Saturday, 14 October 2017

Reading list, 14 October 2017

Wesley Morris for the New York Times, on three months spent listening only to albums by women, inspired by NPR's 'Turning the Tables' list.

Former Canadian art curator at the Art Gallery of Ontario Andrew Hunter explains why he quit his job. (Sort of. I mean, it's never really stated in terms of "I quit so that X would hopefully happen." It's more "I couldn't effect any more change so I left". I think.)

The Julian Schnabel comeback machine.

Kickstarter has started facilitating commissioning alongside crowdfundraising.

On sleeper hunters (curators, dealers and connoisseurs who haunt auction websites looking for mis-attributed works).

A brutal (and somewhat relieving) take on Instagram influencers.

"My problem is what it represents as a first corporate commissioned artwork of sorts that is designed to open the way for a market invasion of 3D geo-tagged branding entertainment and advertising." Artist Sebastian Errazuriz finds a way to digitally vandalise Jeff Koon's Snapchat sculptures.

Saturday, 7 October 2017

Reading list, 7 October 2017

On architecture

Rowan Moore looks at the Bilbao effect and its original context, 20 years on.

Oliver Wainwright with a somewhat unsympathetic take on the extension to Tate St Ives. (Wainwright is unimpressed with the decision to preserve housing at the cost of adding more presence to the building: based on recent conversations with people about museums in towns and cities with low numbers of permanent residents but high holiday-home owners and tourism numbers, I can see where the local council was coming from. A letter from a local makes this point.)

David Chipperfield on restoring and adjusting (as invisibly as possible) Mies van der Rohe's New National Gallery in Berlin. Right down to the carpeted galleries.

On branding and promotion

Echoing a bunch of pieces I've linked to previously, on a topic I've written about quite frequently: Brands and the Museumification of Everything.

An extract on Artsy from a new book by three economists (Robert Ekelund, Jr., John Jackson, and the late Robert Tollison) on the political and market conditions that led to American painting taking pole position in post-WWII Western art.

The strategic reasoning underlying the greasy photos Domino's posts on social media.

Condé Nast is launching a new "mission-driven, multi-platform" LGBTQ-focused publication.

More than you ever possibly needed to know about tote bags.

On collecting and deaccessioning

As Baltimore Museum curators prepare a touring exhibition based largely on her collection, Pamela Joyner is profiled by Vogue on her decision to build a collection focused on black abstract artists.

Felix Salmon covers the Berkshire Museum deaccessioning plans (to raise $40 million for capital projects and their endowment by selling artworks at auction) for The New Yorker.

On MOMA's new fashion show (the first in 70 years)

Paola Antonelli and Michelle Millar Fisher assemble 111 items for what they tell us about fashion and clothing.

Roberta Smith for the New York Times

Alexandra Lange for The New Yorker

In Jeff Koons news

Snapchat has launched an augmented reality art platform, pinned on Jeff Koons' shiny balloon dogs and other baubles.

Just good writing

K. Emma Ng's 'Hey, You There! Tactics of Refusal in the Work of Luke Willis Thompson', for The Pantograph Punch.

Saturday, 23 September 2017

Reading list,

I'm very pleased to see Rowan Simpson release his remastered blog posts on important observations and lessons from working in New Zealand's most successful tech start-up and working with a bunch of other NZ companies. Applicable way beyond the tech world.

Oliver Wainwright writes up the new Zeitz Museum of Contemporary African Art (Mocaa) by Heatherwick Studios.

Rotterdam's Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art is changing its name (which comes from the Dutch naval officer Witte Corneliszoon de With, an agent of both the Dutch West India and the Dutch East India companies in the 17th century) due to its colonial history.

Walker Art Center’s Reckoning With ‘Scaffold’ Isn’t Over Yet - NYT

Saturday, 16 September 2017

Reading list, 16 September 2017

I am actually quite surprised there is this much appetite for articles on the Met's management decisions: Town & Country feature an exclusive interview with President (and boss of the to-be-appointed director) Daniel Weiss. Good to compare to the interview with Tom Campbell from last week's reading list.

