February 21, 2015

Barnes Foundation Museum Discovers Two New Cézanne Works

Paul Cézanne, untitled, circa 1900

In 1921, critic and art collector Leo Stein (Gertrude Stein’s brother), hard-pressed for cash, asked fellow collector Albert C. Barnes to sell some of Stein’s acquisitions in the US, according to the New York Times’ Randy Kennedy. Among the works to be sold were five watercolor landscapes by Paul Cézanne.

Barnes, claiming he had failed to find “anybody who seems to think they are sufficiently important to want to own them,” purchased the pieces himself at $100 per work, later installing them in his museum in Pennsylvania.

Now, a conservation treatment of the watercolors at the Barnes—during which their acidic backing was removed to prevent damage—has uncovered two Cézanne works that were previously unknown: a graphite drawing and a watercolor with graphite on the reverse sides of two of the watercolors.

“Many people come to me and say, ‘I have found a Cézanne!’ and I’ve never, never, never found one that was actually by Cézanne,” said Denis Coutagne, president of the Paul Cézanne Society in Provence. Coutagne has been conducting research for the Barnes to determine which exact location in Aix-en-Provence was the source of the vista appearing in one of the newly discovered works.

The senior director of conservation at the Barnes, Barbara Buckley, said of the foundation’s discovery: “There were screams of delight.”

Kennedy wrote of Cézanne: “Additions to his body of work are exceedingly rare and where even the resurfacing of long-unseen pieces can be huge news. A watercolor study for Cézanne’s coveted “The Card Players” paintings, discovered in Dallas in 2012 after a six-decade absence from public view, brought $19 million at auction that year.”

February 21, 2015

Clark Art Institute Receives Gift of Japanese Woodblock Prints

Utagawa Hiroshige , Awa Province: Naruto Whirlpools, 1855.

The Clark Art Institute has received sixty-three Japanese color woodblock prints, dating from 1832 to 1971, from long-time Clark docent Adele Rodbell. The Rodbell Family Collection includes landscape prints spanning from the late ukiyo-e through the shin hanga and sōsaku hanga movements of the 1920s and ‘30s to postwar Japan.

Among the works are a Hokusai landscape, a number of works from Hiroshige’s series “100 Famous Views of Edo,” and the Zen architecture prints of Saitō.

An exhibition of prints from the collection is slated for the fall of 2015.

Said Rodbell, “When thinking about where this collection should permanently reside, I considered several museums whose Japanese print collections were already quite well established.”

She added: “I thought the Clark was an ideal place for the prints to be. I had a long-term relationship with the Clark, which was expanding its collecting interests into new areas. In addition, two new buildings were being constructed by the fine Japanese architect Tadao Ando. It all seemed to be a perfect fit.”

February 20, 2015

Roy Lichtenstein Foundation Awards Artstor $75,000 to Support James Dee Archives

James Dee with an Artstor staff member.

The Roy Lichtenstein Foundation has given Artstor $75,000 in support of its James Dee Archives project, reports Artdaily. The archives include around 250,000 slides, transparencies, negatives, and photographs which D. James Dee—also known as the Soho Photographer—created to document New York City's contemporary art developments over the last four decades.

The Lichtenstein Foundation’s donation will go toward the processing of the collection, developing crowdsourcing software for collaborative cataloging, and the outreach to galleries and individuals.

Said Jack Cowart, executive director of the Roy Lichtenstein Foundation, “The James Dee Archives project is an invaluable resource, one of the most comprehensive documentations of contemporary art in New York City over the last four decades.”

Coward added: “It relates to our own Harry Shunk and Shunk-Kender Photography Collection of 200,000 photographs of prominent artists, which the foundation recently gifted to five major institutions. While the Roy Lichtenstein Foundation doesn’t usually make grants, the board and staff felt the James Dee project merited an exception given its broad relevance and art historical importance.”

Artstor is a nonprofit initiative founded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation

February 20, 2015

Dealer Gérard Faggionato to Close Gallery, Become Partner at Zwirner

Gérard Faggionato

Gérard Faggionato, a London dealer who operated his own well-known gallery for twenty-two years will be closing his Albemarle Street venture. He will become a partner at David Zwirner Gallery, according to a Zwirner representative.

