June 14, 2013

Michigan Attorney General Prevents Detroit Museum From Selling Collection

Michigan attorney general Bill Schuette has prevented the Detroit Institute of Arts from selling its artworks to settle the city’s debts, which are currently worth upwards of $17 billion, reports Graham Bowley of the New York Times. Schuette, in a statement released yesterday, said, “The art collection of the Detroit Institute of Arts is held by the city of Detroit in charitable trust for the people of Michigan, and no piece in the collection can thus be sold, conveyed, or transferred to satisfy city debts or obligations.” His response follows the news that Detroit’s emergency manager, Kevyn Orr, was exploring different ways to restructure the city’s debt, including the sale of the museum’s masterpieces, which include an 1887 Van Gogh selfportrait; The Wedding Dance by Pieter Bruegel the Elder; and Madonna and Child by Giovanni Bellini.

June 14, 2013

Sidney R. Knafel Joins Frick Board of Trustees

The Frick Collection has announced that Sidney R. Knafel will join its board of trustees, reports Andrew Russeth of GalleristNY. Knafel is currently the managing partner of SRK Management Company, New York, and is a collector of French faience. He previously sat on the Frick’s decorative arts committee and has also served on various philanthropic boards.

June 14, 2013

International News Digest

After eight years as director of the Office for Contemporary Art, Norway, Marta Kuzma has announced that she's leaving the organization. At the OCA, Kuzma was responsible for curating exhibitions including “Big Sign—Little Building” and “Whatever Happened to Sex in Scandinavia?” She also served as cocurator of Manifesta 5 in Spain, was the founding director of the Soros Center for Contemporary Art in Kiev, Ukraine, and previously ran the exhibitions program at the International Center of Photography in New York. Last year, she worked as part of the Documenta 13 curatorial team. Kuzma told artforum.com that she’s decided to depart after finishing her second term at the OCA in order to “dedicate time to research, writing, and teaching.”

In other news from Oslo, Emily Sharpe reported for the Art Newspaper that the city’s government has approved plans for the Munch Museum to move to a new glass structure on the city’s waterfront—a full four years after Herreros Arquitectos, the Spanish architectural firm, first unveiled designs for the museum’s new building. The plans provoked the ire of local politicians, who opposed both the museum’s new location and its estimated cost of $273 million. The decision to move forward “shows that even the starkest political opponents can put aside their differences for the [common] good,” said Hallstein Bjercke, the city’s commissioner for culture and industry.

Monopol took a look at the life and collection of Charles Saatchi on the occasion of his seventieth birthday, noting that the advertising magnate, who usually shies away from interviews, has in his later years seemed increasingly “concerned about his legacy in the art world.” Monopol reminded readers that, in a 2012 interview with The Guardian, Saatchi himself joked that his “whole career is a triumph of style over content.” After founding the renowned advertising agency Saatchi & Saatchi with his brother in 1970, the collector helped foster the careers of the Young British Artists, and later turned his interest to German artists. “Without Charles Saatchi, there would be no contemporary art,” said Damien Hirst in a recent interview with BBC. However, Monopol notes that Saatchi’s style will long be associated with his penchant for the “shrill and shocking.” It’s perhaps this reason that his attempts to donate his collection, which is estimated to be worth nearly $50 million, have been futile: Both the British State and the Tate Modern have cordially turned down his art. According to media reports, Saatchi may be considering the option of transferring his collection to a newly formed foundation.

Photographer Annie Leibovitz has been named the recipient of this year’s Prince of Asturias award, according to Der Standard. Considered to be the “Nobel Prize of Spain,” the prize, worth over $60,000, honors Leibovitz in the communication and human sciences division. The jury applauded her dynamic, international photojournalism, choosing her over contestant Christiane Amanpour of CNN. Leibovitz joins previous winners such as architect Norman Foster and singer Bob Dylan.

