Visit New York... with a Matthew Barney studio tour thrown in
Book now for a break to New York with a difference courtesy of the Tate and the Ultimate Travel Company. The holiday itinerary boasts a reception at the Drawing Center and guided museum tours, one to the Museum of Modern Art “pre-opening” to avoid the madding crowds. You even get to visit Matthew Barney's studio. The theme of the trip next November is inspired by Tate Liverpool's “Glam! The Performance of Style” show, which opens 8 February (until 12 May). Tasting the Big Apple's art scene on the six-day trip will set you back £2,345 per person (£605 single supplement) plus airport taxes.
A brush with Kapoor
According to the Australian, a guest at a recent VIP dinner held to celebrate Anish Kapoor's new exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Sydney (until 1 April 2013) got a little too close to one of the London-based artist's concave "void" works. The museum has apparently taken on more warders after Elizabeth Ann Macgregor, the gallery director, said: "The guest leant into the void too far, then discovered she had a line of blue pigment down her arm. They won't be doing that again."
One cat leads to another
The Ernest Hemingway Museum in Key West finds itself on the wrong side of a court ruling after a judge found in favour of the US department of agriculture. The District Court decided that the museum is similar to a circus/zoo because of the 44 felines that live at the spacious property that was Hemingway's home from 1931 until he shipped out to Havana, Cuba, in 1939. The museum's magnificent moggies are descendants of Hemingway's much loved cat Snowball. (They all have more than 18 toes, just like Snowball). As an “animal exhibitor”, the museum will have to put the cats into individual cages every night, build a higher perimeter fence and hire someone to watch over them, Courthouse News reports.
Sewell sounds off
Art critic Brian Sewell was on top form when he spoke at an evening event at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London earlier this month, promoting the second volume of his autobiography ("Outsider II", published by Quartet). He began by recounting his encounter with Salvador Dalí, sparing the audience the anatomical details of the sexual act he performed, but entertaining them by recalling how he inadvertently attracted the master’s attention by butchering the entrails of a sheep for a local dog he had befriended. Moving on in his life, he did not mince his words about the National Gallery. He recalled being a lone voice accusing the gallery of buying a misattributed Dürer of St Jerome in 1996—and then revelled in The Art Newspaper’s revelation that it is now being questioned by German specialists (September 2012, p3). And, Sewell added, the gallery’s Madonna of the Pinks is not by Raphael.
A dog is for life, not just Christmas
Santa will be bringing a few presents for pooches this year. The luckiest might wake up to find an architect/designer-designed home at the end of their basket. Wallpaper magazine reports how the dog loving Japanese designer and curator Kenya Hara invited 13 leading architects to create the ideal dog house. Among the 13 who supplied Hara's team with a blueprint were Atelier Bow Wow's for a daschaund (short body, long legs key to the specifications). Shigeru Ban's design for a papillon is an elegantly sustainable affair in the Japanese architect's signature material of cardboard tubes. The Japanese architect Toyo Ito asked to design something for his shiba. The inflatable canopy proved a tad tricky to make in time for Xmas, however.
Cattelan causes controversy in Warsaw—again
Maurizio Cattelan’s sculpture of Pope John Paul II being struck by a meteorite caused such a storm of controversy when it was exhibited at Warsaw's Zacheta Gallery in 2000 that two right wing MPs destroyed the work and Anda Rottenberg stepped down as the institution’s director. Now, Cattelan is back in the Polish capital, this time with a sculpture of Hitler as a kneeling schoolboy on the site of a former Warsaw ghetto. Him, 2001, is part of the Cattelan exhibition “Amen” at the Centre for Contemporary Art Ujazdowski Castle, Warsaw (until 24 February), which features new work by the Italian artist. “Every criminal was once a tender, innocent and defenceless child,” write the curators in a press statement. “In a Warsaw ravaged by the cataclysms of the 20th century, the works of Maurizio Cattelan take on a special dimension—they become an artistic commentary on the Catholic credo: what does it really mean to love your enemies?” With the main criticism in the Polish press being that the show isn't big enough, it seems that Cattelan has been forgiven—this time.