I can't figure out how to link directly to embedded video in a tweet, but you should watch this video, on lighting black and brown skin for television.

I am rather taken with this tiny UK town, with is starting a museum of miners art. A fascinating history of 20th century working class art.

Speaking of art and class: this article about the academicisation of poetry in 20th century (don't yawn) in the wake of declining patronage from a class that saw its wealth decimated by the First World War and the Depression, is interesting if you want to think about why so many leading NZ artists are tertiary teachers.

This new funding announcement for Indigenous and First Nation artists and curators in Australia should be a model for Aotearoa (as long as the project funding turns into permanent positions / presence / changed ways of working).

A beautiful NYT story about a cultural camp run by David Severns, a Yurok tribal member, where he teaches traditional ways to make ceremonial regalia.

Belated reading on a love/hate topic: Can Real Life Compete With an Instagram Playground?

Saturday, 9 September 2017

Reading list, 9 September 2017

From the journalistic world: I loved NYT White House reporter Maggie Haberman's Longform Podcast interview: here she is on The Cut's series 'How I Get It Done'.  And Charlotte Graham's impressive piece for The Spinoff on New Zealand women journalists' experiences of and attitudes towards online abuse (which is less traumatising and more instructive than the headline suggests).

British and American museums are to meet in 2018 to discuss returning looted art from Benin to west Africa in a rotating long-term exhibition (not full repatriation).

Andrew Goldstein's two-part interview with previous Met director Thomas Campbell: Thomas Campbell on Why He Became the Met’s Surprise Champion of New Art and Thomas Campbell on the Price of Modernization at America’s Greatest Museum.

The wonderful writer Jenny Uglow on Grayson Perry.

Another update from MIA on their changing approach to managing their membership programme.

Sunday, 3 September 2017

Reading list, 3 September 2017

After the backlash to her essay on Katherine Middleton on her marriage to Prince William, now Hilary Mantel wonderfully takes on the Diana myth.

I'm interested at the moment in the stereotypes that museum reverse-promote about themselves, like this one from the director of the Utah Museum of Fine Arts, which has just re-opened after an upgrade:
Some museum purists may disapprove of the more accessible labels. “The art historians here on campus, they would prefer everything was just a tombstone, because the students come in here and just copy [the] labels down,” Dietrich said. “You can never make everybody happy.”
Grutas Park, a sculpture garden in south-west Lithuania, shows one way of dealing with statues and monuments that have been rejected from public places:
The figures are grouped according to their role in Soviet activity: the Totalitarian Sphere depicts key thinkers and prominent leaders; the Red Sphere features members of the resistance; the Death sphere shows the bloody means by which the regimes were kept in place. Indeed, the park allows the spectre of suffering to loom in the background by recreating gulag blocks, guard towers and barbed-wire fences.
Honestly, just batshit: Famed architect Frank Gehry to design Extreme Model Railroad and Contemporary Architecture Museum.

The NYT profiles Elaine Welteroth, editor of Teen Vogue and tasked with "reinventing the glossy magazine for a hyperempathetic generation".




Saturday, 26 August 2017

Reading list, 26 August 2017

Last weekend I pulled together a range of articles focused on questions of protest and removal of Confederate monuments in one of my occasional TinyLetter newsletters. Sign up here if you'd like to receive the occasional letter like that.

Robin Pobegrin on NYC's museums:It’s a Diverse City, but Most Big Museum Boards Are Strikingly White.

It doesn't sound like a particularly good show, but it's a surprisingly straightforward acceptance of bias: Asian Museum works to overcome neglect of Filipino art, a review of a San Francisco exhibition by Charles Desmarais.

Chloe Geoghegan reviews The Tomorrow People at the Adam Art Gallery. 

Oh god.

Saturday, 29 July 2017

Reading list, 29 July 2017

The Washington Post breaks down the Smithsonian's Kickstarter campaigns for conservation projects (given the costs involved it's probably important to see them as marketing projects as well as fundraising).

Artsy interviews Tom Campbell for their podcast in the week he leaves the Met.

