The Barbican Center has announced that Jane Alison will head its visual arts department. Since 2007, Alison has served as senior curator at the Barbican, organizing shows including “The House of Viktor and Rolf ,“2008, and “The Surreal House,” 2010. In her role shaping the center’s “Dancing Around Duchamp” program, Alison was responsible for realizing The Bride and the Bachelors: Duchamp with Cage, Cunningham, Rauschenberg and Johns, 2013. Said Louise Jeffreys, Barbican’s director of arts: “[Alison] is a hugely talented and creative curator, an excellent manager . . . . Her passion for the Barbican is an inspiration.”
Artist Günther Förg died yesterday, reports Monopol. Born in Füssen, Germany, in 1952, Förg studied at the Academy of Fine Arts Munich. There, he first began to explore monochrome painting and, in the early 1980s, moved to assemblage and photography. From 1992 to 1999, he taught at the Staatliche Hochschule für Gestaltung in Karlsruche and afterwards served as a professor in Munich. His interdisciplinary work has been shown in various international institutions and is part of the permament collections at the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa; the Museum für Monderne Kunst, Frankfurt; the Ludwig Museum, Cologne; the Tate Modern, London; the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Hamburger Bahnhof-Museum für Gegenwart, Berlin; and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.
John Maeda, the president of the Rhode Island School of Design, has announced that he will leave the school at the end of this semester, reports Robin Pogrebin of the New York Times. A former professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Maeda joined RISD in 2008. He departs the school for Kleiner Perkins Caufield Byers, a venture capital firm in Menlo Park, California, where he will also consult for eBay.
Artist David Vestal has died. Born in Menlo Park, California, in 1924, Vestal studied painting at the Art Institute of Chicago. He became involved in photography during the late 1940s after moving to New York and received two John Simon Guggenheim Fellowships in the medium in 1966 and 1973. His work is included in the public collections of the Museum of Modern Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, and the Art Institute of Chicago.
Vestal held many professorial positions throughout his time in New York, including those at Parsons School of Design, the School of Visual Arts, and Pratt Institute. He also wrote various essays on photography and published two books on photography and printing: The Craft of Photography (1975) and The Art of Black-and-White Enlarging (1984).
José Esteban Muñoz, a scholar of queer politics and a professor at New York University’s Tisch School, has died at age forty-six, reports Mostafa Heddaya of Hyperallergic. Born in Havana, Cuba, in 1967, Muñoz immigrated to the United States at an early age. He went on to study at Sarah Lawrence College, Bronxville, and earned his doctorate degree in comparative literature at Duke University, Durham. Muñoz wrote extensively on aesthetics, performance, and queer studies, producing two books on the subject matter: Disdentifications: Queer of Color and the Performance of Politics (1999) and Cruising Utopia: the Then and There of Queer Futurity (2009).
The New Museum, New York, has announced the appointment of Julia Kaganskiy as its director for the museum’s new incubator for art, technology, and design. With a background in network development between artists, nonprofits, and technology companies as founder of #ArtsTech Meetup and as the global editor of the Creators Project, Kaganskiy in her new role will be responsible for overseeing the incubator’s member recruitment, partnerships, and programs. The nonprofit initiative will create a hybrid educational and professional workspace for start-up entrepreneurs and artists in the museum’s adjacent building at 231 Bowery. The space is slated to open in next summer.
The Venice Biennale’s board of directors has revealed that Okwui Enwezor will be director of the festival’s visual arts sector in 2015, and will curate the fifty-sixth international art exhibition at the Giardini and Arsenale. The Nigerian-born Enwezor has served as the director of the Haus der Kunst in Munich since 2011. He has also been the artistic director of festivals including the second Johannesburg Biennale in South Africa, Documenta 11, the Bienal Internacional de Arte Contemporáneo de Sevilla in Spain, the seventh Gwangju Biennale in South Korea, and the Triennal d’Art Contemporain of Paris at the Palais de Tokyo. Board president Paolo Baratta stated: “Enwezor has investigated, in particular, the complex phenomenon of globalization in relation to local roots. His personal experience is a decisive starting point for the geographic range of his analysis, for the temporal depth of recent developments in the art world, and for the variegated richness of the present.”
The Creative Capital / Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Grant Program has unveiled the recipients of its 2013 grants. Awarding over $600,000 to twenty writers, the program this year recognized projects in four categories: articles, blogs, books, and short-form writing.
Melissa Messina, “Mildred Thompson: Making the Invisible Visible” (Savannah, Georgia)
Federico Windhausen, “Narcisa Hirsch, the Goethe Group, and Argentine Experimental Cinema During the Dirty War” (Oakland, California)
Sharon Butler, Two Coats of Paint (New York)
Ed Fuentes, Paint This Desert (Las Vegas)
Andrew Horwitz, Art Criticism for the Post-Material World (Brooklyn)
Monica Amor, Gego: Weaving the Space In-Between (Philadelphia)
Jennifer Bajorek, The Atlantides of Memory: Photography and Decolonial Imagination (Brooklyn)
George Baker, Lateness and Longing: On the Afterlife of Photography (Los Angeles)
Claudia Calirman, A Study from the Margins: Female Practices in Brazil and Chile (New York)
Kellie Jones, Art is an Excuse: Conceptual Strategies 1968-1983 (Brooklyn)
Saloni Mathur, A Fragile Inheritance: Radical Stakes in Contemporary Indian Art (Los Angeles)
Lizabeth Paravisini-Gebert, Troubled Waters: Ecology and History in 21st-Century Caribbean Art (Poughkeepsie, New York)
Krista Thompson, Photography, Screen and Spectacle in Contemporary African Diasporic Culture (Evanston, Illinois)
Andrew Berardini (Los Angeles)
Robert Berlind (New York)
Travis Diehl (Los Angeles)
Travis Jeppesen (Berlin)
Jennifer Kabat (Margaretville, New York)
Kate Sutton (Nashville)
Kaelen Wilson-Goldie (Beirut)
Omar Kholeif has been named the new curator of Whitechapel Gallery in London. Curator at Cornerhouse, Manchester, as well as HOME (a new arts center opening in 2015), Kholeif also previously served as curator at FACT in Liverpool, where he commissioned projects by artists including Anja Kirschner, David Panos, Pedro Reyes, and Akram Zaatari. Kholeif is also senior editor of Ibraaz Publishing. Iwona Blazwick, the gallery’s director, noted: “We are delighted that Omar Kholeif is joining the gallery. He is a bright new star in bringing the very best art from around the world to everyone.”