So, what was the world’s most popular art exhibition last year? According to the Art Newspaper‘s annual museum survey, it was the Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil’s The Magical World of Escher, followed by Kukai’s World: The Arts of Esoteric Buddhism at the Tokyo National Museum, and then Landscape Reunited at Taipei’s National Palace Museum. That would put the Met’s Alexander McQueen show in measly fourth place, as Sarah Douglas makes clear in her much more lucid breakdown of the survey, pointing out that—somewhat astonishingly given its minuscule media attention—MoMA‘s Carlito Carvalhosa: Sum of Days show as the fifth-most-popular contemporary art show.
– QUOTE OF THE DAY –
“I haven’t painted since I left grad school at RISD, so, a long time away. I always wanted to be a painter, but it took a while to ramp up the courage.” – Jenny Holzer on her new show of paintings of redacted government documents on view at Skarstedt Gallery, which she says are inspired by the Russian Constructivist artist Malevich, and which are being touted as a big deal even though she showed a series of silkscreened Redaction Paintings in 2006 that was included in her Whitney retrospective.
– MUST READ –
Chuck Close Wants Tim Tebow Far (Away) – “Oh, I hate that he’s coming to the Jets,” the artist told New York magazine. “I hate it! He’s going to be in the end zone praying? This is New York. He should go do that in, uh, the Midwest somewhere. I don’t like that at all.” (NYM)
A Slight Career Change – North Korean artist Song Byeok, who once painted propaganda art for Kim Jong Il but now creates burlesques of the “Dear Leader” as a panty-flashing Marilyn Monroe (for instance), is opening an art show in D.C. thanks to support from a Kickstarter campaign. (WaPo)
Standing Up for Frank Gehry – Architect, writer, and U.S. Commission of Fine Arts member Witold Rybczynski has written an op-ed to protest that the Eisenhower family’s hysterical, almost categorical opposition to the plan they commissioned from “our finest living architect” “will ultimately weaken the memorial design.” (NYT)
– ART MARKET –
“The Art Market Is a Myth” – Souren Melikian, the hoary old-guard art market pundit who prides himself on being able to spot a “signature” artwork by any artist of any period (and abhors any stylistic deviations), had this epiphany while touring the aisles of TEFAF and noticing that there are actually “multiple micro-art markets,” wheels within wheels, and universes within universes. (NYT)
Art Dubai Fair a Mixed Bag – The sixth edition of the Middle Eastern art fair continued to be defined by self-censorship when it comes to political art, with exhibitors—which included the Pace Gallery for the first time—alternatively boasting strong sales or complaining that collectors “didn’t understand the prices.” (TAN)
Another New York Gallery Opens in London – Joining Zwirner, Pace, and Gagosian, Upper East Side secondary-market gallery Per Skarstedt has announced that it will also spin out a satellite gallery in London’s increasingly art-crowded Mayfair neighborhood. (Bloomberg)
– IN & OUT –
MoMA curator emeritus John Elderfield, the longtime paintings and sculpture sage who organized the recent de Kooning retrospective, has been hired by Gagosian Gallery to curate “museum-quality” shows there, noting, “things are so different these days as the worlds of museums and galleries keep getting closer and closer.” (NYT)
The conceptual photographer Stan Douglas, whose terrific new show just opened at David Zwirner Gallery, has been named winner of the International Center of Photography‘s prestigious 2012 Infinity Award, to be presented this May.
Hooray! The M. Wells Diner is going to open a permanent “cafeteria-style restaurant” at MoMA PS1 this May, finally giving the avant-garde Quebec-style food lab a new home after it was forced to move last year. (Gallerist NY)
Dubai has announced it will build a new Modern Art Museum & Opera House District near the Burj Khalifa, hoping cultural tourism will help the emirate escape the enormous debt it incurred through overbuilding before the economic crisis hit. (AFP)
– VIDEO –
Want to watch Damien Hirst‘s studio assistants at work creating his paintings, live, always, forever? The artist’s new website has that video as its homepage. Chew on that for a while. (Damienhirst.com)