Tourist Allegedly Damages Brussels Statue, South Korea’s MMCA Gets New Director, and More: Morning Links for September 15, 2023

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The Headlines

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TOURISTS ALLEGEDLY BEHAVING BADLY. An Irish man in Brussels was captured on video climbing on a stone sculpture of a lion and nude figure outside the city’s stock exchange on Sunday and then apparently knocking off a torch that the figure was holding by accident, the Irish Times reports. Police later cuffed the suspect at a fast-food restaurant. The cost of restoring the piece was put at €17,600 (about $18,800) in early reports. It was a weird weekend in Europe. Footage has surfaced of a woman (said to be an American) cuddling up to and touching Copenhagen’s famed Little Mermaid (1913) sculpture by Edvard Eriksen on Saturday, Metro reports. Signs near the landmark counsel visitors not to touch the piece. One onlooker told the outlet, “There was a crowd of about 100 people and everyone was watching on really confused.”

ARTIST UPDATES. Sculptor Martin Puryear is unveiling a permanent piece at the Storm King Art Center in Upstate New York later this month, and got the profile treatment from the New York Times. ● Artist Derrick Adams, who opened a residency in his hometown, Baltimore, this year (The Last Resort Artist Retreat, it’s called), has a show up at Gagosian in Beverly Hills and was interviewed by the Los Angeles Times. ● And competing for the John Moores Painting Prize for the tenth time (against more than 3,000 people), Graham Crowley finally wonBBC News reports. Presented by Liverpool’s Walker Art Gallery, the biennial honor comes with £25,000 (about $31,100).

The Digest

Following allegations of sexual assault and harassment against architect David Adjaye, which he has denied via lawyers, his firm’s London office is set to slash half of its 110 employees, according to multiple sources. Adjaye Associates did not comment. Many institutions have cut ties with Adjaye following the report. [Architects’ Journal]

South Korea has named Kim Sung-hee to be the director of its National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art. A founder of the CAN Foundation art center in Seoul, Kim has curated widely and succeeds Youn Bum-mo, who resigned in April amid perceived political pressure and mismanagement allegations. [Korea JoongAng Daily]

New York University’s Grey Art Gallery is moving from the school’s arts and science center on Washington Square to Cooper Square, where it will reopen in March as the Grey Art Museum. The new venue has been designed by Richard Olcott and gives the Grey 40 percent more exhibition space. [The New York Times]

The first work that the beloved TV painting instructor Bob Ross completed on his show, The Joy of Painting, is being offered by the Minneapolis gallery Modern Artifact for $9.85 million, which it termed a “not-for-sale number.” Titled A Walk in the Woods (1983), it is a characteristically lovely sylvan scene. [The Art Newspaper]

For a charity eBay auction to support crew members affected by the ongoing Hollywood strikes, writer, director, and actor Lena Dunham is offering to paint a mural in your home. At the moment, bidding stands at $3,000; it hammers in a week. The sale is being organized by a group called the Union Solidarity Coalition[Vanity Fair]

Prudence Peiffer’s book The Slip: The New York City Street That Changed American Art Forever, about Manhattan’s legendary Coenties Slip, was long-listed for the 2023 National Book Awards[The New Yorker]

The Kicker

THE SARTORIAL ARTS. In T: The New York Times Style MagazineNick Haramis has a story on artists who don personas and costumes in various ways, including the legends Gilbert Prousch and George Passmore (better known as Gilbert & George). Asked about why they began sporting tweed suits half a century ago, Passmore explained, “We wanted to be respectable.” Said Prousch, “Not the dirty artist in the corner with a pipe.” [T]


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