August 16, 2016

Frank Gehry Building for LUMA Arles Scheduled for Completion in 2018

Frank Gehry's building, scheduled for completion in 2018. Photo: Gareth Harris.

Gareth Harris of the Art Newspaper writes that a Frank Gehry building will be the centerpiece of a cultural campus named LUMA Arles, located in southern France. It is scheduled for completion in 2018. Art collector Maja Hoffman’s Lumes Foundation has provided about $112.7 million in funding for the building.

Hoffmann, an heiress to a Swiss pharmaceuticals fortune, says, “We are creating a place where artists, thinkers, scientists—as well as doers and actors of the economic world—can gather and work together on new scripts for the world.” The building, which will offer up nearly 97,000 square feet, is on a 20 acre campus. The current working title for the Gehry structure is the Centre for Human Dignity and Ecological Justice. It will house rooms for workshops, seminars, art studios, exhibitions, and archives. The entirety of LUMA Arles is located in a public park designed by Belgian architect Bas Smets.

New York’s Selldorf Architects have repaired five buildings on the site, which was once a train yard for the French railway system. They are also responsible for LUMA Arles’s La Mécanique Générale, the campus’s main exhibition space. The artist Jordan Wolfson will have a show there later this year for his artwork Colored Sculpture, 2016, which debuted at New York’s David Zwirner gallery this past May.

August 15, 2016

Alvin Ailey Dance Foundation Plans $25 Million Expansion Project

The Joan Weill Center for Dance. Photo: Bess Adler | The Wall Street Journal

The Alvin Ailey Dance Foundation is planning a $25 million expansion that will add 10,000 square feet to the Joan Weill Center for Dance, which houses the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and the Ailey School, at Ninth Avenue and West Fifty-Fifth Street, Jennifer Smith of the Wall Street Journal reports.

The project will add four new studios and much-needed classroom space for the dance company’s growing program. “We’re really bursting at the seams,” Bennett Rink, the foundation’s executive director, said. If the organization doesn’t build additional space, he said, “we would have to start turning away students.”

Designed by New York–based Iu+Bibliowicz, the Joan Weill Center for Dance cost $54 million and was completed in 2004. It boasts eight floors (six above ground and two below), twelve dance studios, a 5,000-square-foot black-box theater with flexible seating for 295 people, physical-therapy facilities, an archive and library, a costume shop, and administrative offices. It was named in honor of Joan Weill, the foundation’s former chair who served on Ailey’s board for more than twenty years. Weill and her husband, Sanford I. Weill, gifted $18.4 million for the construction of the building.

August 15, 2016

Minneapolis Institute of Art Launches Multiyear Asian Art Initiative with $6 Million Donation

Minneapolis Museum of Art

The Minneapolis Institute of Art has announced that it is launching a long-term initiative to create public programming, exhibitions, and new scholarship dedicated to Asian art. The Gale Asian Art initiative is named after Alfred P. Gale, whose $6 million bequest will fund programming, including public workshops on Japanese courtly painting and tea ceremonies, events designed to make local Asian communities aware of the institute’s growing 2,400-object Asian art collection, family days to celebrate the Chinese New Year, and special exhibitions such as a presentation of Asian funerary objects curated by the Vietnam-based art collective the Propeller Group.

“By establishing the Gale Family Endowment at MIA, Mr. Gale recognized an important truth—that programming is key to maximizing the impact and excitement of permanent displays and exhibitions,” director Kaywin Feldman said. “This generosity will allow MIA to make centuries of Asian culture even more enticing for our visitors, including schoolchildren, interested adults, and seasoned connoisseurs, and continue to foster MIA’s position as one of the most important centers for the interpretation and study of Asian art.” The institution maintains one of the largest permanent displays of Japanese art in the country with fifteen galleries, each boasting more than 10,000 square feet.

The institute will kick off its new initiative with “Ink Unbound: Paintings by Liu Dan,” an exhibition of new works by contemporary artist Liu, who will be an artist-in-residence at the museum in September.

