Morning Links: Chinese Censorship Edition

Ai Weiwei in Bejing last year, after a court rejected his appeal on a tax fine. (Ed Jones/AFP/Getty Images)

“[Aby] Rosen is something of a Shiva-like figure in the arts world — hailed and pilloried as both preserver and destroyer.”  His latest art controversy concerns the 33-foot-tall “beyond-naked pregnant woman with an exposed fetus” by Damien Hirst that he has plunked down on his lawn in Old Westbury, N.Y. [NYT] Read More

On View

‘Other Primary Structures’ at the Jewish Museum

Rasheed Araeen, 'First Structure,' 1966-67. (Aicon Gallery/© Rasheed Araeen)

Costa Rican-born German curator Jens Hoffmann’s first effort as deputy director of the Jewish Museum takes on the legacy of one of New York’s most important modern art exhibitions: his museum’s 1966 “Primary Structures.” Organized by Kynaston McShine, “Primary Structures” exhibited works by American and British artists—Donald Judd, Sol LeWitt and Robert Morris among them—who were defining the art we now call Minimalism. Mr. Hoffmann, uninterested in simply recreating the iconic show, instead presents “Other Primary Structures.” Read More


A Peek at the Jewish Museum’s ‘Other Primary Structures’


“Art history’s really depressing,” said Jewish Museum Deputy Director Jens Hoffmann, “because you look back to all these wonderful, very radical art movements that happened and you always feel, ‘Why am I in this moment, and not in Dada or whatever.’” While his new exhibition at the museum may induce nostalgia, “Other Primary Structures” is far from depressing. It’s a tight presentation of Minimalist sculpture from around the globe with more than a few playful works, like wiggling pillars of foam by Filipino artist David Medalla and small aluminum sculptures by Brazilian artist Lygia Clark that viewers are invited to touch and rearrange. Read More


Three New Exhibition Series at the Jewish Museum

Detail of Claire Fontaine's 'Tears,' 2013. (Courtesy the artist)

The leaders of the Jewish Museum, its becoming clear, are an indefatigable bunch. Its deputy director, Jens Hoffmann, has taken to organizing an HUO-style salon at 7 a.m. once a month at venues around town, and today the museum announced it’s at work on no fewer than three new exhibition series that is says “demonstrate [its] commitment to exploring art and culture, historical and contemporary, while infusing it with an up-to-date sensibility and a global perspective.” Read More

human resources

Jewish Museum Hires Daniel S. Palmer as Assistant Curator

Palmer. (Courtesy the Jewish Museum)

The Jewish Museum announced today that it has tapped scholar Daniel S. Palmer to be its Leon Levy Assistant Curator. Mr. Palmer, who previously served as a curatorial research assistant at the Whitney Museum, is the latest in a string of curators with backgrounds in modern and contemporary art hired by the museum. In 2011, the museum tapped Claudia Gould, then the director of ICA Philadelphia, as its new director, and last year it snapped up Jens Hoffmann, the director of CCA Wattis in San Francisco, to be its deputy director for exhibitions and public programs. Read More

On View

‘Jack Goldstein x 10,000′ at the Jewish Museum

Installation view. (Courtesy Bradley Robotham/The Jewish Museum)

If you’re turned off by the bombast of infinitely escalating auction prices and big-tent contemporary fairs, take refuge in the elegant first American retrospective of Jack Goldstein. Organized by Orange County Museum of Art guest curator Philipp Kaiser, and in New York by Jewish Museum Assistant curator Joanna Montoya, the show is the gloomy B-side to the relentless pop staccato of blockbuster contemporary art. Yet artists today owe much to this cult figure. Read More

On View

‘As It Were … So to Speak: A Museum Collection in Dialogue With Barbara Bloom’ at the Jewish Museum

5 Photos

Installation view of 'As It Were ... So to Speak' at the Jewish Museum

Twelve historical glasses from Bohemia, England, New York and the Netherlands ring a table as if set for a toast. Each comes from a different century: the fifth, the 18th, the 19th, the 21st. These are the kinds of objects Barbara Bloom calls “ambassadors.” By placing them in proximity to one another, she creates dialogues across time and place.

Taking a page from Fred Wilson—and another from W. G. Sebald—Ms. Bloom has selected hundreds of objects from the Jewish Museum’s permanent collection that speak to aspects of Jewish life—cups, ketubahs, amulets, Torah reading pointers—and framed them with quotations from figures as diverse as Leonard Cohen, Lou Andreas-Salomé (the first female psychoanalyst), Zola, Nietzsche, Woody Allen and Sigmund Freud. The installation transforms each arrangement of objects and texts into a conversation around a specific theme: luck, libraries, windows. The effect is an essayistic meditation on Jewish identity. Read More


Slowstagram: The Met Reminds Us That Photography Has Always Been a Bag of Tricks

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Unknown, [Man on Rooftop with Eleven Men in Formation on His Shoulders], ca. 1930

It’s easy to think of the ability to alter a photographic image as an achievement of the digital age, but “Faking It: Manipulated Photography Before Photoshop,” at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, proves that recent innovations are only the tip of the iceberg. Tracing the history of doctored images through photography’s century-and-a-half-long history—and using several hundred examples to make her point—the show’s curator, Mia Fineman, argues that photographs and trickery have always gone together. Read More

human resources

Curator Jens Hoffmann Will Be Named a Deputy Director at Jewish Museum

Hoffmann. (Courtesy Wikipedia)

Jens Hoffmann, the director of San Francisco’s Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts, is set to become a deputy director at the Jewish Museum. We first caught wind of a possible move via the Baer Faxt newsletter, and a representative at the museum confirmed today that he will start by the end of the year. Details about his exact title and start date are currently being worked out. Read More