Saturday, March 31, 2012

Qatar's art impresario talks to The Economist about her blueprint for the future

In her first major interview, Sheikha Al-Mayassa bint Hamad Al Thani talks to the Economist about the Qatar Museum Authority's mission to be a cultural instigator and catalyst of projects world wide, which is turning Qatar into a cultural destination. Read more...
Image: Head of the Qatar Museums Authority Sheikha Al-Mayassa bint Hamad Al Thani

Friday, March 30, 2012

Artspace launches Volume 2 tonight

Tonight Auckland's Artspace launches Volume 2, a collection of essays and page art relating to the programme during Emma Bugden's directorship (2009-2011). Alicia Frankovich's A Plane for Behavers (2009) is documented in the publication and the writing includes Ellen Blumenstein interviewing Frankovich.

Jeff Koons train for the High Line?

The Los Angeles Times reports LACMA's plans to build a massive Jeff Koons sculpture of a train outside the museum seem to be running out of steam. However, the Friends of the High Line have announced their desire to build the sculpture in the celebrated park on the elevated railway line built to carry carcasses into New York's meatpacking district. Read more...
Image: design rendering of Jeff Koons' Train for the High Line, NY

Thursday, March 29, 2012

MCA curator talks about Marking Time and why some visitors will be disrobing for museum tours

The Wall Street Journal talks to Rachel Kent about her exhibition Marking Time at Sydney's Museum of Contemporary Art, which includes 24 hour marathon viewings of Christian Marclay's The Clock and Stuart Ringholt's after hours nude gallery tours. Read more...
Image: A still from Christian Marclay's The Clock, 2010

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Sydney's MCA reopens this week with a $53m extension

Sydney's Museum of Contemporary Art reopens this week with a Sam Marshall-designed extension that adds more than 48,000 square feet of space, including three new galleries - one dedicated to Australian art collected since the museum's inception - and a rooftop sculpture terrace overlooking Circular Quay and the Sydney Opera House.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Must-click artist web sites

This link takes you to ARTINFO's selection of 20 artists with must-click web sites from Tauba Auerbach to Andrea Zittel.
Image: Wim Delvoye's web site

Monday, March 26, 2012

John Kaldor presents a Thomas Demand project in Sydney

While Thomas Demand was in Sydney looking at spaces for a project initiated by John Kaldor, he spotted a spaceship-like structure that is part of the MCL Centre. Designed by the late Australian architect Harry Seidler, the building is a hotel occupied by the Commercial Travellers Association Club. "I snuck inside and saw a beautiful circular staircase and small rooms," he said. It felt like a time capsule from the 70s. They haven't changed anything."

Kaldor has rented a floor of the building to stage Demand's project. Visitors can walk around a circular corridor along which 15 rooms can be found, each subtly altered by Demand and featuring a photograph from his Dailies series. Read more...
Image: Commercial Travellers Association Club building designed by Harry Seidler and venue for a Thomas Demand exhibition presented by Kaldor Projects

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Gold and its use in art at the Belvedere Palace, Vienna

Billy Apple's 2 Minutes 33 Seconds (gold), 1962 is showing in an exhibition devoted to the precious metal gold and its use in art. Curated by Thomas Zaunschirn, Gold runs at the Belvedere Palace in Vienna from 15 March - 17 June 2012.
Image: Billy Apple, 2 Minutes 33 Seconds (gold), 1962, gold plated bronze, painted bronze base, 120 x 356 x 152mm, image courtesy of the artist and the Jennifer Gibbs Trust

Friday, March 23, 2012

Guggenheim's urban lab project runs into strong opposition in Berlin

Designed by Tokyo-based architects Atelier Bow-Wow, the BMW Guggenheim Lab is a mobile lab traveling around the world to inspire innovative, forward-thinking ideas for urban life. It had its inaugural run in New York in 2011 where it hosted 56,000 visitors over 10 weeks and is currently in transit to Berlin. However plans to set up the lab in the famously alternative Kreuzberg district have been scrapped in response to strong opposition to the project and after the police and local authorities concluded there was a high risk of property damage. Read more...

Getty Museum initiative to preserve modern architectural masterpieces

The Getty Museum is launching a new international program, the Conserving Modern Architecture Program, in the hopes of giving preservation architects new and more sophisticated strategies to preserve 20th century buildings. Its first project will be funding research at the Charles and Ray Eames house in Los Angeles.

