March 3, 2015

Cindy Sherman and Jeff Koons to Create Artworks for American Embassies

Cindy Sherman and Jeff Koons have announced that they’re donating new work to the Foundation for Art and Preservation in Embassies, to be exhibited in American embassies and consulates internationally, according to the Art Newspaper’s Corinna Kirsch.

Koons’s new series of prints and Sherman’s original edition of photographs will come in limited editions of fifty each.

The works will be unveiled in Washington, DC, on April 20, and then embassies can apply individually to show the works.

March 2, 2015

SITE Santa Fe Announces Curatorial Team for 2016 SITELines

SITE Santa Fe has announced the appointment of five international guest curators to organize “SITElines.2016: New Perspectives on Art of the Americas.” They are Rocío Aranda-Alvarado, Kathleen Ash-Milby, Pip Day, Pablo León de la Barra, and Kiki Mazzucchelli. The selected theme and artists will be announced in February of next year.

SITELines is the new iteration of SITE Santa Fe. It launched last year with “Unsettled Landscapes,” brings a new focus to the Western Hemisphere, and looks to revive the biennial model by employing a curatorial team and by supporting longer-term research projects and commissions.

March 2, 2015

Rose Art Museum Receives Major Gift of Contemporary Art

Peter Norton, 1987.

The computer programmer and philanthropist Peter Norton has donated forty-one works by contemporary artists to the Rose Art Museum.

Drawn from Norton’s personal collection, this gift is part of a series of donations to university art museums and teaching museums throughout the country, including the Tang Teaching Museum at Skidmore, Saratoga Springs, New York; UC Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive in Berkeley, California; and the Mary & Leigh Block Museum of Art at Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois.

The gift to the Rose includes video, photography, painting, prints, sculpture, and mixed media works by artists such as Doug Aitken, Nicole Eisenman, Omer Fast, Robert Gober, Mike Kelley, Jean Shin, Kara Walker, and Christopher Wool, among others.

March 2, 2015

Artistic Director of Australian Center for Contemporary Art Leaves for Aarhaus

Juliana Engberg.

Nicholas Forrest reports in Artinfo that Juliana Engberg, the artistic director of Australian Center for Contemporary Art and the 2014 Biennale of Sydney, will be stepping down in order and moving to a new role as program director for the European Capital of Culture Aarhus 2017, in Denmark. Engberg joined ACCA in 2002 to head the artistic program following the completion of the organization’s Sturt Street location. During her tenure at ACCA, she commissioned, oversaw, curated, and collaborated on more than 120 exhibitions, including shows with Pipilotti Rist, Yael Bartana, Jim Lambie, and Roni Horn.

Engberg is also an adjunct professor in architecture, design, and art at RMIT University, a professorial fellow in the faculty of art, design, and architecture at Monash University, and has been a visiting critic at the Glasgow School of Art, Scotland, as well as a visiting juror for the Rijksacademie in Amsterdam.

March 2, 2015

Founder of Art Salzburg Takes Over Vienna Fair

Wolfgang Pelz.

Wolfgang Pelz, who also manages Art Austria and Art Salzburg, will be taking over Vienna Fair from Reed Exhibitions, reports Hili Perlson at Artnet.

The new version of the fair will take place from October 8 through October 11 at its previous location, the Messe Wien convention center. The fair’s former senior management left Reed Exhibitions due to their habit of changing the Vienna Fair’s dates each year.

While the next iteration of Vienna Fair comes close to the opening date of Frieze London, which opens to the public on October 14, talking to Der Standard, Pelz stated he was not worried about Frieze's proximity, as his fair targets different dealers and collectors.

February 28, 2015

Susan O’Malley (1976–2015)

San Francisco–based artist and curator Susan O’Malley has passed away, according to Romer Young Gallery.

After receiving a BA from Stanford University in 1999, and an MFA from California College of the Arts, O’Malley saw her work exhibited at venues including the Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston, and the San Jose Institute of Contemporary Art—where she also curated shows.

“Her art work is a combination of humor and high jinks,” Lea Feinstein wrote of O’Malley in SFWeekly. “But the fun in her work belies the underlying deeper message: Art can change the world if it can show us how to reframe what we see (and accept too easily) as the truth.”

February 27, 2015

Bronx Museum Appoints New Deputy Director

José A. Ortiz.

The Bronx Museum of the Arts announced today that José A. Ortiz will become its new deputy director. Ortiz comes with a well-established background in arts management, most recently as the founding director of Artisphere—a new visual and performing arts center in Washington, DC—and previously as deputy director of the Harvard Art Museums, where he oversaw the daily operation of the university’s three art museums—the Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Busch-Reisinger Museum, and Fogg Museum.

Ortiz was formerly also a deputy director/chief of finance and administration at the Smithsonian Institution’s Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden from 2005 to 2009. From 1996 to 2005, he was the manager for administration at the Cloisters in New York, the branch museum of the Metropolitan Museum of Art dedicated to the art and architecture of medieval Europe.

Ortiz is a graduate of Pace University and also has a master of arts in liberal studies from New York University.

February 27, 2015

Leonard Nimoy (1931–2015)

Leonard Nimoy.

Virginia Heffernan at the New York Times reports that Leonard Nimoy, an actor, artist, and arts patron best known for playing the character Spock on “Star Trek” died today in Los Angeles.

Born in 1931 and raised in Boston, he studied acting at young age and directed plays while in the army for its Special Services branch. As a patron, he supported the Thalia movie theater on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, which was renamed the Leonard Nimoy Thalia in 2002 and is now a multiuse hall that’s part of Symphony Space.

Nimoy also worked in photography, and his art was the subject of several books and exhibitions at the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art, among other venues.

February 27, 2015

Jeff Koons to Build $8 Million Public Art Piece for Sacramento’s New Arena

The city of Sacramento and its basketball team—the Kings—are joining forces to commission a sculpture by Jeff Koons for the team's new downtown arena, reports the Sacramento Bee’s Ryan Lillis. The Kings, the city, and three of the team's owners will join forces to shell out $8 million for the piece by Koons. It’ll be the most the city has ever spent for a public art piece in its history.

The Kings and local philanthropist Marcy Friedman, meanwhile, will together contribute another $1.5 million to bring work made by local artists to the arena.

Koons’s sculpture will be the fifth in his “Coloring Book” series. He hasn’t yet made the sculpture, but has vowed to finish it by the time the arena opens in October of next year.

The City Council still needs to approve the final contract with Koons next month.