Serpentine Names New Chief, Catherine Opie Takes Chair at UCLA, and More: Morning Links from December 10, 2019 – ARTnews

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News

Bettina Korek, the executive director of the Frieze Los Angeles fair, has been named chief executive of the Serpentine Galleries in London. She replaces Yana Peel, who left this past summer after a swell of controversy. [ARTnews]

Photographer Catherine Opie will be the first endowed chair of UCLA’s art department, a position drawing on a $2 million gift from art patrons Lynda and Stewart Resnick—who also committed $500,000 to upgrade the school’s photo lab. [Los Angeles Times]

The “art world has been puzzling over who owns Guzzini Properties Ltd., one of the investors that claim ownership of a work sold by the dealer Inigo Philbrick.” Those owners have been revealed to be British billionaire brothers David and Simon Reuben. [Bloomberg]

Gone Bananas!

Guardian art critic Jonathan Jones penned a defense of Maurizio Cattelan under the headline “Don’t Make Fun of the $120,000 Banana—It’s In on the Joke.” [The Guardian]

The lede to a similar defense by Washington Post critic Sebastian Smee: “To buy a banana taped to a wall for $120,000 is, believe it or not, a perfectly rational decision.” [The Washington Post]

The Wall Street Journal‘s Brian P. Kelly: “The sheer absurdity of such a purchase, easily identified by people outside the art world, is a feature, not a bug, of the piece, laying bare what you might call the performative aspect endemic to so much collecting today.” [The Wall Street Journal]

Art

After the Turner prize was split four ways, the Guardian looks at how artist collectives have shaken things up in the past and the present. [The Guardian]

Jerry Saltz interviewed the French artist JR for Playboy. About Chronicles of New York City—a 21-by-32-foot photo-collage featuring 1,128 New Yorkers of all ages—Saltz says: “It’s like a mural of modern life for future historians.” [Playboy]

An exhibition in Dubai traces roots of the Bauhaus in the Middle East. [The National]

History

After a New York Times story last week highlighted disputes over the authenticity of a statue that may or may not be by venerated Italian sculptor Giambologna, readers weighed in on whether a certain number in the date on the work itself looks like a 5 or a 6. (Slightly overcooked comparison: “The story sparked a debate among readers, akin to 2015’s viral blue dress or gold dress discussion, that highlighted how two people can look at the same image and see very different things.”) [The New York Times]

Moondog, a musician and composer (and muse to artists) who used to play on the streets of New York dressed as a Viking, has been paid tribute in the New Yorker. [The New Yorker]

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