The Mike Kelley Foundation has awarded a total of $319,000 in 2017 Artist Project Grants to eight Los Angeles–based nonprofits. "These artists and organizations exemplify the ambitious and imaginative spirit of this grant. From new works—such as Liz Glynn’s sculptural stage set of fire and steel—to the first-ever performance of the late composer James Tenney’s magnum opus, to critical examinations of art history, the projects reflect the remarkable scope and variety of artistic and curatorial practices in Los Angeles,” said Mary Clare Stevens, the executive director of the foundation.
Those awarded this year are:
Human Resources ($40,000), so that it may stage an exhibition of works and performances, titled “GesammttkkunnsttMeshuggahhLaandtttt,” by artist Charlemagne Palestine.
The Industry ($40,000), for director Yuval Sharon’s reimagining of Bertolt Brecht’s 1938 play Life of Galileo, which will take place on a beach in San Pedro around a gigantic sculpture by Liz Glynn.
La Plaza de Cultura y Artes ($40,000), towards the exhibition “¡Murales Rebeldes!: L.A. Chicana/o Murals Under Siege,” a collaboration between La Plaza de Cultura y Artes and the California Historical Society, as part of the Getty Foundation’s “Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA” initiative.
REDCAT ($40,000), to fund the performance-based exhibition titled “Chalk Circles,” featuring artists such as Carola Dertnig, Joachim Koester, David Levine, Silke Otto-Knapp, and Kerry Tribe.
The Society for the Activation of Social Space through Art and Sound ($33,000), which will aid in staging the world premiere of the late composer James Tenney’s 1985 theater work Changes: 64 Studies for 6 Harps.
The University Art Museum at California State University, Long Beach ($40,000), for a solo exhibition by artist lauren woods, which will be made up of video and sound installations, film, site-specific works, and a public intervention.
Vincent Price Art Museum ($50,000), for the exhibition “Regeneración: Three Generations of Revolutionary Ideology,” a group exhibition that will examine the circulation of revolutionary and activist thinking between the United States and Mexico.
Pasadena Arts Council’s Volume Program ($36,000), that will fund Ron Athey’s performative installation Gifts of the Spirit: Auto da Fe, which will explore religious ecstasy, spiritualism, Pentecostalism, faith healing, stigmata, prophecy, and glossolalia.
From March 21 to 25, the grand nave of Paris’s Musée des Arts Décoratifs will host an installation comprised of 300,000 balls made from recycled plastic according to BFMTV. The project, titled The Beach, was designed by New York–based firm Snarkitecture, whose past works have included a collaboration with contemporary artist Daniel Arsham, one of the founders of the firm, and honors the twentieth anniversary of the iconic department store, Colette, located just a few blocks from the museum. According to Colette’s website, The Beach is “a place for young and old, a place to have fun, and a place of discovery and rebirth.”
The Beach was commissioned in 2015 by the National Building Museum in Washington, DC, and has since traveled to the Amalie Arena in Tampa and the Sydney Festival at Barangaroo Reserve in Sydney, Australia.
Creative Time has commissioned French artist Sophie Calle for an ambitious, twenty-five-year-long project that will take place at Brooklyn’s Green-Wood Cemetery. Here Lie the Secrets of the Visitors of Green-Wood Cemetery, the title of the artist’s work, will consist of a hollow grave connected to an above-ground obelisk, made of marble and designed by Calle. On the obelisk will be a small slot where visitors may transcribe confessions or secrets on a piece of paper and deposit them into the structure, slowly filling the grave. Calle will return to the cemetery throughout the next twenty-five years, each time the grave is full, to exhume its contents and destroy them in a ritualistic bonfire.
The project will debut during a two-day-long event, scheduled for April 29 and 30. The artist will be at the event for both days, from 12:00 until 5:00 PM. Guests coming to the opening are invited to explore the cemetery’s numerous monuments. Maps of the grounds, designed specifically around Calle’s work, will be available to the public, free of charge. There will also be free, guided walking tours.
The artist has issued special instructions about the project, which may be read below.
INSTRUCTIONS FROM SOPHIE CALLE
I was in love with him, but he had decided to leave me. To soften the break-up, he suggested a farewell trip of one week in Seville. I liked the idea though it seemed painful. So I accepted and we went. On the last day, seeing my tears, H. told me a secret. It was a terrible secret, which had poisoned his life. And he was confiding it to me. Only to me. At the very moment he was depriving me of his love, this man offered me, through his confession, the ultimate proof of our intimacy.
H.’s secret remained untold, and so will the ones you’ll share with me on April 29 and 30. I’ll be waiting to receive your secrets near a tombstone dedicated to them on Bay Grove Hill, in Green-Wood Cemetery, Brooklyn.
I’ll listen to you and jot down your secret before placing it in an envelope. Or, you’ll write down your story beforehand, read it to me, and then seal the envelope yourself.
I won’t take any pictures.
I won’t know your name.
I might keep a memory of your story, but it will remain anonymous.
You’ll slide your secret through the slot at the base of the tombstone.
