Kevin Costner's Bison Art Flop, LACMA's Pact With "Homeless Billionaire," and More Must-Read Art News

Kevin Costner's Bison Art Flop, LACMA's Pact With "Homeless Billionaire," and More Must-Read Art News
Actor Kevin Costner
(Getty Images)

– Dances With Bison Sculptor: Twenty years ago, "Dances With Wolves" star Kevin Costner commissioned artist Peggy Detmers to create a monumental artwork for a resort he was planning outside Deadwood, South Dakota, a dramatic image featuring 17 bronze sculptures of Native-Americans chasing a herd of bison over a cliff. Today, the resort still hasn't broken ground, the project has brought Detmers's career to a standstill, and the pair are facing off in South Dakota's Supreme Court. It may just be Costner's biggest flop since "Waterworld." [WSJ

 Berggruen's Grand Plan: The art collector son of legendary art dealer Heinz Berggruen — called the "homeless billionaire" because he prefers living out of hotels to homes — has been working closely with LACMA to assemble an extensive and impressive list of major acquisitions, ultimately intended to be donated to the museum. The list consists of work by 12 artists, including Ed RuschaJohn BaldessariPaul McCarthyMike KelleyCharles RayJoseph Beuys, and Gerhard Richter. (As reporter Jori Finkel notes, all are male, all are white, and five are represented by Gagosian.) [LAT]

– Catskill Plans Citywide OWS Art Project: The Catskill Mountains will be playing host to a series of exhibitions of commissioned art by Occupy Wall Street activists and local artists. Part of a city-wide initiative in the town of Catskill called "Wall Street to Main Street," the three-month-long political art event is an effort to attract tourists and spur artist-activated economic development. [Almanac]  

– Art Saves Stroke Sufferers, Study Says: Arts appreciation may be key to a successful stroke recovery. According to a new study of 192 stroke survivors, those interested in the arts were found to be happier, less depressed, and have a generally better quality of health and life. [Hindustan Times]

– California Takes Arts Funding Into Overdrive: The California Arts Council will tap the golden state's two greatest resources — cars and celebrities — to boost its abysmal arts funding by promoting a series of special arts license plates to donors who make charitable contributions to the state's arts grants. Celebrities backing the new "Create a State" campaign including Robert Redford, Annette Bening, actor-collector Steve Martin, architect Frank Gehry, and Ed Ruscha. The project's aim is to boost arts license plates sales from 60,000 to over 1 million annually; the Arts Council gets $35 for each new plate sold. (Previously painter Wayne Thiebaud did a plate for the program — though its palm tree imagery was deemed too "SoCal" for those further north.) [LAT]

Ten Egyptian Looters Die During Illegal Excavation: The looters were buried when the walls of the well they had dug under a house in Arab al-Masnara, just north of Luxor, collapsed. Mansouk Boraik, head of the antiquities department at Luxor, told AFP that the Egyptian authorities had to "work on several levels to stop these dreams of easy money, people digging looking for a mirage." [Journal des Arts]

– Boston's Levitated Classical Sculpture: A 2nd century sculpture of the goddess Juno will roll up to Boston's Museum of Fine Arts on Tuesday in a rig reminiscent of that used to transport Michael Heizer's "Levitated Mass." Delivered lying down on a flatbed truck with its fragile head temporarily removed for the journey, the antiquity will be lifted into the MFA by crane through a skylight, then rolled through a gallery doorway that was expanded by a foot and a half just to accommodate the sculpture's delivery. [WSJ]

Ennery Museum Reopens in Paris: The museum, linked to the Musée National des Arts Asiatiques Guimet, was created to host a collection of Chinese and Japanese art bequeathed to the French state by Clémence d'Ennery in 1894. Closed since 1996, it will officially reopen its doors on April 5, more than a century after its first inauguration in 1908. [Connaissance des Arts]

– Damien Hirst's Market Heist: On the eve of the Tate's highly-anticipated Damien Hirst retrospective, author Hari Kunzru once again considers the artist's relationship to the market. "This isn't just art that exists in the market, or is 'about' the market," he writes. "This is art that is the market — a series of gestures that are made wholly or primarily to capture and embody financial value, and only secondarily have any other function or virtue." (Meanwhile, Art Market Monitor disagrees.) [Guardian

Warhol Museum Gets a New Curator: Australia native Nicholas Chambers, formerly the curator of contemporary international art at the Queensland Art Gallery, will assume his new role in April. [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette


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