Tina Kukielski Named Executive Director of ART21

Tina Kukielski

ART21 has announced the appointment of Tina Kukielski as its new executive director. She will fill the position left empty by Susan Sollins, who founded and led the institution for seventeen years, and who passed away in 2014. Kukielski has held positions at the Whitney Museum of American Art and the Carnegie Museum of Art, where she co-curated the 2013 Carnegie International.

Currently preparing its eighth season of “Art in the Twenty-First Century,” ART21 has previously featured artists including Ai Weiwei, Joan Jonas, Tania Bruguera, Mark Bradford, and Pierre Huyghe. “Tina has a proven track record of building communities for art and she comes with experience working in the digital realm—the kind of experience we believe is essential to the ways we expect ART21 will grow,” said Migs Wright, ART21 board president emerita.


February 23, 2017

Taylor Mac Wins $100,000 Edward M. Kennedy Prize for Drama Inspired by American History

Taylor Mac, A 24-Decade History of Popular Music: 1900–1950s, 2015. Performance view, New York Live Arts, New York, January 20, 2015. Taylor Mac (right). Photo: Ian Douglas.

Performance artist Taylor Mac and his musical director, Matt Ray, have been selected as winners of this year’s Edward M. Kennedy Prize for drama inspired by American history, writes Jennifer Schuessler in the New York Times. The duo will receive $100,000. Their performance, A 24-Decade History of Popular Music, covers over two hundred years of US history “reinterpreted through a radical queer lens,” as Schuessler calls it. Reflecting on Mac’s piece on artforum.com, critic Jennifer Krasinski wrote, “Taylor Mac is a master performer, riveting storyteller, and charismatic, otherworldly creature, dressed to the tens in artist/designer Machine Dazzle’s magnificent metamorphic glitz.”

Jean Kennedy Smith, a former United States ambassador to Ireland, created the prize to honor her politician brother. Lin-Manuel Miranda, creator of the musical Hamilton, was the previous winner of the prize. Miranda’s hit production was featured in curator Thelma Golden’s “Best of 2015” piece for the December 2015 issue of Artforum.

February 23, 2017

Washington Art Consortium Disbands and Divides Up Art Collection

Barbara Earl Thomas, Night Crawlers and Earthworms, 2006.

The board of the Washington Art Consortium—a coalition of seven art museums established in 1976 to bring more modern art to the state of Washington and spur collaboration among its cultural institutions—announced today that it is disbanding.

Its 411-work collection by 175 artists, including works on paper, photographs, and prints created from 1945 to the late twentieth century, as well as its more than $2 million endowment, will be distributed among its member art museums: the Henry Art Gallery at the University of Washington, Seattle; the Museum of Art at Washington State University, Pullman; Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture, Spokane; Seattle Art Museum; Tacoma Art Museum; Western Gallery at Western Washington University, Bellingham—where the collection is currently housed—and the Whatcom Museum, Bellingham.

After an eighteen-month period of strategic planning, the WAC concluded that the need for an organization that ensures greater access to art throughout the state “is now less crucial.” Founder Virginia Wright said, “For the last forty years I have enjoyed watching the Washington Art Consortium’s progress and development. In 2015, as we approached our fortieth anniversary, I encouraged our board to think about the future.” She added, “I am pleased with their decision and delighted that the collections will live on through our member museums, continuing to serve as an important resource for the entire state.”

February 23, 2017

Dia Art Foundation Names Courtney J. Martin as Deputy Director and Chief Curator

Courtney J. Martin

Dia Art Foundation announced today that Courtney J. Martin, currently an assistant professor in the history of art and architecture department at Brown University, has been appointed the foundation’s deputy director and chief curator. Martin will lead the curatorial department as well as oversee the collections, exhibition programming, and the acquisition of new works. She succeeds James Meyer, who will now serve as Dia's curatorial and academic advisor. Martin will take up the post in September.

“Courtney is an accomplished scholar and curator,” director Jessica Morgan said. “While working closely with her on the Robert Ryman exhibition, I was continually impressed by her rigorous curatorial approach and innovative thinking. We are thrilled to welcome her to Dia. I am confident that Courtney’s leadership will bring new insights and energy to the institution.”