If you know me and prefer to keep your story from me, or if you prefer to confide directly in the grave, then there’s no need to visit me.
This cemetery plot has been granted to me “in perpetuity,” which means the project will continue for [twenty-five] years.
Every few years, when the grave fills up with secrets, we’ll organize a ceremony to burn those remnants that managed to survive the elements and the passage of time.
A simple request: to ensure that the day is pleasant and poetic, I would be grateful if we could forgo selfies, autographs or any other requests not strictly concerning your secret.
Opening on March 23, Art Basel Hong Kong’s fifth edition will welcome 242 galleries from thirty-four countries and will debut a new curatorial sector, Kabinett. Twenty-nine galleries will be participating for the first time, ten from Asia, ten from Europe, and nine from the Americas.
The fourth iteration of the fair drew more than 70,000 visitors over the course of its five-day run. This year, Art Basel Hong Kong is expected to attract an even bigger crowd. Reflecting on the last five years since Art Basel purchased the Hong Kong fair, global director Marc Spiegler said, “I don’t think any of us imagined the show would gain so much attention so quickly.”
The Galleries sector of the fair will host 190 modern art and contemporary exhibitors. Its Insights section will feature twenty-seven projects that highlight works by artists from Asia and the Asia Pacific region, including The Fifth Moon collective, Tunisian artist Rachid Koraïchi, Pakistan-based Hamra Abbas, Jiang Zhi, and Yoshio Kitayama. Over twenty-five galleries will present solo and two-person exhibitions in Discoveries, showcasing works by Petra Cortright, Ishu Han, Kathrin Sonntag, and Edgardo Aragón.
Curated by Alexie Glass-Kantor, executive director of Artspace in Sydney, Australia, the Encounters section will present seventeen large-scale projects, including German artist Katharina Grosse’s aluminum and spray-painted sculptures; New Zealand artist Michael Parekowhai’s massive, wingless cherub; and Li Jinghu’s light installation.
The first edition of Kabinett will include nineteen curated projects, ranging from thematic group presentations to solo shows, presented by galleries from Asia, Europe, and the United States. Among the artists exhibiting are Etel Adnan, Cao Yu, Candida Höfer, Abbas Kiarostami, Kwon Young-Woo, Lee Kit, Yuko Mohri, Bettina Pousttchi, Qiu Xiaofei, Sanyu, Song Ta, and Heimo Zobernig.
Art Basel is also collaborating with Google Arts & Culture on “Virtual Frontiers: Artists Experimenting with Tilt Brush,” a project for which the fair nominated artists to have multiday residencies at Google’s locations in Paris and Beijing. Among the works that were produced as a result are Yang Yongliang’s Eternal Landscape, 2017—a traditional-style, Chinese ink, landscape painting—and Cao Fei’s film Derivation, 2017, which blurs the virtual and physical worlds.
Taking place at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Center, the fair will run until March 25. To view additional coverage of Art Basel Hong Kong, check out Artforum’s Instagram.
Artist, author, curator, and former New York club kid Walt Cessna has died, writes Derek de Koff of Queerty. Cessna lived many lives. In a 2012 interview with Queerty’s John Russell, the multihyphenate cultural producer indicated that he spent some time hustling in San Francisco; wrote for the now-defunct East Village Eye and New York Talk; was an editor at the Village Voice when he turned eighteen; contributed to Details magazine under Stephen Saban and Annie Flanders; and styled Nine Inch Nails’ Self-Destruct Tour.
He was also a prolific publisher of zines, including STOP, The Key, and Vaczine. His 2012 book Fukt to Start With: Short Stories & Broken Werd is a semiautobiographical collection of tales about societal misfits, published by SixteenFourteen/Desperanto. In 2015, Cessna organized “Interface: Queer Artists Forming Community Through Social Media” at New York’s Leslie–Lohman Museum. The exhibition featured work from Dietmar Busse, Erika Keck, Gio Black Peter, Scooter La Forge, Natasha Gornik, and Slava Mogutin, among other artists.
“He was brilliant and complicated and like many creatives, his own worst enemy. He was constantly writing and photographing and musing and telling us all what was ‘correct,’ a term he used to describe anything he deemed brilliant and worthy of praise,” said artist Trey Speegle on Cessna’s Facebook page. “Give the devil hell and the angels some styling tips, Walt. You were so correct, in so many ways. I’ll meet you by the back bar at Area—I’ve got drink tickets.”
Denmark’s Kvadrat, which, since 1968, has aided artists, architects, and designers in finding novel ways of utilizing textiles in producing creative work, is teaming up with New York’s New Museum on a three-year initiative to support emerging artists in the making of new artworks. The collaboration will result in three solo exhibitions, all of which will take place at the New Museum, and will focus on artists who have not yet had major institutional exhibitions in New York. Kvadrat has worked with many artists in the past, such as Thomas Demand, Sarah Lucas, Cildo Meireles, and Philippe Parreno. The initiative will be led by the New Museum’s Helga Christoffersen and Massimiliano Gioni.
