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Frank Gehry Designs $350 M. Expansion for L.A. Music School, Met Gala Co-Chairs Named, and More: Morning Links for March 18, 2022

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The Headlines

THE WAR IN UKRAINE. The U.K. has barred arts exports to Russia in its sanctions package, the Financial Times reports, but one expert questioned the impact of the move, since many arts businesses have already halted shipments. Speaking of moving art, Bloomberg’s James Tarmy checked in with two brave Ukrainian art dealers, Oleksandr (Sasha) Shchelushchenko and Katia Vozianova, who have been working to get art out of Kyiv, and hopefully out of harm’s way. Collectors have helped, including a lawyer who has joined the civil defense force. And speaking of collectors, Vanity Fair’s Nate Freeman reports that American Peter Brant was at a refugee camp in Hungary last weekend delivering supplies, and looks into how different the upcoming Venice Biennale may be with the likely absence of Russian oligarchs’ patronage (and yachts).

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PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER. The indefatigable architect Frank Gehry, 93, released designs for a $350 million expansion of the Colburn music and dance school in Downtown L.A., near The Broad and MOCADezeen and the Art Newspaper have renderings of the project, which includes a 1,000-seat concert hall and a plaza for performances. Gehry’s own Walt Disney Concert Hall and The Grand, a mixed-used project, are also nearby, the Architect’s Newspaper notes. “It is everyone’s dream to design a cultural center,” Gehry said, according to the paper. “New York has one, so we should have one too.” In the Los Angeles Times, classical music critic Mark Shed champions the effort , writing, “Its potential is to become the linchpin for finally turning Grand Avenue into a thriving arts district of international importance.”

The Digest

Officials with Australia’s Northern Territory have inked a deal to buy land in Alice Springs for a AU$150 million (US$110.9 million) arts precinct that will include a National Aboriginal Art Gallery. [Australian Associated Press/The Canberra Times]

The New York nonprofit A Blade of Grass, which focuses on socially engaged art, has adopted a new operating model that will involve paid board members who will all be artists or art workers. As part of that shift, its founder, philanthropist Shelley Rubin, is departing the board. [Artnet News]

The Saint-Valery church in Varengeville-sur-Mer, France, which figures prominently in works by many Impressionists, may be at risk of destruction because rising sea levels are eroding the cliffs on which it sits. [The Art Newspaper]

The next Met Gala, on deck for May 2 in New York, will feature four multitasking actors as its co-chairs: Regina KingBlake LivelyRyan Reynolds, and Lin-Manuel Miranda. [Associated Press]

“Free Anna Delvey,” a pop-up group show in New York, takes as its subject that infamous art-world scammer, and includes drawings that she made while in prison. One of its organizers, artist Alfredo Martinez, himself served time for selling forged Basquiat work. [The Art Newspaper and Artnet News]

Writer Ella Riley-Adams paid a visit to Sky High Farm, the Upstate New York nonprofit founded by artist Dan Colen to address food security. Colen has launched a clothing brand to support the venture, Sky High Farm Workwear, which is being produced with DSMP. [Vogue]

The Kicker

THE POWER OF THE PEN. Artist Bridget Riley is a master of potent abstract paintings, but she is also a superb writer, as a just-published New York Times profile makes clear. The article quotes an essay Riley wrote in 1965 for ARTnews (the backstory is complicated, but the piece includes this delicious phrase: “an explosion of commercialism, bandwagoning and hysterical sensationalism”). It also quotes one she wrote about works by Constable and Delacroix that she has included in her current show at the Yale Center for British Art. A watercolor by the latter is, for Riley, “like a glass of fresh water after the heady wine of the Romantic Movement.” [The New York Times]

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