Lala Rukh (1948–2017)

Lala Rukh

Pakistani activist and abstractionist Lala Rukh, one of the founding members of the Women’s Action Forum, a women’s rights organization with chapters in several cities in Pakistan, died on Friday, July 7, in Lahore, at the age of sixty-nine, Pakistan Today reports.

“My dearest friend and a lifelong crusader for justice, equality, women’s rights, and minority rights from a feminist perspective, as well as a renowned artist died peacefully after a month-long struggle with cancer,” author Rubina Saigol wrote on Facebook.

Born on June 29, 1948, Rukh earned her master’s degree in fine arts from Punjab University in Lahore and from the University of Chicago. She later taught at Punjab University for thirty years. In 2000, she established the MA Honors Visual Art Program at the National College of Arts. She served as the head of the school’s art history department for many years.

LATEST NEWS

December 13, 2017

Isuma to Represent Canada in 2019 Venice Biennale

Norman Cohn, Pauloosie Qulitalik, Lizzie Qulitalik, Mary Qulitalik, Rachel Uyarashuk, Jonah Uyarashuk, and Zacharias Kunuk on the set of Nunaqpa (Going Inland) in 1990.

The National Gallery of Canada announced today that the artist collective Isuma, led by Zacharias Kunuk and Norman Cohn, will represent Canada at the Fifty-Eighth Venice Biennale, expected to open in May 2019. The group’s participation will mark the first time art by members of the Inuit community have been featured in Canada’s pavilion.

Isuma, which means “to think, or a state of thoughtfulness” in Inuktitut, is Canada’s first Inuit video-based production company. Cofounded by Kunuk, Cohn, Paul Apak Angilirq, and Pauloosie Qulitalik in 1990, the collective aims to preserve Inuit culture and language and to present their stories to Inuit and non-Inuit audiences around the world.

“Since the mid-1990s the Isuma collective has been challenging stereotypes about ways of life in the North and breaking boundaries in video art, including the first video-based work to win a major film award at the prestigious Cannes film festival,” said National Gallery of Canada director and CEO, Marc Mayer.

December 13, 2017

Getty Museum Receives Two Major Gifts of Photographs

Helen Levitt, New York, ca.1965. Courtesy: The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles.

The J. Paul Getty Museum announced today that it received donations of two groups of photographs from collectors Leslie and Judith Schreyer and Michael and Jane Wilson. The gifts include works by artists previously unrepresented in the museum’s collection. 

“These generous gifts complement and strengthen our holdings of important photographers from Los Angeles, New York, Europe, and Asia,” said Timothy Potts, director of the J. Paul Getty Museum. “Both Les and Judy and Michael and Jane are longtime and enthusiastic supporters of the Museum and our photographs department. Their donations will provide a rich trove of images from which we will be able to organize future exhibitions.” 

The donation from Leslie and Judith Schreyer includes fifty photographs by thirty-nine artists. Among the best-known photographers in the group are Diane Arbus, Garry Winogrand, and Magnum Agency photographers W. Eugene Smith, Bruce Davidson, and Josef Koudelka. The collection also features fifteen photographers, who had yet to be represented in the museum’s collection, and works by members of the New York Photo League, such as Helen Levitt, Arthur Leipzig, and Leon Levinstein.

December 13, 2017

National Endowment for Humanities Awards $12.8 Million to 253 Projects

A WAVES (Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service) recruiting poster, ca. 1941. Photo: Wikipedia.

The National Endowment for the Humanities announced today that it is awarding $12.8 million in support of 253 projects across the nation. Among the many initiatives receiving funding are a virtual exhibition of New Deal art from the town of Gallup, New Mexico; a project documenting the language and storytelling traditions of the Blackfeet American Indians; a video-based web platform that will publish scholarly articles in sign language; an online archive that tells the story of the women who served in the Navy during World War II (known as WAVES, Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service); and the conservation of oil paintings by Georgia O’Keeffe.