Tim Whalen, the director of the Getty Conservation Institute, said the program was not designed as an advocacy organisation, like the Los Angeles Conservancy's Modern Committee to keep landmarks from the wrecking ball. The point is to forge partnerships with architects and organisations already doing research on how to preserve modern masterpieces. Read more...
Image: the living room of the Eames house in Los Angeles

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Members split from Voina to form Pussy Riot

Members of the radical Russian art collective Voina have broken away from the group to form an all-female, anti-Putin punk group known as Pussy Riot. Recently they performed an unsanctioned punk prayer service at Christ the Saviour Cathedral, entreating the Virgin Mary to liberate Russia from Vladimir Putin, stirring up a storm about the role of the church, art and women in Russian society. Read more...
Image: Pussy Riot performing at Red Square in Moscow

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Seung Yul Oh is looking for volunteers to participate in a performance at the Auckland Art Gallery

Seung Yul Oh is looking for volunteers to participate in a performance for Made Active: The Chartwell Show at the Auckland Art Gallery. The performance takes place at the Gallery on Saturday 14 April at 3pm.

Titled The Ability to Blow Themselves Up (performance version), it requires 50 people to stand at a location around the gallery and blow up balloons over a 30-minute period.

He is looking for people of different ages and nationalities to make up this group. If you are interested please contact him by 23 March at
Image: press image supplied by Seung Yul Oh

Art HK founders launch a new contemporary art fair in London

The founders of Art HK, Tim Etchells and Sandy Angus, have launched a new contemporary art fair in London. Scheduled for March 2013, Art 13 will be headed by former Frieze fair manager Stephanie Dieckvoss who also assisted with the launch of ART HK in 2007. She has most recently spent two years curating exhibitions at the Serpentine Gallery.
Image: Olympia Grand Hall, venue for Art 13

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Art critics association announces awards for best shows of 2011

The American chapter of the the International Association of Art Critics has announced the winners of its annual AICA Awards honoring artists, curators and critics for excellence in art exhibitions in 2011. They include an installation by Sarah Sze on the High Line (Best Project in Public Space); the exhibition Bye Bye Kitty!!! Between Heaven and Hell in Contemporary Japanese Art at the Japan Society (Best show in a Non-Profit Gallery or Space); the Metropolitan Museum of Art's Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty (Best Architecture or Design Show); and Paula Cooper Gallery's presentation of Christian Marclay's The Clock (Best Show in a Commercial Gallery in New York).
Image: Sarah Sze, Still Life With Landscape (Model for a Habitat) at the High Line, NY. Image from the the High Line web site

Monday, March 19, 2012

Artists mark the anniversary of Fukushima nuclear disaster with radioactive installation

Sydney -based artists Ken and Juliana Yonetani will show a glowing green set of chandeliers made from uranium at the NKV in Weisbaden, Germany in the group exhibition Keeping Up Appearances.The work is timed to coincide with the one-year anniversary of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant disaster in Japan. Read more...

Friday, March 16, 2012

Shanghai Biennale announces curators for 2012 edition

The Shanghai Biennale has announced the curators for the 2012 edition. The chief curator, Qiu Zhijie, is a professor at the School of Intermedia Art at the China Art Academy as well as director of Total Art Studio and a member of the supervising team in the Arts and Social Thought Institute. As an artist he as represented China at the 53rd Venice Biennale and 25th Sao Paulo Biennial.

Qiu Zhijie is working with two co-curators: art critic, media theorist and philosopher Boris Groys and Jens Hoffman, currently director at the Watts Institute for Contemporary Arts at the California College of Arts, San Francisco.
Image Qiu Zhijie, chief curator of the 2012 Shanghai Biennale

Fate of New Zealand's fabled Pink and White Terraces revelaed this weekend

Billy Apple and Mary Morrison spent the weekend working with GNS scientist Dr Cornel de Rondo and his team as he continued his search for the lost eighth wonder of the world on New Zealand's Lake Rotomahana. The fate of the fabled Pink and White Terraces will be revealed this weekend in Sunday, 7.30pm, TV One, 18 March.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Plans announced for the third extension of New York's celebrated High Line Park

We have run several posts on New York's celebrated High Line Park, the old railway lines on stilts to New York's meatpacking district that was converted to a park and opened to the public in June 2009, followed by a second extension in June 2011 that doubled its length to a mile.

