• Kapwani Kiwanga. Photo: National Gallery of Canada/MIV.

    Kapwani Kiwanga Wins 2020 Prix Marcel Duchamp

    Canadian-born multidisciplinary artist Kapwani Kiwanga has won the prestigious Prix Marcel Duchamp for her sculptural series “Flowers for Africa,” which addresses African independence. The $41,000 prize, France’s top art honor, is awarded by the Association for the International Dissemination of French Art (ADIAF).

    Kiwanga, who lives in Paris, studied anthropology, and often brings her training in this field to bear on her work, which among other media encompasses photography, film, installation, and sculpture, often in the service of amplifying the legacies of colonialism. “Flowers for Africa,”

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  • April Freely.

    April Freely Appointed Executive Director of Fire Island Artist Residency

    April Freely has been named the new executive director of the Fire Island Artist Residency, the New York organization founded in 2011 as the first residency to provide resources exclusively to emerging lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer-identifying artists and poets. Previously the program coordinator at the Vermont Studio Center, the largest arts residency in the US, Freely will succeed cofounder Chris Bogia, who will transition to the board of directors.

    “In this time of transformation, I am excited to learn and grow with this organization, building upon the impressive legacy FIAR

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  • Enzo Mari. Photo: Ramak Fazel.

    Enzo Mari (1932–2020)

    Firebrand Italian designer Enzo Mari has died today at the age of eighty-eight, in Milan’s San Raffale hospital. A towering and radical figure in the design world, Mari was as well known for his volatile temper as for his sleek, functional objects, which included furniture, ceramics, kitchen utensils, and games for such storied manufacturers as Alessi, Danese, Magis, and Zanotta.

    Born the son of an artisan in Navara, Italy, Mari forwent high school and college entirely, working instead as a street peddler. In 1952, he enrolled at the Brera Academy of Fine Arts, where he studied painting and

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  • Marianne Wex, 1977.

    Marianne Wex (1937–2020)

    Marianne Wex, whose short career as an artist yielded enduring contributions to women’s and gender studies as well as the field of conceptual photography, has died at age eighty-three in her native Germany.  

    Born in Hamburg in 1937, Wex studied at the Academies of Art Hamburg and Mexico City, originally focusing on painting. She became most known for her installation and book Let’s Take Back Our Space, a vast but rigorously organized taxonomy that collated hundreds of rephotographed images from mass media alongside thousands of her own street photographs—all shot with a Mamiya camera and intended

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  • Claude Monet, Les Iles à Port-Villez, 1897.

    Brooklyn Museum Continues Deaccessioning Spree

    No doubt spurred on by the tremendous success of its first deaccession sale, which saw the institution reap $5.4 million ($6.6 million with fees), an amount considerably beyond its expectations, the Brooklyn Museum is planning another deaccessioning round. On the block this time will be works by Degas, Dubuffet, Matisse, Miró, and Monet.

    The initial auction, overseen by Christie’s, took place on October 15, with hot sales including a sixteenth-century painting by Lucas Cranach the Elder that fetched a whopping $4.2 million, twice what the museum had counted on getting for the work. The second

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  • Stéphane Aquin. Photo: Jeff Elkins.

    Montreal Museum of Fine Arts Names Successor of Ousted Director Nathalie Bondil

    The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts (MMFA) today announced Stéphane Aquin as its new director, Artnews reports. Aquin, who is currently chief curator of the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington, DC, replaces Nathalie Bondil, who was forced out last summer amid allegations that she had contributed to a “toxic” workplace culture. 

    Aquin, a Montreal native, spent nearly twenty years at MMFA, first from 1990 to 1992, and later from 1998 to 2015, before departing to helm the Hirshhorn, where he oversaw exhibitions including solo shows of Mark Bradford, Ilya and Emilia Kabakov, and Rafael

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  • San Francisco Institutes Universal Basic Income Pilot Program for Artists

    The San Francisco mayor London Breed last week announced the implementation of a pilot universal basic income program for artists, with $6 million earmarked for $1,000 monthly stipends for up to 130 artists and cultural workers, including teachers. Recipients can expect their first payment in early 2021, with disbursements to continue for at least six months.

