August 10, 2012

Studio Museum Announces Artists for 2012–13 Residency Program

The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York has announced that Steffani Jemison, Jennifer Packer, and Cullen Washington, Jr. have been selected for its 2012–13 artists-in-residency program. The three were chosen for the eleven-month program from a pool of over two hundred applicants. Each will be included in the museum’s upcoming group show, “Fore,” which will run from November 8 through March 10, 2012. Additionally, the selected artists will present work in an exhibition scheduled to open July of 2013. Said assistant curator and program coordinator Lauren Haynes, who will curate the 2012 show: “I am delighted to welcome Steffani, Jennifer, and Cullen to the Studio Museum community. Our artists in residence are truly at the heart of the museum, and we all look forward to the insightful conversations and amazing work coming in the year ahead.”

August 10, 2012

Michelle Yun Named Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at Asia Society

Art in America's Brian Boucher reports that Michelle Yun, curator at New York's Hunter College Art Galleries since last May, has been appointed curator of modern and contemporary art at the Asia Society. At Hunter, Yun organized “Patti Smith. 9.11” and cocurated “Notations: The John Cage Effect Today.” Yun has also worked as consulting curator at the Museum of China Cultural Arts (MoCCA), Beijing, and as director at Pace Prints.

August 10, 2012

Carol McCusker Named Curator of Photography at the Harn Museum of Art

Carol McCusker has been appointed curator of photography at the Harn Museum of Art at the University of Florida. Artdaily reports that she is the “first to fill the curatorship since it was endowed through a $1.5 million gift by the Mary Ann Harn Cofrin family.” McCusker comes to the Harn from the Museum of Photographic Arts in San Diego, where she acted as curator for nearly a decade. “We are delighted that Carol will join the Harn team to fill the newly endowed curator of photography position,” said director Rebecca Nagy. “Carol has had a distinguished career as a curator of photography and professor. We know she will be an asset to the Harn Museum and the University of Florida as we continue to build a strong collection of photography, develop stellar exhibitions, and create engaging programs.”

August 9, 2012

Eli Broad Fails to Make Payment for LA MoCA

In more news from the Museum of Contemporary Art Los Angeles, it was announced today by Bloomberg that Eli Broad has not made scheduled payments to the museum because the institution has $2.1 million in grants that it hasn’t used towards exhibitions. This payment installment schedule is the product of a late 2008 arrangement, in which Broad agreed to give LA MoCA $15 million to save it from debt, provided matching funds could be obtained. So far, he has paid $6.25 million of that and the endowment currently stands at $20 million. Another $15 million of Broad’s pledge was to go toward exhibitions. Broad agreed to give $750,000 per quarter in twenty installments, though these payments have not been met. This discovery comes at a very critical time for the museum as they wait to announce the new trustees.

August 9, 2012

American Folk Art Museum Gets $1 Million Gift

Art in America reports that the American Folk Art Museum has received a $1 million gift from David L. Davies, a former trustee who died in March, and his partner Jack Weeden. This gift comes as a great relief to the financially struggling museum, which moved last year from its original space next to the Museum of Modern Art due to its inability to pay a $31.9 million debt. Director Maria Ann Conelli also announced her resignation at the time.

August 8, 2012

UC Davis Art Museum Names New Director

According to Mark Anderson in the Sacramento Business Journal, the new art museum planned by the University of California Davis now has a director: Rachel Teagle, who earned an art history doctoral degree from Stanford and was most recently executive director of the New Children’s Museum in San Diego, where she managed to raise $27 million for a major renovation project. The Jan Shrem and Maria Manetti Shrem Museum of Art will be constructed on the UC Davis campus and is expected to be completed in 2016, to a budget of $30 million. It will house the university’s fine arts collection, comprising more than four thousand works, including pieces by former faculty such as Wayne Thiebaud, Robert Arneson, Roy De Forest, and William T. Wiley.

August 8, 2012

Voters Approve Tax to Generate $23 Million Per Year for Detroit Institute of Arts

The Associated Press reports that voters in Michigan have approved a ten-year property tax that will generate $23 million per year for the Detroit Institute of Arts. Without the new tax, the museum would have been forced to cut its hours, close several galleries, and eliminate special exhibitions. It will now offer free admission to residents of the three nearby counties that voted on the tax. "People have resoundingly voted for the DIA and the quality of life in this region,” said director Graham W. J. Beal in an interview, adding that the measures comes despite “incredibly difficult times” and an “antitax mood.”

August 7, 2012

Rita Kersting and Mira Lapidot Appointed Curators at the Israel Museum of Art

Rita Kersting, former director of the Kunstverein für die Rheinlande und Westfalen, has been named curator of contemporary art at the Israel Museum, effective October 10. Mira Lapidot, currently curator of fine arts and assistant to the chief curator of fine arts at the museum, has been promoted to Yulla and Jacques Lipchitz chief curator of fine arts, effective immediately. Suzanne Landau, who will be joining the Tel Aviv Museum of Art in September as its director and chief curator, previously held both of the positions.

“After a careful international search, we are pleased to have found in Rita Kersting a curator of contemporary art who will extend our impressive tradition of engagement with contemporary art and artists worldwide and who will bring to the museum the kind of international perspective that is so vital to our mission,” said director James S. Snyder. “Together with Mira Lapidot as chief curator, we look forward to Rita’s forging new relationships that will only strengthen our already vibrant program in contemporary art around the globe.”

August 7, 2012

Robert Hughes (1938–2012)

Robert Hughes, the behemoth of twentieth-century art criticism whose conservative taste put him at odds with the majority of art created after 1960, has passed away at the age of seventy-four. Randy Kennedy of the New York Times writes that Hughes, who spent over three decades as chief art critic for Time magazine, was an eloquent and combative writer who “lived with operatic flair and wrote with a sense of authority that owed more to Zola or Ruskin than to his own century,” and happily maintained the position of “a traditionalist scourge during an era when art movements fractured into unrecognizability.” Known for writing sweeping books about vast subjects—from pioneers of modern art to the history of Australia—Hughes was also a presence on television, gaining notoriety for the “The Shock of the New,” an eight-part documentary about the development of modernism, which was seen by more than twenty-five million viewers when it ran first on BBC and then on PBS.

Kennedy writes that Hughes was “as damning about artists who fell short of his expectations as he was elegiac about those who did,” noting that regarding artists he admired, like Goya and Picasso, the art critic “cast the stakes in nothing less than heroic terms.” Of Lucian Freud, Hughes wrote: “Every inch of the surface has to be won, must be argued through, bears the traces of curiosity and inquisition—above all, takes nothing for granted and demands active engagement from the viewer as its right. Nothing of this kind happens with Warhol, or Gilbert and George, or any of the other image-scavengers and recyclers who infest the wretchedly stylish woods of an already decayed, pulped-out postmodernism.” The drive that informed Hughes’s criticism may best be seen through his description of Goya, whose genius, the critic noted, lay in his “vast breadth of curiosity about the human animal and the depth of his appalled sympathy for it.”