News

  • The Unisphere outside the Queens Museum in New York.

    Mellon Foundation Distributes $24 Million Across Twelve Midsize Museums

    A dozen midsize US institutions are in line to receive a financial boost from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation’s Art Museum Futures Fund. The new fund is meant to help arts organizations survive the continuing Covid-19 pandemic. Twenty-four million dollars will be awarded to midsize museums in the first round of funding, in amounts ranging from $500,000 to $5.5 million. A second round will take place in early fall, focusing on small institutions, each of which will receive up to $3 million.

    The twelve institutions receiving first-round Art Museum Futures Fund grants are the Asian Art Museum, San

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  • Max Levai. Photo: Marlborough Gallery.

    Marlborough Flip-Flops on Gallery Closure, Countersues Ex-Prez Max Levai

    New York’s Marlborough Gallery swapped lawsuits with former president Max Levai in the New York State Supreme Court earlier this week, with the gallery seeking $8 million and accusing Levai of fraud and defamation, and Levai suing for $10 million on allegations that the gallery board conspired against him and his father, Pierre Levai, to push them out of the family business.

    Max Levai assumed control of his father’s gallery in 2012, consolidating its several branches into one and announcing a large-scale expansion; he took on the role of president in 2019. During this time, however, the fortunes

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  • The Grand Palais in Paris.

    FIAC Cancellation Sparks Outrage, Divides Participants

    The organizers of the Foire Internationale d’Art Contemporain (FIAC) are facing a storm of dissent over their late-breaking decision to cancel this year’s edition of the fair owing to the Covid-19 pandemic, The Art Newspaper reports. FIAC 2020 was to have taken place at Paris’s Grand Palais October 22–25.

    Reed Expositions, which runs the fair, cited a recent surge in Covid-19 cases in France, as well as travel restrictions that would make it hard for exhibitors and fairgoers alike to attend the event. After news outlets piled on with articles critical of the cancellation, many of which specifically

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  • Mohamed Bourouissa, Ride Day #3, 2019.

    Photographer Mohamed Bourouissa Wins 2020 Deutsche Börse Prize

    Mohamed Bourouissa, known for his photographs of marginalized and economically disenfranchised people, has been announced as the recipient of the 2020 Deutsche Börse Photography Foundation prize. The Algeria-born Bourouissa, who lives and works in Paris, won the $39,000 prize for his politically charged 2019 installation Free Trade, first exhibited at a Monoprix supermarket in Arles, France.

    The installation, which took up an entire floor of the grocery store, encompassed five of the artist’s projects made during the past 15 years, including his 2005–2008 series “Périphérique,” focusing on the

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  • New York’s Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum.

    Layoffs, Activist Demands Roil Guggenheim

    New York’s Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum announced yesterday that it has laid off 24 employees, and that an additional eight have taken voluntary separation agreements. The cuts, which come just weeks ahead of the museum’s planned October 3 opening, account for 11 percent of staff and were made across all departments. The New York Times reports that one-third of those being laid off are BIPOC, and that the ratio of white to nonwhite employees will remain the same.

    Since closing amid the Covid-19 pandemic in March, the Guggenheim has lost $1.4 million per month and is projecting a $15 million

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  • Kyla McMillan. Photo: David Zwirner.

    David Zwirner Taps Kyla McMillan of Gavin Brown’s Enterprise as Director

    David Zwirner has hired Kyla McMillan, former director of the now-closed Gavin Brown’s Enterprise, as director, Artnews reports. The blue-chip Zwirner is one of the largest galleries in the world; Gavin Brown’s Enterprise, which shuttered in July following a 26-year run, was known for discovering bleeding-edge talent.

    At Brown, McMillan organized the gallery’s first solo show with Cy Gavin, and worked with artists including LaToya Ruby Frazier, Laura Owens, and Uri Aran.

    “At Gavin Brown’s Enterprise I worked with so many artists who will forever inform how I think,” McMillan said. “I learned

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  • Tate Modern in London.

    Hundreds of Artists Sign Letter Supporting Striking Tate Workers

    An open letter in support of striking Tate employees has garnered over 300 signatures from artists and art workers, including Turner Prize–winners and artists who have exhibited at Tate’s four galleries across the United Kingdom. The letter demands that the organization divert 10 percent of its $9 million in government bailout money to prevent 313 job cuts from Tate’s commercial arm, Tate Enterprises—a major downsize that the strikers, who voted to strike through the PCS union last month, say will disproportionately impact the organization’s lowest-paid staff, many of whom are Black, minority

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  • Taipei Dangdai 2019. Photo: Taipei Dangdai.

    Taipei Dangdai Pushes Back 2021 Fair

    Earlier this month, officials announced that the Melbourne Art Fair would be moved from 2021 to 2022; now comes the news that the third edition of Taiwan’s Taipei Dangdai, originally scheduled for January 15–17 will take place instead on May 21–23 at its regular venue, the Taipei Nangang Exhibition Center.

    The decision arrives as Covid-19 continues to surge in spots around the globe, affecting travel, business, and events, though it remains under control in Taipei, which has not recorded any local transmissions since April. “Shifting our dates will provide a much better context for our galleries,

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  • FIAC 2013. Photo: Wikipedia.

    FIAC Canceled as Coronavirus Cases Spike Throughout France

    Organizers of the Foir international d’art contemporain, better known as FIAC, have decided to cancel this year’s edition, originally planned to occur from October 22–25 at Paris’s Grand Palais. The annual fair was one of the few remaining global art events that hadn’t been called off due to the coronavirus, which has seen a leap in cases throughout France. Despite the country reporting 56,000 new cases during the last week, another French fair, Art Paris, welcomed an estimated 6,000 visitors over the past four days for its postponed edition, drawing a mixed response. FIAC had seemed similarly

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  • Jova Lynnne.

    Jova Lynne Returns to MOCAD as Senior Curator

    The Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit has announced that Jova Lynne will be returning to the institution as Susanne Feld Hilberry Senior Curator. Lynne—who began her initial stint at MOCAD as a curatorial fellow in 2017, becoming a curator there in December 2019—was one of three Black curators who departed the museum this past spring in protest over the actions of then-director Elysia Borowy-Reeder, who was accused of racism, sexism, and “exploitative labor practices,” which in Lynne’s case included pressuring the curator to return to work while laid off in the Covid-19 pandemic, and in the

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  • Robert Bird.

    Robert Bird (1969–2020)

    Robert Bird, a renowned English-born scholar of Russian and Soviet modernism and leading authority on the films of Andrei Tarkovsky, has died of cancer at the age of fifty. Since 2001, Bird taught at the University of Chicago in the department of Slavic languages and literatures and the department of cinema and media studies. Recognized for his wide range of interests and critical models, Bird wrote with incisive and lucid language on modern art and nineteenth- and twentieth-century Russian and Soviet poetry, literature, and cinema—especially that of Tarkovsky, the Soviet director known for

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  • Ujazdowski Castle Center for Contemporary Art.

    In Poland Museum Director’s Antigay Acquisition, Critics Find Ominous Portent

    Piotr Bernatowicz, the recently appointed director of Warsaw’s leading Ujazdowski Castle Center for Contemporary Art (CCA), has been accused of diverting public funds to pay for a homophobic work of art, according to an Artnet News report.

    The incident, first reported in Polish daily Gazeta Wyborcza, involves the improper use of funds from the country’s national art collecting program earmarked for the purchase of contemporary art. In order to obtain the funds, institutions must submit an application to the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage listing the works that the money will be used

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