Jessica S. McDonald has been appointed chief curator of photography at the Harry Ransom Center in Austin, Texas, effective September. She is currently a curator of photography at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; in 2011 she received an Ansel Adams Research Fellowship from the Center for Creative Photography. Said director Thomas F. Staley: “McDonald’s broad experiences—from teaching to curatorial—confirmed that she can lead our photography department, build the collection, support research, and plan exhibitions. The possibilities under her guidance are exciting.”
Lee Kit will represent Hong Kong at the 2013 Venice Biennale. The thirty-four-year-old artist began his career as a painter but has gained prominence over the past several years for his soft, often pastel-colored conceptual sculptures and installations, which include household objects like Nivea body lotion, Vaseline, and Johnson & Johnson cream as a way to reference rituals that constitute daily life. Of Lee’s artistic practice, executive director of M+ and curator of the Hong Kong pavilion Lars Nittve said: “Kit is to me one of the leading artists in Hong Kong’s thriving contemporary art scene. I have during my years here been repeatedly touched by how Kit so seemingly effortlessly manages to mix a deep understanding of contemporary art with something very personal and intimate.”
The BBC reports that a painting by Salvador Dali has been stolen from Adam Lindemann’s new gallery, Venus Over Manhattan, which opened this past May. The 1949 work, titled Cartel des Don Juan Tenorio and valued at one hundred and fifty million dollars, was taken by a man who removed it off the wall and carried it out in a bag. The theft was captured on CCTV.
Amy Sadao has been appointed the Daniel Dietrich II director of the Institute of Contemporary Art at the University of Pennsylvania. Sadao has been acting executive director of Visual AIDS in New York City for the past ten years. She earned an MA in comparative ethnic studies in 2000 from the University of California, Berkeley, and a BFA in 1995 from the Cooper Union School of Art. Amy Gutmann, Penn president, said in a statement: “Amy Sadao promises to be a leader of unparalleled energy and vision for the next phase of ICA’s growth. She has an especially strong commitment to forging collaborations across a wide range of diverse communities and placing art at the center of dialogue about the most significant intellectual, political, and social issues of the contemporary world.”
The annual Art Fund Prize for the UK museum of the year, worth $157,000, has been awarded to Exeter’s Royal Albert Memorial Museum, a local-authority-run museum. It recently underwent a $38 million renovation of its 1868 building, reports the Art Newspaper. The Art Fund Prize was first awarded in 2003 for museum excellence. Runners up for the prize include the Watts Gallery, Guilford, Surrey, the Scottish National Portrait Gallery, Edinburgh, the Hepworth, Wakefield, and the Turner Contemporary, Margate.
LeRoy Neiman, a painter who became famous for his bright paintings of sporting events, has died at the age of ninety-one in Manhattan. William Grimes, for the |www.nytimes.com/2012/06/21/arts/leroy-neiman-prolific-painter-of-sports-dies-at-91.html?pagewanted=2&_r=1|New York Times|, details Neiman’s life painting glamorous events likes the Cannes Film Festival, horse races in France, and even the Super Bowl for his Playboy column “Man at His Leisure.” Born in 1921, in St. Paul, Minnesota, he attended St. Paul School of Art (now the Minnesota Museum of American Art) and later the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. While critical attention eluded him, Neiman once told Art Magazine in 1995, “Maybe the critics are right, but what am I supposed to do about it––stop painting, change my work completely? I go back into the studio, and there I am at the easel again. I enjoy what I’m doing and feel good working. Other thoughts are just crowded out.”
Mathias Poledna will represent Austria at the 2013 Venice Biennale. Born 1965 in Vienna, the artist has lived and worked in Los Angeles since 2000. His practice examines the ways in which meaning becomes attached to genres like film and cinema as well as the process of image making and sound in contemporary culture; his art often takes the form of minimal film installations. Poledna’s work is represented in collections including the Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, and the Generali Foundation in Vienna. Said commissioner Jasper Sharp: “Mathias Poledna has, for a long time, been recognized within Austria as one of the most gifted artists of his generation. In recent years his work has gained significant institutional recognition on a more international level, with museum exhibitions in both Europe and the United States. I believe that it is the ideal moment for him to take on the challenge of Venice, and together with the team, I look forward to work with him to develop his project for the Austrian pavilion next year.”
French artist Georges Mathieu, whose large abstract paintings were the fulcrum of the Lyrical Abstraction movement that swept across France during the years following World War II, has passed away at the age ninety-one, reports RFI. In the 1970s, Mathieu’s practice shifted from painting to architecture and graphic design; he created logos for stamps and national television networks, designed the face of the 10 franc coin, and crafted posters for Air France. He is also noted for introducing Jackson Pollock to Paris in 1951, organizing a solo exhibition for the painter with his gallerist Paul Facchetti. Called the “world’s fastest painter,” Mathieu said of his style of painting in 1964: “The craftsmanship, the finish, the reliance on Greek ideals, all that is dead. Tension, density, the unknown, and mystery reign and win in every painting. For the first time in history, painting has become a performance, and you can watch its creation as you might a jam session.”
The Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive at the University of California, Berkeley, has named two new senior curatorsPhilippe Pirotte to the position of adjunct senior curator and Apsara DiQuinzio as curator of modern and contemporary art and Phyllis C. Wattis MATRIX curator. DiQuinzio is currently assistant curator of painting and sculpture at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, where she has organized solo exhibitions with artists including Vincent Fecteau, Mai-Thu Perret, R. H. Quaytman, and Paul Sietsema. Prior to this role, she worked at the Whitney Museum of American Art. Pirotte is the former director of the Kunsthalle Bern in Switzerland and a senior advisor at the Rijksakademie for Visual Arts in Amsterdam.
“Apsara and Philippe will both bring extraordinary knowledge, discernment, and creative thinking about modern and contemporary art across a wide range of global cultures,” says director Lawrence Rinder. “Apsara’s strong engagement with artists, enthusiasm for nonmainstream art and culture, and commitment to art’s social role wonderfully complement Philippe’s passionate connection to the contemporary art of Africa and Asia, his deep knowledge of historical and contemporary film and video, and his special interest in international conceptual art practices. I look forward to working with them on many exciting projects over the coming years.”