News

  • Pablo Picasso and Carl Nesjar’s mural The Fisherman on the Y-block building in Oslo.

    Picasso Mural Removed from Oslo’s Y-Block Despite International Protest

    Despite objections around the world from preservationists, politicians, prominent curators, and tens of thousands of petition signers, the Norwegian government has detached the concrete mural by Pablo Picasso that has adorned a building in Oslo’s downtown Regjeringskvartalet quarter for fifty years. The structure, a Brutalist office complex known as the Y-block, which was damaged in a 2011 terrorist attack, is slated for demolition as part of redevelopment plans for the city’s small government district. The Y-block was realized in 1969 by modernist architect Erling Viksjø, who also designed the

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  • Rebeccah Blum. Photo: Francis Pike.

    Rebeccah Blum, Curator Who Expanded Berlin’s Art Community, Found Dead

    Rebeccah Blum, an independent curator based in Berlin who was known there as an ambitious and compassionate supporter of artists, has died at age fifty-three. Her death was confirmed by her daughter, Emma, on social media. Through initiatives like Blum Fine Art Management, a firm she started in 2012, and Satellite Berlin, a platform cofounded with art advisor Kit Schulte in 2014, Blum focused her career on international collaboration. From 2007 to 2012, she directed programming at Aurel Scheibler gallery’s downtown Berlin space, ScheiblerMitte, where she oversaw solo exhibitions by Michel Auder,

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  • A neon artwork by Martin Creed installed on the facade of the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit. Photo: Kevin Chang/Flickr.

    MOCAD Drops Director Elysia Borowy-Reeder Over Toxic Workplace Allegations

    The board of the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit has terminated director Elysia Borowy-Reeder over allegations of racism, sexism, and “exploitative labor practices” leveled by former employees. Borowy-Reeder, who had led the museum since 2013, was placed on administrative leave earlier this month after a group calling themselves MOCAD Resistance addressed an open letter to the board of directors signed by thirty-nine former staffers and thirty-six members of the institution’s youth council. “We experienced and witnessed various racist microaggressions, misgendering, violent verbal outbursts,

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  • Marcuse Pfeifer, 1998. Photo: Timothy Greenfield-Sanders.

    Marcuse Pfeifer (1936–2020)

    Marcuse “Cusie” Pfeifer, who championed contemporary photography at the eponymous New York gallery she founded in 1976—and in doing so, helped launch the careers of Peter Hujar and Sally Mann—has died at age eighty-four. She was one of the first gallerists in the city to exclusively show photographs at a time when many critics and collectors still denied the medium the status of art. She went on to become a founding member and president of the Association of International Photography Art Dealers (AIPAD), which hosts the Photography Show, the prestigious art fair. She died in Kingston, New York,

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  • Tate Modern in London.

    Museum Staffers Protest Proposed Job Cuts at Tate Modern Reopening

    Dozens of Tate employees gathered on July 27 to protest at London’s Tate Modern during its long-awaited reopening, steering visitors’ attention to cuts at the museum and across a wider cultural sector ravaged by the pandemic. In mid-June, four months since the Tate closed its four galleries due to Covid-19, the museum informed its commercial arm, Tate Enterprise, that it plans to eliminate some two hundred retail, catering, and publishing sector jobs throughout its London, Liverpool, and St. Ives locations. Between the Tate, the Southbank Center, and the National Theatre, approximately one

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  • In 2015, writer Sandra Cisneros made an installation at the National Museum of American History inspired by the tradition of Día de Muertos and devoted to her mother, Elvira Cordero Cisneros.

    US House Votes to Create National Museum of the American Latino

    The US House of Representatives voted yesterday to establish a national museum of the American Latino dedicated to the history and culture of America’s Latinx communities, which comprise nearly 60 million people. Introduced last year by New York representative José E. Serrano, the bill for the museum, which will sit on the National Mall, was unanimously approved on Monday and now goes to the Senate, where it has bipartisan support. The museum would be a subsidiary of the Smithsonian Institution and would model itself on the National Museum of African American History and Culture, which opened

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  • Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. Photo: Thomas Ledl.

