From Rockefeller Center to Madison Square Park and the Park Avenue median, public art has become increasingly prominent around New York. Among the memorable projects in recent years were Christo and Jeanne Claude’s The Gates winding through Central Park, Olafur Eliasson’s New York City Waterfalls edging the lower harbor, and Tatzu Nishi’s Discovering Columbus, a living room constructed around the column-top statue of the explorer at Columbus Circle, a hot ticket earlier this year. Thanks to nonprofits including the Public Art Fund and Creative Time, these and other temporary installations provide aesthetic enjoyment and edification to residents and sightseers, and do so free of charge. Their presence reflects the ethos of a sophisticated democratic city that prides itself as the world leader in cultural vibrancy and innovation. Read More
Robert Storr, dean of the Yale School of Art, weighs in on the whole L.A. MOCA debacle over at HuffPost. He kicks off his piece by stating that he’s read Eli Broad’s self-help book, The Art of Being Unreasonable, and asks how someone as deft at business as Mr. Broad could be so “inept and self-defeating” at philanthropy. Ouch.
Mr. Storr continues to paint Mr. Broad and his “enabler” Jeffrey Deitch as two scheming characters in a Shakespearean tragedy whose judgment, clouded by self-interest, is causing the downfall of a great institution. (“Dismissing Paul Schimmel in favor of Deitch is like cashing in all your value stocks and doubling down on junk bonds for the sake of a long-shot windfall.”) It’s quite a read. Read More
On the cusp of the release of the documentary about his life and work, Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry, the artist and activist Ai Weiwei published a diatribe in The Guardian against the Olympic games. Mr. Ai, who still cannot travel outside the country, explains why he withdrew from participating in the opening ceremony at the Beijing 2008 Olympics (“I only withdrew from participating in fake performances laden with propaganda”), which he says have become commercialized and have strayed from the humanistic motives that initially drove the ancient competition. Read More
The ever-enterprising Architectural Digest has just published a post called “The Inquisitive Guest,” for which it asked a variety of art types, like MoMA PS1 director Klaus Biesenbach and artists Maurizio Cattelan, Marina Abramovic and George Condo, about their favorite places for viewing art outdoors. Their answers are astounding. Which artist loves the Tuileries in Paris? Who considers Pompeii a sculpture garden? And who could do without art in nature altogether? Read on. Read More
In an effort to “set the record straight” about the departure of Paul Schimmel from the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art, which we reported here, Eli Broad, wrote an op-ed piece for the Los Angeles Times. Mr. Broad, who was the founding chairman of the board of trustees of the museum (he’s now a lifetime trustee there), suggests Mr. Schimmel may not have been staging shows that were popular enough or cost-effective enough considering the museum’s history of fiscal woes. Read More