July 29, 2016

Collector J. Tomilson Hill to Open Private Museum in Chelsea in 2017

J. Tomilson Hill

After building an art collection with an estimated worth of more than $800 million, J. Tomilson Hill, vice chairman at the private equity firm Blackstone Group, has decided its time to show it to the public, Robin Pogrebin of the New York Times reports. Hill will open a two-story private museum in Chelsea in the fall of 2017.

With interiors designed by Peter Marino, the West Twenty-Fourth Street building will feature 6,400 square feet of exhibition space. The gallery will be open during the week and on Saturdays, at hours yet to be determined.

Hill and his wife, Janine, started collecting shortly after they married in 1980. Hill said, “We wanted to figure out what we liked and then figure out what we wanted to look at in our home.” Then the couple focused on acquiring at least four works by an artist whose practice they were interested in. They currently own fourteen works by Christopher Wool, ten by Andy Warhol, four by Francis Bacon, four by Roy Lichtenstein, three by Cy Twombly, and more than thirty-four Renaissance and Baroque bronze sculptures, among other pieces.

July 29, 2016

Frick Collection Adds Two Members to Its Board of Trustees

The Frick Collection

The Frick Collection has announced that Bradford Evans and Bernard Selz have joined the institution’s board of trustees. Chair Margot Bogert said that the new members “come to the board with strong leadership backgrounds and financial acumen. They also share with our staff a deeply held commitment to making the collections and the Frick experience accessible to a broad and interested public.”

Evans is a senior advisor at Morgan Stanley, where he has worked since 1970. He has been a member of the Frick since 2000 and will serve on the museum’s investment and capital campaign committees.

Selz is currently the managing partner of Selz Capital LLC and is cofounder of Furman Selz, Inc. He is a trustee of the American Friends of the Victoria and Albert Museum, the World Monuments Fund, and Baltimore’s Walters Art Museum. Selz currently serves on the Frick’s acquisitions committee.

July 29, 2016

Boston’s ICA Announces 2017 James and Audrey Foster Prize Recipients

ICA, Boston.

Boston’s Institute of Contemporary Art announced today that Sonia Almeida, Jennifer Bornstein, Lucien Castaing-Taylor and Véréna Paravel, and Lucy Kim have been awarded the 2017 James and Audrey Foster Prize. The artists will be featured in an exhibition for which they will present a major work or group of works in the city for the first time. Organized by senior curator Dan Byers and curatorial assistant Jeffrey De Blois, the show will run from February 15 through July 9, 2017.

“This year’s James and Audrey Foster Prize Exhibition shines a light on a selection of established Boston-based artists working at a national and international level, but whose work has only received limited exposure here at home,” ICA director Jill Medvedow said.

Established in 1999, the James and Audrey Foster Prize, formerly known as the ICA Artist Prize, recognizes artists working in the Boston area. It was renamed after James and Audrey Foster endowed the prize with a $1 million gift. This edition of the honor will also present Foster Talks, a series of discussions for which the winning artists will invite a writer, artist, performer, or cultural figure who has influenced their work to engage the artists and audience in conversation.

July 29, 2016

Three Top Executives Leave Christie’s After Report of Drop in Sales


One week after Christie’s announced that sales were down 29 percent from last year, three high-ranking officials left the auction house, the New York Times reports. It is unclear whether Paul R. Provost, the senior vice president and director of trusts, estates, and appraisals; Nicholas Hall, international head of old master paintings and nineteenth-century art; and Cathy Elkies, head of twentieth- and twenty-first-century design stepped down or were dismissed.

In a statement, Christie’s said, “As a private company, we don’t comment on speculation around our employees. However, like any business, we continue to review the deployment of resources and focus investment on areas of growth so as to best to serve our clients.”

July 29, 2016

Jersey City Paints Over Public Artwork Two Months After It Was Commissioned

Artist Gary Wynans Monopoly board mural.

According to Claire Voon of Hyperallergic, Jersey City has painted over artist Gary Wynans’s public artwork, which the city’s public arts program commissioned in May for the Jersey City mural program, established in 2013.

Wynans, who also goes by the name Mr. AbiLLity, discovered on Monday that his larger-than-life Jersey City–centric Monopoly-board mural, at Newark Avenue Pedestrian Plaza, was gone; in its place was a fresh coat of green paint.

