News

  • Protesters outside of MoMA on Friday, October 18. Photo: Lauren Cavalli.

    MoMA Opening Party Disrupted by Activists

    As the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York welcomed guests to its opening preview party on Friday, October 18, days before it reopens to the public following a $450 million expansion, dozens of protesters convened in front of its new canopied entrance on West Fifty-Third Street to protest board members Larry Fink, the CEO and chair of the investment firm BlackRock, and Steven Tananbaum, founder, managing partner, and chief investment officer of GoldenTree Asset Management, for their connections to private prisons and the economic crisis in Puerto Rico, respectively.

    While Fink has previously

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  • Gael Neeson and Stefan Edlis. © MCA Chicago.

    Stefan Edlis (1925–2019)

    The Chicago-based collector, philanthropist, and plastics mogul Stefan Edlis has died. He was ninety-four years old. Edlis and his wife, Gael Neeson, were long-time patrons of postwar and contemporary art, including the work of Jeff Koons, Jasper Johns, Robert Rauschenberg, Gerhard Richter, and Andy Warhol, among others. Edlis had been a trustee of the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago (MCA) since 1981.

    Edlis was born in Vienna in 1925 and emigrated to the US in 1941 to escape the Nazi occupation. After working various factory and toolmaking jobs, he was drafted to the navy in 1943 and served

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  • Protesters in Hong Kong on June 16.

    Hong Kong Hotel Fair “Asia Contemporary Art Show” Suspends Spring 2020 Edition

    The Asia Contemporary Art Show in Hong Kong has announced it will suspend its spring 2020 edition, which was to take place from March 13 through March 16. The fifteenth edition of the hotel fair, which ran from October 4 through October 7, had suffered in low attendance rates and sales. Representatives cited the pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong, which have been ongoing since June, as a factor for the 40 percent drop in attendance.

    “Regrettably, there seems little end in sight for the protests in Hong Kong with the knock-on effect on the broader economy accelerating,” said fair director and

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  • Ellen Salpeter.

    Ellen Salpeter to Lead Westbeth Artists’ Housing in New York

    After resigning from her post as director of Miami’s Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA) last year, Ellen Salpeter has announced that she will take on a new position as president and CEO of the New York–based nonprofit Westbeth Artists’ Housing, beginning November 1.

    The nonprofit offers affordable housing and studios to artists, and has hosted Barbara Hammer, Merce Cunningham, and Diane Arbus, among others, in its nearly fifty-year history. Its three-building-complex space in the West Village is currently home to cultural organizations including the Martha Graham Center for Contemporary Dance,

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  • Joan Jonas, Moving Off the Land, 2016/2018 at the Fort Mason Center for Arts & Culture, San Francisco, 2019. Photo: FMCAC/Justin Oliphant. Courtesy of the Verbier Art Summit.

    Verbier Art Summit Reveals Speakers for Fourth Edition

    The Verbier Art Summit, an annual event that aims to generate dialogue between thought leaders and significant art-world figures with the goal of driving social change, has announced the list of speakers who will be attending its fourth edition, which will take place in the Swiss Alps, at an altitude of five thousand feet, from January 31 to February 1, 2020. The event, which will be led by Jessica Morgan, director of the Dia Art Foundation in New York, will be centered around the theme Resource Hungry: Our Cultured Landscape and Its Ecological Impact.

    “How does culture move forward at a time of

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  • Jack Shear with Monica Andrews, Skidmore College class of 2019, and Serena Hildebrandt, class of 2020, at an event at Ellsworth Kelly's studio in Spencertown, New York, on June 9. Photo: Dan Lubbers.

    Tang Museum in New York Gifted $1 Million

    The Frances Young Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery at Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, New York, has received two gifts totaling $1 million. The institution was awarded a $500,000 grant from the Ellsworth Kelly Foundation to bolster its endowment and a $500,000 challenge grant from photographer, curator, and collector Jack Shear in support of its publications program.

    “On behalf of Skidmore College, I’m delighted to accept these gifts from the Ellsworth Kelly Foundation and Jack Shear with the deepest gratitude,” said Michael Orr, Skidmore’s dean of faculty and vice president for academic

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  • Centre Pompidou, Paris. Photo: Oh Paris/Flickr.

