August 1, 2014

International Biennial Association Announces Appointments

The International Biennial Association, a non-profit organization, has announced that Yongwoo Lee, president of Gwangju Biennale Foundation, has been elected as its president. Marieke van Hal, founding director of the Biennial Foundation, and Bige Örer, director of the Istanbul Biennial, have been each elected as vice-presidents. All executive members will serve for a term of three years.

July 31, 2014

Harun Farocki (1944–2014)

German filmmaker and artist Harun Farocki has passed away at the age of seventy. Galerie Ropac, who has represented Farocki since 2007, confirmed the news.

Farocki studied at the German Academy of Film and Television from 1966 to 1968 and acted as editor of Munich-based film journal Filmkritik from 1974 to 1984. He then moved to California to teach at the University of California, Berkeley in the 1990s. Much of his output—he made some ninety films over his life—deals with the structure of the military and media. His 2010 Serious Games 1, Watson Is Down, for example, looked specifically at training programs via computer animation, gesturing at the ways such games could act as a leading kind of image. “One can open fire on those taking part in the exercise, and they can fire back,” said Farocki. “The firing range of weapons is equivalent to the corresponding distance in reality. Such features apparently compensate for the lack of photorealistic representation. A computer animation is not just a likeness but also a data-gadget that makes the fastest possible calculations—and visualizes them immediately.” Over his lifetime Farocki showed at institutions including the Museum of Modern Art, Hamburger Bahnhof, the Tel Aviv Museum of Art, Museum Ludwig, and the Tate Modern.

July 31, 2014

Brooklyn Museum Offers Free Admission to Visitors Under 20

Entry for visitors under nineteen will be free beginning September 3 at the Brooklyn Museum. Adult fare has also changed, with suggested ticket fare increasing from twelve to sixteen dollars. Said director Arnold L. Lehman: “This younger audience segment represents the future of all museums, and we must do everything possible to make it easier for them to visit. At the same time, economic realities make necessary this modest increase in our suggested admission fees for other audience segments.” Monica Almeida of the New York Times reports that the museum last increased its suggested admission in 2011, the same year that the Museum of Modern Art raised its admission fee from $20 to $25 and the Metropolitan Museum of Art increased its suggested ticket price from $20 to $25.

July 30, 2014

Devin Wayne Leonardi (1981–2014)

Artist Devin Wayne Leonardi has taken his own life at the age of thirty-three, according to Altman Siegel, his San Francisco gallery. Leonardi represented issues of American history and politics in his work, reprocessing images of industrialization as a way to point to the “modern” as a persistent force in history. The artist studied visual arts at the Chicago Academy for the Arts and then at Cooper Union. His work is included in the collection at the Whitney Museum of American Art, and he has been shown internationally and at his New York gallery, 1602 Broadway. Said Altman Siegel: “Leonardi's artwork looked back to terrains of nineteenth-century Americana, to landscape painting, to pictorial narratives of the conquest of the West with its collaterals, victims, and its repressed memory, earning him a devoted following of collectors and admirers throughout the United States and the European art world.”

July 30, 2014

Sam Hunter (1923–2014)

Founding director of the Rose Art Museum Sam Hunter has passed away at the age of ninety-one. Hunter came to Brandeis in 1960 as director of the Poses Institute of Fine Arts, and shortly thereafter became the first director of the Rose. He used an initial gift of $50,000 from collector Leon Mnuchin to establish the institution and to begin acquiring works. Although Hunter and Mnuchin set a limit of $5,000 per painting, they managed to gather early works by Claes Oldenburg, Jim Dine, Tom Wesselmann, James Rosenquist, Adolph Gottlieb, Robert Indiana, Ellsworth Kelly, Marisol, Morris Louis as well as major pieces by Jasper Johns, Robert Rauschenberg, Roy Lichtenstein, and Andy Warhol. “The guiding principle of the selection was individual quality rather than tendency,” wrote Hunter for the brochure accompanying the collection’s exhibition. “As a matter of policy, the collection focused on younger artists with only a token representation of the older generation . . . Abstract Expressionism is the collection’s point of departure, taken at a point of subtle but significant transition.”

July 30, 2014

Emily Kernan Rafferty Retires as President of the Metropolitan Museum of Art

Emily Kernan Rafferty has announced that she will retire as president of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, effective spring 2015. Rafferty began at the institution in 1976 as an administrator in the development department. She then served as vice president for development and membership—the first woman to be appointed a vice president in the museum’s history—and later as senior vice president for external affairs. Said Rafferty: "It has been a singular privilege to work for the Metropolitan Museum. 2015 will mark my thirty-ninth year at the Met and the eleventh year of my tenure as president. My respect and affection for the institution and for my colleagues is profound, and the Met will always be close to my heart.”

