.

The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston announced today the appointment of Bradley Bailey as curator of Asian art. Currently associate curator of Asian art at the Ackland Art Museum at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Bailey will be the first to hold the newly endowed curatorial position, which has been sponsored by Anne and Albert Chao and the Chao family, through the Ting Tsung and Wei Fong Chao Foundation. Bailey will take up the post in October.

“I am excited to build on the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston’s collection of Asian art, which is a daring blend of works with great historical importance and thrilling contemporary acquisitions,” Bailey said. “This combination provides an unparalleled opportunity to showcase traditional art forms alongside works from the present-day, demonstrating their power and relevance to modern audiences.”

September 20, 2017

Martin Parr to Open Foundation Dedicated to Documentary Photography

Martin Parr, Guadalajara, Mexico, 2013.

Martin Parr has created an eponymous foundation—dedicated to the study and exhibition of documentary photography—in the city of Bristol in southwestern England, writes Javier Pes of the Art Newspaper. The Martin Parr Foundation will open on October 25, 2017, with “Black Country Stories,” an exhibition of the artist’s own works. The show will run until January 2018.

“I don’t believe the V&A and the Tate believe in documentary photography as I do,” said Parr when asked why he decided to open his foundation, which was first established three years ago. Funded by the partial sale/gift of the artist’s 12,000 photo books to the Tate (which plans on naming a room after the artist), Parr’s institution will allow researchers access to his collection of documentary photographs from artists such as Bruce Davidson, Chris Killip, Roger Mayne, Gilles Peress, and Tony Ray-Jones. Support from the Art Fund and the Luma Foundation helped with the museum’s purchase.

The foundation is housed in Bristol’s Paintworks complex, which contains a library, gallery, studio, and archive space. In addition to being a research hub, Parr’s organization also plans on working with University of the West of England by giving students from its newly minted MA in photography program a space for their thesis exhibitions.