November 4, 2016

Cy Twombly Foundation Gifts 5 Sculptures to the Philadelphia Museum of Art

Cy Twombly, Victory, 2005.

The Philadelphia Museum of Art announced today that the Cy Twombly Foundation has donated five bronze sculptures to the institution’s permanent collection.

Before he died in 2011, Twombly expressed that these works should be exhibited in the museum’s Iliam galleries, which since 1989 have housed the artist’s “Fifty Days at Iliam,” 1978, a series of ten monumental canvases inspired by Alexander Pope’s translation of Homer’s Iliad.

The sculptures¬¬—Anabasis (Bronze), 2011; Rotalla, Zurich, 1990; Untitled, Rome, 1980; Untitled, Rome, 1997; and Victory, 2005—will be on view at the museum starting November 19. Nicola Del Roscio, president of the Cy Twombly Foundation, said, “I am happy that the Foundation was able to make this gift as I know how happy Cy himself would have been.”

November 4, 2016

Protesters Demand Sculpture Be Removed from Contemporary Istanbul

Ali Elmaci, I Can’t Reciprocate Your Feelings Osman III, 2016.

Members of a conservative religious group angered by a sculpture depicting Abdulhamid II, the last Ottoman sultan, stormed the eleventh edition of the Contemporary Istanbul art fair yesterday, Aysegul Sonmez of Sanat Atak reports.

The group of about twenty men, who claimed to be members of the Erbakan Foundation II, demanded that the work be removed. Exhibited at the booth of Chilean gallery Isabel Croxatto, I Can’t Reciprocate Your Feelings Osman III, 2016, by Ali Elmaci, consists of a wooden sculpture of a woman with two heads, one of which holds a knife in her teeth. Standing on a table, the woman is dressed in a bikini and has an image of Abdulhamid II painted on her torso.

After the confrontation caused fairgoers to panic, the artist removed the sculpture from the booth to prevent the situation from escalating. Ali Güreli, chairman of Contemporary Istanbul, later reinstalled the work and said in a statement that it would remain on view until the closing of the fair.

November 4, 2016

Bortolami Gallery to Relocate to Tribeca in 2017

Stefania Bortolami Photo: by Alix Smith

According to Nate Freeman of Artnews, Bortolami, founded by Stefania Bortolami and Amalia Dayan in 2005, will move from West Twentieth Street in Chelsea to a 9,000-square-foot space on Walker Street in Tribeca in the spring of 2017.

“I’m pretty happy to be going away from Chelsea,” Bortolami said. “This whole block is going to be torn down to become condos—it’s insane. Not only here, but every block. They’re tearing down, tearing down. It’s changing very, very rapidly.”

The final exhibitions at Bortolami’s Chelsea space will be a solo show featuring Nicolás Guagnini and a group exhibition curated by Matthew Grumbach. The gallery will open on Walker Street in May with an exhibition of works by Daniel Buren.

November 4, 2016

Boyle Heights Galleries Vandalized as Anti-Gentrification Fight Continues

LAPD outside of Nicodim Gallery in Boyle Heights in October. Photo: Liz O. Baylen

At least three galleries located in Boyle Heights, a working-class neighborhood in downtown Los Angeles, have been vandalized in the last month, Brittny Mejia of the Los Angeles Times reports.

The police are investigating the incidents, including graffiti on Nicodim Gallery’s security grille that cursed “white art,” as possible hate crimes sparked by recent clashes between community members and gallery staff over gentrification concerns. No suspects have been identified.

Over the last three years, more than a dozen galleries have moved into the area. Residents are worried that property values will increase, causing them to be pushed out of the neighborhood. As previously reported, several meetings between members of the community, anti-gentrification activists, and gallery owners have been organized to address the issue.

November 3, 2016

Helsinki Proposes New Plan to Fund Guggenheim Museum

Design rendering of the Helsinki Guggenheim Museum

The city of Helsinki and the Guggenheim Helsinki Supporting Foundation announced today that a new proposal to fund the construction of a Guggenheim museum on the city’s waterfront will be presented at a board meeting on Monday.

Spearheaded by deputy mayor Ritva Viljanen, the new plan more clearly outlines the city’s role in the project and increases Helsinki’s ownership share in the museum. “Our goal was to find a feasible plan that would not place the full financial burden of the museum construction on the city of Helsinki and would keep the city of Helsinki’s responsibility for financing the same as it was with government involvement,” Viljanen said.

The museum is estimated to cost between $134 and $156 million. According to the proposal, taxpayers will no longer be expected to pay $45 million. Helsinki will fund up to $90 million of the construction costs, and the Guggenheim Helsinki Supporting Foundation will provide $17 million.

