Wednesday, August 1, 2007

The Art World's Weekly Roundup

Damien Hirst’s famed The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living.
Art Round-Up for The Week of July 29, 2007

by Alex Starace

Alfred Juergen.
Officials have found a treasure-trove of art buried beneath the junk of a suburban Chicago home. The residence, owned by Margaret Tikalsky, had been evacuated as uninhabitable – there was so much clutter that it had become a serious fire hazard. While the elderly Ms. Tikalsky moved into a seniors’ living facility, Cook County officials helped her clean her former home and ready it for sale. What they found were over 80 works by American Impressionist artist Alfred Juergens. Some were in closets. Others were stored underneath beds.

Ms. Tikalsky’s re-discovered collection is worth hundreds of thousands, if not several million dollars, and provides a clue to Juergens’ relative obscurity. During his lifetime, Juergens (1866 – 1934) was a well-known and well-loved painter, but his popularity has steadily dropped, due to a noted lack of publicly available paintings. Turns out they were just holed up in La Grange Park, Illinois. Ms. Tikalsky’s father, Francis, was a good friend of Juergens and bought many of his pieces. She inherited the works after her father’s death and says they were so much a part of her life that she never considered selling them or displaying them in a public venue. Now that she’s aware of their cultural and monetary value, she says she will donate some to museums and give others to friends. She has no plans to profit off her find. [The Chicago Tribune]

Damien Hirst’s famed The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living (otherwise known as the shark floating in an enormous tank of formaldehyde) will go on view at the Metropolitan Museum of Art as soon as this coming Labor Day. There had been quite a lot of speculation of where hedge-fund billionaire Steven A. Cohen, the owner of the controversial piece, would place his prized purchase. But, according to Carol Vogel of The New York Times, that question has been resolved, at least for the next two or three years. [The New York Times]
Roper and Utting's winning design. Photo by Oswin Eder.
McCann and Schurr's winning design. Photo by Peter Brandstatter.
The results are in for the 10th Annual World Bodypainting Festival held every year in Seeboden, Austria on the shores of beautiful Lake Millstattersee. Artists from over 40 countries participated in the premier body-art event that concluded on July 22nd. This year’s themes were “Chaos vs. Control,” and “In the Year 2525.” The duo of American Patrick McCann and German Udo Schurr took first place in the Airbrush category. In the Brush/Sponge category, the English pair of Carly Utting and Carolyn Roper were triumphant. Englander Bibi Freeman won the Face Painting category. [World Bodypainting Festival and World Bodypainting Award]

The New Museum of Contemporary Art.
The New Museum of Contemporary Art has announced the official opening date to its trendy new building: a ribbon-cutting ceremony will take place on Friday, November 30th, and then the museum will open to the public on Saturday, December 1st at noon.

Located at 235 Bowery, the seven-story, 60,000 square-foot structure isn’t just an exhibition space. It also houses a theater, classrooms, an education center, and rooftop terraces.

For those looking to make a visit, the museum’s inaugural exhibitions are entitled, “Unmonumental: The Object in The 21st Century,” and “Young-Hae Chang Heavy Industries.” [The New Museum of Contemporary Art]

Plácido Arango.
Mr. Plácido Arango, a businessman and arts patron who has served on the board of the Metropolitan Museum of Art since 1991, has been appointed president of the board of the prestigious Museo del Prado in Spain.

The announcement came just recently, after the previous president of the board, Rodrigo Uría died of a heart attack in mid-July. [The New York Times]

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