The Week in Culture: May 28 to June 1
A tiny tip of the cultural iceberg.
Image geeks have been clicking the Google Image search first for years. Its just the way we think. Now object fetishists can also get in the act. Ben West and Felix Heyes have made a coffee table book of the first image that comes up when you search every word in the dictionary. According to West "If the internet goes off, you may need this reference book." You may need it anyway: the book is beautiful.
The Cy Twombly Foundation just bought a $27 million mansion on Manhattan's Upper East Side to build a Twombly museum and study center to "burnish his reputation," in the words of the great Wall Street Journal. Ouch. Not saying they're Philistines, but the piece wasn't in their Culture section. It was under Real Estate.
In an open-and-shut case of decisive-art-market, the Ai Weiwei/Herzog & de Meuron Serpentine Pavilion in London officially opened and was announced as sold the same day by T Magazine. Its not the first time the Serpentine Gallery has sold a pavilion to defray the costs of producing one. It is, however, the first time they've named the buyer, a steel billionaire. So much for English discretion.
The Jewish Museum boldly included Marc Adelman's installation in their show, Composed: Identity, Politics, Sex, even though it featured 150 photographs lifted from a gay dating site, all coincidentally staged at the Holocaust Memorial in Berlin. They stood steadfastly by the work as controversy swirled around it. This week, after five months on display and on the eve of Gay Pride Month, they announced the work's removal. One of the subjects finally saw his image in the HuffPo coverage of the piece and when he called the Museum about it, they caved.
Since it opened in 2000, The Museum of American Folk Art has the quietly maintained its Henry Darger Study Center, housing all four original Darger manuscripts, thousands of pieces of work product and ephemera, and 24 double-sided paintings. Now their former neighbor, MoMA, has stolen their thunder with its recent acquisition of 13 double-sided Dargers of their own. It's as if the Vivian Girls have run away from home and moved down the block.
On the subject of visionary art, and leaving home, The Outsider Art Fair is leaving its the Puck Building for the old Dia Center in Chelsea. Chelsea needs more art action almost as much as MoMA needs Dargers.
Start stitching name tags into your underwear for Camp NADA. The New York Art Dealer's Alliance announced it will be pitching tent again for their art fair at the Basilica factory space in Hudson, New York, where Patti Smith famously played her fundraiser to stop the cement plant in 2003. Great space, great town, great view.
And finally, and in solidarity, the art handlers' union won their 10-month dispute with Sotheby's auction house this week. Joe Hill is smiling.