After four decades of acquiring African American art, Bill Cosby and his wife Camille are loaning their once-private collection to the Smithsonian this fall. Featuring more than 300 heretofore unexhibited artworks (save, apparently, for one), Cosby’s collection will be on view alongside the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African Art in an exhibition titled “Conversations: African and African American Artworks in Dialogue,” which will open on November 9 and remain through early 2016. Notable names in Cosby’s collection reportedly include Faith Ringgold, Augusta Savage, Beauford Delaney, Henry Ossawa Tanner, and Jacob Lawrence.
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If the study of art history has taught us anything, it’s that artists’ behind-the-scenes dramas are often at least as interesting as the art itself. Enter “Effie Gray,” the true story of the eponymous young woman (Dakota Fanning) who married art critic John Ruskin (Greg Wise), only to find that he refused to consummate the marriage — “he had imagined women were quite different to what he saw I was,” Effie later wrote — spurring her to embark on an affair with the painter John Millais. Written by co-star Emma Thompson, the film spent a significant amount of time bogged down in two separate plagiarism suits from playwrights, which precluded its debut on the festival circuit. Having finally found favorable rulings, however, ”Effie Gray” is now well on its way to an October 10 U.K. release with its first full trailer, below. Though the film still has yet to secure an official release date in the U.S., filled out with such a stellar cast as Julie Waters, James Fox, and Robbie Coltrane, among others, it’s worth hoping that this tale, much like its protagonist, is able to transcend a rocky start.
Last month, news came out that Amy Winehouse was going to be immortalized in brass with a life-size sculpture designed by Scott Eaton. Yesterday, the statue was unveiled in London by the late singer’s home near Camden market on what would have been her 31st birthday. “I’ll be coming to visit it all the time,” her father, Mitch Winehouse, told the Guardian. “It was difficult to see the sculpture at first but I’m getting used to it. It looks just beautiful.”
More news in the lawsuit between German art collector Bert Kreuk and artist Danh Vo: Over the weekend, Kreuk reached out to us with a response to the Danh Vo letter we published on Friday. According to an email from Kreuk, Vo’s letter is an “inaccurate and misleading presentation of the facts.” Read Kreuk’s full response below.
Nonprofit arts center Eyebeam has announced its three Fall/Winter 2014 residents, each of whom will receive $5,000 to create new artworks that combine digital techniques and community activism. In light of Eyebeam’s relocation to Sunset Park, Brooklyn this past July, the theme of the residences is “Eyebeam on the Move,” asking the artists to engage collaboratively and critically with the space’s new surroundings, evoking the sociopolitical potential of technology.
At the end of last week, news came out that German art collector Bert Kreuk (who is notorious for flipping works) is suing artist Danh Vo for allegedly not fulfilling his order for a sculpture that was meant to be shown at the Hague’s Gemeentemuseum last year. Now, Vo is speaking out about the case via a letter sent to the press by his New York gallery Marian Goodman. Read the full statement below.
Imagine you’re a high-profile chef and you’ve been given the task of creating a menu themed on David Bowie, an artist with decades of iconic persona-swapping and hundreds of song titles just waiting to be riffed on. Is it too much to hope that your brain would immediately fizz over with puns — “Cracked Peppercorn Actor,” “Heathen (The Fries),” “Teenage Wildfowl,” even a simple “Rock ‘n’ Roll Soup-n-salad”? Apparently so, if you’re Wolfgang Puck: To accompany the MCA Chicago’s upcoming “David Bowie Is” exhibition, opening on September 23, the museum’s outpost of Puck’s Café released a special theme menu that is just one glaring missed opportunity after another.
Artist Kiki Smith has designed a custom fountain as a gift to the Lower Eastside Girls Club — an organization that runs dynamic after-school, weekend, and summer programs for local girls and young women — in honor of the Lower Eastside Girls Club Center for Community, the building on Avenue D between 7th and 8th Streets that the group moved into in 2013 as its first and only permanent home. The sculpture will be featured in the building’s outdoor courtyard, underwritten by The Philip and Janice Levin Foundation. Next week, Smith will join director of the Andy Warhol Museum Eric Shiner at the Center as part of a special private dedication for the piece. Fountain was custom designed by Kiki Smith as a gift to The Lower Eastside Girls Club in honor of the new building.
Remember that great replica of the Jewish Museum that was part of the institution’s restaging of “Primary Structures” earlier this year? Turns out the museum (in a stroke of brilliance) invited Laurie Simmons to use it as the backdrop for a series of photographs that will be displayed in a show at the museum later this year. In “Two Girls/1966,” Simmons uses the structure as a dollhouse in which two fictional women play out a series of imagined moments. Inspired by her own adolescence, the project is “a visual reimagining of Simmons’s teenage-self visiting that early survey of minimal forms,” according to press materials. The works will be on view from March 13 through August 9. (more…)