News

  • Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit Names Larry Ossei-Mensah Senior Curator

    The Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit announced today that Larry Ossei-Mensah will join the institution as its new Susanne Feld Hilberry senior curator. The independent curator, cultural critic, and cofounder of ARTNOIR—a global collective of arts professionals who, according to Ossei-Mensah, “want to utilize the power of art to be an agent for social and personal change”—will take up the post on September 1.

    Over the course of his career, Ossei-Mensah has curated numerous exhibitions, including “Crossing the Line” (2013), a show featuring women artists at the now-defunct gallery Mixed

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  • Susanna V. Temkin Joins El Museo del Barrio as Curator

    El Museo del Barrio, the New York institution dedicated to Latino and Latin American culture, has named Susanna V. Temkin curator. Temkin joins the institution from the Americas Society, where she was assistant curator. Previously, she worked as a curatorial intern at El Museo del Barrio under former chief curator Deborah Cullen-Morales.

    “We are delighted to have Susanna join our growing curatorial team,” executive director Patrick Charpenel said in a statement. “I am confident she will build upon El Museo’s established relationships with Latinx and Latin American artists, and grow our scholarly

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  • White Cube Appoints Toby Kamps as Director of External Projects

    White Cube announced today that Toby Kamps has been named director of external projects. Kamps will be responsible for seeking new business opportunities for the gallery, leading external projects in the UK and abroad, and acting as a liaison for a range of artists. He will take up the post in October.

    Kamps joins White Cube from the Blaffer Art Museum at the University of Houston, where he has served as director and chief curator. Since 2016, he also worked as curator of the Spotlight section at Frieze’s London and New York fairs. Previously, Kamps worked in various curatorial roles at the Menil

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  • Chinese Authorities Demolish Ai Weiwei’s Beijing Studio

    Chinese contemporary artist Ai Weiwei posted on Instagram earlier today that his studio in the Caochangdi arts district in Beijing was razed. He posted a video of a large excavator breaking the windows of his studio as it began to demolish the structure, which has served as his main studio space since 2006.

    In a post he published on the social media platform, Ai wrote: “Today, they started to demolish my studio ‘Zuoyou’ in Beijing with no precaution . . . Farewell.” The defunct car parts factory is a hanger-size space situated on the outskirts of the city. Ai’s video of the beginning of the

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  • London’s Design Museum Returns Works to Artists Amid Backlash over Arms Dealer Event

    The Design Museum in London, which recently came under fire for hosting a private event for an international arms dealer, has returned nearly thirty works to their creators after they publicly condemned the institution for supporting the weapons manufacturing company and demanded that their works be taken down.

    The works were pulled from the exhibition “Hope to Nope: Graphics and Politics 2008–18,” which explores politically charged graphic designs over the last decade—ranging from Shepard Fairey’s 2008 Hope poster of Barack Obama to the “Make America Great Again” baseball cap. After learning

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  • Nicole Eisenman Wins $200,000 Suzanne Deal Booth / FLAG Art Foundation Prize

    The Brooklyn-based artist Nicole Eisenman has been named the winner of the 2020 Suzanne Deal Booth / FLAG Art Foundation Prize. The biennial award includes a $200,000 cash prize, a scholarly publication, and a solo exhibition that will be presented at the Contemporary Austin’s downtown location, slated to open in February 2020, and at the FLAG Art Foundation in New York. 

    “The generous resources around this prize provide opportunities not only for the museum to present a full exhibition of current and past work, but also for the artist to explore new directions,” said Heather Pesanti, chief

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  • Citing Financial Troubles, Munich’s Haus der Kunst Scraps Upcoming Joan Jonas Exhibition

    Munich’s Haus der Kunst has been forced to cancel a forthcoming Joan Jonas exhibition after it failed to secure enough funding to mount it. The survey of the American performance artist’s work, which is currently on view at Tate Modern in London, was set to travel to Munich in November.

    According to the Art Newspaper, the museum claimed that the cancellation was due to “a difficult financial situation stemming from management errors of the past.” The beleaguered institution has faced financial problems for years. In addition, the museum has experienced a number of other issues ranging from sexual

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  • Antonio Dias (1944–2018)

    The Brazilian artist Antonio Dias, whose paintings and sculptures viscerally challenged the authoritarian regime that ruled his country for over two decades, has died at age seventy-four. While Dias’s early canvases mingled Nova Figuração (New Figuration) with graffiti and comic book influences to address urban violence, censorship, war, and Brazil’s former military dictatorship, his later works moved toward a style of abstraction that was less overtly political. Critics often drew comparisons between Dias’s aesthetic—which at times borrowed colors from commercial imagery—and the

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  • Getty Foundation Launches Grant Program to Support Conservation of Paintings

    The Getty Foundation announced today the launch of Conserving Canvas, a new initiative that aims to ensure that painting conservation skills are passed on through workshops, seminars, training residencies, and a major symposium. The initiative’s initial projects support the study and conservation of works on canvas by Thomas Gainsborough, Anthony van Dyck, and François Boucher.

    “Through extensive consultation with specialists in the conservation field including experts at the Getty, we heard that there is a growing skills gap between senior conservators who learned treatments of paintings on

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  • New Museum Awarded $660,000 Knight Foundation Grant for Its NEW INC Initiative

    NEW INC, the cultural incubator program founded by the New Museum in New York, has received a $660,000 grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation that will allow it to extend its technology-focused track for an additional two years. This is the second major gift the initiative has been awarded by the foundation, which gave NEW INC $250,000 in 2017.

    “To increase audience interest and engagement in the digital age, museums need access to products and services that help to make technology part of their culture,” Victoria Rogers, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation vice president

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  • Asia Pacific Triennial Announces Artists Participating in 2018 Edition

    The Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art (QAGOMA) announced today that eighty artists and collectives from more than thirty countries will be participating in the Ninth Asia Pacific Triennial, which will be held from November 24, 2018 to April 28, 2019.

    Among the artists exhibiting in the triennial is the Chinese contemporary artist Qiu Zhijie, who will create a massive ink painting, Map of Utopia, at the Gallery of Modern Art. The artist will draw from historical and political narratives, Chinese traditions, philosophy, and contemporary art to make the site-specific work.

    According to

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  • Fakir Musafar (1930–2018)

    Fakir Musafar, a performance artist, photographer, pain guru, and Silicon Valley salesman who sought transcendence by piercing and constricting his body in extreme ways, has died at age eighty-seven. The cause was lung cancer. Musafar is considered the father of the “modern primitive” movement, a phrase he coined in the late 1970s. His views on body-modification earned him thousands of international followers who practiced spiritual elevation through shamanic rituals and meditation practices like body suspension, a technique he pioneered and taught. Dubbed an “astronaut of inner spaces” by

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