Headlines: James Turrell, Erwin Wurm and Le Corbusier
1) James Turrell Donates a Work to the Mattress Factory
Installation artist James Turrell has donated a work to the Mattress Factory, a fine art museum in Pittsburgh. The artwork is estimated to be worth one million dollars and is the largest gift that the museum has received to date. Turrell is considered a long-time friend of the museum and its codirectors Barbara Luderowski and Michael Olijnyk. A completion date for the piece has not yet been set as the museum will have to raise funds for its installation. The Mattress Factory currently houses three James Turrell works on permanent display.
2) Erwin Wurm on his One Minute Sculptures
In this short but interesting New York Times piece, artist Erwin Wurm explains some of the thought process and impetus behind his “One Minute Sculptures.” The pieces consist of a set of instructions and sometimes an object. Viewers use their bodies and the object to precisely enact the instructions, momentarily becoming the artworks. Wurm’s unique brand of sculpture-meets-performance art results in a series of ethereal sculptures that has a vast range of visual appearances, but can express a single concept and idea over and over again.
3) Eight Restorers Charged for Damage to King Tut's Mask
Eight employees of the Egyptian Museum in Cairo are facing charges of negligence after breaking the beard off of King Tutankhamen’s death mask in 2014. While the workers initially claimed that the beard had fallen off of its own accord during a restoration attempt, an investigation was conducted in 2015 that pointed to the employees, who comprise six restorers and two former heads of the restoration department, not following proper restoration protocols thereby causing the damage to 3,300-year-old artifact.
4) Groups Battle for Stolen Art Database
Two prominent groups dealing specifically with lost artworks are embroiled in a battle for the privilege of controlling a commercial database for stolen art. For the past quarter-century, the UK-headquartered Art Loss Register has operated a database that logs millions of stolen or looted artworks and artifacts from around the world. Now, the Art Recovery Group, founded in 2013 by former ALR employee Chris Marinello, has started its own database, leading to a legal battle in which ALR is insisting that it has exclusive rights to such a database, and ARG calling the ALR abusive.
5) Kill Time by Digitally Vandalising the Villa Savoye
Let’s end on a fun note - UCLA student Theo Triantafyllidis is finally letting us do what we’ve always wanted to do: comically deface Le Corbusier’s Villa Savoye. The game, with an aesthetic and a physics engine that seems heavily inspired by the popular Katamari Damaci video game series, allows players to pelt the building with seemingly random objects like ladders, trees, cats and lamp posts. The objects stick to the building, forming monumental towers of excess and insanity that would undoubtedly have Le Corbusier himself rolling in his grave.