News

  • BALTIC's New Director Will Move Toward the Mainstream

    Sune Nordgren, the founding director of BALTIC contemporary art gallery, forged an unparochial program that positioned the institution as an international art center, Charlotte Higgins writes in The Guardian. New director Stephen Snoddy, who started work on Monday, will take a more mainstream approach. “There will be more artists from Britain, and artists who are well-known internationally,” Snoddy says. “I also want to look at senior artists working in Britain whose work hasn't been seen for a while and who need a major retrospective.”

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  • Barnes Misplaces “Hundreds of Things,” Including a Matisse

    A work by Henri Matisse and a ceramic vase by Jean Renoir are among “hundreds of things” missing from the Barnes Foundation, executive director Kimberly Camp said Wednesday, shortly after testifying in a hearing on the Barnes's proposal to move its gallery to Philadelphia. The Philadelphia Inquirer's Patricia Horn and Don Steinberg report that it is unclear how the pieces disappeared, whether they were stolen, or when they might have been taken from the foundation.

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  • Dubious Van Gogh Expected to Fetch Millions

    A painting of field workers attributed to Vincent van Gogh, bought at a flea market in France twelve years ago for the equivalent of 1,500 euros (or 1,800 dollars), is expected to fetch up to 3 million euros (3.6 million dollars) at auction, Reuters reports, despite an ongoing debate about the work's authenticity. An Italian scientific laboratory has identified its pigments as dating from the nineteenth century and said the colors were identical to those used by van Gogh in other paintings. Another test showed the varnish also matched the type used by van Gogh. But the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam

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  • Revised Plans for Freedom Tower Include Windmills

    Instead of the “gardens in the sky” first proposed by Daniel Libeskind, the 1,776-foot Freedom Tower at Ground Zero will house environmentally friendly windmills in the sky, Karen Matthews reports in Newsday. According to the latest plans, the building will house seventy floors of office space topped by broadcast antennas, wind turbines, and cables resembling a suspension bridge. The use of windmills in a tall building “is innovative and different and new and is something that will have to be designed carefully,” said Ashok Gupta, director of the air and energy program at the Natural Resources

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  • Rare Rembrandt Etchings Stolen

    Two rare Rembrandt etchings have been stolen from a home in Melbourne, Australia, Jamie Berry reports in the Melbourne Age. Police said the etchings—one a self-portrait and the other a portrait of the artist's mother—were taken along with their certificates of authenticity during a break-in at the family home. The etchings have been owned by the same family since the 1700s.

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  • Portland Center Suspends Arts Programming

    Grand expectations greeted Stuart Horodner when he arrived in Portland to be the first visual arts curator at the Portland Institute for Contemporary Art, D.K. Row writes in The Oregonian. But three years later, PICA has announced that it will suspend its visual arts programming in late January and that Horodner will leave the organization in February. Both were casualties of the nonprofit group's new focus on the performance-centered “Time-Based Art Festival,” of a need to economize during a difficult time for arts funding, and of a visual arts program that simply wasn't working, according to

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  • Gehry to Unveil Design for Brooklyn Arena

    Frank Gehry is scheduled to unveil a design for a Brooklyn basketball arena for the New Jersey Nets today, reports the New York Daily News. However, the architect’s arena design will likely never make it off the drawing board unless real-estate developer Bruce Ratner—who hired Gehry—is able to purchase the team and move it out of the Continental Airlines Arena in East Rutherford, New Jersey.

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  • A Surprising Theory of The Scream

    In the February 2004 issue of Sky & Telescope, Dr. Donald Olson, an astronomer at Texas State University, and colleagues assert that Edvard Munch's painting The Scream, 1893, was the direct consequence of a cataclysm half a world away from Norway: the volcanic explosion on the Indonesian island of Krakatoa. As the New York Times' Leon Jaroff reports, Munch's journals indicate that The Scream grew from an experience the artist had while walking near Christiania (now Oslo) at sunset: “All at once the sky became blood-red . . . clouds like blood and tongues of fire hung above the blue-black fjord

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  • An Architect's Dissenting View of Tate Modern

    Tate Modern should have been pulled down rather than being feted as one of the design successes of the past decade, according to architect Will Alsop. As The Guardian's Emma Brockes reports, Alsop likened a visit to Tate Modern to going around a shopping center and blamed a planning mentality that had turned Britain into a nation of consultants.

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  • Sales and Attendance Up at Art Basel Miami Beach

    Building on its well-received 2002 debut and cashing in on a surge in art sales and attendees, Art Basel Miami Beach closed Sunday with a growing reputation as one of the most important US art fairs, Douglas Hanks III and Daniel Chang write in the Miami Herald. ‘'What I saw this week in Miami was even wilder than last year,'’ said executive director Samuel Keller. “The sales were definitely up. The quality [of art] was definitely higher.” The success of the fair, Keller said, could mean a permanent future for Art Basel in Miami Beach.

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  • American Institute of Architects Honors Samuel Mockbee

    The American Institute of Architects has awarded its 2004 Gold Medal to Samuel Mockbee, Linda Hales reports in the Washington Post. The award is posthumous; Mockbee died of leukemia last December at age fifty-seven. As the founder and head of the Rural Studio in Greensboro, Alabama, Mockbee created housing for the poor that combined exceptional, inventive design with common local materials such as hay bales and tires.

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  • Barnes Must Relocate to Survive, Says Foundation President

    The New York Times' Carol Vogel reports that the Barnes Foundation, with its multibillion-dollar art collection, will be forced to go bankrupt unless a judge permits it to move from the suburb of Merion, Pennsylvania, to downtown Philadelphia, Barnes officials testified in court on Monday. At the opening of a weeklong hearing that is being closely watched by the art world and experts in trust law, Bernard C. Watson, the foundation's president, explained that three Philadelphia-area institutions—the Annenberg Foundation, the Lenfest Foundation, and the Pew Charitable Trusts—promised the Barnes

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