November 9, 2017

Rutgers Zimmerli Art Museum Gifted $34 Million Collection of Soviet Nonconformist Art

Installation view of “Commemorating the Russian Revolution, 1917/2017,” on view at the Jane Voorhees Zimmerli Art Museum, Rutgers University-New Brunswick, from October 14, 2017, to February 18, 2018. Photo: Peter Jacobs. Courtesy: Zimmerli Art Museum.

The Jane Voorhees Zimmerli Art Museum at Rutgers University in New Jersey announced today that it has received a donation of 17,300 works of Soviet nonconformist art—the largest single gift in its history. The $34 million collection was donated by Nancy Ruyle, the widow of Norton Dodge, an economics professor who, during the Cold War, amassed the world’s largest holdings of Soviet dissident art.

Created by more than one thousand artists, the works date from 1956—the year that Nikita Khruschev gave a “secret speech” to the Twentieth Party Congress, denouncing Stalinism and initiating a cultural thaw—through 1991, the end of the Mikhail Gorbachev era.

The gift “makes the museum the world’s principal site for studying and exhibiting the most vital, diverse, and daring strains of art produced throughout the USSR over four decades,” Thomas Sokolowski, director of the Zimmerli, and Nevin Kessler, president of the Rutgers University Foundation, said in a statement. These works join four thousand other Soviet nonconformist works that Nancy Ruyle Dodge and her late husband gave to the institution in 1991.

November 9, 2017

Studio Museum Announces 2018 Artists-in-Residence

Tschabalala Self, Bodega Run, 2015.

The Studio Museum in Harlem announced today that Allison Janae Hamilton, Tschabalala Self, and Sable Elyse Smith will be its 2018 artists-in-residence. Since the institution is planning to close next year in order to break ground on its new home, designed by Adjaye Associates, the artists will work from studios located in a street-level space at 429 West One Hundred and Twenty-Seventh Street.

“Our artist-in-residence program has been at the heart of this institution’s mission since our founding in 1968,” director and chief curator Thelma Golden said. “It is the embodiment of our commitment to supporting emerging artists of African descent, and is at the center of our work to bring artists together with the Harlem community. I am thrilled that Allison, Tschabalala, and Sable—three outstanding artists, each of whom has already developed her own distinctive practice—will be with us during our anniversary year, at the beginning of an exciting transition.”

Former artists in residence include David Hammons, Kerry James Marshall, Julie Mehretu, and Kehinde Wiley. Works by Hamilton and Smith are currently on view at the museum in the exhibition “Fictions,” which highlights the use of narrative in works by artists of African descent. Self’s work was recently showcased in the Studio Museum show “A Constellation” (2015–16).

November 9, 2017

Getty Conservation Institute Receives $5 Million Gift

Louise and John Bryson at the Mogao Grottoes, the site of a Getty Conservation Institute project, in 2008.

The J. Paul Getty Trust announced today that it has been gifted $5 million from philanthropists John E. Bryson and Louise Henry Bryson. The contribution will establish a new endowment fund supporting the work of the Getty Conservation Institute.

“As the former chair of the Getty board of trustees and a founding member of the GCI Council, Louise Bryson knows firsthand the critical work that the GCI undertakes to advance the field of cultural heritage conservation,” said Maria Hummer-Tuttle, the current chair of the Getty’s board of trustees. Getty president and CEO Jame Cuno added, “We simply can’t do everything we’d like to do without significant gifts like this one from the Brysons.”

Louise Bryson has worked in the media industry for thirty-four years, serving as president of distribution for Lifetime Television, executive vice president and general manager of Lifetime Movies, and senior vice president at FX Networks. John Bryson has served as the US Commerce Secretary under former president Barack Obama and was a member of the United Nations Secretary-General’s Advisory Group on energy and climate change. Earlier in his career, he helped found the Natural Resources Defense Council and led Edison International for nearly twenty years.

November 9, 2017

Dieter Roelstraete Appointed Curator of Neubauer Collegium for Culture and Society

Dieter Roelstraete. Photo: Franziska Gilli

Dieter Roelstraete has been named the next curator of the University of Chicago’s Neubauer Collegium for Culture and Society, which explores new ways to approach complex questions through faculty research projects, a global fellowship program, and exhibitions. He will take up the post on November 10. Prior to joining the institution, Roelstraete served on the curatorial team that organized Documenta 14.

“Dieter is one of the most creative and thoughtful curators at work today,” said Jonathan Lear, the director of the Neubauer Collegium. “His work exemplifies how artistic expression and humanistic research can meld together and support each other. I am looking forward to working with him, and I am eager to see how he’ll make use of the freedom our gallery affords.”

Roelstraete was a senior curator at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago from 2012 to 2015. During his tenure, he organized a number of exhibitions, including “The Way of the Shovel: Art as Archaeology” (2015), “The Freedom Principle: Experiments in Art and Music 1965 to Now” (2015), and “Kerry James Marshall: Mastry” (2016). From 2003 to 2011, he was a curator at the Museum van Hedendaagse Kunst Antwerpen.

November 9, 2017

Director of Armory Show Removed from Post over Sexual Harassment Allegations

Benjamin Genocchio

Benjamin Genocchio has been removed from his post as director of the Armory Show due to allegations of sexual harassment that were reported earlier today in the New York Times. The allegations stem from his time as the editor of Artnet News in 2015.

