Centerpoints: Art funding and social change, 'ugly' LA, purloined Picasso
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Centerpoints: Art funding and social change, 'ugly' LA, purloined Picasso

• Troubling findings in the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy’s new report, “Fusing Arts, Culture and Social Change: High Impact Strategies for Philanthropy”, which was released Monday:

[The majority of arts funding supports large organizations with budgets greater than $5 million. Such organizations, which comprise less than 2 percent of the universe of arts and cultural nonprofits, receive more than half of the sector’s total revenue. These institutions focus primarily on Western European art forms, and their programs serve audiences that are predominantly white and upper income. Only 10 percent of grant dollars made with a primary or secondary purpose of supporting the arts explicitly benefit underserved communities, including lower-income populations, communities of color and other disadvantaged groups. And less than 4 percent focus on advancing social justice goals. These facts suggest that most arts philanthropy is not engaged in addressing inequities that trouble our communities, and is not meeting the needs of our most marginalized populations.

• Mark Stevens on Willem de Kooning, in Smithsonian: “Of the painters who emerged in New York during the late 1940s and early ’50s—Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko and Barnett Newman, among them—de Kooning, who died in 1997, remains the most difficult to capture: He is too vital, restless, jazzy, rude and unpredictable to fit into any one particular cup.”

• Having successfully made an 110-mile move, from Orono to Owatonna, Minn., Frank Gehry’s 1987 Winton Guest House is now part of the University of St. Thomas’ Gainey Conference Center. Said Gehry, who was in Minnesota this weekend, “As you can imagine, I was afraid to come today. I’ve never had a building of mine moved. I’ve had buildings torn down.”

• For works in his solo show at the Geffen Contemporary, An Epitaph for Civil Rights, artist-activist Theaster Gates reused salvaged objects, which he says contain “a mixture of pragmatism and poetry.” One piece, the Times reports, features “a nice neat row of industrial fire hose mounted on wood. There is just one rub: the fire hoses Mr. Gates has cut up were among those that the police turned on civil rights protesters in Birmingham, Ala., in 1963.” (Gates will perform at the Walker in March as part of Marc Bamuthi Joseph’s The Living Word Project; he also designed the sets.)

John Baldessari’s glowing endorsement of Los Angeles: “I live here because L.A. is ugly… If I lived in a great beautiful city, why would I do art? … I always have to be slightly angry to do art, and L.A provides that.”

• A man involved in stealing paintings by Picasso, Matisse, Braque, Modigliani and Leger from Paris’ d’Art Moderne last May now says he “panicked and destroyed the canvasses before throwing them into a rubbish bin.” The paintings were worth at least $136.5 million.

• Your moment of: Blade Runner, LEGO version.

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