Saturday, June 30, 2012

Pointing at Trees - final day

Layla Rudneva-Mackay's exhibition Pointing at Trees, closes today at 3pm.
Image: Layla Rudneva-Mackay, Pointing at Trees, installation view

Free downloadable artwork

Clinton Watkins' video Feedback is available as a free downloadable artwork at the Chartwell website.
Image: Clinton Watkins, Feedback (2009), video still, Chartwell Collection, New Zealand. This work was first presented by Chartwell and Starkwhite as a free download project at the 2011 Auckland Art Fair.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Digital art venture offers a Damien Hirst skull for $800

An $800 version of Damien Hirst's skull is on the market - a high-definition rotating image of it, certified by the artist, and available in a limited edition from the digital art venture S[edition]. Hirst, Tracey Emin, Bill Viola and Isaac Julien are amongst the S[edition] artists producing works for iPads, smartphones, PC and TV screens. Julian sees the venture as vehicle for the democratisation of contemporary art, but he'd like to see it market art originally made for the medium rather than images of pre-existing work, a view shared by others who say S[edition] should represent artists whose medium is the digital screen.
Image: Damien Hirst's $100 million skull

Layla Rudneva-Mackay's Pointing at Trees draws to an end

Layla Rudneva-Mackay's exhibition Pointing at Trees closes tomorrow. [Starkwhite hours are 11am to 3pm on Saturday.]
Image: Layla Rudneva-Mackay, Black vase and white flowers (2011), C-type print, 380 x 380mm

Paris Family Collection to be auctioned

One of New Zealand's finest private art collections goes under the hammer in a two-part auction at Art and Object in September. Formed by Les and Milly Paris over four and a half decades, the collection covered just about every square inch of their walls, prompting a later decision to build another floor on their otherwise modestly-scaled home. Collecting was an all-consuming passion for Les and Milly, but it wasn't ever just about the art. They built longstanding, personal relationships with artists fortunate enough to be in their collecting sights, becoming much-loved figures in the New Zealand art world.
Image: Les and Milly Paris talking to Dowse Art Gallery director Jim Barr in the 70s

Thursday, June 28, 2012

A festival for the ears

Set up to celebrate the diverse methods of sound making and sound theory, Liquid Architecture is Australia's premier sound festival. This year's edition, Liquid Architecture 13: Antarctic Convergence, explores the philosophical, social and environmental ramifications of the growing human presence in Antarctica through the activities of artists who have produced work from first-hand encounters with the frozen continent. The lineup of artists includes Phil Dadson who visited Antarctica in 2003 under the Antarctica New Zealand Art Fellowship Programme.
Image: video still from Phil Dadson's Echo Logo [Polar Projects]

Shortlist for the Future Generation Prize announced

The PinchukArtCentre in Kiev has announced the 21 artists making the shortlist for the 2012 Future Generation Prize of $100,000. This link takes you to the shortlist.
Image: Victor Pinchuk, founder of the Future Generation Art Prize

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

ARTINFO's list of rising stars

ARTINFO has published a list of 30 influential art professionals who are aged 30 years or younger. It includes patrons, critics, dealers and curators (but not artists this time). You can see the list here.

The 18th Biennale of Sydney: all our relations opens today

The 18th Sydney Biennale opens today. This year's theme is "all our relations", which Toronto-based co-curator Gerald McMaster hopes visitors will interpret with an open mind. "Most people think that relations are human relations, how we react together," he says. "But it extends to the environment, weather patterns, animal migrations, populations. We were interested in the idea of how things begin from something simple as an interaction and can grow into something more complex." Read more...

