Developers Propose New Arts Center in Minneapolis

A rendering of the proposed art complex. Courtesy: Frauenshuh.

A seventeen-story residential tower with an arts center and artists lofts is being proposed by developers in Edina, Minnesota, according to the Star Tribune. The arts complex would serve as the new location for the Edina Art Center, which has provided creative resources for the Minneapolis suburb since 1977 (the current aging facility requires maintenance).

The new development was designed by Dean Dovolis and Aron Johnson of DJR Architecture and would occupy a three-acre space now owned by the Edina Housing and Redevelopment Authority. After years of seeking community-driven ideas for the site, the city entered a preliminary development agreement with Fraunshuh Commercial Real Estate last December. In addition to the residential tower’s one hundred and fifty units, there would also be twenty-seven artist lofts, including some affordable units. “The time in the development cycle is ripe where if the community can agree on what to build there, we think that this is the right time to do it,” said Bill Neuendorf, Edina’s economic development manager. The city will host a community open house to hear comments about the plan on January 22.

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January 18, 2018

Dennis Oppenheim Sculpture Destroyed in South Korea After Complaints

Dennis Oppenheim's Chamber, 2010. Photo: Busan Biennale.

A conceptual artwork created by the American artist Dennis Oppenheim for the 2010 Busan Biennale in South Korea was demolished by the city's district office, according to the South China Morning Post. The city failed to notify Oppenheim’s estate about their disposal of the steel and plastic sculpture, which was nearly twenty feet high, cost $750,000, and was first unveiled at its seaside location in South Korea in March 2011, two months after the artist died of cancer at seventy-two. As the sculpture began to rust due to brine and a recent typhoon, the city started receiving complaints about the appearance of the work, which was titled Chamber and resembled a metal, concave flower.  

“We’ve sent the wreckage, mainly steel pipes and polycarbonate materials, to a waste dump,” Haeundae district official Shi Yun-Seok told the news service AFP. Shi said that the city did not alert Oppenheim’s estate, which holds intellectual property rights to the artist's work, before doing so. The installation's commissioners envisioned the work as a tourist attraction in which people walked between the sculpture’s steel petals and took photographs. “I’ve never heard of something like that happening before,” said Busan Biennale representative Moon Ju-Hwa. “I was deeply shocked and flabbergasted that this precious artwork was demolished in such a nonchalant manner.”

Oppenheim, whose works are in collections in the Museum of Modern Art, the Centre Pompidou, and the Tate in London, is considered a pioneering artist who worked within many movements during his extensive career. “During Dennis Oppenheim’s forty-plus years of artmaking, his idiosyncratic output was variously, if a little awkwardly, squashed into the categories of Land, Body, and Conceptual art, each of which he playfully mined and subverted,” Jo Applin wrote in the March 2014 issue of Artforum.

January 18, 2018

Developer Razes Frank Lloyd Wright Building in Montana

The Lockridge Medical Clinic in 2016. Photo: Adam Jeselnick.

A building in Whitefish, Montana designed by Frank Lloyd Wright in 1958 was bulldozed on January 10 by its owner despite efforts to save the historic property by the Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy, a Chicago-based nonprofit dedicated to the preservation of Wright’s work. The Lockridge Medical Clinic, designed one year before Wright's death, is the first building by the architect in more than forty years to be demolished.

After the nonprofit offered to pay developer Mick Ruis a refundable deposit and his full asking price of $1.7 million within sixty days, Ruis demanded a fifty percent increase on the deposit and the full $1.7 million by January 22. The clinic was destroyed less than two hours after final negotiations fell through between the nonprofit and Ruis, who bought the premises in 2016 unaware of its cultural and historical status. The building, which also served as a bank and law offices, was just one of three sites in Montana designed by Wright, and has been listed on the Register of Historic Places since 2012. 

“The board of directors of the Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy agreed the owner’s proposals provided no realistic path to acquiring the building, short of an investor willing to put down $1.7 million cash without reasonable time to complete their own due diligence on the property,” said Barbara Gordon, the nonprofit’s executive director. “None of us are aware of why the owner changed his mind and moved up his demolition plans.”

