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Warhol as a piñata, contemporary art in the Dallas Cowboys stadium, and Dennis Hopper at MOCA were among the week’s headlines. Read on for ArtWeLove’s news digest, now also available in email form—bringing a comprehensive roundup of the week’s art developments to your digital doorstep. If you aren't signed up, click here. As always, we welcome your feedback at email@example.com.
JUXTAPOSITION: ART IN UNEXPECTED PLACES, WARHOL AS A PINATA, AND PUBLIC DREAMING IN LOS ANGELES
The grand finale to the Brooklyn Museum’s food-themed gala will be a 20-foot piñata by Jennifer Rubell in the shape of Andy Warhol’s head. Go ahead and take a whack—it’s only filled with desserts! And the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum's stolen Vermeer turned up in the collection of plutocrat C. Montgomery Burns—well, at least on The Simpsons it did. More art in unexpected places—the $1.5 billion Dallas Cowboys stadium has announced site-specific works to be unveiled at the 2011 Super Bowl. Among the 14 artists chosen will be renowned names like Mel Bochner and Olafur Eliasson. New technology melds with Ancient Art in Werner Herzog’s upcoming documentary, which will include 3-D footage of the world’s oldest cave paintings. And Jung’s “collective unconsciousness” will be tested in a grand “public dreaming” experience at UCLA’s Hammer Museum, where participants will receive help recording and documenting their night visions.
CULTURAL CLAIMS: DISPUTED OBJECTS, CONTESTED AUTHORSHIP, AND THE NEA AT CONGRESS
In a testimony before Congress, Rocco Landesman, the chairman for the National Endowment of the Arts, argued that funding the arts makes economic good sense. And the latest in the saga of Getty versus Italy—the Getty will appeal an Italian judge’s decision that the Getty Bronze, an ancient Greek statue titled Victorious Youth, be returned to Italy. The Getty argues that the piece was found outside of Italian waters and that the decision can’t be enforced without the authority of a U.S. court of law. Meanwhile, another U.S. court ruled in favor of the de Young Memorial Museum in San Francisco allowing the museum to keep most of its Oceanic collection. The decision follows a lengthy inheritance battle and a questionable Sotheby’s loan. The disputed objects include the world’s most important private collection of tribal art from Papua New Guinea. And Everett Fahy, the former head of the Met’s European Paintings Department, is convinced that a work attributed to “the workshop of Francesco Granacci” is actually a Michelangelo. He’s published his research in ARTnews.
PHILANTHROPY AND REVELATIONS: THE GETTY, THE KNIGHT FOUNDATION, AND THE WATTS TOWERS
The Getty Museum announced that they received a record number of donated photographs—over 1,000—in 2009, while the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, which sponsors various journalism and cultural initiatives including a $40 million program to unite South Florida through the arts, named a new Vice President of Arts. Dennis Scholl, a philanthropist, art collector, and filmmaker (whose resume includes previous board positions at the Guggenheim and the Tate Modern) will work with leaders in communities across the country where the Knight brothers owned newspapers to fund innovative cultural programs that enhance community engagement. The Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) has pledged to help conserve the Watts Towers, one of the most famous examples of Folk Art, through soliciting private donations and lending their expertise.
CRYSTAL CLEAR ART AT THE SAN ANTONIO PUBLIC LIBRARY AND THE MILAN FURNITURE FAIR
The Linda Pace Foundation recently gifted San Antonio’s Central Library with an artwork made up of over 22,000 crystals by contemporary artist Jesse Amado. Each crystal of Days mark a day in the life of what would have been the 65th birthday of Linda Pace, the late artist, art collector, and philanthropist. The commissioned public work also represents the 15th anniversary of Artpace, an international laboratory dedicated to the creation and advancement of contemporary art. Across the ocean, an exhibit at the Milan Furniture Fair also displays plenty of sparkle. In a project sponsored by Swarovski, the world’s top designers incorporated thousands of crystals into furniture designs and upholstery.
SETTLEMENTS: FRANK GEHRY, NORMAN ROCKWELL, AND JEFFREY DEITCH
MIT and starchitect Frank Gehry settled a three-year old lawsuit involving alleged structural mishaps in the $300 million Gehry-designed Stata Center. Terms of the settlement are unknown although in a statement Gehry said that no money changed hands. A lawsuit over a stolen Norman Rockwell, once owned by Steven Spielberg, was also settled recently. The painting, Russian Schoolroom, was for sale on consignment from its original owner Jack Solomon at a Missouri Gallery when it was taken in 1973. It resurfaced in 1988 at an auction where Judy Goffman Cutler, owner of the American Illustrators Gallery, acquired it. Cutler then sold the painting to her client, Steven Spielberg. In 2007 Jack Solomon filed suit against the FBI and Spielberg but Cutler quickly swapped the painting for one of equal value and took Spielberg’s place in the suit. Three years later, the Court has upheld Cutler’s claim to the work. Jeffrey Deitch confirmed that his first exhibition as director of L.A.’s MOCA will feature a man more famous for his acting than his art and that Julian Schnabel will curate the Dennis Hopper survey to be called “Art Is Life.”
ROOM FOR DEBATE
Was Banksy in town for his movie’s premiere? Rumor has it that the street artist, whose “Exit Through the Gift Shop” opened recently in Los Angeles, is ridiculing superstar artist Jeff Koons via a series of street stencils. Another rumor—members of the Whitney Museum’s board, including the Chairman, are unhappy about an expensive, proposed second site in downtown Manhattan. It’s also about money, at least in part, in Seattle, where locals are protesting a for-profit museum planned for public land. In meetings with city planners, the public overwhelmingly voted against the new museum and its $14 entry fee, favoring public green space instead. In Caracas, Venezuela, the government is financing political works by graffiti artists including a stenciled reproduction of Caravaggio’s David and Goliath by Carlos Zerpathat that depicts a warrior clutching the severed head of Hillary Clinton. Finally, in the biggest single sale of his work, Christie’s will auction dozens of photographs by Irving Penn, one of the most influential photographers of the 20th century.