Münster Residents Fundraise to Keep Nicole Eisenman Sculpture

Nicole Eisenman, Sketch for a Fountain, 2017, bronze, plaster, and water basin, dimensions variable. Installation view, Skulptur Projekte Münster.

After last month’s second attack on Nicole Eisenman’s work featured as part of Skulptur Projekte Münster, local residents are raising money to install the artist’s work permanently in the city, according to a report by Catherine Hickley in the Art Newspaper. The exhibition closed on October 1, and Eisenman’s Sketch for a Fountain, 2017, was not on the list of sculptures that the curators of the exhibition recommended for purchase by the city and regional authority, due to the fact that only two figures in her work are bronze while the other three are in plaster, rendering it incapable of withstanding freezing temperatures and permanent display outside.

But citizens have already collected funds and invited the artist to Münster to discuss how to produce a more durable version. Jana Duda, a spokeswoman for Skulptur Projekte Münster, said, “We think this is great. We never thought of keeping it permanently, but now there is interest and money.” Duda noted that the desire to preserve the sculpture might partly stem from the abuse directed toward it over the course of the exhibition. Many Münster inhabitants were apparently outraged when the piece was vandalized with a swastika in September, an incident that followed the decapitation of one of the plaster figures earlier in the summer.

Since the first edition of this project in 1977, the city of Münster and the regional authority, the Landschaftsverband Westfalen-Lippe, have purchased thirty-nine works from the temporary exhibition for permanent display. Such pieces include Per Kirkeby’s bus shelter and two rings of concrete by Donald Judd. The artworks that the curators have recommended for permanent installation from the 2017 edition of Skulptur Projekte Münster include Alexandra Pirici’s Leaking Territories, Emeka Ogboh’s Passage Through the Moondog / Quiet Storm, and Oscar Tuazon’s Firebuilding (Burn the Formwork), all 2017.

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December 15, 2017

Lewis Manilow (1927–2017)

Lewis Manilow. Photo: the Chicago Sun-Times

Celebrated arts patron, Lewis Manilow died on Tuesday, December 12, at the age of ninety. He is remembered as an important supporter of cultural institutions in Chicago. Manilow helped establish the city’s Museum of Contemporary Art, where he endowed a curatorship position, donated a variety of works, and served as the president from 1976 to 1981. Kara Walker, Shirin Neshat, and Kerry James Marshall are just some of the artists whose works Manilow and his wife, Susan, have brought into the museum’s collection. He also contributed to major Democratic campaigns for former presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton, who awarded him the National Medal of Arts in 2000.

“Lewis Manilow was a driving force behind Chicago cultural anchors including the Goodman Theatre and Museum and the Museum of Contemporary Art, a generous philanthropist, and dear friend,” Mayor Rahm Emanuel said in a statement. “Throughout my career, Lew challenged me to think fresh and new, read great books and question conventional wisdom.”

Manilow was born in an orphanage in 1927. He was adopted a year later by well-known Chicago developer Nathan Manilow and his wife Minette. He earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Chicago, and then received a law degree from Harvard University. Shortly after graduation, he moved to New York City to produce Sean O’Casey’s play, Purple Dust. However, his wife told Bob Goldsborough of the Chicago Tribune, that he quickly realized this was not his path.

December 15, 2017

Printed Matter Cancels 2018 Edition of Its LA Art Book Fair

Printed Matter’s LA Book Fair, 2017. Photo: Printed Matter.

Printed Matter announced today that it will not hold the 2018 edition of its LA Art Book Fair. The organization cited the unavailability of the Geffen Contemporary at the Museum of Contemporary Art Los Angeles and the sudden death of fair curator Shannon Michael Cane as the reasons for the cancelation.

“Over the years, the LA Art Book Fair has grown to become one of the art publishing world’s largest gatherings—a community-driven celebration of innovation and creativity, as well as a rich educational forum for engaging with all facets of art book publishing,” executive director Max Schumann said in a statement. “We are greatly disappointed that we are unable to mount the Fair in 2018.” He added that the fair will return in 2019 with “renewed energy.”

Founded in 2013, Printed Matter’s LA Art Book Fair welcomes approximately 40,000 book lovers, collectors, artists, and arts professionals over the course of its four days, and provides a full schedule of public programming that ranges from panel discussions, readings, sound performances, and interactive workshops to curated exhibitions. The event prides itself in its ability to host independent presses, commercial distributors, rare book dealers, university presses, zinemakers, leading gallery imprints, photo-book publishers and activist collectives—under one roof.

December 15, 2017

Major Funding Cuts Threaten Future of UK’s Towner Art Gallery

Towner Gallery.

The future of Towner Gallery, a leading regional UK arts space, is in jeopardy due to a proposed 50 percent cut in funding by the Eastbourne Borough Council (EBC). As Towner’s biggest stakeholder, EBC currently invests $818,000 every year.

