July 7, 2017

LACMA Names Guadalupe Rosales as Its First-Ever Instagram Artist in Residence

Image from artist Guadalupe Rosales’s Instagram account Veteranas and Rucas, which is dedicated to women raised in Souther California from the ’90s and earlier. Photo: (@veteranas_and_rucas)

The Los Angeles County Museum of Art has announced that Los Angeles–based artist and archivist Guadalupe Rosales was selected as its first-ever Instagram artist in residence.

Rosales started Veteranas and Rucas (@veteranas_and_rucas) and Map Pointz (@map-pointz), both digital archives found on Instagram. She is working on an ongoing project of developing an archive of photographs, objects, and ephemera related to the 1990s Los Angeles Latinx party scene. Rosales has lectured at various institutions, including UCLA Chicano Studies Research Center, the New Museum, the Vincent Price Art Museum, New York University, and the Graduate Center in New York, among others.

Rita Gonzalez, curator and acting head of contemporary art at LACMA, said, “What struck us about Rosales’s approach is her use of Instagram in an expanded sense. She thinks about the platform in the way that curators and artists use research to approach their work, and highlights the different ways of telling stories visually, drawing out people’s experiences in a narrative way.”

July 7, 2017

Professor Resigns from SAIC, Citing a “Toxic Environment”

Michael Bonesteel.

Author, art critic, and longtime adjunct professor at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) Michael Bonesteel resigned last month after the school allegedly forced him to revise his courses and cut his hours, in response to student complaints about his explicit class materials, the Chicago Reader reports.

Bonesteel left the school following two incidents that occurred last December. The first complaint was made by a transgender student who objected to Bonesteel’s lecture about Chicago artist Henry Darger. The professor said that the student argued against a theory proposing that the artist was sexually abused in his childhood, which is generally accepted by scholars. Bonesteel issued an apology for his “insensitivity” after he consulted with a diversity counselor. While Lisa Wainwright, the dean of faculty, found no violation of school policy, she determined that Bonesteel needed training in how to teach the “identity-related material” in his curriculum.

Two days later, another student complained about the perceived anti-Semitic attitude of Gerard Jones, the author of the required reading Men of Tomorrow: Geeks, Gangsters and the Birth of the Comic Book (2004). The student was also upset after Bonesteel failed to warn the class that another assigned text implied that someone had been raped. Months later, a third student filed a complaint over the incident.

July 7, 2017

Queer|Art Launches New Grant in Support of Lesbian Filmmakers

Experimental filmmaker and visual artist Barbara Hammer. Photo: Susan Wides

Queer|Art, the New York–based nonprofit, has established the Barbara Hammer Lesbian Experimental Filmmaking Grant, an annual $5,000 award that will recognize self-identified lesbians making visionary moving-image art. The honor is part of the organization’s new program Queer|Art|Awards, which will provide grants and prizes to LGBTQ artists and projects that support LGBTQ culture.

Named in honor of legendary lesbian experimental filmmaker Barbara Hammer, the grant is supported directly by funds provided by Hammer’s estate and is administered through Queer|Art’s rotating panel of judges. “It has been the goal of my life to put a lesbian lifestyle on the screen,” Hammer said. “Why? Because when I started I couldn’t find any!” She added, “Working as a lesbian filmmaker in the ’70s wasn’t easy . . . and I want this grant to make it easier for the lesbians of today.”

Applications for the inaugural round will be accepted beginning August 1. Judges Cheryl Dunye, Dani Leventhal, and Hammer will announce the first-ever grantee on Monday, December 4, at the IFC during a special edition of Queer|Art|Film, which will feature an evening of short experimental films as well as conversations to honor Hammer and the women filmmakers who inspired her.

July 7, 2017

Berlin’s Haus am Waldsee Begins $3.3 Million Renovation

The Haus am Waldsee in Berlin.

Berlin’s Haus am Waldsee, an exhibition space for contemporary art, will undergo a $3.3 million renovation, Monopol reports. The groundbreaking ceremony took place on Tuesday, July 4. The Haus am Waldsee will remain closed during construction and is slated to reopen in June 2018.

The Haus am Waldsee’s board of trustees announced that a wing damaged during World War II will be rebuilt. In addition to the refurbishment of several administrative and exhibition areas, the project will also add a library, an event space, and an external elevator to make the institution more accessible to people with disabilities.

Located in Berlin’s outlying Zehlendorf neighborhood, the Haus am Waldsee was originally built as a private villa in 1923. Designed by architect Max Werner, the home changed hands several times and was even bought by a former president of the Reichsfilmkammer (Film Chamber of the Reich), a public corporation that regulated the film industry in Nazi Germany between 1933 and 1945. It became an exhibition space dedicated to contemporary art in 1946. A show featuring works by painter, printmaker, and sculptor Kthe Kollwitz and painter Ewald Vetter inaugurated the space. While it originally focused on exhibiting works of “degenerate art,” the villa soon began presenting a broad range of international artists, including Henry Moore, Leiko Ikemura, Niki de Saint Phalle, and Cindy Sherman.

July 7, 2017

Lala Rukh (1948–2017)

Lala Rukh

Pakistani activist and abstractionist Lala Rukh, one of the founding members of the Women’s Action Forum, a women’s rights organization with chapters in several cities in Pakistan, died on Friday, July 7, in Lahore, at the age of sixty-nine, Pakistan Today reports.

