July 8, 2016

Warhol Museum Director Eric Shiner to Step Down and Join Sotheby’s

Eric Shiner

The Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh has announced that Eric Shiner, the director of the Andy Warhol Museum, will step down to join Sotheby’s as senior vice president of its new division of fine art. He will begin the new position in September, for which he will work on private sales of contemporary art as part of the global fine art department. Shiner added that he hopes to promote the legacy of Andy Warhol in the market and beyond.

“There’s much more porosity in the art world now between the market, the collector base, galleries, and the nonprofit world of museums,” Shiner told the New York Times. He added, “So it seemed like a natural transition.”

Shiner, who has led the Warhol Museum since 2011, was one of the first big hires for the auction house’s new fine-art division. “It has been an honor to lead the Andy Warhol Museum, and I enter this new phase in my career knowing that the museum is on incredibly solid ground—strong in both financial health and in future potential,” he said. His last day at the institution will be August 15, after which the Carnegie Museums will begin a search for the museum’s next permanent director. Patrick Moore, managing director, will serve as interim director until a suitable replacement is found.

July 8, 2016

London Mayor Sadiq Khan Names Justine Simons Deputy Mayor for Culture

Justine Simons and Sadiq Khan

London mayor Sadiq Khan announced that Justine Simons was appointed deputy mayor for culture on July 1. “Justine is a tour-de-force in London’s cultural scene,” Khan said. “She shares my passion to ensure culture is at the heart of city life. I am delighted to have her on board to deliver my ambitious program at such a critical time.”

Simons, who has served as head of culture at city hall for more than fourteen years, oversees the mayor’s work in music, theater, and the visual arts. She conceived of the Fourth Plinth Commission in Trafalgar Square, which presents a rotating exhibition of public works, and cofounded the World Cities Cultural Forum, which produces a series of programs and an annual culture summit that assembles policymakers from thirty-two cities. Simons also organized a series of popular cultural programs that accompanied London’s 2012 Olympic Games and serves on the boards of the British Fashion Council, the British Film Commission, the London Design Festival, Artichoke Trust, and the mayor’s Thames Festival. Prior to working for the city of London, Simons was a producer and director for ten years in the field of contemporary dance.

In the wake of the vote to leave the EU, the mayor stressed that culture is essential to the well-being of the city. For Simons, culture “is part of London’s DNA.” She said, “It’s a big reason so many of us choose to visit and live here, it generates billions for our economy, and gives London its unique character and dynamism.”

July 8, 2016

London Gallerist Timothy Taylor to Open New York Outpost

Timothy Taylor

London-based dealer Timothy Taylor plans to open a gallery in Chelsea this fall, Gareth Harris of the Art Newspaper reports. The outpost will be named 16x34, after the actual dimensions of the ground floor of the townhouse it will occupy.

“We wanted to do something different and unexpected in New York, rather than opening another large commercial white space,” Taylor said. “The program will be distinct from the London gallery, but similarly range from late European Modern masters through to younger contemporary artists.” The inaugural show, which features the works of late Mexican architect Luis Barrágan, will open on September 19.

London’s Timothy Taylor Gallery in Carlos Place was established in 1996. It represents twenty-four established and emerging artists, such as Jean-Marc Bustamante, Gabriel de la Mora, Jonathan Lasker, Richard Patterson, Fiona Rae, and Tony Smith.

July 8, 2016

Studio Museum in Harlem Announces 2016–17 Artists in Residence

Autumn Knight, WALL, 2014. Performance view, Contemporary Art Museum Houston, 2014. Autumn Knight, Lawanda Allen, and Sue Johnson.

Julia Phillips, Autumn Knight, and Andy Robert have been named the 2016–17 artists in residence at the Studio Museum in Harlem. An interdisciplinary artist, Knight has shown at Project Row Houses, Crystal Bridges Museum, and the New Museum in New York. Her pieces—performance, installation, and text—often address conventions of racial and gender identity.

Phillips uses the body as a means to explore feminist, postcolonial, and psychoanalytical themes. She recently completed the Whitney Museum’s 2016 Independent Study Studio Program as well as a residency at Skowhegan.

Robert mixes sculpture, collage, assemblage, performance, and installation to look at contemporary conditions of existence and communication. A graduate of last year’s Whitney Independent Study Studio Program, he presented at the Bienal de las Fronteras and received a Rema Hort Mann Foundation Grant in 2013.

July 8, 2016

Artist Outraged After Trinity Church Moves Site-Specific 9/11 Memorial Sculpture

Steve Tobin, Trinity Root, 2005.

Sculptor Steve Tobin said, “I’m still in shock,” after he discovered that Lower Manhattan’s Trinity Church relocated and damaged a public sculpture that he designed and produced in 2005 as a memorial to the victims of September 11, James Barron of the New York Times reports.

Trinity Root, a bronze replica of a large sycamore tree destroyed in the terror attacks on the Twin Towers, was installed in a courtyard at Trinity Church, where the tree originally stood. The site-specific work was eighteen feet tall and twenty-five feet wide and weighed thousands of pounds. In order to create the piece, Tobin brought the original stump and tree roots to his Pennsylvania studio for casting. The artist paid for the $330,000 project himself and said that he had to take out a home-equity loan to cover the cost.

