A Louisville Art Museum Plans a Show About Breonna Taylor, and Other News

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Painting of Breonna Taylor by Amy Sherald

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The Speed Art Museum in Louisville will stage an exhibition about Breonna Taylor.

An upcoming exhibition at the Speed Art Museum in Louisville, Kentucky, will reflect on the death of Breonna Taylor, who was shot by police in the city nearly one year ago. Museum director Stephen Reily approached Allison Glenn, who previously worked with Theaster Gates’s Dorchester Projects in Chicago and Prospect New Orleans, this past fall to guest curate the show. “We slowly started to think about how our museum, which is deeply committed to using art to serve the whole community, could respond,” Reily tells Artnet News. “What’s the role of an art museum in serving a city and trauma? We had to ask ourselves the question: how would a museum even try to get this right?” 

Glenn convened a group of artists, scholars, and other experts to advise on curatorial decisions for the show, but many details remain unannounced. The show’s title, “Promise, Witness, Remembrance,” however, came from a conversation that Glenn had with Taylor’s mom, Tamika Palmer: “I asked her to share what this exhibition meant to her and her daughter’s legacy,” Glenn recalls. “From her response, I developed this three-word title that spoke to the spirit of her reply.” The exhibition opens on April 7.

After a financial fallout closed Century 21 in New York, the department store will reopen.

After Century 21 suffered major pandemic-induced financial shortfalls and shuttered all locations in late 2020, the beloved New York City department store chain is preparing for a major relaunch. That’s good news for budget-minded fashionistas who flocked to its 13 locations—including a Lower Manhattan flagship that famously weathered the 9/11 terrorist attacks—to score heavy discounts on designer items from Gucci, Balenciaga, and Prada. 

“Plans for the U.S. are very much underway as we speak,” Marc Benitez, the company’s newly appointed president, told the New York Post. “We’re looking at both bricks and mortar and an e-commerce strategy. We’re simply in the process of putting a strategy together that could include expanding beyond our previous bricks and mortar footprint. Before the pandemic, Century 21’s fledgling e-commerce business had experienced double-digit growth.

Double Negative (1969) by Michael Heizer

A solar power plant in Nevada threatens a major land art sculpture by Michael Heizer.

In the remote Nevada desert near the sleepy town of Overton, two 50-foot-deep trenches dug across a natural canyon comprise Double Negative (1969), a monumental land art installation by the artist Michael Heizer. A planned $1 billion solar power plant, under development by the California-based renewable energy company Arevia Power and that spans more than 9,000 acres, may permanently affect the viewing experience of the work and is receiving significant pushback from local residents. 

“We have been told there would still be access to Double Negative, but the power of the place would be lost forever,” says Lisa Childs, who founded the initiative Save Our Mesa to protest the development. “Thousands of visitors flock to the Mormon Mesa each year. We’re not against renewable energy, but we feel it needs to be placed more responsibly.” It wouldn’t be the first time one of Heizer’s works was affected by development. Munich Depression (1969), a 16-foot-deep crater in a suburb of the German city was overtaken by apartment buildings shortly after its completion. 

Ai Weiwei and Dartmouth College call for MoMA chairman Leon Black to resign. 

Ai Weiwei has joined the chorus of more than 150 artists calling for MoMA chairman Leon Black to step down amid revelations that he paid $158 million to convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein. The artist went so far as to ask the museum to remove his works from its collection if they refuse to part ways with Black. “I would feel ashamed to be associated with the MoMA if it takes a firm position in keeping someone who has been confirmed to have hurt basic values or has worked against truth and fairness,” Ai told the New York Times. At Dartmouth College, meanwhile, several students and alumni have called for Black’s name to be removed from the Black Family Visual Arts Center, which received a $48 million donation from him in 2012. 

“Futures” at the Smithsonian. Rendering courtesy of Rockwell Group

The Smithsonian is celebrating 175 years with robots, flying cars, and innovative futures. 

According to Smithsonian Secretary Lonnie G. Bunch III, looking to the past can help understand the future. To honor its 175th anniversary, the institution is turning that idea on its head by focusing on the future to celebrate the past. “Futures” is an innovative, multidisciplinary exhibition that will fuse history, technology, and art in a celebration of the world’s largest museum network. Devised during the pandemic, the showcase is part festival, exhibition, and exposition—a glimpse of what potentially lies ahead. The exhibition was curated by Glenn Adamson, Ian Brunswick, Brad MacDonald, Ashley Molese and Monica O. Montgomery with immersive and interactive displays by Rockwell Group including 32,000 square feet of site-specific installations, speculative designs, “artifacts of the future,” and, of course, robots. Opening in November and running through July 2022 at the Smithsonian’s Arts and Industries Building, Futures will instigate visitors to imagine a future they want, not one that they fear. 

New York’s expanded outdoor dining is causing a riff between restaurants and residents. 

In a predictable development, New York’s expansion of outdoor dining is causing tension between businesses and residents who are complaining the structures take up too much space. More than 11,000 restaurants have been certified for the program since indoor dining was banned—Mayor Bill de Blasio announced the new rules would become permanent this past September. “Outdoor dining has to be harmonious with the neighboring community,” says city council member Keith Powers, who notes that the structures are a “necessity” for local restaurants.

Perkins & Will partners with Harvard GSD on a pilot program to mentor BIPOC designers.

Following suit of firms and institutions spearheading equity in design, Perkins & Will and Harvard GSD have developed an initiative to mentor BIPOC students and future designers. The program forms three-person teams composed of one Perkins & Will professional, one Harvard GSD student, and one high school student. All participants will complete a ten-week curriculum with discussion topics ranging from design thinking and networking to Black design legacy. Seven individuals from each group—21 participants in total—will complete the program over the course of the year. According to Perkins & Will, the program “will fill a critical educational and career gap in the design profession by fostering meaningful and lasting relationships starting as early as high school.” 

Foscarini fixtures in Woodstock, New York. Photography by Gianluca Vassallo

Today’s attractive distractions:

This time lapse shows a classic Victorian moving through San Francisco.

A Michigan woman mistakenly unearths a phallic island on Google Maps.

Now that Trump is out of office, Jim Carrey pauses his political art hustle.

Glowing images portray the magical qualities of Foscarini’s new fixtures.


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