Saturday, November 23, 2013

Art World - What's Happening in Dallas - Fort Worth

1.       Nasher Sculpture Center, Dallas -  The Nasher has been embroiled in a dispute with an adjacent residential high rise whose glare from the sun has been damaging art, landscaping and the roof at the Center. As of the last few months it appears that Nasher architect Renzo Piano and the Nasher leadership have rejected all proposed solutions that vary greatly in cost and aesthetic impact on the neighborhood. (See article below)

On a more positive note ARTINFO reports that the Nasher has announced the commission of 10 new public sculptures to celebrate the museum’s 10th anniversary. 10 artists — Lara Almarcegui, Good/Bad Art Collective, Rachel Harrison, Alfredo Jaar, Liz Larner, Charles Long, Rick Lowe, Vicki Meek, Ruben Ochoa, and Ugo Rondinone— will create the public works which will be installed at 10 sites citywide from October 19, 2013 to February 16, 2014. “As the only institution in the world exclusively dedicated to collecting, exhibiting, and researching modern and contemporary sculpture, the Nasher Sculpture Center is uniquely positioned to investigate this growing practice of sculpture in the public realm,” said Nasher Director and 2013 Texas Biennial curator Jeremy Strick in the press release. “Nasher XChange will extend the museum’s core mission beyond its walls and into Dallas’ diverse neighborhoods, alongside  key community partners, to present advances in the rapidly expanding field of sculpture, raise the level of discourse  on the subject within the city,  and  contribute to broader national and international conversations on public sculpture.”

2.       Dallas Museum of Art - The Dallas Museum of Art will open its new Paintings Conservation Studio on November 22, 2013, as part of the Museum’s initiative to establish a more comprehensive in-house conservation program. The Paintings Conservation Studio features state-of-the-art technology—including a digital X-ray system—and will serve as a center for study and treatment of works of art as well as research into cutting-edge conservation methodologies. Brightened with natural light from new skylights and enclosed by glass walls, the Studio’s design will allow visitors to observe daily activity, providing audiences with a singular behind-the-scenes experience. Activities in the Studio will also be visible from the adjacent outdoor Sculpture Terrace.

Concurrent with the growth of its in-house conservation capabilities, the DMA is also establishing a network of regional conservation partnerships in conjunction with museums in North Texas that engage local universities to collaborate on conservation research and the study of individual works. The DMA and the Amon Carter Museum of American Art are currently working with the University of Texas at Dallas and the University of North Texas in Denton on conservation projects. The Amon Carter’s project with UTD focuses on photography dye analysis. Other examples range from the study of ultramarine pigment discoloration and the pigment and medium analysis of a work by Paul Gauguin from the DMA’s collection with UT Dallas, to the development of atomic sampling techniques for silverplated objects with UNT. The anticipated growth of this regional network will expand the impact of the DMA’s conservation activities and establish productive new relationships across the conservation field.


“By building external research partnerships to complement the renewed investments in our own conservation activities, the DMA is ensuring that the positive outcomes of our conservation activity will extend well beyond our own collection,” said Mark Leonard, who recently completed the first year of his tenure as the Museum’s inaugural chief conservator. “The continuing growth of the DMA’s conservation program will help to ensure that masterworks from across time periods and around the world are preserved for future generations.”


3.       Dallas Museum of Art – Probably the Dallas Museum had a better plan to announce the major acquisition of two African art objects from the Allan Stone collection than an NPR/PBS art director publishing it in his North Texas art blog.  But things happen. The objects are in every sense worthy of celebration for Dallas. The Songe power figure listed as Lot 114 in Sothebys sale of November 15th sold with the sales commission for $2,165,000. There is no doubt that this is a great object and will greatly compliment the current holdings from the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The Ejagham headdress was offered in Lot 80 and sold for $305,000 with the sales commission and also came through Mert Simpson in the 1970’s when clearly he was the top African art dealer in the world. This type of headdress comes from the Cross River area of Nigeria near the border with Cameroon and was probably used in connection with important funerary ceremonies. Both of these objects are world class in every sense and all involved in this acquisition should be thanked for pulling this off with what apparently was touch competition.

4.  Nasher Sculpture Garden  - "In what often sounded like a closing argument in a court case, architect Renzo Piano said Wednesday that he would never agree to compromises to the building he designed, the Nasher Sculpture Center, as it searches for solutions in its two-year battle with Museum Tower.
“Over my dead body,” he said, drawing a loud ovation from the standing-room-only crowd at the Nasher Salon Series. Piano returned to the Nasher to celebrate its 10th anniversary by serving as the salon’s guest. Despite mincing no words in refusing to make adjustments to the oculi on the Nasher roof, a design Piano patented and one Museum Tower officials have sought to alter in recent months, the designer said he’s optimistic for the first time that a solution may be near — one that would alter the tower exterior.
Piano, 76, said he recently met with four new members appointed by Mayor Mike Rawlings to the board of the Dallas Police and Fire Pension System, which owns the tower and has battled with
Nasher ownership since the glare from its exterior was discovered in September 2011. Rawlings attended the Wednesday afternoon event.
Referring to the new board members, Piano said afterward in an exclusive interview with The Dallas Morning News: “I think they understand everything. They understand properly.”
He noted that, after a glare controversy surfaced recently in London, where the nicknamed “Walkie Talkie” skyscraper purportedly melted a Jaguar automobile, “it took only 24 hours for the property to decide to do something.” The best solution in Dallas would be movable louvers on the tower exterior, he said, to deflect sunlight that museum officials consider damaging to the Nasher.
Museum Tower representative Rebecca Shaw said late Wednesday that because “no one from Museum Tower heard Mr. Piano make that statement, it is impossible to respond, except to say that we congratulate the Kimbell on such a fine addition to the Fort Worth art community.” Piano is in North Texas for the opening of his new building, the Renzo Piano Pavilion at Kimbell Art Museum.
“Absolutely, absolutely,” Piano told The Morning News in saying the Nasher roof would not be altered, “because they know that that’s not the solution. Were we to do that solution, I would feel extremely guilty myself — to Ray,” referring to the late Raymond Nasher, who founded Nasher Sculpture Center and hired Piano to design it.
Piano compared the struggle to a Bible story, casting the Nasher as David, with Museum Tower being Goliath. Changes to the Nasher’s roof would destroy not only the roof, he said, but also the garden. “Time is going very fast,” he said, searching for the right word, “and I don’t want this building … to be a martyr.” The Nasher is a building that belongs neither to the Nasher family nor to him, Piano said, but to Dallas.
“It’s absolutely clear that it must be defended,” he said."Dallas Morning News

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