Wednesday, August 22, 2007

The Art World's Weekly Roundup

The worlds largest photograph, The Great Picture, at 107.5 feet by 31.5 feet.
Art Round-Up for The Week of August 19, 2007
By Alex Starace

The Acropolis at Sunset.
The $178 million, yet-to-be-opened Acropolis Museum, which was originally scheduled to be completed in time for the 2004 Summer Olympic Games in Athens, is once again causing problems. The Greek government has hinted that several apartment buildings between the actual Acropolis and the Acropolis Museum will likely be demolished. The apartment buildings’ offense: obstructing a view of the Acropolis from the museum’s ground floor and mezzanine levels.

Residents are up in arms about the decision, particularly because a condition of acceptance of the new museum design was that its architecture permit the apartments to stay. Now it appears the Greek government is going back on its word. What makes the loss even keener is that many Athenians feel that the art deco and neoclassical structures are works of art in themselves – the art deco building had been declared as such by the Greek Ministry of Culture and had been provided official protection from destruction. (Bloomberg)
The Acropolis Museum with the offending structures in front.
The Guinness Book of World Records has certified two impressive new marks: world’s largest photograph and world’s largest camera. Both were part of The Legacy Project – a collective of six photographers who are documenting the transformation of the now-defunct El Toro Marine Corps Air Station into the forthcoming Orange County Great Park in California. As part of the project, the collective converted an airport hangar into an enormous pinhole camera – the world’s largest.
As part of the project, the collective converted an airport hangar into an enormous pinhole camera – the world’s largest.
The resulting gelatin photograph (entitled The Great Picture) was also a world’s record, at 107.5 feet by 31.5 feet. Exposure time was thirty-five minutes and development had to be done in a custom-made Olympic-pool-sized tray. Subjects captured within in the gargantuan image include the El Toro Station’s control tower and runways, as well as the San Joaquin Hills and the Laguna Beach Wilderness. ( & (ArtForum)

Phillips Collection, Washington, D.C.
The well-respected Phillips Collection in Washington, D.C., has received $1 million from an anonymous donor. The gift will be used for structural repairs to the 110-year-old Georgian revival house that is the museum’s original building.

The gift is as much appreciated for its allocation as for its amount: museums often have trouble convincing donors to shell-out for such mundane projects as upgrading the air-conditioning systems and for roof-repair.

Therefore, the director of the museum, Jay Gates, is quite grateful. Moreover, he says that the repairs, which will be done gradually over four years, won’t disrupt any of the upcoming exhibitions. (Washington Post)

US-Installation artist Spencer Tunick and Greenpeace present a living sculpture: hundreds naked volunteers symbolise the vulnerability of the glaciers under climate change.
Nudes have always been popular in art, but they’ve never been used in quite this way. Artist Spencer Tunick, in collaboration with Greenpeace, staged an installation on the Aletsch Glacier in southern Switzerland. What did he install? Six hundred naked people, of course.

The participants bared themselves as a way to raise awareness for global warming and glacial retreat. And, quite to the point, it wasn’t all that cold during the shoot: about fifty degrees Fahrenheit. (Greenpeace)

Bruce Wolmer, known for his flair and his knowledge of the international art scene, passed away this week from complications from diabetes. He served as longtime editor and publisher of Art & Auction magazine. Before taking that position, he was editor and publisher at ARTnews magazine, as well as an editor at Art & Antiques. He was fifty-nine and lived in Manhattan. (The New York Times)

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