Jasper Johns’s Non-Profit Creates Space Dedicated Exclusively to Artist-Curated Shows (artnet news)

By Christie Chu, Thursday, May 28, 2015 original article here.

Installation shot of “6 Doors”. Photo: courtesy of the Other Room.

Jasper Johns is spearheading a new project space in Manhattan’s Meatpacking District dedicated exclusively to artist-curated exhibitions.

The 496-square-foot space, aptly called the Other Room, sits adjacent to the offices of the Foundation for Contemporary Arts (FCA), the non-profit the painter co-founded with John Cage in 1963. The converted space was previously used as an occasional meeting place for the organization. Executive director of the foundation, Stacy Stark, told artnet News over the phone, the name for the space came about from the “colloquial” expression used by its staff members. Ms. Stark went on to say the mission of the venue is to provide another platform for “artist-centric” projects and expand on the foundation’s initiative of bestowing grants to those working in dance, music, theatre, poetry, and fine arts.

It’s inaugural show titled “6 Doors” brings together six works that evoke a doorway, portal, or barrier.

Installation shot of “6 Doors”. Photo: courtesy of the Other Room.

The selected works by six artists include a digital print Let ’em (2005) by Trisha Donnelly, a site-specific work titled Dark Corner (2015) by Andrea Longacre-White, a trompe l’oeil work made from purpleheart wood named The New International Atlas (2010) by Alex Robbins, a torn black cloth called Shroud (2014) by Melanie Schiff, a new large-scale sculpture Joint Fence (for Jasper) (2015) by Marianne Vitale, and a painting titled Midnight Union Ave. (2012) by Mary Weatherford.

Curated by artist Rachel Foullon, a founding member of the initiative Public-Holiday Projects and former program manager for the foundation (she worked there in 2005 to 2006), all pieces in the show are on sale except for the Mary Weatherford painting. Prices range from $4,500 to $40,000.

Plans include two to three shows per year, that will be up for two months organized by an invited artist who will have free rein to curate experimental shows, as no “restrictions or parameters” will be set—the foundation’s role is to be purely administrative.

“Six Doors” is on view at the Foundation for Contemporary Arts, 820 Greenwich Street, New York from May 19, 2015 through August 7, 2015.

Installation shot of “6 Doors”. Photo: courtesy of the Other Room.

 

 

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Donatello’s Florence Cathedral Sculptures Cross the Atlantic for the First Time (Hyperallergic)

By by Allison Meier on March 18, 2015 original article here.

Sculpture in the Age of Donatello: Renaissance Masterpieces From Florence Cathedral at the Museum of Biblical Art

Nanni di Banco, “St. Luke the Evangelist” (1408–13), marble, and Donatello, “St. John the Evangelist” (1408–15), marble, both of which were in niches alongside the Florence Cathedral’s main portal and are now on view in the Museum of Biblical Art’s ‘Sculpture in the Age of Donatello.’ (all photos by the author for Hyperallergic)

 

Gauzy white fabric divides the single gallery of the Museum of Biblical Art into a series of ethereal chambers for Sculpture in the Age of Donatello: Renaissance Masterpieces from Florence Cathedral, each turn revealing the marble visage of some stern saint or prophet. It’s an improbable exhibition, with 23 early Renaissance pieces that have rarely (if ever) left Italy, let alone crossed the Atlantic to arrive at this small Upper West Side museum. After their return to Florence’s Museo dell’Opera del Duomo, it’s likely most of these pieces will never travel again because of their fragility and size. That exceptional nature of the exhibition is reason enough to visit, but the unexpected humanity of Donatello’s sculptures up close makes it essential.

Sculpture in the Age of Donatello: Renaissance Masterpieces From Florence Cathedral at the Museum of Biblical Art

Installation view of ‘Sculpture in the Age of Donatello: Renaissance Masterpieces From Florence Cathedral’ at the Museum of Biblical Art

The Museo dell’Opera del Duomo, the museum of Florence Cathedral, is currently undergoing renovations until October, and the Museum of Biblical Art (MOBIA) is the only stop for Sculpture in the Age of Donatello. Meanwhile, there’s just one relief by Donatello on permanent view in the United States: “Madonna of the Clouds” at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. This will probably be the best showing of his Florentine work in the United States for a while, maybe a lifetime.

Co-curated by Museo dell’Opera Director Timothy Verdon and Donatello scholar Daniel Zolli, who’s based at Harvard University, the exhibition also includes work by Donatello’s collaborators and contemporaries, who from 1400 to 1450 participated in making the Florence Cathedral, a project that jumpstarted the Renaissance in art and architecture. Anchoring the show are two colossal sculptures by Donatello (aka Donato di Niccolò di Betto Bardi) and Nanni di Banco, demonstrating two impressive sculptors competing with very different aesthetics right on the cathedral façade.

