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  • The British Museum in London. Photo: Ham/Wikipedia Commons.

    British Museum Drops Longtime Sponsor BP

    Bowing to years of pressure and protests from climate change activists as well as academics and its own staffers, the British Museum has severed ties with BP. The oil and gas conglomerate had been a major sponsor of the London institution for twenty-seven years. The parting of ways comes just four months after the most recent five-year contract between BP and the museum expired and seven months after British Museum chair George Osborne publicly expressed the goal of bringing the institution to net zero. According to The Guardian, which broke the news, the museum in a statement acknowledged that

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  • Angela Cassie. Photo: National Gallery of Canada.

    Angela Cassie to Depart as Interim CEO of National Gallery of Canada

    Angela Cassie, who stepped in as interim director and CEO of the National Gallery of Canada in June 2022, after Sasha Suda departed to lead the Philadelphia Museum of Art, is leaving both roles. According to a statement issued by Douglas Chow, the Ottawa gallery’s director of communications, Cassie will return to her native Winnipeg to “start a new leadership position in Manitoba.” Chow praised Cassie, calling her a “steadfast and determined leader who has been completely committed to the important work we hired her to do in pursuit of major transformations at the National Gallery of Canada.”

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  • The Breuer Building at 945 Madison Avenue in New York. Photo: Christina Horsten/picture alliance via Getty Images.

    Whitney Sells Iconic Breuer Building to Sotheby’s for Roughly $100 Million

    The Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, is selling its former Upper East Side home, designed in 1966 by Marcel Breuer, to Sotheby’s for about $100 million. The auction house will take possession of the five-story Brutalist structure in September 2024, after the Frick Collection, its current tenant, vacates it. Sotheby’s will relocate its headquarters there the following year. Sotheby’s CEO Charles F. Stewart told the New York Times that the chance to buy the stark, nearly windowless building was “a once in a lifetime opportunity that we couldn’t pass up.”

    The fate of the Breuer Building

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  • Among Daniel Elie Bouaziz’s forgeries were a fake Roy Lichtenstein print (left) and a fake Basquiat painting (right). Photo: US Justice Department.

    Jail Time for Florida Dealer Convicted of Selling Forged Works

    A Florida court on May 30 sentenced Palm Beach art dealer Daniel Elie Bouaziz to twenty-seven months in federal prison for a money-laundering scheme involving the sale of inauthentic artworks by such luminaries as Jean-Michel Basquiat, Roy Lichtenstein, and Andy Warhol. Bouaziz was additionally ordered to pay a $15,000 fine; on his release from prison, he will remain on probation for three years. The Algerian-born Bouaziz, who holds dual citizenship in France and Israel, was in the US on a B-2 visitor’s visa, the New York Times reports; he will likely be deported upon his release.

    Bouaziz sold

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  • Nan Goldin, The Sackler Courtyard, The Victoria and Albert Museum, London, 2017.

    $6 Billion Buys Sackler Family Immunity from OxyContin-Related Civil Suits

    The United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit on May 30 ruled that members of the Sackler family connected with disgraced drug maker Purdue Pharma—and whose name long adorned major museums worldwide—may pay $6 billion in exchange for personal protection from current and future civil suits centered around the company’s aggressive marketing of the powerful opioid OxyContin. The ruling, which affords the family members the type of protection typically awarded to companies filing for bankruptcy, rather than to individuals, does not shield them from future criminal suits connected to the

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  • Drew Sawyer. Photo: John Edmonds.

    Whitney Names Photography Curator Drew Sawyer to High-Level Post

    The Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, has announced Drew Sawyer as Sondra Gilman Curator of Photography, Artnews reports. Sawyer arrives to the institution from the Brooklyn Museum, where he was Phillip and Edith Leonian Curator. He will take the reins from Elisabeth Sussman in July. Sussman, who has occupied the role for decades, will remain at the Whitney in an as yet-unnamed capacity. Sawyer will be charged with leading the photography acquisition committee; alongside drawings and prints curator Kim Conaty, he will manage the Sondra Gilman Study Center, which houses Whitney’s collection

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  • Ilya Kabakov in 2018. Photo: Garage Museum of Contemporary Art/Wikipedia Commons.

