Jenny Schlenzka Appointed Executive Artistic Director of PS122

Jenny Schlenzka. Photo: Jen DeNike.

Jenny Schlenzka, associate curator of performance at MoMA PS1, will be the next, and first female, executive artistic director at PS122 in New York. She will take up her new post on February 1, with her programming beginning in early 2018.

Prior to her role at MoMA PS1, she was the assistant curator for performance at MoMA from 2008 to 2012. At MoMA PS1, she established the interdisciplinary live program Sunday Sessions, which has featured artists such as Mette Ingvartsen (mentioned in Claire Bishop’s Best of 2016 in the December issue of Artforum), Ann Liv Young, and Justin Vivian Bond, as well as new commissions by Anne Imhof, Trajal Harrell, Ragnar Kjartansson, Mårten Spångberg, Matthew Lutz Kinoy, and Tobias Madison.

At MoMA, she co-organized a performance exhibition series with Tehching Hsieh, Simone Forti, Roman Ondák, Jérôme Bel, Anne Teresa de Keersmaeker, and Allora & Calzadilla. In 2012, she also co-organized the germinal dance exhibition “Some Sweet Day” with artist Ralph Lemon and Jill A. Samuels. She has also worked as a curatorial liaison for the KW Institute for Contemporary Art in Berlin. Schlenzka received her master’s degree in cultural studies from Humboldt University, Berlin, in 2007.

Enrico Ciotti, president of Performance Space 122’s board of directors, said of the appointment: “At Performance Space 122, we celebrate courage—to challenge preconceived notions, to break barriers, both in substance and form, to take visible actions toward a freer, more expressive, diverse and equitable society. Jenny is a bold risk-taker whose programmatic choices combine a thorough curatorial approach with such great instincts on what it is that makes the heart of our extended community pulse. She will be a great leader at a very exciting time of growth for Performance Space 122.”

PS122 was founded in 1980 and in 2011 began restructuring its support of artists and its business model, as well as the renovation of its building in the East Village.

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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 throughout 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 being put together by Trevor Schoonmaker, the chief curator of the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University.

The participating artists are:

May 23, 2017

New York’s Foundation for Contemporary Arts Launches Roy Lichtenstein Award

From left: Dorothy and Roy Lichtenstein, 1968.

Andy Battaglia of Artnews writes that New York’s Foundation for Contemporary Arts, or FCA, a grant-giving organization established by John Cage and Jasper Johns in 1963 (and originally called the Foundation for Contemporary Performance Arts), has announced that it will be handing out a yearly Roy Lichtenstein Award, which will be culled from a $1 million endowment gift from the artist’s eponymous foundation. The unrestricted annual award is $40,000, and the recipient will be chosen by members of the FCA’s board, made up of Johns, Glenn Ligon, Robert Gober, and Cecily Brown, among others.

“Roy was always both amazed and very happy to not just not have a day job but also be able to do his work. This is a great way for an individual artist to get support,” said Dorothy Lichtenstein, the artist’s widow. The new award is part of a group of other gifts named after Cage, Robert Rauschenberg, Merce Cunningham, Dorothea Tanning, and Ellsworth Kelly. The next round of FCA grants will be announced in 2018.

The FCA’s executive director, Jack Cowart, said, “We especially hope this will challenge and inspire future named awards by other artists to support this notable of direct grants to deserving artists.”

May 23, 2017

Artists Propose Alternate Cultural Funding Plan for NYC

Artist Alicia Grullón at a CreateNYC cultural plan meeting. Photo: Hester Street Collaborative

In response to Mayor Bill de Blasio’s efforts to revaluate arts funding for the first-ever cultural plan for New York City (CreateNYC), which will be announced July 1, a coalition of artists and activists have released a seventeen-page document outlining a number of problems artists living and working in New York face today including vast labor and public funding inequities, Jillian Steinhauer of Hyperallergic reports.

