News

  • Ambitious Exhibition Space Opens in Miami

    Miami Art Central, a new exhibition space that opened on Tuesday, plans to showcase a diverse program of art, music, and film and to be a catalyst for the city's art scene, Elisa Turner writes in the Miami Herald. Philanthropist and collector Ella Cisneros, founder of MAC, says, "We haven't called it a museum. We want it to be a meeting place.'' She has in mind a unique venue, where artists of Latin American heritage will be granted yearlong residencies and where arts professionals from outside the city, including New Museum of Contemporary Art director Lisa Phillips, will help put together

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  • National Registry Memorializes Artists Who Died of AIDS

    The New York nonprofit group Alliance for the Arts has launched an Internet list of hundreds of artists who have died of AIDS in order to memorialize the lives of those felled by the disease. The San Francisco Chronicle's Michael Weissenstein reports that the group combed through academic research, magazine articles, and obituaries to compile the national registry, which includes the names of well-known as well as unknown artists who worked in all disciplines. The launch of the national registry was announced on December 1, World AIDS Day.

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  • Boston ICA Gears Up for New Building

    Boston's Institute of Contemporary Art, long an adventurous outpost of the city's relatively staid art scene, is scheduled to open the doors of a four-story museum on the city's waterfront in 2006, heralding what it hopes is a new era of support for cutting-edge arts in the city. To that end, Steve Leblanc reports in the Washington Post, the ICA has commissioned a suitably cutting-edge design from Diller + Scofidio, who envision a cantilevered structure that takes advantage of the harbor's seascape and natural lighting.

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  • Debate over Attribution Mars Christie's British Art Sale

    The Telegraph's Will Bennett reports that Christie's recent sale of British pictures was marred by persistent rumors that the much-hyped catalogue-cover lot, Joshua Reynolds's Portrait of Mrs Baldwin, would be more properly attributed to Reynolds's assistants than to the artist himself. Two days before last week's auction, the American family who had bought the picture in New York in 1948 reluctantly decided to withdraw it from the sale. Christie's continues to believe that the painting is by Reynolds, and sources point out that the artist often used studio assistants, but the debate over the

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  • Basel Miami Hopes to Attract Latin American Collectors

    The second Art Basel Miami Beach begins this week, and, as Elisa Turner reports in the Miami Herald, the fair is making an effort to increase its appeal to Latin American collectors. Collectors from Latin America have sometimes expressed the view that Art Basel doesn't pay enough attention to young artists from their region, and they did not turn out in force for last year's Miami fair. But strong sales at New York's art auctions this past fall and Miami's increasingly cosmopolitan profile may help to attract more Latin American collectors this year.

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  • Ground Zero's Three Biggest Problems

    Although it failed to produce a work of genius, the competition to design a memorial to the victims of September 11 was well worth undertaking, Herbert Muschamp writes in the New York Times. It threw into sharp relief three problems that have plagued the Ground Zero design process: too much symbolism, not enough time, and a breakdown of cultural authority. Until precise steps are taken to resolve all three issues, writes Muschamp, the design process will continue to sink deeper and deeper into political quicksand.

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  • One Hundred Million Dollars Offered for Pollock Painting

    The hottest rumor in the art world—that one of Jackson Pollock's greatest drip paintings was sold for a staggering 105 million dollars—just won't go away, Carol Vogel writes in the New York Times. Mural on Indian Red Ground, 1950, which belongs to the Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art in Iran, was said to have been bought by David Geffen. Ali Reza Samiazar, director of the Tehran Museum, confirmed that such an offer had been made for the painting but declined to say who had made it and stated that the museum had no intention of selling the painting. Such a sale would have made Mural on Indian

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  • Renzo Piano to Design LACMA's New Wing

    Eli Broad, the billionaire art collector and philanthropist who recently pledged sixty million dollars to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art to fund the construction of a new wing for art since 1945 and to set up an endowment for acquisitions of contemporary art, has chosen Renzo Piano as the designer for the new building. As the Art Newspaper's Jason Edward Kaufman reports, a museum spokesperson confirms that the architect has spent time in Los Angeles touring the museum and is in “serious discussions” with LACMA president and director Andrea Rich. Under the terms of Broad's gift, LACMA

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  • Architecture Critic Decries the Maya Lin Effect

    It is perhaps ironic that Maya Lin, architect and designer of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, DC, was one of the thirteen members of the jury that selected finalists in the competition to design a memorial at Ground zero, Clay Risen writes in the New York Observer. Ironic, because all eight finalists rely heavily on the minimalist vocabulary Lin introduced to the world of memorial design in 1981. As successful as Lin's Vietnam memorial was, writes Risen, the eight finalists “prove that it has become a crutch, rather than an inspiration, for American memorial architecture.”

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  • Commission for Looted Art Branded a “Toothless Tiger”

    The Scotsman's Allan Hall writes that Germany's Commission for the Return of Looted Art, the body set up to return treasures plundered by the Nazis, has failed in its first test—to get a valuable painting returned to the heir of its owner. The Box Tree, by Emil Hansen, was auctioned by a Jewish lawyer's family in 1935 to raise money to get to safety. The museum in the city of Duisburg that now owns the painting refuses to part with it. While the museum is legally correct, the decision not to hand the artwork over to the lawyer's sole surviving daughter is widely seen as morally wrong and

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  • A “Hidden Talent” Strikes Out on His Own

    Stuart Lipton, chairman of the United Kingdom's Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment, has called architect Ken Shuttleworth “one of the best hidden talents in the UK.” Shuttleworth, fifty, has been one of Norman Foster's designers for nearly thirty years and has contributed to such distinctive designs as Hong Kong's Chek Lap Kok airport and the Commerzbank, Frankfurt—Europe's tallest building to date. His talents may not remain hidden for much longer: As Jonathan Glancey reports in The Guardian, Shuttleworth has announced plans to leave Foster's firm in December.

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  • Saatchi Sells a Dozen Works by Damien Hirst

    Charles Saatchi has sold a dozen works by Damien Hirst back to Hirst's gallery, White Cube, the BBC reports. The sale has prompted speculation that a “feud” has sprung up between the collector and the artist. A spokeswoman for Saatchi refused to comment on the reasons for the sale but did say, “Journalists sometimes just want to write the story they want to write.”

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