The Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts has announced that it has welcomed six new members to its board of trustees. Mark A. Douglas, president of FMC Agricultural Solutions; Robert E. Kohler, professor emeritus of the department of history and sociology of science at the University of Pennsylvania and longtime PAFA donor; Jannie K. Lau, executive vice president, general counsel, and secretary at InterDigital; Kelly Lee, chief cultural officer of Philadelphia’s Office of Arts, Culture, and Creative Economy; Jay H. Shah, CEO of Hersha Hospitality Trust; and June Marshall Smith, a member of the academy’s Women’s Board since 2014, were elected in June.
“The expertise, enthusiasm, and leadership they bring to the table will be invaluable to PAFA’s continued success in fulfilling our mission of promoting the transformative power of art and art making,” board chair Kevin F. Donohoe said. Founded in 1805, the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts is America’s oldest school of fine arts and museum.
Artists Shia LaBeouf, Luke Turner, and Nastja Säde Rönkkö have removed their protest work, HeWillNotDivide.Us, 2017, after it incited illegal trespassing at the Foundation for Art and Creative Technology gallery in Liverpool where it was installed on March 22.
Consisting of a camera mounted under the words “He will not divide us” on the exterior wall of a building, the work was conceived as a participatory piece that would livestream footage of passersby repeating the phrase throughout the duration of Trump’s presidency. It originally opened at the Museum of the Moving Image in Queens, New York, on Inauguration day. However, safety concerns led the institution to cancel the exhibition. Labeouf and his collaborators moved the piece to El Rey Theater in Albuquerque shortly after, but pulled the plug for the same reason.
It was adopted by FACT gallery after the artist group decided it was too dangerous to continue presenting the piece in America since it was the target of “constant disruptions and hate-speech by far-right extremists.” After nearly two days in its new location, the Merseyside police were called to the gallery following reports that a group of men were trying to retrieve a flag emblazoned with the words “He will not divide us” from the roof of the gallery. The incident prompted LaBeouf, Turner & Rönkkö to take down the work.
John Lee of BravinLee Programs in Chelsea and artist Jeffrey Beebe have launched a Kickstarter campaign to garner support for an anti-Trump work—a fifteen-foot-tall inflatable rat equipped with an ill-fitting suit, a tie that’s too long, and a comb-over—that once fabricated will be loaned to protests across the nation.
According to the project statement, the Rat is meant to be an “enduring sign of resistance and ridicule” that will first be erected near the entrance to Trump Tower in Manhattan before it is shipped elsewhere. Lee and Beebe hope this initiative will “show how artists, art, and the creative community can play a meaningful role during these dark times.”
The campaign has already raised $4,000 of its $10,000 goal. If the donations surpass the project’s asking amount, Lee and Beebe have pledged to make as many rats as the funding will allow. They are also planning to establish the Public Display of Disaffection Political Action Committee, a group that will use art to make resisting the Trump administration more “visually engaging.”
Smith College Museum of Art in Massachusetts has appointed Emma Imbrie Chubb, a Ph.D. candidate and presidential fellow in the department of art history at Northwestern University, its first-ever curator of contemporary art. She will take up the post on July 10.
Director and chief curator Jessica Nicoll said, “The search committee was particularly pleased to offer the position to Emma Chubb, whose scholarship, curatorial experience, and expansive curiosity indicate the power of contemporary art to respond to current issues and to shape individual and public opinion around the issues of the day.”
The curatorial position was created following a gift from alum Charlotte Feng Ford, who said Chubb reminded her of why she is so passionate about collecting contemporary art. “Emma’s enthusiasm is exciting, and her ideas for the new curator’s position are inspiring. She will develop understanding amongst students and the community that will lead to many fantastic opportunities at the museum.”