    Centre Pompidou to Open “Art Factory” in Paris Suburb

    The Centre Pompidou in Paris is planning to build a massive new “art factory” in the city of Massy—about fourteen miles south of the cultural center—which will be dedicated to conservation and community partnerships. In addition to housing the majority of the Pompidou’s 120,000-work collection of modern and contemporary art as well as the reserves of Paris’s Picasso Museum, the new space will serve as a multipurpose exhibition venue, hosting performances, conferences, screenings, and workshops.

    Backed by France’s Ministry of Culture, the Île-de-France Region, the Essonne Department,

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  • Imma Prieto. Photo: Josep Losada. Courtesy of Es Baluard Museu d’Art Modern and Contemporani de Palma.

    Imma Prieto Appointed Director of Spain’s Es Baluard Museum

    Independent curator Imma Prieto has been selected as the next director of Es Baluard Museu d’Art Modern and Contemporani de Palma on the Spanish island of Mallorca, effective immediately. She succeeds Nekane Aramburu, who led the museum from 2013 to 2019, and will have a four-year contract with the option of extending her directorship for two more years.

    Prieto, a writer and professor of contemporary art and new media at the ERAM School of Girona University, has organized exhibitions and other curatorial projects at venues such as the TempArtSpace in New York City, the Palazzo Ca’Tron in Venice,

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  • Qasr al-Farid at the UNESCO World Heritage Site Hegra in Saudi Arabia. Courtesy of the Royal Commission for AlUla.

    Desert X Loses Donor over Controversial Partnership with Saudi Arabia

    Desert X, the site-specific contemporary art biennial that was launched in Coachella Valley in Southern California in 2017, is facing further backlash over its decision to collaborate with Saudi Arabia, where it plans to hold an exhibition in early 2020. The Los Angeles Times reports that the Los Angeles–based MaddocksBrown Foundation has pulled its funding from the biennial. The organization has given Desert X approximately $13,000 since its founding.

    When Desert X announced that it was partnering with Saudi Arabia’s Royal Commission for AlUla (RCU) on Desert X AlUla last week, three members of

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  • Anonymous, Variations on a Theme, circa 1940. Photo: Geoffry Johnson. Courtesy of BAMPFA.

    Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive Receives Historic Bequest of African American Art

    The late collector and art scholar Eli Leon bequeathed his collection of nearly three thousand works by African American quiltmakers to the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive (BAMPFA) at the University of California. The gift, which includes more than five hundred works by Rosie Lee Tompkins—an artist who helped raise the profile of quilting in the art world—marks one of the largest gifts of African American art ever donated to a museum.

    “By selecting BAMPFA as the permanent home for his remarkable collection, Eli Leon has given UC Berkeley a magnificent gift that will advance

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  • Site of upcoming Phyllida Barlow installation. Courtesy of Studio Voltaire.

    Studio Voltaire Closes for Expansion, Launches Off-Site Programming

    The South London nonprofit arts organization Studio Voltaire is organizing “Elsewhere,” a series of off-site exhibitions and commissions that will be staged while its permanent home in Clapham is closed to the public as it undergoes a $3.8 million renovation. Phyllida Barlow, Monster Chetwynd, Nnena Kalu, and Dawn Mellor will create works for the program, which will be installed in various venues across London.

    Studio Voltaire is planning to build a dedicated learning and events space, a public courtyard and café, a sculpture workshop, and live/work units for its international residency program.

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  • Courtesy of Queer|Art.

    Joan Jett Blakk Wins 2019 Queer|Art|Prize for Sustained Achievement

    Queer|Art, the New York City–based organization dedicated to the creative and professional development of LGBTQ+ artists, named Joan Jett Blakk, also known as Terence Alan Smith, the drag performer and political activist who ran for president of the United States in 1992 to draw attention to the AIDS epidemic, the winner of its $10,000 sustained achievement award.

    Anele, jumatatu m. poe & Jerome Donte Beacham, Ja’Tovia, and Sarah Hennies were also selected as finalists for the HBO-sponsored Queer|Art|Prize, which honors recent contributions to queer culture. The artists will be honored at an

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