Donatello’s “St. John the Evangelist” (1408–15) gazes with furrowed intensity and a sprawling beard, while di Banco’s “St. Luke the Evangelist” (1408–13) has a neat style that could be mistaken for a Roman sculpture of Hadrian, his eyes half closed. Both were once positioned in niches on either side of the cathedral’s portal, four feet above an average person. To get the full impact of their oversize scale, you’d have to sprawl on the MOBIA floor (not recommended) and look up. Despite the slightly skewed perspective of viewing them at eye level, you get an immediate idea of two distinct artists, especially the energy emanating from Donatello’s saint, who, despite his detached confidence, feels ill at ease. A century later, the work would influence Michelangelo’s equally hulking “Moses.”

Sculpture in the Age of Donatello: Renaissance Masterpieces From Florence Cathedral at the Museum of Biblical Art

Donatello, “Prophet” (1435–36), marble, and “Abraham and Isaac” (1421), marble

You could easily linger with each piece, from Filippo Brunelleschi’s wood models for the cathedral’s dome to Luca della Robbia’s reliefs for its bell tower. However, it’s the animation in Donatello’s work that really bristles. This feeling is strongest in two pieces from the cathedral’s bell tower positioned together. In a collaboration with Nanni di Bartolo, Donatello worked a single block of marble into “Abraham and Isaac” (1421), capturing the moment when Abraham was called to stop the sacrifice of his son, a test of faith. Isaac wears a look of blank resignation, but Abraham’s carved eyes have a startled expression — you can almost hear the shriek of angels halting his knife, the blade still resting on his son’s shoulder while he grips the boy’s hair. Opposite is one of Donatello’s best, the “Prophet” (1435–36) or “Zuccone” (Squash Head), as he’s nicknamed for his bald skull. Thought by many to depict the Old Testament prophet Habakkuk, the figure’s eyes originally angled down from the bell tower; even in that aged, mutilated face you can sense real conflicted human psychology.

Whether in the resolution of a saint, the torment of a prophet, or a father compelled to nearly murder his son, Donatello embodied the heaviness of the divine pressing on humanity with compelling naturalism, even while the stone still feels raw and exposed. It’s hard from the exhibition’s white, transcendent design to understand the original perspective and positioning of the sculptures in the towering cathedral, looking down from their imposing perches. Fortunately, at a human scale there remains the intended sense of awe, and one that’s for a fleeting time transported to New York.

Sculpture in the Age of Donatello: Renaissance Masterpieces From Florence Cathedral at the Museum of Biblical Art

Detail of Donatello’s “Prophet” (1435–36), marble

Donatello, "Prophet" (1435-36), marble; and "Abraham and Isaac" (1421), marble

Donatello, “Prophet” (1435–36), marble, and “Abraham and Isaac” (1421), marble

Sculpture in the Age of Donatello: Renaissance Masterpieces From Florence Cathedral at the Museum of Biblical Art

Detail of Donatello’s “Abraham and Isaac” (1421), marble

Sculpture in the Age of Donatello: Renaissance Masterpieces From Florence Cathedral at the Museum of Biblical Art

Installation view of ‘Sculpture in the Age of Donatello: Renaissance Masterpieces From Florence Cathedral’ at the Museum of Biblical Art

Sculpture in the Age of Donatello: Renaissance Masterpieces From Florence Cathedral at the Museum of Biblical Art

Donatello and Michelozzo, bronze heads with traces of gilding (1439), possibly copied from ancient bronzes

Sculpture in the Age of Donatello: Renaissance Masterpieces From Florence Cathedral at the Museum of Biblical Art

Three marble sculptures by Luca della Robbia for the Florence Cathedral’s bell tower (1437–39)

Sculpture in the Age of Donatello: Renaissance Masterpieces From Florence Cathedral at the Museum of Biblical Art

Two marble prophets by Donatello from 1406–10, sculpted for the bell tower of Florence Cathedral

Sculpture in the Age of Donatello: Renaissance Masterpieces From Florence Cathedral at the Museum of Biblical Art

Two marble “profetinos,” or “small prophets,” the one on the left attributed to Donatello and the one on the right to Nanni di Banco, both from 1406–09 Sculpture in the Age of Donatello: Renaissance Masterpieces From Florence Cathedral at the Museum of Biblical Art

Sculpture in the Age of Donatello: Renaissance Masterpieces From Florence Cathedral at the Museum of Biblical Art

