Art Moves: Tate Modern Loses Todolí; Art+Auction Names NYT’s Genocchio As Editor

Two new notable personnel moves in the art world today:

Tate Modern: After seven years as the director of Britain’s national museum of international modern art, reknowned art historian Vicente Todoli has decided to step down and leave the 10-year-old Tate. No word on what Todoli’s next plans are. In a statement, he said he had planned to take a “pause” years ago. In a statement to London Se-1, Sir Nicholas Serota, director of Tate, praised Todoli’s “distinctive vision,” for shaping the young institution. He cited a series of exhibitions, including Kandinsky (2005), Albers and Moholy-Nagy: From the Bauhaus to the New World (2006), Dali and Film (2007), Duchamp, Man Ray, Picabia (2008), Rodchenko & Popova (2009) and the current Van Doesburg and the International Avant-Garde: Constructing a New World, as having shaped and defined the Tate.

Art+Auction: The Louise Blouin Media has made a high-profile hire to expand the coverage of its arts news magazine and website. Ben Genocchio, formerly of The New York Times, has just been appointed Vice President of Editorial and Editor in Chief of Art+ Auction. In a press release, the publisher noted that Genocchio most recently served as an art and culture critic for the NYT for eight years. The hiring is intended to bring a greater international editorial direction to the Louise Blouin Media print and online pubs. Before joining the NYT, Genocchio was the chief art critic and the national arts correspondent for The Australian. (Image of Genocchio, courtesy of the Sidney Morning Herald)

One-Two Punch for Art Market as Titans Compete for Luxury Dollars

In a competitive back and forth, The Wall Street Journal has announced the debut next month of a special New York Metro edition that could result in greater outreach to the luxury and arts markets. Meanwhile, The New York Times has responded with an announcement of their new “Numbers” ad campaign meant to demonstrate to advertisers it’s unique influence on the same demographic.

David Kaplan, of paidContent, reports “The campaign …will run for six weeks across print, out-of-home and online. The stats on the campaign’s microsite, NYT Audience, are culled from market researcher Scarborough and attempt to show that the NYT has nearly twice as many affluent readers, roughly three times as many New York-based online users and significantly higher female print readership.” The NYT also is working hard to point out that the paper and its website are particularly popular among women, business professionals and art enthusiasts in the New York market. In other words, the WSJ has a lot of catching up to do in those areas, if its New York-centric edition stands a chance.

Since the NYT and the WSJ will be competing for more advertising from museums, galleries, auction houses and other cultural institutions, it may be that they will be expected to widen cultural news coverage as well. This could provide the city’s arts industry with an additional, high profile avenues with which to reach more affluent audiences. It could also result in discounts in ad rates from both papers as they compete to for finite marketing dollars among local luxury ad repositories such as New York and The New Yorker magazines. More details in the press release

Neue Galerie’s Weimar Mix: Otto Dix, and Nostalgic Whiffs

“Yes,” Leah Ammon, Communications Manager at the Neue Galerie, tells me, “the [Otto Dix] show includes sound, music, and scent installation. One room includes a wet earth smell and the faint sound of a cricket chirping, and another includes a 1920’s vintage Guerlain perfume scent and a selection of cabaret songs from the Weimar period, “

Well: that’s all I needed to know. Oddly, I’d seen the show’s press release and checked the listing on the Neue Gallery site and neither of them mentioned the scents and sounds. Even most of the reviews neglected to mention this very innovative mixed media approach to presentation.

What was, mentioned, all over the internet and not just on the art sites, was the fact that Estée Lauder had created it’s blazing Berlin Red and Bauhaus style compact to launch in time for the Otto Dix show. The cosmetics will be sold exclusively by the Neue gift shop throughout the show’s duration.

Co-founded by Ronald S. Lauder, the Neue Gallery appears to be boldly leveraging more synergies than the old fashioned art world has been comfortable with. Let’s see where this goes.

More to come: I plan to meet this week with Ms. Ammon to discuss the Neue Gallery’s recent experiments in sensual surround presentation and it’s big step into cross-marketing.

The Louvre Leverages the Graphic Novel

Is it nigh impossible to get young folks into the fusty old Louvre? Not if you put a gothic, sci-fi, or manga spin on it.

ARTnews’ Sasha Watson reports that the Louvre has commissioned a series of graphic novels featuring the venerated institution itself. Published by Futuropolis, a French graphic novel house, the series is available in english translations.

In its latest installation, Eric Liberge‘s On the Odd Hours, the Louvre’s collection comes alive at night with the ringing of a gong by a secret society of night guards (something like a cross between the Ben Stiller movie, A Night at the Museum and Harry Potter?)

Fabrice Douar, the deputy director of the museum’s publishing division believes that in commissioning these works, he is meeting the Louvre’s directive to demonstrate a continuity between contemporary art to the Louvre’s long canonized collection.

Douar tells ARTnews, “The graphic novel is heir to the classical art of drawing. We wanted, in part, to shake up the dusty image of the museum by inviting people to see the back-and-forth between contemporary art and our collections.”

According to Watson, six more books are in the offing, including Hirohiko Araki‘s Rohan au Louvre (Rohan at the Louvre), a manga twist on the museum that is expected to be published sometime in 2012.

For more on this, see ARTnews, Sasha Watson’s The Louvre commisions stories

Photo from ARTnews: Exerpt From Eric Liberge’s On the Odd Hours


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