Phillips Appoints Lilly Chan Managing Director of Asia

Lilly Chan

Phillips has named Lilly Chan, Christie’s global managing director for Asian art, as its new managing director of Asia. Chan will take up the post in May and will be based in the company’s Hong Kong office.

Chan will be responsible for implementing and managing all strategic, procedural, and operational aspects of the company in Asia with a focus on realizing Phillips’ vision for building its brand. Prior to joining Christie’s, Chan worked at JP Morgan Treasury Services, where she was the head of new product marketing for the Asia-Pacific market.

“The importance of Asia to our overall international growth strategy cannot be overstated,” said Phillips CEO Edward Dolman. “The collecting of contemporary art, design objects, photographs, and jewelry in Asia has been growing at an exponential rate and we are seeing more Asian collectors at our New York and London auctions. A foremost priority for us has been to strengthen our presence in Asia and build relationships with collectors across the region—and a critical component in this ambitious plan is the appointment of an experienced managing director such as Lilly. I look forward to working with her and our entire Asian team to build our reputation as the most innovative auction house in the region.”

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April 27, 2017

Do Ho Suh Awarded Ho-Am Prize for the Arts

Do Ho Suh

Korean sculptor Do Ho Suh has been named the 2017 winner of the $275,000 Ho-Am Prize for the arts. Established in 1990 by Kun-Hee Lee, the chairman of Samsung, the annual prize honors Koreans who have made significant contributions to the fields of science, engineering, medicine, community service, and the arts.

Born in Seoul in 1962, Suh earned his bachelors and masters degrees in oriental painting from Seoul National University before relocating to the United States, where he continued his studies at the Rhode Island School of Design and Yale University. Suh is perhaps best known for creating colorful, translucent sculptures that reimagine his childhood homes in Seoul and his adolescence in the United States. In a statement issued by the prize, Suh was selected for his ability to “capture not only the real world but also the imaginary world, which encompasses the past and the present as well as the East and the West [via] the artist’s efforts to express his experiences of traversing different cultures, thereby elevating the status of the Korean art.”

In the February 2015 issue of Artforum, architecture critic Julian Rose reviewed an exhibition of Suh’s work at The Contemporary Austin. He wrote: “So many weighty themes are piled onto Do Ho Suh’s fabric sculptures, it seems remarkable that his diaphanous structures don’t collapse under their heavy load. History and biography, longing and belonging, migration and globalization—these are only a handful of the ponderous concatenations apparently called to mind by the artist’s works. Such associations are perhaps not surprising, given that Suh’s work addresses architecture, a perennially symbolic subject, and specifically the home—surely the most intensely symbolic of architectural spaces.”

April 27, 2017

Lauren Cornell Joins Bard Graduate Program as Director and Hessel Museum as Chief Curator

Lauren Cornell

The Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard College has named New Museum curator Lauren Cornell director of its graduate program in curatorial studies as well as chief curator of the school’s Hessel Museum of Art. She will assume her responsibilities on July 1.

“Lauren’s innovative approach to curating and public programming will bring a new strength to the wide-ranging activities of the CCS and the Hessel Museum,” Tom Eccles, the executive director of Hessel, said. “Our recent expansion broadened our capacity for archival research and contemporary art scholarship, creating greater opportunities for the CCS students, the undergraduate programs at Bard, and visitors to the museum. Lauren’s expertise and collaborative spirit will carry forward the institution’s commitment to the analysis and advancement of art across the masters program and museum.”

As director of the graduate program, Cornell will be responsible for all aspects of the center’s academic structure, including curriculum and faculty development, directing research initiatives, and organizing the center’s artist-in-residence and curator-in-residence programs. As chief curator, a newly created position, she will oversee and organize the exhibitions program, symposia, public programs, publishing initiatives, and support development of the museum’s collections.

April 27, 2017

Esther McGowan Named Executive Director of Visual AIDS

Esther McGowan

Visual AIDS, a contemporary arts organization committed to raising awareness about HIV and AIDS, has announced that its executive director Nelson Santos has decided to step down from his role. Esther McGowan, the organization’s current associate director, will succeed him. She will take up the post on July 1.

“I am excited to see where this new change will bring me and Visual AIDS,” Santos said. “I am very proud to have been a part of the organization for the last seventeen years. My work at Visual AIDS has been the most rewarding time of my life. I am inspired by the courage, talent and generosity of so many artists and activists who I have been fortunate to meet, work with, and call my friends.”

The board of directors will celebrate Santos’s accomplishments and congratulate McGowan at its VAVA VOOM benefit on May 22. In a statement, the board said, “Esther’s experience, commitment and thoughtful guidance will ensure an exciting and impactful future for Visual AIDS.” Founded in 1988, Visual AIDS works to produce visual art projects, exhibitions, public forums, and publications while assisting artists living with HIV/AIDS.

April 27, 2017

Sotheby’s Holds First-Ever Modern and Contemporary African Art Sale

Leonce Raphael Agbodjelou, Untitled, 2012. From the series “Demoiselles de Port-Novo.”

Sotheby’s has announced that it will stage its first-ever sale of modern and contemporary African work. Taking place in London on May 16, the auction features pieces by more than sixty artists from fourteen countries across the continent, including Algeria, Ghana, Mali, Senegal, Ethiopia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Zimbabwe.

“The marketplace for modern and contemporary art from Africa has transformed dramatically over the past decade, but despite this long-overdue correction, there’s still a considerable way to go towards addressing the underrepresentation of African artists, who account for just 0.01 percent of the international art market,” Hannah O’Leary, Sotheby’s head of modern and contemporary African art, said.

