1. The Broad Opens
On Sunday Eli and Edythe Broad’s new Los Angeles museum, The Broad, opened to the public. The museum will be dedicated to the display of the Broads’ private art collection, among one of the most prominent collections of postwar and contemporary art in the world.
With nearly 2,000 artworks (and only about 10% on display), the opening attracted a large crowd, including the some of the 85,000 visitors who reserved advanced tickets. The 12,000 square-foot space in downtown LA includes work from Jeff Koons, Damien Hirst, Ed Ruscha, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Cindy Shermanand Robert Rauschenberg, all watched by strikingly friendly and knowledgeable guards and all of which can be seen free of charge, as the Broads have established free admission to their institution.
2. Talent Agency Moving to Represent Artists
The United Talent Agency (UTA) is hoping to offer artists some of the services they currently offer to actresses, singers and writers. UTA’s new business model would not involve directly selling artwork but representation for artists, for whom the agency can establish professional collaborations or deals (inspired by the video Kanye West created earlier this summer with Steve McQueen).
The talent and literary agency’s efforts are being spearheaded by Joshua Roth, a lawyer-turned-agent who scouts for talent at art fairs like he does at film festivals. While some critics see the move as a detrimental commercialization of the artistic process, filmmaker Maura Axelrod told the New York Times: “If you’re willing to participate in this system where art is being bought and sold as an asset class, then you can’t object to art being part of the entertainment class next.”
3. Gagosian Opens Franz West Show, Amid Legal Troubles
Gagosian Gallery has opened its latest show of furniture from Franz West, despite the fact that the gallery is currently facing legal action from Austrian nonprofit Archiv Franz West.
Earlier this month, a judge declined to issue a restraining order that the nonprofit sought against the gallery, citing that, “the furniture that Gagosian plans to sell is an unauthorized — essentially, an imitation — version of West’s work.” In response, the gallery accused that Franz West’s foundation is responsible for any unauthorized work on the market, and that Gagosian, as an intermediary for their sale, does not take any direct responsibility. But in the meantime, both the exhibition and the copyright lawsuit against the gallery remain open.
4. Anish Kapoor Forced to Remove Graffiti from Sculpture
It has been a busy couple of weeks for Anish Kapoor. After leading a London march with Ai Weiwei to raise awareness for Europe’s migrant crisis, the British artist was ordered by a French court to remove anti-Semitic graffiti from his Dirty Corner sculpture at the Palace of Versailles.
This past weekend, a Versailles court ruled that the graffiti must be quickly removed for its offensive, hateful content, in response to a complaint filed by a Versailles right-wing politician. The court’s intervention comes afterKapoor stated last week that he would keep the graffiti to, “preserve these scars as a memory of this painful history.” However, he must now either remove the vandalism or alter the sculpture to obscure the graffiti from view. Dirty Corner has had a tumultuous time at Versailles (this incident of vandalism is the 3rd since the sculpture’s June installation), and the ordeal seems far from over, as Kapoor told French newspaper Le Figaro, “I will not give in to the attackers. They are vile. I will not withdraw Dirty Corner, even if the idea occurred to me in moments of sadness and discouragement.”
5. Fashion Steps in to Fund Italian Arts
In the midst of fall fashion weeks throughout the world, Florence’s famedUffizi Gallery reopened this week, after undergoing almost a million euros worth of renovations. And it was fashion, not the government, that provided for the changes, as the Gallery received sizable donations from bothSalvatore Ferragamo and Gucci.
The donations come a few weeks after the Italian government simultaneously replaced 20 museum directors, looking for new faces willing to run storied institutions on smaller budgets. The changes point to the struggle the Italian government faces as it seeks to provide for some of the most famous art institutions in the world through tough financial times for the country. But at least in the meantime, fashion giants are happy to help: “Sponsoring this important chapter in the Uffizi’s history is yet another way for us to express our gratitude to the city and its people,” said Ferruccio Ferragamo, Salvatore Ferragamo’s president.