September 7, 2017

Chrysler Museum Gifted Ninety-Seven Artworks

Stanislav Libenský and Jaroslava Brychtová’s Victory Column, 1997, one of the works that collectors Lisa and Dudley Anderson donated to the Chrysler Museum of Art.

The Chrysler Museum of Art in Norfolk, Virginia, has announced that glass collectors Lisa and Dudley Anderson are donating their holdings of ninety-seven contemporary and studio glass works. Their donation is the largest gift of art to the museum since the arrival of Walter Chrysler’s collection in 1971.

The Andersons’ collection includes works by forty artists from seven countries. Forty-seven works are by the pioneering Czech artists Stanislav Libenský and Jaroslava Brychtová. It also includes glass works by Václav Cigler, Marion Karel, Ivan Mareš, Pavel Tomecko, and Dana Zámečníková, as well as a ceramic sculpture by California artist Robert Arneson and prints and drawings by Dale Chilhuly, Harvey Littleton, Italo Scanga, and Ann Wolff.

“This glass collection, so thoughtfully assembled by Lisa and Dudley, enables us to explore new ideas and themes in exhibitions and permanent displays,” said curator Diane Wright. “We’re grateful for their ongoing commitment and tremendous support of glass at the Chrysler Museum of Art.”

September 7, 2017

Lévy Gorvy Expands to Asia with New Shanghai Office

Danqing Li.

Lévy Gorvy, established when veteran gallerist Dominique Lévy and the former chairman and international head of postwar and contemporary art at Christie’s, Brett Gorvy, joined forces in January 2017, has announced that it will open a new office in Shanghai. With spaces in New York and London, Lévy Gorvy is the latest in a long line of galleries, including David Zwirner and Pace, to expand to Asia.

Danqing Li, a former Christie’s specialist who worked in the postwar and contemporary department in Shanghai, will run the new space. As the gallery’s senior director, Asia, she will work to improve client relations in the region. “Having worked with her for many years in Asia during my tenure at Christie’s, I have always admired the depth of her knowledge and her unique sensitivity not only to art but to the cross-cultural connections it creates,” said Gorvy in a statement. “It’s an honor to welcome her to the Lévy Gorvy family.”

The gallery’s office will be located in the city’s business district at CITIC Square on Nanjing Road West. A spokesperson for the gallery confirmed that once the office is open, Lévy Gorvy will organize shows that will be staged at off-site locations.

September 6, 2017

Kate Millett (1934–2017)

Kate Millett.

The author, artist, and activist in the Women’s Liberation Movement Kate Millett died on Wednesday, September 6 at the age of eighty-two. Her first book, Sexual Politics (1970), used four male writers—D. H. Lawrence, Henry Miller, Norman Mailer, and Jean Genet—as case studies in examining the subjugation of women throughout cultural and political life.

Born in 1934 in Saint Paul, Minnesota, Kate Millett and her two sisters were raised by her mother, Helen Millett, a feminist who voted in the first election in which women were allowed to vote in the United States. Millet was educated at the University of Minnesota, where in 1956 she obtained a bachelor’s in English literature, and was later sent by an aunt to Oxford University, where in 1958 she earned a master’s in English literature with first class honors, the first American woman ever to achieve such distinction there. In 1961 she moved to Tokyo, where she taught English at the prestigious Waseda University and also studied sculpture. Though she married Japanese sculptor Fumio Yoshimura there in 1965, Millett soon moved to New York City. In 1970, her Columbia University Ph.D. thesis was published as the bestselling book, Sexual Politics. Millett went on to publish numerous articles, essays, and ten more books.

Her most recent publications are The Politics of Cruelty: An Essay on the Literature of Political Imprisonment (1994) and Mother Millett (2001). In 2013, she was inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame in Seneca Falls, New York, the birthplace of the American Suffragette Movement. She served as the director of the Millett Center for the Arts, founded in 1978 in the town of LaGrange, New York.

September 6, 2017

Miami Arts Institutions Prepare for Hurricane Irma

An infrared view of Hurricane Irma as a Category 5 storm in the Atlantic Ocean, as seen by a National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration satellite, on September 5.

