Monster Mash: breaking arts news and headlines
• A Beverly Hills couple are giving $45 million to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and will be honored with a new pavilion in their names. The new Lynda and Stewart Resnick Exhibition Pavilion will be designed by architect Renzo Piano and will be just north of the Broad Contemporary Art Museum on the LACMA campus. The new building is expected to open in mid-2010. (The Resnicks, pictured left, were photographed at their Beverly Hills home.)
• Minimalist composer Philip Glass has been commissioned to write an opera that imagines the final months in the life of Walt Disney. The opera, "The Perfect American," is based on a novel by Peter Stephan Jungk and is scheduled to open New York City Opera's 2012-13 season, in honor of the composer's 75th birthday.
• Glenn Lowry, the director of the Museum of Modern Art in New York, has topped a survey of the highest-paid chief executives of U.S. not-for-profit arts institutions. Lowry pulled in a $1.7-million compensation package for 2007, according to the Chronicle of Philanthropy, which conducted the survey. Following Lowry on the list was Peter Gelb, general manager of the Metropolitan Opera, who earned $1.1 million for the same period.
• The much anticipated 2009 Broadway revival of "West Side Story" has found a home. The production,
expected to be performed in English and Spanish, will take up residence in the Palace Theatre, the current home of "Legally Blonde: The Musical." Producers of "West Side Story" have set an official opening date of March 19.
• A U.K. dance company has reportedly dismissed one of its directors for producing works that weren't "black" enough. The Venezuelan choreographer Javier de Frutos was allegedly given the boot by the Leeds-based Phoenix Dance Theatre this month because under his leadership, the organization was no longer a sufficiently "black" company.
• The Chelsea Art Museum in New York has canceled a potentially controversial exhibition titled "The Aesthetics of Terror," but the reasons behind the cancellation, which coincided with the resignation of a curator, remain unclear.
• Works by Banksy and other street artists failed to sell at recent London auction. Dealers blamed concerns over the economy and confusion about the authentication of Banksy's pictures. They added that it may be an ominous sign for the mainstream art market.
• The Vancouver Art Gallery has received a $2 million endowment from philanthropist Michael Audain for the purpose of supporting emerging artists.
— David Ng
Photo: Stephen Osman / Los Angeles Times