Bravo’s “Art Star” reality show hasn’t even hit the air waves yet, and already we’ve got another art contest on our hands. Our vote for most ridiculous news of the week comes with the Guggenheim’s announcement of Rob Pruitt’s “First Annual Art Awards,” modeled after Hollywood’s Oscars. Pruitt conceived the awards to celebrate “select individuals, exhibitions, and projects that have made a significant impact on the field of contemporary art during the past year.” Oh, and just to keep things bubbly, the star-studded list of presenters will include boyfriend-girlfriend art/fashion design couple of the moment Nate Lowman and Mary-Kate Olsen. There’s a formal dinner afterwards, and after that an after-party and, and….oh, just click on the link and read the rest for yourself (including the video of the nominee announcements). I can’t take anymore. The rest of our midweek round-up, some of which is actually meaningful (though you’ll have to be the judge of that) as follows:
*Art Institute of Chicago appoints Alison Fisher as the Harold and Margot Schiff Assistant Curator of Architecture in the Department of Architecture and Design. Her focus will be on the Art Institute’s architecture holdings from 1850 to 1945, and she will oversee the drawings, models, and archives of Frank Lloyd Wright, Daniel Burnham, Louis Sullivan and other American architectural masters.
*Artist Mark Bradford among those awarded 2009 MacArthur Genius Grants.
*Bill Viola changes mind, decides to meet with Pope for Vatican cultural dialogue on the relationship between faith and art.
*Franklin Sirmans appointed chief curator of contemporary art at LACMA, succeeding Lynn Zelevansky.
*Proposed Pennsylvania budget agreement extends state sales taxes to arts and cultural performances and venues but exempts movies and sports events; Philadelphia arts leaders organize in protest.
*Brandeis committee recommends keeping Art Museum open, but punts on the issue of the proposed sale of its collection.
*NEA Chair Rocco Landesman explains reasoning behind demotion of communications director Yossi Sergant.
*Paul Chan’s “Top 5 Things That Will Get You Arrested in Minneapolis” aka Top 5 Things We Should Do Together To Make Something Interesting.” (Via Eyeteeth).
*Virtual flip book: View all 160 pages of Proximity magazine in less than 20 seconds. Then go buy the real thing. It’s a good issue, as always.
*A visit to an exhibition about the history of Ikea.
*Artnet writer Grant Mandarino provides Cliff’s Notes on the new Fall art magazines.
*Chicago job posting: Projectionists and room monitors needed for upcoming College Art Association (CAA) Annual Conference in Chicago. If you’re interested, see here.
The battle continues with a suit filed today in Massachusetts state court. From today’s New York Times:
“In their suit, the overseers, Jonathan O. Lee, Lois Foster and Meryl Rose, a member of the family whose donations created the museum in 1961, contend that Brandeis’s plans to close the museum “contradict the charitable intentions” of the museum’s founders, “abrogate Brandeis’s promises that the Rose would be maintained in perpetuity” as a modern and contemporary art museum and violate its commitments to those who donated art to the museum. Brandeis officials were not immediately available for comment.”
Read the full story here.
For those of you who’ve been following MOCA’s meltdown (see sidebar links to Meg’s previous posts on this subject) and the Rose Art Museum’s deaccessioning debacle at Brandeis, there are a few interesting updates of the linkie sort I’d like to draw your attention to, in case you haven’t already seen them.
First, in the ‘where are they now’ category: two extensive, multi-part interviews with major MOCA players, one still hanging in there, the other out the door in a flash, have appeared within the last couple of weeks over at the Arts Journal blogs. Tyler Green of Modern Art Notes posts a four (!)-part interview with MOCA senior curator Paul Schimmel on the future of the institution, which sounds super-rosy and no less ambitious than before, according to Mr. Schimmel. Find ‘em here: Part one, part two, part three, and part four.
Next, there’s CultureGrrl aka Lee Rosenbaum’s two-part interview with Jeremy Strick about his post-MOCA post as the new director of the Nasher Museum: part one of her interview can be found here; part two, here. Strick seems to have landed very well, I must say; there’s hardly a speck of dust on him.
Lastly, the latest on The Rose Art Museum. From my understanding of the state of things now (mostly via this post on The Art Law Blog, which I got to via this one on Art Fag City), Brandeis has backpedaled from its original plans to sell off the Museum’s collection–now they’re saying that only “a limited number” of pieces will be sold “if the need arises in the future.” It’s anyone’s guess as to what’s true and what’s p.r. spin, but tonight, Monday March 16th, a symposium titled “Preserving Trust: Art and the Art Museum amidst Financial Crisis” will take place from 6:30 – 8:00 pm at The Rose Art Museum. You can view the discussion in real time, as it will also be streamed live, and posted on YouTube afterwards. Here’s an excerpt from the Symposium blurb:
This symposium is prompted by the global controversy over the recently proposed closing of Brandeis University’s Rose Art Museum and the selling of some or all of its permanent collection of modern and contemporary art, in order to meet general university financial needs. At a time of financial crisis, what is the utility of art and of museums, in universities and in other contexts? Is art the most dispensable and disposable of assets when times are tough? Conversely, might art and museums be understood as especially valuable at moments of economic and social distress, helping to remind a society of its core values, exposing citizens to cultural difference, and providing vital spaces for community-building and democratic debate?
- Claire Messud
- Robert Pinsky
- Stephen Greenblatt
- Katy Graddy
- Dirck Roosevelt
- Andreas Teuber
- Brian Friedberg and Liz McDonough
Moderator: Mark Auslander
Note: The proceedings will be streamed live on the Cultural Production ustream channel, and also posted on YouTube. Co-coordinators: Mark Auslander, Dirck Roosevelt, Ramie Targoff, Andreas Teuber