May 19, 2017

Frick Collection Spearheads Effort to Digitize Millions of Artworks

Member of PHAROS convened at the Frick Collection in 2013. Photo: PHAROS, the International Consortium of Photo Archives

The Frick Collection is leading an international collaboration to transform art-historical research by digitizing twenty-five million images of artworks for a new research platform. The Frick has teamed up with thirteen arts institutions to establish PHAROS Art Research Consortium, which plans to have seven million images available online by 2020.

PHAROS currently comprises the Bibliotheca Hertziana in Rome; Bildarchiv Foto in Marburg, Germany; the Courtauld Institute in London; Fondazione Federico Zeri in Bologna; the Getty Research Institute in Los Angeles; I Tatti in Florence; Institut national d’histoire de l’art in Paris; Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz; the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC; the Paul Mellon Centre in London; RKD—Netherlands Institute for Art History at The Hague; the Warburg Institute in London; the Yale Center for British Art in New Haven; and the Frick Art Reference Library in New York.

“The Frick has always been at the vanguard of art-historical research,” said director Ian Wardropper. “As early as 1922, Helen Clay Frick personally organized international photographic expeditions to record significant and rarely reproduced works of art, creating the first-ever public repository of its kind in the country. This documentation proved invaluable, especially at a time when most art-history books were not widely available or heavily illustrated. Researchers today are accustomed to having online resources at their fingertips, and in order to ensure that our offerings remain relevant and accessible, they must be digitized and catalogued in a searchable central resource. It is our hope that this initiative will transform scholarship in the twenty-first century, by unlocking access to our collection and ones like it around the globe.”

May 19, 2017

Jane South Named Chair of Fine Arts Department at Pratt Institute

Jane South

Jane South has been appointed chair of the Fine Arts Department at the School of Art at Pratt Institute in New York. She will assume the role on July 1, succeeding current chair Deborah Bright, who is stepping down to focus on her artistic practice and scholarship.

“Jane South has an impressive background in combining her leadership experience of fine arts programs in the US and Europe with her experience as a practicing artist whose work cuts across disciplines and reflects the intersectional nature of contemporary arts practice,” said Gerry Snyder, dean of the School of Art. “Her dynamic and collaborative approach will benefit the Fine Arts Department’s thriving community of students and faculty, and continue to expand the development and visibility of its undergraduate and graduate programs.”

South brings extensive experience as both an artist and educator to the position. She currently teaches in the Film, Animation, and Video Department at the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), where she has also taught sculpture, painting, and digital media. Previously, she served as head of sculpture at RISD and the cocreative director of CoLAB, a summer performance laboratory offered by Brown University and RISD, from 2015 to 2016. She has served as the associate director of Italy’s Siena Art Institute since 2011. South has also held visiting teaching positions and has been a visiting artist at a number of institutions, including Pratt Institute, Williams College, the Maryland Institute College of Art, and Brandeis University.

May 19, 2017

Crystal Bridges Museum Establishes Fund for Education Initiatives with $15 Million Gift

Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art

The Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Arkansas announced today that it received a $15 million gift from the Windgate Charitable Foundation in support of its education initiatives. The institution will use the donation to set up the Arts Endowed Fund, which will work toward identifying challenges that schools are facing today and developing arts-based initiatives to overcome them.

“The Windgate Foundation has been visionary in advancing education through the arts,” said Rod Bigelow, executive director and chief diversity and inclusion officer at Crystal Bridges. “We are honored to receive this generous gift that allows us to address learning outcomes through innovative approaches. This fund is precedent-setting in drawing upon art museums’ unique resources as a catalyst for change.”

An advisory board was established to determine which issues the fund would address. It consists of Sarah Cunningham, executive director for research at Virginia Commonwealth University School of the Arts and founding director of the Arts Research Institute; David A. Dik, national executive director of Young Audiences Arts for Learning; Jean Hendrickson, Oklahoma A+ Schools director emeritus; Sage Morgan-Hubbard, Ford W. Bell Fellow for Museums and P–12 Education at the American Alliance of Museums; Dr. Deborah B. Reeve, executive director of the National Art Education Association; Mario Rossero, senior vice president for education at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts; Sherman Whites, director of education initiatives at the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation; and Jane Best, director of the Arts Education Partnership and board chair.

May 19, 2017

Dana Lixenberg Wins Deutsche Börse Photography Prize

Installation view of Dana Lixenberg’s “Imperial Courts, 1993–2015,” at Amsterdam’s Huis Marseille. Photo: Yoko Choy

Dutch photographer Dana Lixenberg has won the twentieth edition of the Deutsche Börse Foundation Photography Prize for her project “Imperial Courts, 1993–2015,” a portrait series of residents of the social housing project in Watts, Los Angeles, which she first visited after the 1992 race riots. The 2017 winner was announced at an award ceremony at the Photographers’ Gallery in London. Lixenberg will receive a nearly $40,000 prize.

“Lixenberg’s work is simultaneously understated and emphatic, reflecting a cool sobriety, which allows her subjects to own the gaze and their contexts without sentimentality or grandiosity,” Brett Rogers, the director of the Photographers’ Gallery in London and jury chair, said.

The New York– and Amsterdam-based artist is best known for pursuing long-term projects that focus on individuals and communities on the margins of society. Lixenberg began photographing the Imperial Courts in 1993 and continued to document the neighborhood for the next twenty-two years. A photo essay of her earliest portraits from the project was first published in the November 1993 issue of Vibe magazine, and her photo book “Imperial Courts, 1993–2015” was published by Roma Publications in 2015.

