April 21, 2015

Betty Willis (1923–2015)

Betty Willis has passed away, reports Time’s Sabrina Toppa. The Nevada graphic designer was perhaps most famous for having designed the iconic “Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas” sign; now associated with the city and its culture of hedonistic excess, Willis's creation has been added to the National and State Registers of Historic Places, reproduced in countless souvenirs, and documented by Robert Venturi and Denise Scott Brown.

“Visitors see the sign with the twinkle in it and know they’ve got a license to enjoy themselves,” former Las Vegas mayor Oscar B. Goodman told the New York Times in 2005.

After attending art school, Willis worked as a commercial artist, eventually working at Western Neon. She also created signs for the Moulin Rouge Hotel and the Blue Angel Motel.

She never copyrighted her Las Vegas design, considering it her “gift to the city.”

April 21, 2015

Thoma Foundation Reveals First-Ever Digital Arts Writing Award Winners

Jon Ippolito

The Carl and Marilynn Thoma Art Foundation has revealed the recipients and the selection committee for its inaugural arts writing fellowship awards in the digital arts. An established and an emerging writer “who have contributed significantly to the field of writing in the digital arts” were selected.

Jon Ippolito, professor of new media and director of the digital curation program at the University of Maine, received the $30,000 award for an established arts writer. From 1991 to 2006, he was associate curator of Media Arts at the Guggenheim Museum. He’s coauthored the books At the Edge of Art (2006) and Re-collection (2014).

Meanwhile Joanne McNeil received $15,000 for an emerging arts writer. A resident at Eyebeam in 2014 and a 2012 USC Annenberg/Getty arts journalism fellow, McNeil has contributed to Dissent, Frieze, and Domus, and has a forthcoming book with the Walker Art Center.

The two were chosen from twenty-one nominations by a committee that included Michael Connor, Rudolf Frieling, and Christiane Paul.

April 20, 2015

Outsider Art Fair Announces New Locations For Paris and New York Fairs

The Metropolitan Pavilion, New York.

The Outsider Art Fair has announced the locations for its upcoming editions in both Paris this fall and New York next winter. In Paris, the fair will move to Hôtel du Duc and run from October 22-25, 2015. The New York fair will move to the Metropolitan Pavilion and take place from January 21-24, 2016. The fair was previously in the Dia Art Foundation building in Chelsea.

The Paris fair, now entering its third edition, will feature approximately thirty-six exhibitors across two floors of the historic venue, which is a former mansion of the Duke de Morny in the L’Opéra district of the second arrondissement. Running concurrently with FIAC, this year’s fair will also provide shuttle service between Hôtel du Duc and the Grand Palais.

The New York fair’s relocation to the well-known Metropolitan Pavilion, a 24,000-square-foot space in central Chelsea, will allow for a more cohesive affair with all fifty five exhibitors situated on one level.

April 20, 2015

Andy Warhol Museum Hires New Director of Exhibitions

Keny Marshall will be the Andy Warhol Museum’s new director of exhibitions, according to Artnews’s Andrew Russeth.

He’s worked on exhibition design at venues such as the Carnegie Museum of Natural History, Pittsburgh; the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County; and the State Museum of Pennsylvania.

Marshall, who'll begin his post next week, said “The museum has a refreshing approach to exhibitions that is both inventive and entrepreneurial, enabling audiences worldwide to connect with Warhol’s work in new ways.”

The museum also recently just appointed a new curator of art, as Artforum.com reported here.

April 20, 2015

Nevada Museum of Art to Build $5.5 Million Sky Room

Nevada Museum of Art.

The Nevada Museum of Art has unveiled designs for its planned sky room, which originally stems from architect Will Bruder’s initial plans for the building, reports Jenny Kane in the Reno Gazette-Journal.

The museum unveiled its $5.5 million construction plans for the Nightingale Sky Room (which is named for the Nightingale Family Foundation) last Friday. The expansion will be funded by private donors, and the 4,800-square foot space is scheduled to open by next February. It'll include a banquet kitchen and retractable floor-to-ceiling glass walls allowing for an open-air environment.

During the sky room's construction, the museum's third-floor galleries will be closed to the public starting May 3, and the second floor galleries will close starting July 26.