According to the New York Times’ Scott Reyburn, Faggionato has been the British and European representative of Francis Bacon's estate for nearly two decades. He was formerly head of both the Impressionist and modern and the contemporary art departments at Christie’s. In his new role he’ll work on both primary- and secondary-market sales.

As Reyburn puts it, the news that Faggionato’s shuttering his own gallery and joining Zwirner “will come as a shock to market insiders, given the status of both as immovable fixtures in the art world.”

February 20, 2015

Billionaire Hedge Fund Manager Gives $10 Million to MCA Chicago

Kenneth Griffin.

Katya Kazakina at Bloomberg reports that Ken Griffin has given ten million dollars to the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago through his charity, the Kenneth C. Griffin Charitable Fund.

The money will be used to create the Griffin Galleries of Contemporary Art and comes as part of the museum’s Vision Campaign to raise sixty-four million dollars for programming, which has so far reached sixty million dollars in private donations toward that goal.

Griffin, who has been on the MCA board of trustees since 2000, collects modern and contemporary art and is the founder and owner of Chicago-based hedge fund firm Citadel.

February 20, 2015

Hauser & Wirth to Construct New Building in Manhattan

Hauser & Wirth’s 511 West Eighteenth Street location.

Iwan Wirth, president and cofounder of Hauser & Wirth, announced yesterday that they will be constructing a new gallery building to serve as a permanent downtown location in Manhattan.

The new multistory building will be designed by Annabelle Selldorf of Selldorf Architects, who has worked with the gallery since the 1990s on its spaces in Zurich, London, and New York City, and will be located at 542 West Twenty-second Street in Chelsea where it will occupy 7,400 square feet.

The permanent building will replace Hauser & Wirth's current temporary venue at 511 West Eighteenth Street, which opened in January 2013. That address will continue as a venue for Hauser & Wirth exhibitions and programs until the expiration of its lease in 2017.

February 20, 2015

Foundation Announces Limited Access to James Turrell’s Roden Crater

Roden Crater.

The Skystone Foundation has announced that James Turrell’s Roden Crater project near Flagstaff, Arizona will be opened from May 14 to May 17 with limited access reserved at five thousand dollars per person.

Categorized as a tax-deductible donation to the Skystone Foundation, which is the organization responsible for realizing the Roden Crater project and founded by James Turrell, the fee will grant admission, a tour of Roden Crater, and dinner at the site. An additional $1,500, charged by the travel company overseeing the package, will cover a portion of visitors' expenses while they're staying on site.

Roden Crater is based on an extinct volcanic cinder cone and located in the San Francisco Volcanic Field near Arizona’s Painted Desert and the Grand Canyon. Turrell has been working on turning the site into an artwork and observatory since construction began on it in 1979 with funds from the Dia Art Foundation.

Roden Crater is not currently open to the public.

February 20, 2015

Asia Society’s Texas Center Receives $1.5 Million to Endow Curatorial Position

Chinhui Juhn and Edward R. Allen III.

Market Wired reports that the Asia Society Texas Center in Houston has received a gift of $1.5 million from Edward R. Allen III and Chinhui Juhn to endow a new curatorial position.

A supporter and board member of the museum, Allen was crucial to a recent capital campaign for the Asia Society Texas Center’s $48.4 million building designed by architect Yoshio Taniguchi.

Allen has underwritten other major initiatives at Asia Society over the years, including funding the purchase and installation of a work by Korean artist Lee Ufan—currently on display in the center’s sculpture garden.

February 19, 2015

Rhode Island School of Design Names New President

The Rhode Island School of Design has named Rosanne Somerson its seventeenth president, according to the New York Times’ Julie Lasky. Somerson fills the role left vacant by John Maeda, who, after overseeing the institution for six years, departed in January last year to become a design partner in the venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers.

Somerson, who became interim president when Maeda departed, was a founder and longtime head of the school’s furniture department. She’s also coedited The Art of Critical Making: Rhode Island School of Design on Creative Practice (2013) with Mara Hermano.

Shown internationally, her work is included in museum collections such as the Smithsonian American Art Museum and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, among others.