September 2, 2016

Nathan Lyons (1930–2016)

Nathan Lyons

Nathan Lyons, curator, theorist, educator, artist, and advocate for the field of photography, died on Wednesday, August 31, at eighty-six, William Grimes of the New York Times reports.

Best known for his depictions of America’s cultural landscape, Lyons often incorporated language, such as signage, graffiti, and advertisements, in his photographs to explore the relationship between text and imagery.

Born in Jamaica, New York, in 1930, Lyons received honorary doctorates from the Rhode Island School of Design and the Corcoran School of the Arts and Design. He earned his BFA from Alfred University. He served as the founding director of the Photographic Studies Workshop in Rochester, New York, from 1969 to 2001. Lyons received numerous awards throughout his career, including the International Center of Photography’s Infinite Award for Lifetime Achievement in Photography, in 2000, and the National Endowment for the Arts Senior Fellowship, in 1985. The artist penned several books, including Persistence of Vision (1968), Photography in the 20th Century (1967), Towards a Social Landscape (1967), and Photographers on Photography (1966).

September 2, 2016

Queens Museum Closes Due to Heightened US Open Security

US Open

The Queens Museum, which is situated at the doorstep of the US Open, has announced that it will be closed from Saturday, September 3 until the tournament concludes on Sunday, September 11. In a statement, the institution said, “We apologize for the inconvenience and hope you will join us for the September 18 opening of our new exhibition, ‘Mierle Laderman Ukeles: Maintenance Art.’”

The fourteen-day tournament drew 691,280 visitors last year with 40 percent of attendees traveling from outside of New York City. The event brings $800 million to the metro area annually.

September 2, 2016

Ed and Danna Ruscha Donate 30 Works to University of Oklahoma Art Museum

Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art

The Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art at the University of Oklahoma has announced that artist Ed Ruscha and his wife, Danna, have donated thirty works from their private collection to the institution.

“The museum is honored to receive such an important gift from Ed and Danna Ruscha,” director Mark White said. “The works contribute significantly to the museum’s collection of contemporary art, and we are particularly excited to receive important pieces by Ruscha, Joe Goode and Jerry McMillan, all of whom once called Oklahoma home.” Born in Omaha, Nebraska, in 1937, Ruscha lived in Oklahoma City from 1941 to 1956. The artist now lives and works in Culver City, California.

In 2012, the museum began fund-raising to acquire Ruscha’s 1990 painting No Man’s Land, which references the artist’s childhood in Oklahoma. In the spring of 2013, twenty students and faculty re-created, in reverse, Ruscha’s Twentysix Gasoline Stations, 1963, a visual documentary of a road trip from his home in Los Angeles to the stomping grounds of his youth in Oklahoma City. The trip, titled “Road to Ruscha,” concluded at the artist’s LA studio. Ruscha donated a rare copy of his book Twentysix Gasoline Stations to the institution the following year.

September 2, 2016

New York Times Ends Tristate Area Arts Coverage

New York Times headquarters.

The New York Times will no longer cover arts galleries, theaters, restaurants, and other cultural industry news in the Tristate area, resulting in numerous layoffs of longtime contributors, Deadline reports.

In an email dated August 2, the Times’s metropolitan editor Wendell Jamieson wrote to more than two dozen freelancers informing them of the paper’s new direction:

“Dean Baquet and I have decided that the resources and energy currently devoted to these local pages could be better directed elsewhere. Therefore, we will publish our final reviews and features in the New Jersey, Westchester, Long Island, and Connecticut editions on August 28. The Metropolitan section as it appears in New York City will still be published and circulated throughout the region, but it will no longer include zoned content . . . Sorry about this, folks. I want to thank you for all you’ve done, all the fine writing you’ve given our readers. I wish you all the best.”

September 2, 2016

Emilio Prini (1943–2016)

Emilio Prini in 1979.

Emilio Prini, Italian artist and leading figure in the Arte Povera movement of the 1960s, died on Thursday, September 1. Prini’s artistic practice, which employed light, photography, sound, and written texts to explore the nature of experience, has been described as “ungraspable,” “deceptive,” and “cryptic.”

In the September 1988 issue of Artforum, Jole de Sanna notes that his work defies categorization. He writes, “Prini resolutely avoids inclusion in ideologies and movements . . . At the same time that he is present within these movements, his presence is felt as one who watches over the development of things.”

According to Luca Lo Pinto, a curator at Kunsthalle Wien, Prini was “a grandiose artist who never adapted to the codes of the art system, forcing it to adapt to him with a tenacity that is unparalleled.” Prini created, revised, and continuously modified his artworks, working in a manner that suggests he never considered his work to be finished.