The “People’s Cultural Plan,” calls for the city to overhaul several polices ranging from housing, land, and development to labor laws. Among its recommendations are a citywide rent freeze on stabilized apartments and city control over rent regulations; eliminating tax breaks for developers building luxury housing developments; creating affordable workspaces for artists via the Community Land Trusts; establishing a program to help employees of color, senior citizens, and members of the LGBTQ community file discrimination complaints within cultural institutions; and the passing of the NY Health Act to protect all artists and freelance workers, at risk of losing healthcare due to proposed cuts and changes to the Affordable Healthcare Act.

“Artists, cultural workers, and cultural access in the city are in a huge crisis,” said Jenny Dubnau. “If you’re going to have a plan in our time, we felt it had to be a powerful, strongly worded, tough, courageous plan. If you’re not going to talk about actual policy that’s making artists leave the city, displacing communities of color, where the funding is so lopsided in terms of equity—if you’re not going to radically approach those issues, it’s not going to be a relevant enough plan.”

May 23, 2017

Reem Fadda Wins 2017 Walter Hopps Award for Curatorial Achievement

Reem Fadda

The Menil Collection announced today that Palestine and Jordan-based curator Reem Fadda has been awarded the eighth Walter Hopps Award for Curatorial Achievement. Fadda will receive a $20,000 stipend and will deliver a public lecture at the institution this fall.

“Reem Fadda has an impressive record of organizing groundbreaking programs both inside and outside of conventional museums,” director Rebecca Rabinow said. “Her fundamental belief that contemporary art and architecture represent an ongoing engagement with the most challenging questions of our time informs every aspect of her work.”

Fadda served as associate curator of Middle Easter Art for the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi from 2010 to 2016; director of the Palestinian Association for Contemporary Art (PACA) from 2005 to 2007; and academic director of the International Academy of Art Palestine, a progressive educational institution, which she helped found in 2006. She curated the Riwaq Biennale, Ramallah, with Charles Esche in 2009, and the Sixth edition of the Marrakech Biennale in 2016. She will also curate the inaugural exhibition of the Palestinian Museum, in Ramallah, which will open September 1.

May 23, 2017

Matt Carey-Williams Joins London’s Blain|Southern as Director

Matt Carey-Williams

Matt Carey-Williams, who left White Cube to join the auction house Phillips in 2015, has been given a directorship at the London gallery Blain|Southern, writes Melanie Gerlis of the Art Newspaper. Carey-Williams was Phillips’s deputy chairman for Europe and Asia. Phillips’s chief executive, Edward Dolman, said, “[We] would like to thank Matt for his many contributions over the last two years and we wish him every success for the future.”

Carey-Williams worked for Harry Blain and Graham Southern in 2006 when they operated Haunch of Venison, the year before the proprietors sold it to Christie’s (Christie’s ended up closing the gallery in 2013). During his time there, Carey-Williams worked with artists Bill Viola, Mat Collishaw, and Rachel Howard. He also worked with Jake and Dinos Chapman while at White Cube (the brothers moved to Blain|Southern early in 2017). Carey-Williams will be leaving his Phillips post at the end of May.

May 23, 2017

Moscow Theater Raided by Police

Moscow’s Gogol Theater. Photo: Dmitry Serebryakov.

The Moscow Times reports that the city’s Gogol Center, a contemporary theater, has been raided this morning by police as part of an alleged embezzlement case involving $21,000. The police searched fifteen other addresses, in addition to the home of Kirill Serebrennikov, the theater’s artistic director.

In 2015, the Gogol Center’s accounts were pored over by government officials. The head of Moscow's culture department, Alexander Kibovsky, claims the theater has fallen into about $1.4 million worth of debt. The Moscow police have not yet released an official statement on the raids.

