Kennedy Center Jumps on Armory's Nordic Art Bandwagon, The Dog Painting Boom, and More Must-Read Art News

Kennedy Center Jumps on Armory's Nordic Art Bandwagon, The Dog Painting Boom, and More Must-Read Art News
The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Washington D.C.
(Courtesy Kevin H. via Flickr)

– Kennedy Center Plans Nordic Arts Festival: Is it something in the water? This week, the Armory Show kicks off with a regional focus on Nordic art. Now, Washington's Kennedy Center has announced plans for a monthlong festival called "Nordic Cool 2013." Featuring, among other things, a percussionist who carves instruments from Norwegian glacier ice (!!), the festival will explore Nordic arts, nature, technology, and environmental sustainability. [CBS]

– Barking Up the Right Tree: Auction houses aren't racing to consign "Dogs Playing Poker" just yet, but paintings of pooches from the 19th century are commanding unprecedented prices. William Henry Hamilton Trood's "Dejeuner," a picture of cats and dogs feasting on a fish, was sold at Bonhams's "dog only" auction in Los Angeles for $194,500 — a record for the artist. That is, until his "Hounds in a Kennel" sold for $212,500 just an hour later. "The dog art market is certainly turning a corner," said Alan Fausel, VP at Bonhams. [AP]

– Scope Embraces Satellite Fair Status: Having moved his Scope New York fair to a new space on West 57th Street and 12th Avenue, founder Alexis Hubshman tells the WSJ the obvious — that the decision was made to get closer to the Armory Show — adding, "We were the first of the satellite fairs and we don't pretend we are anything else." [WSJ]

– Art Organization Distances Itself from "Jersey Shore": Everyone loves to hate "The Jersey Shore," and arts organization Expose SF, which sponsors an art competition in San Francisco, is capitalizing on this, putting out a statement officially declaring that it has decided to unfollow Jonny "The Unit" Manfre on Twitter. "We felt that having his account displayed on our Twitter page gave our fans the wrong message," a spokesman declares. It may be a publicity stunt, but hey, we're entertained. [SFGate]

 Fukushima Chic:  Australian duo Ken and Julia Yonetani have designed a set of glowing green chandeliers made from uranium, to be shown in a group exhibition in Germany coinciding with the one-year anniversary of Japan's Fukushima nuclear disaster on March 11. A few centimetres away from the works, the radioactivity level is five times higher than normal, but the artists maintain that the pieces present no health hazard. [TAN]

– Chagall Murals Restored: Bank of America Merrill Lynch is funding the restoration of five paintings at the Tel Aviv Museum of Art by Marc Chagall, who was deeply involved in the Israeli institution's establishment. [Bloomberg]

– Good Find at Goodwill: A South Carolina man bought a $3 painting at a Goodwill store a year and a half ago because, as he says, "I figured the picture frame was worth about $50 on the Internet." The former antiques dealer's daughter eventually had the work appraised on Antiques Roadshow at between $20,000-$30,000. Last week the Flemish oil painting from 1650 sold at auction for $190,000. [WISTV]

– New Barnes Brings Sculpture Out: The Philadelphia Art Commission will vote today on a plan to erect a major public artwork by Ellsworth Kelly outside the Barnes Foundation's new home. The 40-foot-high geometric abstraction in stainless steel is being gifted to the museum by the Neubauer Family Foundation. [NYT]

– Aquaman Attacks: A leaky roof at the storage facility of Pittsburgh comics art museum the ToonnSeum has left hundreds, perhaps thousands, of items from its collection badly water damaged. The museum's executive director Joe Wos says many of the items that will have to be replaced were waiting to be transfered to the museum's new on-site library. [HuffPo]

– Marlborough Chelsea Readies for its Close-Up: The Times profiles Max Levai, the 24-year-old director of Marlborough Chelsea, who has been charged with remaking the image of the gallery's downtown space and distinguishing it from the rest of his father's blue-chip gallery chain. At the Armory Show this year, Marlborough Chelsea will have its own booth, separate from the gallery's uptown space. [NYT]

– Gilbert & George Aim for World Domination: The British artist duo seems to be everywhere this month. In addition to inaugurating White Cube's new Hong Kong space, the pair will show their series "London Pictures" at Sonnabend Gallery and both New York locations of Lehmann Maupin. The series aims to portray "the sorrow and humanity of Western city life." [Press Release] 

 Much More Munch: Oslo's Munch Museum, the city government, and Norway's ministry of culture are joining forces to push the country's foremost artistic export with renewed intensity. Citing the success of the traveling exhibition "Edvard Munch: the Modern Eye," museum director Stein Olav Henrichsen says he plans to host more exhibitions of Munch abroad and arrange a recurrent Munch conference. [TAN]

– Art Gives Voice to Chinese Women: The New York Times visited an exhibition of feminist art in China ("still a tiny phenomenon") that sought to highlight the parlous position of the country's 653 million women. Guards rushed in shortly before the opening to demand the removal of two paintings by artist Lan Jiny. [NYT

24 year-old Iranian Photographer Arrested: Known for her strong political views, photographer Tahmineh Monzavi is currently being held in detention by the Iranian authorities. The reasons behind her arrest are unknown. [Connaissance des Arts]


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