Weekend Reads

The Great Björkapalypse of 2015, the New Whitney Building, & More

The Great Björkapalypse of 2015, the New Whitney Building, & More
Nothing will be the same

What happened this week? Oh nothing, just another ordinary week in the art wo... oh my god, our greatest bastion of contemporary art is suddenly in mortal peril! The hordes have taken to the streets! Can art itself survive?

It's a Björktastrophe –  Perhaps if you are dead you haven't heard about the current Björkmageddon that has descended upon MoMA and Klaus Biesenbach in the wake of Christian Viveros-Fauné's phillipic demanding the snow-white scalp of the MoMA PS1 director for his survey of the Icelandic pop star. Everybody's so angry! Is Biesenbach a legitimately visionary curator, responsible for KW Berlin, the Berlin Biennale, the aggressive and splendid remaking of PS1, and excellent shows like "EXPO"? Yes, but who cares? There's a celebrity involved! There's blood in the water! Everyone pile on! Get the pageviews! Blood, bloood, bloooooooood! (Incidentally, we hear tickets for the show have sold out every single day since its opening.) (Artnet)

The Emerging Art Auctioneer – New Phillips CEO Edward Dolman—formerly of the Qatar Museum Authority, and before that Christie's—gives champagne to the press, doesn't like online, and wants to make his auction house "a very serious and real part of the art community... not just as auctioneers, but broader." (Artnews)

Emerging Market – In Bloomberg Businessweek, James Tarmy takes an in-depth look at the sudden spike in prices for works by Gutai artist Kazuo Shiraga, tracing it back to an influential group of collectors, dealers and advisors that includes Howard Rachofsky, Fergus McCaffrey, and Allan Schwartzman. (Bloomberg Businessweek)

Behind Closed Doors – Carol Vogel gets an early peek at the new Whitney (which opens to the public May 1). Among the insights: the inaugural exhibition will include an homage to the Whitney Museum predecessor the Whitney Studio Club, and wall labels will list artists’ places of birth and death in an effort to highlight the international roots of much “American” art. As curator Scott Rothkopf tells Vogel, "We’re trying to signal in a concrete way that who an American artist is has always been open to question.” (NYT)

Rubens or Rubenesque? – A charming portrait of Rubens’s daughter Clara Serena, formerly attributed to a “follower of Rubens” and deaccessioned by the Met in 2013 has been authenticated by the Rubenshuis in Antwerp, the Art Newspaper reports, and will go on view there starting this weekend in a show called “Rubens in Private: The Master Portrays his Family.” (TAN)

The Bubble Abides – Elvia Wilk recounts the “totally far out” history of Viennese design and architecture group Haus-Rucker-Co, best known for their spherical inflatable structures and space-age headwear. Started in 1967 with the stated (and oh-so-‘60s) mission to “expand consciousness” through their objects and continuing in various forms until 1992, the group’s best-known projects include Flyhead (1968), a plastic mask with two round lobes reminiscent of an insect’s compound eyes, and The Roomscraper, a 14-meter inflatable middle finger. Wilk points our that these bubbles, which read as retro-futurist imaginings a-la The Jetsons, can be thought of as necessary rejoinders to the decidedly non-eco-conscious architecture that continues to characterize the field to this day. (Frieze d/e)


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