New Curator for Rio de Janeiro’s Museum of Modern Art

Fernando Cocchiarale

According to Artnexus, the Museo de Arte moderno in Rio de Janeiro has a new curator of visual arts: Fernando Cocchiarale. A professor of aesthetics in the philosophy department of the Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro, Cocchiarale had previously taught at the Escola de Artes Visuais do Parque Lage for over twenty years.

A former curator of the Rumos: Itaú Cultural program, he has served as visual arts coordinator of Funarte, and has authored hundreds of articles and several books, including Abstracionismos Geométrico e Informal, Funarte, Rio de Janeiro (1987), with Anna Bella Geiger.

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January 19, 2017

Ongoing List of Arts Institutions to Close for Inauguration Day Culture Strike

Anti-Trump protest.

In protest of the normalization of a Donald Trump presidency, arts institutions, artists, and critics are planning to participate in a culture strike on Inauguration Day, January 20. Billed as an “act of non-compliance,” the J20 Art Strike urges museums, galleries, theaters, concert halls, studios, nonprofits, and art schools to take a stand against hate and intolerance.

The following is a running list of institutions and organizations that will close or present special programming.

January 19, 2017

Reports of Trump Administration Plan to Eliminate the NEA and NEH Cause Alarm

President-elect Donald J. Trump

While President-elect Donald J. Trump has not officially made a statement regarding his plans for the National Endowment of the Arts or the National Endowment of the Humanities, a report published by The Hill this morning claims that the Trump administration has proposed eliminating both agencies in order to reduce federal spending by $10.5 trillion over the next ten years.

According to the proposal, funding for the departments of commerce, energy, transportation, justice, and state would also be subject to significant cuts and program eliminations and the corporation for public broadcasting would become privatized.

Established by Congress in 1965, the NEA is the largest national funder of nonprofits in the US. The agency awards more than 2,200 grants and cooperative agreements exceeding $130 million for arts programming annually. The NEA’s 2015 Annual Report states that its $146 million budget, which represents only 0.012 percent of the federal budget, supported more than 30,000 concerts, readings, and performances and more than 5,000 exhibitions. NEA awards generated around $600 million in matching support.

January 19, 2017

New York’s Museum of Arts and Design Director Jorge Daniel Veneciano Steps Down

Jorge Daniel Veneciano

The Museum of Arts and Design in New York announced today that director Jorge Daniel Veneciano will resign on January 31 after only five months in the position. The scholar of art and political theory will shift his focus to writing and consulting at the intersection of cultural policy, immigrant rights, and civic engagement. Board chair Michele Cohen will serve as interim director while the museum searches for a replacement.

“Current political events compel me to turn my attention to pressing needs in the cultural sector,” Veneciano said. He is currently writing a book about the social relevance of cultural institutions in “securing civility in uncivil times.” He added, “I remain a great admirer of the museum of arts and design, and I am confident that it will be in good hands going forward.”

Veneciano succeeded Glenn Adamson when he joined the institution as director in October. Previously, he served as director of El Museo del Barrio. Cohen said that the museum respects Veneciano’s decision and “on behalf of MAD’s trustees, staff, and audiences, I wish him well on his next steps.”

January 19, 2017

Milwaukee Art Museum Receives Historic Gift of More Than 500 Jules Chéret Works

Jules Chéret, Les Girard, 1879.

The Milwaukee Art Museum announced today that it has been promised a gift of more than five hundred works by French graphic artist Jules Chéret from the collection of Susee and James Wiechmann. Often referred to as the “father of the modern poster,” Chéret influenced many artists of his time including Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec and Pierre Bonnard. His works range from posters advertising theatrical events to designs for book covers.

“Susee and I are thrilled to add our Jules Chéret poster collection to the museum’s treasures where it can be shared by all,” James Wiechmann said. “These posters that lit up the streets of Paris in the late 1800s will now shine in the galleries of our Milwaukee Art Museum and those of other museums as they are exhibited around the country.”

In addition to the promised gift of their Chéret collection, which was partially featured in the museum’s exhibition, “Posters of Paris: Toulouse-Lautrec and His Contemporaries” (2012), the Wiechmanns are underwriting the institution’s new associate curator of prints and drawings position. Britany L. Salsbury, an Andrew W. Mellon curatorial fellow at the Rhode Island School of Design, will take up the post in February.

“We look forward to welcoming Britany as an integral part of the museum’s curatorial team,” director Marcelle Polednik said. “In addition to managing our works on paper collection, her extensive experience makes her the perfect person to catalogue and develop a major exhibition based on the Chéret gift.”

January 19, 2017

Frieze London Names Ruba Katrib Curatorial Advisor of Focus

Ruba Katrib

Frieze announced today that Ruba Katrib, a curator at the SculptureCenter in New York, has been appointed as curatorial advisor for the Focus section at Frieze London’s 2017 edition, which will take place from October 5 to October 8.

Katrib joins numerous curators collaborating with Frieze, including Raphael Gygax, curator at the Migros Museum für Gegenwartskunst in Zurich,Toby Kamps, curator of modern and contemporary art at The Menil Collection in Houston, and independent curators Norman Rosenthal and Clare Lilley. Katrib said, “I’m eager to see who’s there and what they’ve brought, knowing that the galleries in Focus can be counted on to bring lesser-known artists, new work, and exciting ideas—they consistently work hard to convey a fresh approach.”

