Anish Kapoor Is Setting Up Shop Inside a Venetian Palazzo, and Other News

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Palazzo Priuli Manfrin in Venice

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Anish Kapoor is converting an 18th-century Venetian palace into his permanent workshop.

The Anish Kapoor Foundation has started renovating a Venetian palazzo that will soon become the organization’s headquarters. The city council greenlit construction plans to convert the dilapidated Palazzo Priuli Manfrin into an exhibition space, artist studio, and a repository for the British-Indian sculptor’s most significant works. Current plans call for the first and second floors to house exhibition spaces, while workshops, an archive, and a collection deposit will occupy higher floors. Local studio FWR Associati and the Hamburg-based UNA Studio will oversee the renovation, which is slated for completion in 2023. When it opens, the programme will include “conferences and workshops for scholars and artists interested in the history, technologies, and developments of sculpture as an art form, creating initiatives with experts in different cultural and scientific fields to contribute to a better understanding of contemporary art and culture,” according to a statement from the Anish Kapoor Foundation. 

Los Angeles passes an ordinance that limits homeless encampments across the city.

According to a recent report released by the Department of Housing and Urban Development, an estimated 135,000 Californians suffer from homelessnes. The Los Angeles City Council recently passed an ordinance that aims to remedy the crisis by limiting encampments across much of the city. Encampments will be prohibited within 500 feet of libraries, public parks, schools, and sidewalks. Critics and homeless advocates question whether the ordinance truly does anything to benefit the city’s unsheltered population while supporters argue that encampments harm small businesses and prevent the use of public space by other citizens. It’s the latest in a string of major commitments to address the crisis, including a $12 billion bill supported by Governor Gavin Newsom to address homelessness over the next two years. 

“Brier Patch” by Hugh Hayden

Hugh Hayden is revealed as the next Madison Square Park Conservancy commission.

Swaths of empty desks will soon arrive at New York’s Madison Square Park as part of the Conservancy’s latest installation. Brier Patch will be created by the local artist Hugh Hayden, who will connect 100 wooden school desks with a network of twisting tree branches that layer meaning and complexity onto a sculptural mass. Taking inspiration from children’s folklore and student loan debt, the installation is “loaded with inherent tensions—growth and stagnation, seduction and peril, individual and community—that ask us to consider how these dichotomies coexist in society and the work,” says curator Brooke Rapaport. Brier Patch will open on January 18 and follows Maya Lin’s Ghost Forest

The highly controversial tunnel that would run near Stonehenge has been ruled unlawful. 

A controversial scheme to build a tunnel near Stonehenge has been struck down by the British government. Campaigners including archaeologists and environmentalists called for a judicial review of the $2.4 billion scheme, which was approved by the Conservaive transport secretary Grant Shapps last year. The ruling found that Shapps acted irrationally and unlawfully when he approved the project because he failed to consider alternative schemes. Campaigners from the Save Stonehenge World Heritage Site said the ruling “should be a wake-up-call for the government,” which should “eliminate any need to build new and wider roads that threaten the environment as well as our cultural heritage.” 

Philadelphia Museum of Art

Philadelphia Museum of Art director Timothy Rub will leave his role after 13 years.

Timothy Rub, the director of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, has announced that he will retire in early 2022. He joined the museum in 2009, after the death of former director Anne d’Harnoncourt, who was knee-deep in a $500 million renovation of the museum’s historic 1928 building overseen by Frank Gehry. Rub’s departure comes at a fraught time for the museum—after former managers were accused of harassment and physical abuse this past year, employees unionized and cited Rub’s struggle to address issues of gender and equity. Rub will officially step down on January 30; the board is already searching for his replacement. 

Damien Hirst lays off 63 staffers despite receiving a $21 million government bailout last fall.

Damien Hirst has come under fire for laying off 63 people from his studio team last fall despite receiving a $21 million government bailout. The layoffs came after a retrospective of Hirst’s work at the Central Academy of Fine Art in Beijing was canceled, forcing his studio to halt production on new works and reduce staff on the studio’s 3D and painting teams. Hirst faced similar backlash after abruptly firing 50 employees from his production company in an effort to “cut the corporate elements of the business.” On the recruitment website, a former staffer described multiple rounds of redundancies that are often quickly restaffed, and alleged that staff are treated as “disposable.” 

Red snow in the Alps. Photography by Bob Gibbons/Alamy

Today’s attractive distractions:

Osman Yousefzada envelops Selfridges in a massive five-ton canvas.

A Wegmans will open inside the allegedly haunted Astor Place Kmart.

Red snow in the Alps may be an unsettling indicator of climate change.

Kurt Cobain’s childhood home is named a historically significant site.

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