Roundup: Björk show slammed, Koons sculpture battle, L.A. mystery museum

Roundup: Björk show slammed, Koons sculpture battle, L.A. mystery museum
An exhibition of work by the composer, singer and musician Björk at the Museum of Modern Art includes instruments, outfits, videos and sounds from a career that stretches more than 20 years. (Timothy A. Clary / AFP/Getty Images)

George Lucas’ museum hits a road bump. The papers of a Nazi-era art dealer are to be made public. A fight erupts over a Jeff Koons sculpture in Sacramento. A mystery museum is planned for downtown L.A. And the Björk show in New York? The reviews are in and they are, well, colorful. I’m still running around Santiago, but I’ve nonetheless got some links for the Roundup:

— Documents that belonged to a Nazi-era art dealer Hildebrand Gurlitt (father of art hoarder Cornelius Gurlitt) will be released online to help improve processing of the collection, which the younger Gurlitt left to a Swiss museum.


— A video tour inside the ancient Assyrian city that Islamic State has destroyed.

— There have been two notable architectural deaths in the past week: post-modernist Michael Graves (who, among many other buildings, designed Disney's headquarters in Burbank) and Frei Otto, the German architect and engineer, renowned for his tent-like structures, who was awarded the Pritzker Prize the day after passing away.

— And, from the annals of urban planning: the nightmare of a commute in Sao Paulo, Brazil. (CityLab)

— George Lucas' museum hits a snag in Chicago as a parks organization is allowed to move forward with a suit to block construction. (ArtsJournal)

L.A. County agreed to pay $50,000 to three photographers for alleged harassment and to instruct sheriff's deputies to respect 1st Amendment rights. (Hyperallergic)

— Longtime gallerist Rosamund Felsen is leaving Santa Monica for downtown Los Angeles. The move east continues.

— In other gallery news, Hauser Wirth & Schimmel is staffing up: The soon-to-debut downtown L.A. space led by former MOCA curator Paul Schimmel just hired Graham Steele as its senior director — from the trés fancy White Cube in London, no less. 

A museum is rising in L.A.'s Bank District. But what's going inside it (or who might be leading it) appears to be a total mystery. White elephant, anyone?

— The Googie icon Norm's on La Cienega may end up as an architectural shell.

KCET has Otis College of Art & Design's report on L.A.'s creative economy. It estimates that 404,000 people in L.A. and Orange counties are directly employed in creative fields.

— In Sacramento, there has been a battle over a public sculpture by Jeff Koons — and Art F City has some of the best outtakes. But as my colleague Christopher Knight points out, the city wigs out over an $8-million sculpture — but a $477-million sports arena? Not so much.

— “One part Rock and Roll Hall of Fame exercise, one part science lab, one part synesthesia experiment.” The reviews of the Björk show at New York’s Museum of Modern Art have been entertainingly searing. More here.  

— And, at the New Museum, art as branding and branding as art.

— Plus, Damien Hirst is hiring … photorealist painters.


— An art exhibition in Michigan examines the issue of student loan debt.

— In 1990, one of the most notorious art heists ever occurred at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston, with thieves making off with 13 objects, including canvases by Rembrandt, Degas and Vermeer. A security guard remembers that fateful night.

— An interesting examination of the legacy of the documentary "Grey Gardens," in the wake of director Albert Maysles's death.

— Why the copyright verdict against "Blurred Lines" is bad for music.

— And last, but not least, Cindy Sherman emoticons.

Find me on the Twitters @cmonstah.