Lisa Frieman has been chosen as the first director of Virginia Commonwealth University's new Institure for Contemporary Art.
From Gallerist NY: "Lisa Freiman, a senior curator and chair of the contemporary art department at the Indianapolis Museum of Art, has been tapped to become the first director of the Institute for Contemporary Art at the Virginia Commonwealth University, in Richmond, Va. The future home of the ICA, designed by Steven Holl Architects, is under construction and is expected to be completed in 2015. Ms. Freiman starts at the institution on July 1."
Connie Butler is leaving her post as the chief curator of drawings at MoMA in New York to become chief curator at the Hammer Museum.
From The LA Times: "After more than a year-long search, the Hammer Museum has hired Connie Butler, currently the chief curator of drawings at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, as its chief curator.
She is leaving that position by July 1 in order to assume her L.A. post mid-month."
After Louvre staff walked out on the job a month ago to protest the gangs of pickpocketers that roam the museum, the government has announced Paris will step up police presence at the Louvre and other tourist attractions.
From ARTINFO: "Last month security staff at the Louvre, the world’s busiest museum, walked out in protest of the gangs of pickpockets plaguing the institution’s public areas and galleries, forcing the museum to close for a day. France’s minister of culture Aurélie Filippetti promised that new security protocols would be put into place to curb the crime levels at the institution, and now Paris’s police force has announced plans to deploy more officers to key tourist destinations, including the Louvre, Montmartre, Notre Dame, and the Champs Elysées."
The Banksy mural "Slave Labour" is going to auction for a second, after the first attempt was thwarted by the London neighborhood where the mural was originally painted.
From The LA Times: "'Slave Labour,' a small outdoor mural attributed to the British artist known as Banksy, has had a strange and contested history even by street-art standards.
In February, the piece went missing from the wall in London where it was created in 2012, only to later resurface at an auction in Miami. The sale eventually was called off after questions arose over the legitimacy of the piece's removal.
Now it appears that the mural is heading back to the auction block. The piece is scheduled to go on sale June 2 at the London Film Museum in a private sale organized by the Sincura Group, a British company that provides services for wealthy clientele."
Excavation for a new highway in Israel uncovered a huge Byzantine-era mosaic from the 4th century.
From ARTINFO: The Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) turned up an unusual discover at the site of the Cross-Israel Highway Company’s future Ma’ahaz and Devira Junction near Kibbutz Beit Kama: A Byzantine-era mosaic dating from between the 4th and 6th century CE. The mosaic is part of an ancient settlement extending across six fields in the kibbutz’s farm area whose excavation was overseen by Dr. Rina Avner.
The Getty has bought two Old Masters paintings for its European art collection– a recently-discovered Rembrandt self-portrait and a Venice Canal scene by Canaletto.
From The LA Times: "Stepping up the effort to strengthen its European art collection, the Getty Museum has acquired two major Old Masters paintings: an exuberant early self-portrait of Rembrandt from around 1628, and a classic scene of the Grand Canal in Venice by Canaletto from around 1738.
The purchases were made last week for undisclosed prices, but experts believe the Rembrandt alone — a rare-to-market self-portrait that stunned the art world when it turned up in a country auction in England in 2007 — would run into the tens of millions of dollars."
Arts & Labor, a labor right activist group for creative professionals, is urging people to boycott Frieze New York.
From ARTINFO: "Arts & Labor, a working group founded in conjunction with Occupy Wall Street, has sent letters to panelists, artists, gallerists, and attendees who are participating in the second edition of Frieze New York, the tony art fair which opens its enormous tent at Randall’s Island Park on Friday, May 10, urging them not to attend, to refuse to participate, and to speak out against the fair’s use of non-union labor, which they say 'breaks with the industry standard.'"
A group of artists has been working with inmates in Illinois's notorious Tamms Prison to raise awareness about the prison's conditions.
From The Daily Beast: "Illinois's Tamms supermax prison, built in 1998, was a scary place. Prisoners were not allowed phone calls and were barred from visits or activities. Men incarcerated there were permitted to leave their cells only to shower or exercise alone. And unlike most prisons, food was pushed through the doors of each cell rather than served in a cafeteria....
...Enter the Tamms Poetry Committee, a group of artists and poets who created “Legislative Art” to aide in educating the public about the terrors of Tamms. In 2008, the group formed the Tamms Year Ten committee with the goal of holding the Department of Corrections and former governor Rod Blagojevich accountable for the horrible things that happened there."
Maria Lassnig and Marisa Merz have received Gold Lions for lifetime achievement in the arts from the board of the 54th Venice Biennale.
From Art Forum: "The board of the Fifty-Fifth Venice Biennale has announced today that artists Maria Lassnig and Marisa Merz will each receive Golden Lions for lifetime achievement at the upcoming international exhibition. The Vienna-based Lassnig was born in 1919 in Kappel am Krappfeld, Austria. Since the beginning of her artistic career, Lassnig has focused on self-portraiture in what she calls 'body-awareness paintings'....
Turin-based Marisa Merz was born in 1926 and began her career in the late 1960s. She became known as a central figure in postwar Italian art for her earliest sculptures made of industrial materials that were shaped into organic forms."
One of the houses from The Heidelberg Project in Detroit burned to the ground last night in a suspected arson attack.
From The Huffington Post: "Artist Tyree Guyton's Heidelberg Project, which won world renown and acclaim for its re-purposing of abandoned homes on Detroit's East Side, burned early this morning in a suspected arson.
Tyree Guyton was on site Friday morning after the fire, seemingly upbeat. 'This is the real world, and I think as an artist I have to make the best of it,' he told The Huffington Post. 'I have to be an optimist and turn it into gold.'
But he told The Huffington Post that fire officials had informed him that the fire was deliberately set."
