Monday 26 November 2018

Reading list, 26 November 2018

Better late than never ...

Matariki Williams (curator Mātauranga Māori at Te Papa, Tusk co-founder and The Pantograph Punch contributor) writes about the RA's Oceania for Frieze: Complicating the Narrative of ‘Oceania’.

Follow-up from an earlier link: the Ben Uri Gallery in London is deaccessioning a chunk of its collection to raise funds to widen its remit: the inner circle of trustees has approved this decision, the wider advisory board (stacked with big names) has come out swinging against it: Ben Uri museum advisory board resigns en masse over Sotheby’s sale of works from the collection.

Look for big moves in repatriation next year: from the BBC, 'Stolen friend': Rapa Nui seek return of moai statue; from the Art Newspaper,  'Give Africa its art back', Macron's report says.

I'm considering an overnight trip to Sydney before March especially to see Nick Cave's installation at Carriageworks - Nick Cave on his darkly exquisite new work: ‘Is there racism in heaven?’

Glenn Lowry's contract has been extended at MOMA - if he serves his full term through to 2025, that will be 30 years in charge. He got the job in 1995 when he was 40.

The Gray Market goes deeper into a recent report published in Science about how artists' careers are made or broken on the basis of a small number of key galleries & how fast they get into them. Good graphs. Still my best weekly email newsletter.

A dual interview with Phyllida Barlow and Anna Maria Maiolino in the NYT MagazineTwo Pioneering Artists Discuss Motherhood and Machismo.

Wednesday 21 November 2018

Peter Peryer, 1941 - 2018

Peter Peryer in his Devonport studio, 1985. Photo by Jim Barr and Mary Barr

The artist Peter Peryer died on Sunday. I say 'artist' advisedly, because Peter was a photographer who came of age in the 1970s, when contemporary photography was scrapping its way into the art system: galleries, criticism, the market.

He was a great artist, and also one of the first artists I was able to get to know as a human being, not the subject of an art history lecture. I've been lucky enough to be able to buy a few examples of his work over the years - including a portrait photo of a set of salad servers that was an engagement gift to ourselves over a decade ago now. I was even luckier to be able to work with him when I was director at The Dowse, on the exhibition Peter Peryer: A Careful Eye, beautifully curated by Sian Van Dyk.

It's a cliche to say that artists make you look at the world in a different way, but Peter's visual sense literally infected me. When I'd been spending time with him, my eyes would attune themselves to his imagery, and walking through the world after that felt like being a roving Peter Peryer image-making machine - snap snap snap. He was a characterful and distinctive man, articulate, gorgeously presented, ever so romantic, and possessed of the most wonderfully naughty gurgling laugh. I got to spend Sunday night thinking about him and writing a memorial of sorts for him for Radio New Zealand today, which you can listen to here.

Sunday 18 November 2018

Reading list, 18 November 2018

Tara Robertson is back in Wellington as a keynote at this week's National Digital Forum, and catching up with her sent me back to her 2016 essay Digitization: just because you can, doesn’t mean you should, on the social and cultural considerations beyond the value of 'open access' when it comes to digitising archival collections, which is still bloody good.

3 Days, 150 Paintings: A Whirlwind Tintoretto Tour - why won't anyone pay me to write pieces like this? (Lots of reasons, really. Good ones, too.)

For my own future reference - historian and New Yorker staff writer Jill Lepore interviewed on her new book, These Truths.

A handy recap: Museums don’t just want gift shops to make money — they want them to shape our understanding of art.

Lisa Martin for The GuardianAustralian cultural institutions struggle to survive as War Memorial gets half-billion dollar upgrade.

Dr. Barabási and his team spent the past three years reconstructing the exhibition histories of nearly 500,000 artists, whose work was shown in about 16,000 galleries and 7,500 museums between 1980 and 2016. He and his team also scoured sales held in 1,239 global auction houses from the same 36-year time period. 
They used this data to help trace the paths that artists took early in their careers, tracking how one who earned a spot on the roster of Gallery A subsequently got exhibited in Museum B and then Museum C, for example.
Kelly Crow's The Surprising Formula for Becoming an Art Star for the WSJ, on a recently published study that over three years researched the exhibition histories of nearly 500,000 artists, whose work was shown in about 16,000 galleries and 7,500 museums between 1980-2016, to map the network of power behind artists who become successful.

Saturday 10 November 2018

Reading list, 10 November 2018

Museums are dangerous places: How Te Papa is challenging colonialist history - or as the author, my stellar colleague Puawai Cairns put it in a tweet, "The byline I’ve seen “How Te Papa is challenging colonial history” is a bit wrong though. The Māori communities who work with us are provoking most of the best change, we just have to be brave and reMāorify how we tell stories."

And another stellar colleague, currently on secondment to MCH working on repatriation at a national level: Amber Aranui for Pantograph Punch - Toi moko in Toi Art: A Harbinger for a Conversation.

Your taste is why your work disappoints you:  a simply wonderful piece by Penguin Random House New Zealand's publishing manager Claire Murdoch, who manages to mine memories of childhood reading, writing and friendship without ever getting saccharine.

The Ben Uri Gallery in London, established to help Jewish immigrants gain access to the arts, is deaccessioning works from its permanent collection (through a combination of selling via auction and distributing to public collections) in order to expand their mission and respond to contemporary society by championing immigrant artists.

An insightful article by Charles Desmarais for the SF Chronicle on the appointment of Tom Campbell (unceremoniously ushered out of the Met directorship last year) to fill the vacancy left by his successor Max Hollein at the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco.

Love a good new-director story: Suzanne Muchnic for ArtNews on Klaus Biesenbach and LA MOCA.