News

  • Idelle Weber, Jump Rope, 1967–68, plastic and neon lighting, 93 x 48 x 18".

    Idelle Weber (1932–2020)

    Idelle Weber, who emerged as an important Pop artist in the 1960s with her paintings of anonymous silhouettes in corporate or abstract settings, has died at age eighty-eight in New York City. The news was announced by Hollis Taggart gallery, which has represented the artist since 2018. Weber’s earliest paintings—made on canvas or Plexiglas in the 1960s—would later inform the opening credits of the television series Mad Men (2007–2015). Critic John Yau once wrote that he found in her varied and underrecognized work, inflected by both Pop and Minimalist sensibilities, a “sensuality that is

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  • Suellen Rocca with Curley Head, c. 1966, at the 70th Annual Exhibition by Artists of Chicago and Vicinity, Art Institute of Chicago, 1967. Photo: Courtesy Matthew Marks Gallery.

    Suellen Rocca (1943–2020)

    Suellen Rocca, a leading Chicago Imagist whose hieroglyphic paintings and drawings irreverently surfaced themes of domesticity, sexuality, and consumer and popular culture, has died at seventy-six years old.

    Born Suellen Krupp in 1943, Rocca attended the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) from age sixteen, where she studied with painter Ray Yoshida, a significant mentor to Rocca and other artists associated with Chicago Imagism. She graduated from the institution in 1964 and became a founding member of The Hairy Who two years later, alongside fellow SAIC students Jim Falconer, Art

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  • Marina Isgro. Courtesy of Marina Isgro.

    Hirshhorn Names Marina C. Isgro Associate Curator of Media and Performance Art

    The Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington, DC, has appointed Marina C. Isgro associate curator of media and performance art. She will be responsible for helping Hirshhorn director Melissa Chiu and chief curator Stéphane Aquin shape and expand the institution’s exhibition schedule and public programming related to contemporary new media art. Isgro will also assume the role of secretarial scholar; the position is part of a Smithsonian-wide initiative launched in 2016 to support the “next generation of intellectual leaders.”

    “During a time when new media and performance art is

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  • Lorenzo Fusi. Courtesy of the Yerevan Biennial Art Foundation.

    Lorenzo Fusi to Curate Inaugural Yerevan Biennial

    Lorenzo Fusi has been named artistic director and chief curator of the inaugural Yerevan Biennial. The first iteration of the exhibition was scheduled to take place later this year in various venues across Armenia’s capital city. However, due to the coronavirus pandemic, the board of the Yerevan Biennial Art Foundation has postponed the event until next year. The new dates for the biennial are April 15–June 13, 2021.

    “With the Yerevan Biennial, we aim to foster a broader appreciation of contemporary culture in Yerevan and the region, complementing the existing infrastructure and its cultural

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  • The West Bund Museum in Shanghai. Courtesy of the Centre Pompidou, Paris.

    Centre Pompidou’s Seoul Outpost Delayed Due to COVID-19

    The Centre Pompidou in Paris may be reconsidering plans to open a satellite branch in Seoul due to the novel coronavirus. The Art Newspaper reports that the institution has been engaged in negotiations over the South Korean outpost since 2016 and was on the “point of signing” an agreement that would have moved the project forward. The project will be stalled at least until the global health crisis is over.

    On Monday, South Korea announced that it will require all individuals who enter the country from the United States, the current epicenter of the pandemic, and Europe to quarantine for a period

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  • Kunstmuseum Basel. Photo: Flickr.

    Swiss Museum Reverses Decision on Restitution Claim, Pays Heirs of Jewish Collector

    In a major turnaround, the Kunstmuseum Basel in Switzerland has reached a settlement with the heirs of Curt Glaser—a prominent Jewish art critic and museum director who sold the majority of his collection after he was forced to step down from his position as head of the State Art Library of Berlin and decided to leave Nazi Germany in 1933—twelve years after it rejected their claim, the New York Times reports.