May 19, 2017

Pasadena Museum of California Art Appoints Susana Bautista Executive Director

Susana Bautista

The Pasadena Museum of California Art has announced that Susana Bautista has been named its new executive director. She will succeed interim executive director Jay Belloli, who said, “I have every confidence that Susana will sustain the PMCA’s continued expansion of its educational and outreach efforts and further demonstrate her leadership within the Pasadena community.”

Bautista has more than twenty-five years of experience working in the cultural sector. Over the course of her career she has served as executive director of the Mexican Cultural Institute of Los Angeles; interim deputy director and director of engagement at USC Pacific Asia Museum; and as editorial director of

“Having lived in Pasadena for most of my life, I have seen the major contributions the PMCA has made to the Pasadena community as well as those of Los Angeles and California,” Bautista said. “The museum has filled a void in the study and presentation of California art, and as we approach this momentous fifteenth anniversary of the museum, I consider it a privilege to be able to uphold the PMCA’s mission and to ensure that the long-standing tradition of innovative research and exhibitions, as well as engaging educational and outreach programming, continues for the next fifteen years and beyond.”

May 19, 2017

Phillips Contemporary Evening Auction Brings In $110.3 Million

Peter Doig, Rosedale, 1991.

Phillips’s twentieth-century and contemporary art evening sale in midtown Manhattan on Thursday night netted $110.3 million, more than doubling what it brought in last year. All thirty-seven of the auction’s lots sold.

Leading the sale was Peter Doig’s Rosedale, 1991—a painting of a house in the woods—which was hammered down to Phillips deputy chairman Svetlana Marich, who was bidding for a client on the phone, for $28.8 million. Most of the works reached or surpassed their estimates.

The second highest lot, Willem de Kooning’s Untitled II, 1980, sold for $13.1 million. Among other highlights of the sale were Roy Lichtenstein’s sculpture Woman: Sunlight, Moonlight, 1996, which brought in $10.3 million, and Nicole Eisenman’s Winter Solstice 2012 Dinner Party, 2009, which reached $670,000, exceeding its high estimate of $150,000.

May 19, 2017

Netting $110.5 Million, Basquiat Painting Shatters Records at Sotheby’s

Jean-Michel Basquiat, Untitled, 1982. Photo: Sotheby’s

At Sotheby’s contemporary art evening auction on Thursday night, Jean-Michel Basquiat’s painting Untitled, 1982, became the sixth most expensive work ever sold at auction, at $110.5 million, far exceeding its estimate of $60 million. The canvas of a skull was the first work produced since 1980 to make more than $100 million.

“He’s now in the same league as Francis Bacon and Pablo Picasso,” dealer Jeffrey Deitch told Robin Pogrebin of the New York Times. The acrylic, spray-paint, and oil-stick work was hammered down to Yaki Terase, the head of Japanese business development for the auction house’s Hong Kong team, who placed the winning bid while on the phone with collector Yusaku Maezawa, a Japanese businessman and a founder of the Tokyo Contemporary Art Foundation. Maezawa bought a Basquiat work last year for $57.3 million.

Totaling $319.2 million, the auction saw lively bidding, resulting in 96 percent of its lots sold. Kicking off the sale was Jonas Wood’s Black Still Life, 2012, which brought $1.2 million, wildly exceeding its $250,000 low estimate. Among the other highlights of the night were Roy Lichtenstein’s Nude Sunbathing, 1995, which brought in $24 million; Gerhard Richter’s Abstraktes Bild, 1991, which reached $15.4 million; and Cy Twombly’s Silex Scintillans, 1981, which sold for $8.3 million, and Agnes Martin’s Untitled #13, 1980, which netted $8.1 million, both exceeding their high estimates.

May 18, 2017

Knight Foundation Awards $1.87 Million for Digital Museum Projects

The New Museum in New York

The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation announced today that it will grant $1.87 million in funding to help twelve art museums use technology to immerse visitors in their collections.

These museums will use a range of tools—from chatbots to augmented-reality apps and leading-edge digital projection—to engage new audiences. The awardees include the Akron Art Museum; the Barnes Foundation; Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh; Detroit Institute of Arts; the Institute of Contemporary Art, Miami; the Minneapolis Institute of Art; the Mint Museum; the Museum of Arts and Sciences in Macon, Georgia; the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago; the New Museum; the Pérez Art Museum Miami; and the Vizcaya Museums and Gardens in Miami.

“The arts inspire us, challenge us, and connect us to each other and where we live. People want those experiences to be personalized, interactive and shareable, just as they experience their daily lives,” said Alberto Ibargüen, president of the Knight Foundation. “We support arts institutions that are willing to lead and seize the opportunities tech offers to engage visitors, patrons, and audiences.”

A complete list of the museums and their projects are as follows:

May 18, 2017

Recipients of 2017 Herb Alpert Award in the Arts Announced

Composer Eve Beglarian, artist Amy Franceschini, artist Kerry Tribe, choreographer and performer luciana achugar, and theater director Daniel Fish.

This year’s recipients of the Herb Alpert Award in the Arts––an unrestricted prize of $75,000 given annually to five risk-taking midcareer artists working in the fields of dance, film/video, music, theater, and the visual arts––are choreographer luciana achugar, composer Eve Beglarian, theater director Daniel Fish, artist Amy Franceschini, and video artist Kerry Tribe.

Known for her durational events and environments designed to bring performers and spectators into a more intimate relationship, achugar is a Brooklyn-based artist from Uruguay who often challenges power structures and explores the human body in her works.

Often characterized as a post-Minimalist, Beglarian is currently working on a project titled Lighten Up, an eighty-minute concert inspired by the life and work of Houston’s Flower Man and other visionary visual artists in America, which will premiere in 2018. Among her other recent projects is A Book of Days, for which she composed a new work everyday for a year.