The Biennale takes place at multiple venues including the Art Gallery of New South Wales, the Museum of Contemporary Art and heritage sites such as Carriageworks (a former railway workshop turned into an arts centre) and Cockatoo Island (a former shipyard and convict prison).
Image: Cockatoo Island

Nicolaus Schafhausen named director of the Kunsthalle Wein

Nicolaus Schafhausen has been named as the director of the Kunsthalle Wein and will take up his position in October. He has curated many exhibitions including the German Pavilion for the Venice Biennale in 2007 and 2009, the 2008 Brussels Biennale, and the 2010 Media City Seoul Festival. He has served as the director of several art institutions, most recently the Witt de With Centre for Contemporary Art, where his shows included the two-part Billy Apple exhibition A History of the Brand and Revealed/Concealed. He is currently the director of Fogo Island Arts, a residency program in Newfoundland that brings together art and science.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Coming up at Starkwhite

Curated by Brian Butler, Greetings from Los Angeles opens at Starkwhite on 10 July and runs to 6 August 2012.

James Turrell's Twilight Epiphany

For 40 years James Turrell has been creating skyspaces that harness and enhance the experience of perceiving light. He has just completed his 73rd skyspace at Houston's Rice University. Titled Twilight Epiphany, the pyramid-like experiential work of art provides two light shows each day - one at sunrise and one at sunset - in conjunction with the arc of the sun. Visitors gaze up at the 72-by-72-foot white roof which offers a view of the sky through a 14 x 14 foot square opening. LED lights on the ceiling change colours as the sun rises and sets providing a wash of oranges, greens, pinks and blues, impacting on the colour of the sky as seen by visitors.
Image: James Turrell's Twilight Epiphany, Rice University, Houston

Monday, June 25, 2012

Final week of Pointing at Trees

Layla Rudneva-Mackay's exhibition Pointing at Trees closes on Saturday 30 June at 3.00pm
Image: Layla Rudneva-Mackay, Black vase and white flowers (2011), C-type print, 380 x 380 mm

Michael Heizer's monumental Levitated Mass opens at LACMA

Michael Heizer's monumental Levitated Mass has finally opened at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. The work is composed of a 456-foot-long slot over which the artist has placed a 340-ton granite megalith. Read more...
Image: Michael Heizer's Levitated Mass at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Let me hear your body talk

Phil Dadson's Bodytok Quartet is showing at Pataka to 29 July. You can read a review of his video installation here.
Image: video still from Phil Dadson's Bodytok Quartet

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Artist's floor talk at Starkwhite

This afternoon Layla Rudneva-Mackay talks about the work in her exhibition Pointing at Trees. [Starkwhite 3:00 - 4:00pm]
Image: Layla Rudneva-Mackay, Blue on grey (2011), C-type print, 380 x 380mm

Architectural masterpiece of the Russian avant-garde at risk

The Shukhov radio tower in Moscow may be lost if it is not properly restored soon according to architect Vladimir Shukhov's great-grandson. Commissioned by Lenin and constructed between 1920 and 1922 using an innovative lattice shell technique, the 90 year old tower is regarded as an architectural masterpiece of the Russian avant-garde. In 2010 Norman Foster described it as "a structure of dazzling brilliance and great historic importance", warning that it required urgent attention to save it.

Last year, Victor Putin ordered the allocation of $4.3 million to reconstruct the tower, but Shuhkov's great-grandson (also named Vladimir) believes this could result in an unsatisfactory replica. He says Russian officials have not sought the advice of foreign experts who are ready to work on a plan for the tower for a nominal fee, and that the European Union has allocated a comparable sum just to study his great-grandfather's design heritage.
Image: the Shukhov Radio Tower, Moscow

Friday, June 22, 2012

Discovering and publishing new critical voices

frieze magazine is inviting entries for the Frieze Writer's Prize 2012, which aims to discover, promote and encourage new critics from across the world. The winner will be awarded £2000 and commissioned to write a review for an upcoming issue of frieze. Read more...

