August 11, 2017

So Paulo Dealers Launch New Art Fair

So Paulo.

So Paulo gallerists have teamed up to establish Semana de Arte, a week of cultural programming including architectural tours, film screenings, and dance and theater performances, as well as a three-day fair at the Hotel Unique. The event will take place at venues across the city from August 14 to August 20.

“Most Latin American collectors are home and not traveling now, kids are in school, and winter is mild and dry,” the fair’s cofounder, dealer Thiago Gomide, told Saa Roffino of the Art Newspaper. “The idea is that this becomes a strong Latin American art fair, not national or global, but regional.”

August 11, 2017

Arlene Gottfried (1950–2017)

Arlene Gottfried, Summer Afternoon, 1985.

Arlene Gottfried, best known for her striking images of the streets of New York City and portraits of ordinary people, died at her home in Manhattan on Tuesday, William Grimes of the New York Times reports. The artist was sixty-six years old.

Gottfried was born on August 26, 1950, in Brooklyn, New York. Her father gifted her an old camera when she was in her teens, and she began taking pictures of people in her Coney Island neighborhood. When her family relocated to Crown Heights, Gottfried was inspired by the area’s growing Puerto Rican community. Her photographs of the Puerto Rican population on the Lower East Side and Harlem led to her first book, Bacalaitos & Fireworks (2011).

“It was a mixture of excitement, devastation and drug use,” she told the New York Times in 2016, describing the scenes she recorded. “But there was more than just that. It was the people, the humanity of the situation. You had very good people there trying to make it.”

August 11, 2017

Martha Rosler Wins 2017 Hamburg Lichtwark Prize

Martha Rosler. Photo: Martha Rosler

American artist Martha Rosler has been awarded the 2017 Hamburg Lichtwark Prize and will receive nearly $12,000. Established by the Senate of the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg in 1951, the prize is named for art historian, museum curator, and arts educator Alfred Lichtwark. It is awarded every five years to a painter, draftsman, or sculptor whose works have made a significant impact in the world of visual arts.

August 11, 2017

Hashem El Madani (1928–2017)

Hashem el Madani’s portrait of Najm (left) and Asmar (right), in Saida, Lebanon. Photo: the Arab Image Foundation

Hashem El Madani, known for his portrait photography of Lebanese citizens from the mid- to late twentieth century, has died. The Arab Image Foundation, founded by artist Akram Zaatari, confirmed his death on Tuesday. The cause of his passing is still unknown, Alex Greenberger of Artnews reports.

At twenty years old, Madani established what he called a “Shehrazade,” where he photographed men, women, and children in Saida, Lebanon. He created an open studio where anyone could walk in and pose however they’d like in front of a simple backdrop. Madani captured candid photos of same-sex couples kissing, newlyweds, and the people of Saida enacting theatrical scenes that reflected the cultural and political shifts of Lebanon at the time. Despite the destruction of his studio from a bomb blast in 1982, the artist continued documenting the people of Saida. According to Madani, he took photos of about 90 percent of Saida’s inhabitants.

In 1999, the Arab Image Foundation, an organization dedicated to the preservation of pictures related to Arab culture, began archiving Madani’s work. Zaatari has exhibited the photographer’s prints at Tate Modern and the Photographers’ Gallery in London. Madani’s photos were also featured in the New Museum’s 2014 exhibition on Middle Eastern contemporary art, “Here and Elsewhere.”

August 11, 2017

NALAC Announces New Grants for Latinx Artists

Interior view of Tilted Heritage by NALAC’s National Fund for the Arts’s 2016 grantee Daniela Rivera.

The National Association of Latino Arts and Cultures (NALAC), a San Antonio–based nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting the Latinx arts field, recently announced its twelfth funding cycle of grants. This season comes with new investments from the Andrew Mellon Foundation, which will go toward a new award category for emerging filmmakers, the NALAC Fund for the Arts (NFA), and status updates for the Transnational Cultural Remittances (TCR) and Diverse Arts Spaces (DAS) grant programs.