EBC has proposed an initial reduction of $266,000 in April 2018 followed by incremental cuts in subsequent years. As a result of the proposed cuts, Towner’s board chair, David Dimbleby, said “We could lose six out of ten exhibitions a year, as well as our award-winning learning program, putting at risk everything that Towner stands for.” 

According to the BBC, the council said that this is the first time it has reduced financial support to the gallery. A council spokesman said that this year the council’s budget was also slashed by the government.

December 15, 2017

Dalit Matatyahu Promoted to Curator at Tel Aviv Museum of Art

Dalit Matatyahu. Photo: Tomer Appelbaum.

The Tel Aviv Museum of Art announced that it has appointed Dalit Matatyahu its new curator of Israeli Art. She will take up the post in May, when Ellen Ginton, who has been served as the institution’s senior curator of Israeli Art since 1987 retires.

Matatyahu said she was “delighted, anxious, and excited to take part in the processes of thought and definitions about Israeli art.” She added, “I believe in the power of the past and present art community to create a dialogue that begins with ‘self-appraisal’ and continues with action.”

Born in Jerusalem in 1969, Matatyahu has worked as an associate curator in the department of prints and drawings at the museum since 2010. She curated exhibitions such as “Yifat Bezalel: Tehilla” (2017), “Talush” (Rootless) (2016), and “Objektiv: Josef Albers, Oran Hoffmann” (2014).

Commenting on the appointment, Doron Rabina, the museum’s chief curator, said: “Dalit has a strong affinity to the written word and original perceptions of the visible. These will offer TAMA a fresh, fearless, and responsible touch with Israeli art.”

December 15, 2017

Caterina Avataneo Wins 2017 NEON Curatorial Award

NEON Curatorial Award 2017 winner Caterina Avateneo, with Whitechapel director Iwona Blazwick, NEON founder Dimitris Daskalopoulos, NEON director Elina Kountouri, and the 2017 judging panel. Photo: Rosie Kennedy. Courtesy: NEON and Whitechapel Gallery.

The Whitechapel Gallery in London has announced that Caterina Avataneo has won the 2017 NEON Curatorial Award, an annual prize established by the gallery and NEON, a non-profit organization in Athens, in 2012. The award recognizes curatorial excellence and gives each winner the opportunity to devise an exhibition proposal drawing from the D.Daskalopoulos Collection, which includes over five hundred contemporary artworks by 220 international and Greek artists.

Avataneo was selected for her exhibition proposal “And Yet They are Knocking at the Door,” which shares its title with a short story written by the Italian author Dino Buzzati in 1942. Bringing together works from thirteen artists, including Giovanni Anselmo, Mona Hatoum, Jenny Holzer, Cindy Sherman, Rebecca Warren, and Rachel Whiteread, the exhibition, which addresses notions of human existential anxiety, death, paradox, and fate, will be staged in the Hepworth Wakefield Gallery and will be accompanied by a publication.

Chaired by Nayia Yiakoumaki, curator and head of curatorial studies, at Whitechapel, the judging panel comprised Ben Eastham, dditor of the White Review; Nadia Schneider Willen, collections curator at Migros, Zurich; and Tina Sotiriadi, an independent curator at H+S Projects.

December 15, 2017

Ralph Rugoff Named Artistic Director of 2019 Venice Biennale

Ralph Rugoff.

The Venice Biennale announced today that Ralph Rugoff, the director of the Hayward Gallery in London, will be the artistic director of the fifty-eighth edition of the exhibition, which will run from May 11, 2019 until November 24.

“The Venice Biennale is the oldest and most prestigious exhibition of its kind internationally and I am really looking forward to taking on this new challenge alongside next year’s momentous reopening of the Hayward Gallery and upcoming exhibition program,” Rugoff said in a statement.

Rugoff first joined the Hayward Gallery in 2006. During his tenure there, he curated exhibitions such as “The Infinite Mix” (2016), “Invisible: Art about the Unseen 1957-2012” (2012), and “The Human Factor: the Figure in Contemporary Sculpture” (2014) and organized solo presentations by various artists including Ed Ruschka, Jeremy Deller, Carsten Holler, and Tracey Emin. He also served as curator of the Thirteenth Lyon Biennale in 2015 and the director of the CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts at the California College of the Arts in San Francisco from 200 to 2006. A prolific writer, Rugoff has penned artilces for publications such as Artforum, Frieze, Parkett, and the Los Angeles Times, and has contributed essays to books on artists such as Mike Kelley, David Hammons, Roni Horn, Luc Tuymans, and Paul McCarthy.

“The appointment of Ralph Rugoff confirms the Biennale’s primary goal, to qualify the exhibition as a place of encounter between the visitors, the art, and the artists,” Biennale president Paolo Baratta said. “An exhibition engaging the viewers directly with the artworks in such a way that memory, the unexpected, the possible provocation, the new and the different can stimulate their visions, their minds and their emotions, and offer them the opportunity for a direct experience.”

December 14, 2017

Alison Cole Named Editor of the Art Newspaper

Alison Cole. Photo: Alison Cole.

