Morning Links

Morning Links: Beauty Is All Around You Edition

A famous favorite of the great artist and cola connoisseur Robert Irwin.



“That is one kick-ass rococo organ,” Ragnar Kjartansson exclaims near the beginning of a Guardian profile on the occasion of a new performance work of his at the National Museum of Wales. At the heart of it is an old and evidently enchanting Italian song whose title translates as “The Sky in a Room.” [The Guardian]

Robert Irwin, 89, talks about a new gallery show at Sprüth Magers in Los Angeles and “Robert Irwin: Site Determined,” an exhibition of old planning materials at Cal State Long Beach’s University Art Museum. “Beauty is all around you,” he tells the L.A. Times. “You open your eyes in the morning, the world is totally formed. You haven’t done anything other than be. It’s all around you. The whole idea is being able to recognize it, and pay attention to it, articulate it.” [Los Angeles Times]

Who’s that woman in the “Judy Chicago” T-shirt at the top of a big New York Times Magazine profile? Why, it’s Judy Chicago! As the story notes, “her style, like The Dinner Party, is flamboyant and groovy and uncategorizable.” [The New York Times]


Museum attendance in Chicago is up, led by a 49-percent jump at the Museum of Contemporary Art attributed in part to a Takashi Murakami show that ranked as the institution’s most popular ever, the Chicago Tribune reports. In figures comparing 2017 to the year prior, the National Museum of Mexican of Art was up a notable 16 percent. The Art Institute, on the other hand, dropped 9 percent, in part as a result of a big Van Gogh show in ’16. [Chicago Tribune]

Picasso’s painting The Actor will be staying at the Met in New York after a judge threw out a lawsuit by a German businessman who said he sold the painting at a discount while fleeing the Nazis, Bloomberg reports. [Bloomberg]

In the midst of the Getty’s search for wealthy patrons, “some are concerned that a new fundraising drive will lure donors from other Los Angeles institutions,” the Art Newspaper reports. [The Art Newspaper]

Strokes of Fate

The poet Elizabeth Alexander was named the next president of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the storied organization devoted to philanthropic activity in the humanities. “All of the things that I’ve cared about my whole life and worked toward my whole life Mellon does,” she told the New York Times. [The New York Times]

For Forbes, a woman recalls a $14,000 investment in a work of furniture/art that did not go well. “The designer, Maarten Baas, had taken a reproduction art nouveau-style chair by Charles Rennie Mackintosh, set it on fire, sealed the charred remains and added an electric yellow sheepskin seat cushion. This wasn’t just a chair, you see—it was a work of art.” [Forbes]

An art teacher in England told a student to “dial down the feminism,” after which the pupil made a new work in response, and tweeted it. [Twitter]


A pavilion for the winter Olympics has been painted a variation of Vantablack, the blackest-ever-black made famous by Anish Kapoor, the Art Newspaper reports. [The Art Newspaper]

Focusing on a historically swoon-inducing area that Olympic visitors will not be able to see because it is secreted away in North Korea, the exhibition “Diamond Mountains: Travel and Nostalgia in Korean Art” at the Met in New York is “a melancholy beauty of a show” that “reveals the indelible influence of this mountain range on Korean painting from the 18th century to today,” Jason Farago writes for the New York Times. [The New York Times]

Golden Gallery Advice

Gallery owners wondering where to have their next artist dinner take note: “Of all the wretched places to visit in New York, Planet Hollywood is king.” So says an essay in the Paris Review by a writer who nonetheless confesses to “dining regularly—and with near-evangelical enthusiasm—at Planet Hollywood Times Square.” [The Paris Review]

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