News

  • Santu Mofokeng at the Fifty-Fifth Venice Biennale in 2013. Photo: Barbara Zanon/Getty Images.

    Santu Mofokeng (1956–2020)

    South African photojournalist, photographer, photo essayist, and writer Santu Mofokeng—whose lyrical black-and-white pictures of sharecroppers, tenant farmers, and township laborers in the 1980s built a kind of unofficial archive of colonial South Africa, and whose postapartheid images captured the traumatic terrain of a society in shift while examining the entanglement of his chosen medium with the colonial project—has died at the age of sixty-three. In the last decade, he was diagnosed with progressive supranuclear palsy that left him in a wheelchair and unable to speak.

    Born in Soweto, a

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  • External image of new V&A East Museum. Courtesy of the Victoria and Albert Museum.

    Smithsonian Backpedals on Plans for Permanent Space in East London

    The Smithsonian in Washington, DC, announced on Monday that it has scaled back plans to open a permanent space in the Victoria and Albert Museum’s (V&A) new Diller Scofidio + Renfro–designed building in East London. Called V&A East, the museum is part of the East Bank, a new culture and education quarter in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, which will also house BBC Music and University of Art London’s College of Fashion, among other organizations. Instead of launching a UK outpost, the Smithsonian will cocurate an exhibition with the V&A, which will inaugurate V&A East once it opens in 2023, and

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  • The Fifty-Eighth edition of the Venice Art Biennale. Photo: Lauren Cavalli.

    Roberto Cicutto Succeeds Paolo Baratta as Venice Biennale President

    Italian film producer Roberto Cicutto has been named the new president of the Biennale di Venezia, reports Monopol. Italy’s Minister of Culture Dario Franceschini announced that the seventy-one-year-old Venice native would assume leadership of the parent organization of Venice’s art and architecture biennials during a press conference in Rome on Monday. The Biennale di Venezia also oversees festivals dedicated to dance, film, music, and theater.

    Born in Venice in 1948, Cicutto moved to Rome in the late 1960s to pursue a career in film. He is head of the state-owned Istituto Luce-Cinecittà, which

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  • The Graduate Center at the City University of New York. Photo: Wikipedia.

    Helen Frankenthaler Foundation Awards $2.5 Million to Five Universities

    The Helen Frankenthaler Foundation has pledged $2.5 million to doctoral art history programs at five universities in the United States: the City University of New York; Harvard University, New York University, Stanford University, and the University of Chicago. Each of the universities will receive $500,000 in support of establishing an endowment for annual fellowships.

    The announcement marks an expansion of the foundation’s Frankenthaler Scholarships program, a multiyear initiative that has already dedicated more than $4 million to advance the academic careers of art and art history students.

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  • Hong Kong Museum of Art.

    Hong Kong Closes Museums and Limits Travel in Wake of Coronavirus Outbreak

    Authorities in Hong Kong have indefinitely closed its public museums in an effort to contain the coronavirus, which broke out in Wuhan, a mainland city west of Shanghai, in December, reports the Art Newspaper. As the death toll from the disease exceeds one hundred and the number of infections skyrockets, Hong Kong’s chief executive Carrie Lam also announced restrictions on travel.

    According to the New York Times, beginning Thursday, Hong Kong’s high-speed train and ferry service will be limited between the mainland and the city, and individual travelers from the mainland will not be granted travel

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  • Judy Chicago, Rearrangeable Rainbow Blocks, 1965. Courtesy of the Nasher Sculpture Center.

    Judy Chicago, Beverly Semmes Among Artists Added to Nasher Sculpture Center’s Collection

    The Nasher Sculpture Center in Dallas has acquired three new works by Magdalena Abakanowicz, Judcy Chicago, and Beverly Semmes that were purchased through its Kaleta A. Doolin Acquisitions Fund for Women Artists. According to Doolin, the fund was launched in 2015 to “advance gender equality in the arts by including more women artists and their work in the Nasher’s collection, adding new ‘voices’ and filling in gaps in art history.” 

    Abakanowicz’s Untitled, 1980–83—one of the largest sisal weavings that the artist ever made—is the second work by Abakanowicz to enter the center’s collection;

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  • Latifa Echakhch. Photo: Pro Helvetia/KEYSTONE/Christian Bailly.

