Tag Archive: Ai Weiwei

LACMA Acquires Marclay & Ai Weiwei Works


Following a period of planning and fundraising, and largely due to the efforts of its Collectors Committee event, LACMA has acquired Christian Marclay’s 24-hour video “The Clock,” a series of spliced images mimicking an actual clock’s hand movement in real time. The museum is planning an inaugural West Coast screening at its Bing Theater in May.

Additionally,  the museum has procured a 2006 spherical sculpture (pictured) by Chinese artist/political activist Ai Weiwei–a particularly relevant piece given Ai’s current detainment by Chinese authorities. The sculpture, whose mortise-and-tenon construction harks to the use of a type of rosewood known as huanghuali in traditional Chinese woodworking, was purchased from New York’s Friedman Benda Gallery.

Find more at the LA Times.

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Ai Weiwei Installation to Tour U.S.


In a rare turn of events, a new installation by contested Chinese artist Ai Weiwei will tour the U.S. starting in May. While Weiwei seldom exhibits his work in the U.S., his “Circle of Animals/Zodiac Heads” will make its first appearance in May.

The installation, which consists of 12 800-pound mounted bronze animal heads of the Chinese zodiac, is based on the fountain clock at the Yuanming Yuan, an 18th-century royal retreat outside Beijing. Its first scheduled destination will be near New York’s Plaza Hotel in Central Park (May 2 to July 15), possibly followed by a stop at LACMA, Houston’s Hermann Park, the Warhol Museum & Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh, and the Hirshhorn Museum & Sculpture Garden in Washington, D.C. Additionally, Weiwei has created an identical installation to be presented at the Somerset House in London from May 12 to June 26.

Visit the LA Times for more.

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Ai Weiwei Show @ Tate Modern Closed


It’s been open for less than a week, but “Sunflower Seeds,” the Tate Modern’s latest exhibition from Duchamp-influenced Chinese artist Ai Weiwei, has been closed to the public. Despite the artist’s tempestuous relationship with the government, the show was closed for exclusively health-related reasons; it has been reported that the exhibition’s 100 million ceramic “seeds” have emanated noxious ceramic dust.

A Tate Modern representative initially claimed that the show was closed to allow a crew to maintain the display after wear from visitors’ footsteps. The museum has not yet released an official statement addressing the health risks.

Prior to these concerns, “Sunflower Seeds” had already been plagued with problems. Visitors have been caught stealing the seed replicas, which were painstakingly produced by factory workers in China.

For more, visit ArtInfo, and click here for an interview with the artist on the exhibition.

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Shows: Ai Weiwei – “Sunflower Seeds” @ Tate Modern (10.12)


Starting today, Chinese artist Ai Weiwei, celebrated for his work on the Bird’s Nest Stadium for the 2008 Beijing Olympics and his commemoration of the 2008 Sichuan earthquake in Remembering 2009, will present his latest project in “Sunflower Seeds” at the Tate Modern’s Turbine Hall.

“Sunflower Seeds” consists of 100 million monochrome porcelain replicas of sunflower seed husks completely covering the exhibition room floor. Consistent with Ai’s nationalistic awareness and fascination, the ceramic units represent a popular Chinese snack: during the Chinese Cultural Revolution of 1966-67, the Chinese populace was depicted as sunflowers looking toward Chairman Mao Zedong, their metaphorical sun. In addition, in using porcelain, Ai honors the artisanry of old China. Each shell was hand-crafted and painted by factory workers in the Chinese city of Jingdezhen.

While considered stark and uniform, each of the 100 million pieces is visually unique, mirroring Ai’s fervor for individual freedom in his populous country.

“Sunflower Seeds” is part of the Tate Modern’s Unilever Series, an annual commission sponsored by Unilever Plc.

Find more at Tate Modern.

Ai Weiwei / “Sunflower Seeds”
Tate Modern, Turbine Hall
Bankside, London SE1 9TG

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Seen: The Rubell Family Collection at Art Basel Miami


Was fortunate to meet the legendary collector Mera Rubell in Miami at the Rubell Family Collection, courtesy of an invite from DD Contributor Annie Adjchavanich. The Rubell Family Collection is a permanent home for some of th hundreds of works owned by Mera and Don Rubell. The RFC is one of the leading collections of contemporary art in the world  started in 1964, soon after Don and Mera Rubell were married. The family’s extensive collection of works dates from the 1960s to the present.

The 30,000 square foot building houses museum quality works from a who’s who of international contemporary artists. For Basel 2009 the Rubell’s curated a show titled “Beg, Borrow and Steal” featuring seventy four artists including Jeff Koons, Ai WeiWei, Zhang Huan, Mauricio Catalan, Marcel Duchamp, Barbara Kruger, Cindy Sherman, Keith Haring, Takashi Murakami, Charles Ray and Richard Prince.

The kicker was a giant installation of fresh donuts hung in a grid outside…and available to eat…courtesy of the Rubells. Full image gallery after the jump…

More Images + Info »

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News: Ai Weiwei Posts Hospital Pics on Twitter


The Art Newspaper reports that Chinese artist Ai Weiwei posted a picture on Twitter of himself in the hospital after he was “punched in the head and detained in a hotel room” by Chinese police in mid-August. The police apparently wanted to stop him from testifying at an upcoming trial. We hope he gets better soon, because Ai’s exhibition “So Sorry” is supposed to open at the Haus der Kunst Museum in Munich on 12 October.