The Walker Curates the News: 03.30.15

Five new stamps featuring artworks by Martín Ramírez (1895–1963)

Five new stamps featuring artworks by Martín Ramírez (1895–1963)

The US Postal Service released five “forever” stamps commemorating the late self-taught artist Martín Ramírez last week. “Ramírez counts as a highly unusual choice not only because he was Mexican-American and schizophrenic,” writes the New York Times, “but also because folk art stamps are rare.” Critic Jerry Saltz saluted the choice. “The Whitney owns none of them, MoMA owns one, the Met owns none and the Guggenheim owns four. So, you know what? Big shout out to the U.S. Post Office.”

  • The National Gallery’s announcement of its 14th male director has incited a new wave of demands for female museum directors. Leading women in the arts are calling for “a fresh look at diversity across arts management” and a shattering of the glass ceiling. Ruth Mackenzie, director of the 2012 Cultural Olympiad: “All my working life, I have been speaking up about how women can smash the glass ceiling, after all it is only glass. Why haven’t we done it?”
  • Museums across the country have joined forces in a campaign to turn Michael Heizer’s City, a 1 ¼ mile by ¼ mile sculpture in the valley of the Great Basin, into a National Monument to protect Nevada’s Garden Valley from harmful, industrial developments. The Garden Valley not only houses Heizer’s most outstanding piece of Land Art yet, it is also the home to Native American trails, rock shelters, and lithic scatters. Saving City, along with the valley and the mountains that surround it, would mean saving “one of the nation’s greatest natural and artistic treasures.”
  • When Antonin Gaudi died in 1926, his Barcelona cathedral, la Sagrada Familia—already 44 years in the making—was only a quarter complete. Now technology even the visionary architect couldn’t have dreamed of will help complete the structure: 3D printing.
  • A new anniversary edition of David Wojnarowicz’s groundbreaking Brush Fires in the Social Landscape will include an intimate conversation between the late artist and Nan Goldin in celebration of their long-lasting friendship and “genius artistic union.” The expanded and redesigned edition of the book is said to maintain the integrity of the original and to address Wojnarowicz’s profound legacy of “relentless tugs” at society and his “aesthetic brilliance, courage, and influence.”
  • Sharp criticism of his Björk show aside, questions persist over MoMA curator Klaus Biesenbach’s “curatorial autonomy, his problematic celebrity profile, as well as his capacity to keep an appropriately scholarly distance between himself and his famous subjects.”
  • The art world is rediscovering 81-year-old painter Sam Gilliam “for the first or second or maybe third time,” writes Kriston Capps, noting that Gilliam, the first black artist to represent the US at the Venice Biennale (1972), is today making “some of the most pressing artworks of the moment.”
  • Artist, model, and DJ Juliana Huxtable “exists at the crux of almost every type of intersectionality, but still thrives,” says Black Contemporary Art founder Kimberly Drew in Antwaun Sargent’s profile of the New York–based trans artist dubbed the “star of the New Museum Triennial.” Huxtable’s photo is the lead image on the New Museum’s landing page for Surround Audience, and Frank Benson’s sculpture of her, Juliana, has led off many a review of the exhibition.

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