August 15, 2016

NYC’s P! to Present Final Season of Exhibitions

Installation view of “O / U,” 2016, featuring Aaron Gemmill, Julie Ault & Martin Beck, Brian O'Doherty (Patrick Ireland), Matthew Schrader, and Amy Yao. Photo: Sebastian Bach

P!, an arts venue located in Chinatown that calls itself a project space, commercial gallery, and mom-and-pop kunsthalle, has announced that after five years of experimental programming it will launch its final season of exhibitions this fall.

From September 2016 to May 2017, P! will present five exhibitions, including “Karel Martens: Recent Work,” the artist’s first solo exhibition in North America; “The Stand,” a show that will tie Stephen King’s 1978 novel about post-apocalyptic America by the same name with the nation’s current political state; and “Céline Condorelli: Epilogue,” the UK-based artist’s new body of work and the final show at the gallery. P! describes its last season as a group of shows that will engage with questions surrounding display strategies, curatorial models, identity hijinks, conflictual processes, and financial structures.

Founded in 2012 by New York–based designer and curator Prem Krishnamurthy, P! has organized more than forty exhibitions and off-site projects from its location at 334 Broome Street. Even though the experimental exhibition space is closing its physical location, Krishnamurthy said the organization will still be “an exhibition-making machine.” In 2018, P! will reinvent itself by expanding its mission, focusing on organizing off-site exhibitions in the US and abroad, developing publications with artists, and collaborating with institutions.

August 15, 2016

Artists Protest Demolition of Studio Building in Northeast London

Vittoria Wharf

Anny Shaw reports in the Art Newspaper that a large artists’ community in London is under threat from plans to demolish the Vittoria Wharf warehouse that currently serves as home to more than one hundred artists and small businesses. The residents of the former tire factory and series of car-storage units have launched a petition to save the space in the Hackney Wick area of northeast London. It is due to be bulldozed to make way for a pedestrian bridge across a canal, and the artists face eviction as soon as September 5.

The London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC) owns half of Vittoria Wharf and the company’s plans, according to the artists’ petition, include “building many unaffordable homes on the adjacent side of the canal.” The artists claim that new developments will “displace many of the people that work and create here,” and the petition has garnered more than twenty-five hundred supporters so far. For many years, Hackney Wick has apparently had the highest concentration of working artists per square foot in Europe, including the Chapman Brothers, Gavin Turk, and Conrad Shawcross. The potential loss of the building is part of an alarming trend in London, which is due to lose thirty-five hundred artists’ studios in the next five years, or a third of the capital’s creative workspaces.

LLDC has told campaigners that the proposed bridge will “significantly improve connections around Fish Island, Hackney Wick and into Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, helping the area properly benefit from the regeneration investment being made there. This bridge received planning consent in 2012 and we have undertaken extensive consultation on these proposals. We are keen to work with local people to ensure the bridge benefits everyone.” But the artists say, “Our response is that . . . you will be deleting us in the process.”

August 15, 2016

Detroit’s Heidelberg Project to be Dismantled by Artist

Tyree Guyton, Heidelberg Project, 1986–.

According to a report by Mark Stryker at the Detroit Free Press, the artist behind Detroit’s famous Heidelberg Project, 1986–, has said that after thirty years he will be taking apart the installation comprising a series of ornately decorated houses across two blocks of Heidelberg Street on Detroit’s east side. Tyree Guyton’s installation was created as a way to bring people back into a neighborhood blighted by urban decay and crime in the aftermath of the 1967 riot in the city, and though it has been threatened by outside forces over the years—including incidents where city officials dispatched bulldozers to destroy it in 1991 and 1999 as well as twelve arson fires that have ruined six houses since 2013—the decision to take down and change the installation is the artist’s own.

Heidelberg Project, which brings in an estimated 200,000 visitors a year from across the globe, will shift into what the organization is calling “Heidelberg 3.0,” an “arts-infused community” rather than an installation controlled by one man. Guyton said, “After thirty years, I’ve decided to take it apart piece by piece in a very methodical way, creating new realities as it comes apart . . . I gotta go in a new direction. I gotta do something I have not done before.” He added, “I’m gonna stop on every floor to look around and see the beauty of taking it apart, and do it in a methodical way, where it becomes a new form of art.”

