News

  • Barbara Hammer, On the Road, Big Sur, California, 1975, 2017, gelatin silver print, 8 x 12".

    Barbara Hammer (1939–2019)

    Barbara Hammer, the treasured lesbian filmmaker and New York­–based artist, has passed away from ovarian cancer at seventy-nine. Hammer created more than eighty moving-image works throughout her life, but near the end she began making work about her own death: Last October, she performed a lecture on living with advanced cancer titled The Art of Dying or (Palliative Art Making in the Age of Anxiety) at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York.

    Reporting on the event for Artforum, Corrine Fitzpatrick wrote that the performance “offers seven precepts—culled from fifty years of artistic

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  • A bronze head from the Kingdom of Benin, now Nigeria, from the collection of the Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe in Hamburg. Photo: MKG Hamburg.

    German Culture Ministers Pledge to Return Looted Colonial-Era Artifacts

    German culture ministers from all sixteen states met on Wednesday, March 13, and agreed to establish protocols for repatriating colonial-era objects from public collections across the country that were acquired “in ways that are legally or morally unjustifiable today.”

    They released an eight-page document that declares their intention to address their colonial history and outlines the first steps they will take to do so. The states will work with museums and institutions to conduct research, digitize and publicize provenance information, and potentially establish a central information and help

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  • Crown Ether by Olalekan Jeyifous. Photo: Andrew Jorgenson.

    ArtPrize Announces Participating Artists for First Edition of Public Art Biennial

    The Michigan-based arts nonprofit ArtPrize has announced the artists participating in its inaugural public art biennial. Amanda Browder, Heather Hart, Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, Olalekan Jeyifous, and the duo Paul Amenta and Ted Lott will create large-scale public works for the first edition of the biennial, Project 1.

    Rick DeVos—son of current US secretary of education Betsy DeVos and grandson of the late billionaire businessman Richard DeVos—established ArtPrize in 2009 as an annual art competition. In 2018 the organization announced its plans to shift to a biennial schedule, with its

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  • Tone Hansen, director of the Henie Onstad Kunstsenter, and Paulina Rider Wilhelmsen. Photo: Thomas Brun, NTB Production.

    Henie Onstad Kunstsenter in Norway Announces $100,000 Artist Prize

    The Henie Onstad Kunstsenter in Høvikodden, Norway, has established a biannual $100,000 artist prize. The winner of the inaugural Lise Wilhelmsen Art Award will be announced this fall and will have a corresponding exhibition at the Henie Onstad Kunstsenter in 2020. The prize also includes funds for a catalogue, public programming, and the possible acquisition of the work for the center’s permanent collection, and is intended for midcareer, international artists working in sculpture and painting, though the award “will remain rooted in Norway.”

    Michelle Kuo, curator of painting and sculpture at

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  • Okwui Enwezor.

    Okwui Enwezor (1963–2019)

    Okwui Enwezor, the Nigerian curator, poet, critic, and historian whose large-scale exhibitions led to a more global view of contemporary art, has died at the age of fifty-five years old from cancer. His tenure as artistic director of Munich’s Haus der Kunst, a role he began in 2011, as well as his landmark Documenta 11 in 2002, established Enwezor as one of the most influential exhibition organizers of the century so far. The news of his death comes nine months after his departure from Haus der Kunst and was first shared by Venice Biennale, whose 2015 edition Enwezor curated. 

    As the first

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  • Laura Allred Hurtado.

    Laura Allred Hurtado Appointed Executive Director of Utah Museum of Contemporary Art

    The Utah Museum of Contemporary Art (UMoCA) announced that Laura Allred Hurtado has been named its new executive director. She comes to the institution from the Church History Museum, where she has served as the global acquisitions art curator. She will take up the post on April 1.

    “Laura has the combination of knowledge and enthusiasm which will assure that UMoCA continues as a unique, vibrant showcase for contemporary art in Utah,” museum board president Val Antczak said. “She has been an integral part of the Utah art community for years, while following the contemporary art scene across borders

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  • Lee Wen.

    Lee Wen (1957–2019)

    Lee Wen, a Singaporean performance artist, writer, and organizer whose work traces themes of European colonialism and the modernization of his home country, died last Monday of a lung infection, reports the Straits Times. He was sixty-one years old. Lee was perhaps best known for his “Journey of a Yellow Man” series, 1992–2012. He worked as a computer operator and an officer in banking and logistics before quitting in 1987 to pursue his art career full time, which also included involvement in various artist groups such as the Artists Village and the Black Market International performance arts

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  • Kristy Edmunds. Photo: The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage.

    Kristy Edmunds Receives United States Artists’ Inaugural Berresford Prize

    The Chicago-based nonprofit United States Artists (USA) has established a new $25,000 award that recognizes cultural practitioners who have contributed significantly to the advancement, well-being, and care of artists in society. The organization announced that the inaugural prize recipient is Kristy Edmunds, the executive and artistic director of the Center for the Art of Performance at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA).

    “At USA, we are thrilled to expand our awards program to include and honor those in the cultural vanguard who support artists every day,” said board chair Steven

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  • Claude Clark, Men and Drill Press, 1999.

    Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts Gifted Seventy-Eight Works

    The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (PAFA) has received a gift of seventy-eight works by primarily African American artists from the collection of the American educator, civic leader, and arts advocate Constance E. Clayton. Spanning from the late nineteenth century to the late twentieth century, the donated works include pieces by notable alumni such as Henry O. Tanner, Barkley L. Hendricks, and Laura Wheeler Waring.

    Born in Philadelphia in 1933, Clayton was the first woman and African American to serve as superintendent of the school district of Philadelphia from 1982 to 1993. Since her

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  • Risa Puno. Photo by Talisman Brolin.

    Risa Puno to Create an Escape Room for New Creative Time Commission

    For the organization’s first open call for commissions, New York’s Creative Time has selected artist Risa Puno’s escape-the-room project from a pool of more than six hundred proposals. Inspired by the popular interactive, puzzle-oriented game in which a group of people agree to be “locked” in a room together and collectively solve clues in order to work their way out, Puno will draw on the activity’s format of puzzles and riddles to examine social issues, such as how privilege and inequity manifest when people participate in the game.

    “I have wanted to work with Creative Time for so many

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  • Raquel van Haver, We Do Not Sleep as We Parade All Through the Night..., 2018. Photo: Gert Jan van Rooij.

    Stedelijk Museum Works to Close Gender Gap in Its Collection

    The Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam announced that it has established two special acquisition funds to help the institution increase its holdings of art by women. The funds are backed by two donors who wish to remain anonymous.

    According to the museum, only 4 percent of the art in its collection of more than 100,000 works was created by women artists or designers. “We are aware of this inequality and are committed to redressing the balance,” interim director Jan Willem Sieburgh said in a statement. “As far as our historical collection is concerned this won’t be easy, but there are plenty of

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  • Rodrigo Moura. Photo: El Museo del Barrio.

    El Museo Del Barrio Names Rodrigo Moura Chief Curator

    El Museo del Barrio in New York announced today that Rodrigo Moura will join the institution as its new chief curator, effective immediately. Moura most recently served as an adjunct curator of Brazilian art at the Museu de Arte de São Paulo Assis Chateaubriand. He is also a former longtime curator of one of the country’s largest foundations of contemporary art, the Instituto Inhotim in Belo Horizonte, Brazil.

    “It is with great enthusiasm that I join the team at El Museo del Barrio in imagining and implementing a new curatorial vision for this historic and singular institution,” said Moura. “The

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