October 11, 2012

New Appointments at Santa Monica Museum of Art

The Santa Monica Museum of Art has announced the appointments of two new co–deputy directors and a new board president. Doug Rimerman and Claire Ruud have been selected as co–deputy directors. Rimerman will focus on advancement and board relations, and Ruud will concentrate on operations and external affairs. Doug Rimerman has served as director of corporate and foundation relations at the Fulfillment Fund, director of development at Kidspace Children's Museum, and as development officer at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Claire Ruud cofounded Cook and Ruud, served on the board of Artspace in New Haven, and acted as a strategic consultant for Visual AIDS.

SMMoA's new board president will be Price Latimer Agah. Agah is an independent art curator and art consultant specializing in emerging, contemporary, and postwar art for private residents, collections, and public spaces.

October 11, 2012

Catherine Edelman Named Director of AIPAD

GalleristNY's Andrew Russeth notes that the Association of International Photography Art Dealers has selected Catherine Edelman as its director. The owner of Catherine Edelman Gallery in Chicago, she will begin her new role in 2013 and will serve for two years. Edelman replaces Stephen Bulger, a dealer based in Toronto. The association has around 120 members, and is responsible for the annual AIPAD photography show at the Park Avenue Armory.

October 11, 2012

International News Digest


For eight years, the city of Amsterdam has patiently awaited the Stedelijk Museum’s reopening. In 2004, several prominent architects submitted ideas for the museum’s renovation, most notably Robert Venturi and Álvaro Siza, but it was Benthem Crouwel’s proposal to create a smooth bathtublike façade of Twaron, a material typically used in satellites, that was ultimately selected. Due to a lack of funding, another two years elapsed before construction even began, according to Der Standard. The scheduled finish date was then pushed back another four years due to technical problems and the bankruptcy of the general contractor. Perhaps the redesign was worth the wait: According to Monopol, the new building is incredibly space efficient, with 70 percent more square footage to stage exhibitions.

As artforum.com reported here, Sabine Breitwieser, the forty-nine-year-old Austrian curator, has been called upon to replace Toni Stoss as director of the Museum der Moderne Salzburg. Der Standard’s Anne Katrin Fessler thinks Breitwieser will put Salzburg’s museum on the map internationally for contemporary art. Breitwieser certainly has the experience to do so, notes Fessler. At the Museum of Modern Art in New York, she most recently acted as chief curator for media and performance art. Before that, she founded and directed the Generali Foundation (1991–2007), was cocurator of the Liverpool Biennial (2003–2004), served from 2003 until 2008 on the university committee of the Akademie der bildenden Künste in Vienna, and worked as a curator at MACBA in Barcelona and at the Steirischer Herbst (2009–2010). The Kurier, meanwhile, noted that Breitwieser was considered a favorite for Vienna’s MUMOK and was on the shortlist to manage the Tate Modern.

The Neue Zürcher Zeitung sheds light on the state of political art in Lebanon with a profile of street artist Semaan Khawam. In 2011, Khawam was arrested and interrogated for five months and is currently still on trial for public defacement and vandalism. “The country is going to the dogs. So many artists are leaving the country, and those who are staying are supposed to just accept that their voice is being taken away,” he stated. While no Lebanese laws explicitly forbid graffiti, there is an unspoken rule that anything not religious in nature counts as defacement. Censorship crimes are handled by a department in the General Safety administration, which authorizes artworks before artists can make them public. Actress Hanan Haj Ali said, “This needs to be stopped. All power of decision is concentrated in this one department, which knows absolutely nothing about art. Ignorance has become common currency in Lebanon.” The nation has been known as a historically liberal and creative country in the region and has always had a prolific artistic community, according to the NZZ, but certain freedoms may be in the process of erosion.