From 2013 to 2016, Chubb served as a consultant for the Arab Museum of Modern Art in Doha, Qatar. In 2014, she curated an exhibition on Mohssin Harraki at L’appartement 22, Morocco’s first independent art space. She was also founding codirector of Doukan 7002, a year-long project space in Chicago, and has worked as a research assistant and translator for exhibitions in Morocco and South Korea. Chubb is the recipient of a 2016 Camargo Foundation Residential Fellowship to Cassis, France, and an American Institute for Maghrib Studies Long-Term Research Grant in 2013. She has published articles in Art Journal, the Journal of Arabic Literature, and Nafas Art magazine, among others. Chubb holds a bachelor’s degree from Haverford College. She expects to receive her Ph.D. in art history from Northwestern University in June.
The Arts Club of Washington, DC, has announced that Rachel Corbett has won the eleventh annual Marfield Prize, a national award recognizing arts writing, for her book You Must Change Your Life: The Story of Rainer Maria Rilke and Auguste Rodin (2016).
The Brooklyn-based writer will travel to DC in May for a brief residency, a public discussion on her book, and the celebratory Marfield Award dinner. During her stay, Corbett will also meet with local high school students and appear on Grace Cavalieri’s Library of Congress podcast, “The Poet and the Poem.” Corbett is editor in chief of Modern Painters magazine. Her writing has also been featured in several other publications such as the New Yorker, the New York Times, and the Art Newspaper.
The judging panel consisted of television and radio host Robert Aubry Davis, author W. Ralph Eubanks, and author and poet Matthea Harvey. Among the works shortlisted for the award were Jane Kamensky’s A Revolution in Color: The World of John Singleton Copley (2016); Alexander Nemerov’s Soulmaker: The Times of Lewis Hine (2016); Claudia Roth Pierpont’s American Rhapsody: Writers, Musicians, Movie Stars, and One Great Building (2016); and Paul Youngquist’s A Pure Solar World: Sun Ra and the Birth of Afrofuturism (2016).
Phillips has announced that independent art advisor Laurence Calmels will join the auction house as a regional director for France. Calmels will work to increase Phillips’s presence in France by supporting its business and development efforts and by cultivating networks of collectors and art dealers.
“With her significant experience and passion for engaging with clients and colleagues, and her intimate knowledge of the art world in France, Laurence is a welcome addition to our team as we look to grow our market share in this important market,” CEO Edward Dolman said. “Paris has always been one of the world’s most important cultural capitals and will become an increasingly important market for Phillips.”
Prior to becoming an art advisor, Calmels was a partner of the Paris-based auction house Calmels-Cohen. After becoming the youngest female auctioneer in France, Calmels was named a Commissaire-Priseur. During her time at Calmels-Cohen, she led several successful sales including the auction of André Breton and Jean Arp collections.
“Phillips is building a strong reputation as an exciting and forward-looking auction house and there is great momentum at the company,” Calmels said. “I look forward to helping the company expand its reach and working with its very talented group of specialists.”
New York University has announced the appointment of art historian Christine Poggi, currently professor of art history at the University of Pennsylvania, as the new Judy and Michael Steinhardt Director of the Institute of Fine Arts. She will succeed Patricia Rubin who will step down from the role after eight years. Poggi will assume her responsibilities on September 1.
NYU President Andrew Hamilton said, “Her commitment to high academic standards will ensure that the Institute will continue to enjoy a reputation for excellence, and her demonstrable success at the University of Pennsylvania in encouraging cross-department collaborations and institutional partnerships is very much in line with the emphasis we put on such efforts here at NYU.”
During her tenure at the University of Pennsylvania, Poggi has served as chair of the undergraduate and graduate program; director of the program in gender, sexuality, and women’s studies; and, director of the Alice Paul Center for the Study of Gender, Sexuality, and Women. Poggi has authored a number of books including In Defiance of Painting: Cubism, Futurism, and the Invention of Collage (1992); and Inventing Futurism: The Art and Politics of Artificial Optimism (2009), which was awarded the Modern Language Association’s Howard R. Marraro Prize. She is the recipient of fellowships from the Fulbright Commission, Whitney Humanities Center at Yale University, National Endowment for the Humanities, among others as well as the University of Pennsylvania’s Abrams Memorial Award for Distinguished Teaching. Poggi earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of California at Santa Cruz, her master’s degree from the University of Chicago, and her Ph.D. from Yale University. Her principal areas of study include modern and contemporary art and criticism, early twentieth-century avant-gardes, the invention of collage, and the rise of abstraction.
