Tuesday, January 19, 2021

David Lamelas artwork threatened with destruction

David Lamelas, Quand le ciel bas et lourd (When the sky low and heavy), 1992, view at the Royal Museum of Fine Arts Antwerp, 1990s.

Apparently it’s not just the season to be jolly.

According to Jan Mot gallery, a major artwork by artist David Lamelas faces destruction.

The work, Quand le ciel bas et lourd, located at the Royal Museum of Fine Arts in Belgium, was installed in 1992. After some back and forth between the artist and the ministry of culture the work was supposed to be removed and reinstalled but apparently now it will just be removed.

An online letter in support of the artist is circulating, and may be accessed here.

Many thanks for Lauren van Haaften-Schick for pointing us to this story.


Vermont Law School votes to remove or destroy artwork

Section of controversial mural.

I sometimes wonder if law is still taught at law schools.

According to Valley News, the Vermont Law School board of trustees has voted to remove or destroy a mural which its students deem to be “unsettling” and that “perpetuates white supremacy, superiority, and the white savior complex[.]”

The school has given the artist, 74 year old Sam Kerson, ninety days to remove the mural. “If the artist chooses not to remove the mural, the mural will be painted over or otherwise removed,” VLS spokeswoman Nicole Ravlin said.

You may recall that Section 113(d)(2) of the Visual Artists Rights Act of 1990 calls for the owner of a building to grant the artist ninety days to remove the work or have it removed, but only if the work “can be removed from the building without the destruction, distortion, mutilation, or other modification of the work… .”

Let’s see how this plays out. The law school may want to read up a bit on how the 5Pointz scenario worked out just down the street, in the other woke zone called New York City.

Many thanks for our friend Alfred Steiner for the heads up on this one.


Rock stars sell publishing rights for millions

Going her own way, Stevie Nicks sells most of her music publishing rights for $100M. Bob Dylan sells them all, for nine figures.


New York expands state law to protect right of publicity after death

In part, the new law takes place 180 days from November 30, 2020 and will not be retroactive. More on what the law covers here.


Félix – A Digital Exhibition

2020 hasn’t been great, but when we’re presented with generous gems we take them. Here’s a new exhibition on Felix Gonzalez-Torres, which coincides with Felix’s birthday, November 26, and the exhibition will unfold over the course of two weeks, with new content made available on Collecteurs’ website throughout the exhibition and shared with millions worldwide. The exhibition also includes two social campaigns that allow for viewers to participate in this exhibition.

From the Collecteurs website:

Collecteurs and the Felix Gonzalez-Torres Family Archive proudly present Félix.

Drawing from pivotal and never-before-seen works and material from the Felix Gonzalez-Torres Family Archive, this digital exhibition takes place on Collecteurs’ website and social media. A conversation with Felix’s sister, Gloria Gonzalez-Torres, is presented to provide unique insight into Felix’s early environment. You’ll also find essays addressing the constructs of private versus public, one of the topics most relevant to the artist’s multidimensional practice.

More information on the exhibition here.


Palm Springs Art Museum: “We don’t want art that is offensive”

Could 2020 get any more interesting? Still over a month to go so I’m sure there will be a competition for dumbest art move of the year.

The Palm Springs Art Museums has openly stated that they are against exhibiting art that shows nudity. Well, not quite, but they are against showing kitsch that shows nudity, which is to say, they not only think of themselves as the rightful arbiters of what is and isn’t “real” art, they are meeting the demands of “woke” and cancel culture by agreeing that a sculpture of Marilyn Monroe “objectifies women, is sexually charged and disrespectful?”

Anyone who reads this blog knows quite well that the foundation of art is violence, religion, and…nudity. So, go out and see it, take a selfie, Instagram it. You have three years.


How to erase history or, Mass MoCA deserves to be scathed

Mass MoCA’s banner describing Christoph Büchel installation project (Ca.2007)

The NY Times’ Robin Pogrebin pens a glowing recap of Mass MoCA director Joe Thompson, and the amount of good he did for the institution, the community, and the art world. I’m curious why she fails to mention that it was Thompson who initiated and strategized the first lawsuit by an art institution against a visual artist, (Christoph Büchel), seeking to exhibit the artist’s work without his permission?

If you need a reminder, here’s Roberta Smith, also of the NY Times, elaborating in 2007 why she thought Mass MoCA had erred: “The museum deserves to be scathed.”


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