A statement from the Armory’s communications department has been released. It reads: “The Armory Show seeks to maintain a respectful workplace and prohibits harassment or discrimination of any kind. After allegations were made against Mr. Genocchio in the spring of 2017, we immediately followed our procedures and initiated an investigation using outside counsel. We concluded that Mr. Genocchio’s conduct did not rise to the level of sexual harassment. We have only recently learned of the allegations related to Mr. Genocchio’s previous employment. At this time, Deputy Director Nicole Berry has assumed the role of Executive Director of The Armory Show. Nicole and the entire Armory team are committed to producing a very successful fair in March 2018.”

November 9, 2017

Artist Charged with Public Offense to Religion in Italy

Hogre, Ecce homo erectus, 2017. Photo: Hogre

The anonymous artist working under the name Horge was arrested and charged with public offense to religion for putting up satirical posters at various bus stops throughout Rome over the summer, Christine Ro of Hyperallergic reports. The artist may be fined up to $5,800 and may face a maximum of two years in prison if he is found guilty of the crime.

Among the offending posters are Horge’s “Ecce homo erectus,” which features an image of Jesus with an erection as he puts his hand on the head of a kneeling child, and his collaborator doublewhY’s “Immacolata conception in vitro,” which depicts two women holding a baby while one of them flips off the viewer. doublewhY has not been identified.

Horge, who prefers the term “subvertiser” to artist, created the poster in response to the recent sexual abuse allegations against Cardinal George Pell in the latter’s native country of Australia. As the third highest-ranking Vatican official, Pell is the most senior representative of the Catholic Church to be accused of sexual misconduct. He denies any wrongdoing.

November 9, 2017

Creative Capital Adds Five New Members to Its Board of Directors

Hasan Elahi.

Creative Capital, the New York–based nonprofit that supports artists experimenting in their fields through funding, counsel and career-development services, and free programming, announced today that Jane Brown, Michelle Coffey, Hasan Elahi, Bill Foulkes, and Penny Lane have joined its board of directors.

“These new members bring to the organization their relentless and visionary advocacy for artists, a deep commitment to the intersection of art and social justice, and a shared vision of the importance of investing in artists as catalysts for change,” said Suzy Delvalle, Creative Capital president and executive director. The organization’s board of directors now has a total of twenty-four members.

As president of the Robert W. Deutsch Foundation, Brown created the Ruby’s Artist Grants program in support of local arts start-ups. She also established the Baltimore Arts Realty Corporation to develop 60,000 square feet of space for the arts in the city. Coffey serves as executive director at the Lambent Foundation. Previously, she was the director of the Starry Night Fund and a senior philanthropic advisor at the Tides Foundation. Elahi is an artist who often focuses on issues of surveillance, privacy, migration, citizen, technology, and the challenges of borders in his works. He is also currently an associate professor of art at the University of Maryland. Foulkes is a strategic planning and marketing consultant, an entrepreneur, and a faculty member at the Rhode Island School of Design. Lane is a director whose film NUTS! won the special jury prize at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival. She also writes regularly for Filmmaker Magazine, which was recently admitted into the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

November 9, 2017

Bastian Family Gifts Collection to German City of Chemnitz

Robert Rauschenberg Narcissus / ROCI USA (Wax Fire Works), 1990.

The Bastian family, Berlin-based collectors and gallerists, has donated its significant collection of artworks to the public collections of the southeastern German city of Chemnitz, Monopol reports.

The gift includes more than two hundred paintings, drawings, watercolors, collages, prints, installations, and photographs by such artists as Joseph Beuys, David R. L. Jones, Pablo Picasso, Robert Rauschenberg, Gerhard Richter, Luc Tuymans, Cy Twombly, Andy Warhol, and Wim Wenders.

Dealer Heiner Bastian, a former assistant to Joseph Beuys, first collaborated with the Chemnitz Art Collections on the 2002 exhibition “Picasso et les femmes,” and he has continued to assist the museum with securing loans. The Bastian family’s collection will be on view in the exhibition “Hommage à Ingrid Mössinger,” opening November 12.

November 9, 2017

Newly Formed Holt-Smithson Foundation Names Inaugural Director

Lisa Le Feuvre. Photo: Claudine Hartzel.

The newly formed Holt-Smithson Foundation has announced the appointment of Lisa Le Feuvre as its first executive director. Through public service, the foundation will strive to increase awareness of artists Nancy Holt’s and Robert Smithson’s creative legacies.

“Lisa Le Feuvre brings the perfect combination of scholarship and experience, and a passion for creative inquiry that is consistent with the spirit of Holt and Smithson,” said board president Matthew Coolidge, the founder of the Center for Land Use Development in Los Angeles.

Le Feuvre joins the foundation from the Henry Moore Institute in the United Kingdom—the research arm of the Henry Moore Foundation—where she has served as head of sculpture studies since 2010. She has previously held curatorial roles at London’s National Maritime Museum, the Serpentine Gallery, and Tate Britain. She is currently a member of the 2018 Turner Prize Selection Committee and is a non-executive director of Book Works.