ReactorWeekend

Required Reading

by Hrag Vartanian on February 19, 2012

A new series by Ever in Mexico City and Buenos Aires. It is inspired by the Mexican muralists and early communist propaganda. (via unurth)

This week, Rem Koolhaas will build Marina’s temple to performance art, Gaudí’s unfinished masterpiece, Renaissance art murder mystery, a new arts center in Utah, a review of Niall Ferguson’s Civilization, best-designed newspapers, Banksy authentication, drawing with chalk, burger grease and ketchup.

 I broke the news on Twitter but here are more details about Marina Abramović’s New Museum of Performance Art in Hudson, New York. The museum will be designed by autocrat-loving starchitect Rem Koolhaas and includes specially designed chairs by the duo. That’s not all:

… the museum will be devoted to performance art pieces of “six hours minimum.” Some of them will go on for days …

Umm, ok.

 The Global Mail has a feature on Antonio Gaudí’s unfinished masterpiece “La Sagrada Familia” in Barcelona as it nears its completion:

But the Sagrada Familia is a paradoxical building that seems to be pointing to some larger horizon for Christianity in the 21st century beyond the cozy banalities of 19th century Catholic piety.

(via longform)

 Charles Nicholl delves into a 15th century art mystery from Renaissance Italy: Was artist Andrea del Castagno the cold-blooded killing of painter Domenico Veneziano?

In the Lives of the Artists (1550) [Giorgio] Vasari describes in some detail Andrea’s cold-blooded killing of another painter, Domenico Veneziano, apparently motivated by envy of Domenico’s skills as a fresco artist.

But the dates don’t synch up with the claim:

In 1862, the archival scholar Gaetano Milanesi … published a short essay … in which he demonstrated that Andrea del Castagno was buried in August 1457, while Domenico lived on until May 1461. Andrea was a man of strange powers, but murdering Domenico when he had himself been dead for nearly four years was beyond them.

 Park City, Utah, the home of the Sundance Film Festival, is getting a new arts center designed by BIG architects. It looks pretty lovely.

 The LA Review of Books reviews Niall Ferguson’s latest book, Civilization: The West and the Rest. There are many great nuggets in this review, including:

In 1420, when London was a backwater, Nanjing was the world’s largest city, and Ming China “had an incontrovertible claim to be [its] most advanced civilization.” That it was a center of learning he makes plain with a typically entertaining detail: the Emperor tasked 2,000 scholars with creating “a compendium of Chinese learning” that “filled more than 11,000 volumes,” which was “surpassed as the world’s largest encyclopedia only in 2007 … by Wikipedia.” So what happened? Seeking an answer, Ferguson tells the moving story of the sea voyages, in the early 1400s, of Zeng He, who ought to be better known to us. He was sent to far corners of the world by Emperor Yongle on seven commercial trading missions whose purpose was to display China’s wealth and power, but also, equally, to bring home knowledge of how things were done abroad. When Yongle died, however, China’s interest in the outer world died with him: a haijindecree banned all oceanic travel, and even building a capable ship became a capital offense.

 The five best designed newspapersof the year:

  1. Excelsior, Mexíco City, Mexíco (Daily)
  2. National Post, Toronto, ON, Canada (Daily)
  3. Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung, Frankfurt am Main, Germany (Non-Daily)
  4. The Grid, Toronto, ON, Canada (Non-Daily)
  5. Politiken, Copenhagen, Denmark (Daily)

 How do you authenticate your Bansky? Seems harder than you might think, according to The Art Newspaper:

Pest Control, the body that has authenticated Banksy’s gallery works since 2008, states online that it “only deals with legitimate works of art and has no involvement with any kind of illegal activity”.

 The National Museum of the American Indian is planning to revamp all its permanent exhibitions in the next few years.

 A video from the Urban Chalk Festival in Australia late last year.

 A man paints the Mona Lisa using burger grease and some art using ketchup.

Required Reading is published every Sunday morning-ish, and it is comprised of a short list of art-related links to long-form articles, videos, blog posts or photo essays worth a second look.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/dedler Don Edler

    those “railway sleepers” in the utah arts center designs are impossibly large…

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