Gianni Jetzer to Head Swiss Museum, Zaha Hadid Architects Designs Libertarian City in Metaverse, and More: Morning Links for March 23, 2022

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The Headlines

THE DIRECTOR’S CHAIR: EUROPEAN DISPATCH. Curator Gianni Jetzer, who has served as curator-at-large at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington, D.C., since 2014, has been tapped to be director of the Kunstmuseum St. Gallen in Switzerland, ArtReview reports. From 2001 to 2006, the Zurich-born Jetzer led the Kunsthalle Sankt Gallen, and from 2012 to 2019 he organized the Unlimited section of the Art Basel fair in that Swiss city. Meanwhile, Christoph Platz-Gallus has been appointed director of the Kunstverein Hannover in Germany. A veteran of the Documenta 13 and 14 teams, Platz-Gallus has been head of curatorial affairs at the Steirischer Herbst festival in Graz, Austria, since 2018.

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THE CRYPTO SCENE. Beeple, aka Mike Winkelmannthe $69 million mantalked NFTs in the Washington Post. “I’m just trying to expand people’s idea of what art is a little bit,” he said, and explained, “I want to make something that feels like it’s going to last.” Also, Yuga Labs, the firm behind the beloved and reviled Bored Apes Yacht Club , has lined up a cool $450 million in funding in a round led by VC kingpins Andreessen HorowitzBloomberg reports. Last week, an ApeCoin debuted, there is talk of the Apes alighting on luxury goods, and Yuga is now said to be at work on a metaverse project.

The Digest

Bonhams just cannot stop buying other auction firms! The London-based house has snapped up Bruun Rasmussen, of Copenhagen, its third big acquisition this year, following following acquisitions of Skinner, of Boston, and Bukowskis, of Stockholm, Sweden. [Artnet News]

Zaha Hadid Architects has released renderings of a libertarian-focused city it is designing in the metaverse, Liberland, based on the Free Republic of Liberland, a micro nation that claims disputed territory near Croatia and Serbia. Naturally, there will be an exhibition space for NFTs. [CNN]

This summer, the Smithsonian is expected to announce six or seven possible sites for the forthcoming National Museum of the American Latino and the American Women’s History Museum in Washington, D.C. [The Art Newspaper]

Thirty-nine antiquities from the collection of billionaire Michael Steinhardt that are believed to have been looted have been returned to Israel, including two gold masks from 5,000 B.C.E. Last year, Manhattan’s district attorney announced that Steinhardt had agreed to surrender a total of 180 objects estimated to be worth some $70 million as part of a deal to avoid prosecution. [Associated Press]

Adrienne Edwards, co-curator of the 2022 Whitney Biennial, penned an essay about the late artist Denyse Thomasos, whose work will be in the show. Thomasos, who died in 2012 at the age of 47, made abstractions that capture “the unspeakable, irresolvable, the unimaginable, that which cannot be represented but perhaps only felt,” Edwards writes. [The New York Times]

The Kicker

ONE FOR THE BOOKS. Artist Sandy Brown is getting ready to unveil what is being billed as the tallest ceramic sculpture in the United Kingdom, the Guardian reports. The piece—vibrantly colored, fantastically shaped, and titled Earth Goddess —will stand roughly 39 feet tall when it is installed. It was commissioned as part of an effort to promote the town and its art scene. “I’ve lived with her for two years,” Brown said of the piece. “It will be sad to see her go. The place will feel a little empty without her.” [The Guardian]


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