Shrigley bundles up
With this chilly weather, our minds naturally turn to warm, cozy jumpers, so this funny little animated film about knitwear by artist David Shrigley (www.youtube.com/watch?v=OoiW5-uA3_E) gave us an extra warm feeling inside. Made for the posh label Pringle of Scotland—where we are told “it rains all the time. It really does your head in”—the film was shown earlier this month at Milan’s Fashion Week. The film follows the cardigan-making process, from selecting the best wool from lambs and goats (“Manky wool is no good to us”) to little old ladies knitting up an argyle storm and showing off the finished products on the runway, where the narrator says the “models are horribly skinny like skeletons. Personally I’d like to see a normal shaped lassie with a big bottom and nice pair of hooters.” She’d certainly fill out the sweater better.
Sweetening the Super Bowl pot—with art
In perhaps the greatest show of home team spirit, the directors of the art museums for Indianapolis and New Orleans have entered into a friendly bet over their respective teams’ chances at winning the Super Bowl football championship next weekend. Brokered by arts blogger Tyler Green ( www.artsjournal.com/man ), the wagering has slowly escalated, starting with Maxwell Anderson offering a little known Ingrid Calame abstract canvas on loan to Louisiana if the Saints triumph and E. John Bullard countering with the Renoir painting Seamstress at Window if the Colts go home victorious. After some congenial trash talking, the two football fans finally agreed to an equal exchange; the Indianapolis Museum of Art’s The Fifth Plague of Egypt by JMW Turner vs the New Orleans Museum of Art’s Ideal View of Tivoli by Claude Lorrain. Game on!
Banksy rebuffed in Utah
While a documentary purported to be by guerrilla street artist Banksy has been making a stir at the Sundance film festival, with crowds lining up to see the film this weekend, his graffiti has not been so well received. Though the elusive spray-painter has yet to be spotted—not even at his own film’s screening—his signature stencils have been popping up on public walls around Park City, Utah, where the annual festival is held. Despite the artist’s quasi-celebrity status, city officials are treating Banksy’s work like any other graffiti and quickly covering it up. “Our official position is that anything that’s put up on public property we’ll have removed within 72 hours,” a city official told the Salt Lake Tribune.
Damien thrown in the Art Bin
Brit artist Michael Landy is set to throw unwanted and unloved works of art in his Art Bin which opens this week at the South London Gallery. Landy will decide what actually ends up in the huge, 600 sq. m galvanised steel bin and has asked some high-profile names to contribute up front. "So we've got, among others, Damien Hirst, Tracey Emin, Julian Opie and Gary Hume. Damien's contributed three paintings, three of his skull paintings. Which I think look rather good, but they're in," Landy told The Observer. Hirst's show of paintings at London's Wallace Collection, which ended last weekend, was universally panned by the critics (making this destruction of Damien's works particularly timely).
Art will eat itself
The most intriguing and entertaining exhibition title of the week comes from the Dorothy Circus Gallery in Rome which opens a show of works by Iranian artist Nouar and Laura Wachter of Spain on 5 February. This delicious display is dedicated to all things gastronomical-so what is the distinguished nosh-led show name? "What a WonderFood World".
Putting the ohm in MoMA
You wouldn’t think that art and exercise would go well together, but there seems to be some appeal in the quiet contemplation of artworks coupled with the meditation of yoga. Last year MoMA hosted two sold out sessions of the Eastern practice in its sculpture garden and atrium, giving visitors a chance to stretch and pose surrounded by a trippy Pipilotti Rist video installation. Today is the last chance to sign up for its next session, to be held this Saturday morning underneath Gabriel Orozco's massive, hanging whale skeleton. The event has proven so popular that art loving yogis will be chosen by a lottery system to take part, but you can try your luck by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. What’s next, Pilates next to Picassos?
Art world rolls out for Rothko
The Donmar Warehouse, London's raw-edged repertory theatre, should have rolled out a red carpet on Monday night as a constellation of art world luvvies arrived to watch Alfred Molina play Mark Rothko struggle with his artistic soul, in the new play "Red". To paint murals for the ritzy Four Seasons restaurant in New York, or not? That is the question Rothko rages at. While the art titan's ego fills stage and canvas, in the audience sat curator-titan Norman Rosenthal, critic and broadcaster Andrew Graham-Dixon, and artist Gavin Turk. Damien Hirst was otherwise engaged, however, musing over the green baize at the Pukka Pies UK Snooker Championship in Telford.
Back-seat shenanigans in Berlin
Sit back, relax and watch out for the gear stick with the next show at the Temporäre Kunsthalle Berlin ("Auto-Kino!", 5 February-14 March). Brit artist Phil Collins hopes that visitors will settle down in 15 secondhand cars installed in the space and digest a rotating programme of artists' films and movie classics by practitioners such as Gillian Wearing, Martin Creed, Todd Haynes and Fritz Lang. Let's hope visitors don't get too amorous though. "In the 1950s, the then extremely successful drive-ins were considered seedy 'passion pits' and a moral hazard to youth," points out a press spokeswoman. Saucy.
Why Wait indeed?
That oft-dreaded "video art" experience of being obliged to patiently sit all the way through some painfully slow audio-visual venture takes on a new dimension at the Centre d'Art de Genève with an aptly titled show "Pourquoi Attendre!" (until 7 February). Curated by Simon Lamunière, the core of the exhibition appears like a large waiting room. After taking a ticket at a queue ticket dispenser, visitors first have to sit to watch a selection of videos from the "archives of [scholar] André Iten" while waiting their turn to enter the second part of the exhibition. Once allowed to walk into the rest of the show things hardly get any snappier, for as the museum boasts: "The starting piece of the ambulatory part is Samuel Beckett's 'Geistertrio', which sets the tone and plunges visitors into a waiting atmosphere, a sense of the very slow passing of time." Very slow indeed.
