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Magnificent Obsessions: The Artist As Collector, which opened at the Barbican Art Gallery in London earlier this month, is the first exhibition in the UK to present the personal collections of post-war and contemporary artists. Ranging from mass-produced memorabilia and popular collectibles to unique curiosities, rare artifacts, and natural history objects, each collection allows an unprecedented glimpse into the oftentimes eccentric predilections of some of today’s most collected artists.

Organized by Barbican curator Lydia Yee, Magnificent Obsessions features the personal collections of well-known artists such as Sol Lewitt, Damien Hirst, Peter Blake, Martin Parr, Hiroshi Sugimoto, Andy Warhol, and Martin Wong/Danh Vo, alongside at least one example of their work. The exhibition aims to use these collections as a means to provide insight into these artists’ inspirations, influences, motives, and fascinations. According to a press release from the Barbican, Jane Alison, Head of Visual Arts at the gallery, said, “What a joy to have brought together the treasured private collections of the fourteen artists in Magnificent Obsessions: The Artist as Collector. The thrill of collecting is something we can all relate to, and I am sure visitors will enjoy this deeply personal and endlessly fascinating show.”

Published in News
Monday, 09 February 2015 12:38

The Walker Art Center Saves Danh Vo Installation

The Walker Art Center, which is 75 years old this year, has acquired around 4,000 objects amassed by the late Chinese-American artist Martin Wong. The artist Danh Vo turned the hoard into an installation, "I M U U R 2," for a solo show at New York’s Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in 2013 after winning its Hugo Boss Prize.

When the Walker bought the piece last September, it fulfilled Vo’s hope that the trove would enter a museum. The Danish-­Vietnamese artist made the work from the bric-a-brac that Wong had collected over four decades: Chinese teaware, calligraphy, Disney figurines, and assorted Americana alongside Wong’s own paintings.

Published in News
Thursday, 15 January 2015 10:42

The Whitney Expands Its Online Database

Last week, the Whitney Museum massively overhauled its online database. The museum of American art expanded its online collection from a paltry 700 works to around 21,000. The digital reserve now includes over 3,000 pieces by Edward Hopper, in addition to offerings from a wide swathe of art from the United States, including the likes of Mike Kelley and Martin Wong.

This virtual expansion comes on the heels of "Matisse," a cinematic rendering of the Matisse cut-out show on display at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) through February 10. The film, which includes footage from both the MoMA show and the earlier exhibition at the Tate Modern in London, is part of the “Exhibition on Screen” project, which “brings blockbuster art exhibitions from galleries around the world to a cinema near you,” according to the initiative’s website.

Published in News