A Berkshire Fine Arts contributor, the renowned arts critic, David Bonetti, was found dead in his Brookline, Mass. apartment while listening to classical music. His writing career started with Art New England and the Boston Phoenix. He joined the San Francisco Chronicle and then St. Louis Post Dispatch. After that he retired writing the occasional feature on the fine arts. In his final years he wrote on opera for this site. He was widely regarded as one of the best critics of his generation.
Since the late 1960s I have curated and written about the work of the Cambridge based, activist and artist, Arhold Trachtman. A few of us- scholars, curators and critics- share a convicition that he is on the short list of most significant Boston artists of his generation. Given the highly charged and passionate focus of the work it has been in general too hot to handle for mainstream museums and curators. He has a staunch champion in Marjorie Kaye, the emeritus founder of Galatea Gallery, who co cuated the current exhiition with the artist's daughter Maxima Baudissin.
Renowned Former Whitney Museum Director Posts Statement
By: Charles Giuliano - Aug 13th, 2017
The renowned former Whitney Museum director, David A. Ross, in an exclusive statement posted to Berkshire Fine Arts strongly opposes plans initiated by the Berkshire Museum. “This is a sad affair. Perhaps the board, if unwilling to raise funds in the way all museums have to, should resign (along with its feckless director). My feeling is it should merge administratively with another educational non-profit in the region, and then begin the process of stabilization. It would be preferable to see the museum close for a few years of re-organization, than to forever destroy the core of its irreplaceable art collection.”
For a period of time in the late 1960s I worked in the studio of Pop artist James Rosenquist. He passed away recently at 83. When Jim first arrived in New York he painted billboards high above Times Square. He later used those techniques as a key but undervalued Pop artist.
When the Institute of Contemporary Art opened its waterfront home there were awards for the dramatic design by Diller Scofido and Renfro. Immediately, however, it was obvious that with 65,000 square feet, and just its top floor for exhibitions, there was no plan for expansion and growth. For the next five to ten years the ICA is leasing a 15,000 square foot industrial place in East Boston. Visitors will commute by ferry to the seasonal Watershed which opens in the summer of 2018.
Five Boston museum directors have signed a letter of concern over reports that the National Endowment for the Arts is under threat of being abolished, along with the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Under the conservative agenda of the Trump adminsitration this is an attack on the arts in America. Guarding the Trumps in NY, DC and Palm Beach for a week is on a par with endowment support.
One of the Major Venues for Experiencing Art of Design
By: Mark Favermann - Jan 23rd, 2017
London's newly opened Design Museum is the world's leading museum devoted to contemporary design in every form from architecture and fashion to graphics, product and industrial design. The Design Museum is now open in its spectacular new location on High Street Kensington. It is now a major venue to visit in London.
When Stefan and Linda Stux, with a partner, opened a gallery on Newbury Street in Boston in 1980 it was a year before they made a sale. The partner left and they continued to support the gallery while working full time jobs. His brother asked how long he intended to maintain his "museum." The answer was "forever." But now that day has come with the closing of the New York gallery after some 35 years of ups and downs. Stefan and Linda had an enormous impact during the era of Boston's cultural revolution in the 1980s.
A Beacon for Remembering Beauty of Islamic Creative Culture
By: Mark Favermann - Feb 26th, 2016
In a period of radicalism and terrorism, Intersections serves as a beacon for remembering and cherishing the sensitive beauty of the best of Islamic creative culture. This is a must-see visual and environmental experience.
Boston’s Visual Art Ethos Safe and Non-experimental Beginning to Change.
By: Mark Favermann - Dec 30th, 2015
For decades, no centuries, public art in Boston was a bronze statue of mostly historical men sometimes on horses. Unlike most contemporary cities, there were few and mostly small examples of public art sprinkled throughout the city and the region. The long time Mayor Menino regime was frightened of public art. Conservative institutions and universities seemed to ignore what was happening outside the region as well. Public art was something other cities invested in, but not Boston. However, the year 2015 began to demonstrate that there was a new flowering of public art. And about time, too!
In 2013 we interviewed abstract artist Ellsworth Kelly during an exhibition of his relief series in wood at the Museum of Fine Arts Boston. A graduate of the Museum School he maintained close times with the city and its museum. He passed away yesterday at his home in Spencertown, New York.
The Barbara Lee Collection of Art by Women, established at the ICA in 2014, represents three decades of collecting by Lee and brings together painting, sculpture, photography, and videography by iconic modern and contemporary women artists.
Discusses the ICA and New Challenges for the National Gallery in Prague
By: Charles Giuliano - Sep 19th, 2015
This fall, under director Jill Medvedow, for the first time during her administration, the ICA will present a much anticipated historical exhibition surveying the impact of Black Mountain College on the post war American avant-garde. Under her predecessors, Milena Kalinovska and David Ross, there were many such projects. We spoke with Kalinovska about her Boston years as she prepared to depart with a three year contract as director of modern and contemporary art at the National Gallery in her native Prague.
