UC Davis to Open New Art Museum

Rendering of the Jan Shrem and Maria Manetti Shrem Museum of Art

UC Davis will be inaugurating a new museum of art, designed by architects SO–IL and Bohlin Cywinski Jackson. Called the Jan Shrem and Maria Manetti Shrem Museum of Art, the exhibition space will open on November 13, and will feature a signature fifty-thousand-square-foot canopy of perforated triangular beams made from aluminum.

Museum officials noted that the department of art at UC Davis, at the outset, hired artists including Robert Arneson, Wayne Thiebaud, William T. Wiley. They taught an interdisciplinary approach to art that produced students ranging from Bruce Nauman to Deborah Butterfield.

“Sixty years ago, the department of art at UC Davis emerged on the scene as an incubator for new talent,” says Rachel Teagle, the museum’s founding director.

The new venue’s inaugural show will feature work by Arneson, William T. Wiley, Manuel Neri, Roland Petersen, De Forest, Wayne Thiebaud, and Ruth Horsting, among many others.


September 26, 2016

Cardi Gallery Opens Outpost in London

Cardi Gallery

Milan-based Cardi Gallery has announced that it will open a second gallery in London on Friday, September 30. Located at 22 Grafton Street in the city’s Mayfair district, the gallery will boast of more than 10,000 square feet of exhibition space. Works will be exhibited throughout six floors of the seventeenth-century townhouse that the gallery spent two years renovating.

“We are very happy for this ambitious achievement, which bears the results of the great efforts by the entire gallery staff,” director and owner Nicolo Cardi said. "Opening a venue in London with a severe and solid program is a necessity, and will be followed by other international endeavors. Being Italian, we are proud to represent, promote and protect the legacy of Italian art from the 1960s and the ’70s that has been, and still is, a great source of inspiration for young talents all over the world.”

Founded in 1972 by Renato Cardi, the gallery will open its London location with an exhibition titled “Arte Povera, American Minimalism, ZERO Group.”

September 26, 2016

Martos Gallery Los Angeles Changes Name

Martos Gallery Los Angeles.

The Los Angeles branch of Martos Gallery will change into a second location of dealer Jose Martos’s project space Shoot the Lobster, according to Nate Freeman at Artnews. Shoot the Lobster started at Martos’s former space on West 29th Street in Chelsea before moving to its own on Eldridge Street, where it remains today. The space is overseen by Martos Gallery director Ebony L. Haynes, along with artist Quintessa Matranga.

The first exhibition at Shoot the Lobster LA opened on September 22, featuring a coven of witches and magicians known as the Astral Oracles.

September 26, 2016

Moscow Exhibition Closes After Child Pornography Allegations Spark Protests

Members of the nationalist group Officers of Russia blocking the entrance to Jock Sturges’s exhibition. Photo:

US photographer Jock Sturges’s exhibition titled “Absence of Shame,” which opened at Moscow’s Lumiere Brothers Center for Photography on September 8, has closed due to a public outcry over images of naked children, The Moscow Times reports.

Among the forty works on display are photographs of adolescents and their families living in nudist colonies in America. In a press release for the show, Sturges said, “Nudity means nothing to anybody here…People are naked…because they are naturists and spend their summers in a resort dedicated to the absence of shame.” In an interview with Russia’s Ren TV, he said, “Galleries and museums across the world haven’t seen these photos as pornography. It simply isn't the case.”

Members of the nationalist group Officers of Russia, who are calling the exhibition child pornography, blocked the entrance to the venue on Sunday. A Russian children’s rights organization also spoke out against the show. One activist, a man pretending to be a journalist, entered the center and threw a bottle filled with urine mixed with acetone at the works. He was arrested and charged with hooliganism.

Curator Natalia Litvinskaya said that the decision to end the show had “nothing to do with paedophilia.” It was canceled because of “threats from absolutely delusional people.” She added that there were no demands from the police or the authorities to close the exhibition despite Federation Council member Yelena Mizulina’s demands that the prosecutor-general investigate the exhibition and its organizers.

Sturges’s photographs have also elicited strong reactions in the United States. In 1990, the FBI raided his San Francisco studio and confiscated cameras, equipment, and works, but he was not charged.

September 23, 2016

Albright-Knox Art Gallery Receives Historic $42.5 Million Gift

Albright-Knox Art Gallery

Buffalo’s Albright-Knox Art Gallery announced today that it has received a landmark gift of $42.5 million from art patron and investor Jeffrey Gundlach for the institution’s expansion project.

Gundlach, a native of the Buffalo area, made the single largest donation in the gallery’s history a challenge gift in order to rally the community to support the cultural institution. Donations from individuals, foundations, and corporations came pouring in, allowing the gallery to raise $125 million.

Led by architect Shohei Shigematsu of OMA, the expansion project will provide additional space for exhibitions, educational programming, and dining areas. The capital campaign will also be used to complete various renovations and to increase the endowment for operating costs.

The board of directors of the Buffalo Fine Arts Academy unanimously voted to change the name of the institution to the Buffalo Albright-Knox-Gundlach Art Museum in honor of Gundlach’s gift.

September 23, 2016

Nicole Smythe-Johnson Named Curator for Inaugural Tilting Axis Fellowship

Nicole Smythe-Johnson

Nicole Smythe-Johnson, a Jamaica-based writer and independent curator, has been selected for the first Tilting Axis curatorial fellowship, a yearlong program between the Caribbean region and Scotland that aims to support the curatorial practices of Caribbean-based organizations.

