Artists Building Trump’s Border Wall Send Bill to Mexico

Mary Mihelic at the border wall she and David Gleeson built in response to Donald J. Trump’s presidential campaign.

Artists David Gleeson and Mary Mihelic decided it was time to deliver on one of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s promises to America—the building of a border wall between the United States and Mexico to be paid for by Mexico, Melena Ryzik of the New York Times reports.

The two artists, who work under the name of t. Rutt, erected a structure made of fifty-two cinder blocks. The beginning of the notorious border wall is located twenty yards from the fence dividing the two countries in Jacumba Hot Springs, California, seventy miles southeast of San Diego. They also thought it was time to test Trump’s belief that Mexico would pay for such an architectural feat. They mailed an itemized bill for $14,635.42 to the president of Mexico, Enrique Pea Nieto, and wrote Trump Tower as the return address.

They were given permission to use the land where the structure was erected by real-estate developer, property owner, and Republican David Landman, who admitted that he will probably vote for Trump in the upcoming election. When asked why he would let the artists create an anti-Trump artwork on his land he said, “I don’t know, it just sounds like the right thing to do at the time.”


September 21, 2017

The University of the Arts and the Philadelphia Art Alliance Join Forces

The University of the Arts in Philadelphia. Photo: Dave Jackson

The boards of trustees of the University of the Arts and Philadelphia Art Alliance announced that the two century-old institutions will merge. The agreement was finalized with a final and unanimous vote on August 28.

The Art Alliance will be incorporated into the University of the Arts, which will be renamed as the Philadelphia Art Alliance at the University of the Arts. The University of the Arts president and CEO David Yager will head the rebranded institution.

“We are thrilled that the Art Alliance will continue to be an active part of the future of Philadelphia’s cultural life as a result of this merger with the University of the Arts,” said Carole Shanis, chairperson and president emerita of the Art Alliance. “The Art Alliance has been a multi-disciplinary art center, guided by artists, since it was founded in 1915. While, over the last 10 years, our focus has been on contemporary craft and design, we welcome the new resources and broader perspective that will come with this partnership.”

September 21, 2017

The Broad Welcomes Thomas Campbell and Other Members to Its Board of Directors

The Broad museum in Los Angeles.

The Broad museum in Los Angeles has announced that it has added four new members to its board of directors, including Thomas Campbell, the outgoing director of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Sherry Lansing, CEO of the Sherry Lansing Foundation; Joanne Heyeler, the Broad’s founding director; and Deborah Kanter, the Broad Art Foundation’s chief legal officer, will also join its ranks.

“As the Broad celebrates its second anniversary, Edye and I are delighted to see the museum expand its board,” museum founder Eli Broad said in a statement. “The four new members reflect a wide variety of experience in industries including the arts, philanthropy, media, and business, and we look forward to applying their insights as the Broad looks to the future.”

The institution’s board now has a total of eight members. Its founding members are Eli Broad, Bruce Karatz, Robert Tuttle, and Jay Wintrob.

September 21, 2017

Museum of Fine Arts Houston Names Bradley Bailey as Curator of Asian Art

Bradley Bailey.

The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston announced today the appointment of Bradley Bailey as curator of Asian art. Currently associate curator of Asian art at the Ackland Art Museum at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Bailey will be the first to hold the newly endowed curatorial position, which has been sponsored by Anne and Albert Chao and the Chao family, through the Ting Tsung and Wei Fong Chao Foundation. Bailey will take up the post in October.

“I am excited to build on the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston’s collection of Asian art, which is a daring blend of works with great historical importance and thrilling contemporary acquisitions,” Bailey said. “This combination provides an unparalleled opportunity to showcase traditional art forms alongside works from the present-day, demonstrating their power and relevance to modern audiences.”

September 20, 2017

Martin Parr to Open Foundation Dedicated to Documentary Photography

Martin Parr, Guadalajara, Mexico, 2013.

Martin Parr has created an eponymous foundation—dedicated to the study and exhibition of documentary photography—in the city of Bristol in southwestern England, writes Javier Pes of the Art Newspaper. The Martin Parr Foundation will open on October 25, 2017, with “Black Country Stories,” an exhibition of the artist’s own works. The show will run until January 2018.

“I don’t believe the V&A and the Tate believe in documentary photography as I do,” said Parr when asked why he decided to open his foundation, which was first established three years ago. Funded by the partial sale/gift of the artist’s 12,000 photo books to the Tate (which plans on naming a room after the artist), Parr’s institution will allow researchers access to his collection of documentary photographs from artists such as Bruce Davidson, Chris Killip, Roger Mayne, Gilles Peress, and Tony Ray-Jones. Support from the Art Fund and the Luma Foundation helped with the museum’s purchase.

The foundation is housed in Bristol’s Paintworks complex, which contains a library, gallery, studio, and archive space. In addition to being a research hub, Parr’s organization also plans on working with University of the West of England by giving students from its newly minted MA in photography program a space for their thesis exhibitions.

September 20, 2017

Florence Derieux Appointed Director of Exhibitions at Hauser & Wirth New York

Florence Derieux. Photo: Lisa Oppenheim.

Florence Derieux has been named the director of exhibitions at Hauser & Wirth New York. The curator and art historian comes to the gallery after being at the Centre Pompidou Foundation as its curator of American art and the institution’s curator at large, reports Caroline Elbaor of Artnet. Though a formal announcement from the gallery has yet to be made, Artnet spoke with Derieux and confirmed the appointment.

