Hamza Walker Appointed New Executive Director of LAXART

Hamza Walker

Hamza Walker, who served as associate curator and director of education at the Renaissance Society at the University of Chicago since 1994, is an adjunct professor at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and cocurated, with Aram Moshayedi, the 2016 edition of the Hammer Museum’s “Made in LA” biennial, has now been named the executive director of LAXART.

“I am honored to be at the helm of one of LA’s premiere nonprofit spaces, to build on its legacy of supporting Los Angeles’s extraordinarily dynamic arts community, and to confront the challenges unique to alternative spaces. I can’t get Sun Ra’s “Fate in a Pleasant Mood” out of my mind,” said Walker.

Executive director and chief curator of the Renaissance Society, Solveig Øvstebø, said of Walker’s transition, “In more than twenty years at the Renaissance Society, Hamza’s curating and writing have made an immeasurable impact on the institution, on Chicago, and on the field of contemporary art. He will be missed dearly here at the Ren, but we want to be the first to congratulate him and LAXART, which will be greatly enriched by his unmatched intellect and wit.”

Walker, who contributed a Best of 2004 to the December 2004 issue of Artforum, has organized recent exhibitions including “A Painting Is A Painting Isn’t A Painting” (2015), at San Francisco’s KADIST; the Renaissance Society’s “Wadada Leo Smith, Ankhrasmation: The Language Scores 1967 - 2015” (2015), cocurated with John Corbett; and “Teen Paranormal Romance” (2014) and “Suicide Narcissus” (2013), two group exhibitions, also at the Ren.


May 24, 2017

New York’s Artists Space to Open Second Location in Tribeca

Jay Sanders

Jay Sanders, executive director and chief curator of Artists Space in New York, announced today that it will open a second venue in 2018. Located at 80 White Street in Tribeca, the two-story exhibition space boasts of 8,000 square feet.

“The successful conclusion of our search for a new exhibition venue is great news for Artists Space itself and for the arts community as a whole, which has been justifiably concerned that economic pressures are making downtown New York untenable for artists and arts organizations alike,” Sanders said. “Having drawn much of our strength from that community, and having contributed our share to its creative vitality and intellectual vigor, we are proud to be planting our flag in Tribeca, where we look forward eagerly to expanding the full range of our activities.”

The contemporary nonprofit has been operating Artists Space Books & Talks at its 55 Walker Street location since it ended its lease at 38 Greene Street in June 2016. The lease agreement between Artists Space and Gerry and Martin Weinstein, an artist who cofounded Art in General in 1981, concluded one month after Sanders assumed his post at the organization. The building will be the sixth downtown Manhattan home Artists Space has had in its forty-five-year history.

May 24, 2017

Jo-ey Tang to Lead Columbus College of Art and Design’s Beeler Gallery

Jo-ey Tang

Ohio’s Columbus College of Art and Design announced today that curator, artist, and critic Jo-ey Tang, who is currently a researcher at Villa Arson in Nice, will head its Beeler Gallery. He will take up the post on June 15.

“I am excited to join Beeler Gallery at Columbus College of Art and Design to continue its ambitious programming,” Tang said. “I hope to foster an ethos of ‘slow programming’ that will counter the speed of production in contemporary art and its contingent fields, to allow for multiple temporalities and deeper encounters with artists, designers, filmmakers, and thinkers, in engaging with their practices, developments, trajectories, and influences.”

Born in Hong Kong, and based in Paris, Tang studied art at the San Francisco Art Institute and earned his master’s degree from New York University before completing post-graduate work at the Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne. He founded the curatorial project The Notary Public there, staging its first exhibitions in his apartment. He also served as a curator at Palais de Tokyo from 2014 to 2015, and as an editor at literary magazine n+1 from 2009 to 2014. Tang is a frequent contributor to Artforum.

May 24, 2017

Graham Foundation Awards $560,000 in Support of Architectural Projects

Caitlin Berrigan, Helicopter Pad, Rachid Karami International Fair Park, from the series “Unfinished State,” 2015. Photo: Caitlin Berrigan

The Graham Foundation announced today the recipients of over $560,000 in grants supporting advancements in architecture. Ninety-nine individuals from twenty countries were recognized for a range of innovative projects including exhibitions, publications, films, performances, and site-specific installations.

