August 27, 2016

Jaime Davidovich (1936–2016)

Jaime Davidovich as “Dr. Videovich.”

Jaime Davidovich, a video and installation artist based in New York who, before many others, recognized the emergence of cable TV in the 1970s as a polymorphous medium that could serve artists—and viewers—in extraordinary ways, died today from pancreatic cancer.

Davidovich was born in Buenos Aires. He studied at the Colegio Nacional de Buenos Aires, the University of Uruguay, and New York’s School of Visual Arts. Prior to video and television, Davidovich was a painter, exploring all the material and philosophical aspects surrounding the monochrome, which led to more expansive works investigating ephemerality and site-specificity. He moved to New York in 1964, and in 1976, helped found Cable SoHo and, in 1978, founded and was president of the Artists’ Television Network. These platforms for the distribution of avant-garde thinking and programming via cable access was a way of “get[ting] out of the claustrophobic traditional art world,” Davidovich told the New York Times in 1979. He was also the creator of Cable Soho’s The Live! Show, a variety half-hour hosted by the artist’s alter ego “Dr. Videovich,” that ran from 1979 to 1984. The Live! Show owed as much to Ed Sullivan and Ernie Kovacs as it did to Dada and Situationism, and featured projects and performances from a wide range of makers and personalities, such as Laurie Anderson, Eric Bogosian, Mike Smith, Tony Oursler, Tim Maul, Walter Robinson, Linda Montano, Ann Magnuson, and Richard Hell.

Davidovich received grants from the NEA (1978, 1984, 1990) and the New York State Council on the Arts (1975, 1982). He was also the Joan Mitchell Foundation’s “Creating a Living Legacy Artist” from 2013–14. In 2010 he was given a retrospective at ARTIUM, the Centro-Museo Vasco de Arte Contemporaneo in Spain. He has had many solo exhibitions at a number of New York galleries and institutions, such as the Bronx Museum of Art; Churner and Churner; Cabinet; and the American Museum of the Moving Image, and has participated in group exhibitions at New York’s MoMA and the Whitney Museum; the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles; the Long Beach Museum of Art; and the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía in Madrid.

As critic Jacob Proctor said in the April 2015 issue of Artforum for the exhibition “Outreach: Jaime Davidovich, 1974–1984” at Chicago’s Threewalls gallery, curated by art historian Daniel Quiles, “From our contemporary perspective, it can be hard to conjure the sense of potential artists felt when they first gained access to video- and television-production facilities in the 1960s and ’70s. While many early artistic experiments in television took an explicitly oppositional stance toward the TV industry, Davidovich and his cohort devised clever ways to work with television rather than against it.”

August 26, 2016

Google Returns Literary Blog Data to Dennis Cooper

Dennis Cooper

Nearly two months ago Google disabled writer Dennis Cooper’s literary blog—a fourteen-year-long project hosted by Blogger—and his Gmail account without warning. On Friday, Cooper announced that following negotiations between the media company and his lawyers, the content of his blog will be returned to him.

DC’s, the beloved literary platform where Cooper posted writings, research, images, as well as his GIF novels, will be relaunched in a new location on Monday, August 29. Cooper will not be able to upload all of the data from his former blog at once, since he will have to repost each item by hand, but he will gradually work on the project until the blog is completely restored.

Allegedly, Google deactivated the account on June 27 in response to an almost ten-year-old post, titled “Self-Portrait Day,” for which Cooper invited readers to send him content such as writings, images, videos, or sound files related to a specific theme. He would then curate the submissions and post an entry.

August 26, 2016

Galerie Forsblom Merges With Lars Bohman Gallery

Jan Hansen and Kaj Forsblom. Photo: Thomas Engström

Stockholm’s Lars Bohman Gallery and Galerie Forsblom of Helsinki have announced that they are merging. In January 2017, Lars Bohman will reopen its Stockholm location as Bohman Forsblom Gallery. Galerie Forsblom will continue operations under its current name.

“This is a great opportunity for our artists to widen their audiences, and for our collectors to be introduced to great new talents,” Jan Hansen of Lars Bohman Gallery said. The two galleries’ exhibitions have featured artists such as Ai Weiwei, Louise Bourgeois, Peter Halley, Jacob Hashimoto, Secundino Hernández, Chantal Joffe, Yayoi Kusama, Jonathan Lasker, Bjarne Melgaard, Tony Oursler, Donald Sultan, Joel Shapiro, and Not Vital among others.

In 2017, Galerie Forsblom will celebrate the fortieth anniversary of its founding and Lars Bohman Gallery will have been in business for thirty-five years.

August 26, 2016

Richard Prince Faces Fourth Lawsuit Over Copyright Infringement

Installation view of Richard Prince’s “New Portraits” series at Gagosian Gallery in 2014.

Appropriation artist Richard Prince is being sued for copyright infringement for the fourth time, Julia Halperin of the Art Newspaper reports.

California-based makeup artist and model Ashley Salazar filed a complaint in the US District Court of the Central District of California on June 15, after she discovered that Prince had used an image of her that she had posted on her Instagram account, @mynxiiwhite, in his “New Portraits” series. The works, which were first exhibited at Gagosian Gallery’s Madison Avenue location in 2014, feature Instagram photos of a range of women, including celebrities such as Kate Moss as well as images of female college students. Prince enlarges the images and adds his own mix of emojis and comments in the text below.

The image of Salazar, which depicted the model taking a selfie in a mirror with cat memes adorning the right edge of the frame, was sold at Frieze New York last year. According to The Guardian, Gagosian was selling the “New Portraits” series works for up to $100,000.