It’s expected that changes to the work will start by next summer, and within two years it will be completely different. The project’s four houses will remain, and there are plans in the works to possibly transform the polka-dot-covered Dotty Wotty House into a museum, according to the executive director of the project, Jenenne Whitfield. Whitfield said the board is also preparing to launch a $1 million fund-raising campaign to secure the legacy of the pieces and support the project’s transition. Some of the money will help to create a retirement fund for Guyton, who over the years has received little financial benefit from maintaining the project. The piece was incorporated as a nonprofit cultural organization in 1988, and parts of it will now be donated to various museums. Other Heidelberg leaders have begun speaking to officials at such places as the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC, and the High Museum of Art in Atlanta, with possible discussions with the Detroit Institute of Arts in the near future. It’s likely that some objects from the installation will be sold to finance new ventures.

August 12, 2016

Smithsonian Appoints Rachel Goslins as Director of the Arts and Industries Building

Rachel Goslins

The Smithsonian Institution has announced that Rachel Goslins, the former executive director of the President’s Committee on Arts and Humanities, will head the Arts and Industries Building as director. She will take up the position on August 22.

For the newly created position, Goslins will be responsible for developing and implementing plans for the building. She will collaborate with Smithsonian’s curators and museum directors on programming, exhibitions, and infrastructure. The building, which has been closed for renovations since 2004, will also host a gallery dedicated to Latino culture.

“I am thrilled to be joining the Smithsonian and to help write the next chapter for this amazing building,” Goslins said. “I have long admired the Smithsonian, first as a mother with two little children in tow and then as a partner in several cultural programs and events. It’s an honor to now be able to contribute to the mission of the institution at such an exciting moment in its history.”

August 12, 2016

War Photographer Gerda Taro’s Installation Vandalized in “Politically Motivated” Attack

The vandalized installation of war photographer Gerda Taro’s images of the Spanish Civil War on display in Leipzig.

According to Monopol, war photographer Gerda Taro’s outdoor exhibition of images depicting scenes of conflict, including the Spanish Civil War, were vandalized on August 3 in what organizers believe was a “politically motivated” act. Someone had covered the photographs with black paint during the night. A police investigation is underway.

The works were installed for the f/stop festival, which was held in Leipzig from June 25 to July 3. In a statement, the organizers of the exhibition said, “The way a work of art is dealt with in the public space is always a litmus test for the state of a community. Unlike the ‘protected space’ of a museum or gallery, a work in the public realm is under the protection of us all.”

Taro, who was born Gerta Pohorylle, fled Leipzig for Paris in 1933. She met and befriended photographer Robert Capa, a Hungarian who was living in Paris in exile, and traveled to Spain with him. Taro was killed in Brunete, west of Madrid, in 1937 while documenting the Spanish Civil War at the age of twenty-six. She was the first female photographer to die while on assignment.

August 12, 2016

Jorge Daniel Veneciano Steps Down as Executive Director of El Museo del Barrio

Jorge Daniel Veneciano Photo: Agaton Strom | The New York Times

El Museo del Barrio has announced that executive director Jorge Daniel Veneciano will resign from his position at the end of the month. In a statement, the museum said that Veneciano wants to pursue new opportunities. Berta Colón, deputy director of institutional advancement, and Carlos Gálvez, deputy executive director, will serve as codirectors of the museum until a search committee can be established to elect a new director.

“After almost three years at El Museo del Barrio, Jorge Daniel leaves a legacy of outstanding exhibitions and programs, increased attendance, and deepened community engagement,” said María Eugenia Maury, chair of the board of trustees. “We are proud of what the staff and board have been able to accomplish under his leadership.”

While at the helm of the museum, Veneciano expanded the museum’s international reach and developed partnerships with educational service providers to strengthen the institution’s ability to service New York’s Latino communities.