    The program was one of forty-one proposals delivered by the city’s Economic Recovery Task Force, which was created in April. Convened by Breed and board of supervisors president Norman Yee, the committee is composed of leaders from San

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  • View of Aliza Shvarts’s “Purported” at Art in General, New York, 2020. Photo: Dario Lasagni.

    Art in General, Long a New York Stalwart, to Close after Forty Years

    The long-running nonprofit exhibition space Art in General will permanently shut down operations as of October 31 owing to the continuing Covid-19 pandemic. Founded in 1981 by artists Martin Weinstein and Teresa Liszka, the widely respected organization was devoted to exhibiting and supporting unconventional contemporary art by a diverse range of emerging and midcareer artists, and altogether put on more than 2,000 shows. The space was for decades a fixture of New York’s downtown scene at its location at the city’s General Hardware Building. In 2015, the facility decamped to Brooklyn’s Dumbo

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  • Carolyn Lazard, Extended Stay (detail), 2019, hospital monitor, articulating wall mount, cable television subscription, infinite duration, dimensions variable. [A smooth, white television montior attached to a robotic arm extends into an empty art gallery and plays a daytime talk show. The caption reads: “After 8 hours, ah” and “Oh look at that.”]

    Ford, Mellon Foundations Initiate Disability Futures Fellows, Awarding $50,000 to 20 Artists

    The Ford Foundation and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation this morning announced the twenty inaugural Disability Futures Fellows, each of whom will receive a $50,000 grant toward their work. The fellowship, the first of its kind, is an 18-month, discipline-spanning initiative meant to increase the visibility and amplify the voices of disabled creative practitioners, artists, educators, and activists in the US.

    The fellows, nominated and chosen by disabled practitioners and scattered across the country, are multimedia artist Navild (niv) Acosta, poet and essayist Eli Clare, writer and filmmaker

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  • Simone Leigh.

    Simone Leigh to Represent United States at 2022 Venice Biennale

    Boston’s Institute of Contemporary Art today announced in conjunction with the US State Department Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs that sculptor Simone Leigh will represent the US at the Fifty-Ninth Venice Biennale, which is to take place April 23–November 27, 2022. Leigh is the first African American woman to receive the honor in the biennale’s 125-year history. The Brooklyn-based artist, known for her work examining history, race, gender, and labor, will create a new series of sculptures for the US pavilion, which is co-commissioned by Boston ICA director Jill Medvedow and chief

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  • The New Orleans Museum of Art. Photo: Wikipedia.

    150 Artists, Arts Workers Sign Open Letter Calling to #DismantleNOMA

    More than 150 artists and art workers signed an open letter demanding the New Orleans Museum of Art (NOMA) dismiss its leaders and address and reform its institutional culture, Hyperallergic reports. The letter was released yesterday in honor of Indigenous Peoples Day, which the missive’s authors described as important “only so far as its meaning encourages colonial institutions like NOMA to reflect on the persistent and ongoing nature of their settler violence.”

    The #DismantleNOMA intiative took root this past June, when a group of former NOMA staff members alleged abuses at the museum including

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  • Julie Tolentino, Shatter + Center, 2014.

    Julie Tolentino Wins 2020 Queer|Art|Prize for Sustained Achievement

    Performance artist, dancer, activist, and radical caregiver Julie Tolentino—founder of the storied Clit Club, a queer, pro-sex nightclub that floated throughout various Manhattan locations from 1990 to 2002—has won Queer|Art’s annual $10,000 award for Sustained Achievement.

    “As we consider the present and future of performance during Covid, Julie Tolentino’s work signals hope and possibility for a future of live art anchored in care, community, resilience, and bold visionary thinking that inspires us to imagine new ways of being present in the world together,” read a statement by Queer|Art, the

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