March 10, 2017

Andy Warhol Museum Appoints Patrick Moore as Director

Patrick Moore

The Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh announced today that Patrick Moore has been named the director of the Andy Warhol Museum. Moore is currently the museum’s interim director. He first joined the institution in 2011 and has also served as director of development, deputy director, and managing director.

Board chair Michele Fabrizi said, “Patrick truly represents a combination of expertise and deep experience in art and business that is perfect for the Warhol. His long-standing relationships both in the larger art world and in Pittsburgh are great assets to the museum, and he has the deep support and respect of our museum board.”

Moore recently initiated the museum’s ongoing partnership with New York’s MoMA to digitize Andy Warhol’s entire body of film works. Prior to joining the Andy Warhol Museum, Moore spent ten years with the Alliance for the Arts in New York City, where he was the creator and project director of the Estate Project, a program that addressed the impact of the AIDS crisis on the national arts community through advocacy, preservation, and fundraising. Moore is also a member of the Producers Guild of America and served as executive producer for Yahoo!. Earlier in his career, Moore was a project manager with New York’s Livet Reichard Company and director of public relations and marketing for the Kitchen Center for Performance in New York City.

March 10, 2017

Police Raid Julian Charrière’s Berlin Studio and Seize Artwork

German police hauling away Julian Charrière’s The Purchase of the South Pole.

German police raided Swiss French artist Julian Charrière’s studio last Wednesday after learning he had a cannon in his possession, Isaac Kaplan of Artsy reports. Titled The Purchase of the South Pole, the one-ton weapon was created for the inaugural Antarctic Biennale, which kicks off on March 17. Even though the cannon was designed to shoot a single coconut, the authorities confiscated the artwork and used a crane to haul it off to a storage facility.

The police were tipped off about the work by a passerby who saw Charrière’s assistant assembling it outside the studio. Charrière said that people in Berlin have been afraid since the December terror attack on a Christmas market that killed at least a dozen people. The raid occurred only hours before the work was going to be shipped to the Antarctic. While the artist is currently trying to recover the piece, it won’t make an appearance in the biennial. Instead, Charrière will exhibit documentation of the police raid.

An 1889 novel by Jules Verne, in which a sinister corporation schemes to fire a cannon from the North Pole that would melt the polar ice caps, served as inspiration for the piece. The coconut that Charrière was going to fire was taken from the Bikini Atoll, where the United States detonated twenty-three nuclear weapons between 1946 and 1958.

March 10, 2017

V&A Adds Pussyhat from Women’s March on Washington to Its Rapid Response Collection

Pussy Power Hat knitted by Jayna Zweiman on display at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.

London’s Victoria and Albert Museum announced today that it has acquired a pussyhat that was worn at the Women’s March in Washington, DC, on January 21, the day after the inauguration of President Donald J. Trump. Knitted by Jayna Zweiman, the Los Angeles–based cofounder of the Pussyhat Project, the pink hat is now on display in the museum’s Rapid Response Collection Gallery, which addresses current events that have impacted design, art, architecture, and technology.

Zweiman and collaborator Krista Suh launched the Pussyhat Project in Los Angeles shortly after Trump was elected as the forty-fifth president of the United States. They partnered with Kat Coyle, the owner of Little Knittery, to create a pattern to post online so that people could create their own for the march. The cat-ear design was partially inspired by Trump’s comment to Billy Bush, who was then with Access Hollywood, that you can do anything to women if you’re famous, even “grab them by the pussy.”

Corinna Gardner, acting keeper of the V&A’s Design Architecture and Digital department, said, “The items we collect are evidence of social, political, and economic change, and as a group they form a permanent legacy of objects that help visitors and researchers make sense of the world we live in today. This modest pink hat is a material thing that through its design enables us to raise questions about our current political and social circumstance.”

March 10, 2017

French Court Orders Jeff Koons and Centre Pompidou to Pay $46,000 Fine for “Counterfeit” Work

Jeff Koons, Naked, 1988.

On Thursday, March 9, a French district court ruled against Jeff Koons in a copyright infringement case, Le Monde reports. According to the court, Koons’s sculpture Naked, 1988, is a copy of a 1970 photograph taken by the late artist Jean-François Bauret. Jeff Koons LLC and the Centre Pompidou were ordered to pay a $46,000 fine to the heirs of the photographer for “counterfeiting.”

The judges decided that there weren’t enough variations in Koons’s work, which depicts two naked children, a little boy and girl, holding flowers in a pose that’s identical to the one held by the children in Bauret’s Enfants. They said the sculpture does “not prevent recognition and identification of the models.”

The Centre Pompidou was also convicted of plagiarism for planning to feature Naked in a retrospective of Koons’s work that Thomas Crow reviewed in the September 2014 issue of Artforum. (Crow’s take addressed the show as it was staged at the Whitney Museum, before it traveled to the Pompidou that November). The work, however, was ultimately not displayed at the Pompidou because it was damaged during transport.

March 9, 2017

Architect of New Dubai Landmark Sues Municipality for Copyright Infringement

The Dubai Frame. Photo: the New York Times

Mexican-born architect Fernando Donis has filed a lawsuit against the municipality of Dubai for copyright infringement after it selected him as the winner of an international design competition and then proceeded to erect the building he designed without crediting him for his work or involving him in the construction process, Peter S. Goodman of the New York Times reports.