A picture worth 150 characters
Turning written tweets into visual treats, artist Odessa Begay has just launched a funny little blog called Museum of Modern Tweets ( http://tweetmuseum.com/ ). Taking the often vague micro-updates that celebrities like Martha Stewart post on Twitter, Begay creates colourful digital illustrations of what she thinks they might mean. A personal favourite is the simple post of teenage pop singer Nick Jonas, whose "exciting day" as imagined by the artist involves a pink pony and jet pack. Via www.buzzfeed.com
Hard time for a soft drink?
Showing that it doesn't pay to hit the bottle, a Denver-based artist, Jason Kay, has been served with felony charges for an art project criticising golfer Tiger Woods. Kay replaced the labels on Gatorade sports drinks with hand-made ones displaying a portrait of the cheating athlete and his wife emblazoned with the word "unfaithful", and then hid the newly branded bottles on store shelves. The artist says he performed the stunt as a work of "pop art", and not for money or publicity, but according to court documents he also approached the drinks company with the plan of it "providing support to the artist for travel and per diem in various cities" claiming it would be "good for Gatorade and good for art". Who needs a drink?
Mazel tov, Jeff!
The art world burst into a media frenzy following the confirmation yesterday of rumours that New York dealer Jeffrey Deitch's will be taking over as the new director of LA's Museum of Contemporary Art. As every art journalist, critic and blogger with a pulse jumped to post their two cents on the appointment, we've got to agree with Tyler Green who points to perhaps the best headline of the bunch on his Modern Art Notes blog ( http://www.artsjournal.com/man ) courtesy of the Jewish Journal: "Nice Jewish Art Dealer Become Museum Director". Meanhwile, young Jewish magazine Heeb reported the news, describing Deitch as "a nice Jewish boy from Hartford, Connecticut who spent his teenage years working in his father’s heating and air conditioning business". That Jeffrey, he's such a mensch!
Hirst's holiday cheer
As we sadly take down our Christmas cards from The Art Newspaper mantelpiece, we note one delightful yuletide missive that we missed in our postbox this year. As Bloomberg reporter Lindsay Pollock notes on her blog (http://lindsaypollock.com ), London artist Damien Hirst forwent the usual skiing holiday snaps with wooly hats and sent out a tropical technicolour dreamscape of his family, designed by Bali artist Ashely Bickerton. Just the thing to brighten our winter doldrums.
Feisty Fritz fires up Ruhr.2010
Enthusiasm is always admirable which is why we like the gusto of Fritz Pleitgen, Chairman of RUHR.2010 (European Capital of Culture in Essen, Germany), who recently exclaimed: "Who needs Copenhagen when you have the Ruhr metropolis? Despite climate change, we have a winter wonderland here! And nobody gets cold feet because RUHR.2010 is full of energy and everyone in the region is full of hot-blooded enthusiasm. We are on fire!" Don't hold back Fritz.
Get horsy in Kentucky
We are all for horse museums here at TAN, so much so that we duly noted the campaign launched last year to establish a Museum of the Horse in the UK (indeed, a petition for the planned pony institution was posted online at the official website of the Prime Minister's office). So we are happy to see that the largest collection of Arabian equine art and artifacts ever assembled (or so says the press blurb) will be exhibited in "A Gift from the Desert: The Art, History and Culture of the Arabian Horse" (29 May-15 October) at the International Museum of the Horse, a Smithsonian Affiliate in Kentucky. The Saudi Arabian Equestrian Federation is behind this equine extravaganza.
Reach for the stars
Seattle-born artist Conrad Ventur is always looking to the stars (celebrities that is, not the sort in the sky). Ventur recently downloaded footage from YouTube of Welsh diva Shirley Bassey singing “This Is My Life”, melding the clips to create an all-encompassing installation. Other idols to get the Ventur treatment include Marilyn Monroe and Marlene Dietrich. Now, the glitterati guru has turned to the late singer Nina Simone, incorporating footage of the legendary chanteuse in a new piece set to go on show at Rokeby Gallery in London next week.
A tipple for Tut
Pharaonic fever has taken over Toronto in response to the Art Gallery of Ontario’s blockbuster exhibition “King Tut:the Golden King and the Great Pharaohs” (until 18 April). Visitors to the city can take advantage of several Boy King-themed indulgences including the ultimate royal tipple: the Tut-tini. Made from vodka, butter ripple liqueur and cranberry juice, the cocktail is the creation of bartender Mike Astins from the swanky Fairmont Royal York Hotel. When asked to create the concoction, the only stipulation was that it must include Goldschläger. What could better befit the Boy King than a bright pink martini peppered with 24-carat gold flecks?
Candy-insky to show sweet sculptures
Berlin-based artist Hannes Bend likes his art to be sweet-literally. A selection of the artist's candy casts, including Albrecht Dürer’s Praying Hands and a bonbon-based crucifix, are set to go on show at New York's Half Gallery (15 January-11 February). "In preparation he is currently casting works, including a deer hunter's trophy and other iconic objects, in the open kitchen at the artisanal candy shop Papabubble in Little Italy," said a gallery spokeswoman who points out that Bend apprenticed with the renowned Berlin-based candymaker Hjalmar Stecher. New paintings, such as Circumference Surprise (2009, pictured), will also go on display.