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“The Fourth Plinth” Winners Announced

One of our favorite changing outdoor exhibition spaces to follow is The Fourth Plinth, located in the northwest corner of Trafalgar Square in London.  The plinth itself was originally designed by Sir Charles Barry in 1841 to hold (yet another) heroic equestrian statue, but funding ran out.  More than 150 years later, the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA) commissioned three  sculptures by Mark Wallinger, Bill Woodrow and Rachel Whiteread to be on rotation display atop the Plinth.

The program proved to be so popular, the Mayor of London began the Fourth Plinth Commission to keep it going, and last week, Mayor Boris Johnson announced the winners for 2012 and 2013: Powerless Structures, Fig. 101 by Elmgreen & Dragset; and Hahn / Cock by Katharina Fritsch.

The current winner on display is Yinka Shonibare’s Nelson’s Ship in a Bottle (2010), and it’s whimsy writ large!  To see it (plus the recent winning maquettes), click here to visit the Fourth Plinth’s wonderful website — their photos provide views from all angles.

–The Editors

Monet Mania in Paris

As long as we’re celebrating all things Paris this issue, the art world is a-buzz with the frenzy that seized the City of Light last night (January 25) — and a new attendance record was set at the Grand Palais.  After being open non-stop to try to accommodate would-be viewers on the last weekend of the largest (ever) Claude Monet exhibition, the grand finale consisted of long, long lines that lasted up to three hours — at 3 AM on a Sunday!

The estimated total attendance throughout the 4-month run of the show is around 1 million.  What caused the stampede? 176 works from 14 countries, and the fact that the last Monet retrospective here was over 30 years ago.  The show is over, but you can relive some of it vicariously here.

–The Editors

Miami Beach unveils New World Symphony House Tonight!

If you’re in Miami Beach (and it’s January 25th as you’re reading this), drop everything and get yourself to the unveiling of the new Frank Gehry-designed home for the New World Symphony Orchestra.  Festivities begin at 6 PM, and no, you don’t need tickets to join in the fun.  If you didn’t think to buy yours ahead of time (they’re long gone, of course), you can still tour the newly created park and “soundscape” wall — where live images of the concert inside will be broadcast, as will the premiere of “an extraordinary new video mural by artists Tal Rosner and C.E.B. Reas,” all at no charge.

For more information on all things NWS, click here.

The Editors

Fun News for an Icon

Not only has the famous Tower of Pisa been stopped from leaning itself right into the ground, but now its diligent restorers are working to add a new optical effect — one which will create a kaleidoscope of light via focusing light streams onto the shiny white marble.  Read more about this fascinating story here.

Our first prediction of the new year: very long lines at the Tower of Pisa — at least on the sunniest days!

–The Editors

A Reason to Visit…Tasmania?

The already controversial Museum of Old and New Art (MONA) just opened this week, and the buzz is very loud  — especially from its owner/curator/gambler/entrepreneur/mathematician David Walsh!  It’s been described as smelly, scary, weird, spectacular, breathtaking, etc., etc.  And there’s 65,000 square feet of it  — all designed to wash away in about 50 years (built out towards a tidal river in steel and concrete).

We are anxious to hear first hand reports, as we are nowhere close to Tasmania as we write this, so anyone braving a tour, please drop a line!

— The Editors

Join us for Cocktails…

Dallas Contemporary Museum (noted as a “museum to watch” by The Wall Street Journal) would love to have you drop by for a cocktail on Thursday, January 20.  So if you’re in town, make a date — 8 PM-10 PM.  Have one on us!

More info here.

Congratulations, North Carolina Museum of Art

The NCMA’s 127,000 square foot expansion by New York architecture firm Thomas Phifer and Partners has been awarded a 2011 American Institute of Architects (AIA) Honor Award  — the AIA’s highest recognition for building design.  To celebrate the expansion, NCMA has added 100 new works to the permanent collection, from such artists as Roxy Paine, Ursula von Rydingsvard, El Anatsui, Jaume Plensa, Jackie Ferrara, Ellsworth Kelly, David Park, and more.  To virtually tour the expansion, click here.

–The Editors

SF MOMA Mini-Exhibition

We love San Francisco Museum of Modern Art’s mini-on-line exhibition series, Collection Rotation. This month’s is now live, and was organized from SFMOMA’s permanent collection by Maria Naula, who supervises their acquisitions process. Let’s toast the Museum’s 75th anniversary, while enjoying her selections from our own computer screens!

–The Editors

Alison Saar: artist in residence at Lux Institute

Watch artist Alison Saar as she works on her exhibit at Lux, located in Encinitas, CA.  From February 3 through March 5, the Los Angeles-based artist will be living and working at the Institute, while carving a large-scale, columnar figure from wood. Visitors can watch it happen while she is in-studio and can also see her  sculptures and works on paper, on view through the residency.  For more information:

-The Editors

New Warhols debut at Huntington Library

One of Warhol's iconic soup can paintings

Iconic Warhol painting at the Huntington

If you find yourself in San Marino, California on January 12, drop in at the Huntington from noon-4:30 for the unveiling of works new to their collection: a rare “Soup Can” painting, an early “Brillo Box,” plus 9 unlicensed copies of “Brillo Box” commissioned by international museum director Pontus Hultén.

For more info., go to their website:

-The Editors