May 23, 2017

Art Dealer Perry Rubenstein Sentenced to Six Months in Jail

Perry Rubenstein

Art dealer Perry Rubenstein, who was arrested in Santa Monica last April on three felony counts of embezzlement and grand theft, and pleaded no contest to two of those counts in March 2017, will now spend six months in a “pay to stay” jail, where inmates spend $100 a day to be incarcerated comfortably, writes Gene Maddus of Variety. The dealer would have served only a fraction of his sentence had he been assigned to a state prison or county jail.

Michael Ovitz, the former president of the Walt Disney Company and cofounder of Creative Artists Agency, along with collector Michael Salke, filed the charges against Rubenstein. The dealer was accused of not giving Ovitz the proceeds from the sale of two Richard Prince works, valued at more than $1 million. There was also a Willem de Kooning Rubenstein said he sold to a buyer in Mexico for $500,000, which again, Ovitz never received the profits from. And the dealer allegedly sold a work by Takashi Murakami on Salke’s behalf, but lied about the amount of money he received for it, and did not fully compensate Salke after the transaction.

Once he was sentenced, Rubenstein gave Salke a cashier’s check for $167,500. He was also ordered to pay $975,000 to the Ovitz family trust. But, since Rubenstein filed for bankruptcy, it seems unlikely that the Ovitz clan will receive the money.

May 23, 2017

Brian Sholis Appointed Executive Director of Gallery TPW

Brian Sholis.

Toronto’s Gallery TPW, the artist-run, nonprofit founded by the Toronto Photographers Workshop in 1980, has named Brian Sholis as its new executive director. Sholis will be responsible for creating a long-term vision for TPW; overseeing the artistic program led by curator Kim Simon; and fostering increased local, national, and international collaborations. He succeeds founding director Gary Hall, who stepped down after nearly four decades.

“We’re thrilled to welcome Brian as TPW continues to explore the programming possibilities of its new home on St. Helens,” Sophie Hackett, president of the board of directors, said. “The impressive scope of his skills and experience will be important assets as he helps us build on the gallery’s recent accomplishments and move in new directions. We’re excited for people to get to know him.”

Sholis has more than fifteen years of experience in the cultural sector. He has worked as a curator and programmer for museums; as an editor and author of books, magazines, and online texts; and as a professor, visiting critic, grant panelist, and prize juror. He comes to Gallery TPW from the Cincinnati Art Museum, where he was curator of photography. His exhibitions there included “Kentucky Renaissance: The Lexington Camera Club and Its Community, 1954–1974” (2016–17); “Field Guide: Photographs by Jochen Lempert” (2015–16); and “Eyes on the Street” (2014–15). Previously, he served as an editor at the Aperture Foundation in New York and as the editor of artforum.com.

May 23, 2017

Brooklyn Rail Experiences Mass Exodus

Phong Bui

On Friday, May 19, more than twelve of the Brooklyn Rail’s staff and board members resigned, writes Benjamin Sutton of Hyperallergic. The reason for the mass exodus from the nonprofit journal, which started off as a weekly broadsheet almost twenty years ago, is unknown. Among those who’ve left are art director Maggie Barrett, managing editor Laila Pedro, consulting editorial director Amy Ontiveros, and managing director Sara Christoph. Under their purview, contributors were paid for their contributions, which was not the policy before.

“The June 2017 issue of the Brooklyn Rail will be the last produced by the current team, and will appear as usual at the beginning of the month,” says a statement from the periodical. “We have already and seamlessly hired a new and enlarged staff team, as well as secured additional board support. The Rail will therefore fully continue its ongoing mission to enliven the arts and writing community,” said Phong Bui, the Rail’s cofounder and current artistic director. Information about new staff and board members, however, has not yet been made available.

The journal does not have an editor in chief, which allows the editors of various sections—such as theater, dance, poetry, and fiction—a great deal of independence. The Rail is published ten times a year. There are 20,000 copies of each issue, and they get distributed to bookstores, museums, galleries, and nonprofit art spaces.