Current Visual Arts News


Week of September 10–16

UK public sculptures are ‘plop art’ says artist Rachel Whiteread

Financial Times

 London’s streets are blighted by ill-considered public art commissions that have no relationship with their surroundings and are largely ignored by passers-by, according to one of Britain’s most celebrated artists.

Rachel Whiteread, who in 1993 became the first woman to win the Turner Prize, said much public sculpture was “plop art” — work situated in the wrong place and not thought through. …


MoMA loans artworks to Paris museum for major show

The Straits Times

Salvador Dali's The Persistence Of Memory and Andy Warhol's Campbell's Soup Cans will be among iconic works from The Museum of Modern Art in New York (MoMA) featured in a blockbuster show opening in Paris next month.

With about 200 works, the show traces the nearly 90-year history of MoMA's collection, from early modern art to abstract expressionism, minimalism, pop art and digital works. …


Internationally Renowned Artist Theaster Gates to Launch Lunder Institute at Colby College

Colby College

Theaster Gates, an acclaimed social practice installation artist, will hold the first residency at the Lunder Institute for American Art at Colby College, officially opening the institute as its inaugural speaker Sept. 19.

Gates, who revitalizes neighborhoods by combining art and urban planning, will engage with Colby students in their classes. Inspired by Gates’s innovative practice, …


Expo Chicago brings world's art galleries to Navy Pier


Expo Chicago will bring more than 135 contemporary arts galleries to Navy Pier this week.

The annual arts exhibition will feature galleries from 25 countries, including Austria, Brazil, China, England, France, Greece, Italy, Japan, Korea,  Norway, Portugal, Singapore, South Africa, Spain and The Netherlands. It starts Wednesday and runs through Sunday at Navy Pier’s Festival Hall, 600 E. Grand Ave. …


Far-Right Criticism Shuts Down Brazil’s Largest Ever Queer Art Exhibition


On Sunday, Santander Cultural unilaterally shut down Queermuseum after conservative critics accused it of promoting blasphemy and pedophilia. …


The Australian artist who captured the horror of 9/11 on film

ABC Online

… What [Chris Hopewell] captured is now one of the most well-known videos of the horrific events of that New York autumn morning.

"The second plane came in and that was captured and that was horrific," he said.

Hopewell kept his camera running for six hours, and ultimately captured both towers collapsing.

But it was the vision of United Airlines Flight 175 crashing into the South Tower that was played around the globe again and again over the coming weeks and months as the world took in the significance of what had happened. …


Provocative Nat Turner-Inspired Portraits Fuel Debate After Their Removal


Following an employee complaint, Stephen Towns removed his paintings from his solo show at Rosenberg Gallery. The decision has since inspired some much-needed dialogue. …


LA’s New Contemporary Art Museum Celebrates a Flexible, Collectionless Model


The past year has seen the opening of no fewer than three new major arts institutions in Los Angeles, beginning with the Main Museum last year, followed by the Marciano Foundation this past May. The newest addition is the Institute of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (ICA LA), which officially opens on September 9 in a converted clothing factory on the edge of the Arts District. In some sense, the ICA LA is part of LA’s current artistic and cultural development that began with the Broad Museum two years ago. In another sense, however, it offers quite a different model from its predecessors, favoring nimbleness and flexibility over stability and pedigree. …


Giant portrait of toddler peers over U.S.-Mexico border wall

Chicago Tribune

photo of a giant toddler stands in Mexico and peers over a steel wall dividing the country from the United States.

The boy appears to grip the barrier with his fingers, leaving the impression the entire thing could be toppled with a giggle.

A French artist who goes by the moniker "JR" erected the cut-out of the boy that stands nearly 65 feet tall and is meant to prompt discussion of immigration. …



Week of September 3 – 9

It’s Time to Reinvent the Art Fair

… As art fairs have grown in number, size, and stature they have also, paradoxically, become less accessible, inclusive, and welcoming. Some fairs have elected to curtail public days and opening hours and reduced public programs.