Last year, Focus, which showcases emerging galleries aged twelve years or younger, presented thirty-seven galleries from Berlin to Shanghai. Previous curatorial advisors have included Cecilia Alemani, Daniel Baumann, Raphael Gygax, Sarah McCrory and Rodrigo Moura.

January 19, 2017

Queer|Art Names Travis Chamberlain Managing Director

Travis Chamberlain

Travis Chamberlain, the associate curator of performance at New York’s New Museum, will join Queer|Art—a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting LGBTQ artists—as its first managing director. He will take up the post on February 1.

Filmmaker and founding director Ira Sachs established Queer|Art in 2009 to give voice to “a population that has been historically suppressed, disenfranchised, and often overlooked by traditional institutional and economic support systems.” Sachs said, “Given the success and demand we’ve seen for our programs over the eight years we’ve been around, it is clear that Queer|Art can play a vital role in serving both the arts and LGBTQ communities for years to come.” He added, “Significantly, Travis will be the organization’s first fulltime staff member, and represents our commitment to growth and sustainability. We are thrilled to have such an impassioned and experienced arts leader join us in our efforts.”

During his tenure at the New Museum, Chamberlain supported the work of a number of queer artists such as Ishmael Houston-Jones, Dennis Cooper, Karen Finley, Julie Tolentino, Wu Tsang, Jennifer Monson, and others. He joined the institution in 2007 as a public programs coordinator before becoming the associate curator of performance in 2013. Previously, Chamberlain served as the artistic director of Galapagos Art Space in Brooklyn.

January 19, 2017

Rental Gallery to Open East Hampton Space in May

Joel Mesler, Untitled (Pool with Beach Ball), 2016. Photo: Martin Parsek

Rental Gallery has announced that it will open a new location in East Hampton, New York, in May. Founded by artist and dealer Joel Mesler, Rental was originally established in Los Angeles in 2004 as a venue for flexible and experimental programming by local curators and gallerists. After three years, the gallery relocated to New York City where it operated until 2010.

Mesler said, “New York has been the center of the art world for the longest time, but in a globalized world, what does that even mean? We’re focusing on one of most important regions of artmaking and collecting in this part of the world, figuring that people will come to us. It’s like those bumper stickers—‘Think Global, Collect Local.’”

In a statement, the gallery cites “a decade of rising rents in arts centers, combined with a global move towards an art-fair driven calendar” as the reason why it chose to move to a seasonal destination such as the Hamptons. Rental will inaugurate its new space with a retrospective featuring artists who have exhibited at the gallery since its founding.

January 19, 2017

New York’s Essex Street Gallery Relocates to Hester Street

Lucy Raven, 4:3, 2008.

Manhattan’s Essex Street Gallery has announced that it is relocating from Eldridge Street to 55 Hester Street, Alex Greenberger of Artnews reports. Founder Maxwell Graham said he considered moving to Berlin or Brussels before deciding on a larger space closer to the gallery’s original location.

A group show of political art, “Change of State,” will inaugurate the space. “I planned on doing an anti-inauguration exhibition regardless of which of the two candidates were elected,” Graham said. The exhibition, which opens on January 19, will be on view at the gallery’s Eldridge Street and Hester Street locations. Essex Street is participating in the J20 Art Strike and will be closed on Inauguration Day, January 20.

“Change of State” will feature older works including Fred Lonidier photographs depicting the arrests of twenty-nine protesters in 1972. Among the other artists exhibiting are Andrea Fraser, Hans Haacke, Rodney McMillian, Lucy Raven, and Sean Snyder. “I didn’t think that new work made sense because I don’t think we’re necessarily moving forward,” Graham said. “Amongst other moments of contemporary art history, critical practices from the ’80s and ’90s are foundational for me and members of the gallery. It’s very depressing to see the increased need for them again.”

January 18, 2017

The Studio Museum Appoints Connie H. Choi Associate Curator

Connie H. Choi

The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York, announced today that Connie H. Choi, currently assistant curator of American art at the Brooklyn Museum, has been named associate curator of its permanent collection. She will take up the post on February 6.

“We are thrilled to have Connie bring her significant experience and expertise in American art, African American art, and museum collections to the Studio Museum,” director Thelma Golden said. “I am confident that she will be a wonderful addition to the curatorial team as we approach our fiftieth anniversary and continue to grow our collection.”

Choi joined the Brooklyn Museum in 2009 as a graduate intern and research associate before becoming assistant curator. During her tenure at the museum, she assisted the former curator of American Art, Terry Carbone, with the museum’s Fund for African American Art, an initiative founded in 2010 to support gifts of art by African American artists. She also organized the exhibition “Forever Coney: Photographs from the Brooklyn Museum Collection” and was part of the curatorial team for “Infinite Blue.” Choi earned her bachelor’s degree from Yale University and her master’s in arts education from Harvard University. She is currently a Ph.D candidate in art history at Columbia University, where her research focuses on African American art, the history of photography, and the intersections between race, history, and culture.