- In case you missed it, there’s been some controversy over Helen Frankenthaler’s role in the NEA. The Abstract Expressionist painter, who died last Tuesday, had purportedly tried to block funding for artists whose work was different from her own.
Her voice inthe 1990s “culture wars,” as well as her position as advisor on the board of the NEA,led to deep budget cuts and a ban on grants to individual artists. In a piece for the Times, she warned that the Federal government was supporting work of “increasingly dubious quality”– this, in reference to Robert Mapplethorpe and Andres Serrano. [LATimes, Wiki] [EDIT 1/9/12: Frankenthaler's essay and position as advisor on the board of the NEA were not singlehandedly responsible for deep budget cuts, though budget cuts ensued.]
- Chinese President Hu Jintao urges his nation to take “forceful measures” in defense against Western culture, the spread of which represents “hostile forces…intensifying the strategic plot of Westernizing and dividing China.” [NYT]
- The Clarke Museum plans to eliminate the position of curator/director. [times-standard] [Via: Corinna Kirsch] [EDIT 1/9/12: Note: this link refers to the Clarke Historical Museum in Eureka, CA, NOT The Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute in Williamstown, MA.]
- Performance artist Colette, who gained visibility in the 1970s and 80s, believes Lady Gaga is ripping her off. In a recent video, she staged a protest outside Gaga’s window display at Barney’s in a Victorian-style Bo Peep outfit, holding a sign which reads “thanks a lot!” She may, actually, have a case; according to Jeffrey Deitch, her ideas and aesthetic have made a lasting impact on commercial media, and Gaga’s window display bears more than passing resemblance to a Colette installation. [Hyperallergic]
- Last chance to ride the slide: the New Museum has extended its Carsten Höller show by a week. [L Mag]
- Inspired by Paddy’s 5 Trends to Watch For in 2012, Benjamin Sutton has offered his own. Brace yourself: dino art is due for a comeback. [L Mag]