O’Leary said that the auction was organized in direct response to the “exponential increase in market demand from collectors in Africa and the African diaspora, as well as international art collectors and influencers who are embracing art from Africa as exciting, innovative, and relevant.”

April 27, 2017

Cyrus Tilton Wins Inaugural $25,000 Knudsen Prize

Cyrus Tilton, Individuals, 2011. Installation view.

The Crocker Art Museum in Sacramento announced that Cyrus Tilton, an artist who lived and worked in the Bay Area, has been posthumously awarded its inaugural $25,000 John S. Knudsen Prize, which supports emerging or midcareer California artists who have not had a solo show at a museum. An exhibition of Tilton’s work, “The Cycle by Cyrus Tilton,” will open at the Crocker on March 25.

“Tilton received the award for the excellence of his overall body of work,” Scott A. Shields, associate director and chief curator at the Crocker Art Museum, said. Commenting on “The Cycle,” the artist’s series of sculptures depicting the life cycle of locusts, he said, “The pieces individually are powerful, but even more compelling as a group, making the overall installation compelling and poignant.”

Tilton’s Alaska upbringing and deep connection to nature informed much of his work. He likened the locust to self-sabotaging consumers, whose ultimate end will come once their resources are depleted or a massive natural disaster resets the cycle. The artist died from esophageal cancer last month.

April 27, 2017

Owner Pulls Nazi-Looted Work Hours Before Vienna Auction

Bartholomeus van der Helst, Portrait of a Man, 1647. Photo: Im Kinsky

Hours before an old master painting auction was set to take place at the Vienna auction house Im Kinsky, the owner of a Nazi-looted work withdrew a painting after receiving threats, Nina Siegal of the New York Times reports. The heirs of the family it was stolen from had previously tried to halt the sale, but were unsuccessful.

Ernst Ploil, director and chief executive of Im Kinsky, said that the auction house had received dozens of threatening emails “accusing us of being Nazis and of collaborating with Hitler.” He also said that the owner of the work pulled the oil painting due to public pressure, but not for moral reasons.

Despite the provenance of Bartholomeus van der Helst’s Portrait of a Man, 1647—it is recognized as a stolen work by Im Kinsky and Interpol—the owner was able to legally put it up for auction. According to Austrian law, as long as the work is bought in good faith, the buyer remains the rightful owner of the piece, even after learning that it is stolen property.

April 27, 2017

Iraqi Forces Seize Ancient Site of Hatra from ISIS

Iraqi families evacuate from the ancient city of Hatra, southwest of the northern city of Mosul, on April 26, 2017, as pro-government Hashed al-Shaabi paramilitary forces retake the area from Islamic State fighters.

Iraqi troops have recaptured Hatra, an ancient city founded in the days of the Parthian Empire more than two thousand years ago, from the Islamic State, AFP reports. Located sixty-eight miles southwest of Mosul, the fortified city, which withstood attacks by the Roman Empire, is believed to have been destroyed by the militant group.

Hashed al-Shaabi, a group of paramilitary forces, said they had “liberated the ancient city of Hatra . . . after fierce clashes with the enemy.” Their offensive began at dawn on Tuesday, April 25. In a statement, the Hashed forces said that sixty-one jihadists were killed and 2,500 civilians were evacuated during the two-day operation.

While the troops retook many of the villages in the surrounding desert area as well as the archaeological site, the modern city of Hatra was not yet fully recaptured. The troops claim that after pushing into the city, ISIS’s defenses collapsed.

April 26, 2017

Issa Samb (1945–2017)

Issa Samb, untitled, 2010, welded shovels. Installation view, RAW Material Company, Zone B, Dakar. Photo: Sophie Thun.

Senegalese artist Issa Samb has died, according to Damola Durosomo in OkayAfrica. Also known as Joe Ouakam, Samb was a cofounder of Dakar-based collective Laboratoire Agit’Art. He was a playwright and poet in addition to being an artist who worked in media ranging from painting to sculpture to performance art. His work was featured in a retrospective at the National Art Gallery, Dakar, in 2010, and was included in Documenta 13, in 2012.

Discussing art in Dakar for the September 2016 issue of Artforum, curator Koyo Kouoh said, “Samb and Laboratoire Agit’Art never felt like they had to define themselves or justify themselves to anyone, or show themselves to the so-called order, the order always being Western, European, French, and so on. This is why Samb is such a seminal artist in our field today and why his work is extremely empowering.”

April 26, 2017

Mika Tajima and Patricia Treib Named Artadia 2017 New York Award Winners

Mika Tajima, Meridian Gold, 2016.

The winners of the Artadia 2017 New York awards are Mika Tajima and Patricia Treib. They will each receive an unrestricted cash prize of $10,000. This is Artadia’s second year awarding funds to New York artists. Artadia received 683 applications, which were open to all visual artists living in New York City for more than two years, working in any media, and at any stage of their career.

The finalists, which consisted of Dawn Kasper, Michael Portnoy, and Jessica Vaughn, in addition to Tajima and Treib, were selected by jurors Kimberly Drew, social media manager at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York; artist Jonah Freeman; and Matthew Lyons, curator at The Kitchen in New York. During a second round of judging, which consisted of studio visits, Laura Raicovich, president and executive director of the Queens Museum in New York, joined Lyons in selecting the awardees.

“Laura and I really responded to Patricia’s explanation of how her paintings progress in this very time-based manner and how they explore perception and memory in a very poetic and evocative way,” Lyons told Lauren Cavalli of artforum.com. Commenting on Tajima’s work, he said that her engagement with the digital world and our information society as well as her ability to fold that into her sculptural and wall-based works made an impression.