Jan 18
News
MOCA L.A. will close its location dedicated to design and architecture.
Pacific Design Center in West Hollywood, 2014. Photo by FG/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images via Getty Images.

Pacific Design Center in West Hollywood, 2014. Photo by FG/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images via Getty Images.

The Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) in downtown Los Angeles has announced it will be shuttering its design and architecture satellite location, the West Hollywood-based Pacific Design Center, after more than 20 years.

In a press release Wednesday, the museum said, “[T]he programming agreement between the two organizations has reached the end of its term,” was the vague explanation.

The Los Angeles Times attempted to determine which party—MOCA or the Pacific Design Center—decided not to extend the relationship or whether MOCA was vacating the space to trim its budget under new director Klaus Biesenbach, but each declined to comment, citing contractual agreements.

MOCA’s architecture and design programming will continue at its Grand Avenue and Geffen Contemporary locations in downtown L.A. In a statement, Maria Seferian, Chair of the museum’s Board of Trustees, said:

A Long Island City high-rise has pierced James Turrell’s work at MoMA PS1.
Long Island City in Queens, New York, 2018. Photo by Yana Paskova/For The Washington Post via Getty Images.

Long Island City in Queens, New York, 2018. Photo by Yana Paskova/For The Washington Post via Getty Images.

Scaffolding from a new building being erected in Long Island City has pierced the view of James Turrell’s iconic work Meeting (1980-86) at MoMA PS1. Meeting was the first of Turrell’s Skyspaces to be installed in the U.S. It consists of a square hole in the ceiling framed with LED lights that turn and change depending on the position of the Sun. As a recent visitor to the piece alerted Gothamist, the tops of the structures being used to build a new high-rise now peek into previously flawless view of the sky.

The scaffolding in question is part of a construction project currently underway across the street from MoMA’s Long Island City outpost, where the historic graffiti mecca, 5Pointz once stood.

According to MoMA PS1 spokesperson Molly Kurzius, who spoke to Gothamist, the scaffolding is temporary and “will not be visible when the building is complete.” The new towers at 22-44 Jackson Avenue in Queens will add 1,115 new residential units to the area, over 200 of which will be affordable housing units.

This isn’t the first time Turrell (who had received a $10 million contribution from Kanye West earlier this week) has had his work affected by residential development. As Hyperallergic reported, in 2013, a luxury condo was built twice as tall as originally intended and interfered with Turrell’s Tending, (Blue) (2003) at Dallas’s Nasher Sculpture Center. The artist had no choice but to declare the work “destroyed.”

Jan 17
The secret that enabled Rembrandt’s impasto style has been uncovered.

Little is known about Rembrandt van Rijn’s life, but thanks to new research published in the German scientific journal Angewandte Chemie, the secret to his impressive impasto style has finally been revealed.

As the study’s abstract explains:

Second Lady Karen Pence will teach art at a school that bans gay students and teachers.
Second Lady of the United States, Karen Pence, speaks at the 2018 Conservative Political Action Conference. Image via Wikimedia Commons.

Second Lady of the United States, Karen Pence, speaks at the 2018 Conservative Political Action Conference. Image via Wikimedia Commons.

Karen Pence has returned to teaching art at Immanuel Christian School in northern Virginia, the same job she held for years while her husband, Vice President Mike Pence, served in the House of Representatives in nearby Washington, D.C. But news outlets, starting with with HuffPost, have noticed that the school has a deeply homophobic “parent agreement” forced upon all of those seeking enrollment for their children.

The policy says that it will “refuse admission to an applicant” or “discontinue enrollment of a student” who is “participating in, supporting, or condoning sexual immorality, homosexual activity or bi-sexual activity” or “promoting such practices.”

In addition, potential employees must “sign a pledge not to engage in homosexual activity or violate the ‘unique roles of male and female.’”

The policy also enforces sexism, mandating that “a wife is commanded to submit to her husband as the church submits to Christ.” And the school questions job applicants on their views on what the school’s policy refers to as a “creation/evolution debate.”

In a statement to CNN, a spokesperson to the First Lady stated:

A new $4 million initiative aims to diversify the leadership at United States museums.
The Brooklyn Museum of Art. Image via Wikimedia Commons.

The Brooklyn Museum of Art. Image via Wikimedia Commons.

A new initiative launched by the American Alliance of Museums (AAM) will aim to diversify the directorships of the nation’s art museums. The $4 million program follows an AAM survey that found that half of all museum boards are white and a 2015 national study by the Mellon Foundation found that people of color hold just 16% of all leadership positions at institutions.

Called “Facing Change: Advancing Museum Board Diversity & Inclusion,” the initiative received funding from three institutions: the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Alice L. Walton Foundation, and the Ford Foundation. It will work toward making sure the makeup of museum infrastructure reflects that of an increasingly diverse nation.

A story announcing the initiative in The New York Times noted that museums that embrace inclusivity in their programming connect better with audiences in a country that is now 38% Asian, black, Hispanic, or multiracial

In a statement to the Times, Laura Lott, the president and chief executive of the alliance, said:

A smiling statue of Satan has drawn the ire of citizens of a Spanish town.
Rendering by artist José Antonio Abella of the proposed installation. Courtesy of the artist.

Rendering by artist José Antonio Abella of the proposed installation. Courtesy of the artist.

A bronze statue of the devil that was erected as tribute to a local legend—apparently, Satan was duped into building the city’s famous aqueduct—features hell’s horned figurehead smiling. Residents haven’t taken kindly to the work.

The BBC reports that he has been critiqued as, “look[ing] too friendly” and a judge is holding the work to determine whether it is offensive to Christians after the negative response of over 5,500 people, more than 10% of the city's population, signed a petition calling for the statue to be recalled.

The petition’s copy reads, “That representation is offensive to Catholics, because it supposes an exaltation of evil.”

Artist José Antonio Abella didn’t intend to have a devil-may-care attitude toward the whole situation.

"I love Segovia. I have lived here for three decades and I was hoping for this sculpture to be a form of demonstration of how thankful I am to Segovia for being my adopted town,” he said.

"I haven't received any money whatsoever for this sculpture.” the former doctor turned artist continued. “I haven't done this for the money but as a personal tribute to the city I call mine. You can imagine how I feel."

Claudia de Santos, who is in charge of the city’s heritage, called the campaign “unfair and disheartening” and said “I just can’t believe that this could happen in 21st century Spain.”