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Leading curators have given their preliminary verdict on Okwui Enwzor’s curatorial vision for the 56th Venice Biennale, which opens next spring (9 May-22 November). At a recent press conference, Enwezor, the director of the Haus der Kunst in Munich, outlined his plans for the world’s oldest and most prestigious biennial.

His broad curatorial framework for the presentation in the Arsenale and Central Pavilion in the Giardini, entitled “All the World’s Futures,” appears to tap in to potent political and social topics of our time.

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The Milwaukee Art Museum has hired a new curator to oversee its design and decorative arts collection. Monica Obniski will join the staff as the Demmer curator of 20th and 21st century design in January. She will lead the effort to rethink the display of MAM's design collection as part of a top-to-bottom renovation and reinstallation of the permanent collection.

For the last several years, Obniski has been at the Art Institute of Chicago as the Ann S. and Samuel M. Mencoff assistant curator of American decorative arts. She began her years at the Art Institute as a research associate and exhibitions coordinator in 2007.

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The program for the 56th edition of the Venice Biennale was revealed today by its curator, Okwui Enwezor, and Paolo Baratta, the organization’s president, at a conference at the Biennale headquarters at Ca’ Giustinian.

Enwezor, a curator, writer, critic and director of Munich’s Haus der Kunst since 2011, has given the biennial the title “All the World’s Futures.” The event, which opens to the public on 9 May and runs until 22 November, promises to be critically engaged with the events of today.

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A painting of the French king Henri III (1551-89) that disappeared from the Louvre during the Second World War turned up at a Paris auction last week. The work was found by a curator at the Château de Blois thanks to an internet search alert, and will soon return to the Louvre.

The small portrait depicting Henri III at prayer, estimated at €400-€600, was due to be sold on Friday, 17 October, in an auction of antique paintings, furniture and art objects held by Ader-Nordmann at the Hôtel Drouot.

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In the year 2015, the Walker Art Center will celebrate the 75th anniversary of its founding as a public art center with a series of WALKER@75 exhibitions and programs beginning with "Art at the Center: 75 Years of Walker Collections." The exhibition launched October 16, 2014 with an opening-night party and weekend-long Walktoberfest celebration. Curated by the Walker’s executive director Olga Viso and guest curator Joan Rothfuss, the exhibition looks at 75 years of collecting at the Walker—a history distinguished by bold and often prescient acquisitions that challenge prevailing artistic conventions and examine the social and political conditions of the day. Many of the works collected breach the boundaries of media and disciplines and reflect the Walker’s multidisciplinary programming, which includes film and video, design, visual art and performing arts. Art at the Center also traces how the collection was shaped by the respective visions and collecting philosophies of its five directors as well as the generosity of the Walker family and key patrons.

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The Contemporary Arts Center will have a new visual arts curator beginning in January 2015. New Orleans area native Andrea Andersson is returning home after having lived in New York City since 2001, where she was a freelance curator and taught at New York University and Barnard College.

Andersson, 36, who spoke by phone while visiting Montreal, who attended St. Martin Episcopal school, said that she grew up in Metairie, "right on the levee, looking over the lake."

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John Marciari first spotted the painting among hundreds of other works carefully filed in pullout racks in a soulless cube of a storage facility in New Haven, Connecticut. He was then, in 2004, a junior curator at Yale University’s renowned Art Gallery, reviewing holdings that had been warehoused during its expansion and renovation. In the midst of that task, he came upon an intriguing but damaged canvas, more than five feet tall and four feet wide, which depicted St. Anne teaching the young Virgin Mary to read. It was set aside, identified only as “Anonymous, Spanish School, seventeenth century.”

“I pulled it out, and I thought, ‘This is a good picture. Who did this?’” says Marciari, 39, now curator of European art and head of provenance research at the San Diego Museum of Art.
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Phillips will inaugurate its new auction house and exhibition space in London’s Mayfair on October 6th with a group exhibition of contemporary sculpture, dreamt up by star curator Francesco Bonami. The exhibition will be on view during Frieze Week, alongside works to be offered at the Contemporary Art Evening and Day Auctions on October 15th and 16th.

“A Very Short History of Contemporary Sculpture” includes 33 works by internationally renowned artists, including Carl Andre, Bruce Nauman, Louise Bourgeois, Felix González-Torres, Matthew Barney, Damien Hirst, Donald Judd, Jeff Koons, and Ai Weiwei.

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Tuesday, 16 September 2014 11:07

A New Installation Lands in Madison Square Park

Brooke Kamin Rapaport, the curator who shepherded an art world set piece in Madison Square Park on Friday, called what was being installed “the great levitating sculpture.”

The sculpture was “Points of View” and consisted of three extremely tall, extremely heavy pieces, but none of them rose from the ground and floated magically through the air. There were no David Blaine maneuvers, no seemingly impossible sleight of hand.

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Critics think they have the last word, but sometimes art keeps talking. In 2008, while organizing the Jewish Museum’s boisterous survey of Abstract Expressionism, “Action/Abstraction: Pollock, de Kooning and American Art, 1940-1976,” the curator, Norman L. Kleeblatt, noticed that two paintings — Lee Krasner’s “Untitled” (1948) and Norman Lewis’s “Twilight Sounds” (1947) — seemed to be speaking to each other. He had the good sense to listen and, later, to orchestrate a deeper conversation. The result is “From the Margins: Lee Krasner and Norman Lewis, 1945-1952,” a nuanced, sensitive and profound exhibition.

The show isn’t really a dialogue, in the conventional sense. But it bravely elides differences of gender, race and religion, finding that Krasner and Lewis — a Jewish woman and an African-American man — shared a visual language that was a subtler, more intimate dialect of Abstract Expressionism.

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