Morning [News]eum Roundup

Play pretend jury member and pick the future Guggenheim Helsinki

The Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation has posted online all 1,715 design ideas submitted for a new Guggenheim museum in Helsinki. These schemes are from the open-call portion of the design competition launched this past June, which is being run by London’s Malcolm Reading Consultants.

In the meantime, online visitors can be their own jury by creating a virtual “shortlist.” The six official shortlisted ideas will be unveiled on Dec. 2, and a winner will be announced in June 2015. Guggenheim Helsinki is slated for the city’s Eteläsatama (South Harbor).

Fondation Louis Vuitton

Frank Gehry discusses the inception of his pavilion-like cultural center in Paris’s Bois de Boulogne, and how his design process influenced the result.

The glass sails enveloping the Fondation Louis Vuitton were developed to increase the overall height of the structure, while still staying within city codes.

Fondation Louis Vuitton Opens to the Public

A roundup of one-liners about Frank Gehry’s structure in Paris.

Rowan Moore: “Everything that is good about the Fondation could have been achieved, and better, without the sails.” [The Guardian]

Alex Bozikovic: “The Fondation building, whose gestation began over a decade ago, feels a bit like a time capsule from the Age of the Starchitect.” [The Globe and Mail]

Jay Merrick: “The Fondation’s giddy geometry is hard to resist. It has created a building with no clear sense of inside and outside.” [The Independent

The entrance to the museum.

Picasso Museum in Paris to Open Doors After 5-Year Renovation

After five years locked in storage or roaming on traveling exhibitions, a trove of Pablo Picasso’s works have been put back on display in their remodeled home, a 17th-century mansion in the Marais district.

Inside the Picasso Museum in Paris.

Everyone’s a Curator?

As more art institutions outsource exhibits to the crowd, is it time to rethink the role of the museum?

Not an art expert? Not a problem. Museums are increasingly outsourcing the curation of their exhibits to the public—sometimes even asking the crowd to contribute art, too. The institutions produce quick and often inexpensive shows that boost ticket sales. As crowdsourcing initiatives go mainstream, the roles of the museum and the artist are getting rethought. It’s no longer only the highly trained professionals who decide what belongs on the gallery wall, but the audience, too.

Everybody’s Ocean: Santa Cruz Museum of Art and History

Your art. Everybody’s ocean. The ocean represents anything from womb to tomb. We personify it as a wrathful god, a seductive spirit, or an indomitable force. The four oceans of the world cover 71% of the Earth’s surface and link us to primordial pasts. The ocean is a living, shared space and one of the greatest unexplored mysteries of the world. This is your chance to submit salty, seaworthy, sultry, swirling visual art art about the sea. Everybody interprets the ocean in different ways. Your work has unique inspiration. Let’s share it with each other.

Hi, I’m Nina Simon. Let’s talk.

Imagine an institution with a commitment to rigor, depth, and delight in the exploration of contemporary culture.
Imagine a prize competition to develop new experimental approaches to engaging audiences.
Imagine these two together. The Centre de Cultura Contemporania de Barcelona (CCCB) has just launched a new biennial Cultural Innovation International Prize. The theme this year is “audiences.” They are soliciting project proposals for innovative forms of audience engagement.

Museum 2.0

Colossally Installed

Jason Decaires Taylor submerges ocean atlas sculpture in the Bahamas

submerged adjacent to the western coastline of new providence in the Bahamas, Jason Decaires Taylor has set ‘ocean atlas’ within the aquamarine depths of Nassau’s seas. thematically, the colossal sculpture draws reference from the ancient Greek statue of titan atlas as he holds up the heavens, but instead depicts a local youth sustaining the ocean ceiling…..marking the largest single sculpture ever to be inserted into an underwater landscape….commissioned by Bahamas reef environment educational foundation, ‘ocean atlas’ aims to create an underwater sculpture garden in honor of its founder, Sir Nicholas Nuttall. constructed using sustainable PH-neutral materials, it creates an artificial reef for marine life to inhabit while simultaneously drawing tourists away from over stressed natural areas

jason decaires taylor submerges ocean atlas sculpture in the bahamas

Naziha Mestaoui projects virtual forests growing onto Paris’ monuments

For the 21st climate conference in Paris that will take place in December 2015, Belgian artist Naziha Mestaoui will project ‘one beat one tree’ onto the city’s famed monuments. the installation bridges the virtual and reality, technology and nature, as well as what is visible and invisible. spectators to the artwork are granted the opportunity to create a digital tree that they will be able to see growing on buildings in rhythm with their heart, via a heartbeat sensor controlled through a smartphone. the computerized tree is then actually planted in Europe, Latin America, Africa or Asia rendering ‘each citizen a co-creator of our collective future beyond individualism,’ expressed the artist.

