In the Air
Art News & Gossip

In the Air – Art+Auction's Gossip Column

Creative Bonuses Lure Top Museum Directors

MFA Boston

Last week, the art dealer and historian Bendor Grosvenor proposed a “revolution in leadership” at British art museums, in the face of state-funding cuts. “As sad as it may be, our galleries have no choice but to learn from the American way,” he wrote. By the “American way,” Grosvenor means aggressive donor campaigns and more social media outreach. But it turns out that the American way could be synonymous, too, with creative add-ons to compensate directors, as reported by the Boston Globe this week. Digging deep into Boston nonprofits’ finances, the Globe brings to light the bonuses enjoyed by the cultural leaders in the city, which include brokering mortgages, generous stipends, and covering travel expenses of spouses. It’s all part of the strategy to woo and maintain top talent, trustees and board members say.
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UAE Brings 14-Artist Group Show to Venice Biennale

The United Arab Emirates’ (UAE) pavilion at the 2015 Venice Biennale will showcase the works of 14 Emerati artists, curated by Sheikha Hoor Bint Sultan Al Qasimi, president and director of the Sharjah Art Foundation and first Emerati curator of the UAE pavilion since its establishment in 2009. Titled “1980 – Today: Exhibitions in the United Arab Emirates,” the show is designed to highlight the oft overlooked history and development of art in the region. Names of note among the group include Hassan Sharif and Abdullah Al Saadi, who recently appeared in the New Museum’s “Here and Elsewhere” exhibition on contemporary Arab art, and Mohammed Kazem, who also showed at last year’s Venice Biennale. All three will also exhibit among the 50 artists at the Sharjah Biennial in March. Also on view in the pavilion will be Ahmed Al Ansari, Moosa Al Halyan, Mohammed Al Qassab, Abdul Qader Al Rais, Mohammed Abdullah Bulhiah, Salem Jawhar, Abdulraheem Salim, Obaid Suroor, Dr. Mohamed Yousif, and Abdulrahman Zainal.
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Shandaken Project Opens New Residency at Storm King

Applications opened today for the Shandaken Project’s new residency program at the Storm King Art Center. Aptly titled “The Shandaken Project at Storm King,” the new program offers 15 two- to six-week residencies at the 500-acre Storm King campus in New Windsor, New York, allowing three artists on site at a time from June to September. Its namesake program in the Catskills town of Shandaken will accordingly be suspended. “Offering more artists the chance to work on the grounds of a world-renowned sculpture park is indescribably exciting,” said founding director Nicholas Weist. “The Shandaken Project is honored to become a part of Storm King’s already important history of supporting artists” — that is, including Alexander Calder, Andy Goldsworthy, Zhang Huan, Isamu Noguchi, Claes Oldenburg, Richard Serra, and Ursula von Rydingsvard, among others. A link to the application can be found on both the Shandaken and Storm King websites; submissions close on February 20 and awardees will be announced in March.

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Considering the Artist as Debtor at Cooper Union

First came the artist as madman, then as producer, then, in the 21st century, as debtor. So declared Coco Fusco in the opening remarks of a conference last Friday at Cooper Union. Co-organized by Fusco with the activist Noah Fisher, “The Artist as Debtor: A Conference about the Work of Artists in the Age of Speculative Capitalism” sought to assess the relationship between art-making and the various manifestations of debt in what one speaker, NYU sociologist Andrew Ross, called our present “creditocracy.”

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NADA and Art Cologne Name Exhibitors for COLLABORATIONS

Art Cologne and NADA are joining forces again this year to present the second edition of COLLABORATIONS at the 49th edition of the fair, which runs from April 16 to 19. As its name suggests, the co-organized section highlights collaborative projects, whether that be a booth featuring two galleries or a single gallery presenting a multi-artist piece. This year, 32 exhibitors will share 22 booths, including a survey of Neo-avantgarde and post-conceptual Hungarian art, courtesy of Budapest’s acb Gallery, Kisterem, and Vintage. Check out the full exhibitor list, below.

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Instagrams of the Art World: Museum Selfies, TGIF, and More

To celebrate #MuseumSelfieDay, Jeanette Hayes (jeanettehayes) got affectionate with this Adriaen Van Utrecht fish at the Museum of Fine Arts in Ghent, Belgium.

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Theaster Gates Shares Artes Mundi Cash Winnings

Winner of the £40,000 Artes Mundi award, artist Theaster Gates, says he will split the cash prize with the nine other nominees, according to the BBC. Those shortlisted artists for the largest arts prize in the UK include: Carlos Bunga (Portugal), Karen Mirza and Brad Butler (UK), Omer Fast (Israel), Sanja Iveković (Croatia), Ragnar Kjartansson (Iceland), Sharon Lockhart (USA), Renata Lucas (Brazil), and Renzo Martens (The Netherlands).

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Elizabeth Jaeger: Blobs, Stretchers, Drunk Guys

“This fall I was at a fancy party where some guy passed out cold behind me. He was standing there, and then just fell over on his face,” writes Elizabeth Jaeger in an artist’s statement for her current show at Dallas’ And Now, on view through February 21.  ”It was one of those incidents where you hear a loud crash, spin around and it takes a few seconds to decipher what you’re looking at… before you panic and try to help. In that moment, before reacting, all I could see was this mysterious fleshy blob draped across the furniture — and I’m not proud of it, but I just stared at him for a second, surprised at how strangely this resembled my sculpture.”
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Walker Center Plans May Arts Journalism Conference

Quick public service announcement: The Walker Art Center in Minneapolis will host a conference on “Arts Journalism and Criticism in a Digital Age,” if that’s your bag, from May 28 to 30. The talks will cover topics ranging from what it means to be a “professional” arts writer today and the financial (in)stability of the trade to artists distributing their message through online platforms.

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Duke Curator Appointed Artistic Director of Prospect 4

The Prospect New Orleans triennial has announced that Duke University curator Trevor Schoonmaker will head its fourth iteration, Prospect.4, in fall 2017, succeeding Prospect.3 artistic director Franklin Sirmans. The appointment of Schoonmaker, who presently serves as chief curator and Patsy R. and Raymond D. Nasher Curator of Contemporary Art at Duke, suggests that the biennial remains committed to fostering a regionally-oriented perspective; in a release today, Prospect noted Schoonmaker’s accomplishments as a contemporary art curator as well as his long-term commitment to the American South. Schoonmaker’s record at Duke includes exhibitions featuring Andy Warhol and Wangechi Mutu, along with less traditional curatorial projects, like a celebration of the life of the Nigerian Afrobeat pioneer Fela Kuti.

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