MoMA Temporarily Covers Philip Johnson’s Name After Outcry, and Other News

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Philip Johnson

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MoMA will temporarily cover Philip Johnson’s name after architects denounce his racist ties.

Last November, after a group of architects signed an open letter asking the Museum of Modern Art to remove Philip Johnson’s name from its spaces due to his allegiance to white supremacist beliefs, MoMA is finally taking action. The museum has agreed to cover up the Glass House architect’s name temporarily during the run of its current exhibition “Reconstructions: Architecture and Blackness in America.” Visitors will instead find a denim textile artwork created by the Black Reconstruction Collective, a nonprofit founded by ten participants in the show, that features the group’s “Manifesting Statement.” The museum’s delayed response contrasts that of Harvard University, which immediately removed Johnson’s name from a private residence that he built as a graduate thesis project, referring to “the power of institutional naming, and the integrity and legitimacy it confers.”

Alan Bowness, the prolific museum director who launched the Turner Prize, dies at 93.

Alan Bowness was a prolific public figure for more than half a century: working as a writer, lecturer, curator, administer, and philanthropist, he was the first trained art historian to become director of the Tate Gallery in London and launched the prestigious Turner Prize. Bowness dedicated most of his career to making modern art a serious subject for academic study. In addition to teaching, he published art criticism and curated numerous exhibitions of modern and contemporary art.

The Underline in Miami. Photography by Robin Hill

The first phase of Miami’s long-awaited Underline park has officially opened to the public. 

The Underline, a ten-mile-long linear park, urban trail, and public art destination, has opened its first phase designed by James Corner Field Operations. Situated beneath Miami’s Metrorail, the site will offer 120 acres of public space—restored natural habitats, improved pedestrian and bike pathways—for locals to congregate in. The project is slated for completion by 2025.

A former natural-gas plant in Madrid will become a green oasis by Foster + Partners.

Foster + Posters is retrofitting a vacant natural-gas plant into an office building for sustainable infrastructure company Acciona. The 1905 edifice, designed by Spanish architect Luis de Landecho, will be transformed into a biophilic oasis of natural light and materials, including timber and a cornucopia of greenery. More than 300 local tree species planted nearby will help reduce the building’s water consumption while shading new outdoor workspaces and informal meeting areas.

MASS MoCA will soon receive a 40-foot-tall Skyspace installation by James Turrell.

A giant Skyspace installation by James Turrell will soon head to a giant water tank at the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (MASS MoCA). The work will arrive on May 29 as part of the museum’s long-term Turrell retrospective, called “Into the Light,” which traces six decades of the artist’s career. MASS MoCA’s Skyspace will be the largest freestanding circular piece of its kind to date, measuring 40 feet tall and capable of hosting 50 viewers at a time.

Royal Museum of Fine Arts in Antwerp. Photography by Stijn Bollaert

Antwerp’s Royal Museum of Fine Arts receives a pristine renovation from KAAN Architecten.

The Royal Museum of Fine Arts in Antwerp is preparing to reopen following a long-awaited transformation by KAAN Architecten. The Dutch firm created a brand-new wing with a series of minimalist rooms within the historic late-19th-century structure, which now offers even more generous spaces to experience the museum’s rich art collection. Perhaps the greatest intervention involved converting four patios into a brightly lit gallery space complete with plastered surfaces and bespoke marble furniture, nodding to the contemporary work to be displayed there.

Singapore arts venue The Substation will permanently close after vacating its current space.

After closing for renovations in July, The Substation will permanently move out of the conserved building it has occupied in Singapore since 1990. In a statement, the board said the difficult decision to close “was made after lengthy deliberations and several discussions with the National Arts Council and with members of the arts community.” The board came to two key conclusions: The Substation would lose a fundamental part of its identity and heritage if it couldn’t return to its original space, and it would lose autonomy over spaces key to its success. The coronavirus pandemic also played a factor, with crucial fundraising efforts falling short of expectations.

Cosmetea Shanghai

Today’s attractive distractions:

Anita Yan Wong uses coffee to paint highly detailed figurative portraits.

Cosmetea creates a reflective “time tunnel” on the streets of Shanghai.

Buy the Brooklyn townhouse from the 1987 rom-com classic Moonstruck.

Using NFTs, Grimes sells $6 million worth of digital art on Nifty Gateway.

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