Art in Print

New blow to Guggenheim Helsinki plan as Finnish party rules out state funding

Finland’s populist party has blocked funding for Moreau Kusunoki Architects’ Guggenheim museum, planned for Helskinki’s waterfront. “There will be no state money for this venture,” Timo Soini, leader of the populist Finns party, said bluntly in a blogpost. “The matter will not even be raised during coalition budget talks. I hope this is now clear for our coalition partners.”
The Paris-based practice won a competition last year to design the £110 million project, seeing off a shortlist that included the UK’s Asif Khan. Advocates of the scheme claim it could generate around £36 million a year for the local economy and deliver 500 new jobs. But Soini rejected the idea outright, stressing that his party did not object to the museum itself, just to any public money being spent on it. 
The original deal to build the museum would have seen the government cover construction plus a share of the running costs. In return, the Guggenheim Foundation agreed to send major exhibitions to the facility.
Last year an investigation by the Helsinki Times revealed a lack of city-level support for the scheme.
“Unfortunately, it’s become very political,” Ari Lahti, who heads a support foundation aimed at gathering private sponsorship for the scheme, said. “The Finns are a populist party, and many of their supporters are rural and older voters. If Guggenheim Helsinki had been mooted before the crisis, it would have been built by now.”


Via The Guardian

Edward Burtynsky on his ravaged Earth shots: ‘We’ve reached peak everything’

The 61-year-old Canadian photographer has devoted his career to capturing man’s impact on the landscape from above, elevating the brutish debris of slag heaps and open-cast mines into sublime wall-sized hymns to how we’ve made our mark on the surface of the Earth. And he’s on a mission to document it all before it’s too late.
“I happened upon the salt pans on Google Earth one day,” he says, sitting in east London’s Flowers Gallery, where an exhibition of his work opens on 16 September. “A few months later I was in a Cessna flying over them, trying to capture this incredible terrain before it disappears.”
Like most of Burtynsky’s work – which graces collections from Tate to MoMA and the Guggenheim – when you first see these pastel-hued planes of lines, squares and scribbles, it’s not quite clear what you’re looking at until you peer a bit closer. “I like it when the viewer can’t ‘get it’ instantly,” says Burtynsky, “you should have to dig in with your eyes to work out what’s going on.”
His team scouts potential subjects from the comfort of Google Earth, then with GPS technology Burtynsky can fix a position in the air by latitude, longitude and altitude, and send a drone-mounted camera back again and again to the exact same spot until he’s happy with the shot.
He is currently engaged in a five-year project on the anthropocene, the pending name for the present geological age in which humans have had a discernible impact on the environment, working in collaboration with scientists from the international Anthropocene Working Group. 


Via The Guardian


Michelangelo Pistoletto at Blenheim Palace

The Blenheim Art Foundation is delighted to present Michelangelo Pistoletto at Blenheim Palace, a solo exhibition running from 15th September – 31st December 2016 celebrating the extensive oeuvre of Italian artist Michelangelo Pistoletto.
A founding father of Italian Arte Povera, Pistoletto is widely regarded as one of the most influential artists of his generation. The exhibition will explore the diverse range of his fifty-year practice, from painting and sculpture to large-scale installation, as well as showcasing new works made specifically for Blenheim Palace and integrated into the fabric of the Palace’s eighteenth-century interiors and surrounding grounds.
Michael Frahm, Director of the Blenheim Art Foundation, said: "We are delighted to present the first UK retrospective of one of the most revered visual artists working today, tracing back to the early self-portraits which launched his career, and leading all the way up to the new work which will be created for this show. Pistoletto’s extensive and powerful career has been a major influence on contemporary art and modern thought. He is a counter-cultural figure who questions society and explores philosophy through a body of work which is witty, poetic and always unexpected.“


Via ArtNet News


Pay $2.2 Million for a Pope’s Cabinet of Secrets

On Sept. 20, the estate of Robert Zellinger de Balkany, a French businessman who made his fortune by bringing American-style malls to France, will hit the auction block. One of the sale’s star lots is a 17th century stone-studded ebony cabinet, carrying an estimate in excess of €2 million ($2.2 million.) 
The craftsmanship of the cabinet, which is almost six feet high, is unparalleled. The only one like it is in the hands of the U.K. National Trust. The provenance, too, is hard to beat: Initially owned by the powerful 17th century Borghese pope, Paul V, it remained in the hands of the Borgheses until the mid-19th century, at which point the mannerist cabinet fell out of style and the family put it up for sale. 
Unfashionable as it might have been, it was still good enough for George IV, king of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and of Hanover, who put it on display in the Great Hall of Windsor Castle in 1827. Thirteen years later, the cabinet was moved to Buckingham Palace. After 120 years, the cabinet fell out of fashion again (maybe the Windsors had just caught up to Rome by that point), and Queen Elizabeth II sold it in 1959 at Christie’s. De Balkany’s father purchased the cabinet and eventually handed it down to his son, who placed it on display in his lavish Paris mansion, the Hôtel de Feuquières.
“It’s done a sort of mini-grand tour, just the other way around,” joked MarioTavella, the chairman of Sotheby’s Europe.


Via Bloomberg