Sixth Annual ArtPrize Winners Announced

Anila Quayyum Agha, Intersections, 2014.

The winners of the sixth annual ArtPrize have been announced. A total of $540,000 in cash awards were given out in Grand Rapids, Michigan, to various winners selected both by the public and by a jury. The winner of the Public Vote Grand Prize, valued at $200,000 was Anila Quayyum Agha, for her piece Intersections. Agha was also one of two winners of the Juried Grand Prize—the first time an artist has won awards in both categories. The other winner was Sonya Clark, who submitted The Hair Craft Project. The jury consisted of Susan Sollins, Leonardo Drew, and Katharina Grosse. A full list of all this year’s winners can be found on ArtPrize’s site here.

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March 24, 2017

Shia LaBeouf Pulls Anti-Trump Work from Its Third Location

HeWillNotDivide.Us, 2017, at FACT Liverpool.

Artists Shia LaBeouf, Luke Turner, and Nastja Säde Rönkkö have removed their protest work, HeWillNotDivide.Us, 2017, after it incited illegal trespassing at the Foundation for Art and Creative Technology gallery in Liverpool where it was installed on March 22.

Consisting of a camera mounted under the words “He will not divide us” on the exterior wall of a building, the work was conceived as a participatory piece that would livestream footage of passersby repeating the phrase throughout the duration of Trump’s presidency. It originally opened at the Museum of the Moving Image in Queens, New York, on Inauguration day. However, safety concerns led the institution to cancel the exhibition. Labeouf and his collaborators moved the piece to El Rey Theater in Albuquerque shortly after, but pulled the plug for the same reason.

It was adopted by FACT gallery after the artist group decided it was too dangerous to continue presenting the piece in America since it was the target of “constant disruptions and hate-speech by far-right extremists.” After nearly two days in its new location, the Merseyside police were called to the gallery following reports that a group of men were trying to retrieve a flag emblazoned with the words “He will not divide us” from the roof of the gallery. The incident prompted LaBeouf, Turner & Rönkkö to take down the work.

March 24, 2017

Artist Jeffrey Beebe and BravinLee Programs Collaborate on Inflatable Trump Rat

Jeffrey Beebe, Trumpy the Rat Sketch, 2017.

John Lee of BravinLee Programs in Chelsea and artist Jeffrey Beebe have launched a Kickstarter campaign to garner support for an anti-Trump work—a fifteen-foot-tall inflatable rat equipped with an ill-fitting suit, a tie that’s too long, and a comb-over—that once fabricated will be loaned to protests across the nation.

According to the project statement, the Rat is meant to be an “enduring sign of resistance and ridicule” that will first be erected near the entrance to Trump Tower in Manhattan before it is shipped elsewhere. Lee and Beebe hope this initiative will “show how artists, art, and the creative community can play a meaningful role during these dark times.”

The campaign has already raised $4,000 of its $10,000 goal. If the donations surpass the project’s asking amount, Lee and Beebe have pledged to make as many rats as the funding will allow. They are also planning to establish the Public Display of Disaffection Political Action Committee, a group that will use art to make resisting the Trump administration more “visually engaging.”

March 24, 2017

Smith College Hires First-Ever Contemporary Art Curator

Emma Imbrie Chubb

Smith College Museum of Art in Massachusetts has appointed Emma Imbrie Chubb, a Ph.D. candidate and presidential fellow in the department of art history at Northwestern University, its first-ever curator of contemporary art. She will take up the post on July 10.

Director and chief curator Jessica Nicoll said, “The search committee was particularly pleased to offer the position to Emma Chubb, whose scholarship, curatorial experience, and expansive curiosity indicate the power of contemporary art to respond to current issues and to shape individual and public opinion around the issues of the day.”

The curatorial position was created following a gift from alum Charlotte Feng Ford, who said Chubb reminded her of why she is so passionate about collecting contemporary art. “Emma’s enthusiasm is exciting, and her ideas for the new curator’s position are inspiring. She will develop understanding amongst students and the community that will lead to many fantastic opportunities at the museum.”

March 24, 2017

Rachel Corbett Wins $10,000 Marfield Prize for Arts Writing

Rachel Corbett

The Arts Club of Washington, DC, has announced that Rachel Corbett has won the eleventh annual Marfield Prize, a national award recognizing arts writing, for her book You Must Change Your Life: The Story of Rainer Maria Rilke and Auguste Rodin (2016).

The Brooklyn-based writer will travel to DC in May for a brief residency, a public discussion on her book, and the celebratory Marfield Award dinner. During her stay, Corbett will also meet with local high school students and appear on Grace Cavalieri’s Library of Congress podcast, “The Poet and the Poem.” Corbett is editor in chief of Modern Painters magazine. Her writing has also been featured in several other publications such as the New Yorker, the New York Times, and the Art Newspaper.

The judging panel consisted of television and radio host Robert Aubry Davis, author W. Ralph Eubanks, and author and poet Matthea Harvey. Among the works shortlisted for the award were Jane Kamensky’s A Revolution in Color: The World of John Singleton Copley (2016); Alexander Nemerov’s Soulmaker: The Times of Lewis Hine (2016); Claudia Roth Pierpont’s American Rhapsody: Writers, Musicians, Movie Stars, and One Great Building (2016); and Paul Youngquist’s A Pure Solar World: Sun Ra and the Birth of Afrofuturism (2016).

