Artists Cardiff and Miller Open Art Space, Will Gompertz to Lead Sir John Soane’s Museum, and More: Morning Links for August 7, 2023

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The Headlines

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JOB POSTING. Will Gompertz, who has been artistic director of London’s Barbican Centre since 2021, has been hired to to lead Sir John Soane’s Museum in the city. Gompertz has had a somewhat unusual path into museum leadership, having been BBC’s arts editor for 11 years before coming to the Barbican. Prior to that, he was director of Tate Media, where he was involved with Tate’s online efforts, publishing projects, and other initiatives. His new job puts him in charge of the art-filled London house museum dedicated to John Soane, the Neo-Classical architect who died in 1837. “I look forward to championing the museum and Soane’s vision, bringing audiences to our newly restored home and taking Soane’s vision out into the world,” Gompertz told the Guardian.

ARTISTS REMEMBER ARTISTS. For Artforum, writer Charlie Fox asked a number of people to share tributes to the late Paul Reubens, the “entertainer, actor, mischief-maker, and mensch” who played Pee-wee Herman, and the responses glow. Reubens, who died last week at 70, “was a loyal friend, a gentleman, and a scholar of the delightful,” filmmaker John Waters said. “He cared greatly that all kids find their way,” in the words of cartoonist Gary Panter. Artist Richard Hawkins shared a gem of an anecdote—and there is more! Meanwhile, in ArtReviewJeremy Deller discussed the life and work of the outré wrestler and artist Adrian Street, who died late last month. His Florida home, Deller said, “was an entire world of his creation, filled with mementos, images and videos of him wrestling—a museum to himself and his achievements.”

The Digest

Julia Scully, who edited Modern Photography magazine and helped bring the work of the American photographer Mike Disfarmer to the fore, died last month at 94. Her long career included being project director for the book The Family of Woman (1979), a response to Edward Steichen’s 1955 The Family of Man[The New York Times]

“The increased red tape resulting from Brexit is adversely affecting our ability to move property between the U.K. and the European Union,” Sotheby’s said in a statement. The auction house reported some $88 million in profits in 2022, a 75 percent decline from 2021. [The Telegraph]

Victoria Woodcock paid a visit to the studio of the inimitable British artist Maggi Hambling, 77, who quit smoking for vaping after a heart attack in New York last year. “I sort of died and came back again,” said Hambling, who will open a Tate Britain retrospective in September. [CNN]

Here’s a glimpse inside dealer David Zwirner’s new office in Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhood, which was designed by architect Annabelle Selldorf. It includes a 200-foot-long terrace that has been “utilized all summer by the staff,” Zwirner said. [Wallpaper]

Philippines will be represented at the 2024 Venice Biennale by artist Mark Salvatus, with Carlos Quijon curating. The show will center on Mt. Banahaw, which is located on the nation’s northern Luzon island. The project beat out a dozen other proposals. [ArtAsiaPacific]

“There is something deeply dispiriting about a culture in which yesterday’s avant-garde is today’s designer handbag collaboration,” Rosanna McLaughlin writes. Former Jean-Michel Basquiat collaborator Al Diaz told her that the late artist’s estate has “squeezed every ounce of life” out of his body of work through branding deals. [The Guardian]

The Kicker

BUILD IT AND THEY WILL COME. Artists, collaborators, and married couple Janet Cardiff and George Bures Miller have opened an art space, the Cardiff Miller Art Warehouse, in North Okanagan, British Columbia (population: about 3,000), and CBC Newstook a look. It is currently showing four works by the free-ranging multimedia figures, but it sounds like the possibilities for the future are wide open. Miller told the outlet, laughing: “There is no vision.” Cardiff, for her part, said: “We’ve never been afraid to make mistakes.” For now, it’s open Friday through Sunday; admission is free. [CBC News]


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