Tuesday, March 27, 2012

More Art News

By Charles Kessler

I take back what I wrote about flashy spectacles being so common that they’ve become stale. Here are two exciting and I believe profound ones: Adrian Villar Rojas's A Person Loved Me in The Ungovernables, the New Museum's otherwise tepid Triennial; and Jeff Koons's proposed public sculpture for the High Line.

A Person Loved Me was created on site for the Triennial by a team of six people from Argentina. It was made to crack as it dries and, ultimately, it will be destroyed at the end of the Triennial, on April 22nd. What I find so moving about it is the eerie anthropomorphism of the work. It's as if the sculpture was once an alive, partly organic robot or weapon from some alien futuristic world. You can experience this better close up:
Detail: Adrián Villar Rojas, A Person Loved Me.
 And The New York Times reports the Koons proposal is a full-size replica of a 1943 steam train suspended from a crane, possibly installed at the intersection of 10th Avenue and 30th Street. The Friends of the High Line are trying to raise $25 million to commission the sculpture, and I hope they can pull it off -- it would be thrilling. Here's a photo of the proposal taken from the Times:
Image by James Corner Field Operations, Diller Scofidio + Renfro, and Jeff Koons, (courtesy of Friends of the High Line).
BTW, the article states that "CSX Transportation Inc. had agreed in principle to donate the third section of the elevated rail bed, allowing for the park’s completion." I hope CSX will be as generous to the Jersey City Embankment.

Other Art News:

The Times also gives a revealing peek into the way the Gagosian Gallery sometimes does business. Charles Cowles, former art dealer and erstwhile publisher of Artforum, in need of money, approached Larry Gagosian to sell his mother's Lichtenstein. Gagosian said he could get $3 million for it but, to quote the Times:
...  the gallery had offered the painting for considerably less to a collector, Thompson Dean, a managing partner of a private equity firm, telling Mr. Dean that he had an opportunity to get an incredible bargain. “Seller now in terrible straits and needs cash,” said a July e-mail to Mr. Dean from a Gagosian staff member. “Are you interested in making a cruel and offensive offer? Come on, want to try?”

The invaluable Art Newspaper has come out with worldwide art museum 2010 attendance figures. They break it down by the popularity of particular exhibitions as well as total annual attendance. The Louvre is number one with an attendance of an amazing 8,880,000; and the Met is second with 6,004,254, up from 5.2 million in 2010. The Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil in Rio had the largest attendance for an exhibition -- 573,691 for "The Magical World of Escher."

Kyle Chayka in ArtInfo has a list of 20 "must-click" artist websites.

And finally, Tyler Green is as excited as I am about the new "Closer to van Eyck" macrophotography website I wrote about here.  Green points out a tiny blue jewel in a broach on which Jan van Eyck painted the reflection of the window in the chapel where the altarpiece is housed. Keep in mind a viewer wouldn't even be able to see it with the naked eye.
Broach, the Singing Angels' panel of the Ghent Altarpiece

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