Is Art Patron Ronald Lauder What's Wrong With America?, Occupy Wall Street Plans Gallery Of Its Own, and More

Is Art Patron Ronald Lauder What's Wrong With America?, Occupy Wall Street Plans Gallery Of Its Own, and More
Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images
(Ronald Lauder)

Not So Laudable: It's notable, isn't it, that in the run-up to that bacchanal of affluent excess known as Art Basel Miami Beach the New York Times has chosen Ronald Lauder, the famed art collector and Neue Galerie co-founder, as its poster child for the tax-eluding "superelite" behind the "widening income gap between the richest and the rest of society"? Buying his first artwork — a Schiele — with his allowance and then buying himself onto the Met's board at 32, Lauder (son of Estee, brother of Whitney patron Leonard) has artfully kept his tax dollars from philistine government hands through a virtuosic mastery of loop-hole-finding legerdemain. Read all about it here. [NYT]

A Gallery for the 99 Percent?: The Occupy Wall Street movement’s arts and culture committee is looking to rent indoor arts space to use for studios, performances, exhibitions, and art classes. The group plans to share office space on Wall Street with other Occupy groups, and is also considering another offer from art blog Hyperallergic to borrow its Brooklyn offices free of charge. “There are some great precedents here in New York of art spaces emerging from protest,” said committee member Patrick McLean. “We’re trying to... reach out to the folks who helped establish them for inspiration.” [TAN]

– Hugo Boss Prize Finalists Announced: The shortlist for the 2012 Hugo Boss Prize has been released, and the nominees are: Trisha DonnellyRashid JohnsonMonika SosnowskaDanh VoTris Vonna-Michell, and Qiu Zhijie. The biannual prize awards a contemporary artist $100,000 and an exhibition at the Guggenheim Museum in New York. Unlike many other art awards, it has no restrictions on nationality or age. [NYT]

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Taiwan President Speaks Out in Support of Ai Weiwei: Taiwanese president Ma Ying-jeou has urged China to respect the artistic freedom of dissident Chinese artist Ai Weiwei. “He’s an artist and should have the freedom to express his artistic views,” Ma said, following a visit to the provocatively titled exhibition “Ai Weiwei, Absent” at the Tapei Fine Arts Museum. [WaPo]

Crowds Line Up for Cattelan: The Guggenheim Museum’s retrospective of Italian artist Maurizio Cattelan, which features scores of sculptures hanging from the ceiling of the museum’s rotunda, has been attracted 4,000 people a day. (That’s 33 percent more than the number of visitors this time last year.) The museum will extend its hours starting December 6 to accommodate the demand. [NYT]

Professor’s Nude Photos Stir Debate: Photographs of Michigan State University art professor Danny Guthrie posing with students in various states of undress have provoked ire from some members of the university community. “His pictures are sexually motivated and they are taking advantage of the students,” said Laura Merrihew, whose daughter attends MSU. An MSU assistant professor disagrees: “I am not trying to be a snob. But if you come from any of the coasts or if you have an education in art… you wouldn’t even think twice about it,” he said. [Detroit News]

– "BP Is a Disgrace," Says Tate Trustee: Days before the Turner Prize winner is announced, Patrick Brill, also known as Bob and Roberta Smith, is quoted criticizing Tate's sponsor BP in "Not If But When: Culture Beyond Oil," a report published by the campaign groups Liberate Tate, Art Not Oil, and Platform. The artist, who is one of the 13 trustees overseeing the museum's acquisitions and strategies, says in the report: "We should have a moratorium on the seas and stop deep drilling. When activists protest at, for example, events like the Tate summer party, that is a thoroughly good thing." [Independent]

National Gallery Cracks Down on Ticket Resale: With advanced tickets long sold out and over a three hour wait to get one of the 500 tickets issued daily, many are turning to eBay and Viagogo for a chance to see the National Gallery's Leonardo da Vinci exhibition. But second-hand tickets — priced at up to £800 ($1,242) — are illegal. "Tickets that have been resold will be cancelled without refund and admission will be refused to the bearer," said a gallery spokesman, though he didn't explain how the fraudsters would be spotted. [Guardian

Displayed Degas Sold During RA Show: The government has withdrawn its indemnity for a Degas drawing lent by art dealer Trinity House to the Royal Academy. Trinity House advertised the piece in the Daily Telegraph on November 22 stating that the work was "available for sale," thus breaching the UK government guidelines preventing owners from making profits on works of art protected by the indemnity cover. It appears that the work changed hands while on display in the Degas exhibition. [TAN]

Slovenia Boasts a New Contemporary Art Museum: The Museum of Contemporary Art Metelkova (MSUM) — a new unit of the Moderna Galerija in Ljubljana — opened on November 26 in a former Yugoslav army barrack. It will host the Arteast 2000+ collection, which includes works from the 1960s to the present. [TAN

Richard Serra-Inspired Ballet Opens in London: The brainchild of choreographer Wayne McGregor, and Turner Prize-winner Mark Wallinger, "UNDANCE" is inspired by Eadweard J. Muybridge's studies of movements and the list of verbs Richard Serra used to create his early sculptures. "I thought it would be interesting to enact these action verbs — like To Roll, To Wrap, To Slide — and not know where they are going but just do them and see what comes up — undo them," said McGregor. "UNDANCE" will show at Sadler's Wells from December 1 through 3. [ArtLyst

The Most Influential Artist in the UK: A recent poll conducted by The Other Art Fair of 1,000 artists between the ages of 20 and 65 indicates that David Hockney — not, as one might expect, Damien Hirst — is the most influential British artist of his time. [ITA]

– RIP Smithsonian Secretary Michael Heyman: The former chancellor of the University of California, Berkeley took over the Smithsonian in 1994, a period of significant expansion and fierce controversy over the exhibiting of the Enola Gay, the plane that dropped an atomic bomb on Hiroshima. He was 81. [NYT]