Brooklyn Museum Gets Record $50 M. from New York City, Britney Spears Lawyer Joins Peter Max Guardianship Fight, and More: Morning Links for November 23, 2021

Brooklyn Museum Gets Record $50 M. from New York City, Britney Spears Lawyer Joins Peter Max Guardianship Fight, and More: Morning Links for November 23, 2021

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The Headlines

THE FAIR GAME. Frieze has tapped Christine Messineo to head its fairs in the United StatesMaximilíano Durón reports in ARTnews. Messineo is a veteran art dealer, having worked at Bortolami in New York and Hannah Hoffman Gallery in L.A. Last year, she became executive director of Plan Your Vote, which uses the arts to promote voting. Overseeing Frieze’s U.S. fairs, which run in L.A. in February and New York in May, Messineo takes the place of Rebecca Ann Siegel , who departed the firm this summer as director of Americas and content. Frieze also hosts an October annual fair in London and will debut its first one in Asia, in Seoul, in September.

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EIGHT FIGURES IN KINGS COUNTY. New York City is giving the Brooklyn Museum a cool $50 million to pursue various capital projects, the New York Times reports. It is said to be the biggest gift in the history of the museum, which can trace its founding back to 1823. “I’ve been dreaming of this since I joined the museum a little over five years ago,” the museum’s director, Anne Pasternak, told the Times . The funds will help renovate various parts of the building, including its galleries for American art, European art, and design. Pasternak posted to Instagram a photo that has her holding a giant check for the full sum with Gonzalo Casals, the city’s commissioner of cultural affairs; Councilmember Laurie Cumbo; and a positively ebullient Mayor Bill de Blasio.

The Digest

Lawyer Mathew Rosengart, who worked to free singer Britney Spears from her conservatorship, has said he is joining the legal battle to address the guardianship of artist Peter Max. Max’s daughter, Libra Max, has called the legal arrangement “predatory.” Rosengart said in a statement, “We will fight vigorously to obtain newfound freedoms for this American icon.” [Variety]

Latif Al Ani, whose pioneering photographic work in Iraq sank into obscurity until recent years, died on Thursday at the age of 89. Rahel Aima writes, “He became known for chronicling how the fast-modernizing nation came to see itself in the 1950s, ‘60s and ‘70s: cosmopolitan, civilized, and above all modern, while still honoring its Sumerian and Mesomopotamian origins.” [The Art Newspaper]

Canadian artist Rita Letendre, a painter of blazingly colored abstract paintings who was involved with groups like Les Automatistes and Les Plasticiens, died on Saturday at the age of 93. She became an officer of the Order of Canada in 2005. [CBC News]

Officials at the Charles Pinckney National Historic Site—once a plantation in South Carolina—have uncovered evidence that someone used a metal detector to dig holes on its grounds in an attempt to loot artifacts. Law enforcement is investigating. [The Associated Press]

With Art Basel Miami Beach arriving next week, Franklin Sirmans, the director for the Pérez Art Museum Miami, offered up a rundown of some of his favorite places in the city, including restaurants CarboneBoia De, and Red Rooster Overtown. For exercise he recommends the Virginia Key Outdoor Center[Financial Times]

In the mood for artist profiles? We have two for you today: In the New York TimesM.H. Miller spent time with Frank Stella as he installed a sculpture in Lower Manhattan. And in CulturedJonathan Griffin visited the Los Angeles studio of Jonny Negron, who has a new show in the city at Château Shatto.

The Kicker

THE PLEASURE OF GETTING LOST. In this week’s New Yorker, writer Nicola Twilley profiles the world’s leading maze designerAdrian Fisher, who sees himself “as a Renaissance man of diverse fields of endeavor and creativity,” he said. The story charts the development of mazes over millennia, and includes appearances from artist Patrick Hughes (a friend of Fisher) and Bret Rothstein , “an art historian who studies puzzles,” per Twilley. The oldest depiction of a labyrinth? That is one found on a clay tablet at the Palace of Nestor, in Pylos, Greece, that dates back to 1200 B.C.E. However, as Jeff Saward, a maze scholar, put it, “The history of mazes is a maze in itself.” [The New Yorker]

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