Peter Zumthor to Design Fondation Beyeler Extension

Fondation Beyeler

Switzerland’s Fondation Beyeler has announced that it has commissioned Pritzker Prize–winning architect Peter Zumthor to design its new $82 million building, which will be constructed in Iselin-Weber Park in Riehen.

Director Sam Keller said, “The interaction of human beings, nature, art, and architecture is one of the keystones of the Fondation Beyeler’s success, and was also essential for the development of Renzo Piano’s award-winning museum.” He added, “Peter Zumthor possesses the sensitivity and experience that are needed to create a building of outstanding quality in this very special location.”

The price tag for the privately funded extension project includes the acquisition of the land, construction costs, and the operating and maintenance costs for the new building for the first decade.

Zumthor, who is known for his numerous designs for museums, including Kunsthaus Bregenz, the Kolumba Kunstmuseum in Cologne, and currently LACMA, will present his designs for the project in late fall or early winter.

Fondation Beyeler was established by art patrons Ernst and Hildy Beyeler in 1997. Designed by the Italian architect Renzo Piano, the building is situated on the Villa Berower estate. Since its founding, the organization’s modern and contemporary art collection has doubled in size.

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March 23, 2017

Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw to Open Temporary Exhibition Space

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 museum’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 artist’s 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.”

March 23, 2017

Study Shows Ongoing Gender Disparity in US Art Museum Directorships

The Metropolitan Museum of Art

The second iteration of a gender gap study spearheaded by the Association of Art Museum Directors and Dallas’s National Center for Arts Research at Southern Methodist University finds that while there has been a 5 percent increase in female directorships since 2013, women still hold fewer than 50 percent of directorships in US art institutions.

Designed to deepen understanding of the gender disparity in leadership roles at art museums, the study uses 2016 data collected from AAMD member institutions and interviews with female museum directors and executive search consultants who specialize in recruitment for art museums. Researchers compared contemporary and historical factors that contribute to the gender gap. It revealed that the majority of museums with budgets of over $15 million are led by men.

The size of an institution’s budget also correlates with how much women get paid compared to their male counterparts. For museums with a budget of over $15 million, female directors earned 75 cents for every dollar a male earned, an improvement from 2013, when women earned only 70 cents per dollar earned by a man.

March 23, 2017

Executive Director of the Vermont Arts Council Steps Down After Twenty Years

Alex Aldrich

Head of the Vermont Arts Council Alex Aldrich has announced that he will resign after a more than twenty-year tenure. He will officially step down on April 14. Teri Bordenave will serve as interim executive director and will assist the board of trustees with a national search for a replacement.

“Working to preserve and advance the arts in Vermont for the past two decades has been exhilarating—challenging at times—and ultimately, deeply fulfilling. At this point in my career, however, my focus needs to be on my family’s real estate business, and I look forward to the new opportunities this transition will bring,” Aldrich said in a statement.

The Vermont Arts Council is the nation’s only nonprofit state arts agency. Established in 1965, the council has been the state's primary provider of funding, advocacy, and information for the arts.

March 23, 2017

Shia LaBeouf Moves Anti-Trump Work to Liverpool

HeWillNotDivide.US, 2017, at the Museum of the Moving Image in Queens, New York. Photo: Jeanmarie Evelly

On Wednesday, March 22, Shia LaBeouf moved his anti-Trump installation HeWillNotDivide.Us to Liverpool after safety concerns and a “lack of institutional support” forced the artist and his collaborators, artists Luke Turner and Nastja Sade Ronkko, to relocate the work several times.

“Events have shown that America is simply not safe enough for this artwork to exist,” LaBeouf, Rönkkö & Turner said in a statement. The project is now being exhibited at Liverpool’s Foundation for Art and Creative Technology gallery. Turner, who grew up in the North West of England, said, “We are proud to be continuing the project at FACT, an arts center at the heart of the community.”

The work originally opened at the Museum of the Moving Images in Queens, New York, on Inauguration Day. Consisting of a camera mounted on the exterior wall of the museum under the words “He will not divide us” in block lettering, the installation was going to livestream footage of passersby who were invited to repeat the phrase into the camera over the course of the next four years. After LaBeouf was arrested for quarreling with a man in front of the work, the institution shut down the project calling it “a flashpoint for violence.”

The artist group then moved the work to the El Rey Theater in Albuquerque, New Mexico, on February 18. However, after gunshots in the area were heard on the livestream, the group dismantled the work. Commenting on the decision, LaBeouf said, “The safety of everybody participating in our project is paramount.”

March 23, 2017

France’s Musée National d’Art Moderne Names Florian Ebner Head of Photography Department

Florian Ebner

The Centre Pompidou has announced that Florian Ebner was appointed the head of the photography department at the Musée National d’Art Moderne. He will take up the post on July 1.

Over the course of his twenty-five-year career in contemporary art, Ebner has been at the helm of the photographic collection at the Folkwang Museum in Essen since 2012, and was previously director of the Braunschweig Photography Museum for three years. In 2015, he curated the German pavilion at the Fifty-Sixth Venice Biennale. Ebner studied photography at the École nationale supérieure de la photographie in Arles. In 2013, his exhibition “Cairo. Open City” at the Museum Folkwang was voted Exhibition of the Year by the German section of the International Art Critics Association.

