Ettore Scola (1931–2016)

Ettore Scola, A Special Day (1977)

Film director Ettore Scola has died, according to The Guardian.

Over the course of his career, the filmmaker directed forty-one films over nearly four decades. Among his works to garner acclaim was We all Loved each Other so Much (1974) which won the Golden Prize at the ninth Moscow International Film Festival in 1975, and explored the lives of Italian partisan fighters after war. His later film, A Special Day (1977) won a Golden Globe and received five Academy Award nominations. It examined fascism’s rise in 1930s Italy, with a cast that included Marcello Mastroianni and Sophia Loren.

Italy’s prime minister, Matteo Renzi, paid homage to the director, saying that Scola had “an ability that was as incredible as it was razor-sharp in reading Italy, its society, and the changes it went through.”

Renzi added that Scola’s death “leaves a huge void in Italian culture.”


February 27, 2017

US Court Allows Lawsuit Over Nazi-Looted Egon Schiele Drawings to Go Forward, Following New Legislation

Egon Schiele, Woman Hiding Her Face, 1912.

The heirs of Fritz Grunbaum, an Austrian Jewish entertainer, have repeatedly tried to sue for the return of two valuable drawings by Egon Schiele, which were part of a large collection that the Nazis confiscated from Grunbaum’s Vienna apartment in 1938, but were unsuccessful due to “legal technicalities.”

Timothy Reif, David Fraenkel, and Milos Vavra, who have argued for years that the collection, which included eighty-one Schieles, was stolen by the Nazis, filed another lawsuit after Congress passed the Holocaust Expropriated Art Recovery Act in December, which may change the outcome of their case, William D. Cohan in the New York Times reports.

Sponsored by Republican senator Ted Cruz, who said that the law would ensure that “claims to Nazi-confiscated art are not unfairly barred by statutes of limitations and other similar time-based nonmerits defenses,” the Holocaust Expropriated Art Recovery Act changes the statue of limitations for ownership claims to six years from the time of “actual discovery” of the stolen works.

February 27, 2017

Pace Gallery to Open New Seoul Space in March

Pace Seoul Photo: Pace Gallery

Pace Gallery has announced that it will open a new outpost in the Yongsan district of Seoul in South Korea, on Saturday, March 4. Youngjoo Lee, who joined Pace Hong Kong in 2015, will serve as director of the space. Its inaugural exhibition will feature works by ten “internationally-acclaimed” artists.

Since its founding in 1960, Pace has established eleven locations in cities such as New York, London, Paris, and Palo Alto in California. Recently, it has focused on expanding its presence in Asia, opening its headquarters for Asia operations in Beijing in 2008 and another space in Hong Kong in 2014.

“After a decade of intense involvement in Asia, we have found it essential to engage with communities of artists, collectors, and curators,” Marc Glimcher, president of Pace, said. “Our new space in Seoul will give Pace an opportunity to be part of one of the most vibrant centers of the art world in Asia.”

February 27, 2017

Armin Medosch (1962–2017)

Armin Medosch

Bruce Sterling reports at Wired that the Vienna-based artist, writer, and curator Armin Medosch has died. His work mainly dealt with media culture, wireless networks, online communities, and the history of art and technopolitics. The author of New Tendencies: Art at the Threshold of the Information Revolution (1961–1978) (2016), published by MIT Press, Medosch studied German literature and philosophy at Graz University from 1982 to 1985, and theater direction at the Academy for Music and Drama in Graz during the same period. In 1985, he moved to Vienna and in 1986 founded the Radio Subcom art group.

He was part of a group of artists in the early 1990s that commandeered a former GDR transport ship—the Kunst-Raum-Schiff, MS Stubnitz—and re-purposed it as a moving center for experimental electronic culture. He curated and organized exhibitions and symposia in Rostock and Hamburg in Germany, Malmö, and Saint Petersburg. With Stefan Iglhaut and Florian Rötzer, he also curated the exhibition and symposia “Telepolis” in Luxembourg in 1995, about the interactive and networked city. In 1996, he became the cofounder and editor of a groundbreaking online magazine, also called Telepolis, which he worked on until 2002. Telepolis won the European Online Journalism Award in 2000 for investigative reporting, as well as the Grimme Online Award in 2002 for media journalism.

He was an associate senior lecturer in the master’s course on interactive digital media at Ravensbourne College, London from 2002 to 2007. In 2009, Medosch founded the Technopolitics working group together with Brian Holmes and since 2011, the group has been regularly hosting talks and workshops with guests in Vienna. Their Technopolitics Timeline was first displayed in the exhibition “Social Glitch: Radical Aesthetics and the Consequences of Extreme Events” at the Kunst Raum Niederösterreich in 2015 and later in exhibitions at MAK in Vienna in 2016 and nGbK Berlin in 2017. Medosch received his Ph.D. in arts and computational technology from Goldsmiths in London in 2012.

February 27, 2017

Naima J. Keith Wins 2017 David C. Driskell Prize

Naima J. Keith

The deputy director of exhibitions and programs at the California African American Museum, Naima J. Keith has won the thirteenth David C. Driskell Prize in African American Art and Art History. Previously a curator at the Studio Museum in Harlem, Keith was hired at the CAAM just last year.

Established by the High Museum of Art in 2005, the David C. Driskell Prize is the first national award to honor and celebrate contributions to the field of art of the African diaspora. Named for the renowned African American artist and art scholar, the prize recognizes a US-based scholar or artist in the beginning or middle of his or her career whose artistic practice or scholarly work makes an original and important contribution to the visual arts and study of art of the African diaspora. A cash award of $25,000 accompanies the prize.

Keith will receive the award in a celebration on April 28 at the High Museum of Art in Atlanta, Georgia.

