A priceless Bernini fountain is damaged by soccer hooligans.... A cartooning conference canceled because of security threats.... A Mexico museum cancels a show by a controversial Austrian artist.... And reports that Joshua Tree National Park may have been vandalized by a street artist. Plus: Marina Abramovic’s memoir, a new Google campus and a Leonard Nimoy art podcast of MOCA.
— A museum in Normandy, France, cancels a French cartoonists’ conference in the wake of cyber attacks.
— The Jumex Museum in Mexico City has canceled a show by Vienna Actionist Hermann Nitsch over concerns by animal rights activists. (The artist’s work has historically featured blood animal carcasses.) And there are conflicting reports about whether director Patrick Charpenel may have resigned from the museum.
— The trustees of Elizabeth Taylor’s estate have filed suit against the auction house Christie’s for breach of contract and fiduciary duty, related to sales of the actress’ effects.
— Los Angeles Magazine tracks the rise of one artist supported by controversial art speculator Stefan Simchowitz.
— Because the world needs more Marina: Abramovic will publish a memoir in 2016.
— The Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam has organized a show that casts a light on the works in its collection that may have questionable provenance — a surprisingly transparent gesture.
— The destruction of art as a grotesque act of performance art: Christopher Knight examines the nature of the video showing ISIS’ museum pillage. Plus, a report on the book burnings staged by the militants.
— “Absolutely flabbergasted.” — That's the politically minded Hans Haacke, an artist who once made a museum installation out of Nelson Rockefeller’s Vietnam policies, on being commissioned to create an installation of public art at London’s Fourth Plinth.
— The arts nonprofit BardoLA, which regularly helps organize exhibitions of art at LAX — including an ongoing show of the world of Robbie Conal and Deborah Ross (the politically minded Conal painted owls into L.A. scenes photographed by Ross) — is now working to take a show of L.A. artists to Venice, Italy, for the 2015 Biennale. A benefit auction, launching today on Paddle8, will support the cause.
— The 2015 winners of the World Press Photo awards have been announced. There is some highly intriguing work all around. My favorites: the images by Tomas Van Houtryve, who does work with drones, creating stark images that raise all manner of questions about the surveillance state. Pete Brook at Wired has a profile. Hyperallergic has images of work by other winners.
— It’s all about open plan: Google announces designs for a new, bike-friendly Mountain View campus by Bjarke Ingels of BIG Architects and Thomas Heatherwick of Heatherwick Studio. Oliver Wainwright of the Guardian has a good overview. Incidentally, Heatherwick has a show at the Hammer Museum — a good place to get familiar with his nature-inspired work.
— “An economic crisis, a death in the family, a sudden breakup and an even more sudden breakdown were all it took to go from a six-figure income to sleeping rough in the space of a year. It was only then that I started scanning my surroundings with the distinct purpose of finding shelter and the city’s barbed cruelty became clear.” — Alex Andreou asks whether defensive architecture is making cities uglier places to be.
— What will it be like to get around Los Angeles in 2035? Curbed has posted the city’s future-thinking “Mobility Plan,” which touches on everything from walking to buses to bikes and trains. If anybody's listening: get on that Wilshire subway please.
— A fascinating story about an early 20th century font that had been dumped in London’s Thames River and was recently recovered.
— Last but not least, your moment of Leonard Nimoy. The actor did a podcast tour for a Museum of Contemporary Art exhibition titled “Postwar Directions: Abstract Expressionism to Minimalism” in 2006.