From the category archives:

Newswire

What Happens Now That Peter Brant Officially Owns a Big Chunk of the Art Media Landscape?

by Rea McNamara on June 3, 2016
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The concentration of media ownership is never a good thing. Integration leads to anticompetitive behaviour in the marketplace — especially among publications owned by the same parent company. So should the art world be concerned by the recent news that Brant Publications, owned by powerhouse collector Peter Brant, now owns all the assets of Art in America, The Magazine Antiques, Modern Magazine and ARTnews, which joins his flagship, Interview Magazine?

It depends on how you look at it. Brant was already a majority stakeholder, which gave him full control over the companies. In July 2015, as the Observer reported, Brant Publications sold its 100% ownership of Art in America to Artnews S.A., the publicly-traded company based in Warsaw, Poland that owned ARTnews. BMP Media, a Brant subsidiary then purchased a 60% stake in ARTnews for $16.9 million.

So the only difference now is that he owns 100% of the stock. The question then arises: now that ARTnews is under private ownership, how will that impact its coverage moving forward, especially since it’s no longer a publicly-held media entity?

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This is What Accessible, Barrier-Free Curating Looks Like

by Rea McNamara on May 27, 2016
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Toronto, as a whole, is not a very accessible city. While institutions like the Art Gallery of Ontario have multi-sensory and ASL interpreter tours, there are still stairs everywhere, and it’s not uncommon for smaller galleries or artist-run spaces to apologetically note their washrooms aren’t wheelchair accessible.

Over the past five years, though, there’s been a rise in art that addresses disabilities and madness, not to mention a demand that its paces are truly barrier-free. Last month, Harbourfront Center mounted Cripping the Stage: A Disability Arts Cabaret featuring local disabled artists like jes sachse, Syrus Marcus Ware and Lynx Sainte-Marie.

The event was co-presented by the British Council and Tangled Art + Disability. The local performing arts cum multidisciplinary non-profit supports artists with disabilities, and now has a new exhibition space. And it’s not just any space. They’ve moved into 401 Richmond, a building filled with high profile artist-run centers like A Space, YYZ and Gallery 44. It’s an entrenched arts hub that’s doesn’t just give a gallery space to any organization.  

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Is 2016 the new 1994? Feminism in the Art World

by Emily Colucci on May 26, 2016
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Is recent art history repeating itself? An increasingly long roster of new all-women group exhibitions and their corresponding press seem to suggest so. From blue-chip stalwarts Hauser Wirth & Schimmel and Saatchi to smaller project and artist-run spaces to last night’s Marc Straus opening If Only Bella Abzug Were Here, are all-female group shows an indication of a permanent commitment to gender equality in the art world or is it just another doomed-to-disappear trend?

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Claire Danes to Host New Art21 Program

by Michael Anthony Farley on May 26, 2016
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This is exciting. Claire Danes, Emmy and Golden Globe winner of My So-Called Life fame, will be hosting a new program from Art21: Art in the 21st Century.

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Herzog & de Meuron’s Tate Modern Expansion Looks Straight Out of Star Wars

by Michael Anthony Farley on May 25, 2016
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Following the trend of art museums expanding into weird pyramid shapes, the Tate Modern has completed a 10 story addition by Herzog & de Meuron. Today, they released images from architectural photographer Iwan Baan. And of all the art pyramids out there, the force is strong with this one.

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Three Georgia Politicians Think A Porta-Potty Would Be Better Than Art AIDS America

by Emily Colucci on May 24, 2016
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Who would have thought 90’s nostalgia would have resurrected the Culture Wars? Following the Catholic League’s pearl-clutching over Mark Ryden’s perceived “very anti-Christian and anti-Catholic” paintings at the Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art’s exhibition Turn the Page: The First Ten Years of Hi-Fructose, a group of local Georgia politicians are up in arms over Art AIDS America at the Zuckerman Museum of Art at Kennesaw State University [NSFW image featured]

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Catholic League: Mark Ryden Eucharist Painting is Like a Girl in Hijab with Machete

by Michael Anthony Farley on May 19, 2016
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In response to a controversial Mark Ryden painting at the Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art, The Catholic League President Bill Donohue sent MOCA Director Debi Gray a letter describing a painting to offend Muslims. It’s pretty weird.

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Some Thoughts on the Turner Prize Shortlist

by Paddy Johnson and Michael Anthony Farley on May 13, 2016
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The prestigious Turner Prize shortlist has been announced, and true to precedent, provides plenty of fodder for the British tabloids. GIANT BUTT SCULPTURE UP FOR £25,000 ART PRIZE. RIDE A MODEL TRAIN AND CALL IT ART? But the four artists selected ,Michael Dean, Anthea Hamilton, Helen Marten, and Josephine Pryde, aren’t quite what we’ve come to expect from Britain’s highest-profile art circus. A lot of this work is dense, nuanced, and less overtly attention-grabbing than the butt cheeks would have us believe.

The prize won’t be awarded until December 2016, but in an effort to get out front of the nominations and award game, we’re debating the merit of these nominees today.

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Quit the Art World? There’s a Residency for That

by Rea McNamara on May 12, 2016
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When an artist stops making work and attending shows, is there any chance the art world will remember them? No. For many, this just means one less artist to compete against for a grant application or open call.

Enter Residency For Artists on Hiatus (RFAOH), an organization dedicated to supporting artists who have put their practice on hold. During the course of the online residency, which lasts six months to a year, artists must produce a non-art project. Artists are then expected to maintain a blog on the residency’s website to not only reflect on and document the process, but examine what it means to suspend their art careers. (I wrote about the virtual residency program a few months ago.) Earlier this year, the residency was on hiatus itself: the project has largely been self-funded by co-directors Shinobu Akimoto and Matthew Evans, and they were awaiting news of institutional support. Last week, RFAOH announced their third open call for applications to its 2016/2017 programme, thanks to funding from the Canada Council for the Arts.

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Shelley Bernstein Moves to The Barnes Foundation

by Paddy Johnson on May 10, 2016
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The Barnes Foundation is about to get a system-wide update. Best known for its collection of Impressionist, Post-impressionist and early modern paintings, the Foundation announced today that Shelley Bernstein will become their Deputy Director for Digital Initiatives and Chief Experience Officer. For 17 years, Bernstein has served as the Brooklyn Museum’s renowned Vice Director of Digital Engagement & Technology. She leaves that post May 16th.

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