Tobin recently wanted to polish the sculpture, but the church had moved the piece to a conference center it owns in West Cornwall, Connecticut. Tobin said the church sent him pictures of the piece that showed significant damage. Nathan Brockman, a spokesman for the church, said, “We have great respect for Tobin and the 9/11 museum.” He admitted that the sculpture had been broken but said it was repairable.

July 8, 2016

Athens Biennale Codirector Steps Down

Nicolas Bourriaud, Xenia Kalpaktsoglou and Poka-Yio

Poka-Yio, or Polydoros Karyofyllis, will now serve as director of the Athens Biennale. The news comes after Xenia Kalpaktsoglou, one of the biennial’s three founding members and a codirector, has announced that she will step down from the organization. Kalpaktsoglou curated the first Athens Biennale, “Destroy Athens,” in 2007, and oversaw the production department. With Nicolas Bourriaud and Poka-Yio, she cocurated the third Athens Biennale, “Monodrome,” in 2011.

In a statement, Kalpaktsoglou gave thanks “to the biennale’s team, volunteers, artists, curators, the organizations, cultural institutions and embassies, the companies, the city of Athens, the Ministry of Culture, the friends of the organization and the individual supporters for their warm, hands-on contribution and active involvement that shaped the way the Athens Biennale evolved over the last decade.”

July 8, 2016

Stephen Barker Appointed Dean of UCI’s Claire Trevor School of the Arts

Stephen Barker

The University of California, Irvine Claire Trevor School of the Arts, has announced that drama professor Stephen Barker has been named dean. Barker has served as the interim dean of the school since September 2014.

Lisa Naugle, chair of the dance department who led the nationwide search to fill the position, said, “It became clear to the committee that Barker possesses the broadest range of experience and strongest record of leadership, integrity, and vision for the future of the school.”

During his tenure as interim dean, Barker established the Community Arts Council in partnership with UCI Illuminations, an initiative designed to ensure that all students at the university have serious and meaningful exposure to the creative arts. The council will also work to strengthen the connections between UCI and arts organizations, cultural centers, and other institutions in the region. He directed the Beall Center for Art + Technology and launched the art school’s first formal fund-raising campaign, which is seeking $1 million to support projects in each of the school’s departments. Barker is also developing a multidisciplinary program with the Henry Samueli School of Engineering and the Donald Bren School of Information and Computer Sciences that will focus on design and mechanical arts.

July 8, 2016

German Parliament Passes Controversial Law to Protect National Heritage

German Parliament

The upper house of the German parliament has passed a controversial law that, according to dealers, will enforce the strictest import and export regulations on cultural objects in the world, Catherine Hickley of the Art Newspaper reports.

The Cultural Property Protection Law was originally proposed as a way to prevent illegal trafficking of artworks and antiquities, as artforum.com previously reported. It stipulates that a license is required to export cultural objects older than seventy-five years and worth $300,000 or more. A license will be granted only if permission is given from authorities in the sixteen German states. Any archaeological artifacts, except for coins, will need to have an export license from the country of origin.

The law has been widely opposed in the arts community. Critics are concerned that the bill will damage the art market, cause collectors to withdraw loans to German institutions, and collapse the antiquities trade, which has been declining since the law was first announced. After it passed in parliament’s lower house on June 23, collectors and dealers united to lobby against the legislature. A petition created “for the preservation of private collecting” had forty-eight thousand signatures as of July 4. Eleven former directors of German institutions, including Herwig Guratzsch, who previously served as director of the Museum of Fine Arts in Leipzig, and Christian von Holst, former director of the Staatsgalerie Stuttgart, wrote an open letter to parliament. They said that collectors, dealers, and institutions have been preemptively removing works from the country, afraid that the law would be passed. The letter reads: “The exodus is already underway; the damage is already enormous and cannot be reversed.”

July 8, 2016

Brooklyn Museum to Close for the Weekend Due to Air-Conditioning Outage

The Brooklyn Museum

The Brooklyn Museum has closed its doors until Wednesday due to trouble with the institution’s air-conditioning system, Andrew R. Chow of the New York Times reports.

In a statement, the museum said, “Our team is working around the clock to replace the damaged systems during this time. All museum collections are being constantly monitored and sensitive materials are being moved to climate controlled spaces.”

A Brooklyn community forum on anti-gentrification and displacement that was scheduled for Sunday at the museum will be moved to a later date. The forum was planned after artists and activist groups protested the museum’s decision to host the Brooklyn Real Estate Summit in November. In response, the institution hosted the People’s Summit on Displacement and Gentrification on April 22, though the focus of the summit shifted to preservation and diversity. Sunday’s event would have included panels on the “Effects of Gentrification and Displacement” and “Successful Strategies and Stories on Rezoning and Development” as well as a workshop titled “How Can Cultural Institutions Support Communities,” among other programming.