"Affecting" 9/11 Memorial Reviewed, Christo Unwraps Lawsuit to Save His NYC Studio, and More Must-Read Art News

"Affecting" 9/11 Memorial Reviewed, Christo Unwraps Lawsuit to Save His NYC Studio, and More Must-Read Art News
A rendering of the upcoming 9/11 Memorial site
(Courtesy of 911memorial.org)

A Memorial, Redeemed: In the first major review of Michael Arad andPeter Walker's National September 11 Memorial, Christopher Hawthornerues the tortured evolution of the project — replete with"grandstanding, backbiting and power grabs, among politicians anddesigners alike" — but reports that "at least a kernel of genuine andaffecting meaning" hassurvived at the heart of the gaping, negative-space site. The true accomplishment of the design, the critic writes, isthat Arad dared ignore Daniel Libeskind's original vision for theentire plaza as one big pit. [LAT]

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Christo Tries to Wrap Neighbor's Construction: Environmental artist Christo has sued his next-door neighbor because construction on a planned six-story building next to his SoHo home-studio has caused his entire building to "shift one inch east." The artist, who has lived in the building since the 1960s, is asking that the neighboring site be fully shored and braced to its full height before construction is resumed. In 2008, the wall above the tumultuous construction site was home to the work of another famous artist: a Banksy-14779">Banksy-14779">Banksy-14779">Banksy-14779">Banksy-14779">Banksy-14779">Banksy-14779">Banksy-14779">Banksy-14779">Banksy-14779">Banksy-14779">Banksy-14779">Banksy-14779">Banksy-14779">Banksy-14779">Banksy-14779">Banksy-14779">Banksy-14779">Banksy-14779">Banksy-14779">Banksy-14779">Banksy-14779">Banksy-14779">Banksy-14779">Banksy-14779">Banksy-14779">Banksy-14779">Banksy-14779">Banksy-14779">Banksy-14779">Banksy-14779">Banksy-14779">Banksy-14779">Banksy-14779">Banksy-14779">Banksy-14779">Banksy-14779">Banksy-14779">Banksy-14779">Banksy-14779">Banksy-14779">Banksy-14779">Banksy-14779">Banksy-14779">Banksy-14779">Banksy-14779">Banksy-14779">Banksy-14779">Banksy-14779">Banksy-14779">Banksy-14779">Banksy-14779">Banksy-14779">Banksy-14779">Banksy-14779">Banksy-14779">Banksy-14779">Banksy-14779">Banksy-14779">Banksy-14779">Banksy-14779">Banksy-14779">Banksy-14779">Banksy rat that said, in a moment of uncanny foresight, "Let them eat crack." [Courthouse News, Curbed]

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– Matta-Clark Photographs Sent to Barcelona: Collector Harold Berg will "indefinitely" lend a cache of 46 photographs by Gordon Matta-Clark to the Museu d'Art Contemporani Barcelona. Joining the 17 Matta-Clark works already in Macba's collection, the donation leaves the museum with one of the largest holdings of the artist's work in Europe. An exhibition devoted to the American artist will open at the museum at the end of 2012. [TAN]

Ai Weiwei Speaks, For Real:Despite an apparent prohibition on speaking to the media about histhree-months locked in the hands of the Chinese government, the artisthas spoken to the New York Times's Keith Bradsher about the experience."It is designed as a kind of mental torture, and it works well," theartist said. Read the excellent article for details. [NYT

Unfortunately Not Members Only: The Metropolitan Museum of Art is apologizing to its members for not letting them skip the recent epic lines to get into the museum's blockbuster "Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty" exhibition toward the end of its run. "Unfortunately, it became impossible to continue providing such access once it began slowing all other visitor lines," Met director Thomas Campbell wrote in a letter. [DNAinfo]

Nobody Home?: Irish artist Michael Hanrahn visited Buckingham Palace to deliver his oil painting commemorating Queen Elizabeth's recent visit to Ireland. While the queen has said the visit was the most important royal trip of her reign, Hanrahn was clearly not her most important royal visitor: Elizabeth was not home to receive him, "as she is on her annual summer break in Balmoral." [Independent]

Classy: Celebrity portraitist Jason Mecier created an image of Amy Winehouse using 5,000 multicolored pills. [Telegraph

Airport Replaces Art With Giant Video Screen: The Indianapolis Airport is drawing criticism for its decision to replace a prominent three-story sculptural painting with a video screen showing ads and digital art. A new partnership with the Indianapolis Museum of Art may result in other commissions coming down as well. We just hope this doesn't begin a new trend: no one wants to sit through an ad for Welch's grape juice before looking at a Cory Arcangel. [Indianapolis Star]

Art Burglary Spree Hits Quiet Seattle Neighborhood: Burglars broke into six businesses in Coupeville last week, stealing thousands of dollars worth of inventory from the Penn Cove Gallery. The thieves also broke into five other businesses, including women's clothing store Beyond the Sea, Coupeville Florist, and Sally's Garden, indicating that they were either looking for fast cash or desperately needed to pull together a bridal shower on the cheap. [Seattle Pi]

Art Handlers Start Punning as Negotiations Drag: Sotheby's walked out of negotiations with its union art handlersafter two and a half hours yesterday, and the two parties have yet toagree on a contract. (The union says they would have stayed "allnight.") Meanwhile, another group of Teamsters set up shop at aHamptons squash match to promote their cause, handing out flyers thatread, "Sotheby's Squashes Teamsters." [ITA