May Arts News Roundup

May 17, 2017 by DAVID MORRIS | VISUAL ARTS
The Severed Head of Medusa, a work of art from Damien Hirst's much talked about new exhibition.
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The past few weeks have included some serious local milestones for institutions new and old, hints of a return for utter extravagance in the art world, and, inevitably and sadly, notable passings near and far.

 

Florida News

The Morean Arts Center Turns 100

Florida has a reputation for being transient, flaky, temporary. So how amazing is it that St. Pete has an arts institution that is now officially a century old? The Morean began humbly in 1917, as the Art Club of St. Petersburg, and has been promoting the arts locally ever since. Their newest exhibit commemorates the milestone.

 

Construction Nears on Arts and Crafts Museum in St. Pete

With the approval of a few last permits, construction is about to begin in earnest on the Museum of the American Arts and Crafts Movement in St. Petersburg. At five stories and 137,000 square feet, the project will rival the Museum of Fine Arts itself in scale, and will house founder Rudy Ciccarello’s collection of furniture and other decorative art.

 

Artists/Environmentalists Meet in Gulfport

Gulfport Artists for the Environment meets on Tuesday May 16th, inviting artists and patrons to discuss environmental art and education projects. A potentially good networking opportunity for local artists. More Info Here.

 

Miami Mural Pioneer Chris Oh Dead at 35

According to the Miami New Times, Oh played a huge role in developing Wynwood, Miami’s scrappy, punky arts district.

 

Steven L. Anderson, Untitled, 2017 — Currently on exhibition at Tempus Projects

The Reroute at Tampa’s Tempus Projects

In its survey of the group show, Creative Loafing says the latest exhibit by Atlanta’s Day and Night Projects is unique, challenging, and dark.

Also of note from Creative Loafing: Category suggestions are now open for Best of the Bay 2017.

 

National News

Vito Acconci Dead at 77

The New York-based performance artist was notorious for transgressive, sexual, scary projects – at least according to the Atlantic, often more transgressive than today’s art audiences would likely accept. Acconci transitioned to architecture and design later in his career, and at the end of his life was teaching studio art at Brooklyn College. Among his recent students was USF Tampa alum Estefania Velez.

Damien Hirst is Terrible/Adequate/Awesome

Opinions are widely divergent on the latest show by 1980s icon Hirst, a Venice display involving a complex backstory of unearthed treasure, and mixing garish fake coral with pop culture anachronisms. Andrew Russeth calls it “one of the worst exhibitions of contemporary art staged in the past decade.” Even slightly more forgiving comments allow that the mix of huge sculptures and sumptuous materials is fundamentally excessive. Then there are those who get into Hirst’s swing of things, celebrating the camp and ridiculousness as its own kind of sublime.

Damien, Hirst, The Severed Head of Medusa

Cannes Will No Longer Accept Netflix Films

The Cannes Film Festival has announced that all future entrants must have French theatrical releases, disqualifying films that debut on streaming services. Even after Marine Le Pen’s Presidential defeat, it seems, cultural and technological protectionism remain en vogue.

Sotheby’s On an Upswing

Though it still lost money in the quarter, the auction house Sotheby’s pulled in nearly 50% more revenue in the first quarter of 2017 than in the same period last year. At least superficially, that sounds like good news for the global fine art market.

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