Morning Links: One Millionth Visitor Edition

Alfredo Jaar, One Million Finnish Passports, 1995.


Museum Action

El Museo del Barrio in New York will close its galleries November 6 for renovations and reopen in the summer, the New York Times reported. Note well: the museum’s stunning retrospective of the work of Cuban artist Belkis Ayón closes November 5. Do not miss it! [The New York Times]

On the occasion of the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden welcoming its one millionth visitor of the year, its highest attendance figure in three decades, Melissa Chiu, its director, told the Washington Post how she likes to spend her free time. “Something I like to do in the winter is ice skate at the National Gallery of Art sculpture garden,” she said. “I skated as a child, even though I’m from Australia and I know it’s counterintuitive—it was the only sport I was interested in. [Washington Post]

The William King Museum of Art in Abingdon, Virginia, plans to raise $5 million to fund building renovations, education programs, and other projects, according to Southwest Virginia Today. [SWVA Today]

In the Market

Shanghai dealer Leo Xu will close his gallery and join former Christie’s vice president Jennifer Yum in running David Zwirner’s forthcoming space in Hong Kong. The new Zwirner branch will open in January. [ARTnews]

The Countdown

With a planned sale of works from the Berkshire Museum at Sotheby’s New York less than two weeks away, the Berkshire Eagle’s editorial board has come out against the sale. The board, which had previously supported the Pittsfield, Massachusetts institution’s plan to sell work and restructure, said that “reporting and investigation by this newspaper have raised serious questions about just how distressed is the museum’s financial situation. . . . The deaccessioning is not a survival plan; it’s a perilous gambit.” [Berkshire Eagle]

Dance Dance Revolution

The New York City Council has has repealed a cabaret law that prohibited dancing in venues where alcohol or food is served without a proper license. As the New York Daily News reported, “Nightlife lovers have gone after the law as archaic, originally motivated by racism, and a burden on business owners who are left scrambling to prevent the merest toe tapping by their patrons or fearing a ticket.” Mayor Bill de Blasio is expected to sign the measure. [NYDN]


Fendi is joining with the Galleria Borghese in Rome on a three-year partnership that will involve the creation of a study center for Caravaggio, The Art Newspaper reported. [The Art Newspaper]

Artists at the Top of Their Game

Alex Katz spoke with Hilarie M. Sheets in the New York Times about his upcoming show at Gavin Brown’s Enterprise and work he owns by other artists. “This is the most productive time in my whole life, right now,” he said. In his collection is a work by Picabia. “His work always fascinated me because he’s such a lousy painter technically and such a great artist,” Katz said. “I have a late piece from the 1940s when he went into kitschy figurative stuff. His image energy is fantastic, a lot of bounce.” [The New York Times]

Women who make “X-rated art,” like Carolee Schneemann, Judith Bernstein, and Betty Tompkins, are finally receiving major accolades from the mainstream art world, Rachel Corbett noted in a story for T: The New York Times Style Magazine. “I became an overnight success at 72,” said Tompkins, whose explicit, photorealistic renderings of sex are now in major collections, like that of the Centre Pompidou in Paris. [T]

For the New Yorker, Doreen St. Félix wrote about photographer LaToya Ruby Frazier’s latest project, a collaboration with artist Sandra Gould Ford that concerns the Jones & Laughlin Steel Company’s now-closed plant in Pittsburgh, where Ford once worked. St. Félix wrote, “Theirs is not the conventional dynamic of artist and muse; both photographer and subject are black women at work.” [The New Yorker]

Annie Leibovitz spoke about the effect of aging on her photography, and how she sees her work in the context of art, with Charlie Rose for CBS This Morning. “You’re an artist who uses a camera,” Rose mused. “That’s your brush, that’s your pen.” Leibovitz: “It’s come to that.” [CBS]


The Buffalo News reported that Judy Beecher, who began her career at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery in Buffalo as a volunteer docent and ended it as assistant director for administration and facilities, died at the age of 76. [The Buffalo News]

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