In the wake of Hurricane Harvey, which caused catastrophic flooding as it swept through the Gulf Coast last week, Florida is bracing for Hurricane Irma, one of the most powerful Atlantic storms ever recorded. The category-five hurricane with winds of 185-miles-per-hour already struck Barbuda and St. Martin, causing widespread damage, and will move towards Florida this weekend.

As President Trump declared a state of emergency in Puerto Rico, Florida, and the United States Virgin Islands on Tuesday, arts institutions across the Sunshine State prepared to weather the storm. The mayors of Miami Beach city and Miami-Dade have already urged residents to evacuate and a number of museums have decided to close their doors today. The Perez Art Museum Miami, the Wolfsonian, the Institute of Contemporary Art Miami, the Margulies at the Warehouse, Dimensions Variable, the Vizcaya Museum and Gardens, and Faena Art are among the cultural venues that shut their doors and have announced that they will remain closed through the weekend. All public programs and other events scheduled to take place during this time have been canceled.

“Safety and security are top priorities at PAMM, and storm preparation is something we focus on year-round,” Perez’s CFO Mark Rosenblum told the Art Newspaper. “We are being very proactive in preparing the exterior and interior of the museum to make sure the art, facility, and surrounding areas are secure.” A spokeswoman added that museum is also working to deinstall “as much work as possible” starting with the more delicate objects. In anticipation of Irma, the Bass Museum also deinstalled its thirty-foot-long Sylvie Fleury sculpture titled Eternity Now, 2015.

September 6, 2017

DNA Test Refutes Allegations in Lawsuit Filed by Woman Claiming to be Salvador Dalí’s Daughter

Pilar Abel Martínez.

On Wednesday, September 6, the Gala-Salvador Dalí Foundation announced that a paternity test proved that a Spanish woman, who claimed to be the Surrealist artist’s illegitimate daughter, has no biological relation to Dalí.

Pilar Abel Martínez, a sixty-one year-old tarot card reader, filed a lawsuit against the foundation and the Spanish state after she alleged that her mother had an affair with the painter while working as a maid in Port Lligat, Spain, the fishing village where Dalí and his wife Gala lived, and that part of his estate was rightfully hers.

In June, a judge in Madrid ordered the exhumation of the artist’s body, which was successfully carried out on July 21. After biological samples were taken from his hair, nails, and bones, they were analyzed by the National Institute of Toxicology and Forensic Sciences, which declared that the results obtained “permits the exclusion of Salvador Dalí as the biological father of María Pilar Abel Martínez.”

September 6, 2017

Dolly Fiterman (1924–2017)

DeLoris “Dolly” Fiterman with her husband, Edward, in 1961.

Minneapolis art collector, dealer, and philanthropist DeLoris Fiterman—popularly known as “Dolly”—died on August 19, writes Mila Koumpilova of the Star Tribune. In an older article from the paper, Fiterman was described as “what oil-field workers would call a gusher—a great, explosive, natural well of bubbling energy and impulsive enthusiasm.”

Fiterman was born in Bejou in northwestern Minnesota. She studied broadcasting, speech, and theater at the University of Minnesota, and graduated from a business school in St. Cloud. She married her husband, a Minneapolis financier named Edward, in the 1950s. She first studied painting and sculpture and then segued into collecting art. She ended up amassing a 1,000-piece-strong collection with works from Picasso, Warhol, Milton Avery, and James Rosenquist, among countless others. She donated works to many institutions, such as the Walker Art Center, the University of Minnesota, the University of St. Thomas (which received over 350 works from her collection), and the Minneapolis Institute of Art. She opened her first gallery in 1977 on the ninth floor of the Plymouth Building in downtown Minneapolis. Later on she purchased and refurbished the Pillsbury Branch Library, which reopened as Dolly Fiterman Fine Arts in 1991. She also underwrote a Minnesota Opera design fund and the Walker’s Sculpture Garden.