Martin received her Ph.D. from Yale University in 2009, specializing on twentieth-century British art, and has authored numerous essays on the work of modern and contemporary artists, including Rasheed Araeen, Kader Attia, Rina Banerjee, Leslie Hewitt, Ed Ruscha, and Yinka Shonibare. She is the recipient of an Andy Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Grant and was the coeditor of Lawrence Alloway: Critic and Curator (2015), which won a Historians of British Art book award. She was also the editor of Four Generations: The Joyner Giuffrida Collection of Abstract Art (2016).

February 23, 2017

Parkett to End After More than Three Decades

Parkett editor in chief Bice Curiger.

Publishers of the contemporary art magazine Parkett announced today that the next issue of the publication will be its last.

Citing the “change in reading behavior brought about by our digital age,” editor-in-chief Bice Curiger, founder Jacqueline Burckhardt, and publisher Dieter von Graffenried said, “We would like to thank you, our readers, for your interest and your loyalty and we are looking forward to the special double issue this summer.”

Since its founding in 1984, the Zurich- and New York–based magazine has featured over 215 works by artists in more than forty countries, including Ai Weiwei, El Anatsui, Laurie Anderson, Matthew Barney, Louise Bourgeois, Maurizio Cattelan, Tracey Emin, Christian Marclay, Beatriz Milhazes, Bruce Nauman, Gabriel Orozco, Sigmar Polke, Gerhard Richter, Anri Sala, Cindy Sherman, and Hiroshi Sugimoto. Each artist collaborated with the magazine to select writers and images, develop the layout, and to create a signed and numbered edition especially for Parkett. Rosemarie Trockel’s Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, 2014, for instance, featured early photos of Curiger, Burckhardt, and Parkett US editor Nikki Columbus on top of colored vertical stripes.

Called “an engine of artistic thought and practice” by Ullens Center director Philip Tinari and “a catalyst for invigorating change whilst always producing the harvest of the quiet eye” by Hans Ulrich Obrist, Parkett considers itself “a large library and a small museum.” All 1500 texts from the magazine’s thirty-three-year run will be available on their website.

The full letter is as follows:

February 23, 2017

Pérez Art Museum Miami Receives $200,000 Matching Grant from Knight Foundation

Pérez Art Museum Miami

The Pérez Art Museum Miami has revealed that the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation is establishing a $200,000 matching grant to benefit the museum’s fund for work made by African American artists. Active through August 21, the grant is in large part enabled by a gift from trustee Dorothy A. Terrell in the amount of $100,000.

The fund has helped the museum acquire work by artists including Sam Gilliam, Martine Syms, Juana Valdes, Theaster Gates, and Kevin Beasley, among others. “We are proud to be a museum with a collection that is reflective of our diverse Miami community,” said director Franklin Sirmans. Sirmans announced the news at its annual reception for the fund earlier this week.

February 23, 2017

After Moving Anti-Trump Work to New Mexico, Shia LaBeouf Pulls the Plug Due to Safety Concerns

LaBeouf, Rönkkö & Turner’s work, HeWillNotDivide.Us, after it was vandalized outside El Rey Theater in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Photo: Jim Thompson of the Albuquerque Journal

Artist and actor Shia LaBeouf and his collaborators, Luke Turner and Nastja Säde Rönkkö, have decided to stop live streaming their relocated public artwork HeWillNotDivide.Us, which is installed outside of Albuquerque’s El Rey Theater, after gunshots were fired near the arts venue.

Earlier this morning, LaBeouf tweeted: “We have taken the stream down after shots were reported in the area. The safety of everybody participating in our project is paramount.”

The work, which consists of a camera situated on the exterior of the building with the words, “He will not divide us,” written above it in all caps, was created as a participatory performance piece that would stream footage of passersby repeating the phrase throughout the duration of President Trump’s term.

