Craig Nakano reports in the Los Angeles Times that the executive director of the A+D Architecture and Design Museum of Los Angeles, Tibbie Dunbar, has left the institution after a twelve-year tenure. A search has been launched to hire her replacement. During Dunbar’s time there exhibitions such as “Never Built: Los Angeles,” examining decades of design proposals that were never commissioned, were staged and the museum also made its move from the Museum Row on Wilshire Boulevard to downtown Los Angeles.
Dunbar will be moving into a position outside of the museum community, according to an A+D spokeswoman. Simultaneously, A+D also announced the appointment of Eric Stultz as president of the museum’s board of directors for a two-year term. Stultz is a design principal at the Gensler architectural firm and has been an A+D board member for seven years.
Randy Kennedy of the New York Times writes that the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes in Havana will not be loaning the Bronx Museum any artworks for “Wild Noise/Ruido Salvaje,” a collaborative exhibition between the two institutions. The first half of “Wild Noise” opened at the Museo Nacional in the summer of 2015 with a loan of more than eighty pieces from the Bronx Museum’s permanent collection. The Bronx Museum will now plan on exhibiting about sixty works pulled from various private and public collections outside of Cuba.
As artforum.com reported last August, four of the Bronx Museum’s board members resigned over disagreements regarding the direction the museum was being taken in by its director, Holly Block. There was a great deal of contention over the “Wild Noise” exhibit, in addition to a plan to gift Cuba with a replica statue of Cuban revolutionary leader, José Martí (the original sits at the outskirts of New York’s Central Park), which would have cost the museum $2.5 million.
Block did not confirm whether or not the loan was stopped due to fears surrounding Trump’s presidency. “We didn’t get a no from them but we also didn’t get a final yes,” said Block. The Bronx half of the exhibition has been pushed back a number of times, as there were fears that the artworks could have been taken by the US government because of lawsuits filed by Americans over properties that were confiscated by Fidel Castro when he took power in 1959. The US State Department put forth a ruling to protect the works from seizure late last year. The Museo Nacional, however, still did not respond.
Yuko Hasegawa, chief curator of the Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo, has been named the curator for the Seventh Moscow Biennale, which will be held from September 15 to October 28 at the Manezh exhibition hall adjacent to the Kremlin as well as various locations around the city.
Titled “Transcendental Forest,” the biennial will focus on the concept of the forest as a metaphor for people seeking to plant roots in new places. Above the trees are the clouds, which represent the Internet, a space where people communicate. Hasegawa said, “It is between the forest and the cloud that new meanings and masterpieces are created."
Born in Hyogo Prefecture, Japan, Hasegawa earned degrees from Kyoto University and the Tokyo University of Fine Arts and Music. From 1993 to 1999, she worked as curator of the Art Museum Setegai in Tokyo. In 1999 she joined the Contemporary Art Museum of XXI Century in Kanazawa, Japan, as chief curator, and later became artistic director. Hasegawa has served as chief curator of the Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo since 2006. She is also a professor at Tama Art University. Hasegawa curated the Seventh Istanbul Biennial in 2001 and the Eleventh Biennale in Sharjah in 2013; cocurated the Fifth Shanghai Biennale in 2002, the Fourth Seoul International Biennale of Media Art in 2006, and the Twenty-Ninth Biennale in Sāo Paulo in 2010; and served as artistic advisor of the Twelfth Venice Architecture Biennale in 2010. In 2003, she was commissioner of Japan’s Pavilion for the Fiftieth Venice Biennale.
Hasegawa visited Moscow and St. Petersburg for the first time while attending talks about the Biennale. During her stay, she visited the Hermitage Museum where she viewed the Jan Fabre exhibition. She said, “The conjunction of classicism and modernity inspired me immensely. I know very little about Russian artists, I will now start to explore the local art scene to pick worthy pieces for the exhibition.”
Cyprus’s ministry of education and culture has announced that Polys Peslikas will represent the republic in the fifty-seventh Venice Biennale, which will be held from May 13 to November 26. Jan Verwoert will curate the pavilion.
Artist collective Neoterismoi Toumazou, writer Mirene Arsanios, and ceramist Valentinos Charalambous will also contribute to the exhibition, which will be titled “Coming to Life Through the Medium of Painting.”