Derieux started at the Centre Pompidou Foundation about two years ago. Prior to her time there, she held positions at the Palais de Tokyo in Paris and the Picasso Museum in Antibes. She was also the director of FRAC Champagne-Ardenne in Reims, where she organized exhibitions on artists such as Agnes Denes, Tom Burr, Sterling Ruby, and Lisa Oppenheim. And from 2013 to 2015, Derieux was the curator of Art Basel Parcours, a program where she invited artists to interact with historically significant sites throughout the heart of Basel.

September 20, 2017

Theaster Gates Wins 2018 Nasher Prize

Theaster Gates. Photo: The Nasher Sculpture Center

The Nasher Sculpture Center in Dallas announced today that American artist Theaster Gates has been awarded its 2018 Nasher Prize. In its third year, the prize recognizes living artists who elevate the understanding of sculpture and its possibilities. Gates will receive $100,000 and will be presented with an award designed by Renzo Piano, the architect of the Nasher Sculpture Center, at a ceremony in Dallas on April 7, 2018.

“Sculpture is a way to move between materials—to fight with materials,” Gates said. “This movement between materials and modes of making is what I want to spend my time doing. My work’s aim is to pay attention to a thing that has not had attention paid to it in a long time.” In Artforum’s October 2013 issue, Huey Copeland wrote that Gates “can be said to work with and against a particular admixture of aesthetics, theories, contexts, and attitudes: white guilt, the archival turn, DIY aesthetics, the uplift impulse, parafiction, actor-network theory, and, perhaps unavoidably, privatization and the concomitant proliferation of nonprofits and NGOs.”

The prize’s jury comprised Phyllida Barlow, artist; Huma Bhabha, artist; Pablo Len de la Barra, Guggenheim curator at large, Latin America; Lynne Cooke, senior curator, National Gallery of Art; Okwui Enwezor, director, Haus der Kunst; Yuko Hasegawa, chief curator of the Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo; Hou Hanru, artistic director, MAXXI, Rome; Alexander Potts, art historian; and Sir Nicholas Serota, chair of the Arts Council England.

September 20, 2017

Whitney Museum Reveals Plan for Hudson River Artwork

The Whitney Museum of American Art in New York.

The Whitney Museum of American Art is currently working to bring a permanent art installation by artist David Hammons to the Gansevoort Peninsula along the Hudson River, Robin Pogrebin and Charles V. Bagli of the New York Times report. The project was revealed shortly after media mogul Barry Diller decided to abandon his plan to convert Manhattan’s derelict Pier 54 into a 2.7-acre floating park equipped with multiple performance venues. The billionaire had been campaigning to build the public space since 2011.

Museum director Adam Weinberg confirmed Hammons’s project, which will be presented to the local community board on October 4. He also stressed that the Whitney’s proposal is in its “earliest stages.” Reflecting on the shipping history of Pier 52, the preliminary design for the artist’s installation includes a skeletal framework of the original pier that will be built on twelve pilings and will jut out over the water.

Following the controversy that halted Diller’s cultural pier, a major concern of the project will be its environmental impact since it will be constructed on a protected Hudson estuary. “We’re extremely mindful of environmental and community sensitivity,” Weinberg said. “We followed everything that happened to Pier 55.”

September 20, 2017

Graham C. Boettcher Joins Birmingham Museum of Art as Director

Graham C. Boettcher.

The Birmingham Museum of Art has named Graham C. Boettcher its new director. After a six-month national search, Boettcher was hired to replace Gail C. Andrews, who announced her plans for retirement in March after twenty-one years of service to the institution.

“Over the course of the interview process and indeed over the last decade of his service to the Birmingham Museum of Art, Graham has proven himself as a distinguished scholar of art history, a dedicated steward of our collection, and a highly-regarded community leader who is committed to realizing the mission and vision of our prized institution,” said board chair James K. Outland. “Graham has created new avenues for accessing art, from both a visitorship perspective and financial standpoint. We look forward to the possibilities his leadership will provide in elevating the Birmingham Museum of Art to even greater heights, as he builds on Gail Andrews’ incredible legacy.”

Boettcher was previously a curatorial fellow at the Yale University Art Gallery, and held research fellowships at the Amon Carter Museum of American Art as well as the Terra Foundation Summer Residency in Giverny, France. He joined the Birmingham Museum of Art in 2006, as the Henry Luce Foundation Curatorial Fellow in American Art. In 2008, Boettcher was hired as the curator of American art, which was endowed that same year. After six years, he was promoted to chief curator and, in February 2016, he was appointed the deputy director. Among the many exhibitions Boettcher has curated are “A Masterpiece in Our Midst: Robert S. Duncanson’s A Dream of Italy” (2010), “Norman Rockwell’s America” (2012), and “The Look of Love: Eye Miniatures from the Skier Collection” (2012).

September 20, 2017

Chrysler Museum of Art Names Corey Piper Curator of American Art

Corey Piper.

The Chrysler Museum of Art in Norfolk, Virginia has announced that Corey Piper has been appointed the institution’s new curator of American Art. Piper joins the museum from the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts where he served as a curatorial associate.

“Corey’s knowledge and experience in nineteenth-century art and culture match so well with the strengths of our collection, including his focus on painting and the natural world. We are so pleased to have him join the Chrysler team,” said director Erik Neil.

During his tenure at the VMFA, Piper worked on a number of exhibitions and gallery installations and served as cocurator for “Catching Sight: The World of the British Sporting Print” (2013–2014). He also previously held fellowships at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Smithsonian American Art Museum, and Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art.