Met Opera Reaches Deal With Unions

08.22.14

Michael Cooper reports in the New York Times that the Metropolitan Opera had, as of last night, settled labor disputes with the remaining unions representing among others its costume and wardrobe departments, hair and makeup artists, scenic artists and designers, and camera operators for their 2014-15 season. This comes after an earlier success this week wherein Met Opera management negotiated successfully with a stagehands union. Matthew Loeb, the international president of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees which represented the stagehands, was previously quoted in the Los Angeles Times as saying their agreement included “mandatory cost reductions from management” in addition to an independent monitor that will track the Met's budgets.

Getty Appoints Appoints Two New Senior Curators

08.22.14

Mike Boehm reports in the
Los Angeles Times that the Getty Museum director Timothy Potts has appointed Jeffrey Spier to be the new senior curator of antiquities at the Getty Villa in the Pacific Palisades, and has selected Davide Gasparotto—the former director of the Galleria Estense Museum in Modena, Italy—as the new senior curator of paintings at the Getty Center in Brentwood. Gasparotto succeeds Scott Schaefer, who had retired in January of this year, while Spier fills an opening that the curator Claire Lyons has held in an acting capacity since 2011.

Wall Vandalized at Whitney Museum of American Art

08.21.14

A man was photographed vandalizing a gallery wall at the Whitney Museum of Art yesterday, creating a graffiti-like image of a red letter X dripping with paint along with scrawled black text underneath. The New York Times reports that he was quickly apprehended by security, removed by the police, and taken to a hospital for evaluation. The incident occurred on the third floor, where the Jeff Koons retrospective is currently on view. No art was damaged.

Ger van Elk (1941–2014)

08.20.14

The Dutch artist Ger van Elk has passed away, according to Galerie Bob van Orsouw. A photographer, painter, and filmmaker, van Elk made work that was often characterized as Conceptual and arte povera. He was winner of the J. C. van Lanschot Prize for Sculpture in 1996, and his work is included in the collections of Tate Gallery in London and Van Abbemuseum in Eindhoven. His art also appeared in Documenta 5, in 1972, and in exhibitions like “When Attitudes Become Form,” 1969.

“What I want,” said van Elk in a 1977 interview, “is a realistic depiction of unrealistic situations.”

Gwangju Biennale President Resigns after Censorship Controversy

08.20.14

Pac Pobric reports for the Art Newspaper that the president of the Gwangju Biennale, Lee Yong-woo, announced his resignation on Monday. The reason he decided to step down? Last month, biennale organizers had removed a painting by the artist Hong Seong-dam, which depicts family members of the children who died in the nation’s ferry disaster earlier this year confronting South Korean president Park Geun-hye. They claimed the painting’s removal was driven by logistics, but suspicions of politically motivated censorship led a group of Japanese artists from Okinawa to pull their works, and the head curator, Yoon Beom-mo, to resign.

On Monday, Lee, the biennale’s president, admitted that the mural vanished under political pressure from the Gwangju city government, which had poured $2.4 million into the event. His resignation will come into effect after the opening of the main biennale exhibition. “I am taking full responsibility for what happened,” he said.

New Curator for Tulane’s Newcomb Art Gallery

08.20.14

As Chris Waddington reports in the Times-Picayune, Tulane University has appointed a new curator for its Newcomb Art Gallery: Monica Ramirez-Montagut. Formerly a senior curator at the San Jose Museum of Art and an associate director at MACLA/Movimiento de Arte y Cultura Latino Americana, Ramirez-Montagut also served as curator at the Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum in Connecticut. From 2005 through 2008, she was assistant curator of architecture and design at the Guggenheim Museum in New York.

Hammer Museum Announces Winners of 2014 Mohn Awards for “Made in LA”

08.19.14

The Hammer has announced the winners of the 2014 awards for “Made in LA,” the museum’s biennial. Alice Konitz has received the $100,000 Mohn award for artistic excellence; Magdalena Suarez Frimkess and Michael Frimkess have received the $25,000 career achievement award honoring brilliance and resilience; and Jennifer Moon has received the $25,000 public recognition award, decided by public vote. Winners for the other two prizes were determined by a jury including Jack Bankowsky, independent curator, critic, and Artforum editor-at-large; Naomi Beckwith, curator at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; and Apsara DiQuinzio, curator of modern and contemporary art at the University of California, Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive.

Said Hammer director Annie Philbin: “These deserving artists capture the vibrancy and diversity of what is happening in Los Angeles today—from the inventive Los Angeles Museum of Art, a collaboration initiated by Alice Konitz, to the captivating and delightful ceramics of Magdalena and Michael Frimkess, to the hands-down crowd favorite Jennifer Moon. I am ever grateful to Jarl and Pamela Mohn who are the quintessential boosters and celebrators of LA artists across multiple disciplines and generations.”

Corcoran Gallery of Art to Merge with the National Gallery of Art and George Washington University

08.19.14

The Superior Court in Washington, DC, has approved a merger between the Corcoran Gallery of Art with the National Gallery of Art and George Washington University, effectively dissolving the 150-year-old museum. Judge Robert Okun noted the decision was “painful” but that it would be “even more painful to deny the relief requested and allow the Corcoran to face its likely demise.” Julia Halperin of the Art Newspaper reports that the Corcoran will turn over its Beaux Arts building and its College of Art and Design to George Washington University. The National Gallery of Art will assume a substantial portion of the Corcoran’s 17,000-work collection, which includes paintings by John Singer Sargent and Frederic Edwin Church as well as celebrated photography holdings. Over the next year, curators at both institutions will collaborate to decide which works they will keep. The remainder will be distributed to museums across the United States. An estimated one third of the Corcoran's 465-person staff stand to lose their jobs.

MoMA and the Warhol Museum Announce Digitization of Complete Warhol Film Collection

08.15.14

The Museum of Modern Art in New York and the Warhol Museum have announced a partnership that will enable the digitization of about 500 film and video works that Andy Warhol made between 1963 and 1972. Starting this month, the institutions will begin to scan over 1,000 rolls of 16mm film shot by Warhol, turning them frame-by-frame into high-resolution digital images. The two museums are also enlisting the help of the Moving Picture Company for the project. Once digitization has been completed, all the films will be made available to the public.