    Latifa Echakhch to Represent Switzerland at 2021 Venice Biennale

    Switzerland has announced that Latifa Echakhch will represent the country at the Fifty-Ninth Venice Biennale. Curator Francesco Stocchi and percussionist Alexandre Babel will collaborate with the artist to help her realize her vision for the pavilion, which involves creating a rhythm-based experience with visual, acoustic, and spatial effects. Her project was selected from a shortlist of six artists by a jury comprising artist Laurence Bonvin, critic and curator Riccardo Lisi, art historian Federica Martini, Contemporary & editor Yvette Mutumba, and Stedelijk Museum director Rein Wolfs.

    Born in

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  • Jason Daniel Polan’s drawing of people passing through Grand Central Station on May 21, 2009 for his “Every Person in New York” project. Photo: Jason Daniel Polan.

    Jason Daniel Polan (1982–2020)

    Jason Daniel Polan, a prolific illustrator whose projects ranged from trying to draw every piece of art on display in New York’s Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), twice, to his series “Things I Saw” which was featured on the New York Times’s Opinionator blog, died of cancer on Monday, January 27. The artist was thirty-seven years old.

    Polan was known for his quick, on-the-fly drawing style and his Taco Bell Drawing Club, which he began hosting at the fast-food giant’s Union Square location in 2005. The group held weekly meetings and earned a reputation for welcoming anyone including professional

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  • Top row: Ariana Faye Allensworth, Sydney Baloue, Sariyah Benoit, Sackona Fitts, Xenia Diente.​ Middle row: Laura Bustillos Jáquez, Terry Marshall, Jaclyn Reyes, Simone?! Satchell, Aisha Shillingford. Bottom row: Rochelle Jamila Wilbun, Selamawit Worku, Kayva Yang, Gisela Zuniga. Courtesy of the artists.

    The Laundromat Project Selects Artists for Its Create Change Program

    The Laundromat Project, the New York–based nonprofit founded by Risë Wilson in 1999 to encourage artmaking and community building among artists and their neighbors, has announced the recipients of its flagship development program Create Change. In 2020, ten fellows and four artists-in-residence will work to enact social change through creative projects, which will each receive up to $20,000 in support.

    Artists-in-residence Ariana Faye Allensworth, Sydney Baloue, ​​and Jaclyn Reyes ​and​ Xenia Diente ​will each collaborate with different communities and local partners to develop creative solutions

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  • Zenib Sedira at the Third Line Gallery in Dubai. Courtesy of the Third Line.

    Zineb Sedira to Represent France at 2021 Venice Biennale

    Zineb Sedira, a Paris-born Algerian artist, will represent France at the Fifty-Ninth Venice Biennale, which will take place from May to November 2021. She is the first individual of Algerian descent to be chosen for the commission. Best known for her photographs and video installations, which examine the experiences of Arab women, gender roles, displacement, and memory, Sedira has recently had exhibitions at the Institut Valencià d’Art Modern, Spain (2019–20); Jeu de Paume, Paris (2019–20); and the Beirut Art Center, Lebanon (2018). She also has upcoming solo shows at the Calouste Gulbenkian

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  • René Morales. Courtesy of Pérez Art Museum Miami.

    Pérez Art Museum Miami Names René Morales Director of Curatorial Affairs and Chief Curator

    The Pérez Art Museum Miami (PAMM) has promoted René Morales, who has served as a curator at the institution since April 2005, to director of curatorial affairs and chief curator. During his tenure at the museum, Morales has organized over fifty exhibitions—including “Christo and Jeanne-Claude: Surrounded Islands, 1980–83” (2018), “Dara Friedman: Perfect Stranger” (2017), and “Sarah Oppenheimer: S-281913” (2016)—and spearheaded the acquisition of more than three-hundred artworks.

    PAMM also recently appointed Mark B. Rosenblum as chief operating officer, Marie Vickles as director of education, and

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  • Roy Lichtenstein, Drowning Girl, 1963. Photo: Wikipedia.

    Sales of Forged Prints Are on the Rise, Experts Say

    Advancements in technology—specifically improvements in photomechanical and reproduction techniques—and the rise of e-commerce have led to a drastic increase in the number of forged prints in the art market. According to the New York Times, experts say that most of the fakes circulating online are attributed to American Pop art giants Roy Lichtenstein and Andy Warhol, but there is also an abundance of fake works being passed off as Klees, Picassos, and Matisses.

    Many of the sellers of the counterfeits have no connection with the artist and have fabricated certificates of authenticity. The

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