“My dearest friend and a lifelong crusader for justice, equality, women’s rights, and minority rights from a feminist perspective, as well as a renowned artist died peacefully after a month-long struggle with cancer,” author Rubina Saigol wrote on Facebook.

Born on June 29, 1948, Rukh earned her master’s degree in fine arts from Punjab University in Lahore and from the University of Chicago. She later taught at Punjab University for thirty years. In 2000, she established the MA Honors Visual Art Program at the National College of Arts. She served as the head of the school’s art history department for many years.

July 7, 2017

NYFA Announces 2017 Fellows

Installation view of NYFA fellow Terry Conrad’s “Paper, Plastic and Concrete” exhibition at the Foundry for Art Design + Culture in New York, which was on view from February 22 to March 24, 2013.

The New York Foundation for the Arts has announced the recipients and finalists of its annual NYSCA/NYFA Artist Fellowship program. The organization awarded a total of $644,000 to ninety-five New York–based artists, including three collaborations, in the following disciplines: Crafts/Sculpture, Digital/Electronic Arts, Nonfiction Literature, Poetry, and Printmaking/Drawing/Book Arts.

This year’s recipients and finalists were selected from a pool of 2,744 applicants by discipline-specific peer panels. Each fellow will receive $7,000 in unrestricted funds. Since it was launched in 1985, the program has awarded more than $31 million to more than 4,400 artists.

“Being an artist is hard work, and a struggle for many; a recent report by New York City’s Department of Cultural Affairs found that 40 percent of the artists surveyed cannot afford art supplies and tools,” said Michael L. Royce, executive director of NYFA. “This sobering figure is one of the reasons why we are proud to support artists across New York State with unrestricted grants.”

A complete list of the fellows is as follows:

July 7, 2017

Hobby Lobby Forfeits 5,500 Illicit Iraqi Antiquities and Agrees to Pay $3 Million Fine

A clay cuneiform tablet, one of the artifacts that the owners of Hobby Lobby illegally imported into the United States from Iraq. Photo: United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York

Hobby Lobby, the privately owned chain of craft stores that won a landmark Supreme Court case in June 2014 by arguing that having to pay for insurance coverage for employees’ contraceptives was against its strict Christian principles, bought millions of dollars worth of smuggled antiquities from Iraq, Michael Hiltzik of the LA Times reports.

According to a civil complaint filed by federal prosecutors in New York on Wednesday, the Oklahoma City–based company bought more than 5,500 artifacts, including tablets, clay talismans, and cylinder seals, from an unnamed dealer for $1.6 million in December 2010, despite being warned by a cultural property law expert that many of the objects were most likely looted and were therefore illegal to purchase and ship to the United States.

Hobby Lobby said in a statement that it purchased the artifacts to honor “the company’s mission and passion for the Bible.” It said that it “did not fully appreciate the complexities of the acquisitions process,” which resulted in “some regrettable mistakes.”

July 7, 2017

Naseem Khan (1939–2017)

Naseem Khan. Photo: George Torode

Naseem Khan, a British cultural activist and journalist who founded the Minority Arts Advisory Service, died of cancer at the age of seventy-seven, Usha Prashar of The Guardian reports.

Khan’s report “The Arts Britain Ignores,” published in 1976, was an unprecedented study of the thriving arts activity among ethnic communities in Britain. It argued that the artistic output of British black and Asian artists was integral to the country’s cultural sector. The piece launched a debate about cultural diversity and the lack of institutional support for minority groups and led to the formation of the Minority Arts Advisory Service, of which Khan served as the founding director. The agency operated from 1976 to 1995.

Born in Birmingham on August 11, 1939, to Abdul Wasi Khan, an Indian doctor, and German Gerda Kilbinger, the daughter of a trade unionist who traveled to the UK to learn English, Khan studied at the Roedean School, near Brighton, before attending Lady Margaret Hall at Oxford. She worked as a journalist and became the theater editor at Time Out, but she left the post to conduct research for her seminal report. Khan would later write for a number of publications, including The Guardian, The Independent, and the New Statesman, covering stories on Asian arts.

July 6, 2017

Turkey Condemns German Art Installation Featuring President Erdoğan

An installation of a Mercedes car with a banner featuring Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Russian president Vladimir Putin, and Saudi king Salman bin Abdulaziz and the phrase, “Do you want this car? Kill dictatorship,” in front of the Chancellery in Berlin on July 3. Photo: AFP

Turkey was angered after an artwork featuring a black Mercedes sports car and a banner portraying president Tayyip Erdoğan as a dictator appeared in front of the German Chancellery days before the Turkish leader is due at the G20 summit in Hamburg, The Telegraph reports.

Installed on the afternoon of Monday, July 3, by the activist art collective the Center for Political Beauty, the work shows Erdoğan’s face alongside Russia’s Vladimir Putin’s and Saudi Arabia’s King Salman bin Abdulaziz’s, with the words “Do you want this car? Kill dictatorship.”

In response, the Turkish Foreign Ministry demanded the removal of the work. “The wording on the banner is a direct call for violence targeting the lives of the leaders whose photos are depicted on it,” it said in a statement. “The fact that the German police did not intervene in the matter despite their presence at the venue makes this incident even more grave.”