December 7, 2012

Pompidou Center Hires Sylvia Chivaratanond

The Pompidou Center has hired Sylvia Chivaratanond as its adjunct curator. Chivaratanond will be based in New York. Her position was created to help develop the museum’s expanding programs of acquiring and seeking donations of American art, reports the New York Times. Chivaratanond has worked at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, and the Tate in London. She also served as assistant director at the 2003 Venice Biennale.

December 7, 2012

Scott Rothkopf Appointed Curator and Associate Director of Programs at Whitney

The Whitney Museum of American Art has announced that curator Scott Rothkopf has been appointed to the newly created post of curator and associate director of programs. Donna De Salvo, chief curator of the Whitney Museum of American Art stated: “I’m delighted that Scott will be working with me––and with our extraordinary curatorial team––in his new role. We created this position at a transformational moment in the museum’s history to help us meet the challenges ahead. Three years ago we welcomed Scott as one of the most important emerging voices in the field. He has made enormous contributions to the museum as a curator and demonstrated a talent for the kind of broad and strategic thinking that will be invaluable to the team as we chart the Whitney’s future.” Rothkopf has worked as a curator at the Whitney since 2009 and previously served as a guest curator at Harvard’s Fogg Art Museum. He holds undergraduate and graduate degrees in art history from Harvard University. Rothkopf was a senior editor of Artforum from 2004 through 2009.

December 7, 2012

Peabody Essex Museum Names First Curator of American Art

The Peabody Essex Museum has named Austen Barron Bailly the George Putnam curator of American art. Bailly previously worked as head of the American art department at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. At the Peabody, she will lead the department in staging exhibitions and growing the museum’s permanent collection. “Austen brings a fresh and exciting perspective to the field that will greatly accelerate and enhance the museum’s presentation of American Art in the years to come,” said Lynda Roscoe Hartigan, the museum’s chief curator.

December 6, 2012

Oscar Niemeyer (1907–2012)

Oscar Niemeyer, the celebrated Brazilian architect who defined the modernist and sensual look of Rio de Janeiro, has died at the age of 104. Niemeyer may have been the last of the great modernist architects and his iconic style and buildings of the 1940s, ’50s and ’60s, especially those of the Brasília government, came to define South American modernity. The New York Times’s Nicolai Ouroussoff describes the designs of Niemeyer as “curvaceous, lyrical, hedonistic forms” that were a “counterpoint to reductive notions of modernist architecture as blandly functional.” Born Oscar Ribeiro de Almeida Niemeyer Soares Filho in 1907 in Rio de Janeiro, he attended the National School of Fine Arts, where he was fortunate to work with Le Corbusier on the Brazilian Ministry of Education building as a draftsman. “For me,” Niemeyer once stated, “beauty is valued more than anything––the beauty that is manifest in a curved line or in an act of creativity.” He is famous for his designs for the National Congress of Brazil, the Cathedral of Brasília, the Cultural Complex of the Republic, the Palácio da Alvorada, the Palácio do Planalto, and the Supreme Federal Court of Brasília. He was also known for his 1988 Pritzker Architecture Prize and his radical politics and support of the Communist party. Ouroussoff writes of Niemeyer, “In celebrating both the formal elements and social aims of architecture, his work became a symbolic reminder that the body and the mind, the sensual and the rational, are not necessarily in opposition.”

December 6, 2012

LA MoCA and University of Southern California Discuss Partnership

Talks of a historic partnership between the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art and the University of Southern California have been confirmed by Mike Boehm of the Los Angeles Times. USC provost Elizabeth Garrett said that discussions are underway “about a possible partnership that would enhance the missions of both institutions.” This partnership comes at a precarious moment in the museum’s history, following Paul Schimmel’s resignation last year, as well as that of all four artists on the museum board. Eli Broad announced in an Op-Ed in the Times that the operating budget in 2012–13 had been scaled back to $14.3 million; the heavy criticism of Jeffrey Deitch’s curatorial strategies have caused many to anticipate greater financial problems. Since the museum does not have a monetary safety net provided by patrons, USC’s aggressive and ambitious fundraising goal of $6 billion by 2018 would make for an ideal partnership. While no additional details of the possible collaboration have been released, the museum has confirmed that it is holding talks with the university.

December 5, 2012

International News Digest


Die Zeit has written an illuminating piece on the Institut für Raumexperimente (IfREx), an experimental program attached to Universität der Künste Berlin that is run by artist Olafur Eliasson. In this program, Eliasson and his students experiment, study, and create work about public space and perspective. But the program itself has perhaps generated less interest than the scholarship offered by the program to a political “representative of Berlin.” Eliasson’s stated goal was to “facilitate a direct communication between political and artistic practice via critical exchange in shared everyday life.” And his motto of the scholarship: “Politics is the art of the possible. Art is the politics of the impossible.” When few if any full-time politicians seemed interested, the scholarship ultimately went to the thirty-nine-year-old Guido Brendgens, who works as a researcher for the Left Party in the House of Representatives in Berlin. Brendgens is no stranger to IfREx’s program, having a PhD in architectural theory from the Technische Universität Dresden. He told Die Zeit about the beneficial effect that the coursework had on him, stating, “How we move about, meet as human beings and change the space—that is decisive. Art can clarify these actions, put them into relief, and change our habitual perceptions.” Eliasson, who seeks to construct a truly interdisciplinary program, said he was just as pleased by the politician’s participation.