    Ilya Kabakov (1933–2023)

    Ilya Kabakov, a giant of Russian Conceptualism, died May 27 at his home on Long Island, New York. He was eighty-nine. News of his death was announced by his family. Widely considered to be one of the most important artists of the Soviet Union, Kabakov created installations that explored the mundanity of life in the Communist state. He made many of these in secret, even while he labored publicly as an illustrator of children’s books. Kabakov’s installations were harshly critical of the totalitarian regime that inspired them, pointing up what his wife and, from 1997, collaborator Emilia Kabakov

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  • Mirela Baciak. Photo: kunst-dokumentation.

    Mirela Baciak to Lead Salzburger Kunstverein

    The Salzburger Kunstverein has announced Warsaw-born curator Mirela Baciak as its next director. Baciak arrives to the Austrian institution from the steirischer herbst festival, where since 2019 she has served as curator for visual art and performance. She will step into her new role in July; her tenure is slated to last for five years, with the possibility to extend. Baciak succeeds Séamus Kealy, who was recently named executive director of Oakville Galleries, outside Toronto.

    “We are delighted to have appointed Mirela Baciak, a young and engaged curator whose curatorial and research practice

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  • Right of Return Fellow Victor “Marka27” Quiñonez. Photo: Maurice Sartirana.

    Agnes Gund’s Art for Justice Fund Awards Major Grant to Center for Art & Advocacy

    The Center for Art & Advocacy announced its launch today, catalyzed by a major grant from the Art for Justice Fund, the initiative founded by activist philanthropist Agnes Gund in 2017. The new entity, additionally funded by the Mellon Foundation, will be led by formerly incarcerated artist Jesse Krimes. The Center for Art & Advocacy is charged with supporting previously imprisoned artists, picking up where the Art for Justice Fund leaves off when the latter ceases operations as planned later this year. The new center will open an exhibition space in Brooklyn this fall.

    “The launch of the Center

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  • Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev. Photo: Giorgio Perottino.

    Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev to Depart Castello di Rivoli

    Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev, who has led Turin, Italy’s Castello di Rivoli since 2015, will retire at the end of 2023 following more than two decades of service to the institution, The Art Newspaper reports. The museum has launched a search for her replacement, who would ideally assume the role in January 2024.

    Among the exhibitions Christov-Bakargiev has recently curated for the museum are those on digital artist Beeple, painter Giorgio de Chirico, “endurance” artist Anne Imhof, animator William Kentridge, and filmmaker Hito Steyerl. With Marianna Vecellio, she cocurated the group show “Artists

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  • Ariel Plotek. Photo: Museum of Sex.

    Ariel Plotek Named Inaugural Chief Curator of Museum of Sex

    New York’s Museum of Sex has announced that Ariel Plotek will serve as its first chief curator. Plotek arrives to the institution from Santa Fe’s Georgia O’Keeffe Museum, where since 2018 he had been curator of fine art. In his new role, Plotek will lead curatorial and collection efforts at the Museum of Sex, planning and curating exhibitions at the New York location as well as those at the institution’s recently erected Miami branch, which is slated to open to the public this fall.

    “We are thrilled to have Dr. Ariel Plotek join the Museum of Sex as our chief curator, as his extensive experience

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  • Kenneth Anger in 2013. Photo: Pal Hansen/Contour by Getty Images.

    Kenneth Anger (1927–2023)

    Pathbreaking experimental filmmaker Kenneth Anger, whose brief, surrealist homoerotic films continue to exert a profound influence on contemporary culture, died May 11 at the age of ninety-six. His death, in an assisted living facility in Yucca Valley, California, was announced by the gallery Sprüth Magers, which represents him. In addition to his filmic oeuvre, Anger, who was also an actor, an artist, and an author, was widely known for the bestselling Hollywood Babylon, a breathtakingly sleazy compendium of secondhand gossip centering around the brightest movie stars of the early twentieth

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