Sunday, March 9, 2008

Las Vegas... New ART MECCA?

ARTmostfierce loves when Art and Architecture are incorporated to work together in order to create beauty,good design, form and function for the world to see and experience. The MGM Mirage in Las Vegas has engaged in a $40 million public arts program recruiting extraordinary talent for for its Architectural Design and Public Art.
Is Las Vegas destined to become an ART mecca? Next Destination for ART Basel? Will the Gallerinas end it up moonlighting as Showgirls on the side? Who knows?

This is what the New York Times Article by Steve Freiss says:

In a boisterous town legendary for shining the spotlight on Elvis, Sinatra and Celine, it’s a safe bet that few could have envisioned these names as Strip attractions:

Maya Lin. Henry Moore. Frank Stella. Jenny Holzer. Nancy Rubins.

And more. In Las Vegas. Really.

As unlikely as it may have seemed
And more. In Las Vegas. Really.

As unlikely as it may have seemed even to them, those celebrated artists are the headliners of an ambitious $40 million public arts program initiated by MGM Mirage, the city’s biggest resort corporation, with the goal of promoting Las Vegas as a destination for the art world.

Works by those and other artists, variously commissioned and acquired, are destined to dot an $8 billion, 76-acre development called CityCenter that MGM Mirage is constructing on the Las Vegas Strip. The site is expected to open late next year with a 4,500-room hotel-casino, five nongaming boutique hotels and residential towers, and a 500,000-square-foot retail district.

MGM Mirage recruited an all-star architectural lineup to design the buildings, including Daniel Libeskind, Rafael Viñoly, Norman Foster and Fred W. Clarke of Pelli Clarke Pelli.

Jim Murren, president of MGM Mirage, said the company decided to assemble an art collection too, to signal that CityCenter was a departure from the themed megaresorts that surround it on all sides.

“We’re going to create an art program that will be important on a global scale, that will have some meaning to Nevada, that will have some meaning to the environmental sensitivities we’re trying to accomplish here,” Mr. Murren said. He said that each CityCenter structure was expected to be certified by the Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environment Design program.

“This will not be a collection of precious pieces from some bygone era but a collection that is approachable, of big scale,” Mr. Murren said of the art. “We need to make a big statement.”

Among the works commissioned for CityCenter are a 133-foot-wide cast-silver representation of the Colorado River that will hang over the central resort’s registration desk. It was designed by Ms. Lin, best known as the creator of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington.

Ms. Holzer has created a 245-foot-long L.E.D. installation with her trademark axioms that will snake through the porte-cochere of a condominium-hotel called the Harmon. Richard Long, a British artist, is furnishing a pair of 80- by 50-foot mud drawings that will loom in the lobbies of a pair of angular residential towers called Veer.

And Ms. Rubins has fashioned an outdoor 85- by 65-foot sculpture from a variety of seafaring vessels that might be viewed as a steroidal version of a boat assemblage she did that was suspended over the plaza at Lincoln Center in New York in the summer of 2006.

MGM Mirage has also purchased older contemporary pieces, like a marble version of Moore’s sculpture “Reclining Connected Forms” (1969-74), which Mr. Murren said cost at least $7 million.

Another big acquisition is “Typewriter Eraser Scale X,” one of three Pop sculptures of that title by Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen. MGM Mirage officials declined to name the price tag for that work or identify the seller of either piece. Both will be positioned in park areas on the CityCenter campus.

Read more about on link below!

Is rather distressing to see projects around the world and around this country take shape, get developed and built without the bull*#$t and bickering still going on over Ground Zero (former World Trade Center) .Thanks to the greed and mediocrity of developers like Larry Silverstein delays and fighting over money reigned over making a true statement of subliminal Architecture and Public Art.We can only hope that Santiago Calatrava's design for the train station will save the day.

Nothing with the magnitude and excitement has happened here since The Gates happened.
One event coming up this summer (keep an eye on ) is the New York City Waterfalls in Lower Manhattan by artist Olafur Eliasson . Inspired by the Niagra Falls in Upstate New York , the falls will be conceptually created at five different locations. Please click on link below so you can see how ingenious and exciting this project is going to be.

Please feel free to vent about this topics like I just did.


angelo said...

New York City Waterfalls in Lower Manhattan by artist Olafur Eliasson will be great to see and experience...hopefully a better place to take a shower than the gym, Ruben!

I hope it will inspire us to keep our environment and our waterways clean...

Anonymous said...

Gotta love it. Lots of great art in Vegas, eh? What about a Las Vegas artist for God's sake? Katherine Gianaclis was the foremost muralist in Las Vegas during the 1960s and into the early 1970s. She painted murals for the MGM and myriad other hotel/casinos. Before she put away her paints in 1973 (she picked them up again 25 years later) she was awarded the contract to paint all of the murals for the MGM Reno. After her death in 1999, the Las Vegas Art Museum discovered her work, gave her two shows, and called her an "artist of the highest order" and an artist "20 years ahead of her time" and these statements addressed her canvases BEFORE she became Vegas' premiere painter. When Gianaclis legacy was brought before the powers that be at the new MGM Citycenter project she couldn't even get her foot in the door. Nope. Yeah, right-Art Mecca.