Hammer Museum Preps Expansion Unveiling—and More Art News – ARTnews.com

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The Headlines

A DISPATCH FROM DOWN UNDER. On December 3, the Art Gallery of New South Wales will open to the public a vast new wing, dubbed Sydney Modern, which doubles its exhibition space. One notable feature of the opening at the SANAA–designed venue, which was built for some AU$344 million (US$231 million), is that just over half of the art it is displaying (53 percent) was made by women, the Sydney Morning Herald reports. The museum will host nine days of free programs, including performances and panel discussions, ArtAsiaPacific reports. And Designboom has a photo-rich feature on the building, which is the first public Australian art museum to be given a six-star Green Star design rating for its environmental sustainability.

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A film still shows a woman seated next to a table with a bouquet in a room with a beige fabric backdrop.

A HOMECOMING. In a profile that doubles as a survey of the current Berlin art landscape, WSJ Magazine chatted with Klaus Biesenbach, who started as director of the Neue Nationalgalerie earlier this year. Some intriguing tidbits: Biesenbach was offered the job 14 years ago but turned it down (“my biggest professional mistake”), and he’s “working very diligently” with architect Jacques Herzog on making tweaks to the design of the controversial, under-construction Museum of the 20th Century, which is under his purview. A few years ago, the former MoMA PS1 leader wrote about cutting his teeth in art world of the German capital in the 1990s in ARTnews. Now that he is back there, he told WSJ, “For me it’s like two movies: I see this world now and I also see how it was 33 years ago, and it’s an incredible change.”

The Digest

The Hammer Museum in Los Angeles said that it will unveil the final component of its ongoing expansion and renovation on March 26, which includes a new lobby. The project adds 40,000 square feet of space to the museum; about a quarter of that is for exhibitions. The museum also announced that it has raised $156 million for a $180-million capital campaign. [Los Angeles Times]

Staffers at the Royal Society of the Arts in London voted to unionize, with 86 percent in favor of joining the Independent Workers’ Union of Great Britain (IWGB). The RSA’s leadership had opposed the move, though the organization gave an award to the IWGB a few years back for its efforts to unionize gig-economy workers. [The Guardian]

Artist Graeme Drendel won Australia’s AU$150,000 ($100,500) Doug Moran National Portrait Prize—the art award with the biggest purse in the country—for a portrait he made of fellow artist Lewis Miller, who had entered with a painting of Drendel. “I expected his painting of me to win, it is a ripper,” Drendel said. [The Guardian]

Art critic Ben Davis visited the immersive digital experience “Gustav Klimt: Gold in Motion” at New York’s Hall des Lumières with Klimt expert Jane Kallir, who offered a mixed review of the proceedings. [Artnet News]

The 2023 edition of Architectural Digest’s AD100—a grouping of top design talents—includes art-world favorites SO-IL (who did the Amant art space in Brooklyn), WHY (the Cheech Marin Center), and Green River Project (whose founders previously worked for artists Nate Lowman and Robert Gober. [AD]

There’s never a dull moment down in Miami Beach. Singer Pink reportedly snapped up a $5,000 painting from a show of art by chimpanzees that was curated by (human) artist Karen Bystedt at the New World Symphony Center. Proceeds from the exhibition are benefiting the Save the Chimps sanctuary in Fort Pierce, Florida. [Page Six]

The Kicker

BAD PAINTING. In the new film Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery, actor Edward Norton plays an ultra-wealthy, ultra-ostentatious entrepreneur with a formidable art collection. The Wall Street Journal took a look at how the movie’s creators went about selecting his art holdings. Some spoilers: There’s a Mark Rothko (hung upside-down), a juicy late Cy Twombly, and—why not?— a boat dock said to be designed by Banksy . “For all of us, it had to be just the wrong side of gauche and bad taste,” set decorator Elli Griff told the paper. [WSJ]

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