A1 News Roundup

Louvre Goes Old School With Choice of New Director

Louvre Goes Old School With Choice of New Director
New Louvre director Jean-Luc Martinez


With the combined forces of the market, the zeitgeist, and the winds of pop culture pushing contemporary art to un-heretofore-reached visibility—heck, even the Met is pivoting toward contemporary these days (in a very interesting way)—it's worth remembering that the old guys can still pack a wallop. That was the message sent out by the Louvre last week, when the august Parisian museum announced that the retiring longtime director Henri Loyrettewould be succeeded by Jean-Luc Martinez, the head of the institution's Greek, Etruscan, and Roman antiquities department. It doesn't get much more old-school than that.

So, why pick a classicist to run the world's most famous museum in the 21st century, a time when the institution is planning such futuristic endeavors as launching a satellite into Abu Dhabi? For one thing, French culture remains rather conservative. Le Monde quoted officials stating that picking someone like Pompidou Metz director Laurent Le Bon (a contemporary specialist also in contention for the post) would be like putting "an installation by Jeff Koons opposite the Mona Lisa"—a clear reference to the controversy generated by the 2008 Koons survey at the Château de Versailles

But there's no doubt that the Louvre was also looking at the example of Thomas Campbell, the current Met director who was pulled from its dusty tapestry department and has since ushered in innovation after innovation—from bringing the museum online in unprecedented fashion to acquiring the Whitney's Breuer building and hiring Sheena Wagstaff to overseeing the Alexander McQueen show—and all while remaining deeply attuned to the needs of the museum's historic, encyclopedic collection. Plus, after a year when the Louvre once again emerged as the most-visited museum on the planet, with Leonardo and a new Islamic wing drawing in the crowds, the museum must have concluded that there's little need to gamble on the fickle new.


“There’s lots of things that people don’t understand about the art world. Even if you have money, it doesn’t mean you’re part of the club…. It’s not like there’s some instruction manual when you show up at Barbara Gladstone that explains all this to you. Why are they making it hard for me to buy art? I want to write a big check to this person, and they’re treating me in this way that I don’t quite understand, like they don’t really want my money.”

– BuzzFeed and Huffington Post co-founder Jonah Perettion the difficulties tech millionaires have breaking into the gallery world (they should read our Art 101 guides!


Behind the Rijkmuseum's Makeover —Wim Pijbes, director of the Dutch museum, talks about how its monumental 10-year, $500 million renovation opening in the middle of this month was partly inspired by his tastes as a "foodie," and the hazards of construction in a city of canals ("you cannot dig a hole in the ground without getting wet"). (NYT

Creative Time's Anne Pasternak on Public Art —Christopher Tennant has a lively conversation with the New York nonprofit's founder that touches on the success of Nick Cave's recent Heard NY performance as well as the organization's adventurous Artists on the News publication. (Standard Culture

Beer for the Fine Art Appreciator — In honor of its 25th anniversary, Brooklyn Brewery has invited four local artists—Fred Tomaselli, Joe Amrhein, Elizabeth Crawford, and Roxy Paine—to make special editions of the company’s original Milton Glaser-designed label. (Artnews

Friends in High Places — Some of the Whitney’s biggest art stars are giving back to the institution next month by donating artworks for a set of sales at Sotheby’s on May 14-15 to benefit the museum’s new building being constructed at the foot of the High Line, and so far Jeff Koons, George Condo, Cindy Sherman, Glenn Ligon, and Cy Twombly are among the artists (or estates) that have collectively donated an estimated $8 million worth of art to the sale. (Press release)

Carnegie International List Released — The highly prestigious group show at Pittsburgh's Carnegie Museum of Art—organized this year by Daniel Baumann, Tina Kukielski, and Dan Byers—has announced that the 35 artists featured this time around will include Joel Sternfeld, Pedro Reyes, Yael Bartana, Nicole Eisenman, Paulina Olowska, and more. (Carnegie International

Doug Aitken Destroys 303 Gallery to Save It — In preparation for the gallery's move to new digs, the artist is methodically drilling, hacking, hammering, and otherwise banging away at the structure of the old space as part of his valedictory "100 YRS, Part 2" show. (Artinfo)

What's "Sad" About the New Basquiat Show? — The on-a-roll critic Ben Davis digs into the overflowing survey at Gagosian, which strives to pull the gallery's patented late-career-revival magic with Basquiat's later paintings, but stumbles in part because the works display the flailings of an artist wracked, if not wrecked, by his complicated fame. (Artinfo


How to Collect Emerging Artists? — The Wall Street Journal has a primer on the subject, and it has some good advice (find an upstart gallery that you like and follow their program closely) and some that's more questionable ("befriend artists" with the aim of getting an inside track if their work turns out to be valuable). (WSJ