January 17, 2018

Eighty-Five Artists Awarded MacDowell Colony Fellowships

2018 MacDowell Colony fellows. Photo: (clockwise from top left): Stacey Steers, Rashawn Griffin, Mary Ruefle, Koji Nakano, Amity Gaige, Basil Twist, Morgan Thorsen, and Eric Puchner.

The MacDowell Colony in Peterborough, New Hampshire, has awarded fellowships to eighty-five artists working in seven disciplines. The fellowships are for upcoming late-winter and spring residencies. Writers Rebecca Skloot, Elif Batuman, and Azmat Khan; poet Mary Ruefle; composer Evan Chambers, filmmaker Stacey Steers; and artists Starlee Kine, Basil Twist, and Carl Wilson are among the recipients. Each fellow will be awarded $10,000 and will be provided with a private studio.

“Once again, an amazing array of gifted artists have applied for MacDowell fellowships. These artists range in age from twenty to ninety-two, perhaps the widest range we’ve ever had,” executive director Cheryl A. Young said. “This generational span is a testament to our continued effort to help artists of all ages and at all stages of their careers. This mix also makes for a richer experience for those in residence.”

Also among this group are artists displaced by the recent natural disasters in Florida, Texas, and Mexico. MacDowell fellows who live in the affected areas were eligible to apply for emergency time if their studios, homes, or livelihood were impacted. The MacDowell Colony awards more than three hundred fellowships each year.

The 2018 fellows are as follows:

January 17, 2018

Nancy Wilhelms to Step Down as Executive Director of Anderson Ranch Arts Center

Nancy Wilhelms. Photo: the Anderson Ranch Arts Center.

The Anderson Ranch Arts Center in Colorado has announced that Nancy Wilhelms, who successfully led the organization for five years, will step down as executive director at the end of the year. Wilhelms will continue to head the institution as it searches for a successor to ensure a smooth transition in leadership.

“During her tenure, Nancy has been instrumental in the successful growth of the Ranch,” board chair David Fuente said in a statement. While Wilhelms was at the helm of the organization, the Ranch increased its operating budget by 34 percent and its endowment by 27 percent. She also helped enhance programs such as the “Featured Artists Series,” which invited Frank Stella, Christo, Marina Abramović, Theaster Gates, Steve McQueen, Carrie Mae Weems, and Catherine Opie, among other artists, to the arts space, and she spearheaded the development of the new “Critical Dialogue Program,” the “Advanced Mentored Studies Program,” and other initiatives.

Commenting on her departure, Wilhelms said, “I am looking forward to pursuing new opportunities in arts and culture, and working with the board to help the Ranch enter the next phase of its growth. I plan to remain a very active member of the Ranch family and community.”

January 17, 2018

Moscow Judge Extends Russian Director Kirill Serebrennikov’s House Arrest

Kirill S. Serebrennikov. Photo: Operstuttgart.

On Tuesday, January 16, 2018, a Moscow court extended the duration for which Kirill Serebrennikov, the artistic director of the Gogol Center, will remain under house arrest. Serebrennikov has been accused of embezzling government funds. Supporters of the embattled director believe that the charges were brought against him in order to punish him for organizing performances featuring sexually explicit and politically-charged content.

According to the New York Times, investigators are now claiming that Serebrennikov embezzled $2.3 million—twice as much as they originally thought—through his theater company, Seventh Studio. If he is convicted, the judge may award the Ministry of Culture the same amount as compensation.

While cultural figures have spoken up in his defense and repeatedly petitioned for his release, President Vladimir V. Putin declared that Serebrennikov must secure his freedom through the Russian legal system. When testifying in court on Tuesday, the director alleged that he was falsely accused of the crime by the accountant for Seventh Studio, Nina L. Maslyaeva, who also named four others as collaborators. His trial is scheduled to take place in three months.

