Getty Unleashes "Google Books for Art," an Art Star Arena Battle in Arles, and More Must-Read Art News

Getty Unleashes "Google Books for Art," an Art Star Arena Battle in Arles, and More Must-Read Art News
Arles Amphitheatre
(Photo by Stefan Bauer)

– Getty Unveils "Google Books for Art": The good folks at the Getty have launched a Web site, dubbed the Getty Research Portal, which is being described as "an art-specific version of Google Books." The cool new initiative aims to upload art historical texts online and make them searchable to anyone with an Internet connection. To date, the Getty has collaborated eight institutions, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art and Columbia University, to cull about 20,000 art-related titles. [LATGetty Research Portal]  

– Art World Heavies to Battle in Arles Amphitheatre: The age of the live art smackdown is upon us! For four days this summer, a Roman amphitheatre typically used for bullfighting in the center of Arles, France will host "To the Moon Via the Beach," an organized by the LUMA Foundation, helmed by a gaggle of curatorial stars — Tom Eccles, Liam GillickHans Ulrich ObristPhilippe Parreno, and Beatrix Ruf — and featuring works by 20 giants of contemporary art, including Daniel BurenDouglas GordonRirkrit Tiravanija, and Lawrence Weiner. From July 5-8, the artists will create new works, live, in the open-air, sand-filled arena-cum-studio. [Press Release]


– Frieze London Gets Artist-Designed Hologram Guide: Berlin-based artist Cecile B. Evans has won Frieze's annual Emdash award, which allows an emerging artist living outside the UK to realize a major project at Frieze London. Evans will create an arty audio guide to the art fair featuring the voices of non-art people commenting on the spectacle, which will be accompanied by a ghost-like holographic "host" that will pop up around the fair. [Press Release, ARTINFO UK]

– So This is What Retirement Looks Like: "Retired" art star Maurizio Cattelan unveiled an attitude-filled billboard next to the High Line last night, created in collaboration with photographer Pierpaolo Ferrari. The giant image of a woman's 10 manicured and jeweled fingers will be on view through June 30. Though Cattelan held casting sessions for hand models, he found his subject — an older woman — while taking a break at the bar next door. [NYT]

– MoMA Acquires Darger Trove: The Museum of Modern Art has acquired 13 double-sided drawings by the artist Henry Darger, the museum's largest acquisition of work by an outsider artist. MoMA PS1 director Klaus Biesenbach, an expert in Darger's work, is said to have been instrumental in arranging the gift, which came from the artist's estate. [NYT]

– Nazi Victim's Family Told to Return Artifact: In a reversal of the traditional scenario, the family of a Holocaust survivor was ordered to return an ancient gold tablet to the Vorderasiatisches Museum in Berlin after a court concluded it had been looted not from the survivor, but from the museum at the close of WWII. [NYT]

– Montreal Museum Rained Out: The Montreal Museum of Contemporary Art's underground storage facility flooded earlier this week amidst heavy rains, causing damage to hundreds of artworks and marking the fourth time the institution has been affected by serious flooding. "We have one to three feet of water in our basements," said the museum's director, Paulette Gagnon. "It’s not a dozen works, it’s hundreds. But we still don’t know the exact number." [Globe and Mail]

– Degas Scholars Boycott Symposium Over Authenticity Fears: Leading Edgar Degas experts refused to attend a conference at the State Hermitage Museum last weekend in order to avoid discussing bronzes made with a set of recently discovered plaster casts. Their boycott was motivated not only by questions regarding the authenticity of the plaster casts, but also by the legal risks run by scholars who publicly question the provenance of such artworks. [TAN]

– Bush Presidential Portrait Unveiled: Former President George W. Bush and his wife Laura Bush were back at the White House yesterday for the formal unveiling of the latest presidential portrait. The painting, along with one of Mrs. Bush, were made by fellow Texan John Howard Sanden. "I am pleased my portrait brings an interesting symmetry to the White House collection," Bush said. "It now starts and ends with a George W." [LAT]

– Gay Art Museum Gets Major Donation: The Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art in SoHo — which only recently received formal museum accreditation — has received donations totaling upwards of $10 million, the largest donation ever to a gay and lesbian arts organization. Of that sum, $8.8 million was given by museum co-founder Charles W. Leslie in honor of his late partner Fredric D. Lohman. The remainder includes a $1.5 million donation from the estate of painter Marion Pinto. [Art Daily]


Cecile B. Evans, who has just won the Emdash prize and will create an audio guide for Frieze 2012, explains her previous project, "Art by Telephone":


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For more breaking art news throughout the day,
check ARTINFO's In the Air blog.