Flying high down under
The Australian artist Patricia Piccinini is reaching for the sky with her new work, a hot air balloon which she hopes to launch in May as part of the Centenary celebrations in Canberra (the city was officially named the Australian capital 101 years ago by Lady Denman, wife of then Governor-General Lord Denman). The balloon's maiden flight will happen as part of an international sculpture symposium at the National Gallery of Australia. “I imagine it against the clear blue canvas of a Canberra sky, odd yet somehow comforting. It plays on the idea that the relationship between planning and nature can lead to outcomes that are extraordinary, in ways that are unanticipated,” Piccinini says wistfully.
It's not the end of the world (says Pistoletto)
As people start to go into a collective meltdown over the possible end of the world this Friday (well, according to the Mayans), the Arte Povera titan Michelangelo Pistoletto instead sees the impending apocalypse as an opportunity to start afresh. "Pistoletto does not interpret this as an end, but rather as the beginning of a new phase, the start of a more utopian society he calls the Third Paradise," says a press statement from Luhring Augustine in New York. The gallery is helping out by asking conscientious citizens to donate art supplies for children (colouring books, crayons and glue gratefully received). For the Third Paradise to succeed, "it is essential that children engage with art and embrace it as a means of creative expression, exchange and dialogue," the gallery adds. Donations will be accepted from 17 December to 20 December at the gallery's Chelsea and Bushwick locations. Complimentary catalogues will be handed out to those who contribute.
Journalist lands plum post at the V&A
Kieran Long, the architecture critic at the London newspaper, the Evening Standard, has been appointed as Senior Curator of Contemporary Architecture, Design and Digital at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London (V&A). "Our challenge will be to understand what contemporary objects and projects the V&A should be collecting and how we give the museum strengths in particular fields of contemporary practice," said Long on the Dezeen blog. "The Contemporary Architecture, Design and Digital section will sit within Furniture, Textiles and Fashion," says a V&A spokeswoman. Within this section there will be four other new posts: curator of product design; curator of digital design; curator of architecture and urbanism; and a co-ordinator of the V&A's Friday Late programme. Long takes the reins in the new year.
A few of Pharrell’s favourite things
“This is the most people I’ve ever seen at a talk at Design Miami,” said Craig Robins, the fair’s founder, to a standing-room-only crowd on Friday afternoon. Robins was introducing the rapper, music producer and designer Pharrell Williams (above right), who had come to the fair to talk about his new book, Pharrell: Places and Spaces I’ve Been. Among Williams’s favourite works at the fair were a bookshelf by Charlotte Perriand and a snazzy 1953 cherry-red desk by Gio Ponti. “He was trying to make office life fun,” Williams said of the latter. At one point during the discussion, Williams, who never removed his dark sunglasses, lost his train of thought and paused to say that he found the whole set-up, with the bright spotlights on him, a little intimidating. “There are sun beams coming down on me,” he said. “I feel like a rotisserie chicken.” Later, he made another observation. “The one thing I hate,” he began, spelling out the word slowly for emphasis, “H-A-T-E, is interviews. They always want me to talk about me. It’s so boring.” Responding to the remark, Robins sheepishly asked: “Is this an interview?” Williams assured him it was not.
The collector sitting for 12 portraits (so far)
If sitting for one portrait is gruelling, sitting for a dozen must really be a test of patience and stamina. Nonetheless, the Manila-based property magnate Robbie Antonio is up for the challenging task at hand, having commissioned 12 artists so far. The artists Kenny Scharf, Marilyn Minter, David LaChapelle and Julian Opie have all captured Antonio who now hopes to work with Takashi Murakami on a new commission. The works will go on show next year. “I wanted to work with artists I like, to see how they interpret me. I want to be seen in their eyes. But these portraits also reflect the DNA of the artist,” Antonio says. “I want to take this series to an extreme level." Is he worried that he will be called narcissistic? "George Condo can paint me looking ugly,” he says.
