What We're Reading: 1/30/24

Tipping point: how new immersive institutions are changing the art world

A giant walk-in space for immersive digital art in London’s West End has become Britain’s most popular visitor attraction, outpacing the city’s most visited art institution, the British Museum. Outernet in December announced that it recorded 6.25 million visitors in its first year of operation, while the British Museum attracted 5.83 million visitors in 2023. The world’s most visited art museum, Musée du Louvre in Paris, received 8.86 million visitors last year.

Outernet is just one among 100-plus such spaces—which this writer calls immersive institutions—to have emerged in the past five years, forming a series of consciously global networks and signalling a tipping point in the way the world consumes visual culture while posing a challenge for museums and galleries in their present form.

Via The Art Newspaper


Gustav Klimt’s Final Portrait, Thought Lost for Nearly 100 Years, Heads to Auction in Vienna

In a striking 1917 portrait by Gustav Klimt, Fräulein Lieser wears a bright blue cloak adorned with orange, yellow, and pink flowers against a fiery red background. This vibrant cacophony of color was lost for nearly a century, however, during which time the painting was known to us only by a black-and-white photograph.

The whereabouts of the portrait has been a mystery since 1925, when the only photo recording its existence was taken. A century later, it has resurfaced and will head to auction at Im Kinsky in Vienna with a hefty estimate of €30 million–€50 million ($32.5 million–$55 million).

Via Artnet

Image: Gustav Klimt, Portrait of Fräulein Lieser (1917) (detail). Photo: © Auktionshaus im Kinsky GmbH, Vienna.


Here Are the 71 Artists the 2024 Whitney Biennial Has Lined Up to Explore Our ‘Fractured Moment’

The Whitney Museum of American Art has announced the artist lineup for its flagship biennial, with a theme focusing on concepts of reality in the age of artificial intelligence and the fluidity of identity.

Organized by curators Chrissie Iles and Meg Onli, the 81st edition of the show leads with the title “Even Better Than the Real Thing.” It will feature 69 artists and two collectives across a gallery showcase and accompanying film and performance program. The diverse line-up includes emerging creatives, such as the duo of Gbenga Komolafe and Tee Park, as much as storied artists, including Mary Lovelace O’Neal and Pippa Garner. Two artists, Jamaican-born painter Mavis Pusey and filmmaker Edward Owens, are receiving posthumous showcases.

Via Artnet


How An Englewood Artist And Activist Is Helping Black Families Keep Their Homes

Before Melvin Walls’ mother died, she asked him to fix up their green-shingled home on 65th and Aberdeen, Walls said.

She’d bought the home in the ‘70s. Four generations have gathered around the dinner table for the holidays, and it became Walls’ responsibility to keep the tradition going.

But Walls didn’t expect the work — or the costs — that would come with owning a home with decades of wear and tear, he said. His mother took out a second mortgage before she died. He had to work with the bank to buy it back, Walls said.

“If you get a home where the bills are backed up and there’s work that needs to be done, you’re working against a stacked deck. It’s hard to win,” Walls said. “I’ve been trying to keep this up, but it’s a lot of work. It’s been a Band-Aid here, another one there.”

That’s where Englewood artist and activist Tonika Lewis Johnson stepped in.

Via Block Club Chicago