The Art Newspaper, an online and paper publication founded in 1990, announced today that Alison Cole has been appointed its new editor. Cole is an arts consultant, historian, and journalist who has previously worked as the executive director of advocacy and communications at Arts Council England, executive director of communications and publications at the Art Fund, and as editor of Art Quarterly magazine.

Cole has written features and arts criticism for a number of publications, including The Independent and the Arts Desk. Her latest books are Michelangelo: The Taddei Tondo (Royal Academy, 2017) and Art, Pleasure and Power: Italian Renaissance Courts (Laurence King, 2016). Cole also spearheaded the digital arts channel The Space, produced by ACE and the BBC, and is assisting Heni Talks with the creation of a new art history digital platform, fashioned after TED Talks. She has a master of philosophy in medieval studies from London University’s Warburg Institute.

December 14, 2017

Stedelijk Museum Teams Up with Rem Koolhaas to Rehang Its Permanent Collection

Installation view of Stedelijk Base, the Stedelijk Museum’s new presentation of its permanent collection. Courtesy: the Stedelijk Museum.

The Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam revealed today a major rehang of its collection of modern and contemporary art. The institution partnered with AMO architect Rem Koolhaas—who says the Stedelijk shaped his sense of aesthetics—and exhibition designer Federico Martelli to reconfigure its presentation of about seven hundred works by artists such as Piet Mondrian, Roy Lichtenstein, Gerrit Rietveld, Ed van der Elsken, Marlene Dumas, and Yayoi Kusama.

Dubbed Stedelijk Base, the arrangement of the works incorporates new architectural elements. One-hundred-and-eighty tons of steel were used to create thin freestanding walls, which are positioned to help create thematic zones of related artworks. Commenting on the layout, Koolhaas, who has visited the museum since he was twelve, said, “We did not want to create a rigid circuit for visitors. They’ll have the freedom to explore in different directions, and choose their own route, as adventurous as circulation through any city.”

Margriet Schavemaker, the head of collections and research at the Stedelijk Museum—who was jointly responsible for the selection of works and their presentation—said, “Stedelijk Base is our way of making the collection relevant today, in the twenty-first century. The presentation is crammed with surprising connections and associations, and also offers a clear chronology. This way visitors will always know which period of art history they have entered.”

December 14, 2017

Getty Research Institute Acquires Mary Kelly Archive

Mary Kelly in 1999. Photo: Kelly Barrie. Courtesy: the Pippy Houldsworth Gallery, London.

The archive of Conceptual artist Mary Kelly has been acquired by the Getty Research Institute in California. It will include her monumental project, Post-Partum Document, 1973–1979, as well as later works such as Interim, 1984–89, and Gloria Patri, 1992.

“Mary Kelly is an exceptionally influential artist whose art, teaching practice, and scholarship have shaped the conversation around feminism and Conceptualism since the 1960s,” Thomas W. Gaehtgens, director of the Getty Research Institute, said in a statement. “By adding her archive to our already strong collections representing American women artists and Conceptual artists, we are bridging contemporary practices in the US and Europe and providing valuable resources to any scholars or artists studying Conceptualism, postmodernism, psychoanalytic theory, or feminism.”

Prototypes of her work, audio reels of the Women’s National Liberation Conference in 1971, audiovisual material, journals on Marxism and feminism, flyers she collected while abroad, research and projection material, and ephemera are included in the archive, which will be catalogued and made available at the Getty in stages. Famous for her arduous teaching approach, the archive also features materials related to her influential work as an educator.

Glen Phillips, the curator of modern and contemporary art at the Getty Research Institute, said: “Mary Kelly is one of the leading artists from the postmodern era in the 1980s and one of the most influential figures to pursue feminist interventions into artistic practice. She was also one of the foundational figures to the development of both Conceptual art and feminism in Great Britain in the 1970s, a key figure in the transmission of poststructuralist and psychoanalytic theory to artists and arts scholars in the United States, and one of the most important arts educators of her generation. In short, she has been a step ahead of cutting-edge art practices for decades.”

Originally trained as a painter, Kelly was moved to Beirut, where she was exposed to Jacques Lacan and various threads of Marxist theory, to teach art. After the birth of her son, she drew upon Lacanian psychoanalytic ideologies to help her raise him and recorded her experiences in Post-Partum Document, which was published in book form by Routledge and Kegan Paul in 1982. Most of Kelly’s work in the 1970s was created through the Berwick Street Collective. The group was known for its sociological project Women and Work: A Document on the Division of Labour in Industry, which studied 150 women who worked at a metal box foundry from 1973 to 1975.

“Because my studio practice is project based, involving extensive research that often overlaps with interests in activism and pedagogy, the concept as well as the material form of an archive is central to the way I work. The Getty Research Institute’s curatorial vision not only supports this approach, but I believe, will enhance the discursive potential it implies. I am thrilled to be included in the collection and honored to be part of an ongoing collective legacy of such significance,” said Kelly.