Pompidou scores with Abdessemed's giant bronze Zidane
You'd be forgiven for thinking that France would want to forget one of its most inglorious sporting moments—the 110th minute of the 2006 World Cup final, when its football captain, Zinedine Zidane, was sent off for headbutting the Italian defender Marco Materazzi in the chest. The ungallant Gallic midfielder was immortalised later that year in Philippe Parreno and Douglas Gordon's film “Zidane: a 21st-century Portrait”, in which 17 cameras followed him around Real Madrid's pitch (until he got into a fight and was sent off). But the Algerian artist Adel Abdessemed has now bravely confronted Zidane's most costly moment of madness, erecting—right outside the Centre Pompidou in Paris—Coup de tête (headbutt), 2011-12, a 5m-high bronze sculpture complete with expressions of maleficent intent (Zidane) and faintly camp surprise (Materazzi). Philippe-Alain Michaud, the curator of the Pompidou’s Abdessemed retrospective, “I Am Innocent” (until 7 January), tells Agence France Press: “This statue goes against the tradition of making statues in honour of certain victories. It is an ode to defeat.” Zidane remains a national hero; France lost 5-3 on penalties and, after a series of spectacular hissy fits, exited the next World Cup in disgrace.
All the art world's a stage
There was a distinctly arty flavour to last Thursday’s performance of “Timon of Athens” at the National Theatre on London’s South Bank. The action kicked off at a museum opening, where fawning acolytes foisted dreadful pictures upon their eponymous host (played by Simon Russell Beale, who sported a bandaged hand after breaking a finger during the previous night’s performance). The gargantuan Old Masterish painting that loomed over the actors gave way to a display of Sapphic ballet, but another vast canvas soon took its place. As the Greek economy began to tumble in this topical tale, the sharks that previously circled the once-wealthy Timon—not least the flatterer Ventidius, played by Tom Robertson as a buffoonish Young British Artist—strutted their stuff in front of a mammoth white backdrop covered with Damien Hirst-esque coloured squares.
Get Lost in LA
Fans of the "Lost" television series (and there were many) will no doubt be thrilled to hear that a forthcoming major exhibition is based on the TV drama about the survivors of a plane crash forced to live on a remote island. "Lost (in LA)", curated by the former director of Paris's Palais de Tokyo, Marc-Olivier Wahler, is due to take place at the Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery at Barnsdall Art Park (1 December-27 January 2013), with works by Tatiana Trouvé, Oscar Tuazon and Thomas Hirschhorn, among others.
"'Lost'—one of the influential TV series of this decade—is considered by many artists as a source of inspiration as well as disappointment, as it struggles to deliver a true formal link that would connect the different layers of time and space," a press statement says. The show has been organised by the non-profit body FLAX (France Los Angeles Exchange) in partnership with the Palais de Tokyo and the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs.
Tuymans's take on Queen Beatrix
When the Stedelijk museum in Amsterdam finally opens this Sunday, a rather striking, understated painting of Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands will grace its central exhibition gallery. The work, entitled H.M., 2012, was made by none other than the high-profile Belgian artist Luc Tuymans who has a particularly distinctive palette. Tuymans's dealer David Zwirner and an anonymous donor gave the work to the Stedelijk, an institution Queen Beatrix knows well. In 2000, to celebrate the 20th anniversary of her accession, she was invited to curate a huge show of 370 Dutch post-1945 works there.
Shining a light on Detroit’s art scene
Two festivals are shining a light on Detroit’s Midtown arts scene this autumn. Dlectricity, the city’s first “nuit blanche” light festival, is presenting 35 local and international artists at various venues from 5 to 6 October, while Luminale Detroit brightens streets and gallery spaces from 23 September to 23 November. The organisers for Dlectricity expect up to 40,000 visitors to come to see projects by artists such as Marcos Zotes, whose piece allows users to project anonymous text messages onto a building’s façade, and Annica Cuppetelli and Cristobal Mendoza, who are presenting an indoor light work that reacts to viewers’ movements. “Five years ago, the city was a disaster,” says Marsha Miro, the founding director of the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit and the head of the Dlectricity curatorial committee. “But it began to get better and we think that art can really help bring this city back.”
