Victoria Sancho Lobis has been appointed associate curator at the Art Institute of Chicago in the department of prints and drawings, effective September 15. Lobis is currently curator of the print collection and fine art galleries at the University of San Diego; she has held this role since 2009, when the position was first established, reports Broadway World. Said curator Suzanne Folds McCullagh: “Lobis’s knowledge and experience will help us shape our holdings, research, and exhibitions in two pivotal areas for the museum. We are particularly excited by her interest in Latin American colonial art and by her success in building a program at the University of San Diego.”
The Denver Business Journal’s Mark Harden reports that the Denver Art Museum has received a gift of $1.75 million from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation for its textile art department. The gift comes in two parts: a $1.5 million challenge grant that will need to be matched in three years, and which will fund a full-time textile conservator position, plus $250,000 that will establish a fellowship in textile conservation. Said museum director Christoph Heinrich, “Textiles are triggers of cultural exchange and creative expression around the world. The Denver Art Museum is devoted to exploring, preserving and presenting this underrepresented art form.”
David Ng of the Los Angeles Times reports that the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, announced yesterday its election of KB Home’s former chairman and chief executive Bruce Karatz, Shamrock Holdings’s president and chief executive Stanley P. Gold, and lawyer and local philanthropist Orna Amir Wolens to the museum’s board of trustees. The appointments come during a fiscally turbulent time for the museum, which has raised $60 million dollars over the last month toward its goal of a $100 million endowment.
2013 Guggenheim Fellows Announced
The John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation has announced that in its eighty-ninth annual competition for the United States and Canada, the foundation has awarded 175 fellowships to artists, scientists, and scholars. The successful candidates were chosen from a group of some 3,000 applicants.
Winners this year include Charles Gaines, Carrie Moyer, Faye Driscoll, and Gary Schneider.
Drama and Performance Art
Juliana (Coco) Fusco
Ann Marie Pibal
Mary Jo Vath
J. C. Hallman
L. S. Asekoff
Benjamin Samuel Lerner
Abstract painter Zao Wou-ki died this past Tuesday in his home in Switzerland at the age of ninety-two, reports Jamie Wetherbe of the Los Angeles Times. Born in Beijing in 1921, Zao was known for his blend of European abstraction and traditional Chinese brushwork, often working in large expanses of color. These influences were most likely the result of his departure from China in 1948, after which he settled in Paris, where he would become a French citizen sixteen years later. Following later recognition in his homeland in the early 1980s, his works began to sell for $1 million to $2 million each at auction. He most recently became the top-selling Chinese artist of 2011, selling a total of $90 million for that year.
The building belonging to the American Folk Art Museum, New York, located on 45 West Fifty-third Street, is set to be demolished by the end of the year, reports Robin Pogrebin of the New York Times. Built in 2001 and designed by Tod Williams and Billie Tsien, the structure has been known for its brutalist bronze façade that sits adjacent to the predominantly glass exterior of the Museum of Modern Art, New York. It was recently purchased by MoMA, and will undergo a major expansion. The Folk Art Museum was forced to sell the property after needing to pay off a $32 million debt from its own expansion. The museum now operates at a smaller site at Lincoln Square. Precisely what will be exhibited in MoMA’s addition, totaling fifty thousand square feet, has yet to be determined. MoMA director Glenn D. Lowry said it will most likely display works from the museum’s “midcentury collections, early modern collections, and temporary exhibitions.”
The New York Times’ Fred A. Bernstein reports that the architect Paolo Soleri died on Tuesday at his home in Paradise Valley, Arizona at the age of ninety-three. Soleri was known as the designer of Arcosanti, an “urban laboratory” in Arizona that since the 1960s has been a base for explorations of his philosophy of arcology—a combination of architecture and ecology. Bernstein notes that the critic and author Alastair Gordon once likened Soleri, who apprenticed with Frank Lloyd Wright in the 1940s, to “a desert Obi-Wan Kenobi.”
Fabio Cypriano at Folha reports that British curator Charles Esche will organize the thirty-first São Paulo Bienal, scheduled for September 2014. Esche is currently director of the Van Abbemuseum, in Eindhoven, The Netherlands. The last Bienal was curated by Luis Pérez-Oramas, the Estrellita Brodsky Curator of Latin American Art at MoMA in New York. According to Cypriano, Esche was one of five curators considered to lead the Bienal; Esche’s project plans to address the role of art in globalization.
Philanthropist and cosmetics tycoon Leonard Lauder has announced that he will be donating his collection of Cubist artwork to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. With thirty-three works by Pablo Picasso, seventeen by Georges Braque, and fourteen both by Juan Gris and by Fernand Léger, the collection is estimated by Forbes to be worth one billion dollars. When asked by Jennifer Maloney of the Wall Street Journal why he’d chosen not to establish his own museum for the collection, Lauder responded, “I'm not a builder of buildings, I'm a builder of collections.” The Met announced that, in conjunction with Lauder’s gift, it will also found a new research center for modern art using a $22 million endowment supported by Lauder as well as other patrons of the museum. Noting the fact that significant Cubist works were previously underrepresented in the Met’s collection, Thomas Campbell, the museum’s director and CEO, stated, “You cannot overestimate the impact of a contribution like this one. It’s in the league of the greatest gifts to the Metropolitan in the course of its history.”