Wynans’s design for the board game was chosen after the artist posted his idea for the project on Facebook. The final work, however, did not reflect Mr. AbiLLity’s original vision for the piece. After residents complained about certain imagery in the mural, the city forced the artist to change his work. Incorporating local street names and landmarks, the board game also revealed issues of gentrification in the developing city. The police department was angered over a square that showed an officer depicted as a pig, and residents were angry over the tag “cool statue” under an illustration of a statue memorializing the victims of the 1940 Katyń massacre. Other controversial squares included one that read “gentrification tax” and the jail, which featured a dark-skinned man behind bars.

July 29, 2016

Museum of London Selects Architects for New Building and Reveals Design Plans

Design Renderings of the new Museum of London.

After a six-month international design competition, the Museum of London has announced that Stanton Williams and Asif Khan will design the institution’s new building at West Smithfield, which will replace the existing building at Barbican Estate, Dezeen reports.

The two London-based firms will collaborate with conservation architect Julian Harrap and landscape design consultants J. and L. Gibbons. The architects short-listed for the project are BIG with Hawkins\Brown; Caruso St. John; Diener and Diener Architekten with Sergison Bates Architects; Lacaton and Vassal with Pernilla Ohrstedt Studio; and Studio Milou with R.L. and Associés and Axis Architects.

The new building will boast nearly 270,000 square feet, a massive dome that will allow natural light to fill the entrance to the institution, an underground chamber for exhibitions, spiraled escalators, and a sunken garden. It will also feature flexible spaces for events and public programming. The venue, which will be made up of several Victorian buildings in the historic market area, including the former Smithfield General Market, the Fish Market, the Red House, and the Engine House, will accommodate twice the number of visitors than the museum’s current location.

July 29, 2016

Four UK Institutions Renew BP Sponsorships as Activists Promise to Escalate Protests

Protest against BP’s sponsorship of the British Museum in September 2015.

British Petroleum has announced that it will renew its sponsorship deals with four UK institutions. The oil giant will invest more than $10 million in the British Museum, the National Portrait Gallery, the Royal Opera House, and the Royal Shakespeare Company over the next five years.

Activists who have long contested BP’s partnerships with these cultural institutions responded to the announcement with the promise to organize more demonstrations.

According to The Guardian, Chris Garrard, a spokesperson for BP or Not BP—a campaign group that has held eighteen performance protests at the British Museum—said, “At a time when the world needs to urgently shift away from fossil fuels, the idea that these institutions will still be promoting an oil company into the 2020s is deeply irresponsible.”

July 28, 2016

Photographer Files $1 Billion Lawsuit Against Getty Images for Copyright Infringement

Carol Highsmith photo from Getty Image’s website.

Documentary photographer Carol Highsmith is suing Getty Images and Alamy for $1 billion for “gross misuse” of 18,755 of her photographs, Carey Dunne of Hyperallergic reports. Highsmith had previously donated all of her photographs to the Library of Congress so that the public could use her images without having to pay, but last December she discovered that the stock agencies were charging people for using her work. Highsmith only became aware of the issue after Getty Images sent her an e-mail demanding that she pay $120 for featuring one of her photographs on her website.

According to the lawsuit, Getty and Alamy allegedly attached a false watermark to Highsmith’s photographs and sold thousands of licenses. The complaint reads: “The defendants [Getty Images] have apparently misappropriated Ms. Highsmith’s generous gift to the American people. [They] are not only unlawfully charging licensing fees . . . but are falsely and fraudulently holding themselves out as the exclusive copyright owner.”

Highsmith, whose work has been featured in Smithsonian Magazine, Time, the New York Times, and the Washington Post Magazine, has been documenting the fifty states through her This is America! Foundation—a nonprofit whose mission is to produce a visual study of the United States in the early twenty-first century—and since 1988 she has made tens of thousands of her images available to the public free of charge.

July 28, 2016

Inti Guerrero Appointed Curator of the 2018 Ireland Biennial

Inti Guerrero

EVA International, Ireland’s biennial, has announced that Inti Guerrero was named curator of the thirty-eighth edition of the fair, which will be held from April 14 to July 9, 2018.

Born in Bogotá in 1983, Guerrero is currently a curator of Latin American art at Tate London and was previously associate artistic director and curator at the nonprofit TEOR/éTica in San José, Costa Rica. He is also curator of Neptune, a yearlong curatorial initiative in Hong Kong, and cocurator of “Aún: Yet, Still,” the Forty-Fourth Salón Nacional de Artistas in Pereira, Colombia. The Hong Kong–based curator studied history and theory of art and architecture at the University of Los Andes in Colombia and the University of São Paulo in Brazil, and then completed the curatorial program at Amsterdam’s De Appel Arts Center.

The 2016 iteration of EVA International, “Still (the) Barbarians,” presented works by fifty-seven artists and drew more than one hundred thousand local and international visitors.