Does this trend make for a more profitable and sustainable fair model or is it a short-sighted development, cutting-off popular life-energy and eliminating an essential ingredient of a great fair? I [Benjamin Genocchio] believe there is a vast and significantly untapped popular interest in the world of art that could also prove to be the force behind a new chapter in fair evolution. …


6 Valuable Works of Art Discovered in People's Attics and Garages

Mental Floss

… Here are six instances in which long-lost paintings surfaced to prominence after years of being stashed in garages, attics, or basements. In addition to being amazed, maybe you'll gain the motivation to clean your own storage spaces in search of forgotten treasures. …


On a mission to make Roger Brown a household name

Crain's Chicago Business

The late Imagist Roger Brown is one of the most underappreciated artists to come out of Chicago. Gallery owner Kavi Gupta wants to change that.


Instagram, Blogs and Selfie Sticks as New Tools for Conversations About Art

Newcity Chicago

… Naomi Beckwith, curator at Chicago’s Museum of Contemporary Art, and Romi Crawford, associate professor of Visual and Critical Studies at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, talked with us about how technology can shape both the images and ideas around art, and the challenges and opportunities that future curators and critical thinkers will face with these new platforms. …



The Brooklyn Rail

… All cultures have thriving subcultures that are both embraced and reviled by the moral systems that seek to control popular dialogue, but British queer culture is particularly fascinating with its chain of interlinking artistic and literary circles over the 106 years chronicled in Queer British Art. The Pre-Raphaelites, The Bright Young Things, and the Bloomsbury Group, among others, combine with the gender-bending traditions of British music hall and men’s room cruising to create a scintillating and potent soup of intellectual and amorous possibilities. …


Commentary: Look at the arts, and you'll see the feeling of the nation is dislocation

Chicago Tribune

… slipped between ads for deep-dish pizza and Houston disaster relief, comes a comically prosaic fake-news headline: “Woman Spills Coffee” and “Nonsense Halted Amid Safety” and, more pointedly, “Clocks No Longer Tell Time” and “New Plan to Replace Old Plan.” Maybe you nodded. Maybe you thought nothing at all.

Either way, these messages, a temporary installation from British artist David Shrigley (through Sept. 17), and part of the EXPO Chicago art fair, are not advertising anything. …


Art Provocateurs Hang “Ku Klux Klowns” in Virginia’s Capital


This morning, residents of Richmond, Virginia, awoke to a startling sight: eight effigies of clowns dressed as members of the Ku Klux Klan hanging by their necks from a tree in historical Bryan Park.

The provocative guerrilla art installation was created by the anonymous artist collective Indecline — which scored a major viral hit last summer with its nude statues of then presidential candidate Donald Trump — and is cheekily titled “Ku Klux Klowns.” …


MCA's sensitive $16M renovation reflects how audiences interact with art, and each other

Chiago Tribune

… In their modestly-scaled but exemplary $16 million renovation of the common spaces inside the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, Los Angeles architects Sharon Johnston and Mark Lee have wielded a scalpel with admirable precision. Yet their revamp, which was done in cooperation with other designers, is anything but clinical. …


A Garden of Possibilities at the Palestinian Museum


The new museum explores the living culture of Jerusalem, which curator Reem Fadda sees as a city that exemplifies the beginning and end of globalism.


Feedback from Museum Goers May Be Changing the Art World


… Recent attempts by curators and directors to join the tradition of using art to spark dialogue around questions of social justice, well-intentioned as they may have been, have varied in success. Some exhibits have been so maligned by the public as to influence institutions to overhaul their approach to programming altogether, leaving leadership changes in the wake. …


Parsing the Plastic Products of Consumerism at Skupltur Projekte Münster


In this edition of the German decennial for public art, one wonders whether Skulptur Projekte has conquered the Westphalian establishment, or the establishment has co-opted Skulptur Projekte.


The Gray Market: Why High Rents Make the Art World Boring (and Other Insights)

artnet news

… our columnist explores how gentrification and soaring real estate prices are pushing risky and experimental art aside.…


An Artist-Run Nonprofit Helps Open Up Myanmar to Contemporary Art


New Zero Art Space, led by the artist Aye Ko, emblematizes the country’s emergence into the international contemporary art world.


Robert Hughes Is Not My Dad


An Australian writer contends with the contradictory legacy of his home country’s most famous art critic.




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