Dane Mitchell commissioned to make a new work for the Gwangju Biennale

Dane Mitchell has been selected for the 2012 Gwangju Biennale, which runs from 7 September to 11 November. This year's edition is being directed by six curators - Nancy Adajania (India), Mami Kataoka (Japan), Wassan al-Kudhairi (Qatar), Sun Jung Kim (Korea), Alia Swasticka (Indonesia) and Carol Yinghua Lu (China). Mitchell is also in the lineup of artists selected for the 2012 Liverpool Biennale.
Image: Dane Mitchell, detail Celestial Fields, 2012

Thursday, June 21, 2012

The High Line effect

In an article published by the Huffington Post, Charles Birnbaum reports on the success of New York's High Line, the stretch of abandoned, elevated railroad on New York's West Side that has undergone a Phoenix-like resurrection to become one of the city's most popular destinations. He says the much-loved park has generated discussion about the so-called High Line effect and that several cities are looking at their own long-disused sections of track hoping they can literally replicate New York's success. Read more...
Images: The old High Line and the new High Line, New York

Maurizio Cattelan's billboard at the High Line

Maurizio Cattelan and photographer Pierpaolo Ferrari have created a billboard for New York's High Line, the fourth in the series that began last December with John Baldessari's The First $100,000 I Ever Made. The pair made the image as part of Toilet Paper, an art magazine founded by them two years ago.
Image: Billboard by Maurizio Cattelan and Pierpaolo at the High Line

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Floor talk by Layla Rudneva-Mackay on Pointing at Trees

Layla Rudneva-Mackay will talk about her exhibition Pointing at Trees at Starkwhite on Saturday 23 June at 3.00pm.
Image: Layla Rudneva-Mackay, Pointing at Trees, installation view, Starkwhite

Making art from trash - Vik Muniz's meditation on consumer culture

Brazilian-born, New York-based artist Vik Muniz is turning Rio's garbage into a portrait of his city in his New Landscape project, a meditation on the ever-quickening pace of consumer culture that he is creating on the margins of the United Nations Rio+20 conference on sustainable development.

His idea is to create a giant collage out of trash and then take an overhead photograph of it, creating a work so realistic it looks like a photograph of Rio's Guanabara Bay and its surrounds, not a photo of garbage. Visitors carrying trash place their contributions on a projected image of the Bay taken by Muniz and his assistants shift around their contributions and add other bits of trash according to his instructions.

"We have a chance to meditate on our place in nature by making the representation a symbol of that place from within," Muniz said. "It may not solve all the problems but it puts you in a state to meditate on our own decisions."

Muniz has worked with trash before and is best known for his portraits of garbage pickers at a Rio de Janeiro landfill, a project that was chronicled in the 2010 documentary Wasteland.
Images: Muniz's projected image of Guanabara Bay (top) and people adding trash to his landscape (bottom)

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

2012 Gwangju Folly Project

Nikolaus Hirsch, curator and director of Stadelschule and Portikus, has been selected as the General Director of the 2012 Gwangju Folly Project. When asked about the curatorial direction for this year's Project, Hirsch said he will focus on "creating a discussion that is architectural, aesthetic, and artistic while at the same time communicating with the Gwangju citizens and reflecting the unique characteristics of Gwangju.

Established in 2011 for the urban rejuvenation of Gwangju, the Folly Project has been recognised as a new type of public design that can communicate with pedestrians as well as with the surrounding environment. As the original eleven works created for the first edition of the event have met with popular and critical acclaim, they have created a platform for Gwangju as a new city of design. Read more...
Image: Francisco Sanin's Folly built for Gwangju Design Biennale's 2011 Folly Project

Philippe Parreno on his new film about Marilyn Monroe

The Algerian-born, Paris-based artist Philippe Parreno is known for his collaborative works with artists like Douglas Gordon and Pierre Huyghe that use film to examine notions of portraiture and the representation of individuals. Recently he talked to The Art Newspaper about his solo show at the Fondation Beyeler and why he chose to make a film about Marilyn Monroe, which he describes as a portrait of a phantom incarnated in an image. Read more...
Image: Marilyn Monroe's hotel room at the Waldorf Astoria recreated by Philippe Parreno for his film For Marilyn, 2012

