December 8, 2006

Edward Larrabee Barnes Wins Posthumous AIA Gold Medal

The Los Angeles Times reports that Edward Larrabee Barnes, a restrained American modernist architect who studied with Walter Gropius at Harvard and is credited as an early exemplar of environmentally sensitive design, has been posthumously awarded the 2007 gold medal of the American Institute of Architects. Barnes died in 2004 at his home in Cupertino, California, at age eighty-nine. “With characteristically quiet determination, Edward Barnes produced a large body of distinguished built work—some of them too-little celebrated—during his more than forty years of practice,” Henry N. Cobb of Pei Cobb Freed & Partners said Thursday. Among many other buildings, Barnes designed the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis and the UCLA Hammer Museum in Los Angeles.

December 8, 2006

Tate Seeks Cash to Keep Turner Watercolor in Britain

Tate Britain has launched a campaign to keep J. M. W. Turner’s The Blue Rigi, ca. 1845, in Britain, reports The Guardian. The museum must raise £4.95 million ($9,689,405) to purchase the work, which fetched a record price for a watercolor by the artist at a Christie’s auction last June. It was purchased by an overseas bidder, but the government deferred the work’s export license to allow time for a British buyer to come forward with the funds. The Tate has until March 20 to do so. The work will be on view at Tate Britain from January 25 to March 22. It will be shown alongside two companion pieces, The Red Rigi and The Dark Rigi, which were painted at roughly the same time and which capture Mount Rigi, seen from Lake Lucerne in Switzerland, at different times of day.

December 8, 2006

New Curatorial Position at MoMA; Rhode Wins Miami Award

The Museum of Modern Art has established its first permanent curatorial position for Latin American art and also set up a committee to raise funds for Latin American acquisitions. The Art Newspaper reports that Luis Pérez-Oramas, who serves as adjunct curator of drawings at the museum, has assumed the position of the Estrellita Brodsky Curator of Latin American Art. Pérez-Oramas was formerly curator of the Patricia Cisneros Collection in Caracas. Elsewhere, South African artist Robin Rhode has won the second annual W South Beach Commission for his installation in the Art Projects containers at Art Basel Miami Beach. The artist was selected by New Museum director Lisa Philipps, Bard CCS executive director Tom Eccles, developer and collector Aby Rosen, and W Hotels’ Ross Klein.

December 8, 2006

Long Beach Museum Director Pushed Out of Position

The Los Angeles Times reports that Harold Nelson has been pushed out after seventeen and a half years as director of the Long Beach Museum of Art, prompted at least partly by trustees' displeasure with his emphasis on craft exhibitions. Nelson, fifty-nine, exited November 27, and declined to comment Thursday, except via a prepared statement in which he cited his accomplishments at “this widely respected little jewel of a museum,” including overseeing a seven-million-dollar expansion in 2000. Ron Nelson (no relation), the museum's development director and former board president, will serve as interim director. “The change, we feel, is necessary for the future growth and vitality of the institution,” Pamela Munzer, president of the board, said Wednesday.

December 7, 2006

Robert Rosenblum, 1927–2006

Art historian and Artforum contributing editor Robert Rosenblum died at home yesterday after an extended illness. Mariët Westermann, director of the Institute of Fine Arts at New York University, where Rosenblum taught for forty years, said, “We lose in Robert Rosenblum a brilliant art historian, a generous teacher, a warm and witty colleague, and a dear, dear friend. . . . Robert’s dissertation motivated his landmark book Transformations in Late Eighteenth-Century Art (1967), which set the stage for an outstanding and productive scholarly career that tackled major artists from Ingres to Picasso to Warhol, but that also recuperated the forgotten and the neglected, from Salon painters to Norman Rockwell. Robert had an uncanny ability to make telling comparisons between seemingly incommensurate paintings—juxtapositions that illuminated the special interests of each picture in the pairing.” More at the New York Times.

December 7, 2006

Lance Fung to Curate Next SITE Santa Fe

SITE Santa Fe has announced the appointment of Lance Fung as curator of its Seventh International Biennial exhibition, scheduled to run from July 2008 through early January 2009. Currently, Fung is curating the first international large-scale exhibition of public installations in Beijing in conjunction with the 2008 Summer Olympic Games. As an independent curator, Fung has worked on such exhibitions as “Crossing Parallels” at the SSamzie Space in Seoul, Korea, and “Revisiting Gordon Matta-Clark” at the Venice Architectural Biennale in 2002. In a statement, Fung said, “As the curator for 2008, I want to do more than just another big group exhibition—I want to redefine the paradigm of a biennial through collaboration.”

December 5, 2006

Anne Barlow Appointed Executive Director of Art in General

Art in General has announced that Anne J. Barlow will be the organization's new executive director. She will replace Holly Block, who left the downtown nonprofit last August to become executive director of the Bronx Museum of Arts. Barlow was most recently curator of education and media programs at the New Museum of Contemporary Art, a position she held for seven years. Her new position takes effect on January 8, 2007, just a few weeks prior to the reopening of Art in General's sixth-floor gallery, newly redesigned by Steven Learner Studio.

December 5, 2006

Eungie Joo and Elizabeth Peyton Win Awards

The Menil Collection has named Eungie Joo as the third recipient of the Walter Hopps Award for Curatorial Achievement, a biannual prize the museum created in 2001. Joo is curator and director of the Gallery at the Roy and Edna Disney/CalArts Theater (REDCAT) in Los Angeles. She was selected from a field of nine candidates by Thelma Golden of the Studio Museum in Harlem; Lawrence Rinder, dean of graduate studies at the California College of Art; and Philippe Vergne of the Walker Art Center. Elsewhere, the Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum has announced that Elizabeth Peyton has received the 2006 Larry Aldrich Award. The honoree receives twenty-five thousand dollars and will have a solo exhibition at the museum in Connecticut in 2008.

December 5, 2006

United States Artists Distributes $2.7 Million in Grants

United States Artists, a new nonprofit organization that makes grants directly to artists, has made its first awards, distributing $2.7 million in unrestricted grants to artists working in fields ranging from architecture and design to the visual arts, reports the New York Times' Stephanie Strom. Among the fifty artists receiving fifty thousand dollars were Chris Ware, a cartoonist from Illinois; Basil Twist, a puppeteer in New York; and Anna Brown Ehlers of Alaska, who weaves blankets in the tradition of her Northern Tlingit family. They were selected from among some 300 artists nominated by 150 arts leaders from around the country. The group was created this year with twenty million dollars from four foundations—Ford, Rockefeller, Prudential, and Rasmuson—and has also attracted individual donors, including Agnes Gund and Eli and Edythe Broad.