Thirty-two years after Postmasters first opened its doors in New York City, the gallery has announced it will expand to Rome, Italy, Alex Greenberger of Artnews reports. The new outpost will be ran by Paulina Bebecka, who currently codirects its Tribeca space, and be used to present pop-up exhibitions, special projects, and art fairs.
In addition, the gallery appointed Kerry Doran, director of New York’s Bitforms gallery, as head of its 4,500-square-foot flagship space. She will take up the post on April 11. Postmasters represents a wide range of artists including Monica Cook, David Diao, Ernesto Klar, Eva and Franco Mattes (0100101110101101.org), Steve Mumford, Serkan Özkaya, Anton Perich, Sally Smart, Federico Solmi, and Chris Verene.
Thirty-four-year-old artist Corrina Mehiel was murdered in a Washington, DC, apartment near Capitol Hill on Tuesday, March 21, Peter Hermann, Lynh Bui and Michael E. Ruane of the Washington Post report.
The artist was temporarily staying in DC while collaborating with conceptual artist Mel Chin on “The Fundred Reserve,” an exhibition at George Washington University’s Corcoran School of the Arts and Design. Visitors to the school are invited to create hand-drawn $100 bills to illustrate the price of protecting kids from lead poisoning.
Located at 600 block of 14th Street NE, the basement apartment of a rowhouse in which Mehiel was bound and fatally stabbed belonged to Chin. Mehiel intended to stay at the residence throughout the duration of their project. She is originally from Burnsville, North Carolina. Chin said that he last saw Mehiel on Sunday night when he and his wife hosted a dinner party at their home.
At a news conference, acting Police Chief Peter Newsham said that the investigation is in its early stages and confirmed there was no sign of forced entry. The authorities are currently looking for Mehiel’s blue four-door 2004 Toyota Prius.
Born in Seattle in 1982, Mehiel was a project assistant at Mel Chin Studio and a former teacher at the Corcoran School and the Art Academy of Cincinnati. She received her MFA from the University of Cincinnati and her BA from Pennsylvania State University. In an email to members of the Corcoran School, a George Washington University spokesman said, “Corrina was a vibrant and talented individual who will be dearly missed.”
The Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw has announced that it is opening the Museum on the Vistula on Saturday, March 25. The temporary exhibition space will host programming until the institution’s new building in Plac Defilad is completed in 2020.
Located along the Vistula River in the historic neighborhood of Powiśle, the exhibition space is a 6,400-square-foot portable structure that was conceived by Austrian architect Adolf Krischanitz and originally installed in Berlin in 2008. It served as a temporary building for the Temporäre Kunsthalle until 2010. Its exterior skin, made from ber-cement panels, was designed as an additional surface on which artists can present art.
The flexible structure was made available to the Warsaw MoMA through its collaboration with the Vienna-based Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary (TBA21) foundation. “The fact that Adolf Krischanitz’s wonderful temporary exhibition space will become a center for contemporary art and culture in Warsaw is very exciting,” Francesca von Habsburg, founder and chairwoman of TBA21, said. “Its interim use in Powiśle will create an extraordinary, experimental space—not only inside, but outside as well—offering visitors and passers by a unique and direct experience of contemporary art.”
The Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw will inaugurate the pavilion with a group exhibition, “The Beguiling Siren Is Thy Crest,” featuring works by Evelyne Axell, Louise Bourgeois, Edith Dekyndt, Christian Dietrich, Elmgreen & Dragset, Pablo Picasso, Agnieszka Polska, Carol Rama, Erna Rosenstein, Tejal Shah, Dorothea Tanning, and Wolfgang Tillmans.