Carnegie Museum of Art Announces New Curator of Photography

Dan Leers.

The Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh announced today that Dan Leers has been appointed as its new curator of photography after the retirement of Linda Benedict-Jones, who first held that role. A Pittsburgh native, he will start his new position in April after recently working as an independent curator in New York. Leers previously worked on the 2013 Venice Biennale, in which he served as an advisor on contemporary African art, and was the Beaumont and Nancy Newhall Curatorial Fellow in the department of photography at the Museum of Modern Art, New York. He earned his undergraduate degree from Lawrence University in Wisconsin and his master’s degree in modern art and curatorial studies from Columbia University, New York.

At the Carnegie Museum, Leers will be responsible for developing the department of photography’s collection through strategic acquisitions, organizing exhibitions, and assisting with the next cycle of the institution’s Hillman Photography Initiative, launched in 2013.

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May 25, 2017

New York’s Peter Blum Gallery Moves Downtown

Peter Blum Gallery’s new home at 176 Grand Street. Photo: Peter Blum Gallery

Peter Blum Gallery in New York is relocating to a new 7,000-square-foot, second floor space downtown, Nate Freeman of Artnews reports. Located at 176 Grand Street, the gallery will open in September with an exhibition of works by John Zurier.

“After having been informed that our building on West Fifty-Seventh street, along with four neighboring buildings, will be torn down for another high rise, we looked at many different places and areas which would suit our needs for a substantial size gallery in an area which was not overrun and still felt like ‘New York,’” director David Blum said. 

The gallery first learned that it had to move out of its former home, which it shared with Washburn Gallery and Laurence Miller Gallery, in February. It also announced that it is now representing Miles Coolidge, Paul Fägerskiöld, and Enoc Perez as well as the estates of Chris Marker and Sonja Sekula.

May 25, 2017

Arizona Commission on the Arts Names Jaime Dempsey Executive Director

Robert C. Booker and Jaime Dempsey.

After more than a decade as executive director of the Arizona Commission on the Arts, Robert C. Booker has announced that he will step down in August. He will be succeeded by Jaime Dempsey, the agency’s deputy director since 2006. Her promotion was approved by the state on May 18.

“I will be forever grateful to have served Arizona residents through the work of the Arts Commission,” Booker said. “I thank the artists, educators, elected officials, community leaders, and advocates who have played such important roles in advancing our shared work, and who so generously offered inspiration, guidance, and support throughout my career.”

During his tenure, Booker led the commission through recession-era budget reductions and major shifts in public policy and successfully maintained the Arts Trust Fund as a primary source of state arts funding. He also initiated new private funding partnerships between national corporations and foundations, established Arizona’s first poet laureate post, and collaborated with rural communities to create programs that would employ the arts to address community problems.

May 25, 2017

Paris’s Musée Dapper to Close Its Doors in June

Musée Dapper in Paris.

The Musée Dapper in Paris, a privately funded, nonprofit museum devoted to traditional and contemporary art from Africa, will shutter on June 18 due to rising costs and a drop in attendance, Eric Bietry-Rivierre of Le Figaro reports.

Located at 35 bis rue Paul-Valéry in the sixteenth arrondissement, Musée Dapper was established in 1986 by the Amsterdam-based Olfert Dapper Foundation, named for the Dutch humanist who wrote the ethnographic book Description of Africa (1668), to bring African art to a wider audience. It has since expanded and also exhibits Caribbean, Latin American, Indian, and African American work.

There was “too much burden,” president Christiane Falgayrettes-Leveau said, adding that it was “too heavy to manage.” While the foundation decided it will sell its 19,000-square-foot venue, comprising galleries, a library, basement, performance hall, and café, it still plans on organizing programming. Falgayrettes-Leveau said that cutting the expenses of having a physical space will allow the Dapper Foundation to have “more flexibility to carry out ambitious projects and invest in other spaces,” including the Musée du quai Branly-Jacques Chirac, which will stage an exhibition of works from the Dapper collection this October.

May 25, 2017

Courtauld Institute of Art Appoints Lord John Browne as Chairman

Lord John Browne of Madingley. Photo: The Courtauld Institute of Art

The Courtauld Institute of Art has announced that Lord John Browne of Madingley has been named the institution’s new chairman. Lord Browne will succeed James Hughes-Hallett after he completes his full term, and will take up the post in September.

“I am delighted that Lord Browne will be joining us as chair of the governing board at a particularly exciting time for the Courtauld,” director Deborah Swallow said. “His passion and commitment to the arts coupled with his vast business experience and understanding of the higher education arena make him an excellent choice as we embark on Courtauld Connects, the biggest program of development since the Courtauld’s move to Somerset House in 1989. I look forward to working with him and the rest of the board in delivering our ambitious plans over the next five years.”

Lord Browne has previously held a number of positions at major cultural organizations. From 1995 to 2005, he was a trustee of the British Museum. Since 2007, he’s been a trustee at Tate, and will step down from his role as chairman this summer. He is also a fellow of the Royal Society, the Royal Academy of Engineering, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences as well as chairman of the international advisory board of the Blavatnik School of Government at the University of Oxford.