“Kvadrat combines experimentation with tradition, so I cannot think of a better partner in supporting the work of emerging artists and nurturing new talent. During our collaboration with Kvadrat on the exhibition ‘Pipilotti Rist: Pixel Forest,’ we were truly impressed by the exceptional precision and care that Kvadrat put into developing the project; Kvadrat approaches art and design with the same high ambition, responding to innovation with unique openness. The result is a relationship in which artists find the support of an efficient collaborator and the direct commitment of an accomplice and a friend,” said Gioni.
Anders Byriel, Kvadrat’s CEO, said, “[We have] a long history of collaborating with artists in creating site-specific installations. The New Museum has become an authority in curating unique exhibitions with interesting artists, and has been instrumental in launching the careers of many international artists in the US. We are very excited to collaborate with this renowned institution. We share a common vision of pushing boundaries and experimenting, and we are looking forward to coproducing three exhibitions together.”
Pace Gallery will open another space in the H Queen’s building in Hong Kong. The gallery follows the recent opening of Pace’s new outpost in Seoul.
“Since 2008, when we opened Pace Beijing, it has become clear that we needed a space in Hong Kong, which has undoubtedly become a key center in the global art world. Collectors and the curatorial community rely on Hong Kong as a place where they can see important work being made by artists around the world. In 2014, we opened a small gallery in [the] Central [business district of Hong Kong,] where we have showcased a number of exciting exhibitions and artists to the audience here. Now with the advent of the H Queen’s building, the opportunity to open a new space which is curated specifically for major exhibitions of our Asian and Western artists was timely and the next step to our expansion strategy,” said Marc Glimcher, president of Pace Worldwide.
Exhibitions by Julian Schnabel, Chuck Close, Alexander Calder, and Lee Ufan, among other artists, have been scheduled for the new space.
Stephanie D’Alessandro has been appointed the Leonard A. Lauder Curator of Modern Art at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art. She will also be the curator in charge of the museum’s Leonard A. Lauder Research Center for Modern Art. She comes to the Met from the Art Institute of Chicago and will begin her new post in May.
The Metropolitan Museum’s director, Thomas P. Campbell, said, “We are thrilled to welcome Stephanie D’Alessandro to The Met. Ms. D’Alessandro is a curator who is nationally and internationally recognized for her exhibitions and publications on Matisse, Picasso, and other twentieth-century artists and for her innovative installations at the Art Institute of Chicago. She has also pioneered new ways of audience engagement with modern art, which is a cornerstone of The Met’s mission. We eagerly anticipate the energy, scholarship, and collegiality that Stephanie will bring to her new role in New York in shaping the museum’s collections and programming.”
D’Alessandro started her career at the Smart Museum of Art at the University of Chicago. She joined the department of modern and contemporary art at the Art Institute of Chicago in 1998, first as a Mellon Fellow, then as assistant curator, an associate curator, and, in 2007, the Gary C. and Frances Comer Curator of International Modern Art. Her exhibitions and catalogues at the Art Institute include “Matisse: Radical Invention, 1913–1917,” “Magritte: The Mystery of the Ordinary, 1926–1938,” and the forthcoming “Tarsila do Amaral: Inventing Modern Art in Brazil.”
Maquettes of sculptures by Heather Phillipson and Michael Rakowitz, respectively, commissioned for Trafalgar Square's Fourth Plinth.
Artworks by Heather Phillipson and Michael Rakowitz have been commissioned for Trafalgar Square’s Fourth Plinth in London, writes The Telegraph’s Anita Singh. Phillipson’s The End, a sculpture of a giant dollop of whipped cream topped by a cherry and invaded by a fly and a working drone, is scheduled to go on display in 2020. Rakowitz’s re-creation of the Lamassu, a winged bull at the entrance to the Nergal Gate of Nineveh from 700 BC—which was destroyed by ISIS—will occupy the plinth in 2018.
Rakowitz has re-created six hundred of the seven thousand artifacts demolished or stolen from Iraq via his project The Invisible Enemy Should Not Exist, which he began in 2006. The Lamassu will be made with emptied date syrup cans imported from Iraq. The artist’s grandparents left Iraq more than sixty years ago, and his family is now scattered throughout New York and London. “The destruction of the past makes the present and the future that much more precarious,” said the artist.
Of her project, Phillipson said, “The cream is this hyper-luxury product, something we associate with celebration, with the cliché of the cherry on top. But at the same time, the cream is on the verge of collapse and these other life forms are coming to inhabit it—flies are attracted to stuff that is rotting or dying, and the drone connects to surveillance and warfare.”
“[The artists’] works are wondrous, striking, and deeply engaging. The new commissions will proudly continue the legacy of the Fourth Plinth in putting world-class contemporary sculpture at the heart of London,” said Ekow Eshun, chair of the Fourth Plinth Commissioning Group.
Artists who’ve taken on the Fourth Plinth in the past include Yinka Shonibare MBE, Marc Quinn, and Katharina Fritsch. David Shrigley’s Really Good, a giant bronze “thumbs up,” is currently presented on the plinth.