Art in Print

Tate to name Maria Balshaw as new director to succeed Serota

Maria Balshaw, the hugely respected leader of Manchester’s galleries and a driving force in the city’s cultural renaissance, is expected to replace Sir Nicholas Serota as director of Tate.

The hunt for Serota’s successor, to one of the most powerful jobs in the arts, has been ongoing since it was announced in September he was standing down after almost 30 years.

Balshaw has been talked about as a favourite ever since. It is understood she has now been chosen by Tate trustees. 

Balshaw has been director of the Whitworth Art Gallery since 2006. She became joint director of the Whitworth and the Manchester Art Gallery in 2011. In 2014, she in effect became Manchester’s cultural attache when she took on the role of strategic lead for culture at the city council.

At the Whitworth, Balshaw has led the much-admired £15m redevelopment of the gallery, helping to breathe new life into the collections and dramatically increasing visitor numbers. It won the 2015 museum of the year prize.

Lucy Powell, MP for Manchester Central, said: “Manchester’s loss is the Tate’s gain.” The Tate appointment would be recognition not only of Balshaw’s success with getting renowned artists to show their work at the Whitworth but in attracting new audiences to the museum.

The writer Jeanette Winterson said “When she comes to the Tate she will bring in a different approach. She’ll bring in more women of course, which is what’s needed, it will be new. Nick Serota has done a great job but in terms of appointing somebody else there could not be a better person.”


Via The Guardian



 High art: New York's High Line to introduce new artwork plinth


The High Line, an elevated railway turned park in New York City, is getting a new addition and with it, a new, permanent location for temporary art installations – the High Line Plinth.

It has already been the home to various temporary art installations, the difference is that this new plinth will be the first spot along the High Line specifically dedicated to artwork, whereas art in other locations “has always been within the fabric of the High Line itself”, said Cecilia Alemani, director and chief curator of High Line Art.

Alemani related this new location for artwork to London’s Fourth Plinth, which brings a rotation of art to Trafalgar Square. “There’s always so many discussions and conversations around it,” she said of the plinth in London. “I think that’s what ours should do …”.

o determine the first two artists whose work will be featured on the plinth, High Line Art used an advisory committee “to get suggestions for names so they wouldn’t just come from me”, Alemani said. From a list of 50 proposals, they created a short list of 12, including artists Charles Gaines, Haim Steinbach, Cosima von Bonin and others. From February to April, models of the potential artworks will be on display, with an opportunity for public comment. The first two artists will be chosen in May of this year, and the plinth will open at some point in 2018, after the construction of the Spur is completed.


Via The Guardian



 V&A celebrates Lockwood Kipling, an artist with a passion for Indian crafts



If the teenage son of a Methodist preacher had not visited the Great Exhibition in 1851The Jungle Book and other beloved works of Rudyard Kipling would probably never have been created. The awe-struck visitor was not the author but his father, John Lockwood Kipling, whose life was changed forever by the Indian treasures he saw on display at Crystal Palace, and whose passion for India profoundly influenced his son. The first exhibition celebrating Lockwood, an artist, teacher, and promoter of traditional Indian arts and crafts, opens this week at the V&A museum in London.

Lockwood’s children were born in India and grew up surrounded by the works of the Indian art he had collected, the artists he trained and promoted, the stories he told, and the images he recorded of traditional craft workers.

“If you mention the name Kipling in Lahore they assume it is Lockwood, not the Jungle Book one,” said the V&A curator Julius Bryant. When his son became one of the best loved authors of late Victorian and Edwardian Britain, Lockwood created many of the first illustrations for his books through a tortuous process of carving them as relief sculptures and then photographing them. Several of his original clay sculptures are on display at the V&A. Many of the paintings, ceramics, carvings and furniture are within the vast V&A collection – including some of the objects displayed at Crystal Palace which so thrilled the 13-year-old Lockwood. But they have not been on display for most of the last century.


Lockwood Kipling: Arts and Crafts in the Punjab and London, 14 January 14 to 2 April 2017, free at the V&A Museum


Via The Guardian



Victoria and Albert Museum plans late-night bar... but neighbours say it will be 'torture'


Neighbours are protesting against plans to open a late-night bar at the Victoria and Albert Museum.

V&A bosses have applied for a licence to sell alcohol in an open-air courtyard which is due to open this year as part of a £50 million expansion of the South Kensington institution.

Residents fear they will be subjected to “loud music which is nothing short of torture”. Some also claim the museum is in danger of becoming a “huge corporate events institution with added museum features”.

Other neighbours have cited Article 8 of the Human Rights Act, for the right to a private and family life, in an attempt to block the bid.

Under the proposals, alcohol can be served in the courtyard from 8.30am to 11.30pm Monday to Saturday and between 10am to 11pm on Sundays, for up to 350 people. 

The museum said "It is not their intention to play loud music in the space, but they would like to play background music to accompany some events.”

A museum spokeswoman said: “The V&A is open to the public for free every Friday night and regularly hosts evening events as part of its public programme and corporate events that support the Museum’s activities. The Exhibition Road Project will create stunning new public spaces that will improve access and increase flexibility to run events allowing visitors different ways to enjoy the building and collection.”


Via Evening Standard