L.A. Museums Suffer in Lockdown, Damien Hirst Takes Over Gagosian, and More: Morning Links from February 11, 2021

L.A. Museums Suffer in Lockdown, Damien Hirst Takes Over Gagosian, and More: Morning Links from February 11, 2021

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The Headlines

LOS ANGELES MUSEUMS HAVE BEEN SHUTTERED FOR ALMOST A YEAR amid the pandemic, and they are suffering, with revenues down and exhibitions sitting unseen. “When they opened up art galleries and indoor malls, I was like, ‘This does not feel right,’ ” the Hammer Museum’s director, Ann Philbin, told New York Times reporter Robin Pogrebin. To help devastated balance sheets, the deep-pocketed J. Paul Getty Trust has established an L.A. Arts Recovery Fund, with $38.5 million available for groups with annual budgets under $10 million, Deborah Vankin writes in the Los Angeles Times. “Without these funds and additional funds and all sectors working together, we’re going to lose some of the treasured arts institutions in this region,” the Getty’s director, Joan Weinstein, said. Cultural venues in many European countries remain closed, too, but Milan locals are currently enjoying Leonardo da Vinci‘s Last Supper, sans tourists, after its most recent reopening, the AFP writes. One elated resident told the agency, “After this terrible pandemic, it allows me to escape, it lifts my soul, and lets me feel emotions again.” No date has been set for the return of museums in nearby France, but Le Monde says that the nation’s culture minister is against making vaccine passports required for visits.

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A CAMPAIGN IS UNDERWAY TO PRESERVE AN L.A. STUDIO used by the late, great Corita Kent, aka Sister Corita Kent, aka the Pop Art Nun, in the 1960s, LAist reports. The nondescript building was set to become a parking lot, until Nellie Scott—the director of the Corita Art Center , which fosters the protean legacy of the artist and educator—found out and began lobbying to have it designated as a historic landmark. Though the city was not supportive, impassioned testimony from Kent fans at an L.A. Cultural Heritage Commission apparently had an effect. “I was not supportive of it becoming a monument, [but] I’ve changed my mind,” Richard Barron, its president, said. The measure passed unanimously, and it heads to an L.A. City Council committee next.

The Digest

An unnamed suspect has been arrested in the attempted theft of an Andy Warhol from the Memorial Art Gallery in Rochester, New York. [Rochester First]

Good news for Damien Hirst fans: The artist wall take over one of Gagosian’s London branches for a full year, showcasing various aspects of his work. “It’s a definite takeover,” one of the gallery’s directors said. [Financial Times]

S. Clay Wilson, the San Francisco underground comix legend, has died at the 79. [Datebook/San Francisco Chronicle]

Snøhetta, who designed the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art’s 2016 expansion, has been tapped to design an expansion for the Hopkins Center for the Arts at Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire. [The Architect’s Newspaper]

The Asian Art Museum of San Francisco has agreed to return two 11th-century lintels weighing 1,500 pounds apiece to Thailand that the United States Justice Department alleged had been removed from the country illegally. [San Francisco Chronicle]

The Podkarpackie region of Poland had a cultural grant of €1.65 million (about $2 million) canceled by Norway Grants because local legislators passed a measure saying they would “resist the promotion of LGBT ideology.”  [The Art Newspaper]

A sculpture that artist and teacher Emma Quintana created as a statement against white supremacy has angered some campus conservatives at the University of Tampa in Florida, where it is currently on view, because it features the U.S. flag on the ground. [The Art Newspaper]

A loft in Manhattan’s Tribeca neighborhood, which features a Keith Haring mural that the artist made as a student, is on the market for $7.9 million. [Artnet News]

“Ethernity, a new non-fungible token (NFT) art project, is set to auction off digital artworks featuring and backed by public figures including the Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss,” Sebastian Sinclair reports. [Coindesk]

The National Gallery in London said that the painting in its collection that has racked up the most visits on its website is . . . Jan van Eyck’s Arnolfini Portrait (1434). [Time Out London]

The Kicker

THE FIREBRAND PORNOGRAPHER LARRY FLYNT DIED Wednesday at the age of 78. His Hustler magazine, which the New York Times terms “salacious, satirical, perverse, decadent, gleefully immoral, and hypocritical” in its obituary for Flynt, elicited controversy and condemnation for decades, and routinely put Flynt in legal jeopardy. It also provided source material for artists like Ida Applebroog. When the poet Patricia Spears Joins visited her studio for a 1999 interview published in Bomb and asked about a series of paintings there, Applebroog revealed that she “based some of those erotic images on Playboy and Hustler. But I’m doing it in such a way that there are so many women that one becomes desensitized to them. I mean they’re no longer erotic.“ [The New York Times] [Bomb]

Thank you for reading. We’ll see you tomorrow.

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