March 24, 2017

Phillips Appoints Laurence Calmels as Regional Director for France

Laurence Calmels

Phillips has announced that independent art advisor Laurence Calmels will join the auction house as a regional director for France. Calmels will work to increase Phillips’s presence in France by supporting its business and development efforts and by cultivating networks of collectors and art dealers.

“With her significant experience and passion for engaging with clients and colleagues, and her intimate knowledge of the art world in France, Laurence is a welcome addition to our team as we look to grow our market share in this important market,” CEO Edward Dolman said. “Paris has always been one of the world’s most important cultural capitals and will become an increasingly important market for Phillips.”

Prior to becoming an art advisor, Calmels was a partner of the Paris-based auction house Calmels-Cohen. After becoming the youngest female auctioneer in France, Calmels was named a Commissaire-Priseur. During her time at Calmels-Cohen, she led several successful sales including the auction of André Breton and Jean Arp collections.

March 24, 2017

Christine Poggi Named Director of the Institute of Fine Arts at NYU

Christine Poggi

New York University has announced the appointment of art historian Christine Poggi, currently professor of art history at the University of Pennsylvania, as the new Judy and Michael Steinhardt Director of the Institute of Fine Arts. She will succeed Patricia Rubin who will step down from the role after eight years. Poggi will assume her responsibilities on September 1.

NYU President Andrew Hamilton said, “Her commitment to high academic standards will ensure that the Institute will continue to enjoy a reputation for excellence, and her demonstrable success at the University of Pennsylvania in encouraging cross-department collaborations and institutional partnerships is very much in line with the emphasis we put on such efforts here at NYU.”

During her tenure at the University of Pennsylvania, Poggi has served as chair of the undergraduate and graduate program; director of the program in gender, sexuality, and women’s studies; and, director of the Alice Paul Center for the Study of Gender, Sexuality, and Women. Poggi has authored a number of books including In Defiance of Painting: Cubism, Futurism, and the Invention of Collage (1992); and Inventing Futurism: The Art and Politics of Artificial Optimism (2009), which was awarded the Modern Language Association’s Howard R. Marraro Prize. She is the recipient of fellowships from the Fulbright Commission, Whitney Humanities Center at Yale University, National Endowment for the Humanities, among others as well as the University of Pennsylvania’s Abrams Memorial Award for Distinguished Teaching. Poggi earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of California at Santa Cruz, her master’s degree from the University of Chicago, and her Ph.D. from Yale University. Her principal areas of study include modern and contemporary art and criticism, early twentieth-century avant-gardes, the invention of collage, and the rise of abstraction.

March 23, 2017

New York’s Postmasters Gallery to Open Second Space in Rome

Installation view of Kenneth Tin-Kin Hung’s “In G.O.D. We Trust,” 2009.

Thirty-two years after Postmasters first opened its doors in New York City, the gallery has announced it will expand to Rome, Italy, Alex Greenberger of Artnews reports. The new outpost will be ran by Paulina Bebecka, who currently codirects its Tribeca space, and be used to present pop-up exhibitions, special projects, and art fairs.

In addition, the gallery appointed Kerry Doran, director of New York’s Bitforms gallery, as head of its 4,500-square-foot flagship space. She will take up the post on April 11. Postmasters represents a wide range of artists including Monica Cook, David Diao, Ernesto Klar, Eva and Franco Mattes (0100101110101101.org), Steve Mumford, Serkan Özkaya, Anton Perich, Sally Smart, Federico Solmi, and Chris Verene.

March 23, 2017

Artist Corrina Mehiel Fatally Stabbed in Washington, DC

Corrina Mehiel

Thirty-four-year-old artist Corrina Mehiel was murdered in a Washington, DC, apartment near Capitol Hill on Tuesday, March 21, Peter Hermann, Lynh Bui and Michael E. Ruane of the Washington Post report.

The artist was temporarily staying in DC while collaborating with conceptual artist Mel Chin on “The Fundred Reserve,” an exhibition at George Washington University’s Corcoran School of the Arts and Design. Visitors to the school are invited to create hand-drawn $100 bills to illustrate the price of protecting kids from lead poisoning.

Located at 600 block of 14th Street NE, the basement apartment of a rowhouse in which Mehiel was bound and fatally stabbed belonged to Chin. Mehiel intended to stay at the residence throughout the duration of their project. She is originally from Burnsville, North Carolina. Chin said that he last saw Mehiel on Sunday night when he and his wife hosted a dinner party at their home.

March 23, 2017

Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw to Open Temporary Exhibition Space

Artist Slawomir Pawszak’s concept for the museum’s façade.

The Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw has announced that it is opening the Museum on the Vistula on Saturday, March 25. The temporary exhibition space will host programming until the institution’s new building in Plac Defilad is completed in 2020.

Located along the Vistula River in the historic neighborhood of Powiśle, the exhibition space is a 6,400-square-foot portable structure that was conceived by Austrian architect Adolf Krischanitz and originally installed in Berlin in 2008. It served as a temporary building for the Temporäre Kunsthalle until 2010. Its exterior skin, made from ber-cement panels, was designed as an additional surface on which artists can present art.

The flexible structure was made available to the Warsaw MoMA through its collaboration with the Vienna-based Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary (TBA21) foundation. “The fact that Adolf Krischanitz’s wonderful temporary exhibition space will become a center for contemporary art and culture in Warsaw is very exciting,” Francesca von Habsburg, founder and chairwoman of TBA21, said. “Its interim use in Powiśle will create an extraordinary, experimental space—not only inside, but outside as well—offering visitors and passers by a unique and direct experience of contemporary art.”