Monday, June 18, 2012

This week at Starkwhite

Layla Rudneva-Mackay's exhibition Pointing at trees continues at Starkwhite this week.
Image: Layla Rudneva-Mackay, Pointing at Trees, installation view

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Unrealised projects at Documenta

Some events, like the Sculpture Project in Munster and Documenta, have a history of attracting projects from artists that are too difficult or costly to realise, like Gabriel Orozco's Munster proposal in '97 to build a ferris wheel, half of which would be below ground level. Some may even be designed to fail, like Alina Szapocznikow"s plan to make a double-sized Rolls Royce out of marble for the 1972 edition of Documenta, which she termed "completely useless and a reflection of the god of supreme luxury." Her correspondence about this project has since been exhibited in various exhibitions.

Art Agenda reports that this year's Documenta has at least two ambitious failed projects. One is represented by two walls of correspondence from official organisations that once more address the Artistic Director, this time to answer her proposal of nominating the earth's atmosphere for UNESCO's World Heritage List, a project by American artist Amy Balkin. The epic, yet failed attempt to transport El Chaco meteorite to Kassel, undertaken by Argentinian duo Guillermo Faivovich and Nicholas Golberg, is also widely documented by various exchanges.

They are projects that may also find their way into another edition of Hans Ulrich Obrist's compendium of unrealised projects.
Image: Cover Unbuilt Roads, edited by Hans Ulrich Obrist

Friday, June 15, 2012

New arts agency for artists working with the moving image launched in Auckland

CIRCUIT Artist Film and Video was launched in Auckland last night at a function hosted by Artspace and The Film Archive. CIRCUIT is a new arts agency designed to support artists working with the moving image through distribution, critical review and research. It includes an online resource with over 300 streaming videos by New Zealand artists. The launch was accompanied by a screening of works from the CIRCUIT collection, including Phil Dadson's Between Worlds.
Image: video still from Phil Dadson's Between Worlds

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Uli Sigg's $170 million art donation to M+ Hong Kong

Legendary Swiss art collector Uli Sigg has donated $170 million worth of contemporary Chinese art to the M+ museum in Hong Kong, which is scheduled to open in 2017. A former ambassador to China, Sigg started collecting works by artists such as Ai Weiwei, Zhang Xiaogang and Fang Lijun in the 1970s and has built one of the world's great collections of Chinese art. Under the agreement, he will gift 1,463 works and M+ will pay around $23 million for an additional 47 works from the 70s and 80s. M+ director Lars Nittve said this is common practice among museums when receiving major collections from donors.

"By joining forces with M+, the artworks will ultimately come full circle back to China as I have always hoped they would," Sigg said in a statement. "My intention is to return something to China for what it has allowed me to experience over the past 33 years: an incredible journey whose most intense core has been formed by so many encounters with Chinese artists. This is my contribution: to enable these artists to have a space within M+ where they will communicate with an international audience, and where they will meet with a Chinese public."
Image: Uli Sigg with Ai Weiwei's Uli Sigg

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Dane Mitchell commissioned to make a work for the 2012 Liverpool Biennale

The full programme of international commissions, exhibitions and special events has been announced for the 2012 Liverpool Biennale. Titled The Unexpected Guest, the Biennale will show work by over 60 artists from across the world in locations around the city, including Auckland/Berlin-based artist Dane Mitchell who has been commissioned to make a new work for the programme. You can see the full list of artists here.
Image: Dane Mitchell, Spectral Readings, Liverpool, 2012

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Art Basel's new fair in Hong Kong to retain its Asian edge