June 13, 2013

Stuart Comer Appointed Chief Curator of Media and Performance Art at MoMA

The Museum of Modern Art, New York, has appointed Stuart Comer as chief curator of its department of media and performance art. Since 2004, Comer has served as the curator of film at Tate Modern, London, where he cocurated the opening program for the Tanks, and organized the live film and projection projects of many artists, including Tony Conrad, Nan Goldin, Barbara Hammer, and Jennifer West. He is also cocurator of the upcoming 2014 biennial at the Whitney Museum of American Art. In his new role, Comer will oversee MoMA’s program of special exhibitions, installations from its collection of more than 1,700 media and performance works, and new acquisitions. “With his energetic exploration of relationships between art and the moving image, between contemporary practice and the history of modernism, Stuart will make a significant contribution to MoMA's efforts to exhibit, collect, and interpret the art of our time,” said MoMA director Glenn D. Lowry. Comer begins his new post on September 23.

June 13, 2013

Maura Reilly Appointed Executive Director of Linda Pace Foundation

The Linda Pace Foundation has appointed Maura Reilly as its new executive director, reports the San Antonio Express-News. Reilly has previously held positions as professor and chair of art theory at the Queensland College of Art, Australia, and senior curator at the American Federation of Arts, New York. From 2003 to 2008, she served as the founding curator of the Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art at the Brooklyn Museum. In her new role, Reilly will manage the foundation’s art collection by overseeing the exhibition program and acquisitions. She begins her new role in August.

June 13, 2013

Kemang Wa Lehulere and Jenni Tischer Win Bâloise Prize at Art Basel

Artists Kemang Wa Lehulere and Jenni Tischer have been named the winners of this year’s Bâloise Prize at Art Basel, according to the Mail and Guardian. The annual award, worth about thirty thousand dollars, recognizes artists exhibiting in Statements, Art Basel’s sector for young and emerging artists. Works by Wa Lehulere and Tischer will also be donated to the Hamburger Kunsthalle and the Museum Moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig in Vienna. Tischer, of Germany, creates installations, watercolors, and videos that play upon themes of design and communication, often using fabric and other materials traditionally seen as feminine to explore political and feminist concerns. Tischer has had solo shows at the Bielefelder Kunstverein and the Augarten Contemporary at the Belvedere Vienna. Wa Lehulere, who is South African, has staged solo exhibitions at the Goethe-Institut in Johannesburg and AVA in Cape Town. His body of work comprises wall-sized drawings, installations, and performances that “establish a link between the trauma and myths of South Africa’s past and contemporary social issues,” according to the Bâloise jury. Wa Lehulere was included in the New Museum’s triennial, “The Ungovernables,” in 2012.

June 12, 2013

Nicholas Baume Named Curator of Public Sector at Art Basel Miami Beach

Art Basel has announced that Nicholas Baume will serve as curator of the fair's public sector in Miami Beach this year. In his new role, Baume—the director and chief curator of the Public Art Fund—will be responsible for working with the Bass Museum of Art to transform Collins Park into an outdoor exhibition space that will be the site of video, installation, live performance, and large-scale sculpture. Before working at the Public Art Fund, Baume served as chief curator at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston. Said Marc Spiegler, director of Art Basel, “Nicholas’s contributions to public art through his leadership at the Public Art Fund have been exceptional. We are looking forward to seeing how he will transform Collins Park in Miami Beach this December.”

June 11, 2013

Frick Director Ian Wardropper Receives Medal of Chevalier

The Frick Collection, New York, has announced that its director, Ian Wardropper, received the Medal of Chevalier yesterday from the French Order of Arts and Letters, reports Andrew Russeth of GalleristNY. The ceremony, which was held at the museum, was conducted by Antonin Baudry, the cultural counselor of the French embassy. Founded in 1957, the order recognizes those “who have contributed significantly to furthering the arts in France and throughout the world.” Wardropper is a specialist in European sculpture, decorative arts, and twentieth-century design and has previously held positions at the Art Institute of Chicago and at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. He joined the Frick Collection in 2011.

June 11, 2013

Abdellah Karroum Appointed Director of Mathaf Museum

Mathaf, the Arab Museum of Modern Art, Doha, has announced the appointment of Abdellah Karroum as its director, reports Pac Pobric of the Art Newspaper. Karroum previously served as associate curator for the 2013 Triennial at the Palais de Tokyo, Paris, and for the biennials in Gwangju (2008) and Dakar (2006). He is also the founder of the independent art space L’appartment 22 in Morocco. Karroum begins his directorship at Mathaf in June.