News

  • “MoMA in Berlin” Curators Accused of “Cultural Colonialism”

    German art fans have had to wait for hours to view the very popular exhibition “MoMA in Berlin” at the city's National Gallery, and the acclaim has turned to suspicions that the organizers are deliberately keeping the lines long in order to stir up publicity, Deutsche Welle reports. Now Werner Spies, a noted art historian, onetime friend of Pablo Picasso and Max Ernst, and former director of the National Museum of Modern Art at the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris, has joined the critics. Spies has accused the New York–based curators—who decided on the exhibition's content with no input

    Read more
  • Art Historian Kermit S. Champa Dies at Sixty-four

    Kermit Swiler Champa, a professor of art and architecture at Brown University whose impassioned lectures inspired several generations of historians and curators, died on July 22 at his home in Providence, Rhode Island, Kathryn Shattuck reports in the New York Times. He was sixty-four. A formalist whose early mentors included Clement Greenberg, Champa later increasingly investigated the role of popular culture in interpreting the artists he studied. “He was a formalist in the sense of being very concerned with aesthetic issues in painting, rather than political or social subject matter, and of

    Read more
  • Calder Museum May Soon Get Needed Funds

    Philadelphia's long-delayed Calder Museum could get a big boost later this month, when Pennsylvania's governor, Ed Rendell, plans to announce a grant for its construction from the state capital budget, Michael Hinkelman reports in the Philadelphia Daily News. Rendell didn't say how much the grant would be, but a line item in the budget has earmarked as much as twenty million dollars for the project. The proposed museum would be one of only a handful in the United States devoted to a single American artist, and boosters believe it would enhance the city's reputation as a mecca for culture tourists.

    Read more
  • At Forty, Museum of African Art Reassesses Its Mission

    Washington, D.C.'s National Museum of African Art, which celebrates its fortieth anniversary this year, is one of only two museums in the United States devoted solely to the collection of both traditional and contemporary African art, Jacqueline Trescott writes in the Washington Post. “The museum has spoken volumes about the formal recognition of Africans to the United States and the recognition of the contributions of African art to world art,” says Sharon F. Patton, an art historian and scholar of West African and African American art who became the museum's director seventeen months ago. But

    Read more
  • Santiago Calatrava's City of Arts and Sciences

    Slowly, and with relatively scant attention outside Spain, the City of Arts and Sciences in architect Santiago Calatrava's native Valencia is shaping up to be the largest concentration of his work to date, Dale Fuchs writes in the International Herald Tribune. “For the first time, it's not just a building solo on the landscape but a whole environment,” said Terence Riley, chief curator of the department of architecture and design at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. Calatrava has been working on this futuristic array of buildings—a museum, an opera house, a planetarium and an

    Read more
  • Stalled Guggenheim Project Roils Taiwanese Legislature

    The proposed branch of the Guggenheim Museum in the Taiwanese city of Taichung was the focus of an extra legislative session last week as Taiwanese lawmakers expressed concern over the apparently stalled project, Debbie Wu reports in the Taipei Times. Premier Yu Shyi-kun blamed the situation on obstructionist officials who set up bureaucratic obstacles, such as requiring Taichung to submit “alternative plans” for the project. “An alternative? What do we replace the Guggenheim Museum with? The British Museum?” said Taichung mayor Jason Hu.

    Read more
  • NYC Artists Prepare to Join Convention Fray

    “Half the world wants to be like Thoreau at Walden worrying about the noise of traffic,” the artist Franz Kline once said. “The other half use up their lives being part of that noise. I like the second half.” As New Yorkers ponder the flight-or-fight choice of whether to decamp to someplace placid during the Republican National Convention, Amei Wallach writes in the New York Times, many artists and arts institutions are planning to join the noisemaking.

    Read more
  • Debating the Future of the Royal Academy's Art School

    When Brendan Neiland swept in to run the Royal Academy's historic art school, he was intent on turning a moribund institution on its head, Louise Jury writes in The Independent. But instead of returning the school to its glorious past, his passion has dragged the Royal Academy into a mire of financial irregularities that led to his resignation two weeks ago. Neiland's departure after six years has not only ended his tenure as Keeper of the Schools but also resurrected a ferocious debate about the way the institution is run.

    Read more
  • BALTIC's Director Suspended

    The director of the UK's BALTIC contemporary art center, Stephen Snoddy, has been suspended, the BBC reports. A Baltic spokesman said only that Snoddy was interviewed by police officers on Tuesday in connection with an alleged incident in London five to six weeks ago. Director of Finance and Resources Andrew Lovett will act as director until further notice.

    Read more
  • British Museum Show Encourages Aid to Sudan

    The British Museum is scrapping the admission charge for a major exhibition of Sudanese art and artifacts to encourage people to help finance humanitarian efforts in the troubled African country, Jill Lawless reports in the San Francisco Chronicle. Special exhibitions at the museum normally charge an admission fee of about $9, but museum director Neil MacGregor said Thursday that visitors to the show would instead be asked to donate to the charities Oxfam and Save the Children. MacGregor said “Sudan: Ancient Treasures” had been planned for several years, but the recent conflict and famine in

    Read more
  • An Array of Exhibitions Showcasing African-American Art

    When the Studio Museum in Harlem introduced a group of young African-American artists in the show called “Freestyle” a few years ago, the curator, Thelma Golden, called them post-black artists, and caused a ruckus, writes Holland Cotter in the New York Times. She was describing artists who didn't feel obliged to refer to ethnicity or racial history in their work or, if they did, were inclined to distance themselves from the references, put them in quotes—“race,” “power”—and so on. However you define it, writes Cotter, there is a surprising amount of black and post-black art around at present.

    Read more
  • Painter Leon Golub Dies at Eighty-Two

    Leon Golub, the American painter of expressionistic, heroic-scale figures that reflect dire modern political conditions, died on Sunday in Manhattan, Holland Cotter writes in the New York Times. He was eighty-two. Golub's interest in art of the past was broad and eclectic, running from African and pre-Columbian work to Greek and Roman sculpture and the work of Jacques-Louis David. His own painting was firmly rooted in a critically engaged version of Western humanism and in the tradition of history painting.

    Read more