News

  • Art Community Thrives around Dia:Beacon

    The presence of Dia:Beacon seems to be galvanizing a renaissance of sorts in the museum's hometown of Beacon, New York. Artists are discovering plentiful available studio space, and galleries line nearly the entire mile-long stretch of Main Street, Nicole Edwards writes in the Poughkeepsie Journal. Beacon residents are happy about the burgeoning art scene, and not just because of the tourist dollars it brings in: "I'd rather see artsy people walking out of antique stores than see people stumbling out of a bar,'' says one local.

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  • Tracey Emin Sues Prominent Art Critic

    On August 16, Tracey Emin announced her intention to sue British art critic Philip Hensher for defamation of character, Amelia Hill reports in The Guardian. The announcement is the latest development in a controversy between the two that began when Hensher wrote a negative assessment of Emin's work in The Indepedent, concluding, “There's no hope for Tracey Emin. She's just no good.”

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  • The Problem of Preserving Ephemeral Art

    Time is running out for museums, galleries, and private collectors wanting to preserve their digital photography and video art, Clare Dowdy writes in the Financial Times, as recent research has shown that they deteriorate more quickly than people realized. Color photography is particularly in danger. “Andreas Gursky's photographs are selling for one million pounds, but they will not exist in one hundred years' time, so what value do they have?” asks Claudio Cesar, an American collector of photographic art.

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  • Kirk Varnedoe Dies at Fifty-Seven

    Kirk Varnedoe, the art historian who as chief curator of painting and sculpture at the Museum of Modern Art helped to reshape the museum's collection and philosophy and in so doing created a broader public understanding of modern art, died August 14 at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in Manhattan, Michael Kimmelman writes in the New York Times. He was fifty-seven.

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  • Arts Promoter Aims to Rebuild Berlin Wall

    A German arts promoter wants to reconstruct the Berlin Wall as a public art project, Tristana Moore reports on the BBC. Christof Blaesius's plan is to rebuild the wall in plastic and to invite artists from around the world to embellish it. The idea is proving controversial, to say the least.

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  • Ex–Gang Assassin Finds Success as Painter

    A “notorious criminal” has become the Australian art world's latest star, Belinda Goldsmith reports on Reuters. Twenty-seven paintings by Mark “Chopper” Read, a former gangland thug who is well known across Australia because of a movie based on his life story, were snapped up within twenty-four hours of the opening of his debut exhibition at a Melbourne gallery.

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  • Director of San Diego Museum Departs for Toledo

    Don Bacigalupi, considered a rising star when he took over as director of a troubled San Diego Museum of Art four years ago, announced Monday that he is resigning, Robert L. Pincus writes in the San Diego Union-Tribune. In November, he will become the director of the Toledo Museum of Art. “This is bittersweet,” said Bacigalupi, who has elevated SDMA's reputation regionally and nationally. “I'm very proud of what we've accomplished in my four years. There's a lot to be done, and it should be exciting for my successor.”

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  • Municipal Largesse Enables Phillips Collection to Expand

    The District of Columbia is giving the Phillips Collection twenty-seven million dollars in tax-exempt revenue-bond financing, Christine Cubé reports in the Washington Business Journal. The money will help cover an expansion the museum has been trying to get moving for more than three years. It will also enable the Phillips Collection to renovate its existing facilities and establish the Center for Studies in Modern Art.

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  • Defying Trends, General Mills Holds on to Its Art Collection

    Many corporations sold off expensive art collections in the late 1990s, when the economy was good and they could turn a profit, while others liquidated collections during the recent downturn. One notable exception to this trend is General Mills, whose collection includes works by Jim Dine, David Hockney, Jasper Johns, Roy Lichtenstein, and Robert Mapplethorpe. Since the 1950s, Karren Mills writes in the Bay Area's San Mateo County Times, the company has been prioritizing its art collection, and it shows no sign of slackening its commitment today.

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  • Religion Defense Works for Moscow Museum Vandals

    A Moscow court on Monday threw out a case against two Russian Orthodox men accused of vandalizing a museum exhibition, Russia Journal reports. The men were accused of severely defacing artworks and installations in a show called “Caution: Religion” at Moscow's Sakharov Museum in January. Rather than denying the charges, their lawyer said that his clients were “reacting against an exhibition they felt incited religious hostility,” and on the basis of this argument the district court threw out the case against the two men.

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  • Daniel Libeskind Vows to “Stick with It” at Ground Zero

    In the Washington Post, Daniel Libeskind speaks with Lynne Duke about his World Trade Center travails and reasserts his intention to defend his original design for Ground Zero. “When I walk on the street, people stop me,” says Libeskind. “They don't stop me for my autograph. They stop to wish me good luck. They say: Stick with it. Don't give up. Don't get stepped upon.”

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  • Chicago Museum Launches High-Tech Conservation Program

    The Art Institute of Chicago has hired an expert in conservation science and, with a 2.75-million-dollar grant from the Mellon Foundation, plans to buy equipment so it can do high-tech analysis of some of its treasures. Francesca Casadio, who has studied in Italy and has degrees in chemistry and in arts and humanities, will head the new conservation science program, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.

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