News

  • (Top row:) Taylor Renee Aldridge, Mariela Fullana Acosta, Sarah Hotchkiss, and Cara Ober. (Bottom row:) Kristina Kay Robinson, Andrew Russeth, Jennifer Shapland, and Catherine Wagley. Photos courtesy of the Dorothea & Leo Rabkin Foundation.

    Rabkin Foundation Awards $400,000 to Arts Journalists

    The Dorothea & Leo Rabkin Foundation in Portland, Maine, has awarded $400,000 to eight writers for the third cycle of its annual grant program, which honors contributions to arts journalism. The recipients, who have been published regularly in Artforum, Artnews, Art in America, New York Magazine, Aperture, The New Yorker, the Los Angeles Times, and ARTS.BLACK, among other media outlets, will each get $50,000.

    “We award these prizes each summer with great joy and anticipation,” Susan C. Larsen, executive director of the foundation said in a statement. “Today would have been Leo Rabkin’s one-hundredth

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  • Chéri Samba, Water Problem, 2004.

    MoMA Receives Forty-Five Contemporary African Artworks from Collector Jean Pigozzi

    The Museum of Modern Art has been gifted forty-five works of contemporary African art from collector Jean Pigozzi. The donation includes a selection of sculptures by Romuald Hazoumè and Bodys Isek Kingelez; paintings by Moké and Cheri Samba; photographs by artists such as Seydou Keïta and Jean Depara; and drawings by the mystic Gedewon. It also consists of a major work by Frédéric Bruly Bouabré, Alphabet bété, 1991, a pictographic alphabet of 449 syllables that the artist hoped would be a new tool for universal communication.

    “Several years ago, we began a conversation with Jean about the

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  • The Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa in Cape Town. Photo: Zeitz MOCAA.

    Storm Janse van Rensburg Appointed Senior Curator at Zeitz MOCAA

    The Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa (Zeitz MOCAA) in Cape Town has added Storm Janse van Rensburg to its curatorial team. As the new senior curator, Van Rensburg will work with executive director and chief curator Koyo Kouoh to develop the institution’s exhibition program. He comes to the museum from the Savannah College of Art and Design, where he has worked as head curator of exhibitions since January 2015, and will take up the post on September 2.

    “Storm brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to this role, both as a curator and an academic,” said Kouoh. “I am thrilled to welcome

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  • The Worcester Art Museum in Massachusetts.

    Worcester Art Museum Gifted $10 Million

    The Worcester Art Museum (WAM) in Massachusetts announced today that it has received a $10 million donation from the C. Jean and Myles McDonough Charitable Foundation—the largest gift in its 123-year history. The foundation also gave the institution a $4 million endowment gift in 2015. Museum director Matthias Waschek told the Boston Globe that Jean and Myles have generously supported the institution as well as other cultural organizations in the city since they moved to Worcester in 1960.

    “On behalf of the Worcester Art Museum, I would like to thank the McDonough family—and Jean in

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  • Side view of the Buzludzha Monument in Bulgaria. Photo: Dylan Thuras.

    Getty Awards 2019 Keeping It Modern Architectural Conservation Grants

    The Getty Foundation has revealed the recipients of its 2019 Keeping It Modern Grants, which support architectural conservation projects across the globe. More than $1.6 million will go to ten structures, ranging from the Soviet-era Buzludzha Monument in Bulgaria to the Uganda National Museum, in countries including Argentina, Lithuania, Mozambique, and Spain.

    A common theme among this year’s projects is adaptive reuse. In addition to needing financial assistance for preservation efforts, many of the buildings outgrew their original purpose, such as the Torino Esposizioni, a former exhibition

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  • Emma Lavigne. Photo Manuel Braun.

    Emma Lavigne to Lead Palais de Tokyo in Paris

    Emma Lavigne has been named the next president of the Palais de Tokyo in Paris. She will become the first woman to take the helm of the institution in its seventeen-year history. She comes to the arts center from the Centre Pompidou-Metz, where she has served as director since 2014. Lavigne succeeds Jean de Loisy who departed in December to head the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts, Paris’s academy of fine arts.