Nanni di Banco or Donatello, “Vir Dolorum” (“Man of Sorrows”) (1407–09), marble

Sculpture in the Age of Donatello: Renaissance Masterpieces From Florence Cathedral at the Museum of Biblical Art

Attributed to Giovanni d’Ambrogio, “Archangel Gabriel of the Annunciation” and “Virgin Mary of the Annunciation” (both late 14th century), marble

Sculpture in the Age of Donatello: Renaissance Masterpieces From Florence Cathedral at the Museum of Biblical Art

Installation view of ‘Sculpture in the Age of Donatello: Renaissance Masterpieces From Florence Cathedral at the Museum’ of Biblical Art

Sculpture in the Age of Donatello: Renaissance Masterpieces From Florence Cathedral at the Museum of Biblical Art

orenzo Ghiberti, “Adoration of the Magi” (replica from the North Doors of Florence Baptistery), gilded bronze; Master of Castel di Sangro, “Adoration of the Magi” (first half of 15th century), maiella stone, which copied the original Ghiberti composition

Sculpture in the Age of Donatello: Renaissance Masterpieces From Florence Cathedral at the Museum of Biblical Art

nstallation view of ‘Sculpture in the Age of Donatello: Renaissance Masterpieces From Florence Cathedral’ at the Museum of Biblical Art

Sculpture in the Age of Donatello: Renaissance Masterpieces From Florence Cathedral at the Museum of Biblical Art

Exterior view of the Museum of Biblical Art

 

Sculpture in the Age of Donatello: Renaissance Masterpieces from Florence Cathedral continues at the Museum of Biblical Art (1865 Broadway, Upper West Side, Manhattan) through June 14. 

 

Art Heist at Taco Bell Stumps Police (artnet news)

Sarah Cascone, Tuesday, March 17, 2015 original article here.

The stolen Taco Bell painting.

The stolen Taco Bell painting. Artist unknown.

When burritos alone won’t satisfy your late-night drunken munchies, how about some art? That’s most likely exactly what happened at the Taco Bell in Westlake, Ohio, reports the local NBC news outlet, when someone made off with an acrylic painting this past weekend, sometime between 11 p.m. on Saturday and 2 a.m. on Sunday (see Stolen Picasso Seized in Newark Shipped as $37 Christmas Present).

“That place has had nothing but bad luck,” said Westlake police captain Guy Turner. “It’s caught fire, they had somebody crash into it and it caught fire. That place is kind of jinxed.”

While Captain Turner did not know the name of the artist behind the work, he said it was likely commissioned by the fast food franchise. A second copy of the painting was left behind by the thieves. Presumably, this was less of a high-tech, targeted Thomas Crowne Affair type of robbery than an impulsive, taco-and-beer-fueled crime of passion (see Stolen Sculpture Found in Toilet of Paris Museum).

“We’re going to search every dorm room and rumpus room in a ten mile radius,” he said, “round up the usual suspects.”

Believe it or not, the painting is reportedly worth $800—and considering the misguided enthusiasm for such oddities as Pizza Hut perfume, it’s not entirely inconceivable that some fast food aficionado might shell out that much for the work. More likely, however, whoever swiped the piece probably just wanted an ode to the home of “fourth meal” to hang on his or her wall.

Curious to know more about the painting and the artist, we called the Taco Bell.

“Do you know where the painting is or who has the painting?” said the unidentified young woman who answered the phone when we asked if she knew who the artist of the work was. “Do I need to trace this phone call?” She then referred us to the Westlake Police.

As far as outlandish art heists go, this one ranks right up there with the Oscar Murillo canvas someone grabbed off the floor of New York’s Museum of Modern Art (see Oscar Murillo Painting Goes Missing From MoMA—Was it Theft?), the time that drunkards stole sculptures from the Dale Chihuly exhibition at the Denver Botanic Gardens (see Dale Chihuly Artwork Thieves in Custody), and the also-intoxicated raid of a Fernandina Beach, Florida, art gallery by a duo from the US Navy (see Sailors Steal Art in Drunken Gallery Robbery).

Long-Lost Masterpiece by Ingres Discovered in Hospital Attic in France (artnet news)

By Lorena Muñoz-Alonso, Friday, April 24, 2015 original article here.

A detail of the Ingres painting found in Jura<br>Photo via: La Voix de Jura

A detail of the Ingres painting found in Jura Photo via: La Voix de Jura

A painting by Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres has been found in the French province of Jura completely by chance, Le Monde reports (see Long Lost Masterpiece Discovered in French Attic Comes to Auction).

