Deitch Goes on the Defensive, Artist Crashes Cruise Ship at Gladstone, and More Must-Read Art News

Deitch Goes on the Defensive, Artist Crashes Cruise Ship at Gladstone, and More Must-Read Art News
MOCA director Jeffrey Deitch
(Photo: Joe Schildhorn/

– Deitch Defends MOCA Program: Embattled gallerist-turned-museum director Jeffrey Deitch characterized his approach to programing at Los Angeles's Museum of Contemporary Art as forward-thinking and innovative in an interview with the L.A. Times. Responding to criticisms stemming from the departure of chief curator Paul Schimmel and ensuing resignations of all four artist board members — John BaldessariBarbara KrugerCatherine Opie, and Ed Ruscha — he said, "Your average cultured reader, reading the L.A. Times, thinks that I've destroyed the museum, that I've dismantled all intelligence from the program, that we're doing nothing serious, that we're showing, like, celebrity portraits or something, that nobody on the staff gets along with me," Deitch said. "And that is not what's happening here." [LAT]

– Thomas Hirschhorn Will Crash a Cruise Ship in Chelsea: The sculptor and installation artist Thomas Hirschhorn, who in 2009 turned Gladstone Gallery into a giant DIY gym, has more ambitious and ominous plans for his solo show there next month, when he'll recreate the tragic sinking of the Concordia cruise ship off the coast of Italy inside the gallery's 21st Street location. "The exhibition, 'Concordia, Concordia' explores the conceit of the modern disaster," says a press release, "and turns the aphorism 'too big to fail' on its head." [TAN]


– Theaster Gates Turning Abandoned Bank Into Arts Hub: Chicago-based conceptual artist Theaster Gates recently helped save a long-abandoned bank on the city's South Side from demolition, and now he hopes the city will approve and partly fund his project to convert it into an arts center and library. "I've always felt like it's important that artists be good citizens," Gates said. "Citizenship for me includes thinking hard about the cultural life of the place that I live in. No matter what my resources have been, I've always tried to make culture happen." [Chicago Tribune]

– Vancouver Is the Newest Hub For Chinese Fakes: Vancouver, of all places, has become a hotbed for the production and sale of fake Chinese art and antiquities. The large Chinese expat and immigrant population has created an ideal atmosphere for fakes, according to experts. “You can guarantee that if something sold for a million dollars in Hong Kong last week, it will be copied and will be on the streets of Vancouver this week,” said Asian art specialist Hugh Bulmer. [Montreal Gazette via AMM

– Knoedler & Co. Suits to Share Judge: The three separate cases brought by patrons of the now-defunct Knoedler & Company will all have the same judge: Federal District Court Judge Paul G. Gardephe. As in all lawsuits over authenticity, however, the market — not the court — will have the final say. “In civil litigation the standard of proof is ‘more likely than not,’” explains art law specialist Ronald D. Spencer. “Now picture yourself walking into a gallery and seeing a Picasso. You ask, ‘Did Picasso paint that?,’ and the dealer says, ‘Yes, more likely than not.’ You wouldn’t buy that.” [NYT]

– Blake Gopnik Bashes "Gallery Girls": The Newsweek/Daily Beast critic gets an early peek at  “Gallery Girls,” Bravo's new reality show following 20-somethings as they try to make it in the New York art world. He's not amused.  “I’ve spent years living on planet art-world, and I couldn’t see any trace of it in a program that’s supposed to be set there,” he writes.  “Bravo’s version of that world feels like it could take place in any strip mall.” [Daily Beast]

– India's Young Talent Gets Corporate Funding: Corporations are stepping in to promote young Indian artists in the face of shrinking government support and a market slump. The Skoda Prize, sponsored by the eponymous European carmaker, offers one artist $100,000 and residencies for runners-up in collaboration with the Swiss Arts Council. In Calcutta, the construction company Avani has launched "Gen Next," a contest that awards an artist under 40 with a cash purse of $100,000. [INDOlink]

– Public Sculpture Goes Viral, Missing: "Alma" (2009), a piece of public art installed in the woods outside Fredericton, New Brunswick by the artist Christie Hunter, has gone missing after a photograph of the hybrid humanoid sculpture made the rounds on the popular image-sharing site Reddit. "I hope she hasn't been destroyed," said Hunter, who goes by the name WhiteFeather. "That someone's just got her somewhere and she's still intact, I guess." [CBC]

– Single-Sex Viewing Sets Off Firestorm at Israel Museum: Controversy erupted in Jerusalem last week after Haaretz reported — apparently inaccurately — that the Israel Museum would institute sex-segregated visiting hours for its new exhibition about Hasidic Jews in an attempt to attract Orthodox visitors. The museum vehemently denied the report, explaining that it would consider requests from single-sex groups only when the museum is closed to the public in accordance with existing museum policy. [Artforum]

– NASA Data Becomes Video Art: For her latest project, "Mariner 9" — debuting this month at the Spanish City complex in Whitley Bay on England's west coast — video artist Kelly Richardson used NASA's images of the surface of Mars and information on its immense dust storms to create a video of the Red Planet's landscape following a catastrophic space battle. "It focuses on the contradiction of our beautiful endeavour to find life beyond Earth, to know that we're not alone in the universe," Richardson said, "while simultaneously pointing to our incredibly destructive nature as a species." [Guardian]


"Mariner 9" by Kelly Richardson

Mariner 9 from Kelly Richardson on Vimeo.


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