Snapshot From AIPAD — The photography fair at the Park Avenue Armory brought out glossy work from David Zwirner, Bonni Benrubi Gallery, P.P.O.W., and many more top-notch galleries. (Artinfo

Adele Spends Big for Andy — Grammy- and Oscar-winning singer Adele apparently has a thing for Warhol, shelling out tens of thousands of dollars for a pair of prints from the Pop superstar’s “Endangered Animals” series—and her spending spree isn’t likely to stop soon, since she and her partner, Simon Konecki, hope to add works by Damien Hirst and Banksy to their collection. (Telegraph

Fun New Features to Expect at Frieze NYC — In addition to the standby Frieze Projects and Frieze Sounds, new features at fairs sophomore edition include Liz Glynn’s hidden speakeasy bar, a reincarnation of Gordon Matta-Clark’s restaurant Food, and an online project by acclaimed author Ben Marcus. (Artinfo)

Also at Frieze NYC… Delicious Food! — The fair has improbably topped last year's all-start lineup of indie-darling eateries that will have outposts on Randall's Island, with Mission Chinese and Marlow & Sons joining the party. (Gallerist)

Bushwick Basel Moves to Queens — After last year’s successful fair, the only slightly satirical Bushwick Basel fair will be expanding to a larger venue out in Maspeth, Queens, in order to incorporate the 40 or so participating galleries—including NURTUREart, Storefront Bushwick, and OUTLET Fine Art—that will be participating in this year’s fair, which will again coincide with the Bushwick Open Studios event from May 31st to June 2nd. (Artinfo

Consequences for Hirst Spot Catalogue? — With Damien Hirst’s well-publicized spot paintings receiving their own catalogue raisonné later this spring—a massive 1000-page-plus tome co-published by Gagosian and Hirst’s Other Criteria that will contain a listing, if not an illustration, of each one—some dealers suspect the book may shock some collectors by showing them (only now?) just how similar the pieces are. (TAN)

No One Seems to Know How Big the Art World Is — Following the release of Clare McAndrew’s annual report on the state of the art market at this year’s TEFAF fair, ARTINFO’s Shane Ferro investigated the methodologies behind the results, which have garnered some controversy with regards to the published sizes of the primary and secondary markets. (Artinfo)

Deals For Damaged Goods — Art insurers have tapped into a new market for so-called “salvage art” in the wake of Superstorm Sandy, which has apparently spurred companies like AXA to resell artworks to a growing group of damaged-art collectors. Insurers may gain possession of a work that has been deemed a “total loss” after its owner has been paid its full value. (TAN)

— IN & OUT —

Artspace (yes, that would be us) has acquired VIP Art, the revolutionary online art fair founded in 2011 by dealers James and Jane Cohan and investors Jonas and Alessandra Almgren, with James Cohan joining Artspace's board. (Gallerist

Swiss artist Pipilotti Rist—cited as “one of the most important artists working today” by the jury—will receive this year’s $50,000 Zürich Festival Prize, becoming the first-ever visual artist to win the award, which for the previous seven years has gone to musicians and composers. (Artforum)

MoMA has announced that it will hold its first major exhibition devoted to sound art this summer, with "Soudings: A Contemporary Score," curated by the esteemed Barbara London, opening this August. (NYT

David Zwirner Gallery scored the cover of Billboard magazine for a story about "Coachella's Breakout Kings," though the title probably refers to the member of the band Phoenix standing in the gallery in front of a Dan Flavin rather than Zwirner's growing stable of Minimalist icons. (Gallerist

The New Museum's Rhizome and Tumblr have banded together to launch a new Internet Art Grant, to be doled out by a jury featuring very busy New Museum/Venice Biennale curator Massimiliano Gioni and artist Laurie Anderson, among others. (Gallerist

SculptureCenter's very exciting renovation, to be unveiled in fall 2014, will include "a new 2,000-square-foot addition" that will give the admired Long Island City institution's shows welcome room to stretch out and flex their muscles. (Gallerist

The Liverpool Biennial has named Anthony Huberman, the new director of the CCA Wattis Institute, and Mai Abu ElDahab, a Brussels-based curator, as the curators of its 2014 edition. (Press Release)

Barbara Piasecka Johnson, a Polish art history student who moved to the U.S. in 1968, became a maid at the home of the heir to the Johnson & Johnson fortune, married the 76-year-old Mr. Johnson (the family patriarch, more than twice her age), and then after he died used his inherited wealth to acquire a highly significant  art collection, has passed away at age 76. (NYT)  

 For those who missed it last week, Easter inspired some truly incredible art masterpieces made from Peeps (or "masterpeeps," as they're called in the biz). (WaPo

Watch a video of Jerry Saltz (and Karl Rove) discussing George W. Bush's paintings. (AFC


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