November 2, 2016

Pollock-Krasner Foundation Selects Paul Kasmin Gallery to Represent Its Lee Krasner Holdings

Jackson Pollock and Lee Krasner Photo: Lawrence Larkin

Charles C. Bergman, chairman and CEO of the Pollock-Krasner Foundation, announced today that Paul Kasmin Gallery will represent its holdings of artworks by its founder, American abstract expressionist Lee Krasner.

Samuel Sachs II, president of the Foundation, said, “The reputation of Paul Kasmin Gallery and its worldwide following give us great hope for the continuing and increasing recognition of Lee Krasner’s artistic achievements.”

Established in 1985, the Foundation was founded to provide financial assistance to visual artists and is the successor to the estates of both Krasner and her husband Jackson Pollock.

Paul Kasmin, founder of three galleries located in Chelsea, said, “Lee Krasner is frequently overlooked but remains one of the great artists of the twentieth-century. I have held both Lee Krasner and the Pollock- Krasner Foundation in the highest esteem for many years. It is incredibly exciting for the gallery to begin this collaboration.” An exhibition of Krasner’s works will open next fall.

November 2, 2016

Kristen Shepherd Appointed Director of the Museum of Fine Arts, St. Petersburg

Kristen Shepherd

The Museum of Fine Arts in St. Petersburg, Florida has announced that Kristen Shepherd was named its new director and will be the first woman to lead the institution. Shepherd succeeds Kent Lydecker, who retired in March, and will take up the post on December 15.

Shepherd has served as associate vice president of audience strategy services for the Los Angeles County Museum of Art since 2003. During her tenure at the institution, revenue from visitor attendance and memberships increased by 19 percent. Previously, she worked at New York’s Whitney Museum of American Art as director of membership and the annual fund for nearly five years.

A Florida native, Shepherd said, “This was the first art museum I ever visited, and it has remained a special touchstone for me.” She added, “Within the context of the thriving arts and cultural community in St. Petersburg, the MFA is uniquely positioned to tell stories across the entire history of art. I am thrilled to continue the museum’s tradition of presenting first-rate exhibitions and programs that will inspire our visitors.”

November 2, 2016

Candice Breitz and Mohau Modisakeng to Represent South Africa at 2017 Venice Biennale

Candice Breitz and Mohau Modisakeng

Connect Channel, a television production company appointed by the South African Department of Arts and Culture to organize its pavilion, has announced that Candice Breitz and Mohau Modisakeng have been selected to represent the country at the fifty-seventh Venice Biennale, which will be held from May 13 to November 26 in 2017. Lucy MacGarry and Musha Neluheni will curate the pavilion.

“Breitz’s photographs and multi-channel video installations offer nuanced studies of the structure of identity under global capitalism, while Modisakeng employs a highly personal language to express ideas about his own identity and the body,” MacGarry said. “This marks the first time that Modisakeng and Breitz will be shown alongside each other in the context of a significant exhibition.”

Known for his photography, film, performance, and installation works, Modisakeng often explores issues of identity and ideas surrounding nationhood within a post-apartheid context. Based in Johannesburg and Cape Town, he has exhibited his work at the 2015 Venice Biennale; MOCADA in Brooklyn, New York; Kunstraum Innsbruck, Austria; the Museum of Fine Art, Boston; and Saatchi Gallery, London.

November 2, 2016

Jeremy Shaw Wins 2016 Sobey Art Award

Jeremy Shaw

The jury for the 2016 Sobey Art Award—Canada’s largest contemporary art prize for artists under forty—has selected Jeremy Shaw of the West Coast and Yukon region as the thirteenth winner of the prize. The announcement was made at a gala hosted by the National Gallery of Canada last night. Last year’s winner, Abbas Akhavan, presented Shaw with the award, which includes $37,000 in prize money.

In a statement the jury said, “Shaw’s work speaks to a fundamental longing for transcendence. He creates and reflects extraordinary experiences and shows us how art can translate what is challenging to articulate.”

Chaired by Josée Drouin-Brisebois, senior curator of contemporary art at the National Gallery of Canada, the jury consisted of Barbara Fischer, executive director and chief curator of the Art Museum at the University of Toronto; Jonathan Middleton, director and curator of Or Gallery; Naomi Potter, director and curator of the Esker Foundation in Calgary; Marie-Justine Snider, curator of the art collections of the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec; Pan Wendt, curator of the Confederation Centre Art Gallery in Charlottetown; and Nicolaus Schafhausen, director of Kunsthalle Wien and strategic director of Fogo Island Arts in Newfoundland.

This year’s four finalists are Brenda Draney, Charles Stankievech, Hajra Waheed, and William Robinson. They will each receive about $8,000. Their work will be on display in the 2016 Sobey Art Award Exhibition at the National Gallery of Canada until February 5, 2017.