Tuesday, December 02, 2008

"It's quite beautiful even though it isn't the same"

Back in 2006, in a post about two works by American artists that were destroyed when they fell off the wall at the Pompidou Center, I noted that "in a nice additional touch, the museum has extended an invitation to the artists to remake the works at the museum’s expense." The LA Times's Suzanne Muchnic now reports that one of the remade works -- Craig Kauffman's "Untitled Wall Relief" -- is complete:

"A year and a half after the artist accepted the challenge [to replicate the original], the work is done. It will go on view Dec. 4 at LACMA. And if curators, conservators and trustees give their approval at committee meetings on Dec. 19 and Jan. 21, the museum will purchase the new sculpture for $60,000. That's about half what a comparable work might bring on the market, but Kauffman said he made the replica with the understanding that it would go to LACMA."

When he started on the project, Kauffman submitted a budget of $41,485 to the Pompidou, "including about $11,000 for airfare and living expenses in L.A." The new work is (cleverly) titled "Untitled Wall Relief (cast by the artist from the irreparably damaged 'Untitled Wall Relief,' 1967), 2008."

The artist who created (and still owned) the other damaged work, Peter Alexander, got an insurance payment of $28,000 "and agreed to have two new versions of his piece made, one for himself and one for the Pompidou, at the French museum's expense. The project is underway at a workshop in New York, he said."