News

  • Neuer Aachener Kunstverein. Photo: Wikipedia.

    Neuer Aachener Kunstverein Damaged by Fire

    The Neuer Aachener Kunstverein (NAK) in Germany is recovering from a blaze that swept through the institution on Friday, June 12. When the fire brigade arrived at the scene at 5 AM, several garbage bins, located at the rear of the building, were burning, and the fire had already spread to NAK’s roof and interior. Police have launched an investigation into the cause of the fire, which is still unknown, and are looking into whether a burning object was thrown into one of the trash receptacles.

    To extinguish the blaze, fire workers had to saw part of the building’s roof open. According to Monopol,

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  • Ronald K. Brown. Photo: Stephen lllflo Edwards. Courtesy of Jacob’s Pillow.

    Ronald K. Brown Receives $25,000 Jacob’s Pillow Dance Award

    Jacob’s Pillow has selected choreographer and founder of the Evidence dance company Ronald K. Brown as the recipient of this year’s $25,000 dance award. Known for incorporating West African, Caribbean, and contemporary genres in his works, Brown has created more than one hundred performances for Evidence, as well as for the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Ensemble, PHILADANCO, Ballet Hispánico, and a number of other companies.

    “I’m honored beyond measure for this recognition from Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival,” Brown said in a statement. “I still remember all of

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  • The Getty Center, Los Angeles. Photo: Thad Zajdowicz/Flickr.

    Museums Remain Closed as LA Reopens

    Museums in Los Angeles remain closed despite the county’s announcement earlier this month that arts institutions would be allowed to reopen as of Friday, June 12. According to the Los Angeles Times, many museums don’t plan on reopening for several more weeks and even months, despite their prolonged closures due to the coronavirus pandemic, and are scrambling to adopt new safety measures, retrain their staffs, and organize programming.

    Elizabeth Merritt, vice president of strategic foresight and founding director of the Center for the Future of Museums at the American Alliance of Museums, told

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  • Richard Hoggart Building, Goldsmiths, University of London. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

    Black Goldsmiths Staffer “Withdraws Labor” over Institutional Racism

    Artist Evan Ifekoya—the only permanently employed black staffer in the art department of Goldsmiths at the University of London—resigned on Monday in protest of the “unreflective and combative racism” they experienced at the prestigious art school.

    “I refuse to carry the burden of being the only permanently employed Black member of academic staff within the Art Department at Goldsmiths,” Ifekoya wrote in a public letter, titled “Withdrawing my labor,” that has circulated widely on social media. “To be so within a team of 70+ people—a tiny fraction of whom are people of color—in 2020 is not

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  • Jaša Mrevlje Pollak. Photo: Jože Suhodolnik.

    Artists in Ljubljana Join Anti-Government Protests

    On Friday, Slovenian artist Jasa Mrevlje Pollak was among seven civilians who were briefly detained in Ljubljana for taking part in the ongoing anti-government protests against Prime Minister Janez Jansa’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic. The artist, who represented Slovenia at the Venice Biennale in 2015, was held in a police vehicle for half an hour after trying to scale a police barrier and was released without criminal charges on June 12, when some five thousand people gathered at Trg Republike Square to protest the center-right government’s weaponization of the pandemic to increase

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  • Art Fund director Jenny Waldman.

    UK’s Art Fund to Award $2.5 Million in Coronavirus Relief for Cultural Institutions

    The London-based charitable organization Art Fund has pledged $2.5 million in grants for museums and galleries in the United Kingdom impacted by the coronavirus pandemic, in an effort to cushion the financial losses and expected drop in visitors and revenue as cultural organizations prepare to reopen. Nearly $2 million have been allocated for the immediate needs of institutions. The funds will go toward collections and exhibitions, the development of digital skills and infrastructure, audience engagement initiatives and reopening costs, and staff support, which were identified as the four key

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  • The lobby of the Musée du Quai Branly, Paris. Photo: Ninara/Flickr.