April 20, 2015

LACMA’s New Gifts Include Over $200 Million in Art

Vija Celmins, T.V., 1964

The Los Angeles County Museum of Art announced that it’s received $200 million worth of art in honor of its fiftieth anniversary. All that's in addition to former Univision magnate Jerry Perenchio’s recent gifts, which the museum estimates are valued at around $500 million in total, according to the New York Times’ Jori Finkel.

Now, the museum has received Vija Celmins’s T.V., 1964, from producer Steve Tisch; Hans Memling’s Christ Blessing from Lynda Resnick, and a Monet from Wendy and Leonard Goldberg.

A few of the gifts come with strings attached; for instance, Perenchio’s gift will only be completed if the museum finishes building the Zumthor building.

April 20, 2015

Director of the Getty Research Institute Awarded 2015 Prix Mondial Cino Del Duca

Thomas W. Gaehtgens.

The director of the Getty Research Institute, Thomas W. Gaehtgens, has been awarded the Prix Mondial Cino Del Duca 2015. The prize is one of the several awarded each year by the foundations of the Institut de France; it recognizes authors whose work, scientific or literary, conveys a message of modern humanism.

Past honorees include Jean Anouilh, Andrei Sakharov, Léopold Senghor, Jorge Luis Borges, Mario Vargas Llossa, Václav Havel, Milan Kundera, Patrick Modiano, and Robert Darnton.

Gaehtgens has published extensively on eighteenth- to twentieth-century French and German art history and Franco-German cultural relations. He was a visiting scholar at the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton from 1979 to 1980, and at the Getty Research Institute for the History of Art and the Humanities from 1985 to 1986.

He is a member of the Akademie der Wissenschaften in Göttingen, Germany, and was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from the Courtauld Institute of Art in London in 2004 and from the Sorbonne in Paris in 2011. In 2009, he received the Grand Prix de l'Académie française pour la Francophonie and in 2011 was elected a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Gaehtgens was also for many years a professor of art history at the Free University in Berlin before founding the Centre Allemand d’Histoire de l’Art in Paris, which he directed until 2007, when he was appointed to the Getty Research Institute.

April 20, 2015

A. Alfred Taubman (1924–2015)

A. Alfred Taubman.

The former owner and chairman of Sotheby’s, Adolph Alfred Taubman, has died, reports Robert D. McFadden in the New York Times. Credited with turning Sotheby’s fortunes around in the 1990s, Taubman saw his reputation tarnished by a criminal conviction in 2002 for conspiring with the Christie’s chairman to fix commission rates. In addition to fines he also spent almost a year in federal prison. Christie’s head, Anthony Tennant, was indicted but never stood trial, as he was a British citizen and could not be extradited to the US.

Born in Pontiac, Michigan in 1924 Taubman studied architecture in the 1940s at the University of Michigan and the Lawrence Institute of Technology. He went into business in 1950, borrowing $5,000 to build and rent out a store, and by 1953 he owned a strip of shopping centers and would go on to become a magnate of suburban mall construction throughout the next few decades. Taubman acquired a controlling interest in Sotheby’s in 1983, and in 1988 he was responsible for listing the auction house on the New York Stock Exchange.

Known for his philanthropy, he donated to the University of Michigan’s health care center, medical school library, and college of architecture and urban planning; to Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government; and to Brown University’s public policy and American institutions program. He also spearheaded a $75 million expansion of the Detroit Institute of Arts and was a director of the Detroit Symphony.

April 20, 2015

2015 Francis Greenburger Award Winners Announced

Francis J. Greenburger.

Omi International Arts Center today announced the five artists who will receive the 2015 Francis J. Greenburger Award, a $12,500 prize that aims to honor established artists whose merit has not been fully recognized by the public. Named for the founder of Omi, the award invites an acclaimed artist, art historian, museum professional, gallerist, and collector to each select one recipient. The awards, totaling $62,500, will be presented in New York City tomorrow night during a ceremony at the New Museum from 6:00 to 8:00 PM.

The artists selected this year are Charles Juhász-Alvarado, Steve Wolfe, Alison Knowles, Suchan Kinoshita, and Malcolm Morley. Each of those artists were respectively chosen for the award by Ursula von Rydingsvard, Roland J. Augustine, Claire Bishop, Oliver Kruse, and Andy and Christine Hall.

Omi International Arts Center is a nonprofit arts organization with residency programs for international visual artists, writers, musicians and dancers situated on a 300-acre campus in Ghent, New York.