The Walker Curates the News: 10.05.15

Abraham Cruzvillegas: The Autoconstrucción Suites, installed at the Walker Art Center, 2013

Abraham Cruzvillegas: The Autoconstrucción Suites, installed at the Walker Art Center, 2013

The title alone—Empty Lot—conjures an urban outdoorsiness, but beyond that, details of Abraham Cruzvillegas’ s installation for Tate Modern’s Turbine Hall, opening October 13, remain under wraps. A request by Tate to London parks for topsoil suggests something horticultural, but the Mexico City–based artist insists the work “is not related with gardens.” In conversation with The Indepdendent’s Hettie Judah, though, he does offer some clues as to the massive installation’s themes:

We discuss the “extraordinary paradox” of migration, whereby “the history of mankind is based on movement, transformation, hope,” but “owning a piece of land that is yours and for your family is the main hope of everybody – having a shelter, having a piece of land. This idea of hope is one that I’m dealing with in this work for the Turbine Hall.”

  • “After 500 years, the hour of cultural courage has struck,” says Dario Nardella, Florence’s 39-year-old mayor of the initiative to bring in contemporary art—including Jeff Koons’s Pluto and Proserpina—to mingle with centuries-old masterpieces in the birthplace of the Renaissance.
  • What does it mean to be the new fad in an art world of which you’re already an established part? Brienne Walsh examines the global position of South Africa’s contemporary art market, commenting on the western colonialist desire to “discover” African art.
  • “While it’s hard to know exactly how many artists have left San Fransisco in the last several years, there’s a consensus that the city is facing an emergency.” Affordable spaces for living and making art are disappearing as the tech market gentrifies the city. Hyperallergic describes the new climate artists contend with as they attempt to make a home under the golden gates.
  • The High Line’s newest artwork replicates the frames around Jan van Eyck’s Ghent Alterpiece (1432) in oxidized iron. Created by Kris Martin, the empty structure references the fact that van Eyck’s masterpiece is the most frequently stolen artwork in history.The work continues the Belgian artist’s explorations of absence, from a clapperless bell (a reference to John Donne’s famed meditation on mortality) to a grave without a headstone.
  • “What’s with the gulls?” In context with Crystal Bridges’ concurrent exhibitions Warhol’s Nature and Jamie Wyeth, Linda DeBerry interviews Wyeth on his friendship with Warhol, as well as on the (occasionally ornithological) themes in Wyeth’s own work.
  • An art project by the artist Mimsy, featuring children’s toys of the Syrian families terrorized by ISIS has been removed from a UK show dedicated to giving artists space to “debate and exercise freedom of speech.” Police raised security concern’s over the project’s “potentially inflammatory content.”

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