Originally, the artwork opened during Trump’s inauguration on January 20, at the Museum of the Moving Image in Queens, New York. However, the institution shut down the installation calling it “a flashpoint for violence,” forcing LaBeouf, Rönkkö, and Turner to find another home for it. The trio criticized the museum for abandoning the project, claiming that it “bowed to political pressure.”

February 23, 2017

Miguel Falomir to Lead Madrid’s Museo del Prado

Miguel Falomir

Museo del Prado’s selection committee has unanimously chosen Miguel Falomir, who currently serves as deputy director of the museum, to replace director Miguel Zugaza, Hannah McGivern of the Art Newspaper reports. In November 2016, Zugaza announced that he was stepping down after fifteen years at the helm of the institution to head the Bilbao Museum. The Prado’s trustees will meet in March to review the decision, which must also be approved by Spain’s Council of Ministers before it’s official.

An Italian Renaissance specialist, Falomir joined the Prado in 1997 as the head of the department of Italian and French painting, pre-1700. Previously, he served as an art history professor at the University of Valencia and as the Andrew Mellon Professor at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC, from 2008 to 2010. Among the numerous exhibitions Falomir organized for the Museo del Prado are “The Lavatory of Jacopo Tintoretto,” 2000; “Tiziano,” 2003; “Portrait of the Renaissance,” 2008; and “The Furies: Political Allegory and Artistic Challenge,” 2014.

According to El País, Zugaza said that Falomir is the ideal candidate. The selection committee consisted of Zugaza, board chair José Pedro Pérez-Llorca, and representatives of the Spanish ministry of culture.

February 23, 2017

US Senators Call for Continued Support of NEA and NEH in Letter to Trump

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand

Twenty-four bipartisan United States senators have banded together to write a letter to President Donald J. Trump urging him to keep funding the National Endowment of the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Spearheaded by Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, the letter states: “These federal agencies provide vital support and resources to endeavors in the arts and humanities across the country that serve as drivers of innovation and economic prosperity. We encourage you to support the chairmen of these agencies, who demonstrate a continued commitment to supporting the arts and humanities.”

The letter also cites the US Bureau of Economic Analysis report that determined the arts and humanities sector is a $704 billion industry, accounting for 4.2 percent of the nation’s GDP. Among the senators who signed it are Bernie Sanders, Shelly Moore Capito, Susan M. Collins, Edward J. Markey, Tammy Baldwin, Christopher A. Coons, and Sheldon Whitehouse.

Council Member Van Bramer said, “As chair of the New York City Council Committee on Cultural Affairs, I strongly oppose any plan to cut funding to the NEA. The arts help us communicate the unsayable, envision a brighter future, and connect to one another in ways that almost nothing else can. Arts and culture are vital to creating the American spirit. Defunding the NEA would irreparably cripple the soul of our country. I stand with Senator Gillibrand in support of the arts.”

The complete letter is as follows:

February 23, 2017

Drawing Center Appoints Four New Trustees and Announces Honorees for Fortieth Anniversary Gala

The Drawing Center

New York’s Drawing Center has announced that four new trustees will join its board of directors. The center welcomed Andrea Crane, a private dealer and former director of Gagosian Gallery in New York; Amy Gold, founder of Amy L. Gold Fine Arts and a former deputy chairman of Christie’s Americas; artist David Salle; and Waqas Wajahat, an artist liaison specializing in the strategic planning of artists’ estates.

In celebration of the Drawing Center’s fortieth anniversary, it will honor Marcel Dzama, Teresita Fernandez, Rashid Johnson, and R.H. Quaytman at its 2017 gala, taking place on April 25, 2017. The four artists each represent a decade in the museum’s forty-year history.

“The Drawing Center has always been ahead of its time, even from the very beginning,” Executive Director Brett Littman said. “Our founder Martha Beck truly understood the importance of drawing—both as a critical element of the creative process and as an artistic product in its own right—and sought to break down the wall between curators and artists in order to create a collaborative and open space. We are delighted to be celebrating the museum’s fortieth birthday by honoring artists who have left an indelible mark on our history, and also welcoming a selection of new board members who we know will be extremely hands-on in supporting our programming and lending new perspectives to the future of the institution.”