New York City's Department of Parks has unveiled plans for the last phase of the Park. Like the previous phases, the final extension will be designed by James Corner Field Operations and Diller Scofidio + Refro. Current proposed concepts include an amphitheatre-like seating, or an open gathering space bordered by beds of wild flowers, a new irregularly spiraling staircase and a children's play area where support beams will be stripped and coated with bright yellow safety rubber, perfect to climb around on.
Images: The Hight Line Park and concept for an amphitheatre at High Line's 10th Avenue spur

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Coming up at Starkwhite

From Wednesday 21 March we are presenting a group show of new works by represented artists.
Image: Jae Hoon Lee, Space Tree #4 (2012)

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

A mid-career moment for Damien Hirst

Damien Hirst has gone from YBA to a global brand over the past 25 years - and become the richest living artist on the planet. He talks to the Guardian about money, mortality and his first retrospective in Britain. Read more...

Monday, March 12, 2012

Nordic section a hit at The Armory Show

The Nordic section of this year's Armory Show is making a big impact. Jacob Fabricus, director of Malmo Kunsthalle, has organised the section combining artist-run spaces with commercial galleries. "It's a fair, but I don't work in the commercial world and wanted to do something different, therefore I brought smaller non-commercial spaces," he told The Art Newspaper. Read more...
Image: items from the range of posters, souvenirs and other stuff curated by Jacob Fabricus promoted under the banner FREE STUFF at the Nordic section

Saturday, March 10, 2012

The Armory Show's makeover paying off as the fair kicks off with brisk business

ARTINFO reports The Armory Show has kicked off with good vibes and brisk business.
Image: The Armory Show vernissage

How Gilbert & George stole the headlines to make art

The Guardian reports Gilbert and George have pilfered 3,712 newspaper bills from outside London news agents to create new works for shows at White Cube. While one of the immaculately dressed pair distracted the agent by buying chewing gum, the other removed the newspaper bill from is stand. Read more...

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Starkwhite at The Armory Show

This year we are presenting a solo show by New York-based artist Martin Basher at The Armory Show, and Gavin Hipkins' film This Fine Island will be screened in the inaugrual edition of Armory Film. You can read our press releases here.
Images: Martin Basher press image and still from Gavin Hipkins' This Fine Island, 2011

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Tate buys 10 tonnes of Ai Weiwei's sunflower seeds

The Tate has acquired 10 tonnes of Ai Weiwei's sunflower seeds - around one tenth of the 100 million seeds individually crafted by Chinese craft workers for his 2010 Tate Modern Turbine Hall installation. The artist has suggested that the seeds can be arranged either laid out as a square or a cone 5m in diameter and 1.5m high.
Image: Ai Weiwei in Sunflower Seeds (2010) at the Tate Modern's Turbine Hall,

New York's art fair season gets underway

New York's art fair season kicks off tomorrow with The Armory Show vernissage. This year the stakes are higher with Frieze waiting in the wings ready to launch in New York in May. But The Armory Show is rising to the challenge, upping its game with a suite of new moves: a less-is-more approach (the number of participating galleries has been reduced by 25%); encouraging galleries to focus on solo or selective group shows; collaborating with Moving Image, NY to stage the inaugural edition of Armory Film; and partnering up with Paddle8, adding web-based exhibitor presentations and transactions to the mix, along with early access for plugged in collectors. The Armory Show is also also aiming to be a user-friendlier fair with wider isles, improved public and VIP spaces and architecturally-enhanced access between Pier 92 (The Armory Show - Modern) and Pier 94 (The Armory Show - Contemporary).

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Artprice figures highlight huge growth of Chinese art market

The latest Artprice report updates China's growing strength in the global art market. China's share of art auction sales is 41.4% of sales ahead of the US (26%) and the UK (19.4%). Of the ten top-selling artists at auction, six are Chinese, says the report. In 2011 Chinese artist Zhang Daqian ousted Picasso to take the No.1 position on the world auction market, generating $506m in auction sales, followed by compatriot Qi Baishi on $445.1m.
Image: Lotus and Mandarin ducks by Zhang Daqian which fetched HK191m ($24.5m) at Sotheby's in Hong Kong in May 2011

Monday, March 5, 2012

Is Qatar's ambition to be an international art hub good for the local art scene?