“The humanities offer us a path toward understanding ourselves, our neighbors, our nation,” said NEH acting chairman Jon Parrish Peede. “These new NEH grants exemplify the agency’s commitment to serving American communities through investing in education initiatives, safeguarding cultural treasures, and illuminating the history and values that define our shared heritage.”

The largest portion of the funding, $3.5 million, will go to various fellowship programs. $1.6 million will support preservation and education training grants, and another $1.6 million will also go to digital projects. The complete list of grantees can be found on the NEH’s website.

December 13, 2017

Jane Panetta and Rujeko Hockley to Curate Seventy-Ninth Whitney Biennial

Rujeko Hockley and Jane Panetta. Photo: Scott Rudd.

The Whitney Museum of American Art announced today that Jane Panetta and Rujeko Hockley, members of the museum’s curatorial staff, will cocurate the next edition of Whitney Biennial, opening in May 2019. 

“Jane and Ru are two of the most compelling and engaged curatorial voices of our moment, with broad and sensitive instincts for artistic and cultural relevance,” Scott Rothkopf, the Whitney’s deputy director for programs and chief curator, said. “They are both passionate champions of emerging artists, while their more scholarly projects have shown keen insights about making history feel alive in the present. I’m delighted to see two more Whitney curators put their mark on our signature exhibition.”

Panetta, currently an associate curator at the Whitney, joined the museum’s curatorial department in 2010. Most recently, she has organized solo presentations of the work of Willa Nasatir and Njideka Akunyili Crosby as well as the group exhibition “Fast Forward: Painting from the 1980s” (2017). Prior to joining the Whitney, Panetta spent several years in the Museum of Modern Art’s Painting and Sculpture Department. Hockley joined the Whitney’s staff as an assistant curator in March 2017. She has cocurated a number of exhibitions there, including “Toyin Ojih Odutola: To Wander Determined with Melinda Lang,” which is currently on view at the museum through February 25, 2018, and “An Incomplete History of Protest: Selections from the Whitney’s Collection, 1940–2017,” which is on view until summer 2018. Hockley also serves as a member of the institution’s Emerging Artist Working Group. Previously, Hockley was an assistant curator of contemporary art at the Brooklyn Museum, where she cocurated “We Wanted a Revolution: Black Radical Women, 1965–85” (2017).

December 13, 2017

Hugo Boss Prize Announces 2018 Shortlist

Simone Leigh, Untitled I (Anatomy of Architecture Series), 2016, mixed media, 30 1/2 x 11 1/2 x 10".

Six finalists have been announced for the Guggenheim Foundation’s 2018 Hugo Boss Prize. They are artists Bouchra Khalili, Simone Leigh, Teresa Margolles, Emeka Ogboh, Frances Stark, and Wu Tsang. The recipient of the prize will receive $100,000 and a solo exhibition at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York. The winner will be announced next fall, and the exhibition will take place in 2019.

“The Hugo Boss Prize remains a cornerstone of the Guggenheim’s contemporary programming, and we are thrilled to highlight the work of these six deserving artists, who are working at the vanguard of contemporary art practice, exploring urgent social issues, and providing new artistic vocabulary through which to examine personal and universal themes,” said Nancy Spector, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum’s artistic director. “We are pleased to join with Hugo Boss in this long-term commitment to celebrating the most important and impactful artists of their time.”

December 13, 2017

Twenty-First Biennale of Sydney Reveals Participating Artist List

Director and CEO of the Biennale of Sydney Jo-Anne Birnie Danzker and artistic director Mami Kataoka with artists Yasmin Smith, Tuomas Aleksander Laitinen, Koji Ryui, Khaled Sabsabi, Mit Jai Inn, and Rayyane Tabet. Courtesy: Ai Weiwei Studio.

The Biennale of Sydney has announced that seventy artists will participate in its twenty-first edition. Titled “Superposition: Equilibrium & Engagement,” the Biennale opens March 16 and runs through June 11, 2018.

“The artists in the Twenty-First Biennale of Sydney have been chosen to offer a panoramic view of how opposing interpretations can come together in a state of equilibrium,” artistic director Mami Kataoka said. “The history of the people of Sydney collectively reflects the history of the world in the twentieth century, in particular the movements and migration of people and cultures away from conflict. My hope is that the artworks in this Biennale will serve as a catalyst for thought for all of us.”