Art Basel is moving quickly to set to rest any fears that ART HK will lose its Asian edge as it evolves into Art Basel in Hong Kong. Magnus Renfrew will continue to direct the fair in his new capacity as Art Basel's Director Asia and the region is well represented on the selection committee. The jury for the inaugural edition of Art Basel in Hong Kong is:
Emi Eu, Singapore Tyler Print Institute, Singapore
Shireen Gandhy, Chemould Prescott Road, Mumbai, India
Suzie Kim, Kukje Gallery, Seoul, Korea
Maho Kubota, SCAI THE BATHHOUSE, Tokyo, Japan
David Maupin, Lehman Maupin, New York, USA
Urs Meile, Galerie Urs Meile, Bejing, China and Lucerne, Switzerland
Massimo De Carlo, Massimo De Carlo, Milan, Italy
Zhang Wei, Vitamin Creative Space, Gungzhou and Beijing, China
They have also brought on Atsuko Ninagawa of Tokyo's Take Ninagawa and Finola Jones of Dublin's mother's tankstation to assist with the selection of emerging galleries.
Image: Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, venue for the inaugural edition of Art Basel in Hong Kong

Monday, June 11, 2012

This week at Starkwhite

Layla Rudneva-Mackay's exhibition Pointing at trees continues this week at Starkwhite.
Image: Layla Rudneva-Mackay, Black vase and white flowers, 2011, C-type print, 380 x 380 mm

Common Ground: where an an artist's personal vision intersects with civic function

The New York Public Art Fund has launched its summer exhibition programme starting with Common Ground a group exhibition featuring sculpture, installation and performance. Curated by Nicholas Baume, the exhibition looks at how different works of art approach the idea of public sculpture and civic engagement. Read more...
Image: Paul McCarthy's inflatable ketchup bottle in Common Ground, a Public Art Fund exhibition curated by Nicholas Baume

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Artists' wallpaper show to be donated to Korean orphanage

Hye Rim Lee is represented in The Art on Your Wall, an exhibition of wallpaper works commissioned by artclub1536, a non-profit exhibition space in Seoul. Following the exhibition the wallpaper created by the commissioned artists will be donated to and installed at the Kangnam Orphanage in Gaepo-dong.
Image: one of two wall papers created by Hye Rim for The Art on Your Wall

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Larry Gagosian and Miucca Prada team up to fundraise for restoration of De Maria's Lightning Field

Commissioned by the Dia Foundation and completed in 1977, Walter De Maria's The Lightning Field in the remote desert of western New Mexico is showing signs of age and is in need of restoration. $400,000 required to complete the work and Larry Gagosian (who represents De Maria) and Miucca Prada, the fashion designer and collector have teamed up to lead the restoration fundraising effort. "It's like a 21st-century Mount Rushmore", Gagosian said. "Mt Rushmore is like some kind of church but The Lightening Field is more ecumenical, more global." Restoration work is expected to get underway early next year and be completed by June.
Image: Walter De Maria's The Lightning Field

Friday, June 8, 2012

The Chateau de Versailles - a palatial setting for contemporary art

Since 2008 the Chateau de Versailles has been opened up for contemporary art beginning with Jeff Koons and followed by Xavier Veilhan (2009), Takashi Murakami (2010) and Bernar Venet (2011). This year, the Portugese artist Joana Vasconcelos has installed works in the Chateau, some produced specifically for the exhibition. Read more...
Image: Joana Vasconcelos, Coracao, Mary Poppins, 2011

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Ai Weiwei/Herzog & de Meuron pavilion opens at the Serpentine

Fours years after collaborating on the 'Bird's Nest' Olympic stadium in Beijing, the Swiss architects Herzog & de Meuron and Ai Weiwei reunited to design the 2012 Serpentine pavilion. It is the 12th in the series which began with Zaha Hadid in 2000 and has included giants such as Oscar Niemeyer, Alvaro Siza, Rem Koolhaas and Frank Gehry. You can see more images of the pavilion here.
Image: 12th Serpentine pavilion by Ai Weiwei and Herzog & de Meuron

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Anthony McCall's spinning column of steam to rise 2km above the Mersey waterfront

Commissioned by the Arts Council for the Cultural Olympiad, an arts and culture project running alongside the London 2012 Olympic Games, Anthony McCall's Column has finally been given a green light. The spinning pillar of steam will rise 2km into the air above the Wirral waterfront on Mersey. As it will be on the flight path to John Lennon airport, the plans had to be given the go ahead by the civil aviation authority. Column is one of 12 artworks across the UK commissioned to celebrate the Games of the XXX Olympiad.
Image: rendering of Anthony McCall's Column

