Street Art Star Gets Macy's Parade Balloon, Invisible Art Spotlighted in London, and More Must-Read Art News

Street Art Star Gets Macy's Parade Balloon, Invisible Art Spotlighted in London, and More Must-Read Art News
KAWS, "Companion (Passing Through)"
(Courtesy Maestor_Shake via Flickr)

— KAWS Keeps Rising: Brooklyn-based street artist-turned-gallery star Brian Donnelly, aka KAWS, will join Jeff Koons and Takashi Murakami in the exclusive hundred-feet-high club for artists whose work has floated in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. In November his figure "Companion" — a grayscale giant with cartoonish gloved hands covering its face — will become the latest (and perhaps the saddest) artist-designed balloon to float in the popular parade. "I kept imagining myself in front of that many people," KAWS said. "He’s shy, a bit out of place, not proudly posing like a Superman character." [NYT]

— Hayward Gallery Shines a Light on Invisible Art: On June 12, London's Hayward Gallery will open an unusually sparse group exhibition, "Invisible: Art about the Unseen 1957-2012," including Andy Warhol's "Invisible Sculpture" (1985), documents and paintings by Yves KleinYoko Ono's instructions for a performance, and an empty space that a which is said to have been cursed by Tom Friedman. "This exhibition highlights that art isn't about material objects, it's about setting our imaginations alight, and that's what the artists in this show do in many varied ways," says Hayward director Ralph Rugoff. (James Franco's recent forays into the genre, sadly, are not included.) [Press Association]


— Sexy Science Show Excites Canadian MinisterJames Moore, the Minister of Canadian Heritage, is not turned on by a new show at Ottawa's Canada Science and Technology Museum called "Sex: A Tell-All Exhibition," which opened yesterday and aims above all to educate adolescents about sex and sexuality. "The Canada Science and Technology Museum's mandate is to promote scientific and technological culture in Canada," said Moore spokesperson Sébastien Gariépy. "It's clear that this exhibition does not conform with this mandate; its contents is indefensible, and insulting to taxpayers." [La Presse]

— Art N.E.R.D.: The rapper and producer Pharrell Williams has been known to dabble in furniture design, but he has discerning taste in art too — sort of. Pressed to name his top five contemporary artists, he admits that his favorites are fairly conventional, praising Jeff KoonsDamien HirstTakashi MurakamiJR, and KAWS. "I don’t have the most eclectic in taste buds for art. I like what I like," he said. "With KAWS, I felt like he had this very interesting take on pop culture." [WSJ]

— Brooklyn Museum Crowdsources Another Exhibition: The Brooklyn Museum continues to explore populist exhibition approaches — from 2002 "Star Wars" exhibition and 2008's Takashi Murakami retrospective, to 2009's online voting-curated photography exhibition "Click!" and its solo shows by "Work of Art" winners — but its latest more firmly ties Internet polling to the local art scene. In "GO: a community-curated open studio project," December 1-February 24, 2013, museum curators will visit the studios of artists nominated on the exhibition's Web site to select works for exhibition. [Press Release]

— D.C. Museum Offers Tours for Alzheimer's Sufferers: The Kreeger Museum has begun offering tours of its Philip Johnson-designed house-turned-gallery for visitors afflicted with Alzheimer's. The program, the first of its kind, pairs seniors with the neurological disease and students from two local middle schools — plus the seniors' caregivers — who discuss works from the collection like Claude Monet's "Sunset at Pourville," a melancholy seascape painting in which two figures walk along the beach together. [NPR]

— China's Booming Market Inwardly Focused: China may have overtaken Europe and the United States to take the largest segment of the global market, but Chinese collectors' international dominance is largely the result of a fervor for domestic artworks. Chinese collectors have focused mostly on the country's ancient artifacts and, increasigly, the paintings of its proven contemporary art stars like Yue Minjun and Zeng Fanzhi. According to Kate Bryan of London’s Fine Art Society, formerly of Cat Street Gallery in Hong Kong: "Western art galleries are deluded in thinking how much they can persuade Chinese buyers to take an interest in Western art right now." [TAN]

— President's Portrait Censored in South Africa: A painting of South African president Jacob Zuma by the artist Brett Murray was removed from his exhibition at Johannesburg's Goodman Gallery (and the gallery's website) following pressure from the country's ruling ANC party. The portrait, titled "The Spear" and priced at 120,000 rand ($14,000), depicts the president wearing a suit and what looks like a codpiece. ANC spokesman Jackson Mthembu said the black, yellow, and red acrylic painting was an "abuse of freedom of artistic expression." [Guardian]

— Lisa Hostetler Leaves Milwaukee for D.C.: The Milwaukee Art Museum will lose its curator of photographs Lisa Hostetler in July, when she relocates to Washington, D.C. to become the Smithsonian American Art Museum's photography curator. Hostetler, who arrived at the Wisconsin institution seven years ago after a stint at the Metropolitan Museum, most recently organized the MAM's Taryn Simon retrospective. [Journal Sentinel]

— Baltimore Museum Gets Major Morris Louis Gift: The widow of the Baltimore-born artist Morris Louis (who died in 1962), Marcella Louis Brenner, has given the Baltimore Museum of Art more than 20 works by the early adopter of Color Field painting. The gift includes 19 drawings and the major paintings "Silver III" (1953) and "Untitled 5-76" (1956), one of which will make its BMA debut when the museum reopens its renovated Contemporary Wing. [Press Release]


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