Protests follow Dana Schutz from the Whitney Biennial to a solo show at the ICA Boston - via the New York Times and Hyperallergic.

Objectspace opened on Thursday, in a new space with a newly expanded mission: director Kim Paton was interviewed by the NZ Herald and Paperboy. (I so badly want a Paperboy for Wellington.)

A Canadian government panel debates whether a gift of 2000+ Annie Leibowitz photos warrants the requested $20m valuation for tax credit purposes.

So many interesting philosophical & museumy questions in this venture: Auschwitz Artifacts to Go on Tour, Very Carefully.

Saturday, 22 July 2017

Reading list, 22 July 2017

As part of my support for our showing of Fiona Clark's photographic series Te Iwi o Te Wāhi Kore at The Dowse, I have been reading the Waitangi Tribunal Motonui-Waitara report (1983). It still ashames me how unaware I have been of the history of the area I was raised in.

Marsha Lederman writes for the Canadian Mail and Globe about the return of Haida taonga from museums to communities. Read it and weep, Tiffany Jenkins.

An extract from K. Emma Ng's new book Old Asian, New Asian, from BWB Texts, on The Spin-Off. The book has developed from an essay Emma wrote for the Pantograph Punch in 2015.

More from the Barnes Foundation's collection online project - this time, curator Martha Lucy speculating on what new thinking may be derived from computer (mis)analysis of paintings.

I've only started to grok this myself: 'Not Just Money' from the Helicon Collaborative breaks down where philanthropic dollars are committed in support to cultural organisations.

An idea that's brilliant in its simplicity and catchiness - the Seed Vault releases a collection visualisation in the form of a colouring book.

I'm delighted Lana Lopesi is the new editor-in-chief of the Pantograph Punch.

Nobody wants you damn museum app.

Saturday, 1 July 2017

Reading list, 1 July 2017

Ben Eltham looks at the results of the Australia Council’s national arts participation survey for the Guardian, and it suggests a troubling fall in belief in the importance - even validity - of the arts.

Kyle Chayka's latest, on the international blandness of Tyler Brûlé and Monocle.

Alexandra Lange's latest, on Georgia O'Keeffe, Jane Jacobs, and the Marimekko dress.

Anthony Byrt's latest (it's really good) on Luke Willis Thompson's latest work, at Chisenhale Gallery

A few pieces from the architecture files: Will the renovation of Ottawa's Brutalist national art complex undermine its essential nature? Former Paris stock exchange to be reborn as François Pinault's new art museum. When one architecture firm undoes another architect's work: the Albright-Knox editionMumbai has the world’s second-largest collection of Art Deco buildings but no one notices them.

Your deep-inside-the-sector read: Chris Michaels, Museum business models in the digital economy (the accidental evolution' of museum business models; surge-pricing for exhibition tickets; Netflix for memberships; more pro-active asking for donations).

Your long read: Charlotte Higgins, How Nicholas Serota’s Tate changed Britain.

Saturday, 24 June 2017

Reading list, 24 June 2017

Sing it, sister: Diane Ragsdale, On “looky-loos” and the institutions who are desperate for them and desperate for them to behave.

A few weekends ago I traced the story of Sam Durant's work Scaffold, which was erected in the Walker Art Center's expanded sculpture gardens and then removed before the expansion was opened after protests by local Dakota people. This week in the Los Angeles Times Durant reflected on this, and dealt with questions around censorship.

There are a bunch of quotes in this Artsy editorial by Anna Louie Sussman that get my back up, but it's wide-ranging coverage of a strong trend: Why Old Women Have Replaced Young Men as the Art World’s Darlings

MIA (the Minneapolis Institute of Art) is blogging about its new audience data and loyalty programmes.

Hilary Milnes for Glossy: The anatomy of a pop-up launch. Interesting when thinking about museum expansions / engagement.

I love the polite ambivalence expressed by the people in this NYT article: Jeff Koons Sent Paris Flowers. Can It Find the Right Vase?

Shelley Bernstein explains why when computers tried to describe the Barnes Foundation's collection, they kept seeing stuffed animals.