Pablo León de la Barra has been named Guggenheim UBS MAP curator of Latin America. He is the second curator selected to participate in the collaboration that museum launched with UBS last year, the Guggenheim MAP Global Art Initiative, which works with artists and curators in South and Southeast Asia, Latin America, the Middle East, and North Africa. The program involves curatorial residencies, acquisitions, international touring exhibitions, educational programming, and online activities. León de la Barra will begin a two-year residency in New York where he will work “with the Guggenheim’s curatorial staff to identify recent artworks by artists of Latin American origin that reflect some of the region’s most significant contemporary cultural practices and ideas,” notes the museum in a press release. These artworks will then become part of the collection and form the basis of a traveling exhibition slated to open in New York in 2014.
Said Richard Armstrong: “Following the success of the first phase of the program in South and Southeast Asia, we look forward to welcoming Pablo León de la Barra to the Guggenheim. His experience with contemporary art and artists from Latin America, and in generating new ways of thinking about contemporary art practices, make him the ideal candidate to be Guggenheim UBS MAP curator, Latin America."
The Fondazione MAXXI in Rome has announced the appointment of Hou Hanru as its artistic director. Previously the director of exhibitions and public programs as well as chair of exhibition and museum studies at the San Francisco Art Institute, Hou in his new role will be responsible for planning MAXXI’s cultural programs. “The institution, being a platform for public debates on the dynamic relationship between artistic creativity and social life,” Hou states, “should and can become an exemplary organization for significant art, architecture, and culture productions and a laboratory for new public culture. The task is by no means an easy one.”
Hou was born in Guangzhou, China, and graduated from the Central Academy of Fine Arts, Beijing, with a BA in 1985 and a MA in 1988. He has curated numerous exhibitions including “China/Avant-Garde” 1989, “Parisien(ne)s” 1997, the 2000 Shanghai Biennale, the 2002 Gwangju Biennale, the Venice Biennale (French Pavilion, 1999, “Z.O.U—Zone Of Urgency,” 2003, Chinese Pavilion, 2007), and the 2007 Istanbul Biennial. He was most recently the codirector of the World Biennial Forum in Gwangju (2012) and curator of the Auckland Triennial in Auckland (2013).
David Revere McFadden, the chief curator and vice president of collections and programs at the Museum of Arts and Design, New York, has announced he will retire after a sixteen-year tenure at the museum. McFadden joined MAD in 1997, and has since organized more than 140 exhibitions, including the series “Second Lives: Remixing the Ordinary” in 2008, which inaugurated the museum’s new space on Madison Avenue and broke attendance records for the institution. Prior to his work at the museum, McFadden was honored for his role in cultural affairs, being named Knight, First Class, of the Order of the Lion of Finland in 1984; Knight Commander of the Order of the Polar Star of Sweden by King Gustaf VI in 1988; and Chevalier by the French Order of Arts and Letters in 1989. Three of his exhibition projects and catalogues were awarded the presidential design award for excellence in 1994, 1995, and 1997 respectively. McFadden plans to pursue independent curatorial and writing projects upon his leave.
Jan Van Alphen, director of the Rubin Museum of Art, New York, has been accused of sexual harassment, reports Rich Schapiro of the New York Daily News. Cindy Sherling, a former worker at the museum, has filed a lawsuit against him, alleging that Van Alphen spoke lewdly to her on multiple occasions and touched her inappropriately. Sherling was then fired in April after complaining about her boss’s conduct, according to the suit.
Barry Bergdoll is stepping down after six and a half years as chief curator of architecture and design at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, reports Robin Pogrebin of the New York Times. Bergdoll will continue on as a part-time curator at the museum, assisting with the department’s upcoming exhibitions on Latin American architecture and on the work of Brazilian architect Lina Bo Bardi. Previously serving as chairman of Columbia University, Bergdoll will return to the university to teach full time, assuming Columbia’s Meyer Schapiro chair in art history.
Creative Time has announced that artists Khaled Hourani and Laurie Jo Reynolds are the two winners of this year’s Leonore Annenberg Prize for Art and Social Change, and each will receive $15,000 at the Creative Time Summit on October 26, where they will also speak about their work. Said Laura Raicovich, Creative Time’s director of global initiatives, “While Khaled Hourani and Laurie Jo Reynolds are distinctly different artists, each has developed a practice that creates the possibility for change where it has seemed fundamentally and perhaps immovably foreclosed.” It is the first year the Annenberg Prize’s jury has decided to recognize not one but two artists.
Jeffrey Kaczmarczyk reports in MLive that the Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts, for the first time in its thirty-six-year history, will have an exhibitions curator: Alexander Paschka. As the recent manager of digital media at Grand Rapids Art Museum, Paschka oversaw the creation of an iPad app and website for “The Jansma Print Collection at the Grand Rapids Art Museum: Five Centuries of Masterpieces.” Said interim executive director Miranda Krajniak, “Alexander joining the staff emphasizes the importance of the exhibitions department in the future success of the UICA.”
The Santa Monica Museum of Art has received $121,500 from the Andy Warhol Foundation. The grant is intended to fund “Citizen Culture: Artists and Architects Shape Policy,” curated by Lucía Sanromán; the exhibition will “examine how public art throughout the Americas can act as an agent for social change,” reports Jamie Wetherbe of the Los Angeles Times. Said Laurie Jo Reynolds, one of the artists included in the show: “Artists are uniquely qualified to change law and policy. We know how to attempt the impossible, fail grandly, and start over.”
Dorothy Lichtenstein has bestowed one million dollars on Stony Brook Southampton’s Graduate Arts Programs. Lichtenstein is president of the Roy Lichtenstein Foundation and has been a longtime supporter of the institution. The gift will allow it to move forward on several initiatives including the David Rakoff Studio Theater, additional scholarships, and the launch of a digital filmmaking program. Said Lichtenstein: “This gift reflects my confidence in president [Samuel] Stanley’s leadership and the university’s commitment to excellence in the arts. It also reflects my confidence in the extraordinary leadership of [associate provost] Robert Reeves, who has founded many of these programs and presided over their dramatic growth. The growth has not come at the expense of quality. These programs are among the best of their kind, which is why they have risen to national and international prominence.”