– Emin to Exhibit Her Cat: Among the many new works filling Tracey Emin's studio in Spitalfields, London — she's currently preparing a solo show at New York's Lehmann Maupin gallery — are two sculptures of her beloved feline companion Docket coiled up in the shape of a comma. "I was really missing him when I made them," Emin said. "I feel they look like him, but then I took hundreds and hundreds of photos. He’s a good little soul to have around. He stops me from feeling alone. I’m actually really happy about being on my own, I really feel good about it. I feel like I’ve achieved something, just a little bit." [Daily Mail]
– Portland Art Museum Sponsors Naked Cyclists: This spring the Portland Art Museum (PAM) will host that city's edition of the annual World Naked Bike Ride, welcoming nude cyclists to the blocks surrounding its building on SW Park. The timing is perfect for PAM, which opens its new exhibition "Cyclepedia: Iconic Bicycle Design" on the same day, June 8. Portland's Naked Bike Ride, now in its tenth year, is one of the largest in the world, and typically draws between 4,000-5,000 bicyclists in birthday suits. Whether or not PAM will welcome naked visitors into its galleries, as the Leopold Museum did recently during its recent "Nude Men" show, remains to be seen. [Bike Portland]
– Middleton Honors Art Therapists: Tonight the Duchess of Cambridge hosts a charity gala at the U.K.'s National Portrait Gallery honoring one of her preferred charities, The Art Room, which provides art therapy for young people through painting and drawing classes. Kate Middleton will not only meet with the art therapy professionals who operate dedicated art rooms at schools in Oxford, but also the children who have been empowered and helped by their art classes. [Mirror Online]
– Manet's "Olympia" Meets Titian Original: For the first time ever, as part of the exhibition "Manet. Return to Venice" at Doge's Palace, Edouard Manet's controversial "Olympia" (1863) is being shown directly next to the work that helped inspire it, Titian's "Venus of Urbino" (1538), an art historical showdown decades and thousands of undergrad essays in the making. The former is on loan from Paris's Musée d'Orsay, and the latter from the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, which rarely lets it leave the building. "It took the help of the president of the Council Mario Monti, the French minister of foreign affairs Laurent Fabius, and his Italian counterpart, the Italian minister of culture, and the mayor of Venice to secure that loan from the Uffizi," said Gabriella Belli, director of Venice's museums. [AFP]
– Culture Secretary Making Economic Case for Arts: Faced with the possibility of further funding cuts for the U.K.'s already-reeling arts sector, culture secretary Maria Miller wants to emphasize the fiscal benefits of public funding for the arts. "When times are tough and money is tight, our focus must be on culture's economic impact," Miller said during a keynote speech to arts leaders at the British Museum. "I need you all to accept this fundamental premise, and work with me to develop the argument." [BBC]
– Brooklyn Brings China Art Karaoke: The Brooklyn-based gallery Cleopatra's and local artist Chris Rice are bringing artist-made karaoke videos to the Shanghai Biennale, while hometown fans can see the series, "CKTV," currently on view at the Brooklyn Academy of Music. Contributions include Boru O'Brien O'Connell's mashup of Phil Collins's "Against All Odds" with Tom Cruise's performance as a sex and dating guru in the film "Magnolia," and "uh duh yeah," a very challenging karaoke number by BFFA3AE made up of non-word lyrics from songs by Mariah Carey, Hanson, Eurythmics, and more. [Art F City]
– Lost Warhol Photos Go on View: Snapshots of Andy Warhol that were shot in 1981 by Daily Express photographer Steve Wood, but never published, were rediscovered last year and are slated to go on public view for the first time in an exhibition at 345meatpacking in New York next month, May 2-12. "The shoot was easy, it was very instinctive," Wood said. "Andy was very straightforward to work with. He trusted me to direct him as I wanted — to show him at his best. There was a great chemistry between us." [BBC]
– Rubells to Showcase Chinese Artists During ABMB: Prominent American collectors Don and Mera Rubell are looking to China’s artists as the focus for their 2013 Art Basel Miami Beach exhibition. "Year of the Artist" will include well-known artists Ai Weiwei and Zhang Huan, along with 25 lesser-known artists. "It’s going to be the culmination of the Chinese art we’ve been buying since 2001," Mera Rubell said. [Bloomberg] Watch ARTINFO video series with the Rubells here.
– France's Berlin Art Hub Shuttered, Will be Sold: The French Institute, the official French cultural hub in Berlin that, since 1950, has occupied the historic building Maison de France on the Kurfürstendamm, has closed, with its longtime home to be sold off within the next two years. Revenue from the sale will go toward funding upgrades at the French embassy, where the Institute will relocate its activities — though the fate of the Cinema Paris, also housed in the building, remains unknown. "No to the closing of this house, symbol of Franco-German friendship and emblem of French culture in Berlin," read a letter released by the Institute's staff, underlining the risks of "closing this beautiful establishment so firmly integrated into the cultural landscape." [Libération]
– Aldrich Museum Hires Amy Smith-Stewart: Independent curator and former gallerist Amy Smith-Stewart, who currently is a member of the faculty at both the Sotheby's Institute of Art and the School of Visual Arts, will be the Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum's new curator, a job she'll begin on May 14. Smith-Stewart , who has also worked at MoMA PS1, Mary Boone Gallery, and the Peter Norton Collection, replaces Mónica Ramírez-Montagut, who left the Connecticut institution last year. [AiA]
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