The piece is only the latest in a spate of “lost” masterpieces that have turned up in recent months sometimes to huge auction success (see Scholar Denies Authenticating ‘Lost Leonardo’ Found in Swiss Vault and Lost Klimt Portrait Unveiled In Prague).

The discovery was made during an inventory conducted by Emmanuel Buselin, curator and advisor of historical monuments of the region, in the attic of the chapel of the former hospital Hôtel-Dieu, located in the town of Lons-le-Saunier.

Buselin saw a huge canvas rolled and covered in dust and, intrigued, sat down to unroll it. A large Ingres masterpiece—measuring 4.30 meters wide by 3.40 meters high—depicting a Madonna with child and kneeling king, slowly unfolded before his eyes.

The painting, which dates to 1826, is thought to have been gifted to the town after Ingres completed it. It hung in the local church of Saint-Désiré.

The found painting is thought to be the second version of Ingres's Le Vœu de Louis XIII (The vow of Louis XIII, 1824)<br>Photo via: Wikipedia

The found painting is thought to be the second version of Ingres’s Le Vœu de Louis XIII (The vow of Louis XIII, 1824) Photo via: Wikipedia

In 1936, according to the municipal archives, the church was refurbished and the painting stored in the former hospital, where it had languished forgotten ever since.

The priceless masterpiece is thought to be the long-lost second version of Ingres’s Le Vœu de Louis XIII (The vow of Louis XIII), which King Charles X of France originally commissioned from the Neoclassical master in 1820.

Buselin’s incredible discovery took place last autumn, but it remained secret until this week in order to protect the artwork, which could not be safely removed from the old hospital immediately.

The painting is now being repaired in the conservation area of the Museum of Fine Arts of Lons-le-Saunier, where it is expected to be displayed once it is completely restored.

 

 

Jeffrey Deitch Has Sunk So Low He’s Curating for Property Developers on Coney Island (artnet news)

By Brian Boucher, Wednesday, April 29, 2015 original article here.

Deitch-Via-LaTimes

New York dealer-impresario Jeffrey Deitch is co-curating a street art show in Coney Island this summer with Joseph Sitt, the head of real estate developers Thor Equities, whom a Huffington Post blogger once dubbed “Satan’s real estate division.”

The show includes Crash, Lee Quinones, Futura, Kenny Scharf, Miss Van, Lady Pink, Swoon, and Icy Signs. It will be accompanied by the debut of Smorgasburg Coney Island, with 12 “diverse” food vendors. Oh, and there will be music, too. (See Miley Cyrus Takes Art Basel, Thanks to Jeffrey Deitch).

A longtime devotee of street art, Deitch organized the crowd-pleasing 2011 exhibition “Art in the Streets” during his ill-fated tenure at the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art. While it drew crowds, it wasn’t free of controversy. For one thing, critics moaned that Deitch was creating a circus, fixated on the income from the 200,000 visitors who flocked to the show at the expense of scholarly shows.

But you remember all that, and hey, art is about entertainment, right?

Yet worse was the censoring of a mural by Blu, commissioned for that show, that depicted a panorama of coffins draped in dollar bills. The museum said that since its neighbors include a VA hospital and a monument to Japanese-American soldiers in World War II, the work was “inappropriate,” and whitewashed the painting.

Thor Equities may not be the best company to share a spotlight with, either.

Remember Astroland, the beloved Coney Island amusement park that shut down in 2008 after offering roller coaster rides since 1962? Thor is the new owner of that property. Former owner Carol Albert told the New York Times they forced her out. Thor has reportedly invested more than $100 million in buying up Coney Island property.

Thor hasn’t made friends out of SoHo residents Michele Varian and Brad Roberts, either. They say the company, which, according to the New York Post, owns more than 20 properties in that neighborhood, has made their lives hell by tearing apart the units above and below their rent-regulated loft. A worker in hazmat gear once busted right through their floor, tearing a 5-foot hole.

And it gets better: “Ms. Varian showed this reporter work permits that Thor had filed with the city, indicating that the building was unoccupied and had no rent-stabilized tenants,” writes the Times.

Whoopsie!

It all makes sense. The supposedly irrepressible, antiauthoritarian spirit of graffiti is harnessed to create a Disney-fied version of a bygone era, when Coney Island was dirty but real. It’s all brought to you by the museum director who drove away all the artist-trustees at LA MOCA, who was shocked—shocked!—that running a museum involved so much fundraising, and who is on the side of Klaus Biesenbach (see Jeffrey Deitch Claims Art World Persecution and Defends Klaus Biesenbach).

We won’t see Blu in this show, I’m guessing.