Philip Glass Protests His Own Opera With Occupy Wall Street, Gary Tinterow to Lead MFA Houston, and More Must-Read Art News

Philip Glass Protests His Own Opera With Occupy Wall Street, Gary Tinterow to Lead MFA Houston, and More Must-Read Art News
Philip Glass led an assembly last night for Occupy Wall Street after the final performance of his opera Satyagraha
(Courtesy Youtube)

– Philip Glass’s Words of Hope for OWS: Last night, Occupy Wall Street hit Lincoln Center to hold a General Assembly outside the final performance of the Philip Glass opera “Satyagraha,” denouncing the venue for taking money from Bloomberg and the Koch Brothers while hosting the musical performance about Gandhi's struggle for justice. And OWS had one very big supporter for its radical message: Philip Glass himself. The famed composer led a "human mic" — he was described as "quite adept" at the technique — and here are his words (like a true minimalist, he repeated his own speech three times): "Mic check! / When righteousness / Withers away / And evil / Rules the Land / We come into being / Age after age / And take visible shape / And move / A man among men / For the protection / Of good / Thrusting back evil / And setting virtue / On her seat again." Rocker Lou Reed also addressed the crowd, denouncing the police, and pledging his solidarity. (See video of both men speaking on IN THE AIR.) [The Nation

– Tinterow Heads to Houston: Ending months of speculation following the death of veteran director Peter C. Marzio, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston has found a worthy replacement: Gary Tinterow, the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s highly regarded chairman of the department of 19th-century, modern, and contemporary art. Tinterow has been behind some of the most notable moments at the Met, from “Origins of Impressionism” in 1994 to “Francis Bacon: A Centenary Retrospective” in 2009. [NYT]


– Santa Fe Named “Most Artistic City” in US: A survey published by the Atlantic has placed Santa Fe, New Mexico at the top of the list of the country’s most artistic cities. Culling data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey, the report based its hierarchy on an assigned “Location Quotient,” a ratio of an area’s concentration of artists relative to its population as a whole. [The Atlantic]

New African Art Curator for LACMA: Mary (Polly) Nooter Roberts has been named as consulting curator of African Art at LACMA. Roberts, who will continue a full-time teaching gig at UCLA, is being brought in to help launch a program and establish a gallery dedicated to the arts of Africa at the L.A. museum, as part of a drive "to bring greater visibility to African arts in Southern California." [Press Release

Free Admission Proves “Very Successful”: Ten years ago yesterday, Britain’s Labour government moved to end admission fees to England’s national museums. Who could have guessed —the move proved popular! Government figures reflect an increase in visitors to museums by more than 150 percent. "Our free museums and galleries ensure that culture is for everyone, not just the lucky few,” said culture secretary Jeremy Hunt. [BBC]

Fiat Settles Up With Graffiti Artists Over J.Lo Ad: A TV ad in which Jennifer Lopez drives in a Fiat car past a mural created by Bronx street art collective TATS Cru sparked an outcry earlier this week, since neither “Jenny From the Block” nor the Italian company compensated the artists for using their work. A representative for Fiat has now reported a settlement between the two parties, the terms of which are confidential. [Gothamist]

John Liu’s MoMA Appointment Under Fire: With his fundraising practices already under federal investigation, New York City comptroller John Liu is now drawing fire for appointing Chung Seto, a member of his campaign team, to the MoMA board. Critics of the choice say Seto lacks experience in the arts, fund-raising, or real estate, while her presence on the board may place her in inappropriate proximity to potential donors. [NYPost]

– Nic Cage’s Superman Comic Sells for $2.2 Million Online: A copy of the first issue of “Action Comics,” which introduced the world to Superman, sold online at this week for $2.2 million — twice its $1.1 million estimate. The copy once belonged to Nicolas Cage, but was stolen from his home in 2000 and rediscovered in an abandoned storage unit last April. [ITA]

Bose Pacia to Close: The New York gallery, which specialized in South Asian art, announced that it “will discontinue exhibitions and artist representation at the end of 2011.” [ITA]