News

  • Mihnea Mircan and Kasia Redzisz. Right photo: Ant Clausen.

    Mihnea Mircan and Kasia Redzisz to Cocurate Art Encounters Biennial

    The Art Encounters Biennial, which casts itself as a cross between an experimental art festival and a contemporary art biennial, has announced that Mihnea Mircan and Kasia Redzisz will cocurate its fourth edition, to be held October 1–November 14 in Timisoara, Romania. Mircan, a curator, writer, and PhD candidate at Melbourne’s Monash University, was previously artistic director of Extra City Kunsthal in Antwerp, Belgium; Redzisz, formerly of Tate Modern, London, is senior curator at Tate Liverpool.

    Titled “Our Other Us,” this year’s biennial will present two curatorial projects exploring empathy

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  • Judy Chicago. Photo: Donald Woodman.

    Judy Chicago Artwork Planned for Desert X Canceled Over Environmental Concerns

    An ephemeral Judy Chicago artwork that promised visitors to this year’s iteration of open-air biennial Desert X, in Palm Springs, California, colorful plumes of nontoxic smoke, has been canceled after a local writer raised environmental concerns. The work by the pioneering feminist artist was to take place April 9 at the 1,200-acre Living Desert Zoo and Gardens in Palm Desert, which told biennial organizers that it was pulling the plug on it for fear of becoming embroiled in controversy, according to the New York Times.

    Ann Japenga, a Palm Springs–based arts and environmental writer, began a

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  • The Substation, on Singapore’s Armenian Street.

    Singapore’s Substation Announces Permanent Closure

    Singapore’s Substation, the city-state’s first independent multidisciplinary venue, announced today that it will close for good after vacating its Armenian Street space, a repurposed power substation for which it was named, at the end of July. The city-state’s National Arts Council (NAC) in 2017 determined that the 1925 building was in need of renovation, and plans were afoot for the organization to depart the premises for the two-year span necessary for the repairs to take place.

    The Substation opened under NAC’s rental subsidizing Art Housing Scheme, which in 2011 was changed to the Framework

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  • Museum of Modern Art, New York. Photo: Alan Huett/Flickr.

    MoMA to Temporarily Obscure Philip Johnson’s Name

    After a group of well-known artists, architects, and academics in January penned a letter to New York’s Museum of Modern Art asking it to remove the name of architect Philip Johnson from its galleries owing to his racist and white supremacist views, the institution has announced that it will cover his name while the show “Reconstructions: Architecture and Blackness” is up, Hyperallergic reports.

    The renowned architect, who worked at and with the museum in some capacity for six decades, “not only acquiesced in but added to the persistent practice of racism in the field of architecture,” the letter

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  • Jacob Lawrence.

    Second Long-Lost Jacob Lawrence Painting Located in NYC Home

    Just two weeks after a visitor to New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art discovered a painting from Jacob Lawrence’s thirty-panel 1954–56 series “Struggle: From the History of the American People” in a neighbor’s Upper West Side living room this past October, a woman living in the same neighborhood alerted officials at the institution that she, too, was in possession of a painting from the series. As reported this morning in the New York Times, in an article appropriately headlined “Lightning Strikes Twice,” the woman, a nurse, read about the first painting’s discovery on a neighborhood-bulletin

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  • London’s Victoria & Albert Museum.

    Major Layoffs Expected at Victoria & Albert Museum

    Deep cuts are expected to touch a number of departments at London’s Victoria & Albert Museum, considered to be the world’s top decorative arts museum, as the institution struggles to trim roughly $14 million from its budget by 2023. The V&A will additionally restructure and in some cases combine its departments in an attempt to create a leaner operation in the wake of the Covid-19 crisis, which proved catastrophic for institutions worldwide.

    The curatorial and research departments are said to be slated to bear the brunt of the blow. According to The Art Newspaper, 20 percent of the current 980

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  • Jeff Koons. Photo: Bengt Oberger/Wikipedia.

    Jeff Koons and Pompidou Lose Appeal in Magazine Copyright Case

    A French appeals court has upheld a 2018 Paris High Court ruling in favor of fashion photographer Franck Davidovici, who in 2014 accused Koons of plagiarizing a magazine ad he had designed. The 1985 ad, for French fashion brand Naf Naf, showed a girl lying prostrate on her back in the snow while a pig with a small barrel around its neck, St. Bernard style, nuzzled her hair. Koons’s 1988 sculpture Fait d’hiver depicted a similar scene, which differed in that the girl was more scantily clad, and that a pair of small penguins stood placidly next to the pig, appearing to observe the proceedings.

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  • Osman Kavala.

    Turkish Government Initiates New Attack on Arts Philanthropist Osman Kavala

    The government of president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has stepped up its campaign against cultural philanthropist Osman Kavala, on February 5 declining his request for release from prison—where has been held without conviction since October 18, 2017—and instead appending charges that he participated in a thwarted 2016 coup to those stemming from the 2013 Gezi Park protests, which he was accused of instigating. Kavala was acquitted on the early charges in February 2020, but last month an appeals court, citing new evidence, ruled that the case could be retried in a lower court.

    Additionally, on February

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  • View of Michael Heizer’s Double Negative, 1969.

    Nevada Solar Power Project Threatens Michael Heizer’s Iconic Double Negative

    A solar power plant currently in the works near Overton, Nevada, could occlude views surrounding Michael Heizer’s massive 1969 Land art work Double Negative, The Art Newspaper reports. Visitors to the work, which consists of two fifty-foot-deep trenches spanning a remote natural canyon, would be greeted by the sight of the Battle Born Solar Project, which is slated to occupy some 9,000 acres atop the nearby Mormon Mesa.

    “We have been told there would still be access to Double Negative, but the power of the place would be lost forever,” says Lisa Childs, founder of the grassroots initiative Save

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  • Christine Kuan. Photo: Sophie Elgort.

    Creative Capital Names Christine Kuan President and Executive Director

    National arts nonprofit Creative Capital has announced that Christine Kuan will be assuming the dual roles of president and director of the organization. Kuan, who is currently CEO and director of Sotheby’s Institute of Art, New York, will assume her new role March 22. She replaces interim director Leslie Singer, who will return to her original job as COO; Singer took up her temporary post when Susan Delvalle stepped down in September 2020 after four years.

    “I am honored to join Creative Capital in its mission to support individual artists creating groundbreaking work confronting the most important

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  • New York’s Whitney Museum of American Art recently cut fifteen staff positions owing to “extremely low attendance.” Photo: Wikipedia.

    US Arts Institutions Continue to Struggle as Pandemic Grinds On

    Six hundred advocates have banded together under the aegis of the American Alliance of Museums (AAM) to seek financial relief from the US government for the country’s ailing arts institutions, The Art Newspaper reports. Citing fears that many museums may be forced to close permanently in the wake of the Covid-19 crisis, the AAM announced that February 22–23 would stand as Museums Advocacy Day. The organization used the occasion to issue an appeal to the government to provide congressional funding for museum programs sponsored by the federal Institute of Museum and Library Services, among other

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  • The main entrance of the Victoria & Albert Museum, London. Photo: David Iliff.

    English Museums to Begin Opening May 17

    Museums in England can begin reopening May 17 following Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s lockdown guide, with galleries beginning to reopen more than a month earlier, on April 12, The Art Newspaper reports. According to Johnson, who delivered the news in a speech Monday at the House of Commons, all galleries and institutions should be open by June 21, barring a spike in Covid-19 infections.

    Johnson’s plan, or “road map,” allows for the country’s reopening in four phases, with the first beginning March 8 and encompassing a return to full, in-person teaching at primary and secondary schools as well

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