    Restitution Activists Arrested after Seizing African Artifact at Paris Museum

    The Musée du Quai Branly in Paris—an ethnographic institution that houses seventy thousand artifacts from sub-Saharan Africa—was nearly robbed on Friday when a group of men attempted to take a nineteenth-century funerary object from an exhibition of works from the museum’s permanent collection. According to Le Monde, the culprits of the foiled heist claim they were not going to keep the artifact for personal gain, but were instead trying to return it to Africa.

    The five activists—members of Les Marrons Unis Dignes et Courageux, an organization that describes itself as pan-African and claims to

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  • A woman wearing a face mask on her phone outside the National Gallery in Trafalgar Square, London. Photo: PA Images/Alamy.

    Art World Coronavirus Tracker

    Since its emergence in Wuhan, China, last December, the novel coronavirus Covid-19 has upended numerous cities and countries across the globe. Among the various sectors that have been heavily affected is the art world—an industry fueled by perpetual itinerancy as well as social gatherings of mass scale and close proximity. As the public health crisis escalates, arts organizations have shut down events, have announced postponements, or are carefully trying to trudge forward. Here is a continually refreshed list of major events and institutions that have made such decisions due to the virus as

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  • Christopher Columbus statue torn down outside of the Minnesota State Capitol building in Saint Paul, on June 10. Photo: Tony Webster/Flickr.

    Protesters Worldwide Continue to Topple, Deface, and Campaign for Removal of Racist Monuments

    While the debate over controversial historical monuments has been ongoing for years, in the wake of George Floyd’s death, cities across the globe are reassessing their public statues and their legacy of white supremacy with a renewed sense of purpose. Since May 25, the day Floyd was killed by the Minneapolis police, anger over the pedestals built to glorify racist symbols has led to a reckoning. Protesters have vandalized, toppled, and advocated for the removal of the leaders of the Confederacy in the United States, as well as colonialists, slave traders, and imperialists in the United Kingdom

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  • Christine Wang, Angela Davis, 2016, and Kandis Williams, Degradation: Erasure II, 2016. Courtesy of Night Gallery.

    Galleries and Artists Fundraise for Black Lives Matter Movement, Lynda Benglis Joins Xavier Hufkens, and More

    Galleries and artists are working together in support of the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement. Several have organized auctions, and others are selling works by individual artists for organizations working toward racial justice. California’s Night Gallery launched an online auction exhibition on June 8. Featuring works by Mira Dancy, Awol Erizku, Marisa Takal, Christine Wang, and Kandis Williams, among others, the event runs through June 22. One hundred percent of the gallery’s proceeds will go to initiatives such as the Los Angeles Black Worker Center, the Equal Justice Initiative, and the Los

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  • Antrepo 5, the future home of the Istanbul Painting and Sculpture Museum. Photo: Alper Tuzunoglu.

    Istanbul Museum of Painting and Sculpture Opening Delayed Again

    The Istanbul Museum of Painting and Sculpture (IRHM), which has been closed since 2008 and was scheduled to reopen this spring before the reopening date was pushed back to September, seems unlikely to welcome visitors in 2020. Though its $25 million Emre Arolat–designed building, which will also house the collection of Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University, served as the Istanbul Biennial venue last fall, it continues to face difficulties in funding, staffing, and construction.

    Curator Vasıf Kortun, who was named the museum’s founding advisor last May, quit in December. One of the problems raised by

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  • Ford Foundation president Darren Walker. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

    Five Foundations Pledge $1.7 Billion for Nonprofits

    The W.K. Kellogg Foundation, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation are among the five major charities that have collaborated to establish a $1.7 billion fund to support nonprofits struggling with Covid-19-related financial losses, in an initiative spearheaded by the Ford Foundation.

    With a pledge of $1 billion, the Ford Foundation has made by far the largest contribution, as well as the unusual decision to raise funds by selling thirty- and fifty-year bonds, in addition to giving $550 million in grants. The MacArthur Foundation (with a $125 million

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