Day by day in art | October 7, 2022

It is not true that the Rijksmuseum sinks | Chris Dercon at the Fondation Cartier | A terracotta head of the goddess Athena re-emerged in Agrigento | Fred Rouse Center opens in Fort Worth | The Contemporary Day is back on 8 October | The day in 12 news


It is not true that the Rijksmuseum is sinking. The Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam has published a sharp denial to reports that the museum is sinking. News site Bloomberg.com reported that this summer’s drought, the worst in 500 years according to the European Drought Observatory, has spawned a fungus that is eating up the wooden foundations of the Amsterdam museum. A spokesperson for the museum reported that the latter “it hasn’t dropped an inch“. According to Bloomberg, the museum, which houses among other masterpieces including Rembrandt’s ‘The Night Watch’ (1642) and Vermeer’s ‘The Milkmaid’ (around 1660), is starting to survey some of the 8,000 wooden poles on which rests the museum which have been weakened by fungi. But a spokesperson for the Rijksmuseum said the museum was in no danger of sinking and that after ten years of renovations the foundations remain solid. [Joe Ware]Chris Dercon at the Fondation Cartier. The announcement was made on 6 October: Chris Dercon has been appointed CEO of the Fondation Cartier pour l’Art Contemporain in Paris, after having resigned as president of the Réunion des Musées Nationaux-Grand Palais. The Belgian museum veteran will start his new job on December 19th. Appointed to Réunion in January 2019, he leaves the Grand Palais in full swing to enter the private sector. The controversy will not be long in coming. [Redazione]

A terracotta head of the helmeted goddess Athena has re-emerged from the excavation near Temple D in Agrigento. The discovery was carried out by a research team of the Scuola Normale Superiore of Pisa, and would make it possible to attribute the cult of the temple to Athena and not to Hera (Juno) as has happened up to now. The head was found as part of the third excavation campaign of the Scuola Normale Superiore with its Saet Laboratory in the Valley of the Temples in Agrigento, under the scientific supervision of Professor Gianfranco Adornato and Maria Concetta Parello, archaeologist officer of the Archaeological and Landscape Park of the Valley of the Temples. [Redazione]

On 8 October 2022, the Contemporary Day returns. The event is promoted by Amaci-Association of Italian Contemporary Art Museums and is carried out with the support of the General Direction for Contemporary Creativity of the Ministry of Culture, and the collaboration of the General Directorate for Public and Cultural Diplomacy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International cooperation. In its 18th edition (which as a tradition will take place throughout the national territory, involving museums, foundations, public and private institutions, galleries, studios and artist spaces) the Giornata del Contemporaneo returns to the presence, with the aim of telling the story of renewed vitality of contemporary art in our country. The event will however maintain a hybrid format, physical and digital, to encourage and enhance the widest possible participation with online and offline proposals, and will have the theme of ecology as a guiding thread. The guiding image was entrusted to Giorgio Andreotta Calò, who chose “Icarus” (2021-22), the last piece of a project initiated by the artist in 2019: a work that seems to respond in a symbolically open way to the invitation to reflect on the environmental crisis, emphasizing the importance of passing the baton to the new generations. [Redazione]

Brafa returns to Brussels in January. After last year’s “summer” version, Brafa returns to its traditional winter location and opens the calendar of major international art events 2023, from 29 January to 5 February in the Brussels Expo pavilions with 130 exhibitors and 10 selected Italian galleries: Ars Antiqua (Milan), for the first time in Brafa, Barbara Bassi (Cremona), Cavagnis Lacerenza Fine Art (Milan), Cortesi Gallery (Milan), Dalton Somaré (Milan) Gioielleria Nardi (Venice) Robertaebasta (Milan-London) Brun Fine Art (Milan-London-Florence) Chiale Fine Art (Racconigi-Paris-Brussels) and W. Apolloni & Laocoon Gallery (Rome-London). The main theme of this 68th edition, in line with the initiatives planned by the Brussels Tourist Board for the whole of 2023, will be Art Nouveau. [Redazione]

The Aquila Cathedral sees the end of the tunnel. At the beginning of 2023 the consolidation and restoration works of the Cathedral of Saints Massimo and Giorgio, or the Cathedral of the Aquila still closed and unusable, should start, to be completed within five years. 13 and a half years after the earthquake of 6 April 2009, the Regional Secretariat of the Ministry of Culture for Abruzzo announces that it has entrusted the contract of almost 25 million and 880 thousand euros to Cobar Spa of Altamura (Bari) which won the tender announced in May overcoming 13 competing companies. Built in the thirteenth century, devastated by the earthquake of 1703 and largely rebuilt in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, the church is in the vast central square and the stall has periodically raised strong discussions even if the situation was actually complicated. Two architects follow the works: the superintendent of Pisa and Livorno Valerio Tesi is the sole responsible for the procedure (the «Rup», for the technicians), Augusto Ciciotti of the Abruzzo secretariat directs them. “I’m very satisfiedcomments the interim secretary Federica Zalabra. The result crowns a long-standing and difficult technical-administrative work that, as a contracting authority, we have shared with the Superintendence of Archeology, Fine Arts and Landscape of Aquila and Teramo and with the property, the Archdiocese. In addition to being a precious monument to be protected, the cathedral has an essential centrality in the daily life of the city“. After President Sergio Mattarella in 2018, the Cathedral was visited by Pope Francis on August 28 last year on the occasion of the “Celestinian Forgiveness”. [Stefano Miliani]

