This week, a major museum curator goes commercial, the Hirshhorn director is out, female artists are under-represented in the UK, a digital take on a gallery Jane Austen visited in 1813, the owner of John Currin’s topless Bea Arthur portrait, and more.
In this week’s bizarre art news, and there was a lot, former LA Museum of Contemporary Art curator Paul Schimmel has joined forces with the Hauser & Wirth gallery to former a new gallery in Los Angeles. Hauser Wirth & Schimmel — sounds like a law firm — and it is expected to open next year:
“I think it’s going to be quite different in the respect that it will be done on a larger scale, have fewer exhibitions and a combination of selling and non-selling exhibitions,” said Schimmel, who served as MOCA’s chief curator from 1990 until his controversial resignation last summer and has never before worked in a commercial gallery setting.
He said he imagines three to five exhibitions a year that “come out of the Hauser & Wirth program but feel more museum-like in terms of scale, scholarship and complexity.” He also mentioned “museum-like amenities” such as an education program and public events.
Hirshhorn Museum director Richard Koshalek plans to resign after board splits on Seasonal Inflatable Structure project (aka the ‘Bubble’ project):
“I think Richard was looking for a very broad endorsement, and that didn’t happen. It wasn’t about the Bubble and what it could do architecturally or what it could do for the Hirshhorn. It was much more about finances going forward,” [says Smithsonian Undersecretary Richard Kurin].
How well are female artists represented in the UK art world and media? Not well at all. For instance, only 27.5% of 3,441 artists represented by 135 international galleries at the 2012 Frieze London art fair were women. And only 25% of the artists selected for the Fourth Plinth project in London’s Trafalgar Square have been women.
On May 24, 1813, novelist Jane Austen went to an art gallery in London, and now you can visit a reconstruction of that gallery online at “What Jane Saw.” The New York Times has more on the project here.
“An Open Letter About High School Bullies and Self-Medicating with Movies” by Sean Hackett at Film School Rejects:
The power of cinema changed my view of teenage life. The writers, and directors, and studios (yes, even them) protected me. Like a sidekick to my imagination they battled the schoolyard logic that said underdogs can’t win. But most importantly they offered the lesson that the bullies might seem cool, but society isn’t afraid of them.
Want to know who forked out $1.9M for that John Currin portrait of Bea Arthur? Well, for a while people believed TV host Jimmy Kimmel bought it for comedian Jeffrey Ross but that turned out to be a hoax. Who owns the portrait? It’s not clear … yet.
A new exhibition in Berlin explores Uruk, the ancient megacity of Gilgamesh fame, that few people know about today:
For more than three millennia, Uruk was one of the world’s centers of science, culture and religion. Founded about 4000 B.C., over the course of 800 years it underwent a dramatic shift from an assemblage of small villages to a large urban area with a highly developed administration, bureaucracy and diversified society. By the start of the third millennium B.C., it had grown to two square miles in area and had roughly 40,000 inhabitants. For more than 2,000 years, Uruk was the largest city in the world, surpassed in size only by Babylon in the sixth century B.C.
An interesting article on “How the Great Firewall of China Shapes Chinese Surfing Habits Read“:
Taneja and Xiao Wu argue that this shows that the Chinese cluster is no more isolated than other culturally defined markets. And their conclusion is that online behaviour must be more strongly influenced by cultural factors than by censorship.
You may have seen New York Magazine‘s meh cover story on Jeff Koons, but have you seen this blog post from the carpenter who was commissioned to make some of the objects for his current show?
Carol Vogel writes a gushing profile of the artistic director of this year’s Venice Biennale, Massimiliano Gioni.
Required Reading is published every Sunday morning EST, 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.