Dennis Oppenheim, a pioneer of earthworks, body art and Conceptual art, died on Friday in Manhattan at age 72 from liver cancer. Known for his vast and diverse body of work and often controversial pieces, his career as a well-known artist began in New York in the late ‘60s and early ‘70s. Early on, he did pieces such as “Reading Position for Second Degree Burn,” in which he lay in the sun for five hours with an open book on his chest. Oppenheim was part of a movement of artists using film and video in relation to performance art. In the early 1980s, he began producing his “machine pieces,” space-filling devices presented as complex constructions rather than static sculptural forms.
From the mid-1990s, he created a number of large-scale public art pieces in major cities around the world, some of which have proved divisive. One such sculpture, “Device to Root Out Evil” from 1997, an inverted chapel-like structure, was recently slated to be moved to Calgary Canada, but after much protest, finally found a home in Vancouver, Canada. Oppenheim continued to push boundaries throughout his career.
Do artists ever wonder what happens to their work after it leaves the studio?
Will it find a nice home, will it be cared for…will it meet celebrities?
The Frye Art Museum has announced that Director Emerita of the Museum had passed away on January 6, 2011.
From the Frye Art Museum website:
It is with great sadness that the Frye Art Museum announces the passing of Ida Kay Greathouse, Director Emerita of the Museum, on Thursday, January 6, 2011.
Mrs. Greathouse and her husband, Walser, were friends of Charles and Emma Frye, the founders of the Frye Art Museum. Mr. Greathouse, a Rhodes scholar and graduate of Oxford, served as the Fryes’ attorney, executor of the Frye estate, and first director (1952–1966) of the Charles and Emma Frye Free Public Art Museum, as it was then called.
Following Walser Greathouse’s death, Mrs. Greathouse took the helm as Director of the Frye. Throughout her nearly thirty year career, she was committed to protecting the legacy of Charles and Emma Frye.
Kay Greathouse continued her husband’s focus on American art, enhanced the Frye Founding Collection’s holdings of French paintings, and moved into new collecting directions by acquiring significant paintings by early-twentieth-century Russian-trained émigrés and twentieth-century Alaskan landscapes.
The Frye Art Museum honored Mrs. Greathouse’s role in the history of the museum this past summer with Ida Kay Greathouse: A Tribute, an exhibition which featured paintings collected during her tenure, from 1966 until her retirement in 1993. The exhibition demonstrated the key role played by Mrs. Greathouse in moving the Museum to showcase not only European art but also 20th century American art.
A lover of music, dance, and travel, especially to New York City and Hong Kong, Mrs Greathouse most recently made her home at Horizon House, located in the First Hill neighborhood of Seattle–just blocks from her beloved Frye.
Mrs. Greathouse is survived by members of her family, including her nephew, Henry Hawkins, Jr., of Bellingham, WA and many, many friends from far and wide.
A public memorial will be held at the Frye Art Museum on Tuesday, February 8, 2011, the 59th anniversary of the founding of the of the Frye, at 11:30 am. All are invited to attend.
Winston Wachter Fine Art is pleased to announce that new artwork by artist Susan Dory will be included in the group exhibition, Marked, on view at the Kittredge Gallery at the University of Puget Sound, Tacoma, WA.
Considered one of the most important figures in contemporary Chinese art, artist, curator, designer, architect, and activist Ai Weiwei is known for his outspoken criticism of the Chinese Communist Party and his commitment to developing avant-garde art communities in China. In 1993, Ai Weiwei helped establish the experimental “Beijing East Village” and in 1999 he moved to Caochangdi where he built a compound of houses and opened his studio FAKE Design.
In 2010, Ai Weiwei finished building a new studio of his own design in Shanghai which was to be used as an education center as part of a burgeoning cultural area designated by Shanghai Municipal authorities. However, Ai Weiwei was informed by government authorities that the newly completed studio would be knocked down because it was illegal.
Ai Weiwei said that Shanghai officials had originally supported his plan for a studio on the site. He reportedly spent over $1 million to transform a dilapidated warehouse into a vast working space. He began designing the building in the summer of 2008 and construction on the space had officially ended in July of 2010. This past November Ai Weiwei was placed under house arrest by Chinese police and the building has since been destroyed. Ai Weiwei said he believed that his advocacy in several controversial documentaries, including the Kafka-esque case of Feng Zhenghu, a lawyer and activist who spent more than three months in Tokyo’s Narita Airport after Shanghai officials denied him entry, might have prompted Shanghai officials to order the razing.
Ai Weiwei has also demanded democracy for China, criticized government corruption for playing a role in the deaths of schoolchildren in the 2008 Sichuan earthquake and stridently supported Liu Xiaobo, a political prisoner who was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize last year.
Ai’s artwork has been exhibited in China, Japan, Korea, Australia, United Kingdom, Belgium, The Netherlands, Luxembourg, France, Germany, Italy, Austria, Switzerland, Ireland, Israel, Brazil and the United States.
In October 2010, Sunflower Seeds was installed at the Tate Modern Turbine Hall. The piece consists of one hundred million porcelain “seeds,” each individually hand-painted in the town of Jingdezhen by 1,600 Chinese artisans, and scattered over a large area of the exhibition hall. The artist was keen for visitors to walk across and roll in the work to experience and contemplate the essence of his comment on mass consumption, Chinese industry, famine, and collective work. However, on October 16th, Tate Modern stopped people from walking on the exhibit due to health liability concerns over the porcelain dust. This exhibit is currently still on view at Tate Modern.