1. Artnews Goes Quarterly Amid Art in America Merger
While the editorial operations of the two publications will remain distinct, Artnews and Art in America will consolidate their content on artnews.comby the end of the year, completing the acquisition of Art in America by Artnews’ parent company.
Peter Brandt, the seller of Art in America, revealed in an interview this past week with the New York Times that while the 112 year-old Art in America will continue publishing 11 issues a year, Artnews will move to quarterly publications of 4 issues each year, focusing on its popular themed issues. Brandt also remained optimistic about the audience for art publications: “Interest in art is growing. We’re living in a much more artistic world.”
2. Ai Weiwei Discovers Listening Devices in His Studio
It looks like freedom may be far from won for Ai Weiwei. After returning home from his first trip abroad in four years (as the Chinese government only returned his confiscated passport in July), the dissident artist discovered listening devices hidden in his Beijing studio.
The artist revealed his discovery to the world through a series of Instagram and Twitter posts on Sunday. The devices were discovered during renovations to his studio. However, they may not be new. Weiwei states the “bedbugs” may have been hidden there for up to four years, coinciding with the time of his detainment by the Chinese government, although Weiwei was never officially charged with a crime.
3. Centre Pompidou Plans Pop-Ups
Centre Pompidou’s president, Serge Lasvignes, is moving forward with plans for pop-up branches of the French museum. Lasvignes explained: “My aim is to start a dialogue with foreign [art] centres which will enable us to build our collections for the future.”
The Pompidou has already opened an outpost in Málaga, Spain and will co-organize the opening exhibition at the new National Gallery Singapore next month. However, the planned pop-ups would not only further this established, international presence but also focus it on Asian art markets. Lasvignes has also hinted at plans to move the Centre Pompidou from within Paris to the city’s northern edges, in an attempt to make their artwork more accessible to a larger audience.
4. Changes in Representation
David Zwirner has been selected to represent the estate of Sigmar Polke. To reflect the shift in representation, Zwirner will hold an exhibit in May that will focus on the late German artist’s influence on artists of younger generations.
Similarly, this week Andrew Edlin Gallery began representing the estate of “outsider” artist Eugene Von Bruenchenhein, Korean artist Do Ho Suh is now represented by Victoria Miro gallery and Andrew Kreps Gallery has assumed representation of Michael E. Smith. While the oeuvres of both Bruenchenhein and Suh are rather established, the change in representation for Smith solidifies the increasing attention that the Detroit-based sculptor, whose works repurpose found objects to examine the experiences of quotidian life, has been receiving.
5. Museum Island May Soon Welcome Visitors and Swimmers
Berlin’s Museum Island may be on the verge of becoming far more interactive. A new “Flussbad” (“river pool”) proposal under consideration plans to turn the river surrounding the Island — home to five of Germany’s most major museums — into a publicly accessible swimming destination.
The proposal would entail cleaning the now “filthy” canal, adding wetland areas throughout it and creating a public entrance where swimmers could enter the water. Although the proposal itself is not new, it has recently been gaining momentum with German politicians. While opponents of the proposal fear that the change would undermine the cultural history housed on the island and bring a rowdier crowd that may bother the surrounding area, proponents believe that the Flussbad could help shape the city’s identity. Gottfried Ludewig, a Berlin City Parliament member explained, “We should have Museum Island and also the Flussbad to show we’re still a city where crazy ideas can become reality.”