NALAC is one of the few organizations that offer grants specifically to Latinx artists and arts organizations across the country. This season it expanded its grant program to emerging video and filmmakers “who demonstrate a compelling body of work that contributes toward cultural understanding and social justice,” with a $10,000 award that is also supported by the Adn Medrano Legacy Award Donor Collaborative.

“As Latinx families and communities evolve, our stories become essential not just to understand our identities, but to build a just world,” Christine Ortega, a representative of the Adn Medrano Legacy Award Donor Collaborative, said. “With this fund, we hope to contribute to this process, helping spark the creative process of those just starting to share their experiences and world views.”

August 11, 2017

New York Public Library Names Salvatore Scibona Director of Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers

Salvatore Scibona.

The novelist Salvatore Scibona, whose book The End (2008) won the New York Public Library’s Young Lions Fiction Award and was a finalist for the National Book Award, has been appointed director of the New York Public Library’s Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers.

The international fellowship program is open to academics, independent scholars, artists, and creative writers whose work will benefit directly from the opportunity to access the collections at the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building. The center appoints fifteen fellows a year for a nine-month term at the library, from September through May.

“As an accomplished writer and former Cullman Center Fellow, Salvatore is a perfect fit for this position,” said Bill Kelly, NYPL’s Andrew W. Mellon Director of the Research Libraries. “We know Salvatore will continue the tradition of excellence at the Cullman Center fostered by Jean Strouse, and we know future Fellows will thrive under his stewardship.”

August 10, 2017

Artist Tags Twitter’s Hamburg Headquarters with Hate Speech Drawn from the Social-Media Site

Screenshot from Youtube Video by Shahak Shapira.

On August 11, the grounds outside Twitter’s headquarters in Hamburg were covered with chalk graffiti full of racist, homophobic, and anti-Semitic slurs, according to Edmund Heaphy and Melissa Eddy of the New York Times. The intervention was carried out by the Israeli German artist Shahak Shapira, who amassed the instances of hate speech from hundreds of Twitter users’ posts over six months. The artist claims that most of the messages stay on the platform.

“I’ve reported more than 300 tweets to Twitter,” Shapira said.

Under a new law requiring the removal of hate speech within twenty-four hours of being notified, social-media companies in Germany could be facing huge fines of up to $59 million for failing to respond.

August 10, 2017

Pam Tanowitz Wins Baryshnikov Arts Center Prize

Pam Tanowitz. Photo: Brad Paris

American dancer and choreographer Pam Tanowitz, known for collaborating with composers and visual artists on postmodern performances inspired by classical dances, has been awarded the 2017 Baryshnikov Arts Center’s Cage Cunningham Fellowship, reports Joshua Barone of the New York Times. Tanowitz was recognized for producing work that reflects the spirits of John Cage and Merce Cunningham.

Tanowitz will receive $50,000 and access to the center’s John Cage and Merce Cunningham Studio for eight weeks, in support of the creation of a new work. Tanowitz and her fifteen-year-old company’s first project will be “Four Quartets,” an adaptation of T. S. Eliot’s poem, in collaboration with Finnish composer Kaija Saariaho. “Her work is not an imitation of dance history, but is a distinct intellectual journey,” Mikhail Baryshnikov, the center’s artistic director, said in a statement.

August 10, 2017

NADA New York to Hold 2018 Edition in West SoHo

The ground floor of Skylight Clarkson Square, where the 2018 edition of NADA New York will be held. Photo: New Art Dealers Alliance

According to Alex Greenberger of Artnews, the upcoming edition of NADA New York will relocate to the 60,000-square-foot ground floor of Skylight Clarkson Square in West SoHo. The fair will run from March 8 to March 11, 2018, coinciding with Armory Week. NADA also plans to launch a new prize, which will recognize a gallery in the fair’s Projects section.

“NADA is dedicated to producing a distinctive New York art fair in March, and we are looking forward to developing a new environment for exhibitors in the pristine studios at Skylight Clarkson Square,” Heather Hubbs, NADA’s executive director, said in a statement. “As an alliance of professionals working to stage and support contemporary art, we are always creating unique opportunities to assist galleries, and engage the larger community with cultural programming.”