Frank Gehry Bows to Criticism of His Planned Eisenhower Monument, Is SoHo's Art Scene Having a Comeback?, and More Must-Read Art News

Frank Gehry Bows to Criticism of His Planned Eisenhower Monument, Is SoHo's Art Scene Having a Comeback?, and More Must-Read Art News
Frank Gehry's proposed design for the Dwight D. Eisenhower Memorial
(Courtesy of the Dwight D. Eisenhower Memorial Commission)

– Fine-Tuning: In a meeting at the Corcoran Gallery of Art to discuss his planned $100 million memorial for Dwight D. Eisenhower, Frank Gehry addressed criticism of his design. Intended to evoke the famed World War II general's homecoming speech, the design, Gehry said, will tell the president's story in the form of a tapestry — a classical technique the architect traveled to Japan to study. Eisenhower's family, however, has noted reservations about the "concept for the memorial, as well as the scope and scale," and Gehry said, "We're clearly going to make them happy" — though he resisted creating an "overblown" tribute emphasizing Eisenhower's military glory. [WaPo]


Is SoHo Back?: Art galleries are among the independentcommercial enterprises trickling back into SoHo after skyrocketingrents pushed them out over the previous two decades. "Rents are doableagain," said Bertrand Delacroix, who just re-opened his gallery Axelle Fine Arts on West Broadway after leaving for Chelsea four years ago. Crown Art Gallery has also recently reopened on the same street. [WSJ


NADA Hits the Web: NADA Miami Beach fair will be working with Paddle8,a Web site that showcases and sells art online, for its forthcomingMiami edition. The site will preview works to be displayed at the fairfrom November 25, a week before the official opening. Paddle8 memberswill be able to purchase the works online, and the site will continueto feature NADA artworks one week after the end of the fair to maximizepotential sales. [TAN

– Safra Collection May Fetch $40 Million: Dining chairs, 18th-century commodes, and a Faberge silver candelabra are among the items for sale at Sotheby's from the collection of billionaire couple Edmond and Lily Safra.The four-day auction, which began yesterday, is expected to bring in asmuch as $40 million. Highlights include a painting by 19th-centuryFrenchman James-Jacques-Joseph Tissot ($1.5-$2.5 million) and a Louis XVI-era Ormolu-Mounted Japanese Lacquer Commode with secretaire, valued at as much as $7 million. [Bloomberg

Kanye West Drops in on the Hayward: In a jovial show of support for co-conspirator George Condo (who designed his album cover), Kanye West performed a brief surprise set last night at the Hayward Gallery, where an exhibition of the American painter's work will be exhibited through the first week of January. Gallerist Jay Jopling and artist Mark Wallinger were reportedly among the crowd busting moves. [Now Here This

Debut Exhibition for Nahmad Family Collection: A recent interview with Helly Nahmadsheds light on the history of one of the art world's most powerfulfamilies. On privacy: "There's a fine line between being secretive andjust having a low profile." On holding 90 percent of theircollection in storage: "Yes, it is a shame. It is like a composermaking a piece of music, and no one listens to it". [TAN

– Arts Charities Up from 2009, Down from Pre-Meltdown: The Chronicle of Philanthropy has released its ranking of the nation's top 400 charities, and 14 museums and performing art groups made the list, taking in $1.2 billion combined. In the years before the financial crisis, 18 or 19 arts institutions typically made the cut, with an average of $1.67 billion in annual donations. The Smithsonian Institution, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Metropolitan Opera were the only arts organizations to raise nine-figure sums. The Art Institute of Chicago, the MFA Boston, and MoMA have all made the list five years running. [LAT]

– Calder, Reincorporated: "Tree," a combination stable and mobile sculpture by Alexander Calder that had been separated into two parts for decades, dividing the dangling apples from its "wet, black bough" of a branch, as it were, has been reunited for a new show of the artist's work at Pace's 57th Street gallery. [NYT]

Artissima's Director Speaks Out on Exhibition Cancellation: Following the recent announcement that Triple Candie's exhibition on Arte Povera to be held at Artissima had been canceled, Artissima's director Francesco Manacorda defended his position. Manacorda stated that he had asked the Philadelphia-based collective to come up with a proposition "grounded in a deeper intellectual investigation or valuable thesis." Triple Candie's Shelly Bancroft and Peter Nesbett allegedly never answered his request to revise the project. He added, "I feel that I could not defend the show as it stands, given its simplistic and insubstantial content." [Flash Art]

Scandal at Italy's Most Prestigious Art Magazine: A young woman was insulted by Flash Art's owner Giancarlo Politi when she asked him for a job rather than an unpaid internship. In an e-mail, she pointed out her language skills, to which Politi responded, "Whores can speak four languages." He advised her to seek employment at McDonald's instead. [Independent]

James Murdoch, Director of Art Collections at Huntington, to Retire: The 66-year-old (not this guy), who oversees the art galleries at the Huntington mansion, will retire in June 2012. During his decade-long tenure, he led a $20-million renovation of the Italianate villa, which houses celebrated paintings by Thomas Gainsborough and Joshua Reynolds. [LAT]

Occupy Your Pocket: With Occupy Wall Street seemingly everywhere these days, why not welcome it into your wallet? A group called Occupy George is printing helpful infographics — about the average distribution of wealth, CEO pay, and so on — directly onto dollar bills to circulate the message. [ITA

– Jill Kraus Elected Public Art Fund Chair: The former design director of Avon is the new chairman of the Public Art Fund's board of directors. She also sits on the boards of the New Museum and MoMALinda Safran, Rob Pruitt, and Mickey Cartin have also joined the board as members. [Artforum]

George Chaloupka, Foremost Expert on Aboriginal Art, Dies at 79: Originally emigrating to Australia as a refugee from Czechoslovakia, Chaloupkareshaped contemporary understandings of rock art. Over four decades,the archaeologist discovered and documented more than 3,500 remote rocksites in the Northern Territory. [The Australian]