And the winner is…
The winner of the Future Generation Art Prize, funded by the Ukrainian collector Victor Pinchuk's foundation, will be announced Friday 7 December during a ceremony held at the Kiev Planetarium and streamed live online on our website.
The biennial $100,000 prize is given to an artist up to the age of 35 and includes $60,000 in cash and $40,000 toward the production of a new work. An additional $20,000 will fund an artist-in-residency programme for up to five other artists.
The ceremony will start streaming from 6pm GMT and will include a discussion with Victor Pinchuk and members of the international jury, which includes the curators Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev, Massimiliano Gioni, Hans Ulrich Obrist, Eckhard Schneider and Nancy Spector.
This is the second edition of the contemporary art prize. The winner in 2010 was the Brazilian artist Cinthia Marcelle, with a special prize given to the Romanian artist Mircea Nicolae.
More information and video profiles of the 21 shortlisted artists can be found on the prize's website.
We’re over the moon
The art world is always partial to a spot of soccer, and the French art duo Kolkoz’s three-day tournament on the beach (between the W Hotel and the Setai; presented by Galerie Perrotin) is giving art-worlders—including Art Basel’s sporty director Marc Spiegler and his spirited predecessor Sam Keller, and the artists Jesper Just and Bhakti Baxter—a chance to show off their best moves. But matters have been made somewhat challenging, as the shoreside pitch has been fashioned to resemble the cratered surface of the moon, as revealed during the Apollo 11 landings. According to the artists, they wanted “to superimpose three realities—the beach, the moon and the tournament”. Which of the Bronze, Silver, Gold and Copper teams (all resplendent in metallic kit) manages to triumph over such adversity will be revealed in the final play-off on Saturday at 4pm.
If it ain’t baroque, don’t fix it
The organisers of Art Basel Miami Beach may no longer treat fairgoers to live gigs on the beach, but there was still some edgy flamboyance to be found near the oceanfront courtesy of the Los Angeles performance collective My Barbarian. The group enlivened the Art Public opening with a spirited excerpt from its performance series “Broke People’s Baroque Peoples’ Theater”. This operatic extravaganza, accompanied by baroque flourishes and an element of audience participation, playfully parodied ABMB’s acquisitive desires and gleefully put art buyers on the spot by confronting them with ticklish questions of economic inequity, artistic patronage and a culture of excess. Not that any of the assembled crowd seemed to be unduly concerned by the critique.
There was something for everyone at Untitled, the latest addition to the constellation of satellite fairs clustering around Art Basel Miami Beach, which occupies a shoreside tent on Ocean Drive. Striking a dramatic and colour co-ordinated pose on the Y Gallery booth was the New Jersey real estate broker and first-time Miami visitor Elaine Dweck (above), who, when asked if she was looking for anything in particular, replied “a husband”. Over at (Art) Amalgamated, conversations of a more intense nature were taking place, with the artist Paco Cao channelling the spirits of the deceased celebrities Kurt Cobain, Whitney Houston, Michael Jackson and Amy Winehouse to provide tarot readings for visitors. Whether this grim quartet predicted a future spouse for Ms Dweck remains unknown.
Turner Prize-winner Price looks to the stars
Turner Prize-winner Elizabeth Price now has her eyes on the sky. She is just starting a year-long arts residency at the UK Space Agency, which is responsible for the exploration of outer space. Minutes after winning the £25,000 prize at Tate Britain on Monday night, she told The Art Newspaper that she will be “focusing on the sun”, to create a new video, using both historic and contemporary images. This follows the video which she presented at the Turner Prize exhibition (until 6 January), the haunting Woolworths Choir of 1979. Price also admitted to feeling slightly embarrassed about her earlier life as the vocalist for the Talulah Gosh pop group in 1986. The glamorous award ceremony turned into something of a political event when Tate Britain director Penelope Curtis and actor Jude Law, who announced the result, spoke out strongly against the UK government's new educational proposals which will downgrade the arts in the examination curriculum.