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The Getty Conservation Institute in Los Angeles and the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in La Jolla are teaming up to develop careful approaches to help conserve one of Louis Kahn’s most iconic buildings -- the Salk Biological Institute campus plaza. Commissioned by Dr. Jonas Salk, inventor of the Polio vaccine, in 1959, the Salk Institute was completed in 1965 and remains one of the most celebrated pieces of modern architecture.

Constructed mainly of concrete and wood, the structure’s close proximity to the Pacific Ocean poses unique conservation challenges -- particularly for its unique teak “window walls,” one of the building’s defining architectural elements.

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Tuesday, 05 August 2014 17:23

Summer Streets Program Kicks Off in New York

On Saturday, August 2, New York’s Summer Streets program, a project organized by the New York City Department of Transportation, kicked off in Manhattan. The event, which will take place again on August 9 and on August 16, creates a pedestrian alley down Park Avenue and Lafayette Street, opening up nearly 7 miles of city thoroughfares so that people can play, run, walk, and bike. While the roster of activities includes everything from musical performances to yoga classes, art plays a major part in the program.

This year, Summer Streets features an installation by contemporary Norwegian sound artist Jana Winderen. “Dive” is a seven-block-long art installation in the Park Avenue Tunnel that was commissioned by New York City DOT Art.

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Fifteen years ago, federal officials approved the idea of building a memorial on the Washington Mall to honor Dwight D. Eisenhower, the general and president, and they later selected one of America’s foremost architects to design it. But the memorial is still far from being built, and congressional critics have come forward in recent days to depict it as just another Washington boondoggle or, in the words of a new report, “a five-star folly.”

In a 58-page report, the House Natural Resources Committee criticized the commission charged with creating the memorial for having already spent $41 million on the task, a third of which, it said, went to the design firm led by Frank Gehry, arguably the country’s most prominent architect.

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Tucked beneath the trees in the center of MetroTech Commons in Brooklyn is L.A.-based artist Sam Falls’s “Untitled (Maze),” a sprawling architectural plan of a sculpture that invites spectators to step inside its walls. It’s part of his “Light Over Time,” a series of works commissioned by the Public Art Fund. Falls, known for boundary-pushing paintings that incorporate sunlight, rain, and other elements into their production process, has built some of those same climatological concerns into this new public work. The sides of each aluminum panel are painted differently, with one surface lacking a protective UV finish; this means that, over the sculpture’s lifespan, the way the light hits the piece will cause it to change and break down in subtle ways. (Just don’t hold your breath — a good five years of light exposure are needed before the process begins, Falls said.)

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In January 2015, the Yale Center for British Art in New Haven, Connecticut, will close for thirteen months in order to implement the second phase of the conservation of its iconic Louis Kahn-designed building. The structure, which opened in 1977, is located across the street from Kahn’s first major commission -- the Yale University Art Gallery. The Center, which was completed after the celebrated American architect’s death, was the first museum in the United States to incorporate retail shops in its design. It was Kahn’s final work.

Featuring an exterior of matte steel and reflective glass, the Center’s geometrical, four-floor interior is designed around two courtyards. Outfitted in natural materials such as travertine marble, white oak, and Belgian linen, the interior space is intimate, inviting, and filled with sunlight.

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Kara Walker’s sugar-covered sphinx drew more than 130,000 viewers during its two-month run at the Domino sugar factory, with an average attendance of 5,000 a day on the weekends it was open, according to Creative Time, the public-art organization that commissioned the work.

Attendance surged to 10,000 a day on Saturday and Sunday, the last two days that the artwork, titled “A Subtlety,” was on display.

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The Indianapolis Museum of Art has acquired "Five Brushstrokes," a monumental work by Roy Lichtenstein, commissioned in the early 1980s but never before assembled.

The work will be unveiled in its completion for the first time in August at the IMA. The sculpture is considered to be Lichtenstein’s most ambitious work in his Brushstroke series.


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This October, the UK’s largest ever survey of the contemporary American artist Richard Tuttle will take place in London. It will include a major exhibition at the Whitechapel Gallery, a large-scale sculptural commission at Tate Modern, and a new publication. The project, titled “I Don’t Know, Or The Weave of Textile Language,” was conceptualized by the artist and focuses on the importance of textiles across his body of work and into the latest developments in his practice.

Tuttle, who came to prominence in the 1960s, has worked in a range of media, including sculpture, painting, drawing, printmaking, and furniture. Using humble, everyday materials such as cloth, paper, rope, and plywood, Tuttle creates subtle, intimate works that elude historical or stylistic categorization. He began experimenting with textiles in 1978 during a residency at The Fabric Workshop and Museum in Philadelphia. Tuttle employed his interest in the silkscreen printing process and made a series of clothing -- "Shirts" in 1978 and "Pants" in 1979. Functional in nature, the articles of clothing play with line, volume, pattern, and shape -- attributes the artist continues to explore.

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British sculptor Antony Gormley has taken his exploration of the human body to a new level. The Turner Prize-winning artist has created a huge sculpture of a crouched figure that doubles as a luxury hotel suite. The work sits on the facade of London’s forthcoming Beaumont Hotel, which is slated to open later this year. 

Gormley was commissioned to create the sculpture by the Beaumont’s founders, restaurateurs Chris Corbin and Jeremy King, in 2008. The artist said, "I take the body as our primary habitat. ROOM contrasts a visible exterior of a body formed from large rectangular masses with an inner experience. The interior of ROOM is only 4 metres square but 10 metres high: close at body level, but lofty and open above. Shutters over the window provide total blackout and very subliminal levels of light allow me to sculpt darkness itself. My ambition for this work is that it should confront the monumental with the most personal, intimate experience."

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The Dallas Museum of Art acquired in May Frederiksborg Castle by Moonlight, 1817, by Danish artist Johan Christian Dahl (1788 – 1857). The recent acquisition is one of the most important works from the Copenhagen phase of Johan Christian Dahl’s career. Long missing, the work was rediscovered in 2000 after a cleaning revealed a signature and date of 1817, the year before Dahl left Copenhagen for Dresden. Dahl is best known today as a Romantic painter of Nordic landscapes, often seen in dramatic lighting or weather conditions. He is also considered one of the great masters of Danish Golden Age painting. Frederiksborg Castle by Moonlight, on view for the first time publicly since 1817, is currently accessible through the Museum’s conservation gallery.

The first record of Frederiksborg Castle by Moonlight appears in a letter from Dahl to fellow artist Christian Albrecht Jensen on October 30, 1817, in which he mentions several works he had completed that summer, including three paintings of Frederiksborg Castle. The largest of those three paintings, which is now in the DMA collection, was commissioned by Etatsraad Bugge. The other two works were created for King Frederik VI in 1817 and are now in the Statens Museum for Kunst (National Gallery of Denmark) in Copenhagen. One of the paintings for King Frederik shows the castle from the same vantage point in the palace gardens as the DMA painting, but in the daylight. The other shows the castle by moonlight but from a more distant point in the gardens.

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