The Musée National d’Art Moderne, housed in the Centre Pompidou, has one of the largest photography holdings in Europe, comprising 40,000 prints and 60,000 negatives. Around four hundred photographs are exhibited each year. In 2014, the Centre Pompidou opened the Galerie de Photographies to provide more space for its contemporary works.

March 22, 2017

Guggenheim Foundation Cancels Shanghai Exhibition of Middle Eastern Art

Installation view of “But a Storm Is Blowing from Paradise: Contemporary Art of the Middle East and North Africa in Shanghai” at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York.

The Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation announced that it has called off its upcoming UBS MAP exhibition, which was scheduled to open at the Rockbund Art Museum in Shanghai on April 15.

A short statement released by the foundation on March 17 says that the Guggenheim and the museum “mutually agreed” on cancelling “But a Storm Is Blowing from Paradise: Contemporary Art of the Middle East and North Africa in Shanghai,” due to “unforeseen circumstances.”

The exhibition was hosted by the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York in April 2016 under the title “But a Storm Is Blowing from Paradise: Contemporary Art of the Middle East and North Africa.” Curated by Sara Raza, the show was the third installment of the UBS MAP Global Art Initiative—a program that aimed to increase access to contemporary art and education on a global scale and to diversify the museum’s collection. Showcasing eighteen works by seventeen artists, ten of whom released a statement criticizing the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum for breaking off talks with Gulf Labor, the exhibition was originally supposed to travel to the Pera Museum in Istanbul in 2017. In February, it was announced that it would be displayed at The Rockbund instead.

March 22, 2017

The Cisneros Fontanals Art Foundation Announces 2017 Grant Recipients

Daniel Joseph Martinez

The Cisneros Fontanals Art Foundation has announced the recipients of its fifteenth annual grants and commissions program, which recognizes emerging, midcareer, and established contemporary Latin American artists, Maximilíano Durón of Artnews reports. The nine awardees will be part of an exhibition set to open at the CIFO Art Center in Miami on September 7.

Emerging artists recognized include Ilich Castillo, Alana Iturralde, Juan Carlos Osorno, Celia y Yunior, Katherinne Fiedler, and Ulrik López. Midcareer artists honored include Richard Garet and Fredy Alzate. Mexican-American multimedia artist Daniel Joseph Martinez was selected as the winner of the foundation’s achievement award. The Los Angeles–based artist, best known for his admissions buttons to the 1993 Whitney Biennial which read “I CAN’T IMAGINE EVER WANTING TO BE WHITE,” often explores issues of personal and collective identity in his works. His new pieces for the upcoming exhibition will be inspired by recent photographs he took of West Berlin and “iconic images of German left-wing militant Ulrike Meinhof.”

“CIFO is proud to have been part of the Latin American art scene since 2002,” said Eugenio Valdés Figueroa, director and chief curator of CIFO. “The CIFO grants and commissions program has been a platform for creation and reflection on the cultural problematics of the region during the past years. The program has awarded more than 120 artists and has dedicated over $1.5 million in funds to date.”

March 22, 2017

Anselm Kiefer and Mario Vargas Llosa Awarded J. Paul Getty Medals

Anselm Kiefer and Mario Vargas Llosa.

The J. Paul Getty Trust announced today that German artist Anselm Kiefer and Peruvian writer Mario Vargas Llosa are being awarded J. Paul Getty Medals. They will be honored at a celebratory dinner at the Morgan Library in New York City this November.

“We shall honor two of the world’s great artists,” Maria Hummer-Tuttle, chair of the board of trustees, said. “Anselm Kiefer and Mario Vargas Llosa are both engaged in big ideas and historic moments, and they share with the Getty a passionate commitment to global culture.”

Since it was established in 2013, the J. Paul Getty Trust has only recognized six individuals for their extraordinary contributions to the arts. Past recipients of the award include Harold Williams, Nancy Englander, Jacob Rothschild, Frank Gehry, Yo-Yo Ma, and Ellsworth Kelly.

March 22, 2017

Documenta CEO Requests Additional State Funding

Annette Kulenkampff

Documenta’s CEO and managing director, Annette Kulenkampff, is asking for more government funding for the contemporary art exhibition, Monopol reports. Documenta 14, taking place in Athens (April 8–July 16) and Kassel (June 10–Sept. 17), has a budget of approximately $37 million. Half of the budget is publicly subsidized and comes from the state of Hesse, the city of Kassel, and the Kulturstiftung des Bundes (Federal Cultural Foundation). The remainder is raised by the exhibition. Kulenkampff says, “This is not sustainable in the long run.”

The success of previous Documentas has resulted in a surplus of funds, which are then reinvested in the next iteration of the exhibition. However, a large portion of Documenta’s finances is used to support the production of new artworks, which remain the property of the artist once the show ends.

While the exhibition is largely dependent on sponsors such as Sparkasse Bank and VW, according to Kulenkampff, competing with sporting events has made securing funding increasingly difficult. Kulenkampff also noted that Documenta receives less public financing than other art forms in Germany, such as theater productions.