The LACMA receives $25 million to construct a new Peter Zumthor building in Los Angeles

Collectors Eric and Susan Smidt have donated $25 million towards the LACMA’s fundraising campaign to construct a new 34,188 m2 building designed by Peter Zumthor. The museum, hoping to raise $650 million to build the edifice, has now reached one-half of its target. The museum’s director, Michael Govan, is confident that the Smidt donation will prompt other to follow suit. The Smidts, members of the LACMA board since 2006, have declared that “until Michael came along, Los Angeles really didn’t have a public museum that was commensurate with a great city of the world. Today we...

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When museums deal with private collectors

The Art Newspaper reports that for several years now, museum directors have been organising exhibitions for collectors with private museums overseas, to make up for their lack of public funds. Frances Morris, director of the Tate Modern, notably organised a post-war Asian and European art exhibition for the private museum of collector George Economou in Athens, just as curator Mark Godfrey coordinated a minimalist art retrospective for him earlier in the year. And the Greek collector, a board member of the Tate Foundation, made a big donation to the Tate Modern… Iwona Blazwick, director of the Whitechapel Gallery, also settled a three-year agreement with the British-Canadian Weston family, in 2011, in exchange for which an exhibition was organised in their residence in Windsor, Florida. Meanwhile, director of the LACMA, Michael Govan, has worked with François Pinault to help him acquire an installation by Bruce Nauman, For Beginners (2010), and the museum today owns 50 % of the work. Bear in mind that Govan also curated an arte povera exhibition at Punta della Dogana, Pinault’s private museum in...

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The LACMA receives a $75 million donation

The LACMA has received an extraordinary donation of $75 million, the largest in its history. A sum aimed at financing a new building. Collectors Elaine Wynn and A. Jerrold “Jerry” Perenchio have promised the Los Angeles County Museum of Art a donation of $75 million. The donation is however conditional, requiring the museum to successfully carry out its campaign to raise $600 million to finance a new architectural complex to be designed by Swiss architect Peter Zumthor. The plan is to build an entirely black 400,000 m2 building that will serve as a museum and a bridge crossing Wilshire Boulevard, whose shape is suggestive of a Chinese calligraphy symbol. The ambitious project will allow four of the museum’s seven buildings to be replaced. According to the Los Angeles Board of Supervisors, $125 million have been raised for the project. LACMA’s director, Michael Govan, is optimistic about the success of this financing campaign. The project may well start in 2018 and be completed in 2023. Aside from this exceptional donation, A. Jerrold Perenchio has promised to give to the museum his collection, estimated as being worth nearly $500 million, stating: “The old buildings are that — they’re old buildings. Great art has to have a great place to be...

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A collection of Japanese prints at LACMA, Los Angeles

LACMA, Los Angeles is currently holding an exhibition of Barbara S. Bowman’s collection of Japanese prints, entitled “Living for the Moment: Japanese Prints from the Barbara S. Bowman Collection”, which opened on 11 October 2015 and will run until 1 May 2016. 100 works trace the history of Japanese prints, especially through the primitive and rare prints of the school of ukiyo-e (literally, pictures of the floating world), works dating back to the golden age of the late eighteenth century and nineteenth-century engravings by great masters including Suzuki Harunobu, Utamaro Kitagawa, Utagawa Hiroshige, Katsushika Hokusai and Utagawa Kuniyoshi. During the Edo period (1615-1868), the prints sold by ukiyo-e (through shows, in brothels or theatre plays) revealed the penchant for sensuality at a time when the Shogun government was restricting pleasures. The luxurious publications of unconventional poetry named surimono sold illicitly inspired artists. A display of Japanese prints by one of these artists is available November 15 2015 at the museum, in addition to conferences and thematic tours. Hollis Goodall, curator of the department of Japanese Art at LACMA spoke of the exhibition as an “exceptional gift for the collections.” Established in 1965, LACMA is the largest art museum in the western United States, with a collection of 120,000 objects from antiquity to the present day and around one million visitors a year. Echoing the diversity of the population of Los Angeles, the collections feature Asian and Latin American art, from pre-Columbian masterpieces to contemporary art, and one of the largest collections of Islamic Art in the...

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Sam Durant at the Praz-Delavallade

The Praz-Delavallade, in Brussels, will hold artist Sam Durant’s fourth solo exhibition, opening 24 September until 24 October 2015. The exhibition consists of two parts; the Abolition installation and three pieces from the Lightbox series. Through his works, Durant explores the realms of pop culture, history and memorialisation to question the values of American society. The Abolition installation demonstrates Durant’s indictment of the death penalty through the reduced scale models of historically significant gallows which retrace the history of death by hanging. The gallows are mounted on mirrors that create a confusion of reflections and encourage self-reflection around the issues taken up in the works. For the Lightbox series, Durant uses archival photographs of protests around the world as source material for both drawings and text-based pieces rendered as large-scale light boxes. These single messages articulated by the protester are presented in a format typically used for commercial signage which poses questions about the role of language and how meaning is constructed. Los Angeles-based Sam Durant (né 1961), was the object of frequent monographic exhibitions in LACMA (LA), MOCA (LA), the Walker Art Center (Minneapolis) among others. He participated in the 2004 Whitney Museum Biennial (New York) and in the 2002 Venice Biennial. His work is displayed in numerous public and private...

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