Europeans Launch a YouTube for Art, Occupiers Turn on Berlin Biennale, and More Must-Read Art News

Europeans Launch a YouTube for Art, Occupiers Turn on Berlin Biennale, and More Must-Read Art News
(Courtesy ARTtube)

– European Museums Create Their Own YouTube: Five Dutch and Belgian museums, including heavyweights like the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam and the Gemeentemuseum at the Hague in Belgium, have banded together to launch an online video channel through which they plan to publish original films about art and design. Dubbed ARTtube, the channel will include interviews with artists and profiles of upcoming exhibitions. (L.A. MOCA has developed a similar initiative, as does the Indianapolis Museum of Art.) [ArtReview]

– Berlin Biennale May Have Regreted Hosting Occupy: Artist-curator Artur Zmijewski's decision to include real Occupy movement activists in the Berlin Biennale — where they could be watched by visitors in a zoo-like enclosure — nearly backfired when the group and members of Spain's M15 movement demanded radical restructuring of the exhibition just before its July 1 closing. But Zmijewski and the biennale's backers ceded to the demands, posting to the exhibition's Web site that "the invited global movements have challenged the hierarchical structure of the biennial” and want to "loosen the assumptions of cul­tural, institutional, and economic hierarchy." [TAN]

– Barnes Foundation Hit With Another Lawsuit: The unflappable collective Friends of the Barnes Foundation, a group long opposed to the institution's move to downtown Philadelphia, has filed yet another petition in Superior Court after former Barnes CEO Kimberly Camp publicly admitted that "bankruptcy was not the reason" for the relocation. Meanwhile, some commentators more supportive of the move note that the original court opinion says nothing of bankruptcy, but simply notes that the "Foundation's finances have reached a critical point." [Press Release, The Art Law Blog

– British Museums Struggle to Stay Open: In a survey of 144 British arts institutions, 22 percent said they had closed all or part of their sites in the last 12 months, and over half said they had seen their budgets slashed. "Of most concern," says Museums Association director Mark Taylor, who organized the survey, "is that public access is down and this is of particular concern to smaller, community museums." [BBC

– Artist Pulls off "Italian Job"-Inspired Balancing Act: The sculptor and installation artist Richard Wilson is no stranger to monumental suspended forms — he's currently designing Europe's longest sculpture for Heathrow Airport — but his latest gravity-defying creation will surely give viewers a start. "Hang on a Minute Lads, I've Got a Great Idea," which consists of a full-scale replica of a bus balanced precariously on the edge of the roof of the De La Warr Pavilion in East Sussex, takes its inspiration from the classic heist film "The Italian Job," whose closing line — spoken by Michael Caine — provided the work's title. [Guardian]

– Dutch Naval Painting Puts Wind in Sotheby's Sale's Sails: The 17th-century Willem can de Velde the Younger painting "The Surrender of the Royal Prince" led the way at Sotheby's Old Masters auction in London this week, chipping in £5.3 million ($8.2 million) towards the sale's £32.3 million ($50 million) total. That total, with 67 percent of lots sold, was still far below the high estimate for the evening's total, £40.3 million ($62.7 million), and Christie's Old Masters sale of the night before, which brought in £85.1 million ($127 million). [Bloomberg]

– Braque Takes His First Trip to China: More than 200 works by Georges Braque, including rarely seen sculptures and watercolors, will go on display at the Beijing Imperial City Art Museum this fall, marking the first time the French Cubist's works have been shown in China. []

– Cold War Tech Could Reassemble Stained Glass: The British branch of the World Monuments Fund is pursuing a project to re-purpose experimental document-decoding software developed during the Cold War to reassemble fragments of Coventry Cathedral's treasured stained-glass windows — removed just before German air raids began during WWII — some of which are believed to be the work of stained-glass great John Thornton. "It is like rediscovering [a painting from] Picasso’s blue period in fragments in a basement," said WMF CEO Jonathan Foyle. "It is a magnificent puzzle." [TAN]

– Prix Pictet Shortlist Full of Photo Stars: The 12 nominees for the fourth annual Prix Pictet, a Swiss Franc 100,000 ($104,200) prize given by the bank Pictet & Cie, were announced this week. The artists addressing the competition's theme — power — hail from 10 countries and include venerated American photographer Robert Adams, Vietnamese-American An-My Lê, and South African Guy Tillim. The winner will be announced in London on October 9, when the finalists' exhibition opens at the Saatchi Gallery. [Guardian]

– Artists Giving Back — to Schools: An increasing number of artists are making generous bequests directly to universities without the intervening apparatus of a private foundation. Artists without the name recognition of Andy Warhol and Robert Rauschenberg such as David Driskell, June Wayne, and Don Reitz — are particularly fond of this strategy, and have donated millions of dollars and thousands of artworks to universities across the United States. [TAN]


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