    Montreal Museum of Fine Arts Fires Director Nathalie Bondil, Sparking Outcry, Gov’t Inquiry

    The board of the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts’ (MMFA) explosive decision to fire longtime director Nathalie Bondil is now being investigated by the government of Quebec, the museum’s largest funder. The process, which intends to clarify the opaque reasoning surrounding Bondil’s departure, is expected to take three to four weeks and will involve interviews with current and former employees as well as members of the board of trustees.

    Last year, a report made by an independent human-resources consulting firm hired by the union representing the museum’s employees found “significant and multilayered

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  • Ed Gilbert, 2006.

    Ed Gilbert (1953–2020)

    Gallerist Ed Gilbert, who championed California’s art scene during his forty years in San Francisco, has died of cancer at age sixty-seven. As owner-director of Anglim Gilbert Gallery (formerly Galerie Paule Anglim), Gilbert showed Bay Area Conceptualists like Lynn Hershman Leeson, Howard Fried, and David Ireland at a time when West Coast artists were considered unfashionable by the New York–dominated art world.

    An army brat, Gilbert was born in Austria and spent most of his childhood in Europe. After attending boarding school in Switzerland, he went on to Paris and then to Brighton, where he

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  • Hella Mewis in Issam Hassam’s Stamba in Baghdad (2014).

    German Curator Kidnapped in Baghdad Is Free [UPDATED]

    Curator and activist Hella Mewis, a German national, was kidnapped by a group of as-yet-unidentified armed men on Monday evening in Baghdad, Deutsche Welle reports. Berlin-born Mewis is the founder and director of the Beit Tarkib Art Center, an organization dedicated to supporting young Iraqi artists, and has supported recent anti-corruption protests across the country. She first visited Iraq with the Goethe-Institut in 2010 and relocated there permanently in 2012. 

    Mewis was leaving her office on bicycle when she was abducted by two cars, one of them allegedly a white pickup truck similar to

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  • Taylor Renee Aldridge. Photo: Paper Monday.

    Taylor Renee Aldridge Named Visual Arts Curator at California African American Museum

    Taylor Renee Aldridge and Susan D. Anderson have been hired by Los Angeles’s California African American Museum (CAAM) as visuals arts curator and history curator, respectively. Aldridge, a writer and independent curator formerly based in Detroit, has organized exhibitions at the Detroit Institute of Arts, Detroit Artists Market, Cranbrook Art Museum, and the Luminary. She is also the cofounder, along with Jessica Lynne, of the journal ARTS.BLACK and has written for various publications, including Artforum, Artnews, the Art Newspaper, and the Detroit Metro Times. She won the Andy Warhol Foundation

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  • Osman Kalava.

    Turkish Arts Philanthropist Osman Kavala Approaches Thousandth Day in Prison

    Turkish cultural workers are renewing their demands for the release of Osman Kavala, a businessman and major arts supporter who was imprisoned for alleged conspiracy in a violent plot to overthrow President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s regime. Kavala’s advocates include many of the country’s arts leaders, Amnesty International, and the European Court of Human Rights, which has officially called for his immediate release. They say the government is persecuting Kavala for lawful activities undertaken as a human rights defender. After serving two and a half years on allegations of helping to instigate

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  • The Tenement Museum, New York.

    New York’s Tenement Museum, Indefinitely Closed, Lays Off 76 Employees

    Reeling from the economic situation created by the coronavirus pandemic, the Lower East Side Tenement Museum in Manhattan announced on Wednesday that it has laid off all seventy-one part-time members of its education staff, approximately 92 percent of the department. Five hourly employees from the retail, marketing, and visitor services divisions were also let go. Last spring, workers in these front-facing departments had voted to unionize after years of failed attempts and were in the midst of negotiating their first contract. This March, after the museum began a drive to raise money for its

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