Qatar's royal family is making Doha into an international art hub, hitting the headlines with news of the world's biggest art buying spree that includes a world record $250m paid for Cezanne's The Card Players, and exhibitions by renowned artists like Louise Bourgeois, Takashi Murakami and Cai Guo Qiang. However, the New York Times reports critics of the royal family say it is behaving as a facilitator of the international art scene while at the same time using it for self-promotion, leaving the local art scene out in the cold. Read more...
Image: Head of the Qatar Museums Authority Sheikha Al-Mayassa bint Hamad Al Thani at the opening of Takashi Murakami's exhibition at Versailles in 2010

Sunday, March 4, 2012

John Reynolds' Big Wave Territory at New Plymouth's Coastal Walkway

Commissioned by the New Plymouth District Art in Public Places Trust, John Reynolds' Big Wave Territory was installed recently at the Port gateway to New Plymouth's Coastal Walkway. The work celebrates Taranaki's rich cultural landscape, directing passing pedestrians and port car park traffic to various local and regional destinations - the Mountain, Paritutu Rock and Sugar Loaf Island, SPOT X and The Forgotten World Highway. Using Transit New Zealand's road design format and materials, the high reflection sign also provides cultural points of departure, including artistic legacies, such as the writing of celebrated author Ronald Hugh Morrieson and Len Lye's kinetic sculpture.
Image: John Reynolds, Big Wave Territory (detail), Coastal Walkway, New Plymouth

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Roberta Smith on the Whitney Biennial

Robert Smith says the 2012 Whitney Biennial is one of the best in recent memory. Read more...
Image: Whitney Biennial, a dancer in Sarah Michelson's Devotion Study #1 - The American Dancer

The Obstinate Object

Last Friday, Trenton Garratt and Clinton Watkins staged their performance Transcode across two sites connected by a live video feed as part of the exhibition The Obstinate Object at the City Gallery Wellington. At Massey University's Engine Room gallery, Garratt pulled apart a porcelain version of his sculpture, Our House, from which the resulting sound was directed live via telephone to the City Gallery where Watkins captured the sound onto magnetic tape.

The remnants of the porcelain sculpture will remain at the Engine Room for three more weeks after which the sculpture's only presence art the City Gallery will be the charged magnetic tape hanging from the foyer gallery wall. A video recording of the performance will start playing today on monitors located at the entrance to the City Gallery.

You can view the performance online here.
Image: Trenton Garratt & Clinton Watkins, Transcode, (video Still), City Gallery Wellington (2012). image Shaun Waugh

Friday, March 2, 2012

Early access to The Armory Show for plugged-in collectors

Traditionally a lot of business is done at fairs like The Armory Show before they officially open. In addition to the vernissage there is usually an early access session for VIP collectors. However, this year, access to The Armory Show can be gained by plugged-in collectors a week before the vernissage. A new partnership between the fair and Paddle8 allows the site's members to purchase works from 1 March with less plugged-in collectors waiting for the event to open its doors next week.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

New director of the National Gallery of Victoria announced

Tony Ellwood will move on from the Queensland Art Gallery and Gallery of Modern Art to take up the directorship of the National Gallery of Victoria. Victoria's gain is Queensland's loss as during his time at QAG/GoMA his achievements put Melbourne on notice as the self-proclaimed arts capital. Now the search begins for his replacement.

Pritzker architecture prize winner demonstrates the proper relation of present to past

Chinese architect Wang Shu has been awarded the prestigious Pritzker prize. The decision acknowledges "the role that China will play in the development of architectural ideals", said Thomas Pritzker, chairman of the Hyatt Foundation, which sponsors the $100,000 award.

Wang's work typically mixes modern design with traditional material. He tries to recover what he has called the "handicraft aspect" of building design, in contrast to "professionalised, soulless architecture, as practised today". The jury praised his work as "exemplary in its strong sense of cultural continuity and reinvigorated tradition". China's rapid urbanisation makes the issue of "the proper relation of present to past...particularly timely," said jury chairman Lord Palumbo.
Image: Wang Shu, winner of the 2012 Pritzker architecture prize and the Ningbo History Museum, China