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The "David Bowie Is” exhibition broke the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago’s attendance record with more than 193,000 people visiting in its 15-week run.

“David Bowie Is” is the most successful exhibition in the MCA’s 47-year history, with some Bowie-related programs and performances selling out in less than an hour as well as the highest sales for the MCA Store.

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Entire artistic careers might be made from small aspects of Sigmar Polke’s multifarious art, which now fills 14 rooms at Tate Modern. The third Tate show devoted to Polke in 20 years, "Alibis" is a compendious and at times bewildering romp through a career that began in the early 1960s and ended with Polke’s death in 2010.

Dealing with Polke’s legacy has only just begun. There is a lot of messy unfinished business, and much of it is here. As well as paintings, there are films of early performances and games with potatoes, weirdly exposed and manipulated photographs, a slide-show room of photocopy experiments, tables of sketchbook drawings reproduced and flicked-through on iPad tablets.

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YBA Douglas Gordon is set to collaborate with pianist Hélène Grimaud on a large-scale commissioned piece that will debut in the Park Avenue Armory’s 55,000-square-foot drill hall on December 10 and run through January 4. A “monumental installation and performance piece” titled “tears become … streams become … ,” the piece is inspired by water and brings a giant pool of the stuff into the armory.  Grimaud is set to activate the space with nighttime performances of water-inspired works by composers including Debussy, Ravel, and Liszt from December 9 through 21, while a player piano will play during the day.

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Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick has approved a $1.4 billion capital facilities bond bill that includes a $25.4 million grant for the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (Mass MoCA). The financial boost will allow the institution to embark on the final phase of its multi-decade effort to renovate its 26-building, 60,000-square-foot factory campus. The Phase III development will include the addition of approximately 130,000 square feet of exhibition space, ultimately doubling the space currently available for shows, plus considerable work on the museum’s performing arts courtyard and other exterior venues.

Mass MoCA opened in North Adams -- a city nestled in the picturesque Berkshire Mountains -- in 1999.

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This Sunday, August 10, the Watermill Center will open its grounds to the public for a chance to see the installations and performances of the 21st annual Watermill Center Summer Benefit, “One Thousand Nights and One Night: Sleepless Nights of Sheherazade,” in addition to some pieces not seen at July’s benefit. Discover Watermill Day will feature 27 site-specific artworks and performances, including Robert Wilson’s 23 video works, “Portraits of Lady Gaga,” on view at the institution through September 14.

“Portraits of Lady Gaga,” curated at the Watermill by Noah Khoshbin, was first shown as part of Wilson’s “Living Rooms” exhibition at the Louvre in Paris last winter. 

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Wednesday, 30 July 2014 11:05

The Edinburgh Art Festival Kicks Off This Week

The internationally regarded Edinburgh Art Festival (EAF) opens tomorrow with an exciting month-long calendar of more than 40 exhibitions, special events, performances and tours across 30 of the city’s museums, galleries and institutions, as well as artist-run, temporary and pop-up spaces. In its 11th year, the festival brings together over 100 leading and emerging Scottish and international artists and features the return of its annual, city-wide commissions programme, including a major presentation by leading Indian artist Nalini Malani as part of 14-18 NOW’s LIGHTS OUT and WWI Centenary Art Commissions. As part of the Glasgow 2014 Cultural Programme, and during the year of Homecoming Scotland, the 2014 programme also sees the presentation of a major international group exhibition Where do I end and you begin programmed by Edinburgh Art Festival in collaboration with City Art Centre.
Edinburgh Art Festival also features a daily programme of events for all ages, featuring one-off artist performances, live musical events, film screenings and festival tours, as well as talks by some of the world’s leading artists and curators.

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On July 18, the High Museum of Art unveiled a large-scale, interactive design installation “Mi Casa, Your Casa” by contemporary Mexican designers Héctor Esrawe and Ignacio Cadena in the center of the Woodruff Arts Center’s campus on the Carroll Slater Sifly Piazza. The site-specific work launches a two-year initiative to activate the outdoor space with performances, art-making activities, and other special events.

“Mi Casa, Your Casa” draws its inspiration from a basic form recognizable and relatable to all—the home. The project features 36 three-dimensional, open frames in the shape of a house installed in a large grid on the Piazza, with four singular forms placed around the Woodruff Arts Center campus.

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The Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona (MACBA) is planning to expand, Art In America reports. As part of the expansion plans the city will lend the neighboring Convent dels Àngels to the museum for an unspecified period together with the Plaça dels Angels square, which is located between the 16th century cloister and the museum.

Although MACBA has frequently used the chapel for performances and site-specific installations, by lending the additional 21,500 square foot space to the museum on a longterm basis, the city, “Reaffirms its commitment to making Barcelona one of the world capitals in contemporary art and culture,” according to its statement.

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Thomas P. Campbell, Director and CEO of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, announced that Adrienne Arsht has pledged $1 million in support of the Met Museum Presents series of performances and talk, now in its second season. The grant will fund the next three seasons of the series, in 2014-2015, 2015-2016, and 2016-2017.

“For years, Adrienne Arsht has been a philanthropic force in the performing arts,” said Mr. Campbell, “and her generous grant to the Metropolitan Museum signals her confidence in the bold direction that our Concerts & Lectures General Manager Limor Tomer has embraced over the past two years. Adrienne’s support will encourage the growth of this ground-breaking programming as Limor mines our collections, collaborates with our curators, and takes creative risks to bring a fresh perspective to the Museum. We are grateful to Adrienne for her vision and generosity in making this possible.”

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The Cleveland Museum of Art announced that it has received a $10 million gift from an anonymous donor to further strengthen the institution’s mission and core principles, which focus on scholarship, artistic excellence and community engagement. Thanks to the donation, the museum has established two endowments -- one to support community engagement activities and another for interpretation of its permanent collection. Interpretation efforts will include research and curriculum development.

Recently, the Cleveland Museum of Art began to reevaluate its community engagement program and decided to transition from a traditional community arts model to a more comprehensive, multi-faceted effort. The generous gift will help the museum bring its new community engagement strategy and its related activities to fruition. The strategy will help the museum form stronger connections with local and regional communities while drawing in new audiences.

A portion of the gift was used to help fund the purchase of Deccan and Mughal paintings from a Los Angeles collection formed by Catherine Glynn Benkaim and the late Ralph Benkaim. The acquisition of the Benkaims’ collection, which includes 95 works from India’s major Islamic courts, helped diversify the Cleveland Museum’s holdings.

The donation also helped the institution complete a 3-to-1 matching grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities. The resulting fund will be used to develop and enhance text labels, audio and video clips, gallery lectures, and interactive technology. The rest of the $10 million gift will be used for a variety of projects such as public art, performances, and off-site programs.

Fred Bidwell, the Cleveland Museum of Art’s interim director, said, “This incredibly generous gift really touches upon the fundamental initiatives of the Cleveland Museum of Art. The establishment of the two endowments and the Benkaim Collection acquisition reflect the museum’s mission and help to leverage this vision to optimally benefit its diverse communities. Adhering to the highest standards of excellence in scholarship, artistic excellence and community engagement, the museum can contribute to and enhance the quality of life of Northeast Ohio citizens and beyond.”

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