“Many of our grantees this year are exploring the agency of design,” Graham Foundation director Sarah Herda said. “They are testing the limits of conventional practice to make new work that directly engages the social and political dimensions of the designed environment.”

Among the seventy-two projects selected are Zahra Malkani and Shahana Rajani’s “Detritus and Development” (2018), an exhibition and ongoing research project that examines emerging landscapes at the intersection of infrastructure, war, and climate change in Pakistan; Josef Asteinza and Mariano Ros’s Havana Modern: Nicolás Quintana and the Architecture of the City (2017), a documentary film about late architect Nicolás Quintana, who played an important role in the Modern movement in Cuba; Everywhere All the Time, 2016, a performance work celebrating the twentieth anniversary of Seán Curran Company, a New York City–based contemporary dance ensemble that connects the fields of dance, music, art, and architecture; and Caitlin Berrigan’s “Unfinished State” (2015), a novel transcribed onto hundreds of postcards that focuses on the waves of real estate development in Berlin and Beirut, two cities that have been under reconstruction for decades.

The full list of grant recipients is as follows:

May 24, 2017

Stanley Greene (1949–2017)

Stanley Greene. Photo: Goran Galic.

Stanley Greene, one of the leading war photographers of his generation, and one of the few black photojournalists who worked internationally, died last Friday on May 19 in Paris, writes James Estrin of the New York Times. Noor Images, the photo agency that Greene helped cofound, revealed the news of his death.

Wherever conflict was, Greene went, travelling to Chechnya, Afghanistan, and Iraq, among many other places. Some of his photographs were too horrific for publication. “You want to sit there comfortably with your newspaper and blueberry muffin, and you don’t want to see pictures that are going to upset your morning. That is the job of a journalist, to upset your morning,” he said.

Greene grew up in New Rochelle, New York. His father, also named Stanley, was an actor, filmmaker, and activist included on the Communist blacklist during the 1950s, which greatly affected his ability to work. His mother, Javotee Sutton Greene, was an actress. As a teenager, the young Greene joined the Black Panthers and became involved in the anti–Vietnam War movement. Though he had hopes of becoming a painter, the photojournalist W. Eugene Smith encouraged him to study photography, which he did at the San Francisco Art Institute, where he documented the city’s punk and hardcore scenes in the 1970s and 1980s. When Greene moved to Paris, he joined the Vu photo agency, which took him to Africa and the Soviet Union a great deal. In 1993, he was the only Western photographer to be in the Russian White House as a coup against the country’s president, Boris Yeltsin, was happening. A pair of photos he took amid the violence earned him World Press Photo awards (Greene went on to receive a total of five World Press Photo awards in his lifetime). Greene published a number of books, including Open Wound: Chechnya 1994–2003 (2003), and the autobiographical Black Passport (2010). His work was also featured in the exhibition “War/Photography” at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston in 2012, curated by Anne Tucker.

May 24, 2017

Boston’s Gardner Museum Increases Reward for Return of Stolen Artworks to $10 Million

Édouard Manet's Chez Tortoni, ca. 1878–80, is one of the pieces that was stolen from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston in 1990.

Graham Bowley of the New York Times reports that the board of trustees at Boston’s Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum has increased the reward for the return of thirteen stolen works—by artists such as Édouard Manet, Johannes Vermeer, and Edgar Degas—from $5 million to $10 million. The reward will expire at the end of 2017.

In 1990, the pieces were taken by thieves disguised as police officers. The estimated value of the stolen cache is $500 million, and is considered to be the largest American art heist on record. Steve Kidder, the president of the Gardner Museum’s board, said, “It is our fervent hope that by increasing the reward, our resolve is clear that we want the safe return of the works to their rightful place and back in public view.”

“We encourage anyone with information to contact the museum directly, and we guarantee complete confidentiality,” said Anthony Amore, the museum’s head of security. Amore also went on to state that the thieves have indeed been identified, but it is believed that the works are no longer in their possession. The board hopes that the doubled reward will reveal the whereabouts of the art.

