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  • Center for Curatorial Studies, Bard College. Photo: Bard/Lisa Quinones.

    CCS Bard Receives $50 Million to Create Endowment

    The Center for Curatorial Studies, Bard College (CCS Bard), has received a “transformative” $50 million gift in honor of its thirtieth anniversary. The paired donations—$25 million from the Marieluise Hessel Foundation and a matching $25 million from billionaire investor George Soros—were received as part of the college’s ambitious $1 billion endowment fund drive, launched earlier this year. Soros in April had promised the college $500 million if it matched that amount through donations within five years; to date, the campaign has raised nearly $800 million.

    “This gift from the Marieluise Hessel

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  • Jean-Luc Nancy in 2006.

    Jean-Luc Nancy (1940–2021)

    Philosopher Jean-Luc Nancy, renowned for his wide-ranging, challenging, and thoughtful writing on art, film, and politics, died August 23 at the age of eighty-one. Best known for his unfetteredly fresh takes on giants of thought, including Heidegger, Kant, and Sartre, he wrote extensively on art, taking as his subjects Simon Hantaï, Soun-Gui Kim, and On Kawara, the last of whom he especially admired for his works investigating death, time, and human existence. Nancy’s 2000 essay “L’intrus” (The Intruder), perhaps his most famous work, served as the basis for Claire Denis’s well-regarded 2004

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  • Demonstrators in Rotterdam rally on behalf of Afghans protesting and fleeing the Taliban. Photo: Donald Trung Quoc Don/Wikipedia Commons.

    Hundreds of Artists Sign Open Letter Calling for US to Offer Asylum to Afghan Culture Workers

    More than 350 cultural workers including artists Coco Fusco, Joyce Kozloff, Susan Meiselas, Naeem Mohaiemen, Walid Raad, Michael Rakowitz, Martha Rosler, Hank Willis Thomas, Cecilia Vicuña, and Martha Wilson, as well as writers Teju Cole, Hari Kunzru, Viet Thanh Nguyen, and Lynne Tillman, have lent their signatures to a fiery open letter from Arts for Afghanistan demanding that the US government “do everything in its power” to assist at-risk Afghans fleeing the country in an attempt to escape the newly ascendant Taliban rule. According to the authors of the letter, released August 24, the members

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  • Katherine Bradford. Photo: Canada gallery/Javier Romero.

    Katherine Bradford Wins Rappaport Prize

    Painter Katherine Bradford, known for her work depicting featureless, androgynous figures adrift in nebulous, color-saturated settings, has been named the winner of the 2021 Rappaport Prize. The news was announced by deCordova Sculpture Museum and Park, which administers the prize. Bradford, who divides her time between Brooklyn, New York, and Brunswick, Maine, will receive $35,000 and on November 3 will deliver the annual Rappaport lecture at the Lincoln, Massachusetts–based deCordova; a solo exhibition of Bradford’s work will follow there, at a date yet to be determined.

    The seventy-eighty-year-old

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  • Vivian Crockett. Photo: Ciara Elle Bryant.

    New Museum Appoints Vivian Crockett Curator

    Vivian Crockett will join New York’s New Museum as curator, beginning January 1, 2022, the institution announced today. The Brazilian American Crockett, who specializes in Latinx art and art of the African diaspora, comes to the museum from the Dallas Museum of Art (DMA), where she has served as the Nancy and Tim Hanley Assistant Curator of Contemporary Art since February 2020.

    Crockett, who holds a BA from Stanford University, is in the process of obtaining her PhD in art history from Columbia University, with a dissertation focusing on the participatory and media-based work of Brazilian artists

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  • A rendering of Metro Arquitetos Associados’s 14-floor expansion of Museu de Arte de São Paulo. Photo: MASP.

    Museu de Arte de São Paulo Announces Major Expansion

    Museu de Arte de São Paulo (MASP), the top modern and contemporary art museum in Brazil, on August 20 announced the construction of a new fourteen-story building that will provide the institution with roughly 75,000 additional square feet of space. As first revealed in Artnews, the project, a freestanding structure that will occupy a lot next to MASP’s iconic 1968 Lina Bo Bardi–designed building on Paulista Avenue, will cost $33.3 million and is expected to be completed by January 2024.