Aftershocks from the sequester cuts have caused the Smithsonian Institution to shut down some spaces.
From The LA Times: "The Smithsonian Institution museums in Washington have had to close some spaces due to the effects of the federal budget cuts known as sequestration, the organization announced this week.
The budget cuts have resulted in a reduction in a contract for security that supplements the Smithsonian security force, which in turn has necessitated the closure of certain spaces, the organization said."
The National Endowment for the Arts is giving away $26.3 million to 817 institutions around the country.
From Art Forum: "According to the NEA, 817 institutions are being awarded its latest round of Art Works grants, which add up to $26.3 million in funding around the country. The grants reward initiatives that support 'the creation of art that meets the highest standards of excellence, public engagement with diverse and excellent art, lifelong learning in the arts,' and 'the livability of communities through the arts.'"
The Met and the Israel Museum of Jerusalem joined together to buy the Mishneh Torah, an illuminated manuscript from the 15th century that was set to be auctioned by Sotheby's for an estimated $4.5 million.
From ARTINFO: "Yesterday the Israel Museum, Jerusalem and New York’s Metropolitan Museumannounced that they had jointly acquired a handwritten illuminated manuscript of the 'Mishneh Torah' by Maimonides, which they will share on a rotating basis. The 15th century volume was created in two volumes: the other, containing books I-V, belongs to the Vatican Library, while this one comes from the holdings of New York-based collectors Judy and Michael Steinhardt.
It was acquired by the Met and the Israel Museum — for an undisclosed price — just in the nick of time, as it was slated to be included in yesterday’s auction of Judaica from the Steinhardt collection at Sotheby’s."
NBA player Jason Collins, a center for the Washington Wizards, is now the first current professional athlete to come out as gay in the US.
From the NY Times: Jason Collins, a 12-year N.B.A. veteran, has come out as the first openly gay male athlete playing in a major American team sport.
“I’m a 34-year-old N.B.A. center. I’m black and I’m gay,” Collins writes in the May 6 edition of Sports Illustrated, which published the article online Monday morning.
The announcement makes Collins a pioneer of sorts: the first player in the N.B.A., N.F.L., N.H.L. or Major League Baseball to come out while still pursuing his career."
Click here to read Jason Collins's article in Sports Illustrated.
In a landmark copyright case, the U.S. Court of Appeals has ruled in favor of artist Richard Prince, who was accused of illegally using images taken and owned by Patrick Cariou.
From the NY Times: "In a closely watched copyright case with broad implications for the contemporary-art world, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit on Thursday decided largely in favor of the artist Richard Prince, who was found by a federal court in 2011 to have illegally used photographs from a book about Rastafarians to create a series of collages and paintings.
The original decision, by Judge Deborah A. Batts, sided with Patrick Cariou, whose 2000 book, “Yes Rasta,” featured portraits he took in Jamaica. Mr. Prince used dozens of the pictures as the basis for a series of dystopian works called “Canal Zone,” which were exhibited at the Gagosian Gallery in 2008 and generated more than $10 million in sales."
Former president George W. Bush has taken up painting– and says the new hobby has changed his life.
From Talking Points Memo: Former President George W. Bush told ABC News' Diane Sawyer that taking up painting since leaving office has been a life-changing event.
'I love to paint. It is — painting has changed my life in an unbelievably positive way,' Bush said.
Painting, Bush explained, has allowed him to keep learning. 'I mean, some guy one time said to me, "Man, you deserve to rest." And I don’t wanna rest. I wanna live life to the — I wanna follow the example of President 41 and, you know, sprint into the grave,' he said. He described painting as being 'eye-opening for me. I mean, I look at colors differently and I see shadow.'"
The Tate in London has announced the short list for this year's Turner Prize.
From a Tate press release: "The four artists shortlisted for the Turner Prize this year were announced this morning at Tate Britain. They are Laure Prouvost, Tino Sehgal, David Shrigley and Lynette Yiadom-Boakye.
The Turner Prize is awarded to a British artist under fifty each year. Artists are nominated for an exhibition (or other presentation of their work) that took place in the twelve months preceding 16 April 2013. While the four shortlisted artists display their work at a Turner Prize exhibition, the jury award the prize for the originally nominated presentation."
Cooper Union, the prestigious arts, architecture, and engineering college in New York City, has announced it will start charging tuition in 2014.
From the NY Times: "The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art, which is one of the last tuition-free colleges in the country but has been under severe financial strain, announced on Tuesday that for the first time in more than a century it will charge undergraduates to attend.
The decision ends almost two years of roiling debate about an education that was long revered for being “free as air and water,” and stood as the school’s most distinguishing feature, insulating it until now from concerns about the rising cost of a college degree."
Heidi Rabben has been named the 2013-2014 Asian Contemporary Arts Consortium Writing Fellow.
Art Practical and the Asian Contemporary Arts Consortium (ACAC) are pleased to announce that Heidi Rabben has been named the 2013–2014 ACAC Writing Fellow. Rabben was one of five finalists, who also included Sheryl Cheung, Joshua Kim, Elizabeth Parke, and Hentyle Yapp. Each finalist submitted a shotgun review in consideration of the fellowship, and these reviews appear in the April 9, 2013 issue of Art Practical: 4.13/Of Monsters and Memes.
The Park Avenue Armory has named its three artists in residence for 2013.
From the NY Times: "The singer-songwriter Somi, the choreographer Faye Driscoll, the Trusty Sidekick Theater Company and the multidisciplinary artists Ralph Lemon and Okwui Okpokwasili, and the visual artist Alex Dolan have been named as the Park Avenue Armory’s 2013 artists in residence. The residencies were established in 2010 and include space at the armory for the research and creation of new projects."