January 9, 2014 |
The Museum of Modern Art, chasing new square footage less than a decade after its last major expansion opened to the public, has confirmed controversial plans to demolish the former home of the American Folk Art Museum, its neighbor on West 53 rd Street in Manhattan. After a six-month review of a proposed expansion led by the New York architecture firm Diller, Scofidio and Renfro, designers of a museum for Eli Broad that will open later this year on Los Angeles' Bunker Hill, MoMA announced Wednesday it has no practical choice but to raze the Folk Art structure.
December 28, 2013 |
NEW YORK - This has been the season of the concert hall. The one named after Walt Disney turned 10. How that venue has revolutionized musical life in L.A. and beyond has been the subject of much consideration. Though the economy bubbles and bursts, this great space, having lost none of its contemporary luster, continues to inspire an international concert hall building boom. That makes this latest push to get music the heck out of Disney and every other concert hall all the more a remarkable phenomenon in 2013.
December 20, 2013 |
A trove of 200,000 photographic items from the Roy Lichtenstein Foundation is being donated to five institutions around the world, including the Getty Research Institute in Los Angeles, the Museum of Modern Art in New York and the National Gallery of Art in Washington. The collection of photographic material was shot by the late Harry Shunk and Janos Kender, and dates from approximately 1958 to 1973. The two other recipients of the donation are the Centre Pompidou in Paris and the Tate in Britain. The Shunk-Kender trove depicts notable artists and other cultural types in the act of creation.
December 16, 2013 |
NEW YORK - The reports of her death are only slightly exaggerated. The U.S. premiere Friday night of the highly anticipated, all-star, high-culture event “The Life and Death of Marina Abramovic” opened with three actors, wearing masks to represent the Serbian performance artist, lying on top of three coffins. Before the show, director Robert Wilson told a gala dinner crowd assembled in the Park Avenue Armory that he and Abramovic had wanted to work together for a long time, but it was only in 2007 that she inspired him with this request: “I want you to stage my funeral.” The three coffins, he explained, represent the three cities in which she has resided: Belgrade, Amsterdam and New York - and what followed that striking, exquisitely lighted tableau was a two-hour, 40-minute opera-cabaret-dance-oral history about Abramovic's life, from its humble beginnings in Communist Yugoslavia to her rise on the international art scene, to her “death” in 2013 (the program is a broadsheet newspaper with the headline: “Artist Marina Abramovic dies at 67.”)
December 3, 2013 |
The surprise restitution last week of a major Baroque masterpiece looted by the Nazis in 1944 was a stunning finale to a remarkable story. Missing for more than six decades, the bravura painting "Saint Catherine of Alexandria" by Bernardo Strozzi (1581-1644) had been tied up in Italian courts for almost five years. But the sudden return to its rightful owner in Los Angeles also raised a provocative question. The extensive art collection in Florence, Italy, from which the painting had been stolen included 15 canvases by Paul Cézanne, the celebrated French Post-Impressionist commonly regarded as the father of Modern art. As I wrote in a story in September, eight of those Cézanne paintings were bequeathed to "the President of the United States and his successors in office" - paintings that arrived in Washington from Europe in 1951.
November 28, 2013 |
I left "The Art of Rube Goldberg" on the kitchen table one morning to see if my 8-year-old would take the bait. It wasn't long before she was pulling the book closer to study the cartoonist's cockeyed, unnecessarily elaborate contraptions. Then she drew some of her own. Goldberg's inventive designs are perfect spark plugs for the imagination. They turn mundane activities like squeezing orange juice or mailing a letter into long, silly chains of improbable cause and effect. In Goldberg's universe, the simple act of swatting a fly might require a bottle of carbolic acid, a bean shooter, a tub of syrup, a live trout and a baseball bat, among other things.