naziha mestaoui: one beat one tree

naziha mestaoui projects virtual forests growing onto paris' monuments

Sou Fujimoto adds greenery to layered cube installation in Paris

Marking his first work in Paris, Japanese architect Sou Fujimoto has realized a monumental installation as part of the small nomad house series, set with the tuileries gardens. presented for FIAC — an artistic program which sees the creation of both gallery-based and public creative projects — the floating volumes that comprise ‘many small cubes’ create ‘a new experience of space, a rhythm of flickering shadows and lights like the sun filtering through leafy trees’ fujimoto describes. aluminum cubes, attached to one another by only an edge or a corner, seemingly hover in mid-air as they rise above the landscape, forming a visually light and aerial architectural piece.

sou fujimoto adds greenery to layered cube installation in paris

Of Memorial and Musuem

Aaron Betsky Goes Back to Ground Zero

To my amazement, the 9/11 Memorial Museum is a place of memory and meaning as powerful as anything this country has produced since the Vietnam Memorial. It works because there is almost nothing there. Its emptiness is what impresses and weighs on you.

At Ground Zero, two reflecting pools memorialize the sites of the former Twin Towers.


New Wooden Cityscapes Sculpted with a Bandsaw by James McNabb

Furniture-maker-turned-sculptor James McNabb opened a new exhibition of work titled Metros at Robert Fontaine Gallery in Miami. McNabb continues his exploration of architectural shapes using an improvised form of woodworking frequently described as “sketching with a bandsaw.”

New Wooden Cityscapes Sculpted with a Bandsaw by James McNabb wood sculpture architecture

Sketching with a Band Saw: James McNabb’s Scrap Wood Cityscapes

For his MFA Thesis Exhibit last September, Pennsylvania artist James McNabb created a beautiful collection of architectural wonders using discarded wood: Long Nights, Big City.

Sketching with a Band Saw: James McNabbs Scrap Wood Cityscapes wood sculpture architecture

McNabb and Co. | STUDIO

The City Series is a collection of wood sculptures that represent a woodworker’s journey from the suburbs to the city. Each piece depicts the outsider’s perspective of the urban landscape. Made entirely of scrap wood, this work is an interpretation of making something out of nothing. Each piece is cut intuitively on a band saw. The result is a collection of architectural forms, each distinctly different from the next.

Exquisite Manipulation: Architecture of Illusion

Artist Creates Mind-Blowing Illusion of a Levitating Building in London

This surreal architectural sculpture, entitled Take My Lightning But Don’t Steal My Thunder, is a mind-blowing piece in which a section of a building appears to be levitating in mid-air. Created by British artist and designer Alex Chinneck, the large-scale optical illusion sits directly in Covent Garden in London and was modeled after the original architecture of the184-year old Market Building.

Is the Era of Big Museums Over?

Looking at data from a recent study on museums, architectural critic Aaron Betsky asks whether or not the era of big museums has ended.

Museums are expensive buildings, but not as expensive as I thought: On average, they’re about $450 per square foot. The United States is the second most expensive place in the world, after Norway, to build a museum. In the last decade, Renzo Piano, Hon. FAIA, has designed more built museums than any other major architect (and his are also the most expensive per square foot), with Tadao Ando, Hon. FAIA, running second. Most new museums are indeed new, rather than additions or renovations. The peak of new museum construction occurred right before the 2008 recession. Most museums are boxes……We are building museums at almost the same scale and with the same purpose as the cathedrals that sprang up in a fifty year period in Northern France and England, or the churches newly rich American cities built in the last quarter of the 19th century: we use them to assert and solidify our wealth and achievement, to mark our landscapes, and to anchor our communities.

The Milwaukee Art Museum, by Santiago Calatrava, FAIA.

International Spy Museum Pulls Out of Carnegie Library Redevelopment Project

The organizers decided not to pursue their proposed redevelopment of the 1903 structure in Washington, D.C.

The Carnegie Library in Washington, D.C.