Born in Stresa, Italy, in 1943, the artist once said, “I have no program, I grope my way, I see no trace of the birth of Art (nor of Tragedy) because the C.S. is not the fruit of pure human work (because I did not make the chair, the table, the sheet of paper, the pen I use to write). I create nothing, if possible.”

Prini’s work has been included in various exhibitions, including “Op Losse Schroeven,” at the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam (1969); “When Attitudes Become Form,” at Kunsthalle Bern (1969); “Konzeption/Conception,” at Stadtisches Museum, Leverkusen (1969); “Information,” at MoMA, New York (1970); “Contemporanea,” at Villa Borghese, Rome (1973); “Fermi in Dogana,” at Musée d’Art Moderne, Strasbourg (1995); Documenta X in Kassel (1997); and “Arte Povera,” at Tate Gallery, London (2001).

September 2, 2016

Sotheby’s France Appoints Cécile Bernard as General Manager

Cécile Bernard

According to Claudia Barbieri Childs of the Art Newspaper, Sotheby’s France has announced that Cécile Bernard, an Old Master specialist who began her career at Christie’s Paris, was appointed general manager. She will take up the position on September 1.

Marion Tavella, head of European operations, said that the hire is intended “to strengthen the development of Paris in liaison with Sotheby’s global strategy.”

Bernard worked at Christie’s for twenty-two years. During her tenure at the auction house she served as a specialist in Old Master paintings, international director of Old Master and nineteenth-century paintings in Paris and London, and director of operations in Paris. She joined Drouot in April of last year. Bernard earned her master’s degrees in art history from the Sorbonne and in finance from the Institut Supérieur du Commerce, ISC Paris. She also received a diploma from the Ecole du Louvre school of art history and museology.

September 1, 2016

The School of the Art Institute of Chicago Names New President

Elissa Tenny

The School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) has announced that Elissa Tenny is the college’s new president. She is the fifteenth executive and first woman to take on this role at SAIC. Tenny originally joined the institution in 2010 as provost and senior vice president of academic affairs. Her initiatives have included establishing the Earl and Brenda Shapiro Center for Research and Collaboration.

Prior to SAIC, Tenny was provost and dean at Bennington College in Vermont and before that held a variety of positions at the New School in New York from 1977 to 2002, eventually becoming the acting dean and vice dean there. Tenny has a doctorate degree in education from the University of Pennsylvania, a master’s in media studies from the New School, and a bachelor’s in business administration from Stockton University.

Of her appointment, Tenny said, “The School of the Art Institute of Chicago has been a leader in art and design education for more than 150 years, and I am humbled to have the opportunity to carry on the School’s legacy and help pave the way for the next generation of thinkers and makers . . . I have learned so much from our students, faculty, and staff over the last six years, and I am looking forward to leading the School as we head into our next 150 years.”

September 1, 2016

Hollywood Talent Agency Opens Artist Space in Downtown LA

Larry Clark, Untitled, 1963.

United Talent Agency, a global talent and literary agency, has announced that it will launch UTA Artist Space, a new multidisciplinary exhibition venue in downtown Los Angeles.

“We are dedicated to seizing opportunities for artists, and UTA Artist Space provides a place for artists to interface with the public and each other in a dynamic, supportive way,” chairman and cofounder Jim Berkus said.

The new 4,500-square-foot space aims to be a flexible site for cultural exchange for artists, musicians, filmmakers, and writers represented by the agency. The venue is set to open on September 17 with a show of works by photographer and filmmaker Larry Clark that was organized in collaboration with Luhring Augustine. Fifty works will be exhibited, including vintage photographs from his past as well as his most recent paintings and photomontages.

September 1, 2016

Bass Museum Reopening Delayed

The Bass Museum of Art

According to Robin Pogrebin of the New York Times, the Bass Museum of Art in Miami will now reopen in the spring of 2017, rather than this December, due to construction delays.

The opening was set to feature shows with Ugo Rondinone, Mika Rottenberg, and Pascale Marthine Tayou, which have all been postponed until next year. During the interim, the Bass will continue its programming in offsite locations. The museum’s completion of a $12 million renovation project of its 1930s-era building, which will create four new galleries, was originally scheduled to coincide with Art Basel Miami Beach.

The executive director and chief curator Silvia Karman Cubiñá said of the delay: “Our primary concern is ensuring that we conduct a careful and courteous renovation to preserve this iconic piece of Miami Beach history . . . The process of renovating historic landmarks differs greatly from that of modern structures, and we have needed to extend our construction deadline to accommodate these intricacies.”