Heizer’s rock is ready to roll
Michael Heizer’s behemoth boulder is due to start its 11-night, 105-mile journey this Tuesday night from a quarry in Riverside County, California, to Lacma, where it will be installed as Levitated Mass behind the Resnick Pavilion extension. The work has been delayed for months because of logistical concerns over moving the 340-ton stone, which is travelling through four California counties and requires its own specially built transporter. But all the necessary permits have been acquired, all kinds of safety measures have been taken into consideration, and the rock is ready to roll. You can follow its slow but steady progress on Lacma’s website and through its Twitter feed, using the hashtag #LevitatedMass.
When major artists make public appearances, they may well encounter British artist Ryan James who asks stellar art world figures to create a work for him on the spot (both Jeff Koons and Paul McCarthy have happily made personal pieces of art for the canny collector). James has been on the lookout for other artists, recently meeting Peter Fischli of the Swiss duo Fischli & Weiss at the Kunsthalle Bern. "Peter drew on two brown eggs and signed the egg carton. The eggs are in my fridge, I have to figure out how to preserve them or drain the yolks out. I never thought part of my art collection would reside in my fridge. A couple of collectors have enquired about purchasing them, but I won't sell," quips James.
A pride of crochet lions on parade
The Leicestershire based artist Shauna Richardson’s has crafted a very British contribution to the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games called The Lionheart Project. She is known for a distinct body of work that she calls “Crochetdermy”—life-size, realistic, crotchet animal creations—and, after two years of work, has crafted three nine-metre-long lions out of 36 miles of Swaledale wool. Conceived as an interpretation of Richard the Lionheart’s coat of arms, and presented in the spirit of a medieval travelling menagerie show, the figures will tour the country in an illuminated glass case. The procession is scheduled to start the tour at Chatsworth on 1 May and arrive at the Natural History Museum in London in time for the games, having visited multiple venues and reaching an estimated audience of more than half a million people. The Lionheart Project is part of Artists Taking the Lead, a series of 12 public art commissions across the UK to celebrate the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad. E.R. Image: Artists taking the lead commission for the East Midlands, Shauna Richardson: The Lionheart Project, installation shot. Photograph by Nick Hand
So much for Swiss timekeeping
The Kunsthaus in Zurich has announced a delay to The Clock, Christian Marclay’s highly successful 2010 video made using brief extracts of clocks and watches which appear in time-related scenes in films. Although not yet officially announced, the Zurich gallery has acquired a copy of the work (Marclay was born in California to a Swiss father). The Clock was to have been shown from 25 April-6 May, but this has been put back until 23 August-2 September. The Kunsthaus is being a little coy about the reasons for the delay, but the video has to be presented over a 24-hour period. A room therefore has to be opened up round-the-clock for just over a week - not an easy logistical exercise in a gallery with an extremely valuable collection. Earlier this month the Tate, the Centre Pompidou in Paris and the Israel Museum in Jerusalem jointly purchased a copy of The Clock.
The Simpsons take to the streets
Those street artists might think they're the bad boys, but they're nothing compared to Bartholomew JoJo Simpson and Millhouse Mussolini Van Houten. Shepard Fairey, Kenny Scharf, Ron English and Robbie Conal are set to meet some real grade-school punks—aka Bart and Millhouse from the long-running cartoon The Simpsons—when they play their own voices on the 4 March episode “Exit Through the Kwik-E-Mart”. It's not creator Matt Groening's first nod to street art: Banksy conceived an opening sequence for a 2010 episode that saw Korean animators toiling in sweatshop conditions. And Banksy also left his mark on a wall in New Orleans in a piece that had a more regular looking boy writing on a blackboard “I must not copy what I see on The Simpsons”, a take on the show's title credits. Last year, Simon Rodia's Watts Towers made an appearance on the show and Jasper Johns played himself in 1999.
Banderas takes on Picasso in biopic
Spanish movie star Antonio Banderas has been signed up to play Picasso according to the Daily Mail. The new biopic, entitled 33 Days, will focus on his relationship with his French muse Dora Maar, and how the Cubist pioneer conceived and created Guernica (1937). "[Picasso] is a character that followed me for a long time, but [I] had always rejected it... he deserves a lot of respect because I am Malagan," said Banderas. "I was born four blocks from where he was born. It has always fascinated me."
Radcliffe rejected by a frosty Frieze dealer
Daniel Radcliffe (or Mr H. Potter as he's otherwise known) recently revealed his art collecting tastes to the press, telling Esquire that works by Warhol and Hirst grace his walls. "I recently bought a few portraits by Elizabeth Peyton. She did a portrait of Pete Doherty that I loved," he adds. But not even Radcliffe, one of the most famous faces on earth, can win over the surliest art dealers at one of the world's biggest fairs. "I went to Frieze Art Fair and saw a painting by Jim Hodges. The guy said,'No, we're waiting for a more prestigious collector to take that.' I was like, thanks, thanks a lot," says the miffed movie star in Time Out.