Tilting Axis, an international project that aids working artists in the Caribbean by strengthening the art community’s networks, developing programming, and increasing fundraising opportunities, was created by ARC Magazine, a Caribbean art and cultural publication, and the Fresh Milk Art Platform Inc., a Caribbean artist-run nonprofit organization.

The new fellowship was conceived by CCA Glasgow, David Dale Gallery and Studios, Hospitalfield, Mother Tongue, and Tilting Axis during the Tilting Axis meetings that took place at Fresh Milk, located in Barbados, and at the Pérez Art Museum Miami in 2015 and 2016 respectively.

September 23, 2016

Activists Boycott St. Louis Museum for Exhibiting “Racially and Sexually Charged” Works

Kelley Walker, “schema,” Aquafresh plus Crest with Scope, 2003.

Artist and activist Damon Davis is urging people to boycott the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis due to its “racially and sexually charged” exhibition “Kelley Walker: Direct Drive,” which opened on September 16, Jenny Simeone of St. Louis Public Radio reports.

Organized by chief curator Jeffrey Uslip, the show is Georgia-born and New York–based artist Kelley Walker’s first solo exhibition in a US museum. Among the works on display are Walker’s “Black Star Press” and “schema” series, for which the artist appropriates photographs of Civil Rights protests and black people being brutalized by police, then smears whitening toothpaste and chocolate, among other materials, on the images.

In a Facebook post, Davis writes, “This work is offensive to black people, black women in particular, and the black struggle for freedom that us and our ancestors have been engaging in since this country was founded.”

At an artist talk hosted by the museum, Davis tried to question the artist about the works. Davis said, “When confronted with an actual black person, Walker became flustered and angry and had no actual answer for why he was using these images. When he couldn’t answer my questions, the curator, Jeffrey Uslip, interjected and tried to explain for him. If you are an artist and you are making work that is specifically racially and sexually charged, if you use black people for props in your work, then at least be ready to explain yourself.”

September 23, 2016

Teodoro González de León (1926–2016)

Teodoro González de León

Teodoro González de León, a Mexican architect who designed modernist buildings that reference Mesoamerica’s ancient cities, died on September 16 in Mexico City at the age of ninety, Elisabeth Malkin of the New York Times reports.

“The No. 1 goal of architecture is to create useful objects,” González de León said. “We create useful objects for the city to experience them—but also so that those objects move us.”

Born in Mexico City in 1926, González de León studied at the National School of Architecture where he and two peers won a design competition for the national university’s new campus while they were still students.

In 1948 he traveled to Paris and worked as a draftsman in Le Corbusier’s studio. After returning to Mexico one year later, González de León would design museums, government facilities, universities, and office buildings throughout the course of his career, including the contemporary art museum Rufino Tamayo, which he designed with architect Abraham Zabludovsky in 1981.

September 22, 2016

Nanjing International Arts Festival Reveals Theme and List of 315 Participating Artists

Baijia Lake Museum

China’s annual Nanjing International Arts Festival announced today that 315 artists have been selected to explore the theme of “HISTORICODE: Scarcity and Supply” for its third edition, which is scheduled to run from November 12, 2016 to February 12, 2017.

Chief curator Lu Peng said, “The theme reflects on a shift of perception and production in the art world in recent years–namely after the 1990s. Artworks and artists have been affected by the role and place the art market has taken. What are the codes for art assessment and what makes art history in this time frame is the question I wanted to address through ‘HISTORICODE.’”

Among the participating artists are Qiu Anxiong, Lee Changwon, Joseph Beuys, Zeng Fanzhi, Claire Fontaine, Yue Minjun, Adrian Paci, Pratchaya Phinthong, Chim Pom, Li Shan, and Santiago Sierra.

Chief curator Lu Peng and curator Letizia Ragaglia led the selection committee, which consists of Heidi Ballet, Du Xiyun, Fu Xiaodong, Katie Geha, Gu Chengfeng, He Guiyan, Lee Janguk, Carol Yinghua Lu, and Nathalie Boseul Shin.

Yan Lugen, chairman of the Nanjing International Art Festival and founder of the Baijia Lake International Culture Investment Group, said, “Bringing such a diversity of exemplary works to Nanjing, we aim to share a slice of recent art history with the local audience as well as to bring Nanjing to the attention of the art world at large.”

Over four hundred works will be displayed in the new Baijia Lake Museum, a former residential and commercial building that was repurposed into exhibition spaces and a research center.

Participating Artists List:

September 22, 2016

Firefighters Battle Blaze that Engulfed Stockholm’s Royal Institute of Art

Firefighters working to extinguish a blaze that ignited on September 21 at the Royal Institute of Art in Stockholm.

Swedish firefighters worked through Wednesday night to try to extinguish an out-of-control fire that was still raging at Stockholm’s Royal Institute of Art this morning, The Telegraph reports.

After the fire started yesterday afternoon when cardboard boxes and garbage on the fourth floor of the institute started burning, a plume of smoke could be seen stretching over the capital. By 8:30 PM, police began cordoning off Skeppsholmen island, where the building is located, and made a hole in the roof to ventilate the smoke and heat from the flames. At least forty-six firefighters were working to try and save the building. Firefighter Johan Winsnes said that the threat to the surrounding buildings was minimal.

Established in 1735, the Royal Institute of Art offers undergraduate and postgraduate studies in fine arts and postgraduate studies in architecture.