News

  • Still from Francis Alÿs’s Children’s Games #19: Haram Soccer, Mosul, Iraq, August 2017.

    Francis Alÿs to Represent Belgium at 2022 Venice Biennale

    Francis Alÿs has been selected to represent Belgium at the fifty-ninth edition of the Venice Biennale, which has been pushed back to 2022. The pavilion will be curated by Hilde Teerlinck of the Han Nefkens Foundation in Barcelona. Alÿs and Teerlinck’s proposal for the country’s contribution to the biennial centers on new and existing work developed from his 2017 video Children’s Games #19: Haram Soccer, which features young boys playing a game that is banned in areas controlled by the Islamic State.

    The Antwerp-born, Mexico City–based artist’s works have previously been included in the biennial’s

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  • Leelee Chan. Courtesy of Art Basel.

    Leelee Chan Named Next BMW Art Journey Award Winner

    Art Basel and BMW announced today that Hong Kong–based artist Leelee Chan is the next BMW Art Journey winner. Known for her mixed-media works and sculptures made from dumpster detritus and household ephemera and inspired by her experiences with urbanization in Hong Kong, Leelee Chan was selected for her project “Tokens From Time.” She plans on visiting various destinations in Europe, Japan, and the Americas to learn ancient craftsmanship techniques using copper, silver, and marble, among other materials. She will also consult with scientists to understand how these natural materials may be

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  • Sally Banes, 1985.

    Sally Banes (1950–2020)

    Cultural historian Sally Banes, whose pioneering criticism opened new conversations about what she called postmodern dance, has died at age sixty-nine from ovarian cancer. Best known as the author of Terpsichore in Sneakers (1980), Banes often drew connections between mainstream and marginalized dance cultures, championing downtown Manhattan’s Judson Dance Theater and the Bronx’s Rock Steady Crew with equal enthusiasm. Other landmark texts include Democracy’s Body (1983), a foundational account of Judson Dance Theater that emerged from her dissertation, and “To the Beat Y’all: Breaking Is Hard

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  • Asian Art Museum, San Francisco. Photo: Wally Gobetz/Flickr.

    Asian Art Museum Contends with Racist Legacy of Patron Avery Brundage

    San Francisco’s Asian Art Museum has removed a bust of the institution’s founding patron Avery Brundage that sat prominently in the institution’s foyer for nearly five decades. The twentieth-century sports administrator served as the fifth president of the International Olympic Committee, established an institution to house his eight-thousand-work collection in 1966, and developed a reputation as a Nazi sympathizer and a white supremacist.

    Brundage, who died in 1975, opposed the boycott of the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin and advocated for the America First movement, which was against the United

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  • Neuer Aachener Kunstverein. Photo: Wikipedia.

    Neuer Aachener Kunstverein Damaged by Fire

    The Neuer Aachener Kunstverein (NAK) in Germany is recovering from a blaze that swept through the institution on Friday, June 12. When the fire brigade arrived at the scene at 5 AM, several garbage bins, located at the rear of the building, were burning, and the fire had already spread to NAK’s roof and interior. Police have launched an investigation into the cause of the fire, which is still unknown, and are looking into whether a burning object was thrown into one of the trash receptacles.

    To extinguish the blaze, fire workers had to saw part of the building’s roof open. According to Monopol,

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  • Ronald K. Brown. Photo: Stephen lllflo Edwards. Courtesy of Jacob’s Pillow.

    Ronald K. Brown Receives $25,000 Jacob’s Pillow Dance Award

    Jacob’s Pillow has selected choreographer and founder of the Evidence dance company Ronald K. Brown as the recipient of this year’s $25,000 dance award. Known for incorporating West African, Caribbean, and contemporary genres in his works, Brown has created more than one hundred performances for Evidence, as well as for the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Ensemble, PHILADANCO, Ballet Hispánico, and a number of other companies.