The German prison complex Stammheim—most famous for being the site, in the German Autumn of 1977, where many members of the Red Army Faction were imprisoned, three of them allegedly committing suicide—is set to be demolished. German photographer Andreas Magdanz has an exhibition of large-format photographs of the cells and complex at Kunstmuseum Stuttgart, providing a solemn coda to the historical moment. Magdanz received permission from the penal facility to shoot photographs in spaces including the cells where Ulrike Meinhof and Andreas Baader were found dead. Die Süddeutsche Zeitung reports that, because of the relative paucity of German contemporary art which took up the subject––Richter’s 18 October 1977 and Feldman’s Die Toten being notable exceptions––this is quite a monumental show. The images are definitive documentation of not only the space but also of its now-extinct purpose, as well as of fate of those of who were involved in the Red Army Faction. The show will be on view at Kunstmuseum Stuttgart through March 2013.

The partnership between Deutsche Bank and the Guggenheim Museum has come to a close in Berlin, and the bank has decided to turn the space they had shared into a kunsthalle with international programing. The 1,200-square-foot building, according to Monopol, has served as a Guggenheim satellite for the last fifteen years. But now head Deutsche Bank financial officer Stefan Krause claims that the bank wants to “position itself more widely and more internationally.” In return for its partnership, the Guggenheim received sponsorship for eighteen artists’ commissions that were eventually added to the museum’s collection. The Süddeutsche Zeitung gives a Spring 2013 date for the opening of Deutsche Bank Kunsthalle. It plans to exhibit four shows a year––having already announced two: a solo show featuring Imran Qureshi and one curated by Victoria Noorthhoorn. Details about the other two have not yet been announced, but with the museum’s advisory board comprising the likes of Udo Kittelmann, Okwui Enwezor, and Hou Hanru, the shows promise to involve international partnerships with other arts institutions.

There is both an American and German version of the “Next Top Model” franchise, so naturally a Franco-German analog of the art reality contest for Bravo “Work of Art,” was the next step—though Alles für die Kunst! (Everything for Art!) seems like a less pessimistic version of the US television series that had people both cringing and faithfully tuning in. Norbert Bisky, painter of the hard-bodied, acts as mentor to seven young artists from Germany, France, and Belgium, and evaluates work alongside with collectors Christiane zu Salm and Peter Raue. The winner will present his or her work at Zentrum für Kunst und Medientechnologie in Karlsruhe. Die Zeit sees the program as a smart adaptation of a talent show, which seeks to reveal how the system works rather than finding the “next art superstar.”

Hungarian author and artist Péter Nádas’s show at Kunsthaus Zug has already ended, but it came with good news: The artist’s entire photographic oeuvre, comprising of over 600 works made from 1960 to 2003, will be donated to the Kunsthaus, reports Neue Zürcher Zeitung. This includes his two enormously influential series, “History of Shadows” and “History of Light.”

December 5, 2012

Carnegie Museum of Art Receives $500,000 for Charles “Teenie” Harris Archive

Mary Thomas reports in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that the National Endowment for the Humanities has given $500,000 to the Carnegie Museum of Art, which will use the funds to develop and maintain its archive of work by photographer Charles “Teenie” Harris. The grant will endow an archivist position and will support the digitization of 15,000 more negatives and several thousand feet of 16mm film.

December 5, 2012

Executive Director of Utah Museum of Contemporary Art to Step Down

The Salt Lake Tribune’s Sean P. Means reports that Adam Price, the executive director of the Utah Museum of Contemporary Art, will be leaving his post. Price was able to increase fundraising by nearly 50 percent and attendance by 500 percent, to 100,000 visitors annually. He was also responsible for changing the name of the institution, which used to be called the Salt Lake Art Center. According to Roy Jespersen, president of the board, Price will be leaving the museum “in much better condition than he found it.”

December 4, 2012

Jonathan Watkins Named Curator of the Iraq Pavilion at the 2013 Venice Biennale

Jonathan Watkins has been named curator of the Iraq Pavilion at the 2013 Venice Biennale. Watkins is currently the director of Ikon Gallery, a position he assumed in 1999. Previous posts include curator of the Serpentine Gallery and director of the Chisenhale Gallery. He has also acted as curator of several major fairs, including the 2007 Sharjah Biennial, the 2006 Shanghai Biennale, and the 2003 Tate Triennial. Said Watkins of his curatorial approach to the pavilion: “As much as possible the Iraq Pavilion will embody the nature of everyday life as it is lived now in Iraq—both within and beyond the art world there, such as it is. We envisage a celebration of creativity in all forms, at every level of society.”