1) Koons' Former Representatives Defend Bouquet
Jeff Koons’ former gallery representatives in Paris, Jerome and Emmanuelle de Noirmont, have issued a letter in response to the public backlash against Koons’ proposed memorial artwork, Bouquet of Tulips. As we reported in last week’s Headlines, the sculpture is planned to be installed in Paris’ Palais de Tokyo, and consists of a large, realistic hand holding a bouquet of 11 balloon tulips. In the letter, the de Noirmonts outline some of the concerns of the public including the artwork’s planned placement and general spirit, emphasizing Koons’ intention for the memorial to be deeply meaningful.
2) Christo Plans Record-Breaking Work in London
A massive new work proposed by Christo -- his largest to date -- has been approved by London’s Westminster Council. Once finished, the work will float on the waters of Serpentine Lake, located behind Kensington Palace. According to Christo, the work will comprise 7,506 full-sized oil barrels arranged in a trapezoidal construction called a mastaba, an architectural design dating back to Mesopotamia. Christo himself has long been fascinated with the shape, originally designing one in 1975. While the Serpentine Lake installation will be temporary, the artist says he is working on something of a similar design for permanent installation in Dubai.
3) Controversy Over Zoe Leonard Poem on Instagram
Zoe Leonard’s incendiary 1992 poem “I Want A President” has been causing renewed controversy after images of the poem were reportedly "censored" by Instagram. The account lgbt_history posted images of the poem on January 21st and garnered over 12,000 likes before being removed overnight for “violating community standards.” The account reposted the poem several times, before encouraging followers to repost it on their own blogs, leading to a spate of takedowns from well-known art related accounts. As of Wednesday, Instagram had restored a number of the posts and indicated that the takedowns were a “mistake.” No further details were given.
4) Isamu Noguchi's Red Cube Threatened
Plans to install a tree planter in a public plaza at 140 Broadway in New York are drawing skepticism because of how the trees would interfere with Isamu Noguchi’s Red Cube, a fixture of the plaza since the 1960s. The installation of the cube emphasized the architectural uniqueness of the plaza at the time. Other recent developments have changed the overall appearance of the space, but Dakin Hart, senior curator at the Isamu Noguchi Foundation and Garden Museum argues that the artist himself would oppose this installation, and notes that the building’s owner did not consult the foundation before planning the changes.
The Canadian Photography Institute, located at the National Gallery of Art in Ottawa, has received a sizeable gift of 635 photographs by Paul Strand. Strand, an American modernist photographer who passed away in the 1970’s, helped to define the medium as an artform in the early to mid 20th century. The works were donated by three anonymous Canadian benefactors.