You may know Qatar as the home of Al Jazeera but this small kingdom in the Persian Gulf is proving itself a major contemporary art buyer, according to the Art Newspaper.
A gallerist at the Armory Art Show recently asked me what it was like to work with artists from developing regions of the world. I didn’t mind this question, but he did it while staring down at me with a look of pity, which felt like a condescending pat on the head.
New Orleans is a city of excess: we eat more good food, show more skin (at least during Carnival season), and have more fun than just about any other city in the United States, or anywhere. And when the Prospect.1 art biennial rolled into town in the fall of 2008, we could add “see more great art” to that list as well. Hopes were high that the followup would match or even exceed the scope and ambition of curator Dan Cameron’s first installment (81 artists! 39 countries! 22 venues!). But it’s not 2008 any more, and Prospect New Orleans has become subject to the New Austerity too.
Popular angst rock group Radiohead has just joined Sina Weibo, China’s popular microblogging service—and their account has attracted nearly 70,000 followers after a single post.
A great artist died today. Cy Twombly was a celebrated American painter know for his “scribbly” style that many described as lyrical. [AFP]
New England Journal of Aesthetic Research reports that Brandeis University in suburban Boston is pledging not to sell any art from its renowned Brandeis Rose Art Museum, after ex-president Jehuda Reinharz attempted to close the museum and sell its collection in 2009.
The New York Times reports that the lawyer representing Ai Weiwei’s studio is fighting the $2 million USD fines that Ai’s studio faces for charges of “tax evasion.” Liu Zhenggang and Hu Mingfen have technically been released, as has reporter Wen Tao, but none of them have yet been seen in person. Statements by Chinese authorities say that Liu suffered a heart attack while under interrogation and was transported to a hospital.
In our quest to uphold justice and the American way, we feel compelled to publish the follow information we received about an artistic response to a fair use travesty …
According to Ai Weiwei’s lawyer Liu Xiaoyuan, Ai’s FAKE studio has been accused (and seemingly convicted) of evading over 5 million RMB ($770,000 USD) and is to pay 7 million RMB ($1 million USD) in fines, together totaling around $2 million USD. Ai’s mother Gao Ying speaks on her son’s arrest, release and current condition. In the meantime, the Chinese art scene continues business as usual, with the exception of some ripples — a well-known artist-run cafe has been closed by the authorities.
If you’ve walked around New York, odds are you’ve seen Joseph Waldo’s work. The artist “defaced” city advertising by adding not the traditional scribbled pen mustache … but now the comedic artist has been arrested on charges including felony criminal mischief and possession of a graffiti instrument.
Ai Weiwei assistant Duyan Pili broke the news that Ai’s FAKE studio architect Liu Zhenggang and accountant Hu Mingfen have also been released from custody following the artist’s release two days ago. Ai’s cousin and driver Zhang Jinsong was released yesterday. Reporter Wen Tao is still detained, but hopes run high for his release.
On Wednesday, I was invited to Al Jazeera to give a context for Ai Weiwei’s arrest and eventual release. I felt it was important to point out that the Chinese have been using contemporary art and architecture for years as a propaganda tool.