What We're Reading: 4/19
The wooden framing for houses would seem like an unlikely thing to elevate into art. It’s utilitarian and basic, the common sight of American suburbia — pine, lumber, another house going up for another family. Maybe a little hopeful if seen in that light, but otherwise about as exciting as your local Home Depot.
Wood framing will be the subject of this year’s American entry into the prestigious Venice Architecture Biennale, the global showcase for architectural thought held every other year in Italy — this summer’s a year delayed by the pandemic. The title of the U.S. Pavilion will be “American Framing,” created and curated by architects and educators Paul Andersen and Paul Preissner as part of a project now being assembled with the help of students at the University of Illinois at Chicago.
Via Chicago Tribune
The rhetoric around the Smithsonian’s renovation of the Hirshhorn Museum’s sculpture garden is officially heated.
There were reports last month, amplified by a group opposed to key elements of the project, that artist and designer Hiroshi Sugimoto had threatened to quit. Sugimoto had told the Art Newspaper that he would resign if the museum did not accept a “key part of the redesign.” But that was in the context of an article in which he stressed his collaborative role with his predecessors on a garden that has evolved over the years.
Via Washington Post
This month, the murder trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin for the death of George Floyd has brought the racial justice protests of the last summer viscerally back into the public consciousness, reigniting conversations in the news and in households everywhere about the reality of the Black experience in America.
This weekend, those same conversations will also have a powerful new point of focus at the Whitney Museum of American Art, where a retrospective of the photographer Dawoud Bey presents his magisterial exploration of the subject, in the form of his penetrating portraits of Black lives from all points on the national compass. Ranging in registers from jubilation to agony, to ingenious self-invention, to blissed-out hope, the show is curated by Elizabeth Sherman and SFMoMA curator Corey Keller.
Via Artnet Art Angle
Key photo: Dawoud Bey, portrait by: Whitten Sabatini. Courtesy of the artist.
In a dramatic close to Sotheby’s modern art evening sale in Hong Kong on Sunday, vice chairman Brooke Lampley unveiled a large-scale Claude Monet water lilies painting to the live-streamed auction’s audience. That work, titled Le Bassin aux Nymphéas, is itself now going to be sold by the house. It will hit the block at Sotheby’s New York Impressionist and modern art evening sale on May 12, where it is expected to fetch $40 million.