What would you want future generations to remember us by? When they dig up the time capsule, buried during today’s groundbreaking for the new Design Museum on Kensington High Street, they’ll find a cache of strange treasures, including an iPhone, a USB drive filled with jazz music, an image of Battersea Power Station and one standard lightbulb. The items were place by designers and architects, such as Cecil Balmond, Paul Smith, Terence Conran, Deyan Sudjic, Zaha Hadid, Marc Newson and Thomas Heatherwick with Ingo Maurer. Speaking of his decision to nominate an incadescent lightbulb for preservation, Heatherwick says the everday object is “the symbol of ‘having a good idea’. They are now being phased-out, but hopefully in a hundred years people will still be having good ideas even if the light source no longer looks anything like the lightbulbs we know of now.”
There's no place like home
More than 40 artists, including big names such as Richard Prince, Glenn Ligon, Shirin Neshat and Chuck Close, have agreed to appear in American Journeys: Artists, Space and Place, which is due to be published in early 2014 (TransGlobe Publishing with Thames & Hudson). TransGlobe says it aims to emulate its recent book Sanctuary: Britain’s Artists and their Studios by producing “a similar project on American artists and their studios, but with more emphasis on space, place and the exploration of city and the American countryside”. Meanwhile, TransGlobe’s Contemporary Art Brazil is due to hit the bookshops next month.
There's a buzz at Tate
Who knew that hundreds of thousands of bees can be found on the roofs of Tate Modern and Tate Britain in London? Twelve hives in total were installed on top of the galleries in 2010. "The honey from the two sites is very different; honey varies depending on where the bees forage. [Tate] Britain's is quite light and floral, whereas [Tate] Modern's has a slightly musky smell to it," says beekeeper Steve Benbow in the latest Tate Guide. The rain-sodden summer has resulted, however, in below-par production this year. Jars of Tate honey are on sale in its shops.
A Stairway to Pre-Raphaelite Heaven
It should come as no surprise to fans of Led Zeppelin that the rock group's founder Jimmy Page is a big collector of Pre-Raphaelite works (all that long hair and those forests in his "Stairway to Heaven" anthem must be down, in part, to the art of Dante Gabriel Rossetti and John Everett Millais). Indeed, art (and music) aficionados can see two tapestries by Edward Burne-Jones from Page's collection in the exhibition "Pre-Raphaelites: Victorian Avant-Garde" which opens this week at Tate Britain in London (12 September-13 January 2013).
Banksy is… on tv?
One of our favourite television shows on right now—no it’s not Gallery Girls—is White Collar, a crime-busting comic romp featuring a dashing forger and conman who now works with the FBI to catch art criminals. The cases usually focus on old masters and antiquities but recent episodes have seen the detective team dip into modern and contemporary art. So, it was with a nod of recognition that we watched this week’s episode, where the art-thief-turned-FBI-consultant Neal Caffrey pretended to be the anonymous street artist Banksy in order to get exclusive access to a high-end gallery as part of a heist. Fortunately, the show’s writers did their research, and the black-stencilled graffito left on the gallery’s wall was a passable imitation of Banksy’s ironic style.
Surrealism the Welsh way
The Art Newspaper likes to mark important art historical occasions, which is why an exhibition of Welsh Surrealist art opening next month at the Last Gallery in Llangadog in Dyfed caught our eye (6 October-11 November). This is no historic overview, however, but a survey of Surrealist contemporary art with Neil Coombs, Millree Hughes and John Welson among the Welsh artists featured. The co-curator is Adrian Dannatt, a contributor to The Art Newspaper, who stresses that this is the first ever show on the subject. "Millree Hughes, a downtown New York legend notorious for his 1970s Rhyl glam-rock performance band Lummox, may well play at the opening," Dannatt says.
Back to School Artoon
Fall semesters at art schools and colleges have started, and the artist Pablo Helguera imagines the new advanced art degrees being offered in this special Back to School Artoon. See more of his cartoons about the art world in our monthly print edition, as well as on his website.
Spotty sculpture of Obama
What better way to greet delegates to the Democratic Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina, this week (4-6 September) than with a sand sculpture of Barack Obama. The striking piece, which shows the President sporting a huge smile, was made by sculptor Larry Hudson who built the work over three days with a team of five assistants. The Huffington Post reports, however, that rain storms left pockmarks in the sculpture, making it look like Obama suffers from acne (thankfully, repair work removed the blemishes). The visitors' bureau for Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, provided $30,000 funding for the piece, which is located near to the convention hall.