Top Art Stories: The (almost) US edition

Top Art Stories for March 3, 2014.

This week focuses almost exclusively on the top art stories in the US. The selection is quite broad and in some cases hilarious. That’s why we love putting this together for you!

President Obama personally apologizes to art historian for taking a jab at her profession

Obama art historian apologyWhen President Obama joked that Americans would be better off pursuing a skilled trade instead of an art history degree… it infuriated a lot of art historians. Particularly, one named Ann Collins Johns who left Obama an email through the White House Web site and never imagined he would actually send her a handwritten note back. Obama apologized to Johns and the entire art history department for his remark, even acknowledging taking art history in high school himself! Perhaps politicians do hear us and our voices don’t go unnoticed after all. Source: Huffington Post

Artist smashes a $1 million vase in a museum to protest their policies

Artist smashes vaseAnother year, another act of “protest art” at a museum. Not long ago there was the case of “Yellowism” at Tate that involved a Ukranian artist defacing a Rothko canvas. This year it’s a more destructive statement. Maximo Caminero, a 51-year-old artist smashed a green vase onto a museum’s wooden floor and calmly strolled away. The vase was part of Perez Art Museum Miami’s installation called Colored Vase, an exhibition of Ai Weiwei‘s work. Caminero was arrested for criminal mischief and then released after bail only 24 hours later. The reason behind this smashing? Caminero was protesting the museum’s lack of support in exhibiting local artists. Perhaps such an artistic rebellion might finally land him his own exhibit somewhere? Let’s hope not. Source: The New York Times

A cleaning lady throws away a conceptual art exhibit

Paul Branca installation thrown outWell done! Criticism of contemporary conceptual art as loud as any art critic’s praise. A cleaning lady in southern Italy threw away a pack of broken biscuits by modernist New York artist Paul Branca that were lying on the floor of an art gallery. They were part of an exhibition valued at over $14,000. That’s some golden trash! The cleaning company said they would use their insurance to pay for the artworks. To be fair, the ‘installation” was already inside a trash bag, positioned on a fold-away chair. Throwing away artwork is not a new trend in the contemporary art world. In 2004, a bag of garbage was thrown away by a cleaner in Tate Britain and, in 1999, museum patrol tidied up a bed which was, in fact, a conceptual art piece featuring used condoms, underwear and stained sheets… what is art? Source: Daily Mail

The Corcoran Gallery of Art closes

Corcoran Gallery closingLooks like the nation’s oldest privately supported museum, The Corcoran Gallery of Art, is finally giving up its independence and getting swallowed up by larger institutions. It has formed a partnership with The National Gallery of Art and George Washington University where Corcoran has agreed to give up control of its renowned collection, over 17,000 works of art, to the National Gallery. Some of these paintings include American masters such as John Singer Sargent. Even though, endings are bittersweet, the bright side of the deal is they will be in good hands and new restorations. Source: Washington Post

Sochi brings in tribute to Russian Artists

Sochi Olympics Artist tributeSignaling the end of the Olympics being held in Sochi, Russia, the closing ceremony brought in the vivacious colors of Russia’s boundless cultural and artistic history. In a tribute to some of the famous artists that paved the way for a rich Russian culture, an homage to Kazimir Malevich and Marc Chagall took the floor, quite literally. Images of their paintings glowed onto the flooring of the ceremony while floating houses and mysterious figures inspired by the paintings of Chagall drifted past the watchful eyes of millions worldwide. A worthy tribute, indeed. Source: Reuters

George W Bush just announced an exhibit of his paintings

George W Bush exhibitOver two dozen never-before-seen portraits painted by former President George W. Bush will be part of a special exhibition entitled Art of Leadership: A President’s Personal Diplomacy. Really?! That’s the title of the show? Having seen some of his other works it’s really quite hard to imagine the connection. We’ll let that permeate…  This exhibition is scheduled to open in April at the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum in Dallas. With artistic endeavors being a common thread among our world’s political leaders (Eisenhower, Churchill, and yes, Hitler…) it is no surprise that Bush’s joy in painting will soon be celebrated and inspected in the art world. Let’s just hope for objective criticism. Source: Time

This article ©galleryIntell. Reporting by Laura West.