May 25, 2017

University of Wyoming Art Museum Receives Anonymous $2.27 Million Gift

The University of Wyoming’s art museum, stadium, and auditorium. Photo: the Star Tribune

The University of Wyoming’s art museum has received an anonymous $2.27 million donation that will be used to establish the Susan B. Moldenhauer Fund for Contemporary Art.

“This gift is extraordinary, as it will transform the future of contemporary art at the University of Wyoming,” president Laurie Nichols said in a statement. The newly-created fund will support exhibitions, commissions, publications, scholarship, and other public programming.

“The art museum is the only museum in the state of Wyoming that focuses on contemporary art from national and international perspectives, which is essential to broadening visual art experiences for our students, faculty, citizens, and visitors,” said Susan B. Moldenhauer, who’s served as director and chief curator of the museum since 2002.

May 25, 2017

Kiluanji Kia Henda Wins 2017 Frieze Artist Award

Kiluanji Kia Henda, standing in front of the triptych Ngola Bar, 2006. Photo: Christine Eyene

Frieze has named Kiluanji Kia Henda as the winner of the 2017 Frieze Artist Award. Kia Henda is the first African artist to receive the prize, which is only in its fourth year. He will be invited to realize a new installation at Frieze London as part of Frieze Projects, the fair’s nonprofit program.

“Kiluanji Kia Henda is a vital voice of his generation and I’m very pleased that the jury made him this year’s Frieze Artist Award winner,” said Raphael Gygax, the curator of Frieze Projects and Zurich’s Migros Museum für Gegenwartskunst. “His work examines the wounds of his home country Angola left by decades of political unrest. Kia Henda brings satire to bear on politics and the legacy of colonialism in Africa, corrupting enduring stereotypes.”

The award’s jury comprised artist Cory Arcangel; Eva Birkenstock, director of Kunstverein für die Rheinlande und Westfalen in Düsseldorf; Tom Eccles, executive director of the Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard College in New York; and Gygax. Jo Stella-Sawicka, artistic director of Frieze Fairs, chaired the jury.

May 25, 2017

Galerie Urs Meile Opens New Exhibition Space in Beijing

Installation view of “Qiu Shihua” (2017). Photo: Galerie Urs Meile

Switzerland’s Galerie Urs Meile announced the opening of its new exhibition space in the 798 Art District in Beijing. Located in a historic building which once housed part of the Dashanzi factory complex, the gallery was renovated by Japanese architect Mitsunori Sano. The 1,700-square-foot venue features galleries, offices, and storage rooms. An exhibition of works by Qiu Shihua inaugurated the space.

Galerie Urs Meile also launched an artist residency program in Beijing, which offers Western artists the opportunity to work in China for several months as well as mount exhibitions made for the new gallery space. Galerie Urs Meile has been working with Chinese artists since 1995 and represents established and emerging artists such as Li Gang, Hu Qingyan, Tobias Rehberger, Qiu Shihua, Yan Xing, and Wang Xingwei.

May 25, 2017

Deutsche Bank to Open Berlin Arts Center in 2018

Prinzessinnenpalais at 5 Unter den Linden in the Mitte district of Berlin. Photo: Deutsche Bank

Deutsche Bank has announced plans to open an exhibition space for its corporate collection of more than 50,000 works amassed since the 1970s, Catherine Hickley of the Art Newspaper reports. Located in the Prinzessinnenpalais at 5 Unter den Linden, the 3,000-square-foot arts center is scheduled to open in 2018.

“We are working on an exciting program,” said spokesperson Klaus Winker. He added that it is too early to reveal details on the project, but the center will be a space for concerts, workshops, and other events to be held. The new venue will also incorporate the Deutsche Bank KunstHalle, the successor of the Deutsche Guggenheim, a collaboration between the Deutsche Bank and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, which ran from 1997 to 2012 and presented sixty-one exhibitions on twentieth and twenty-first century art.

The Deutsche Bank Collection comprises significant holdings of modernist and postwar German art including works by Georges Braque, Joseph Beuys, Gerhard Richter, and Sigmar Polke. Today, the collection is focusing on expanding with new acquisitions from Africa, China, India, and South America.

May 25, 2017

Akron Art Museum Names Ellen Rudolph Chief Curator

Ellen Rudolph Photo: Gena Page

The Akron Art Museum announced today that Ellen Rudolph, executive director of the Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage in Ohio, has been appointed as chief curator. She will take up the post in August.

“We are excited to have Ellen Rudolph returning to the Akron Art Museum as our new chief curator,” executive director and CEO Mark Masuoka said. “Ellen’s selection builds upon the continued success of the museum’s curatorial department and her experience and passion for contemporary art is exactly what we need to continue to stay on the leading edge of contemporary culture as a forward thinking
twenty-first century art museum.”

Rudolph rejoins the Akron Art Museum after a three-year-tenure as head of the Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage. Under her leadership, the museum’s attendance doubled and expanded its exhibition programs and community partnerships. Previously, she served as Akron Art Museum’s curator of exhibitions, interim chief curator, and senior curator, respectively, from 2008 through 2013.