• Art Basel 2019.

    Art Basel’s Fiftieth Edition Kicks Off Thursday

    Art Basel’s 2019 edition—the fiftieth edition of the fair, taking place in the Messe Basel exhibition hall in Basel—opens to the public on Thursday, June 13. Some 290 galleries are participating in the event, which has rolled out a new progressive pricing model for its booths. In this milestone year, the fair has introduced a sliding scale for fees in order to help lift the financial burden off of smaller galleries.

    While many veteran galleries are returning to Art Basel, nineteen galleries will be represented at the fair for the first time, including Barro Arte Contemporáneo from

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  • Charlie Schaffer, Imara in her Winter Coat, 2019. Photo: BP Portrait Award 2019 and the National Portrait Gallery, London.

    Artists Call for London’s National Portrait Gallery to End BP Sponsorship

    As Nicholas Cullinan, the director of the National Portrait Gallery in London, prepared to host the institution’s annual award ceremony on Monday, he also had to prepare to answer hard questions about the gallery’s continued partnership with British Petroleum, the sponsor of its prestigious portrait prize. A judge on the selection panel and eight artists associated with the gallery’s award—which is named for BP—sent letters to Cullinan on the eve of the ceremony renewing calls for the institution to cut ties with the oil giant.

    According to The Guardian, a letter penned by judge and

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  • Hirshhorn Sculpture Garden preliminary concept design.

    Hirshhorn Museum Gets Green Light for Redesign of Sculpture Garden

    The Smithsonian’s Hirshhorn Museum in Washington, DC, is moving forward with the major redesign of its sculpture garden. Architect and artist Hiroshi Sugimoto’s concept has received unanimous approval from the National Capital Planning Commission (NCPC). The institution’s next steps for realizing the project will be to hold a public meeting in September to seek additional feedback.

    To revitalize the green space, Sugimoto’s redesign includes the creation of a more visible north entrance that will serve as a second “front door” to the museum from the National Mall, an interconnected series of

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  • Newsha Tavakolian.

    Photographer Newsha Tavakolian Barred from Working in Iran

    Iranian authorities have barred Tehran-based photographer and Iranian citizen Newsha Tavakolian from working in the country, reports the New York Times. Her husband, New York Times correspondent Thomas Erdbrink, also had his press credentials revoked without explanation for four months.

    The newspaper publicized the situation yesterday after speculation on social media about Erdbrink’s conspicuous absence in news reporting amid rising tensions between Iran and the US. Last month, Aras Amiri—the thirty-three-year-old art student, Iranian citizen, and British Council employee who was accused

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  • Félix Vallotton, Passerby, 1897.

    Phillips Collection Acquires Major Collection of Nabi Art

    The Phillips Collection in Washington, DC, has acquired two print portfolios and more than forty paintings and works on paper of European Post-Impressionist art through a gift from Roger Sant and his late wife Vicki, a collector and donor who was the museum’s first non-family board chairwoman. Including works by Pierre Bonnard, Maurice Denis, Édouard Vuillard, and Félix Vallotton, the Sants’ collection of work by the Nabi group (whose name comes from the Hebrew word navi, meaning “prophet”) will be exhibited at the museum in October. 

    “Embracing a new, liberating approach to art that valued the

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  • Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York.

    Workers at the Guggenheim Museum in New York Move to Unionize

    Around ninety art handlers, maintenance workers, light installers, and other staffers who are involved with the production of exhibitions at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York are taking steps to unionize. Citing low wages and raise rates as a reason for the move, workers intend to join IUOE Local 30, which also represents staffers at the Museum of Modern Art, and filed a petition with the institution last week.

    “We want a voice at the museum because working conditions have deteriorated,” a Guggenheim worker requesting anonymity told Artnews. “We want to be able to have our concerns

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  • James R. Wehn.

    Chazen Museum of Art Appoints James R. Wehn Curator of Works on Paper

    The Chazen Museum of Art in Madison, Wisconsin, has named James R. Wehn curator of works on paper. A scholar of early modern printmaking in Northern Europe and Italy, Wehn will begin his tenure at the institution on June 24.  

    With a background in the performing arts, theater, and business, Wehn worked for American Express for more than twelve years before pursuing a career in the museum industry. He previously served as the Margaret R. Mainwaring curatorial fellow of prints, drawings, and photographs at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, where he curated the exhibition “Starting from Scratch: The

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  • Amada Cruz. Photo: Airi Katsuta.

    Seattle Art Museum Names Amada Cruz Director and CEO

    The Seattle Art Museum (SAM) has appointed Amada Cruz, who has led the Phoenix Art Museum in Arizona since February 2015, as its next director and CEO. She will be responsible for overseeing the exhibition and education program at the institution, which comprises the downtown museum, the Asian Art Museum in Volunteer Park, and the Olympic Sculpture Park on the city’s waterfront, and will manage a staff of more than three hundred people. Cruz succeeds Kimerly Rorschach, who is retiring, and will take up the post in September.

    “After an exhaustive search with an impressive array of candidates, it’s

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  • Richard Flood.

    New Museum Curator at Large, Director of Special Projects Richard Flood Steps Down

    Richard Flood, the curator at large and director of special projects at the New Museum in New York, has retired, Artnews reports. In an internal email that museum director Lisa Phillips sent to staff last week, she wrote: “Richard has my heartfelt admiration and appreciation for all he has done for the New Museum over the years, for being our poet in residence, and for mentoring so many young people. We look forward to a continued relationship in his next chapter.”

    Flood first joined the institution in 2005. During his tenure, he curated numerous exhibitions, including “Rivane Neuenschwander: A

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  • Gavin Brown’s Enterprise Closes Its Lower Manhattan Space, South Africa’s Goodman Gallery Expands to London, and More

    Gavin Brown’s Enterprise has closed its gallery in downtown Manhattan. Located on the third floor of 291 Grand Street, the gallery occupied the same building as 47 Canal, Nathalie Karg, and James Cohan, and presented exhibitions of work by artists such as Alex Katz, Danny Lyon, Bjarne Melgaard & Bjørg, Steven Pippin, and Jacolby Satterwhite. It also participated in the inaugural edition of the alternative art fair Condo New York, opening its space to Labor gallery from Mexico City in 2017.

    “We will miss the space and our neighbors,” the gallery said in an email announcing the closure. The last

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  • Leni Riefenstahl shooting Triumph of the Will, Nuremberg, September 1934.

    Triumph of the Will Pulled from YouTube as Platform Cracks Down on Extremism

    On Wednesday, YouTube announced it was tightening its regulations on hate speech and discriminatory content by “prohibiting videos alleging that a group is superior in order to justify discrimination, segregation or exclusion based on qualities like age, gender, race, caste, religion, sexual orientation or veteran status.” The policy change has resulted in the removal of content that promotes or glorifies Nazi ideology and videos that deny the occurence of “well-documented violent events,” such as the Holocaust or the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary school.

    Among the videos that were removed

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  • Frye Art Museum.

    Staffers at Seattle’s Frye Art Museum Unionize and Demand Recognition

    The security staff of the Frye Art Museum in Seattle, Washington, has announced the formation of the Art Workers Union (AWU). Working with a local branch of the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA), they hope to bargain for benefits such as health care, public transit passes, equitable wages, and other changes in working conditions.

    Matthew Finnell, a labor organizer with the Seattle DSA, told the Seattle Times that more than 90 percent of Frye security guards agreed to participate in a formal election process monitored by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), which is scheduled for later

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