Verwoert said that Peslikas will display paintings that will set the stage for the guest artists who are invited to participate in the pavilion. “On the basis of his practice, Peslikas made a strong case for the power of painting to convey the intensity of elementary experiences,” Verwoert said. “He jokes: ‘A painting remembers you sneezed in front of and it will sneeze back at you one day.’ Yet, Peslikas equally emphasized that this experiential potential may most strongly be felt when painting veils itself; chiaroscuro lets the eyes wander; colors become atmospherical, spectral even. So the peculiar appearance of painting in the envisioned exhibition space may be akin to the ghost of a theatre curtain, which remains present before your eyes, even when the play is already in progress.”
Born in Limassol in 1973, Peslikas lives and works in Berlin. In his practice, Peslikas often views the canvas as a space to negotiate the concept of time and invents new relationships with existing narratives. Peslikas frequently collaborates with artists working in other mediums including dancers. He helped establish the culture publication Ysterografo magazine and is the artistic director at VOLKS, a recently opened arts space in Nicosia.
The Morgan Library and Museum has announced that Jessica Ludwig has been named its new deputy director. Ludwig will be responsible for supporting the curatorial department, library, and research teams as well as organizing the Morgan’s exhibition program. She will take up the post on February 27.
Ludwig comes to the Morgan with more than ten years of experience as a museum professional. She worked for eight years at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation in New York as a managing director and, more recently, as a project director of the collection center. During her tenure, Ludwig oversaw the BMW Guggenheim Lab. From 2012 to 2015, Ludwig led the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute in Williamstown, Massachusetts.
Director Colin B. Bailey said, “The Morgan is currently experiencing some of the most successful years in its history and Jessica’s expertise will be a key asset as the institution looks to extend these gains.”
Romania’s ministry of culture has announced that Geta Brătescu will represent the country at the Fifty-Seventh Venice Biennale, which will be held from May 13 to November 26. Magda Radu, a curator and art historian at Romania’s National Museum of Contemporary Art, will curate the pavilion.
The ninety-year-old pioneer of Romanian Conceptual art won the second phase of the ministry’s selection process with her proposal “Geta Brătescu-Apariţii” (“Geta Brătescu-Appearances”). With a career spanning fifty years, Brătescu has represented the country in a number of international biennials including the Venice Biennale in 1960 and 2013 as well as the São Paulo Bienal in 1983 and 1987. In 2008, she received the title of Doctor Honoris Causa from the National Arts University in Bucharest for her contribution to the development of contemporary Romanian art. Her works can be found in the permanent collections of New York’s MoMA, London’s Tate, and the Vienna Modern Art Museum.
In the December 2014 issue of Artforum, Gwen Allen wrote about the artist’s first solo exhibition in the US presented by the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive. Allen said, “Poetic transformations of objects and materials pervade the artist’s investigations of self-portraiture, the studio, female gender, and memory tropes particularized by the social and political conditions of Communist and post-Communist Eastern Europe.”
The selection committee consisted of architect Attila Kim, the commissioner of the Romanian pavilion at the 2016 Venice Biennale; Cristian Alexandru Damian, a representative of the Romanian ministry foreign affairs and the Romanian Cultural Insitute; Igor Efrem Zanti, director of the European Design Institute in Venice; Fabio Cavallucci, director of the Luigi Pecci Contemporary Art Center in Prato, Italy; Călin Dan, the general director of the National Museum of Contemporary Art in Bucharest; independent curator Adrian Bojenoiu; and Anca Drăgoi, state secretary of the ministry of culture and national identity.
Three years after Egypt’s Museum of Islamic Art in Cairo was severely damaged in a car bombing, Egyptian president Abdel Fattah al-Sisi announced that the institution was reopening on Wednesday, January 18.
The museum’s façade was destroyed as well as several exhibits after Egyptian jihadists set off a car bomb outside of a nearby police headquarters in January 2014. The explosion damaged more than 170 objects from its collection of 100,000 artifacts—one of the largest holdings of Islamic art in the world.