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Pointing at trees continues at Starkwhite

Layla Rudneva-Mackay's exhibition Pointing at trees continues at Starkwhite this week.
Image: Layla Rudneva-Mackay, Blue on grey, 2011, C-type print, 380 x 380, edition of 1 plus 1 artist's print

Pussy Riot members face jail terms over anti-Putin punk prayer service

The lawyer for three members of the all-female, anti-Putin punk group known as Pussy Riot who are currently awaiting trial for an allegedly blasphemous protest in Moscow's Christ the Saviour Cathedral shortly before the election that saw Vladimir Putin returned for a third term as Russian president, says only appeals from Western celebrities and high-profile cultural figures can save them from further criminal charges and long jail sentences.

Pussy Riot's unsanctioned punk prayer service at the Cathedral, entreating the Virgin Mary to liberate Russia from Putin, stirred 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

Monday, June 4, 2012

Glen Hayward takes up the Rita Angus residency

Glen Hayward is the current artist in residence at the Rita Angus Cottage in Wellington. His residency runs from 5 June to 30 August 2012
Image: Rita Angus Cottage, Wellington

LA MoCA launches new online Land Art atlas

To launch their new exhibition Ends of the Earth: Land Art to 1974, the first exhibition to explore a body of work that can only truly be experienced in person, in some of the more remote places on the planet, LA MoCA has created an online directory for the Land Art movement. The online component makes it possible for viewers to get a sense of the works and the landscape that gave them their context and power. Read more...
Image: James Turrell's Roden Crater

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Wealthy Asian collectors fuel a museum boom

Museums are springing up amongst the shopping malls and residential high rises that are the most visible hallmarks of Asia's economic boom. It's a phenomenon driven by a new generation of wealthy collectors eager to show off their wealth and fill a gap in a region where publicly funded museums are relatively scarce. Read more...
Image: Yinchuan Art Museum, architectural rendering

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Winners of the VIP art fair's MFA edition announced

Recently the VIP art fair announced a new initiative to launch graduating artists in the art market. A panel of six internationally recognised jurors was appointed to select 200 artists from a pool of nominations and open call applications from renowned MFA and equivalent progammes.

The jurors have trawled through the MFA talent pool and selected three artists who will receive the prizes. Susana Perrottet, a Peruvian video artist studying at Schule Fur Gestaltung in Zurich, wins the top honour and a prize of $15,000. In second place is Chris Hood of the San Francisco Art Institute, who will receive $10,000. Third place went to Emanuel Straessle, also studying at the Schule fur Gestaltung. Each of the prizes is to be shared evenly with the students' schools.

"The work was wildly inconsistent " said White Column's Matthew Higgs, one of the six judges. "And I thought it was quite interesting. It didn't seem to subscribe to any kind of hierarchical structure that exists within certain high-profile MFA programmes."

The other jurors were artist Diana Al-Hadid and O Zhang, Kate Fowles (ICI), Jens Hoffman (Wattis Institute) and Joachim Pissaro (Hunter College).

Friday, June 1, 2012

US government department tries to derail Kabakovs' Havana Biennial project

A project by the artists Ilya and Emilia Kabakov during the 11th Havana Biennial was nearly derailed when the US Department of the Treasury denied the artists the necessary public performance and exhibition license that would allow five US children to travel to Havana, saying the project was "not consistent with the current US policy on Cuba." A government official who declined to be named told The Art Newspaper  the state department was afraid the American children would be used for political propaganda by the Cuban government. However, after winning an appeal, the Kabakovs' Ship of Tolerance opened at the Oratorio San Filpe Neri in Havana, with a classical music concert performed by children from the US, Russia and Cuba. Read more...
Image: Children's orchestra performs in Havana as part of the Kabakov's Ship of Tolerance project