The complete list of artists is as follows:

December 13, 2017

Nikola Dietrich Named Director of Cologne Art Foundation

Nikola Dietrich.

Berlin-based art historian and curator Nikola Dietrich has been appointed the new director of the Kölnischer Kunstverein (Cologne Art Foundation), reports Monopol. On July 1, 2018, she will replace Moritz Wesseler, who has been managing the institution since 2013.

Announcing the nomination, the foundation’s chairman, Thomas Waldschmidt said that Dietrich has “extensive experience in managing and conceptualizing the programs of important cultural institutions.” She furthermore possesses “the sensibility for contemporary subjects within art and culture,” as well as a “signature style in curating experimental exhibitions.”

Born in 1972, Dietrich studied art history, modern German literature, and journalism. After serving as a curator at the Portikus in Frankfurt, she managed the Museum for Contemporary Art in Basel from 2008 until 2014. Exhibitions she curated include solo presentations of the work of Henrik Olesen, Robert Gober, Rodney Graham, Yoko Ono, and John Baldessari, among others.

“Nikola Dietrich is a fantastic successor,” said Wesseler. “I am happy that she will take on this position and I am exited to see which direction she will take to further profile the institution.”

December 13, 2017

Christos Joachimides (1932–2017)

Christos Joachimides

The Greek-born German curator Christos Joachimides has died, according to art historian and curator Sir Norman Rosenthal for the Art Newspaper. “He was nothing if not a controversial figure in the world of art,” wrote Rosenthal, “who both divided opinion and seldom himself sought consensus on matters of aesthetic choices.” 

Joachimides studied in Heidelberg and Stuttgart in 1953 before making Berlin a more permanent home. He traveled quite a bit throughout the 1960s, spending time in Paris and Rome, where he befriended artists such as Jannis Kounellis, Pino Pascali, and Balthus. In Germany he was drawn to Joseph Beuys and Wolf Vostell, and became especially interested in the painters who showed at Michael Werner Gallery, including Anselm Kiefer, Markus Lüpertz, and A.R. Penck. Joachimides went on to work with Rosenthal at the ICA London. There, they curated two exhibitions together: “Art into Society, Society into Art: Seven German Artists” (1974), where Beuys created a series of daily performances over the course of a month, which ended up becoming the piece Directive Forces, 1974–77; and a festival of contemporary Greek culture, “Eight Artists, Eight Attitudes, Eight Greeks” (1975), organized after the fall of Greece’s military junta. The latter show included Kounellis’s art—its first appearance in the UK. Joachimides also collaborated with Sir Nicholas Serota on an exhibition called “13⁰E: Eleven Artists Working in Berlin” (1978), an exhibition organized through the Whitechapel Art Gallery, which was staged in Germany. At the Royal Academy of Arts in London, Joachimides joined with Serota and Rosenthal on “A New Spirit in Painting” (1981), an exhibition that featured the work of German neo-expressionists such as Georg Baselitz and Kiefer. And at the Martin-Gropius-Bau in Berlin, Rosenthal collaborated with Joachimides on “Zeitgeist” (1983) and “Metropolis” (1991), among other exhibitions.

“Those were Christos’s truly great days,” said Rosenthal of their time together. “He expanded our outlook on the world, indeed as Nicholas Serota wrote to me on learning of his death that ‘he expanded our lives and education.’” 

December 13, 2017

Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam Draws Record Number of Visitors for 2017

The Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam.

Amsterdam’s Van Gogh Museum has drawn a record number of visitors this year, making it the most visited museum in the Netherlands in 2017. Approximately 2,260,000 people were admitted to the institution over the last twelve months. And nearly 90 percent of its visitors, from more than 125 countries, rated their experience at the museum as either “very good” or “excellent.” Some of the museum’s most popular exhibitions in 2017 were “Prints in Paris 1900,” “The Dutch in Paris 1789–1914,” and “Van Gogh, Rousseau, Corot: In the Forest.”