NYPD Ogles Exhibitionist Art Show, Sotheby's Saddles Up Old West Sale, and More

NYPD Ogles Exhibitionist Art Show, Sotheby's Saddles Up Old West Sale, and More
Natalie White
(via roxnyc.com)

– Topless Gallery Tour Convinces CopsNYPD officers turned up to the Lower East Side's ROX Gallery on Tuesday in response to complaints about its new exhibition, "Who Shot Natalie White?," which features some graphically sexual photos viewable from the street (The show collects nude portraits of White — known as photographer Peter Beard's muse — by artists including Michael DweckSean Lennon, Spencer Tunick, and Olivier Zahm.) Upon arrival, the cops were greeted by the topless White herself, who led the cops on a tour of the exhibition, apparently convincing them to let the show go on. Her lawyer, however, was less amused: "Why did they feel it was necessary to come inside and meet the naked girl?," asked Ron Kuby. "Maybe they’re just being thorough, leaving no stone unturned." [NYPost]

– Sotheby's Trots Out New Western Art Sale: Next month Sotheby's will hold its inaugural Arts of the American West sale in New York, featuring Native American art and artifacts and paintings and drawings portraying the mythic iconography of the Far West. "The American West has  been a deep source of inspiration for an astonishing variety of artists over the centuries and equally a source  of inspiration for collectors who respond to its spirit and unique character," said Sotheby's consultant David Roche. "We are delighted to bring these  diverse artistic traditions together as a single auction." [Press Release]


– Drink-and-Paint Parties Popular in Chicago: Forget watching the Bulls or the Cubs, Windy City residents have a new favorite drinking pastime: painting. Studios around the city are offering BYOB adult art classes where groups of friends, teams of co-workers, bachelorette parties, or artist couples out on a date are provided with supplies and instruction, and leave buzzed with a brand new painting. "It’s more about the social component — a glass of wine, relaxing with friends — than it is about the art itself," said Stephanie King-Meyers, co-owner of Bottle and Bottega studio. "But you end up leaving with something extraordinary." [Chicago Sun-Times]

– Vancouver Art Gallery Expansion a Go: The Vancouver Art Gallery has been plotting a relocation to a new, purpose-built home for years, and now the city of Vancouver has granted it the land to do so, on the condition that the museum can meet some steep fundraising benchmarks first: It will need to raise some $150 million in funding from the federal and provincial governments, plus 75 percent of the new building's projected $300-million construction budget. "We’ve been waiting for this moment for a long time," VAG director Kathleen Bartels said. "I think we’ve had our ups and downs and I just try to keep my eyes focused on the end goal and what I think is really exciting for a city, for the artists that live and work here." [Globe and Mail]

– Istanbul University's Art Collection Auctioned: Despite protests, petitions, and widespread concerns that doing so would affect Istanbul Bigli University's ability to attract artists to its museum in the future, the institution went ahead with a sale of modern and contemporary artworks from its collection, fetching just $7 million — far less than was spent acquiring the 60 or so pieces — and exposing the legal limbo contemporary art occupies in Turkey. "One of the good things we learned in the process," said Istanbul art professional Ozge Ersoy, "was that the laws in Turkey are not very good at protecting modern and contemporary artworks because cultural heritage is defined in Turkish law as artifacts or objects that are more than 100 years old… At the end of the day, it's only an ethical issue." [NYT]

– Cloudy Art Drifts Into London Station: A pair of giant cloud sculptures with dark figures peering from atop them have been hoisted into place at London's St. Pancras train station. "Cloud: Meteoros," by Lucy and Jorge Orta, launches the station's new public art program, the Terrace Wires, in a spot formerly occupied by giant Olympic rings. "'Meteoros' has a double meaning," explained Lucy Orta. "It means 'in the midst,' 'lofty,' 'hanging,' 'suspended,' and a meteor is an atmospheric phenomenon, like a cloud." [BBC]

– Tate Modern Expansion Gets Big Boost: Collector and philanthropist Janet Wolfson de Botton, by way of her Wolfson Foundation, has donated £5 million towards the Tate Modern's forthcoming £215-million expansion, due to open by 2016, meaning the institution now has 80 percent of the funds needed to cover its costs. Before Tate Modern even opened de Botton was a major supporter, donation 60 works — including pieces by Cindy ShermanGilbert & George, and Carl Andre — in 1996. "We are delighted to be contributing to this exciting project at an organization which has done more than any other to bring contemporary art to a mass audience," de Botton said. "Tate Modern has been a remarkable success story since its opening in 2000." [London Evening Standard]

– National Gallery Acquires Artschwager: The National Gallery of Art's Collectors Committee has paved the way for the D.C. museum's acquisition of a trademark Formica sculpture by the late Richard Artschwager, an early kinetic sculpture by Hans Haacke, a Rineke Dijkstra video, and a series of stain paintings by Ed Ruscha. "This year, the Collectors Committee's selection brings the Gallery three important works of modern sculpture," said NGA director Earl A. Powell III. "We are very grateful to the Collectors Committee, which enables the Gallery to continually enhance its holdings of modern art." [Press Release]

– How to Bake Mondrian Cake: Baked goods artist Caitlin Freeman, who, with her husband — Blue Bottle Coffee founder James Freeman — sells artful sweets at SFMOMA inspired by artworks from the museum's collection, has shared some of the secrets behind her signature creation, a cake loaf whose colorful dough doesn't simply mimic but actively transforms the abstract compositions of Piet Mondrian. "When we started thinking about other artwork to base desserts on, I didn't want to re-create things," Caitlin Freeman said. "I didn't want to splatter frosting on a cake and have it look like a Jackson Pollock. I wanted to reinterpret it somehow." [NPR]

– Major Donation for Meadows Museum: The Meadows Museum at Southern Methodist University in Dallas has received a $1 million donation from local philanthropists Linda and William Custard to create and endow a new director position at the institution. "Linda Custard has provided dedicated leadership on the SMU Board of Trustees and the Leadership Council of the Second Century Campaign," said SMU president R. Gerald Turner. "This endowed Centennial chair supports one of the campaign’s highest priorities. It brings the total of SMU’s endowed academic positions to 93 toward a goal of 100." The Meadows Museum's current director, Mark A. Roglán, will be its first Linda P. and William A. Custard Director. [Press Release]


A "Harlem Shake" tribute to Mondrian


Patronage in L.A. (Part 2 of 3): Can LACMA Spark a "Generational Changeover"?

New York Union Members Speak Out at City Hall Against Frieze's Labor Policies

Russian Billionaire's Synesthetic Think Tank Explores Sensorial Design in Milan

Gallerists and Glitterati Fete Winners at Whitney Museum's American Art Awards

VIDEO: Art and Architecture at the National Academy Museum

Mo’ Moola for MOCA: L.A. Museum Says Endowment Drive Has Reached $75 Million

Will.I.Am Visits the Louvre After Midnight to Record New Song in Front of the Mona Lisa

For breaking news throughout the day, check our blog In The Air.