    “I’m honored beyond measure for this recognition from Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival,” Brown said in a statement. “I still remember all of

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  • The Getty Center, Los Angeles. Photo: Thad Zajdowicz/Flickr.

    Museums Remain Closed as LA Reopens

    Museums in Los Angeles remain closed despite the county’s announcement earlier this month that arts institutions would be allowed to reopen as of Friday, June 12. According to the Los Angeles Times, many museums don’t plan on reopening for several more weeks and even months, despite their prolonged closures due to the coronavirus pandemic, and are scrambling to adopt new safety measures, retrain their staffs, and organize programming.

    Elizabeth Merritt, vice president of strategic foresight and founding director of the Center for the Future of Museums at the American Alliance of Museums, told

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  • Richard Hoggart Building, Goldsmiths, University of London. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

    Black Goldsmiths Staffer “Withdraws Labor” over Institutional Racism

    Artist Evan Ifekoya—the only permanently employed black staffer in the art department of Goldsmiths at the University of London—resigned on Monday in protest of the “unreflective and combative racism” they experienced at the prestigious art school.

    “I refuse to carry the burden of being the only permanently employed Black member of academic staff within the Art Department at Goldsmiths,” Ifekoya wrote in a public letter, titled “Withdrawing my labor,” that has circulated widely on social media. “To be so within a team of 70+ people—a tiny fraction of whom are people of color—in 2020 is not

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  • Jaša Mrevlje Pollak. Photo: Jože Suhodolnik.

    Artists in Ljubljana Join Anti-Government Protests

    On Friday, Slovenian artist Jasa Mrevlje Pollak was among seven civilians who were briefly detained in Ljubljana for taking part in the ongoing anti-government protests against Prime Minister Janez Jansa’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic. The artist, who represented Slovenia at the Venice Biennale in 2015, was held in a police vehicle for half an hour after trying to scale a police barrier and was released without criminal charges on June 12, when some five thousand people gathered at Trg Republike Square to protest the center-right government’s weaponization of the pandemic to increase

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  • Art Fund director Jenny Waldman.

    UK’s Art Fund to Award $2.5 Million in Coronavirus Relief for Cultural Institutions

    The London-based charitable organization Art Fund has pledged $2.5 million in grants for museums and galleries in the United Kingdom impacted by the coronavirus pandemic, in an effort to cushion the financial losses and expected drop in visitors and revenue as cultural organizations prepare to reopen. Nearly $2 million have been allocated for the immediate needs of institutions. The funds will go toward collections and exhibitions, the development of digital skills and infrastructure, audience engagement initiatives and reopening costs, and staff support, which were identified as the four key

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  • The lobby of the Musée du Quai Branly, Paris. Photo: Ninara/Flickr.

    Restitution Activists Arrested after Seizing African Artifact at Paris Museum

    The Musée du Quai Branly in Paris—an ethnographic institution that houses seventy thousand artifacts from sub-Saharan Africa—was nearly robbed on Friday when a group of men attempted to take a nineteenth-century funerary object from an exhibition of works from the museum’s permanent collection. According to Le Monde, the culprits of the foiled heist claim they were not going to keep the artifact for personal gain, but were instead trying to return it to Africa.

    The five activists—members of Les Marrons Unis Dignes et Courageux, an organization that describes itself as pan-African and claims to

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  • A woman wearing a face mask on her phone outside the National Gallery in Trafalgar Square, London. Photo: PA Images/Alamy.

    Art World Coronavirus Tracker

    Since its emergence in Wuhan, China, last December, the novel coronavirus Covid-19 has upended numerous cities and countries across the globe. Among the various sectors that have been heavily affected is the art world—an industry fueled by perpetual itinerancy as well as social gatherings of mass scale and close proximity. As the public health crisis escalates, arts organizations have shut down events, have announced postponements, or are carefully trying to trudge forward. Here is a continually refreshed list of major events and institutions that have made such decisions due to the virus as

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