    Prior to joining Centre Pompidou’s satellite in Metz, Lavigne held positions at the International Council of Museums and the Paris Cité de la Musique. In 2008, she was appointed

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  • Sotheby’s, London.

    Sotheby’s Shareholders File Lawsuits to Halt Sale of Auction House

    Two Sotheby’s investors, Eli Goffman and Shiva Stein, have filed a lawsuit in federal court in Manhattan in an attempt to block the $3.7 billion sale of the auction house to BidFair USA, which is owned by the media mogul and collector Patrick Drahi, Bloomberg reports. The complaints cite “incomplete and misleading disclosures” as the reason behind the legal action and are seeking unspecified damages.

    Sotheby’s was not fazed by the suits. In a statement, the auction house said: “As the vast majority of all public company mergers over $100 million are the subject of shareholder litigation, the

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  • Marisa Merz, untitled, undated, unfired clay, paraffin, copper.

    Marisa Merz (1926–2019)

    Marisa Merz, whose intimate art defies category but consistently challenges ideas of femininity in its fragile evocations of the body, has died at age ninety-three. The sculptor was the only woman artist associated with what critic-curator Germano Celant dubbed Arte Povera, or “poor art”—a radical association of avant-gardists in postwar Italy who made meaning from mundane materials and questioned the role of art itself. “Merz condenses forms and meanings and at the same time makes them seem to float free and evaporate,” wrote Ida Panicelli in a review for Artforum’s summer 2007 issue.

    Born

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  • Forensic Architecture, Triple-Chaser (still), 2019.

    Forensic Architecture Becomes Eighth Exhibitor to Withdraw from Whitney Biennial

    Forensic Architecture is the latest participant to pull their work from the Whitney Biennial over Warren B. Kanders, the vice chair of the Whitney Museum’s board who is the CEO of Safariland—a global weapons manufacturer whose munitions have been used to suppress protest in at least thirteen countries. Forensic Architecture’s move follows the decision by four artists—Korakrit Arunanondchai, Meriem Bennani, Nicole Eisenman, and Nicholas Galanin—to withdraw on Friday morning and three artist’s decision to withdraw since then: Eddie Arroyo, Christine Sun Kim, and Agustina Woodgate.

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  • The British Museum in London.

    British Museum Staffers Express Solidarity with Trustee Who Resigned over BP Sponsorship

    Following novelist Ahdaf Soueif‘s decision to step down from the board of the British Museum in London over its controversial sponsorship agreement with British Petroleum and its silence on issues such as repatriation, museum workers have issued a public statement of support praising the author for speaking out. Soueif announced her exit days after the institution’s director, Hartwig Fischer, revealed that the museum will continue to partner with BP until 2023.

    “Ahdaf’s actions highlight, once again, the troubling nature of the relationship between BP and the arts,” the statement reads. “Through

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  • The Whitney Museum of American Art. Photo: Karin Jobst.

    Artists Withdraw from Whitney Biennial as Backlash Builds Against Warren Kanders [UPDATED]

    Four artists—Korakrit Arunanondchai, Meriem Bennani, Nicole Eisenman, and Nicholas Galanin—have withdrawn from the 2019 Whitney Biennial. The reason given is the museum’s failure to address the concerns of staff, artists, and activists over the role of the Whitney’s vice chair, Warren Kanders, as CEO of Safariland, a global defense manufacturer that sells tear gas. The participants in the exhibition, which runs until September 22, signed a letter addressed to the biennial’s curators, Rujeko Hockley and Jane Panetta, and shared for public release with Artforum, asking for their works

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  • Katharine Mulherin. Photo: Yuula Benivolski.

    Katharine Mulherin (1964–2019)

    Gallerist Katharine Mulherin, a champion of Canadian artists for more than two decades, has died. The fifty-four-year-old took her own life on Sunday, July 14. As one of the first to launch an arts space on Queen Street, a major thoroughfare in Toronto, Mulherin is credited with helping to define the city’s arts scene.

    For eighteen years, Mulherin ran her eponymous gallery out of multiple storefronts in Toronto, showcasing emerging Canadian artists including Dean Baldwin, Sojourner Truth Parsons, and Kris Knight alongside international artists. Mulherin was also the proprietor of the now-defunct

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