In 1997, the University of St. Thomas awarded Fiterman with an honorary doctorate. She also lived in a dorm for faculty priests for nearly a year when her home in Lake Harriet was being worked on for mold. Reverend Dennis Dease, the university’s president at the time, was concerned over how the more senior priests “would handle a vivacious, fashionable female roommate.” They ended up adoring her, helping to carry her groceries and gossiping with her in the cafeteria.

September 6, 2017

London City Island Offers Artists and Institutions Affordable Spaces

Rendering of London City Island.

Last October Sadiq Khan, the mayor of London, set up the Creative Land Trust, an initiative to create affordable studio spaces to ensure that London’s arts professionals stay in the city. In collaboration with Studiomakers, a group of philanthropists and entrepreneurs, Khan was able to convince developers and landowners to create more workspaces for artists while keeping existing ones. London City Island is the result of this effort, a new cultural hub expected to entice all manner of artists and arts organization for its affordability and sustainability, ArtDaily reports. A number of institutions are planning a move to the island: the London Film School; the English National Ballet and English National Ballet School; and the Line, East London’s contemporary art walk. Arebyte, an expanded media and performance art space, will also be moving there and creating new studios.

A report ordered by the mayor’s office in 2014 estimated that 3,500 artists’ spaces in London would be lost by 2019 due to escalating real estate prices. It was in response to this report that Khan and Studiomakers united to find a solution. Together, they are working to make sure that London City Island has a cultural program that is indeed artist-led.

“It is my vision to make London City Island a home for art and creativity in the capital. This collaboration is particularly exciting as it will provide artistic talent with long-term and affordable opportunities for generations to come. The new creatives, brought to the island through this partnership, will integrate with our culturally rich mix of tenants and residents,” said Sean Mulryan, the chairman and chief executive of Ballymore Group, the development company behind London City Island.

September 6, 2017

Louvre Abu Dhabi to Open on November 11

The Louvre Abu Dhabi. Photo: Mohamed Somji/Louvre Abu Dhabi

The Louvre Abu Dhabi announced today that it will open its doors to the public on November 11. Due to construction delays, the inauguration of the Jean Nouvel–designed building has been pushed back a number of times since the project was launched in 2007. Agence France-Muséums, an umbrella organization created to oversee the museum, gave the institution the green light after it passed final inspections in August.

Located in the Saadiyat Cultural District on Saadiyat Island, the museum’s holdings consist of over six hundred artworks. Ranging from prehistorical objects to contemporary pieces, the works will be exhibited among around three hundred items that are currently on loan from thirteen French institutions for the next ten years. Paris’s Louvre has agreed to loan its name to the new Abu Dhabi museum for the next thirty years and six months.

“We are finally going to leave the realms of the imaginary and discover not only the architectural design of Jean Nouvel, but the content of a new museum, conceived under a bilateral agreement that makes it an absolutely unique creation,” Louvre director Jean-Luc Martinez told the Art Newspaper.

September 5, 2017

New York’s Film Forum Announces Renovation and Addition of Fourth Screen

Film Forum at 209 West Houston Street in New York.

New York’s legendary independent movie theater Film Forum, located at 209 West Houston Street, will undergo a major refurbishment with the addition a fourth screen. The project will be overseen by Stephen Tilly, who designed Film Forum’s Watts Street theater (with Alan Buchsbaum) in the 1980s. The Thompson Family Foundation has donated $1 million for the new screen, while an additional $400,000 has been committed by the City of New York from the Office of the Mayor, the New York City Council, the Office of Manhattan Borough President Gayle Brewer, and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs. The theater’s board members have also made considerable donations.

“As we approach our half-century mark, it makes sense for us to add a fourth screen and enhance the comfort of our theaters without compromising our integrity. Too often, New York landmarks disappear, only to be replaced by nail salons and chain drug stores. Happily, New Yorkers are committed to seeing films that take risks and break the mold, as well as discovering movie history. They will continue to have those opportunities at Film Forum, in an even more gracious setting,” said Karen Cooper, Film Forum’s director.

Some of the projects the theater has planned for the future include a Cindy Sherman–produced short film, which will play in the theater’s lobby in July 2018, and a limited-edition photographic portfolio, based on the theater’s new construction, by Jan Staller.