August 26, 2016

Arts Alliance Illinois Names Claire Rice as Executive Director

Claire Rice

Arts Alliance Illinois has announced that Claire Rice has been appointed as excutive director. She will take up the position on September 19.

“Claire is a collaborative and strategic leader with a deep understanding of the opportunities and challenges facing our sector here in Illinois,” Kassie Davis, board chair, said. “With Claire on board, we are confident that the Alliance will remain a strong and vocal advocate for the arts statewide.”

Rice has over eighteen years of professional experience working in the nonprofit and corporate sectors with a focus in arts education, community engagement, and cultural ecosystems. Since 2012, Rice has served as National Program Director of Harvard University’s Sustain Arts Project, a cultural data, research, and policy initiative.

August 26, 2016

New York City Commissions Artists to Paint Murals for Mental Health Awareness

Philadelphia’s Colorful Legacy by Keir Johnston and Ernel Martinez was created as part of the city’s Porch Light Project. Photo by Steve Weinik.

According to Carl Campanile of the New York Post, New York City has announced that it will use a $500,000 grant to hire artists to paint three murals to raise awareness about mental health. The artists will be asked to work with between thirty and forty people from the community who are involved in the numerous mental-health programs based in the city.

“The Health Department is launching its first Mural Arts Project using art as a public-health approach to address mental and behavioral health issues through artistic collaboration,” spokeswoman Carolina Rodriguez, said.

Funded by the state’s Office of Mental Health, the murals will be completed in three different neighborhoods. The proposal for the project cited the success of Philadelphia’s Porch Light Project, a collaborative initiative launched by the Philadelphia Mural Arts Program and the Philadelphia Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual Disability Services. The program sought to transform neighborhoods with art while promoting the health of the community.

August 25, 2016

New York’s MoMA Promotes Ron Magliozzi to Curator in the Department of Film

Ron Magliozzi

New York’s Museum of Modern Art has announced that Ron Magliozzi, who joined the institution’s staff as supervisor of MoMA’s International Film Study Center in 1979, has been promoted to curator in the department of film.

Magliozzi, who specializes in collections research, development, and acquisitions, has served as associate curator since 2011. During his tenure at the MoMA, Magliozzi organized over fifty film series and gallery exhibitions, including “100 Years in Post-Production: Resurrecting a Lost Landmark of Black Film History,” 2015, a show organized around the discovery of the earliest surviving footage for a feature film with a black cast, Bert Williams’s Lime Kiln Club Field Day (1913). The previously unidentified, 101-year-old footage was selected by the Library of Congress for preservation in the National Film Registry and earned Magliozzi the 2014 Film Heritage Award from the National Society of Film Critics.

Rajendra Roy, chief curator of film said, “Ron Magliozzi is a visionary collections and exhibitions curator whose work has resulted in historic discoveries and some of the most popular exhibitions in MoMA's history. More than a million people have experienced his work through exhibitions such as ‘Pixar: 20 Years of Animation,’ ‘Tim Burton,’ and ‘Quay Brothers: The Pharmacist's Prescription for Lip-Reading Puppets.’” She added, “Ron has been an essential part of the department for many decades and it is thrilling to see him step into this new leadership role.”

August 25, 2016

McNay Art Museum Receives $1 Million Donation from G.A.C. Halff Foundation

Marie Halff with Bill and Liz Chiego.

McNay Art Museum has announced that the G.A.C. Halff Foundation has gifted the institution $1 million to establish an endowment for the acquisition of American art.

Marie Halff, former museum trustee and trustee of the G.A.C. Halff Foundation, announced the donation at an event honoring museum director William Chiego’s twenty-five years as leader of the institution. Chiego, the second director of the museum in its sixty-two year history, will step down from his position in September.

“My wife Liz and I are touched that she would make this gift announcement on behalf of herself and G.A.C Halff Foundation cotrustee, Tom Edson, at the tribute event in our honor,” Chiego said.

Rich Aste, former managing curator for arts of the Americas and Europe and curator of European art at the Brooklyn Museum, will succeed Chiego as third director.

August 25, 2016

Ai Weiwei Is Banned From the Yinchuan Biennale due to his “Political Sensitivity”

Ai Weiwei

Chinese artist Ai Weiwei said his work will not be included in the inaugural edition of the Yinchuan Biennale, which is scheduled to run from September 9 to December 18, because of his “political sensitivity.”

The artist, who was listed as one of the biennial’s participating artists earlier this year, wrote on Instagram, “Censorships in communist regions have been present since the existence of the power. Yet it still comes as a surprise to me for an ‘international art biennale,’ with over a hundred international artists and a foreign curator participating, to remove a single artist for the reason of defending human rights and freedom of speech. This shows what we face is a world, which is divided and segregated by ideology, and art is used merely as a decoration for political agendas in certain societies.”

Ai Weiwei claimed to receive a “vague letter” from Xie Suzhen, the art director of MoCA Yinchuan, stating that the decision was made by “higher officials.” Curated by Bose Krishnamachari, curator and cofounder of Kochi-Muziris Biennale, “For an Image, Faster Than Light” was supposed to exhibit work by Ai Weiwei alongside eighty international artists, including Anish Kapoor, Basir Mahmood, Danie Mellor, Liu Wei, Mao Tongqiang, Santiago Sierra, Song Dong, and Yee I-Lann. Krishnamachari said the biennial will explore spiritual and social consciousness, political narratives, and critical global engagement.

Ai Weiwei said, “China is trying to develop into a modern society without freedom of speech, but without political arguments involving higher aesthetic morals and philosophies, art is only served as a puppet of fake cultural efforts.” He added, “Therefore I am happy not to be a part of that effort as a political decoration. I believe the real effort we should make, is in defending freedom of speech for our humanism. Only by doing so, art is worth making.”