Scheduled to open this year, the Dubai Frame consists of two towers connected by an observation deck. Donis’s design was chosen nearly a decade ago from a pool of more than nine hundred proposals. While the architect received the competition’s $100,000 prize, Dubai’s municipality has since tried to pressure him to give up his intellectual property rights for the project.

“It’s shocking,” Donis said. “‘The Frame’ is mine, and they don’t want to grant that it is mine. The infringement doesn’t just victimize me. They have taken something from all architects—the protection of our ideas.”

March 9, 2017

Turkish Artist Receives Two-Year Prison Sentence for Painting Destruction of Kurdish City

Painting by Turkish artist and journalist Zehra Doğan.

Zehra Doğan, a Turkish painter and journalist who was detained after the failed military coup last July, was sentenced to two years, nine months, and twenty-two days in jail for painting the destruction caused by Turkish security forces in the Nusaybin district of Mardin Province—a Kurdish region of Turkey, the Turkish daily Cumhuriyet reports.

Doğan was on assignment for the feminist Kurdish news agency JINHA when she was in Mardin and painted the work. The online news site has since been shut down. Claiming that the artwork proved that she was connected to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, which the government considers a terrorist organization, authorities arrested Doğan while she was sitting at a café on July 21. “I was given two years and ten months only because I painted Turkish flags on destroyed buildings. However, they caused this. I only painted it,” Doğan wrote on Twitter.

According to Mardin’s Second High Penal Court, it wasn’t the work itself that landed Doğan in jail. Her decision to share an image of the work, which featured current military operations, was what incited her prison sentence. There are also reports that Doğan violated a strict curfew that was imposed after the assault on the city.

March 9, 2017

Prospect New Orleans Appoints Jennifer M. Williams as Deputy Director of Public Experience

Jennifer M. Williams

Prospect New Orleans announced that Jennifer M. Williams has been named its new deputy director for public experience. Williams most recently served as the executive director of the McKenna Museum of African American Art in New Orleans. In her role at Prospect, Williams will oversee, manage, and implement all aspects of visitor services and public programs for “Prospect.4: The Lotus in Spite of the Swamp,” opening in November.

In a statement, Brooke Davis Anderson, Prospect’s executive director, said, “During Prospect.3, Jennifer was working at one of our key partner locations, and her collaborative nature, open-mindedness, and optimistic spirit made a lasting impression on me. I have been wanting to welcome her to the Prospect family ever since, so we are all excited to work with her on Prospect.4.”

Writing about Prospect.3, Nick Stillman said in the January 2015 issue of Artforum that the festival’s “city-spanning exhibition” symbolized “for some the hope for recognition of New Orleans as a major contemporary art destination.”

More than seventy artists from twenty-five countries will participate in the next edition of the international triennial. The full artist list will be announced in May.

March 9, 2017

Howard Hodgkin (1932–2017)

Howard Hodgkin Photo: David Levene for The Guardian

British contemporary artist Howard Hodgkin, who described himself as a “figurative painter of emotional situations,” has died in a London hospital at the age of eighty-four, Mark Brown of The Guardian reports. Hodgkin was busy creating works up until his death—he was preparing for two exhibitions opening in 2017.

Nicholas Serota, director of the Tate galleries, said: “Hodgkin was one of the great artists and colorists of his generation. His sensuous, intense paintings were infused with his love and understanding of late nineteenth-century French painting, especially Degas, Vuillard, and Bonnard, and by his feeling for the heat and colors of India, which he visited on many occasions.”

He was born Gordon Howard Eliot Hodgkin in London in 1932, and his father worked for a chemical company and his mother was a housewife. Hodgkin aspired to be a painter at a young age and wasn’t interested in school, which did not support his ambition to be an artist. In 1940, he was evacuated to the United States, escaping from World War II, but returned to the UK a few years later. His inaugural show was organized by Victoria Art Gallery in Bath in 1952. Hodgkin’s works weren’t presented in New York until 1973, by Kornblee Gallery. Three years later, Serota curated Hodgkin’s first retrospective, at the Museum of Modern Art, Oxford. Hodgkin represented Britain at the 1984 Venice Biennale and was the second artist to be honored with the Turner Prize in 1985. He was also knighted in 1992.

March 9, 2017

Hundreds Call for Celebratory Women’s Day Statue to Become Permanent Fixture in NYC

Kristen Visbal, Fearless Girl, 2017. Photo: Mark Lennihan

A four-foot bronze statue of a girl standing with her hands on her hips and her hair in a ponytail has been drawing massive crowds since it was installed in front of New York City’s iconic Charging Bull, 1989, near Wall Street in the early morning hours of International Women’s Day on Wednesday, March 8.

Titled Fearless Girl, the popular work faces the raging bull, transforming it into a symbol of the obstacles women must wrangle in order to make their mark on the world. Modeled and casted by artist Kristen Visbal, the work is based on the daughters of two of the artist’s friends: a seven-year-old and a nine-year-old of Latin American descent. “This is a piece of work all women of any age, shape, color, or creed can relate to,” Visbal said in a statement. “A work which reminds us today’s working woman is here to stay and has taken her place in the nation’s financial district.”

Boston-based State Street Global Advisors spearheaded the project as a way to participate in the dialogue surrounding Women’s Day. While it was only approved for a one-week permit, the work has inspired hundreds to call on social media for the Fearless Girl to become a permanent public work.