News from Around the Art World: April 23, 2018

Ai Weiwei’s Little Blue Book on the Refugee Crisis

The prominent Chinese artist and dissident Ai Weiwei has long used his fame and social media as a megaphone for his activism. It was because of his blogging and Twitter activity criticizing the government that he was detained by the Chinese police for nearly three months and had his passport taken away in 2011. And his Instagram posts of the last few years have brought increasing international attention to the refugee crisis, as has his documentary “Human Flow,” released last fall.

By Robin Pogrebin, The NY Times

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1,422-foot Tribune Tower addition would be Chicago’s second tallest building

A team of developers looks to shake up Chicago’s skyline with a striking 96-story skyscraper slated to rise just east of Tribune Tower. At a public meeting on Monday, Chicago developer Golub & Co. and LA-based partner CIM Group debuted a plan for both the new tower as well as the adaptive reuse of the 1925 neo-Gothic Tribune Tower into luxury condominiums. The venture purchased the landmarked building and adjacent parcels for $240 million in 2016.

By Jay Koziarz, Curbed Chicago 

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James Yood (1952–2018)

Chicago-based arts writer and educator James Yood, who once distilled the role of the critic as one that fulfills a responsibility “to look and think as hard as possible,” has died. A committed and eloquent assesser of Chicago artists, Yood was a professor of art history, theory, and criticism at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where he also directed its New Arts Journalism program.

Via ArtForum

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Collector sues Jeff Koons and Gagosian Gallery over years-long delivery delays

The collector Steven Tananbaum filed a lawsuit in New York Supreme Court on Thursday (19 April) that charges the artist Jeff Koons and Gagosian Gallery of failing to deliver three sculptures for which he paid over $13m in contractual deposits over a five-year period.

By James H. Miller, The Art Newspaper

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Terrariums Let Anyone Create a “Perfect World” in Their Own Apartment

The artist Paula Hayes has always been obsessed with the natural world, so it was never a question of if she would incorporate plants into her work, but how. That answer came in 2004. At a show entitled “Forest” at Salon 94 in New York, she introduced the world to the contemporary terrarium: a delicate blown-glass sphere filled with stones, moss, and a few small plants. The art world’s reaction to her work was immediate and enthusiastic. Her terrariums were featured in Wallpaper and T Magazine, and the gallery sold them as fast as she could make them. “I had never had that response to my work,” Hayes recalled recently. “I had never had so many people say, ‘I’ve never seen anything like that.’”

By Kate Groetzinger, Artsy Editorial

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Top Image: Ai Weiwei on the Greek island Lesbos, 2016, where he filmed Turkish refugees coming ashore for “Human Flow.” “Freedom is not an absolute condition, but a result of resistance,” he says in his new book, “Humanity.” CreditAi Weiwei Studio