January 17, 2018

Yuki Terase Appointed Sotheby’s Head of Contemporary Art, Asia

Yuki Terase.

Sotheby’s has named Yuki Terase as head of contemporary art, Asia, a department that is based in Hong Kong. Terase will lead be responsible for the auction house’s private sales of Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and western contemporary art in Asia, and will contribute to the company’s business development efforts in Japan.

“Yuki’s depth of experience and relationships around the world make her a critical component of our contemporary art team and I’m thrilled to have her spearhead our efforts in such an important part of the global marketplace,” Amy Cappellazzo, chairman of Sotheby’s fine art division, said in a statement.

Since joining Sotheby’s in 2011, Terase has led a number of white-glove sales, including “Full Circle: Yoshihara Jiro Collection, Brushwork,” “From Asia to the World, Brushwork II,” “All the World’s a Stage,” and “Yamaguchi Takeo—Composing Monochrome.” She also initiated a sale in collaboration with street fashion designer Nigo, as well as one guest-curated by the K-Pop singer T.O.P. in October 2016. Previously, Terase worked for Morgan Stanley as a member of its mergers and acquisition advisory team in Tokyo.

January 17, 2018

Amy Sherald Joins Baltimore Museum of Art as New Trustee

Amy Sherald. Photo: Christopher Myers.

The Baltimore Museum of Art announced that contemporary artist and Baltimore resident Amy Sherald has been elected as its newest trustee. Sherald, who was recently commissioned to paint Michelle Obama’s portrait, will officially take her board seat on February 20. She joins thirty-nine other active trustees in guiding the institution.

“As we develop a new strategic plan, it is important to have the voice of artists like Amy on the BMA’s board of trustees,” director Christopher Bedford said. “Amy will bring a unique perspective to museum leadership, one that not only draws on her career as one of today’s most important artists, but also on her ties to the city of Baltimore itself.”

Commenting on her new post, Sherald said, “The BMA is pioneering the way for institutions to become more inclusive by championing contemporary artists from all walks of life. I am honored to be able to have a voice in helping move the museum forward.”

January 17, 2018

The Awl and The Hairpin Prepare to Shut Down

Screenshot of The Awl.

The influential website The Awl and its sister website The Hairpin, which is geared towards women, announced on Tuesday that they will be shutting down. Known for showcasing writing about eccentric and offbeat topics, the platforms have featured content ranging from David Foster Wallace’s self-help library to the dos and don’ts of time traveling. A decline in ad revenue was cited as the reason for the closures.

Michael Macher, the publisher of the Awl Network, told Benjamin Mullin of the Wall Street Journal that “We’ve always been somewhat intentionally small, and scale has become increasingly important for securing large ad deals.” He added, “It’s a structural shift with the way media buyers and agencies relate to publishers—and for better or worse less of those dollars are falling to indie publishers.”

“For nearly a decade we followed a dream of building a better Internet, and though we did not manage to do that every day we tried very hard and we hope you don’t blame us for how things ultimately turned out,” The Awl said in a statement. “We’re intensely proud of what we managed to accomplish over the years, and while most of the credit goes to an astoundingly talented team of writers and editors, the greatest achievement any site can claim is in the quality and fervor of its audience, and on that score we feel like we were the most successful organization ever.”

January 17, 2018

Monya Rowe Gallery Is Returning to New York

Polina Barskaya, Kitchen with Sunflowers, 2017, acrylic on panel, 8 x 10".

Monya Rowe Gallery, which has been located in Saint Augustine, Florida since 2015, is now moving back to New York, the city it called home since at least 2005, writes Nate Freeman of Artnews. “Thank you for supporting our exhibitions throughout this Florida chapter. We look forward to seeing you in New York,” said the gallery in a statement.

Details as to where the gallery will be relocating to in the city have not been provided. Before heading south, the gallery was located on Manhattan’s Lower East Side at Thirty-Four Orchard Street, which is currently occupied by Alden Projects. Monya Rowe’s inaugural New York show will feature a recent body of work by Polina Barskaya.