The newly opened exhibit, The Freedom Principle: Experiments in Art and Music, 1965 to Now, celebrates the 50th anniversary of Chicago's experimental jazz collective, the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM), which continues to expand the boundaries of jazz.
Publisher of 30-year-old Provincetown Arts Magazine
By: Charles Giuliano - Jul 23rd, 2015
This summer Chris Busa has published the 30th annual issue of Provincetown Arts Magazine. The publication which is organized as a non profit is a widely respected compendium of the arts in the Lower Cape, past and present. The award winning magazine covers the fine arts, literature with and emphasis on poetry, film and theatre.
Leap Before You Look: Black Mountain College 1933–1957
By: Charles Giuliano - Jun 16th, 2015
When the rise of the Third Reich led to closing the Bauhaus in 1933 the architect Walter Gropius and his wife the weaver. artist Anni regrouped in rural North Carolina to establish a small experimental outpost for advanced art and design Black Mountain College. The faculty and students were intended to build their dorms and studios as well as grow their food and raise livestock. Never having a solid endowment the experiment ended in 1957. Gropius went on to Harvard and the rest of the faculty scattered. The impact on post war American arts was indelible. Organized by former curator Helen Molesworth this promises to be one of the most ambitious and informative exhibitions of the fall season. It will be on view in Boston Oct. 10, 2015 to Jan. 24, 2016 and then travel to LA and Columbus, Ohio.
After less than a decade the land locked ICA on the waterfront has run out of space. There is a desperate plan to expand into two floors of a 17 floor adjacent building which is under construction. It has become ever more obvious that the award winning design by Diller, Scofidio + Renfro. is proving to be an utter dysfunctional disaster.
Particularly in the early work starting with Five Day Locker Piece in 1971 when he remained confined to a cramped space as his thesis project Chris Burden tested the limits of his human endurance. His occasionally death defying art entailed getting shot, crucified to a Volkwagen, and laying down in traffic. Given these dark projects, reporting on his death at 69 from melanoma, lacks the intensity and dramatic impact of his work. We recall meeting with him during a 1989 exhibition at Boston's ICA. Speaking with him about outrageous work made perfect sense.
In 2009 Michael Rush, then the director of the Rose Art Museum, took the fall when Brandeis University schemed to close the museum and sell its $350 million collection. In 2010 he became the founding director of the Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum at Michigan State University. He died recently at 65.
The Venice Biennale is about to open. The renowned curator and museum director, Jane Farver, was working with the artist Joan Jonas on an installation in the American Pavilion. It was announced that she died suddenly apparently of a heart attack. Jane was a friend and beloved mentor during her tenure as director of the MIT List Visual Arts Center from 1999 to 2011.
From 1989 to 1993 Matthew Teitelbaum was an ICA curator under director Milena Kalinovska. On August 2, after some 22 years at the Art Gallery of Ontario, he will take over as the 11th director of the Museum of Fine Arts. It is anticipated that he will bring a more welcoming management style than the autocratic Malcolm Rogers who cleaned house and instilled fear in the staff under the mantra of One Museum.
As a part of our research and oral history of modern and contemporary art and culture, some time ago, I contacted Kenworth Moffett. At the end of the tenure of Perry T. Rathbone as director of the Museum of Fine Arts, in 1971, a department of contemporary art was created with Moffett as its founding curator. He asked me to send him some questions and this essay is the result of that correspondence. During the years when he was director of the Fort Lauderdale Museum of Art we always enjoyed an annual lunch when vacationing in nearby Palm Beach.
The protest artist Dana C. Chandler, Jr. was an activist who charged the Museum of Fine Arts with institutional racism. That initiated the special exhibition African American Artists from New York and Boston and the appointment of its curator, Edmund Gaither, as an adjunct curator of the MFA. Chandler was later instrumental in forming African American Master Artist-In-Residence Program for Northeastern University. This is the first of a two part interview with the artist.
Before the Guggenheim ICA Director from 1956 to 1961
By: Charles Giuliano - Feb 19th, 2015
When Thomas Messer served as director of the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston there was a plan to merge it as a department of the Museum of Fine Arts. This was confirmed when I asked him about it during an unrelated press conference. Belinda Rathbone also found related documents in the MFA archives when researching her book The Boston Raphael. Related to his time at the ICA these are excerpts from an extensive interview with Messer in the public domain at the Archives of American Art.
The publisher Valiz Amsterdam has published a book about the life and work of the performance artist Ulay. The book â€˜Whispers: Ulay on Ulay’, 536 pages with many illustrations, includes participations of Marina AbramoviÄ‡, Laurie Anderson, Timea Andrea Lelik, TevÅ¾ Logar, Thomas McEvilley, Charlemagne Palestine and others.