In the Air
Art News & Gossip

In the Air – Art+Auction's Gossip Column

Kiki Smith’s Fountain to Debut at the Girls Club

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.

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Laurie Simmons Uses the Jewish Museum as a Dollhouse For 2015 Show

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. Continue Reading

Dia Art Foundation Names Jessica Morgan Director

Tate Modern curator Jessica Morgan is set to take up a new post as head of the Dia Art Foundation. Morgan, who has been at the Tate for the past 12 years, replaces Philippe Vergne, who departed for LA MOCA this past January. Morgan will continue Dia’s recent efforts to establish a space in Manhattan and nurture works by living artists. “[It is] all the more vital that Dia retain its significance in terms of its relationship to living artists,” Morgan told the New York Times. “But it has to be a relationship that’s relevant to the current moment. It can’t rest on a notion of its past.”

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Richmond’s ICA Nabs Lauren Ross as First Curator

The Philbrook Museum of Art’s modern and contemporary curator Lauren Ross is set to head east to be the very first curator at Virginia Commonwealth University’s still-under-construction Institute for Contemporary Art (ICA). Though the ICA doesn’t open until 2016, Ross is set to begin working on its programming next month. This isn’t the first time Ross has been an institution’s inaugural curator — she was the High Line’s first curator from 2009 to 2011.

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Brooklyn Museum Head Arnold L. Lehman Will Retire Next Year

Big news from the Brooklyn Museum this morning: Arnold L. Lehman, the institution’s director for 17 years, is set to retire in mid-2015. “The average age of visitors in 1997 was around 58,” Lehman told the Times. “A couple of years ago, it was about 35. Now, when I look around, I feel like everybody’s great-grandfather.” A successor search committee is being assembled, according to recently appointed board chair Elizabeth A. Sackler. Read all about his long and controversial tenure (Animal dung! Curator resignations! A modern glass canopy!) in the Times.

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Christie’s Offers Extravagant James Bond Swag for “Goldfinger”’s 50th Anniversary

Good news for James Bond fans with deep pockets and a pent up desire to play with their hero’s toys: To celebrate the 50th anniversary of “Goldfinger,” Christie’s will be holding an online auction from September 8 to 17 featuring a one-of-a-kind one-third-scale replica of 007’s infamous Aston Martin DB5. Not only does the model include a list of gadgets that would make Q blush — “radio controlled machine guns, bullet proof shield and revolving number plate,” according to ArtDaily — but it’s also signed by notorious production designer Sir Ken Adam. And to top it all off, the car is entirely plated in 24-carat gold (because, y’know, “Goldfinger,” right?).

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LA’s Natural History Museum Head Jane Pisano to Retire

After 13 years as president of LA’s Natural History Museum, Jane Pisano has announced that she is going to retire as soon as a successor is found. According to a profile in the LA Times, Pisano was responsible for the museum’s “financial recovery” in the early aughts and she also saw attendance increase by 70 percent at the Page Museum and the La Brea Tar Pits over the course of her time there. “Everything I hoped we could accomplish when I arrived here, we’ve done,” Pisano said. “I think it’s time for a new generation of leadership. It’s time for someone else to lead the charge.”

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Here’s the 2014 Untitled Exhibitor List

The Miami 2014 exhibitor lists keep on coming. Just this morning, Art Basel in Miami Beach released their whopping 267-gallery list and this afternoon beachside fair Untitled has sent out news of its participants. 96 galleries hailing from 18 countries will set up shop in Untitled’s breezy tent from December 3 through 7.

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Tom of Finland Stamps a Massive, Strapping Success

Back in April, when the Finnish Posti first announced their intentions to produce a Tom of Finland stamp, even those excited by the idea reacted with some degree of surprise. After all, the work of artist Touko Laaksonen, now infamous as “Tom of Finland” for his homoerotic drawings of muscular and oft-mustachioed men, seems more likely to push the envelope than adorn one. Still, the Posti went ahead as planned with the three-stamp collection designed by artist Timo Berry, and following a flurry of pre-orders — from 178 countries, so many their website crashed — the stamps quickly became the post office’s best-sellers to date. Yesterday, the stamps were officially released to riotous approval, perhaps the only complaint apparent thus far the missed opportunity to make them lickable.

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Russ & Daughters to Open Jewish Museum Outpost

Fine Jewish dining will meet Jewish fine art when iconic New York eatery Russ & Daughters sets up shop at the Jewish Museum in early 2015. Both a 75-seat kosher café and take-out counter will occupy the Solomonoff Architecture Studio-designed lower level of the museum and the décor will take cues from Russ & Daughters’s Lower East Side shop. Noshers can expect to find classics like bagel sandwiches, knishes, herring, egg creams, and traditional breads.

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