Said director Thomas P. Campbell: “The Met is known for the extraordinary dedication of its staff, but few people have had a greater impact on this Museum than she has. Over nearly forty years, Emily has grown with the Met, rising to its challenges through the decades. Indeed, I am deeply indebted to her for the role she played in my own transition to director. We have worked together as partners over the past five years, and I remain grateful for the intelligence, generosity, and charisma she brings to every endeavor.”

July 29, 2014

Rose Art Museum Appoints New Board Members

Fifteen new board members have been added to the board of the Rose Art Museum at Brandeis University. Eight former board members have also been reappointed, all which follow the recruitment of Christopher Bedford as director in 2012 and naming of Lizbeth Krupp as chair of board of advisors last fall. Said Bedford: “This is an exciting time for the Rose. We have ambitious goals for the museum, and I am grateful for the opportunity to work with the board to help us achieve our collective vision for expanding access to modern and contemporary art.”

New board members include Gannit Ankori, Leslie Aronzon, Mark Bradford, Ronni J. Casty, Rena M. Conti, Tory Fair, John S. Foster, Steven A.N. Goldstein, Susan B. Kaplan, Lizbeth Krupp, Frederick Lawrence, Beth Marcus, Dianne Markman, Tim Phillips, and Lisa Yuskavage. Reappointed board members are Gerald Fineberg, Lois Foster, Matthew Kozol, Jonathan Novak, Betsy Pfau, Meryl Rose, Ann Tanenbaum, and George Wachter.

July 28, 2014

International News Digest


A Chinese gallery that was to feature an exhibition of works by Sun Mu, an artist who defected from North Korea in 1998, has now cancelled that show—presumably at the command of the Chinese government. South Korea’s Yonhap News Agency reported that Chinese police blocked entrances to the Yuan Dian gallery, and removed Sun’s paintings, as well as the ad banners around the museum. Speaking to AFP, a staff member for the gallery declined to elaborate, only saying that the show had been “cancelled for internal reasons.” Sun, who creates works parodying North Korean propaganda, operates under a pseudonym, and doesn’t allow himself to be photographed, out of fear that his relatives in North Korea could be targeted.

Meanwhile, a museum in Donetsk has been raided by Ukranian insurgents, who made off with a World War II–era tank and howitzers, according to AFP. “They had written authorization to take them away,” said a confused guard stationed outside the World War II museum. Said one museumgoer present at the time, “Can you believe it? They're even stealing museum exhibits now.”

The French Ministry of Culture is considering keeping the Louvre, the Musée d'Orsay, and Versailles open seven days a week, in order to turn the flow of tourists into newfound funds for these institutions, which have been weakened after a decrease in subsidies. According to Le Figaro, Officials have drawn inspiration for the plan from cities like London, where all major museums remain open every day of the week, and New York, where the Museum of Modern Art doubled the number of its visitors following its 2011 decision to be open every day.

Versailles was the focus—or target—of another Le Figaro article earlier this month: Critic Christian Combaz, spurred by its current exhibition of work by Lee Ufan, asked if the palace was a “hostage of contemporary art.” Wrote Combaz, “We are told that it is precisely the incongruity of the monolithic contemporary art which is supposedly of interest in a place of refined history. This is a way of subverting the visitors’ values and incidentally offending the places of memory in order to avoid the retreat into a ‘historicizing’ culture. But the good apostles didn’t tell us that this comes at a cost of intellectual, sociological, and economic fraud.” Pointing out that this kind of work is often lucrative because it is “trendy,” and sold in galleries and private showrooms, Combaz notes that, unfortunately, France can no longer afford to reject shows promoting “this art.”

Amid glowing reviews of the current Malevich exhibition at Tate Modern, the Art Newspaper’s Sophia Kishkovsky tracked the debate over whether many works attributed to Malevich are actually fakes. Marina Molchanova, the owner of Moscow’s Elysium art gallery and a vice-president of the Moscow-based International Confederation of Antiquarians and Art Dealers of the CIS and Russia, is calling for “an international expert council to be created, to work on artists who worked in Russia and abroad,” and James Butterwick, a London-based dealer, believes that the works included in a recent Malevich catalogue include at least two works that are definitely fakes. “Poor Kazimir Severinovich [Malevich],” said Natalya Alexandrova, a senior curator of Modern paintings at the Tretyakov Art Gallery in Moscow. “He could not possibly have painted so much in his lifetime.” Others, however, point out that those who have stakes in established Malevich works have reason to prevent the market from being flooded by previously undiscovered art.

July 28, 2014

Met Museum Sees Over 6 Million Visitors for Third Year in a Row

The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, has announced that 6.2 million people visited the museum during its 2014 fiscal year that ended on June 30, reports New York Daily News. For the third year in a row, attendance at the museum has exceeded six million, which is the highest level of attendance since the Met began tracking these statistics more than forty years ago.