Weekly Roundup

Mel Chin, Fundred Dollar Bill.

7,000 t-shirts, 22 paintings, two awards, a powerful pair, and one big open studio in this week’s roundup:

  • Mel Chin (Season 1) has been named a finalist of the first International Award for Participatory Art. Chin and two other artists are invited to spend a research period in Bologna and develop a site specific project idea. The winning project, selected by jury, will be created in 2011. The jury includes Alfredo Jaar (Season 4), Julia Draganovic, Rudolf Frieling, and Bert Theis. In addition to the budget to accomplish the project, the winning artist will receive an award of 15,000 Euros.
  • Mark Bradford (Season 4), working with the Getty Museum, has unveiled Open Studio: A Collection of Artmaking Ideas by Artists, a new project to provide free online arts activities for K-12 teachers to use in their classrooms. Open Studio is the inaugural project of the Getty Artists Program, an expanded effort to involve contemporary artists in the Museum’s Education programs. Bradford designed Open Studio to provide brief, accessible activities that don’t require a great deal of preparation or supplies. A teacher can click, print, and immediately share them with his or her class. Artists such as Kerry James Marshall (Season 1), Kara Walker (Season 2), Carrie Mae Weems (Season 5), Xu Bing, Daniel Joseph Martinez, Jon Cattapan, Catherine Opie, Graciela Iturbide, and Michael Joo have all contributed activities to the site. Marshall, for example, encourages the study of picture-making and provides a set of instructions to make and use plan and perspective grids. Bradford said: “We take a lot of things very seriously with young children – math, languages, phonics – but not art. We relegate that to something less than serious, something you do after the real work. Well, art is important. It’s always been important. And I wanted children to develop a work ethic about art, an ability to see things through and focus, just like the work ethic they would need to become a doctor or lawyer.” Open Studio is available at blogs.getty.edu/openstudio/.
  • William Kentridge (Season 5) has won the Kyoto Prize. According to Artinfo, “The award, similar in status to Nobel Prize in Japan, is bestowed annually by the Inamori Foundation to recognize three visionaries in the categories of arts and philosophy, advanced technology, and basic sciences.” Kentridge will receive $550,000, an honorary diploma, and a 20-carat gold medal in a November ceremony.
  • The New York Times reports that approximately 7,000 t-shirts bearing 10 different Jenny Holzer (Season 4) truisms will be dropped in Soweto, on the streets of downtown Johannesburg and at the Goodman Gallery space in South Africa through July 17. Holzer’s project, her first on the African continent, is part of the citywide exhibition series In Context (which also showcases works by Kentridge). Read a short Q &A with Holzer here.
  • Works by Barry McGee (Season 1) and Claire Rojas are on view at the Bolinas Museum in California through August 1. The secluded town of Bolinas is, according to Juxtapoz magazine, “perfect” for McGee and Rojas, both “known to shy away from media and the public eye.” Go to Arrested Motion to see images of their installations Leave it Alone and Together at Last.
  • Austria’s first exhibition of works by Walton Ford (Season 2) is on view at the Albertina through October. The show comprises 22 paintings made in the last ten years. Watch clips from Ford’s recent talk at the museum here.
  • Crystal Bridges has acquired another new work by an Art21 artist, this time a tapestry by Kara Walker (Season 2). A Warm Summer Evening in 1863, Walker’s first tapestry, is based on an engraving originally published in Harper’s Magazine during the Civil War that documented the destruction of an orphanage for black children in New York City. “The black felt silhouette of a lynched female figure that is superimposed on the scene, her noose tied in a neat bow, is not based on a real person, but effectively telegraphs the horror of the racially motivated violence.” This piece was shown earlier this year in the James Cohan Gallery exhibition Demons, Yarns & Tales: Tapestries by Contemporary Artists.