    Renderings show the new building—to be built by São Paulo–based firm Metro Arquitetos Associados based on a

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  • The Brooklyn Museum in New York. Photo: Elisa Rolle/Flickr.

    Brooklyn Museum Staff Vote to Unionize

    Employees of New York’s Brooklyn Museum on August 16 voted overwhelmingly to join the United Auto Workers Union (UAW). Out of a pool of 110 employees including conservators, curators, editors, front-desk workers, retail staff, and event organizers, 68 voted to agree to be represented by Technical, Office, and Professional Union, Local 2110, the branch of the UAW that already represents museum employees at New York’s Bronx Museum of the Arts, Museum of Modern Art, New Museum, and New-York Historical Society. The move came less than three months after the group petitioned the US National Labor

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  • Chuck Close in front of a self-portrait, 2007. Photo: Henning Kaiser/DDP/AFP/Getty Images.

    Chuck Close (1940–2021)

    Chuck Close, who emerged as an art-world force in the 1970s and ’80s with his intimate, large-scale Photorealist portraits of tremendous visual and psychological impact, died of congestive heart failure August 19 in Oceanside, New York, at the age of eighty-one. Close’s career was marked by three jolting phases, beginning with his work of the late 1960s, when he began creating intensely unglamorous close-up portraits, frequently of himself and family members, that revealed his sitters’ every pore and blemish. In the late 1980s, following a spinal injury that left him confined to a wheelchair,

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  • Kaari Upson. Photo: New Museum.

    Kaari Upson (1970–2021)

    Los Angeles–based artist Kaari Upson, who explored issues of gender, power, desire, and memory through a multivalent practice that embraced painting, sculpture, video, installation, and performance, died on August 18 at the age of fifty-one of metastatic cancer. Her death was announced on social media by New Museum curator Margot Norton. Upson rose to prominence with her groundbreaking “Larry Project,” 2005–2012, begun while she was still in school, in which she investigated hypermasculinity and the American psyche through the imagined and reconstructed life of a man whose personal items she

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  • A Boeing 747 departing Kabul Airport. Photo: Eliezer Gabriel/Wikipedia Commons.

    PEN Joins Calls to Expedite Visas for Afghans

    Writers’ and human rights organization PEN America on August 17 called for the US government to “act swiftly to offer protection to writers and cultural actors in Afghanistan.” The New York–based nonprofit additionally urged its “members and allies” to contact their representatives in Congress and the Senate to ask for support for dissenting writers and cultural figures trapped in the country, which last week fell to the Taliban. The militant Islamist group took control of Afghanistan within weeks of the start of the planned pullout of US troops there, announced in April and scheduled to be

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  • Park Yang-woo. Photo: Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism.

    Park Yang-woo Named President of Gwangju Biennale Foundation

    Gwangju mayor Yong-seop Lee on August 17 announced the appointment of former minister of culture, sports, and tourism Park Yang-woo as the new president of the Gwangju Biennale Foundation, MK News reports. Park, a thirty-year cultural policy veteran who previously served on the organization’s board, thus takes up for the second time a position he held from 2015 to 2017. Appointed minister of culture in 2019, Park retired from that post this past February, since which time he has served as the director of the KBS Symphony Orchestra. He holds four degrees: a bachelor’s and a master’s in public

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  • The Whitworth gallery in Manchester. Photo: Oatsy40/Flickr.

    Forensic Architecture Pulls Work from Whitworth Following Palestine Statement Removal

    Turner Prize–nominated collective Forensic Architecture has demanded the closure of an exhibition of its work at Manchester, UK’s Whitworth gallery after a statement of solidarity with Palestine was removed from the show’s entrance, the Guardian reports. Greeting visitors to “Cloud Studies,” which opened July 2, was a note headlined “Forensic Architecture stands with Palestine,” and reading, “We believe this liberation struggle is inseparable from other global struggles against racism, white supremacy, antisemitism, and settler-colonial violence and we acknowledge its particularly close entanglement

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