1) Architect Richard Meier Accused of Sexual Assault
Artist Richard Meier has become the latest high-profile art world figure to be accused of sexual harassment. According to a report published in the New York Times, five women have come forward with allegations against the award-winning architect. Four of the women worked for Richard at his firm, Richard Meier & Partners. Sotheby’s S2 gallery in New York, which was hosting an exhibition of Meier’s work, has opted to pull the show (which would have run until March 29th), a decision which was made in consultation with Meier’s family. The report details several specific instances of misconduct alleged by the women who have come forward, though Meier himself has said that his recollection of the events “differs.”
2) New Artwork Will Attempt to Find Out if Plants Feel
It’s always fascinating when the arts and the sciences come together to collaborate, and a new project by Carsten Holler is no exception. The artist, who himself has a background in biology, has teamed up with Italian neurobiologist Stefano Mancuso -- a pioneer in his field -- to conduct a large-scale experiment concerning whether or not bean plants have feelings. Titled “The Florence Experiment,” the project is set to open in April at the Palazzo Strozzi. There, visitors will be invited to descend two spiraling slides while holding a potted bean plant. At the bottom of the slide, they’ll be asked to hand over the plant to a team of researchers who will measure the plants reactions (if any) to the excitement of the descent.
3) H&M Retracts Lawsuit Threat
Clothing retailer H&M has retracted its retaliatory lawsuit against a New York street artist following a flood of calls to boycott the company. A recent H&M ad campaign featured a model standing in front of a graffiti work by Jason Williams, known by the moniker Revok. After Revok sent the company a cease and desist letter, noting that they were using his work without his permission in their ad, H&M fired back saying that copyright law did not apply to the work of street art since it was technically an act of illegal vandalism. After LA-based curator Roger Gastman instigated a call for a boycott of H&M on Instagram, the company withdrew its counter-claim.
4) Crucified Stormtrooper Offends Church Congregation
A sculpture of a crucified Star Wars stormtrooper by Ryan Callanan was removed from an auction at the St. Stephen Walbrook church in London, England, after complaints from parishioners. The artwork was on display as part of a crucifix-themed charity auction called Stations of the Cross, organized by curator Ben Moore to help raise funds to support the search for his missing brother. Church rector Reverend Jonathan Evans expressed disappointment that the sculpture had to be removed, taking a view that the work in fact explores questions pertinent to modern Christianity.