February 27, 2017

Marciano Art Foundation in Los Angeles Announces Opening Date

The Maurice and Paul Marciano Art Foundation

Set to open in 2017, Deborah Vankin reports in the LA Times that the Maurice and Paul Marciano Art Foundation has now announced its precise opening date: May 25. The museum on Wilshire Boulevard near the Hancock Park area of Los Angeles is in a landmarked Millard Sheets-designed building, which formerly served as a Scottish Rite Masonic Temple, and was renovated by Kulapat Yantrasast of wHY Architecture.

Like The Broad, the Marciano Foundation will be free and visitors will have to make reservations on the museum’s website for timed admission slots. The museum will be open to the public Thursdays through Sundays, while Wednesdays will be reserved for school groups.

February 26, 2017

Leigh Markopoulos (1968–2017)

Leigh Markopoulos. Photo: Jim Norrena, Courtesy CCA

San Francisco art critic, curator, and teacher Leigh Markopoulos has died, reports the San Francisco Chronicle’s Charles Desmarais. An automobile accident in Los Angeles was the cause of her death. Markopoulos contributed to the journal Art Practical, and served as chair of the graduate program in curatorial practice at California College of the Arts. She edited the book Great Expectations: Prospects for the Future of Curatorial Education (2016). Previously, she organized shows in London for the Serpentine Gallery and the Hayward Gallery, and served as director of the Rena Bransten Gallery in San Francisco from 2005 to 2007.

College of the Arts president Stephen Beal called Markopoulos “a brilliant scholar, writer, and curator who was dearly loved by her students and colleagues.”

February 25, 2017

Syrian Cinematographer on Oscar-Nominated Documentary Denied Entry to US

Orlando von Einsiedel, The White Helmets, 2016.

Soon after last month’s report that Oscar-nominated director Asghar Farhadi would be prevented from attending the 2017 Oscars ceremony in Los Angeles due to Trump’s overreaching travel ban, CBS News reports that US immigration officials have prevented a twenty-one-year-old Syrian cinematographer named Khaled Khateeb—who worked on a short documentary film about his country’s ongoing civil war titled The White Helmets (2016), which has been nominated for an Academy Award—from entering the US for the ceremony tomorrow.

Khateeb was scheduled to arrive today in Los Angeles on a Turkish Airlines flight from Istanbul, but he was not allowed in after officials reported finding “derogatory information” regarding Khateeb. Derogatory information is a broad category that can include anything from concrete evidence of connections to terrorist organization to mere passport irregularities. Asked for comment on the matter, a spokeswoman for the Department of Homeland Security, Gillian Christensen, only said, “A valid travel document is required for travel to the United States.” Khateeb had been issued a visa to attend the ceremony, but Turkish authorities detained him this week, according to internal US government correspondence, and he was then required to get a passport waiver from the United States to enter the country. The correspondence indicated he would not receive such a waiver, but there was also no explanation in the correspondence for why Turkey detained Khateeb in the first place. Khateeb has said he is currently in Istanbul and has claimed he had not been detained.

The White Helmets, a British production directed by Orlando von Einsiedel, is nominated in the category of “Best Documentary Short” at the Oscars this year. Khateeb is one of three people credited for cinematography on the film, which focuses on the rescue workers who aid Syrians affected by the civil war. Many of the group’s members have been killed by Syrian President Bashar Assad’s regime, and the group was nominated for last year’s Nobel Peace Prize.

February 24, 2017

Lisson Gallery to Open Second New York Space

Lisson Gallery

London’s Lisson Gallery has announced that it will open its fifth location and second New York Space this April, Nate Freeman of Artnews reports. The new 3,500-square-foot gallery will be housed at 136 Tenth Avenue.

The gallery’s director, Alex Logsdail, said that the idea for another New York space came about when artist Haroon Mirza inquired about finding a temporary space for a project that he thought was too small for the gallery’s 8,500-square-foot building on West 24th Street, which opened last year. “I started looking into it, and I realized we don’t have a space to show single-work exhibitions, or things that are a little more intimate. It was something that met the needs of a lot of our artists that make smaller work that we don’t exhibit all the time,” Logsdail said.

Mirza’s installation ããã – Experience, Practice, Ritual Remix, which consists of LED lights, an array of plants, and a video work that features found footage spanning the last fifteen years, beginning with the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001 and ending with the election of Donald Trump, will inaugurate the space. The show will open March 3.

February 24, 2017

MoMA PS1 Names Jenny Sabin Studio Winner of 2017 Young Architects Program

Rendering of Jenny Sabin Studio's Lumen, 2017.

Jenny Sabin Studio’s Lumen has been selected as the winning design of MoMA PS1’s annual Young Architects Program. The immersive environment, an evolving design that changes in response to the people interacting with it as well as to heat and sunlight, will be constructed in the museum’s courtyard, opening on June 29.

Klaus Biesenbach, MoMA PS1 director and MoMA chief curator at large said, “Lumen is a socially and environmentally responsive structure that spans practices and disciplines in its exploratory approach to new materials. Held in tension within the walls of MoMA PS1’s courtyard, Lumen turns visitors into participants who interact through its responsiveness to temperature, sunlight, and movement.”

Now in its eighteenth edition, the Young Architects Program has offered emerging architectural talent the opportunity to design and present innovative projects for a temporary, outdoor installation that provides shade, seating, and water. The architects must also work within guidelines that address environmental issues, including sustainability and recycling. Made of responsive tubular structures in a lightweight knitted fabric, Lumen features a canopy of recycled, photo-luminescent, and solar active textiles that absorb, collect, and deliver light as well as a misting system that will respond to visitors’ proximity.