One of the surprises of “Lucian Freud Portraits” at London’s National Portrait Gallery is the label for Naked Solicitor. This credits the lender as “Property of a Distinguished Private Collector, Bali”—a phraseology more normally spotted in Christie’s and Sotheby’s evening auction catalogues, not in a public gallery. A portrait gallery spokesman told us that the credit had been requested by the owner. Naked Solicitor, 2003, was sold by the artist’s New York gallery, Acquavella, and ultimately ended up in its distinguished Balinese home. With a credit like this, one wonders whether the Freud might be heading for the market after the London exhibition closes on 27 May. And will this unusual credit line set off a trend, with exhibition lenders adding flowery descriptions of their prized collections (or themselves)?
A heart for Havel
Conceived in honour of the late former Czech president Vaclav Havel, a heart-shaped memorial made from candle wax was installed at a square next to the National Theatre in Prague on Friday. Made from wax recycled from the thousands of candles that were lit at impromptu memorial sites around the country after Havel’s death on 18 December, Heart for Vaclav Havel—inspired by the heart Havel often included alongside his signature—stands approximately two metres high, is made from more than two tonnes of wax and has an opening through which visitors can enter.
“For a moment people can find themselves in a very unusual space surrounded by a mass that has a unique energy and story,” said the artist behind the project, Lukas Gavlovsky. Dozens of volunteers helped him and his artistic partner Roman Svejda finish the work, which took 20 days to prepare and approximately one month to build. “[The heart] passed through the hands of many people and they really all somehow enriched it,” says Gavlovsky.
Depending on the weather, Heart for Vaclav Havel will remain on the square until April.
Shrigley serves up a colossal cuppa
Japester David Shrigley has always focused on the more mundane, comforting aspects of life in his art. Nothing lifts the spirits like a good brew which is why his Very Large Cup of Tea (2012) sculpture, on show in "David Shrigley: Brain Activity" at the Hayward Gallery in London (until 13 May), is making people smile. There's no cutting corners either for Shrigley as the vast cup is filled with real tea ("with milk, no sugar", says the press office) every two to three days. But where's the giant piece of cake?
Bungled attempts at bagging a Banksy
Australians make bad art thieves, if an advertising stunt by The Art Series Hotels in Melbourne is any guide. As reported by In the Frame last month, the boutique hotel chain encouraged visitors to steal a work by Banksy from its walls. If anyone succeeded in pinching the work, No Ball Games, they could keep it. When someone did manage to steal the $15,000 work, The Art Series Hotels hung another Banksy, Pulp Fiction, valued at $4,000. Pulp Fiction was not stolen, however, despite would-be thieves exercising their ingenuity. They apparently re-wired internal security cameras so they wouldn’t be seen, distracted staff with scantily clad women, or pretended to be hotel staff or tradesmen. One couple failed because they Tweeted their every move. One man attempted to hook the picture off the wall with a long broom. Having eluded such elaborate ruses, Pulp Fiction will now be donated to Crime Stoppers, a division of the police, and will be auctioned off to raise funds for crime fighting.
Watch the Future Generation Art Prize conference live
Monday afternoon, readers of The Art Newspaper can watch a live stream from Kiev of the press conference launching the 2012 Future Generation Art Prize.
Speakers include Nicholas Serota, the director of the Tate, the artists Damien Hirst and Jeff Koons, and the Ukrainian collector Victor Pinchuk, who is the chairman of the board for the prize.
The press conference, which will be streamed live on www.theartnewspaper.com at 15.30 GMT, will be chaired by Anna Somers Cocks, the founder editor of The Art Newspaper.
The prize is in its second year and is worth $100,000 to the winner. It was established by the Victor Pinchuk Foundation and is organised by the Pinchuk Art Centre. Entry is open to artists up to the age of 35, and applications open today (until 6 May).
For more details, visit www.futuregenerationartprize.org
Baryshnikov tiptoes into photographer's shoes
Mikhail Baryshnikov, the ballet dancer-turned-actor, is adding another noun to his artistic resume—photographer. In February, the Gary Nader Art Centre in Miami will host the multi-talented Russian’s first solo show of dance photography, “Dance This Way”. Perhaps channeling his role on "Sex and the City", where he played light installation artist Aleksandr Petrovsky, Baryshnikov will show works that capture various dance genres, including hip-hop and ballet. Both Nader and Baryshnikov will donate a percentage of sales from the show to Women of Tomorrow Mentor & Scholarship, a programme that pairs professional women with groups of at-risk teenage girls in public high schools.
Auction on the Dark Side
Stars Wars fans and art lovers unite! On 7 February an auction sponsored by halloweencostumes.com will offer a selection of replica Darth Vader helmets-turned-art. Ditching canvas for black molded plastic, 24 artists have used these objects—made famous in George Lucas ‘s intergalactic trilogy—as the starting-point for their artistic creations. Proceeds from the auction will go towards Midwest Art Catalyst, which funds artistic and musical events, and the Miracle League of North Mankato, a programme that enables children and adults with disabilities to play baseball. Bids start at $50. We've collected some of our favourites in a slideshow here.