May 24, 2017

National Endowments of the Arts and Humanities Prepare to Shut Down

Arts advocates at a rally in Corning, New York, on Tuesday protesting cuts in federal funding. Photo: Jeff Murray

After President Trump released his official 2018 federal budget on Tuesday, May 23, which included sweeping cuts to domestic programs, the National Endowments of the Arts and Humanities are preparing to close.

Trump became the first president to propose defunding the federal agencies when he released his preliminary budget in March, which outraged arts advocates across the nation and sparked a number of actions, including marches, protests, and letters to Congress.

The art world was temporarily mollified earlier this month when Congress approved a bipartisan bill that granted funding for the NEA and NEH for the rest of the 2017 fiscal year and even boosted their budgets by nearly $2 million.

May 24, 2017

Michael Bloomberg Gifts $75 Million to New York’s Shed Arts Center

The Shed, a visual and performing arts center, currently under construction in New York City.

Michael R. Bloomberg, the 108th mayor of New York City, has gifted $75 million to The Shed, a new visual and performing arts center under construction in the Hudson Yards on the far West Side, Robin Pogrebin of the New York Times reports. He previously gave $15 million in support of the project in 2012, making his total contribution to the venue $90 million.

Daniel L. Doctoroff, the Shed’s chairman and president, said that with Bloomberg’s donation, the venue has raised $421 million of its $500 million capital campaign. The construction costs of the complex were estimated to be $435 million. Doctoroff, who previously served as chief executive of Bloomberg L.P.—the mayor’s financial information company—said that the additional monies will be used for opening expenses.

Designed by Diller Scofidio + Renfro in collaboration with Rockwell Group, the 200,000-square-foot venue will feature two 25,000-square-foot gallery spaces, a five-hundred-seat theater, an event and rehearsal space, and a free lab for the creation of new work. It also boasts of a moveable shell that can expand the building when needed to provide large-scale indoor and outdoor programming. The Shed broke ground at its location on West Thirtieth Street in 2015 and is expected to welcome visitors as early as 2019.

May 24, 2017

New York’s CRG Gallery to Close Its Doors After Twenty-Five Years

Dealers Glenn McMillian, Richard Desroche, and Carla Chammas. Photo: The Art Dealers Association of America

Dealers Carla Chammas, Richard Desroche, and Glenn McMillian announced on Tuesday, May 23, that after twenty-five years in business CRG Gallery in New York will permanently close at the end of the summer.

In a statement, the gallerists thanked the artists they worked with over the years, including Saloua Raouda Choucair, Alex Dodge, Mona Hatoum, Julie Mehretu, Fausto, Yoko Ono, Joan Snyder, Frances Stark, Ryan Wallace, and O Zhang, as well as the curators, collectors, and arts professionals who supported their program.

CRG Gallery opened its first exhibition space on East Seventy-First Street in Manhattan in 1990. Since the United States was in a recession at the time, Desroche told the Art Dealers Association of America, “We never mounted an exhibition because we thought we could sell it. We showed work that we thought could stand the test of time.” Shortly after, they relocated to SoHo before settling in Chelsea for fifteen years. In 2015, the gallery moved to its current home in the Lower East Side, one block from the New Museum.

May 23, 2017

Prospect New Orleans Announces Participating Artists for Its Fourth Edition

Dawit Petros, Act of Recovery (Part I), Nouakchott, Mauritania from The Stranger’s Notebook, 2016, photograph, 20 x 26".

The list of participating artists for Prospect.4, titled “The Lotus in Spite of the Swamp,” has been made public. The triennial exhibition, spread across seventeen venues in New Orleans, will feature seventy-three artists from “North America, Latin America, the Caribbean, Africa, Asia, and the European powers that colonized New Orleans, addressing issues of identity, displacement, and cultural hybridity within the context of the celebration of the city’s tricentennial,” according to an announcement from the event’s organizers. This year’s exhibition, which opens on November 18, 2017, and runs through February 25, 2018, is organized by Trevor Schoonmaker, the chief curator of the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University.

The participating artists are: