News

  • John Giorno. Photo: Marco Anelli.

    John Giorno (1936–2019)

    John Giorno, whose kaleidoscopic work fused and furthered poetry, visual art, and activism, has died at age eighty-two. He is survived by his husband, the Swiss artist Ugo Rondinone. From the 1960s onward, Giorno was a vital countercultural force in postwar New York, where—from his legendary “Bunker” on the Bowery, his studio/loft for over five decades—he first collaborated with lovers such as Robert Rauschenberg, William S. Burroughs, and Andy Warhol, whose silent “anti-film” Sleep (1963) stars a naked Giorno. The artist has recently enjoyed a late-career renaissance, in part for silkscreened,

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  • Anne-Marie Nedoma Named Interim Director of Prague’s National Gallery

    The Czech Ministry of Culture has appointed economist Anne-Marie Nedoma interim director of the National Gallery in Prague, Monopol reports. Nedoma will be responsible for managing the museum while it looks for the right candidate for its top post, which has been vacant since Jiří Fajt was dismissed in April. The search will be led by a newly formed advisory board, chaired by architect Josef Pleskot.

    Fajt, a German Czech art historian who helmed the gallery for five years, was unexpectedly fired by former minister of culture Antonin Stanek, who also dismissed Michal Soukup, the head of the Olomouc

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  • Bourse de Commerce in Paris.

    François Pinault to Open Contemporary Art Museum in Paris in June 2020

    The French billionaire art collector François Pinault announced that his $170 million contemporary art museum in Paris is slated to open next June near the Louvre and the Centre Pompidou. The Bourse de Commerce—Pinault Collection will be housed in the city’s old stock exchange, in a building designed by the Pritzker Prize–winning architect Tadao Ando, and is to host ten exhibitions a year drawing from Pinault’s collection.

    The plans for the venue were previously reported to encompass 9,850 square feet of exhibition space, a black-box theater, and an auditorium. Earlier this year, Pinault

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  • The Museum of Modern Art in New York. Photo: Lauren Cavalli.

    Arts Professionals Demand MoMA Board Member Larry Fink Divest from Private Prisons

    As the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York prepares to reopen on October 21 following a $450 million expansion project, more than 220 artists, curators, and academics have submitted a letter to the institution’s board and director, Glenn Lowry, decrying the institution’s ties to private prisons and mass incarceration.

    The letter, which was circulated by the New Sanctuary Coalition, demands that the museum divest from Fidelity, which it uses for its pension funds, and that trustee Larry Fink, the CEO and chairman of the investment firm BlackRock, divest from “prison companies, the war machine,

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  • Vinnie Bagwell, Victory Beyond Sims (rendering). Photo courtesy the artist.

    Sculpture by Vinnie Bagwell to Replace Controversial Public Monument in New York’s Central Park

    The New York City Department of Cultural Affairs has commissioned artist Vinnie Bagwell to create a public work to replace the Central Park statue of J. Marion Sims, the nineteenth-century gynecologist who experimented on enslaved black women to achieve his medical breakthroughs.

    After the city unanimously voted to take down the Sims monument in April 2018, the department put out an open call for a replacement sculpture. The four finalists were Bagwell, Simone Leigh, Wangechi Mutu, and Kehinde Wiley. On Saturday, seven city-selected panelists voted 4-3 in favor of Leigh’s proposal, a bronze figure

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  • Rendering of Firelei Báez’s installation by Nate Garner. Courtesy of the artist and James Cohan, New York.

    Boston’s ICA Selects Firelei Báez for Third Watershed Commission

    The Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, announced that artist Firelei Báez has been commissioned to create her largest sculpture to date for the ICA’s Watershed, a seasonal project space in East Boston, which reopens for its third season in May. Báez’s monumental work will be a reimagining of the ruins of the Sans-Souci Palace in Milot, Haiti. Built between 1810 and 1813, the palace was the residence of Henri Christophe I, a leader of the Haitian Revolution and the first king of Haiti.

