News

  • Harvard Cancels Museum Plans

    The news that Harvard University has canceled its plans to build a riverside art museum to be designed by the celebrated architect Renzo Piano isn't surprising. But it's certainly sad. It's a body blow to the mood of robust expansion that had prevailed among Boston-area museums—at least until the recent dive in the stock market. It greatly weakens recent signs the Boston area was on the verge of becoming a significant center for contemporary art. It makes the new Harvard administration look like philistines and the community that opposed the museum look parochial and petty.

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  • Malevich's Black Square Goes Home

    A version of Kasimir Malevich's Black Square—with a history so complex one Russian magazine dubbed it a Suprematist detective story—was unveiled at Saint Petersburg's State Hermitage Museum last month, bringing to a close a long saga in the history of the Russian avant-garde. It also opened a new chapter in the relationship to art of Russia's nouveau-riche oligarchs.

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  • A Bauhaus Apple?

    Consumer products are the stars of the new Apple retail store in SoHo. The store's design is fairly bland compared with the suave styling that has won Apple's products legions of loyal fans over the years. But the shop's minimalist forms and neutral palette nonetheless go far toward establishing the claim that Apple's products are today's modern classics.

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  • Baltic Goes It Alone

    The Baltic Arts Centre in Gateshead, England, open at last, has no permanent collection of art. Nothing ancient or modern, nothing contemporary, nothing famous or cherished or hated. This is one of its founding principles. Another is its avowed decision to go it alone—no loaned sharks, no touring shows, nothing borrowed in any quantity from London—in order to set itself apart from other regional museums. With such a risky strategy, the future is uncertain for its Swedish director, Sune Nordgren. But it's also a chance to do something in the here and now, the immediate present of contemporary

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  • Never mind the Pollocks

    Peggy Guggenheim, millionaire collector, lived a life of sex, privilege, and money, but all she wanted was credibility within the male-dominated art world, suggests The Guardian's Stuart Jeffries.

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  • The Glass What?

    One of the most distinctive landmarks on the London skyline—the new headquarters of the mayor and Greater London authority—opens its doors today. The striking circular structure once dubbed the “glass testicle” by Ken Livingstone was designed by Lord Foster and cost £43 million under a private finance deal. It is being hailed as one of the most inspired new buildings in Europe since the unveiling of the Pompidou Centre in Paris twenty-five years ago.

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  • Collecting Advice

    Asked to recall his very first art purchases, made five decades ago while he was a student of law at Oxford University, Allan Gotlieb—the seventy-four-year-old former Canadian ambassador to the United States, former chair of the Canada Council, and current chairman of Sotheby's Canada—remembers walking the banks of the Seine in Paris, during his university breaks, and browsing through bins of prints. “It was wonderful in those days, not like today,” he remembers, shaking his head at the thought of the tourist squalor that has settled over the Rive Gauche. “You could buy Daumier prints in the

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  • Prado Renovation Stalls

    The long-awaited expansion of Madrid's prestigious Prado Museum has been stalled by local residents. A local group has lodged a legal objection to plans to demolish a fifteenth-century cloister in the neighborhood as part of the expansion plans.

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  • A Radical Humanist?

    Despite his enduring focus on technological innovation, Renzo Piano is sometimes belittled as overly conservative. Though his workshop in Genoa uses computer programs as design tools, Piano's mind is not trained on the grand horizons of the digital age. Structure and function engage him. Rather, his attitude toward materials recalls that of the Arts and Crafts movement of more than a century ago. Today, this attitude seldom generates critical excitement unless it is focused on the development and application of new materials of patently space-age genesis.

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  • BALTIC Centre Draws Attention

    The parallels between London’s Tate Modern and Gateshead’s BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art are strong: Both are housed in reconditioned twentieth-century industrial buildings; each is positioned on an insalubrious bank of a river that was once a vital means of commercial transport; and each has a new bridge leading almost to the entrance. Then there are the differences: The Gateshead Millennium Bridge never wobbled, and Tate Modern has a collection. Run by Swede Sune Nordgren, 54, the founding director of Stockholm's IASPIS, the center promises to go its own way.

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  • The Architecture in Art

    For many young artists internationally today, the mingling of art and architecture holds manifold attractions. It provides yet another way to blur the line between formal categories and to use new technologies. It offers access to a rich visual vocabulary and to concepts that potentially have direct social application. Plus, architecture is just fun to play with, as anyone who was ever deeply into building blocks or dollhouses understands.

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