Several countries funded the restoration, including the United Arab Emirates, which contributed roughly $8 million. One hundred and sixty relics have been restored and three new galleries were built which allow the museum to display nearly three times as many objects.
During a ceremony celebrating the reopening, antiquities minister Khaled el-Enany said, “The inauguration of the Museum of Islamic Art embodies Egypt’s victory against terrorism, its capability and willingness to repair what terrorism has damaged, and to stand against terrorist attempts to destroy its heritage.”
Andrea Torres and Liane Morejon report from ABC Local 10 in Miami that the Cuban artist Danilo Maldonado Machado, also known as “El Sexto,” has been released from a maximum security prison outside Havana, where he has been held since Fidel Castro’s death last November. His lawyer, Kimberly Motley, was arrested in Havana the next month.
The artist was released after the Geneva-based United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention started to review a legal petition filed in his behalf. The artist has been imprisoned before, but this time he was detained just prior to traveling to Miami for an exhibition he was in and a performance he was scheduled for at Art Basel Miami. Machado’s family said they were grateful to Motley and international civil rights attorney Centa B. Rek Chajtur from the Human Rights Foundation. In a statement on the artist’s Facebook page, they said, “It was the growing awareness about his case that has led the Cuban government to liberate him,” adding that the artist plans to “continue doing meaningful art towards a free and democratic Cuba.”
After news broke of a supposed blacklist of artists in South Korea, who were subsequently denied support from the government’s usual channels, the AFP now reports that the country’s culture minister Cho Yoon-Sun has resigned after being arrested over the weekend for allegedly creating this blacklist of almost 10,000 artists who were critical of the now impeached president Park Geun-Hye.
Cho Yoon-Sun, the first minister in active service to be arrested in South Korea, is accused of creating the list to disqualify the artists from receiving government subsidies and private investments, and also to place them under state surveillance. The blacklist’s existence has sparked outrage, as it seems a throwback to dictator Park Chung-Hee’s rule from 1961 to 1979, when the press, arts, and entertainment were heavily censored. Park Chung-Hee was also the impeached leader Park Geun-Hye’s father.
Shortly after her arrest, Cho tendered her resignation to prime minister Hwang Kyo-Ahn, according to a spokesman for the prime minister’s office. Cho also previously served as the minister for gender equality. The Seoul Central District Court had issued a warrant to arrest Cho on charges of abuse of authority and perjury following a request from prosecutors. The court also simultaneously issued an arrest warrant for Kim Ki-Choon, a powerful former chief of staff for Park, who is accused of ordering Cho to create the list of artists.
When the arrest warrants were issued, a court judge said in a statement, “Charges are verified... and there are risks of the accused seeking to destroy evidence.” Prosecutors have questioned Cho and Kim as part of their probe into the wider political scandal involving former president Park and her confidante, Choi Soon-Sil, who is currently on trial for abuse of power and coercion.
Among those on the blacklist are novelist Han Kang, winner of the 2016 Man Booker Prize, and the director Park Chan-Wook, who won the Grand Prix at the Cannes film festival in 2004 and is perhaps best known in the west for his film Oldboy (2003). Many artists on the list had voiced support for opposition parties, or criticized the administration of Park or of her late father, who was assassinated in 1979.
Jay Gorney, a veteran of the New York art world who has had galleries in the East Village, SoHo, and Chelsea, and Lisa Cooley, who ran her eponymous gallery on the Lower East Side until this past August, will join Paula Cooper Gallery, according to Andrew Russeth at Artnews.
Since Gorney left the Chelsea gallery Mitchell-Innes & Nash in 2013, where he was the director of its contemporary art program, he has been organizing shows of work by Deborah Remington, Mathew Cerletty, Ray Johnson, and others, while also working as an advisor to collectors and to the estate of Sarah Charlesworth. In March, he will present a solo booth of work by Anna Betbeze at Independent in New York and, in May, a solo show with Barbara Bloom at David Lewis Gallery in New York. Cooley opened her gallery in 2008 on Orchard Street and moved to a larger venue on Norfolk Street in 2012 where she showed artists such as Cynthia Daignault, Sue Tompkins, Josh Faught, and Lucy Kim, among other artists.