    The government of Canton Basel, which steers the museum, had originally defended the institution’s acquisition of two hundred works that were previously owned by Glaser. The Kunstmuseum

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  • Film Comment’s March/April 2020 cover.

    Layoffs at Film at Lincoln Center, Film Comment on Indefinite Intermission

    Film at Lincoln Center, widely regarded as a citadel of New York movie culture, became the latest arts institution in the city to massively overturn its workforce when it announced layoffs of all part-timers and half of its full-time staff yesterday afternoon. The news included the “indefinite hiatus” of Film Comment, its prestigious in-house magazine; the bimonthly’s May/June issue will be distributed online, after which operations will cease for the foreseeable future. Film at Lincoln Center’s theaters went dark on March 12, when it closed to help stem the spread of COVID-19. The closure

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  • Winners of the 2020 Rabkin Prize for Arts Writers. Photo: Rabkin Foundation.

    Nine Arts Writers Awarded $50,000 Rabkin Prize

    The fourth annual Rabkin Prize for Arts Writers, which recognizes outstanding contributions by art critics who inform the public through their writing on contemporary art, have been awarded to nine writers: Mary Abbe, Jerry Cullum, Neil Fauerso, Amanda Fortini, Sam Lefebvre, Steve Litt, Erin Nelson, Seph Rodney, and Elisa Turner. Each honoree will receive $50,000.

    “In this unprecedented and tragic time, the foundation released funding immediately and chose to forego the celebrations and formalities that made this moment so enjoyable and memorable in recent years,” said the Rabkin Foundation. “We

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  • Michael Sorkin. Photo: LafargeHolcim Foundation.

    Michael Sorkin (1948–2020)

    New York–based architect, urbanist, educator, and writer Michael Sorkin—a singular activist voice in the design field—has died of complications arising from COVID-19. He was seventy-one. As the director emeritus of the Graduate Urban Design Program of the City College of New York and the principal and founder of Michael Sorkin Studios and the Terreform Center for Advanced Urban Research, Sorkin advocated strongly for sustainable urban design. “The future of the city lies not in the superposition of the next great idea but in the careful articulation and expression of many fresh and familiar

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  • The Hammer Museum in Los Angeles. Photo: Ken Lund/Flickr.

    Museums Across the US Lay Off Workers as COVID-19 Cases Rise

    In an attempt to contain the novel coronavirus in the United States—where the number of confirmed cases has surpassed those in China and Italy and was approaching 86,000 at the time of publication—federal and state governments have banned large public gatherings, have issued “shelter at home” orders, and are urging people to practice social distancing. The safety measures resulted in nationwide shutdowns, which have subsequently led to mass layoffs.

    Since galleries, museums, and arts organizations shuttered earlier this month with no idea when they can reopen, job losses were inevitable. Some

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  • The 2020 Tefaf Maastricht. Courtesy of Tefaf Maastricht.

    TEFAF Maastricht Faces Backlash after Fairgoers Contract COVID-19

    TEFAF Maastricht, the European Fine Art Fair, which takes place in the Netherlands every March, has come under fire for not rescheduling its thirty-third edition amid the coronavirus outbreak. The 2020 event opened as planned on March 7, but closed four days early after an exhibitor informed organizers that they had tested positive for COVID-19. According to a report in the Art Newspaper, at least twenty-five people who attended the fair say they have been infected with the virus.

    While it is impossible to know where the individuals contracted COVID-19, the Art Newspaper quotes several people

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  • The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Washington, DC. Photo: Wikipedia.

    US Earmarks More Than $230 Million for Arts and Humanities in $2 Trillion Aid Package

    After days of tense negotiations and a surge of unemployment claims, the United States Senate unanimously passed a $2 trillion federal stimulus package on Wednesday that will provide millions of Americans with much-needed relief from financial pressures caused by the novel coronavirus, which has infected nearly 500,000 people worldwide. The legislation—the largest aid package in American history—is expected to be passed by the House of Representatives on Friday.

    While the bill will bail out businesses, expand unemployment benefits, and issue payments of up to $1,200 to millions of Americans, the

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