The “nctm e arte” scholarship has reached its 15th edition. The 15th edition of «nctm e arte: Artists-in-Residence» has been announced, a scholarship dedicated to visual artists residing in Italy who wish to participate in artistic residency programs abroad. The Commission of “nctm and art: Artists-in-Residence” is composed of the artistic director of nctm and art Gabi Scardi, the members of the Art Committee of Advant Nctm, Camilla Alberti and damp collective (Alessandro Armento, Luisa de Donato, Viviana Marchiò, Adriano Ponte), artists awarded the XIV edition of the scholarship and by Bianca Trevisan, professor of History of Photography at the Catholic University of Brescia and of contemporary art at the Master “Designing culture” at the Catholic University from Milan. Applications must be submitted by 25 November at 12 noon; the assignees will be communicated by 2 December. [Redazione]

Culture is a global public good. 150 states in Mexico City have affirmed and joined the program summarized by the slogan “Culture is a global public good“. It is not just an ambitious declaration: it is a project adopted at the end of “Mondialcult 2022” convened by UNESCO, in the presence of the director general of Unesco, Audrey Azoulay. In the text, the agreement of the countries on a common roadmap to strengthen public policies and international cooperation. In the declaration, adopted in recent days and the result of ten months of multilateral work led by UNESCO, there is, at the first point, “The commitment to act now»To promote and defend the world’s artistic, cultural and natural heritage and protect excavations and archaeological sites from looting. A virtual museum of stolen goods will be operational by 2025, created by Unesco and Interpol. [Tina Lepri]

The Magma by Antonio Biasiucci at the Farnesina. As part of the initiatives for the Giornata del Contemporaneo, on 8 October at 11 am, in the “Aldo Moro” room of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation in Rome, the site-specific work “Magma” by photographer Antonio Biasiucci. The artist and the art historian Gianluca Riccio will talk about the documentary work of the volcanic activity in Italy conducted by Biasiucci between 1987 and 1995 and from which the work is taken, installed in the photographic gallery of the Farnesina Collection. At the end of the short presentation, a special tour will follow in the company of the artist on the fifth floor of the Palazzo and, subsequently, on the first floor, where the historical nucleus of the Collection is located. [Redazione]
The Fred Rouse Center opens in Fort Worth: it was a meeting space for the Ku Klux Klan. Born as a meeting space for the Ku Klux Klan, a building in Fort Worth, Texas is at the center of a renovation that will transform it into a cultural center for social justice. The Fred Rouse Center for Arts and Community Healing will host spaces for activities including performances, exhibitions, workshops and community gatherings, as well as an artist residency and resource center for Lgbtq + youth. The nonprofit organization behind the ambitious project is Transform 1012, a group of eight local organizations that acquired the building in 2021. In operation for several years, the center is now entering a new phase of fundraising and construction. which is expected to begin in early 2023. A key development came in late September with the announcement of Transform 1012’s first executive director, Carlos González-Jaime. Born and raised in Mexico, and now living in Dallas, González-Jaime worked for many years in the corporate world, then became the founding director of Latino Arts Project, an organization that promotes Latin American art and, more recently, outreach director of the Americas Research Network. With her husband Agustín Arteaga, director of the Dallas Museum of Art, he also has a small art collection full of Latin American works. [Claire Voon]
Exhibitions that open
The «Collection» of Florence and Damien Bachelot. From 7 October to 15 January, at the Accademia di Francia-Villa Medici, a story in images of the lives of men and women of the twentieth century is accessible to the public with 150 photographs of the over a thousand unpublished in the private collection of Florence and Damien Bachelot. At the beginning of the exhibition, entitled «Collection», the shots of the European «humanist» current, especially French, from the end of the Second World War to the 1960s, characterized by attention to everyday life, to the «normality» of simple people. Social photography was born with Henri Cartier-Bresson, Doisneau and the extraordinary children of Sabine Weiss. “Photography becomes a democratic art and no longer just the pastime of the bourgeois»Writes Michele Poivert, photography historian and collaborator of the exhibition. Also exhibited forty rare prints by Saul Leiter, photographer and painter of the New York school. [Tina Lepri]

Augusto, a propaganda genius. What the German scholar Paul Zanker made known in his 2006 book Augustus and the power of images, intertwining history, archeology, philology and analysis of the works of art and literature of the Augustan period, is at the center of the new exhibition of the Bucerius Kunst Forum in Hamburg «The new images of Augustus. Power and media in ancient Rome ”(8 October-15 January). The exhibition illustrates, with the patronage of the Italian Embassy and the support of the MiC, the project pursued by the emperor, with a brilliant propaganda use of images and symbols, to restore a political and moral identity to Rome after the age crisis late republican. The exhibition brings together about 200 pieces such as statues, busts, reliefs, wall paintings, coins and ceramics, coming from the Louvre in Paris, the Uffizi in Florence, the Capitoline and Vatican Museums in Rome, the National Archaeological Museum of Naples and other important European museums and collections. [Francesca Petretto]

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About David Martin

David Martin is the lead editor for Spark Chronicles. David has been working as a freelance journalist.

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