    Báez will create a fantastical, underwater version of the historic site that will appear as if “the sea had

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  • Doug Aitken; Ini Archibong; Gloria Kondrup; and Sterling Ruby.

    ArtCenter College of Design Honors Doug Aitken, Sterling Ruby, and Others with Alumni Awards

    Doug Aitken, Sterling Ruby, Gloria Kondrup, and Ini Archibong will be honored at the thirteenth alumni awards dinner at ArtCenter College of Design in Pasadena, California, on November 16. The school is presenting the lifetime achievement award to Aitken (BFA ’91), the distinguished midcareer award to Ruby (MFA ’15), the outstanding service award to Kondrup (MFA ’93), and the young innovator award to Archibong (BS ’12).

    “Doug, Sterling, Gloria and Ini are, collectively, a vivid representation of the extraordinary breadth and depth of art and design created by our alumni,” said college president

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  • Courtesy of P.A.I.N.

    Nan Goldin Urges Activists to Join Thursday Rally Against Sackler Settlement Offer

    Photographer Nan Goldin and the advocacy group P.A.I.N. (Prescription Addiction Intervention Now) are preparing to hold a rally tomorrow in protest of the terms of an agreement that would potentially settle thousands of cases against OxyContin manufacturer Purdue Pharma over its role in the opioid crisis.

    According to the New York Times, shortly after the pharmaceutical giant, which is owned by the Sacklers—one of America’s wealthiest families and major patrons of the arts—filed for bankruptcy in September, its lawyers declared that the Sacklers may withdraw the $3 billion they pledged

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  • Toccarra A.H. Thomas. Photo: Kyleelise Thomas.

    Toccarra A.H. Thomas Appointed Director of Joan Mitchell Center

    The Joan Mitchell Foundation has named Toccarra A.H. Thomas as the new director of its Joan Mitchell Center, where she will oversee a robust artist residency program, develop public programming and community engagement, and manage day-to-day operations at the New Orleans institution. Thomas previously served as inaugural general manager of Pioneer Works in Brooklyn and as inaugural managing director of SPACE, a nonprofit art organization in Portland, Maine. Veronique Le Melle has served as interim director of the Joan Mitchell Center since January.  

    “In concert with my own artistic practice, I

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  • The Swiss Institute. Photo: Nicholas Venezia. Courtesy of Selldorf Architects.

    Cultural Figures Call for Swiss Institute to Address Assault Allegations Against Tobias Madison

    A group of artists and writers are urging the Swiss Institute in New York to respond to recent criminal charges that have been filed against Tobias Madison, a Swiss artist whose work is currently on view in the exhibition “life and limbs.” According to the Art Newspaper, Madison was arrested on March 7 after he allegedly hit and strangled his ex-girlfriend in December 2018. The artist has since been charged with two counts of assault and one count of criminal obstruction of breathing or blood circulation and is expected to appear in New York Criminal Court for a hearing on October 16.

    A “Letter

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  • Catherine Evans. Courtesy of the Newark Museum.

    Carnegie Museum of Art’s Chief Curator Joins Newark Museum

    Catherine Evans, the former chief curator and codirector of the Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh, has taken a new job at the Newark Museum in New Jersey. As the new deputy director of curatorial affairs, she will work with museum director and CEO Linda Harrison on reimagining how to present the museum’s collections with the goal of raising the institution’s profile.  

    “Catherine’s thought leadership and sheer energy around the challenging issues of reinterpreting the stories from stellar museum collections is contagious,” Harrison said in a statement. “We are thrilled to have her join the

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  • Judith F. Dolkart. Photo: Susan Beard.

    Detroit Institute of Arts Names Judith F. Dolkart Deputy Director

    The Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA) has appointed Judith F. Dolkart deputy director. Dolkart currently serves as director of the Addison Gallery of American Art at the Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts. In her new role, she will be responsible for overseeing the institute’s curatorial and learning and audience engagement divisions. Dolkart will take up the post on January 6, 2020.

    “As the director of an art museum located on an educational campus, Judith brings an ideal skillset to this new position,” said DIA’s director Salvador Salort-Pons. “Being able to view and align our work through

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