October 11, 2012

Hunter O’Hanian Appointed Director of Leslie-Lohman Museum

Hunter O’Hanian will be joining the Leslie-Lohman Museum as its director. For the past three years, O’Hanian has served as vice president of institutional advancement and executive director of the Foundation for Massachusetts College of Art and Design. He noted that “organizations like the Leslie-Lohman Museum are rare in our society. They are brave and tenacious, advocating for the rights of gays and lesbians to make and show meaningful art which impacts their lives and those around them. They have a long history of preserving and supporting art by and about LGBQT artists.”

October 10, 2012

Suzanne Cotter Named Director of Serralves Museum of Contemporary Art

Suzanne Cotter has been appointed director of the Serralves Museum of Contemporary Art in Porto, Portugal. She replaces Joăo Fernandes, who resigned to assume the position of deputy director of Madrid’s Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía. Cotter is currently curator of the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi project. Based in New York, she began at the Guggenheim in 2010, during which time she served as cocurator of the tenth Sharjah Biennial. Said director Richard Armstrong of her departure: “Suzanne has made an enormous contribution to the Guggenheim and the development of the curatorial vision and collection strategy for the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi. We have all benefited from her knowledge and insight. We will miss her leadership on the Abu Dhabi project but we are excited for the Serralves Museum and the world to have her as a director.” Cotter will begin her new position in January of 2013.

October 10, 2012

One Defendant Freed in Pussy Riot Case

The BBC reports that Yekaterina Samutsevich, one of the three defendants in the Pussy Riot case, has been freed. Along with two fellow band members, Samutsevich was jailed in August for “hooliganism motivated by religious hatred.” Her two-year jail term was officially suspended today after judges agreed with her lawyer's argument that guards had ejected her from the cathedral where Pussy Riot was playing before she could even remove her guitar for the band's anti-Putin “punk prayer.” Mark Feigin, one of the defense lawyers, said, “We're glad that Yekaterina Samutsevich has been freed, but we think the other two girls should also be released.” The defense team plans to continue the appeals process.

October 10, 2012

Art Institute of Chicago Sells $100 Million in Bonds to Raise Money for Pensions

In order to raise money for employee pensions, the Art Institute of Chicago has made the decision to sell about $100 million in bonds, reports Bloomberg’s Brian Chappatta. The bonds, which mature anywhere from next year to 2040, are being sold with the help of Morgan Stanley. Proceeds will cover pension benefits. As of last year, the institute’s retirement plan was projected to cover up to about 65 percent of its obligations to employees.

October 9, 2012

Johanna Burton Appointed Director and Curator of Education at the New Museum

Johanna Burton has been named director and curator of education and public programs at the New Museum. Burton is currently director of the graduate program at the Center of Curatorial Studies at Bard College, a role she has held for the past two years; she previously served as associate director and senior faculty member at the Whitney Independent Study Program. Her new role marks a return to the New Museum, where she acted as a curatorial fellow nearly a decade ago. As director Lisa Phillips said: “It is a great pleasure to welcome Johanna back to our team. She is an incisive thinker and is deeply committed to education, to developing networks of people and ideas, and to expanding scholarship in contemporary art.” Andrew Russeth of the New York Observer writes that Burton “won’t be completely severing her ties with CCS Bard,” noting that she plans to finish her current curatorial and publishing projects. Burton replaces Eungie Joo who resigned this past summer to become director of art and cultural programs at Inhotim, Bernardo Paz’s contemporary art complex in Brazil.

October 9, 2012

Richard Gordon (1945–2012)

Photographer Richard Gordon has passed away at the age of sixty-seven at his home in Berkeley, California. Gordon was diagnosed with terminal cancer last year. His photographs are included in collections at the J. Paul Getty Museum, the Corcoran Gallery of American Art, and the Library of Congress among others. He has also published a number of handmade artist’s books and produced critical essays for a variety of publications and monographs. Of his passing, Gitterman Gallery, which represented Gordon and announced the news today, said: “Beyond being a great photographer, Richard was a great writer. There are few that have the gift in more than one medium. His writing was a lot like his photography and thus an extension of the man he was, direct with a great wit.”