News

  • Bates Lowry, Art and Architectural Historian, Dies

    Bates Lowry, eighty, an art and architectural historian who was founding director of the National Building Museum and director of the Museum of Modern Art in the late '60s, died March 12 in Brooklyn, New York, of complications from pneumonia, Adam Bernstein reports in the Washington Post. Lowry spent years in academia, holding teaching positions at colleges from Massachusetts to California. He also wrote books on subjects ranging from Renaissance art to the daguerreotype.

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  • Mori Launches Series of Contemporary Japanese Art Shows

    Tokyo's Mori Art Museum is following up its inaugural show, “Happiness,” with the first of a series of what will be biennial or triennial exhibitions of contemporary Japanese art and design, Robert Reed writes in the Daily Yomiuri. The fifty-seven artists, designers, and architects in “Roppongi Crossing: New Visions in Contemporary Japanese Art 2004” were selected by a panel of six curators who each initially proposed twenty choices. Three prizes will be awarded during the course of the show: one given by an international jury; one by the Friends of the Mori Art Museum; and one by the museum's

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  • A New Museum for a Pioneer of Fashion as Art

    Yves Saint Laurent's oeuvre went on view last week when a new museum opened in the designer's former atelier near the Champs-Elysees, Suzy Patterson reports in the Chicago Tribune. The opening show, “Yves Saint Laurent: A Dialogue With Art,” is a look at forty-two dresses inspired by visual artists including Warhol, Mondrian, Braque, Matisse, Bonnard, and Picasso. Some of Saint Laurent's own art collection is on view, including Warhol's famous quadruple portrait of him.

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  • London's New Art Initiative

    London is home to many of the world's leading dealers, auction houses and museums, and Britain accounts for a quarter of the global art market worth $23.5 billion a year. But until now the city has never tried to promote its huge range and depth of expertise cohesively. That will change today, Will Bennett reports in The Telegraph, with the announcement of Art Fortnight London, a major new initiative to celebrate London's place in the international art market.

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  • A Norman Foster Addition for the Smithsonian Art Museum

    Norman Foster, the esteemed British architect, has been selected to design the huge glass canopy that will enclose the courtyard of the Smithsonian's Old Patent Office Building, Jacqueline Trescott reports in the Washington Post. The building, which is home to the Smithsonian's American Art Museum and the National Portrait Gallery, is undergoing a top-to-bottom renovation. The covering of the courtyard that connects the four sides of the landmark building was an option for the project, which began in 2001, but became a reality after Congress approved the enhancement and prospects for fund-raising

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  • Marc Quinn Statue Chosen for Trafalgar Square

    The debate over what to put on a vacant plinth in Trafalgar Square ended Monday night when Ken Livingstone, the mayor of London, chose two sculptures that will be displayed consecutively, Nigel Reynolds reports in The Telegraph. The first artwork to go up will be Marc Quinn's twelve-foot-tall marble statue of a pregnant disabled woman, Alison Lapper, who was born with no arms and shortened legs. In his proposal, Quinn said, “Most public sculpture . . . is triumphant male statuary. . . . I felt that the square needed some femininity.”

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  • Calatrava Addresses Worries about Olympic Stadium

    Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava promised his controversial roof over Athens's main Olympic Stadium would be ready on time, breaking his silence last Friday over an outcry about the pace of preparations, Aggeliki Koutantou reports on Reuters. With even International Olympic Committee officials questioning whether the massive steel-and-blue-glass roof can be ready for the August games, Calatrava said his message to the world was “Don't worry.”

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  • More Controversy Springs Up around Saatchi Discovery

    Charles Saatchi recently made headlines when he bought a portrait of Princess Diana, depicted with blood coming from her mouth, from a previously unknown painter named Stella Vine. Now, reports the BBC, another portrait by Vine, which will be featured in the upcoming show “New Blood” at the Saatchi Gallery, is stirring up controversy and drawing protests from the subject's family. This one depicts Rachel Whitear, a young woman who in 2000 was found dead in her apartment, the victim of an apparent drug overdose.

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  • A Rare American Sojourn for Whistler's Mother

    James McNeill Whistler left the United States for Europe when he was twenty-one and never returned. His most famous painting doesn't make its way across the Atlantic all that often either, which is what makes its upcoming three-month stay in Detroit so unique, Mike Householder writes in the Chicago Tribune. Arrangement in Grey and Black, No. 1: Portrait of the Painter's Mother, 1871, better known as “Whistler's Mother,” has only visited the United States a few times in the past half century but will be on view this spring at the Detroit Institute of Arts.

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  • “Biennials ‘R’ Us”: Peter Plagens's Take on the Whitney

    Newsweek's Peter Plagens looks at the Whitney Biennial from an art-market angle, noting that there are one-hundred-plus artists in the 2004 Biennial, almost half of them thirty-five or younger, all of them aware that gallery owners and collectors are on the prowl. If dealers and collectors consider cheerfulness and techno-professionalism marketable, then some Biennial artists should find their careers taking off: The show is one comic “Biennials ‘R’ Us” installation-art piece after another, writes Plagens, from Glenn Kaino's sand castle to Christian Holstad's array with a sleeping bag and Patty

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  • Striving to Create the “Safest Building in the World”

    Last December, when the model of the Freedom Tower at Ground Zero was unveiled, architect David M. Childs, who is leading the design team, said it would “probably be the safest building in the world.” Now, James Glanz writes in the New York Times, in an attempt to live up to that very public promise—to overcome public fear and reassure prospective tenants—the designers of the tower are carrying out a most unusual exercise that is in equal parts brainstorming, forensic analysis and Götterdämmerung-style “what if”–ing. They are systematically mapping out a dark spectrum of possible calamities,

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  • A Major Collection Comes Home to Basel's Kunstmuseum

    The “exile” of one of Switzerland’s most important private collections of modern art has ended, Richard Dawson reports on swissinfo. For nearly a decade, the Im Obersteg collection, which includes works by Rodin, Cézanne, Kandinsky, Klee, and Modigliani, had been tucked away in a village in canton Bern, in a building with inadequate climate control and limited public access. That is why Doris Im Obersteg, the widow of the man who started the collection, decided to return the 188 works to Basel, their original home, where they are now on permanent loan to the city’s Kunstmuseum.

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