News

  • Frye Art Museum.

    Staffers at Seattle’s Frye Art Museum Unionize and Demand Recognition

    The security staff of the Frye Art Museum in Seattle, Washington, has announced the formation of the Art Workers Union (AWU). Working with a local branch of the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA), they hope to bargain for benefits such as health care, public transit passes, equitable wages, and other changes in working conditions.

    Matthew Finnell, a labor organizer with the Seattle DSA, told the Seattle Times that more than 90 percent of Frye security guards agreed to participate in a formal election process monitored by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), which is scheduled for later

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  • Wayson Poon. Photo: ACC.

    Asian Cultural Council’s China and Hong Kong Fellows Announced

    On Wednesday, the nonprofit Asian Cultural Council (ACC) announced the recipients of this year’s China and Hong Kong Fellowships, which provide financial support to artists, curators, and scholars in the arts and humanities for professional development and cultural exchange. 

    Chief curator of Guangzhou’s Times Museum Nikita Cai; Beijing-based independent curator Chen Li; Shanghai-based sculptor and installation artist Yu Ji; artist duo Birdhead; Bejing-based independent choreographer Gu Jiani; and professor and assistant researcher from Tsinghua University Sun Shimeng are the 2019 China fellows.

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  • Rein Wolfs. Photo: Martijn van Nieuwenhuyzen.

    Rein Wolfs to Lead Amsterdam’s Stedelijk Museum

    The supervisory board of the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam announced today that Rein Wolfs has been named its next director. Wolfs comes to the institution from the Bundeskunsthalle, the Art and Exhibition Hall of the Federal Republic of Germany in Bonn, Germany, which he joined in 2013. He succeeds Beatrix Ruf, who stepped down amid controversy over alleged conflicts of interest in October 2017—a subsequent investigation found that the allegations were unsubstantiated—and will assume his responsibilities in December.

    “We are delighted that Rein will be joining the Stedelijk,” said

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  • Camille Billops with cat and one of her sculptures, 1971. Photo: Emory University.

    Camille Billops (1933–2019)

    Printmaker, sculptor, and documentary filmmaker Camille Billops, whose momentous films Suzanne Suzanne (1982) and Finding Christa (1991) took up some of society’s deepest-running taboos concerning motherhood and black trauma, died on Monday, June 1. She was eighty-five years old.

    Finding Christa grapples with Billops’s decision to place her four-year-old daughter Christa for adoption and the lingering implications revealed by the adult Christa, who reached out to Billops and appears in the film. “Why did you leave me?” she asks. “It’s been so long since I felt complete.” Though the narrative

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  • Omar Kholeif. Photo: Eric T. White.

    Sharjah Art Foundation Appoints Omar Kholeif Director of Collections and Senior Curator

    The Sharjah Art Foundation announced today that Omar Kholeif has been named director of collections and senior curator. He will be charged with overseeing the foundation’s acquisition strategy, developing exhibitions and other programming, and securing international partnerships. He will also work closely with Hoor Al Qasimi, the president and director of the foundation, to help the organization open its new building, the Jurainah Art Space, which will house its collection of over one thousand works of twentieth-century and contemporary art.

    The arts space aims to serve as a gathering place where

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  • Felix Morin, Bananas, Trinidad, ca 1890, from the Montgomery Collection of Caribbean Photographs. Courtesy of the Art Gallery of Ontario.

    Toronto’s Black and Caribbean Communities Help Art Gallery of Ontario Acquire 3,500 Photographs

    The Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) has acquired the Montgomery Collection of Caribbean Photographs, comprising more than 3,500 historical images from thirty-four countries, including Jamaica, Barbados, and Trinidad, with the help of Toronto’s black and Caribbean communities. Twenty-seven donors came together to raise $300,000 for the purchase.

    Among the works, which date from 1840 to 1940, are prints, postcards, daguerreotypes, lantern slides, albums, and stereographs that capture the changing economies, environments, and cities that emerged following the abolition of slavery in the Caribbean.

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  • de Young Museum. Photo: Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco.

    Dede Wilsey, Board President of San Francisco Fine Arts Museums, to Step Down

    Dede Wilsey, the longtime president of the board of the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, which oversees two institutions—the de Young and the Legion of Honor—is handing over the reins to Jason Moment. The forty-one-year-old was elected at a board meeting that was held Tuesday afternoon.

    Charles Desmarais of the San Francisco Chronicle reports that the change in leadership comes as no surprise. It was rumored that Wilsey, a socialite and philanthropist who has gifted millions to the Bay Area arts scene over the years, was going to relinquish control in 2016, but she remained in her

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  • The Rubell Family Collection in Wynwood. Photo: The Rubell Family Collection.

    Miami’s Rubell Museum to Open New 100,000-Square-Foot Home in December

    The Rubell family has revealed that it will move its contemporary art collection of 7,200 works by more than one thousand artists—including Jean-Michel Basquiat, Keith Haring, Rashid Johnson, William Kentridge, Cindy Sherman, and Mickalene Thomas—to a new 100,000-square-foot facility in the Allapattah neighborhood of Miami in December.

    Don and Mera Rubell started collecting fifty-four years ago. Since they acquired their first piece in 1965, they have focused on amassing works by overlooked artists and have shared their passion for art with their son, Jason. Together, they opened the

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  • Hartley Waltman. Courtesy of Phillips.

    Phillips Names Hartley Waltman as General Counsel, Americas

    Phillips has appointed Hartley Waltman as general counsel, Americas. Waltman joins Phillips following a twenty-year career at Christie’s, where he most recently served as senior vice president and senior counsel, as well as the primary legal counsel and business partner for each of the company’s twenty-five specialist departments. In his new role, he will oversee the legal functions of Phillips in North America and will be based in New York. He will take up the position in July.

    “Hartley is an exceptional lawyer with a long history in the auction business,” said Edward Dolman, chief executive

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  • Joe Overstreet, Hoodoo Mandala, 1970, acrylic on canvas with metal grommets and cotton rope, 90 x 89 1/2".

    Joe Overstreet (1933–2019)

    The American painter Joe Overstreet, who often hung his exuberant and deeply personal canvases in provocative ways, has died at the age of eighty-five. His passing was confirmed by Eric Firestone Gallery. Throughout his six-decade career, Overstreet toggled between abstraction and figuration, drawing on his Native American and African American heritage in colored, patterned surfaces often installed via grommets and ropes. Since 1974, Overstreet—for years a fixture of the East Village—had run Kenkeleba House, a nonprofit gallery on East Second Street dedicated to artists of color that

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  • Simone Leigh, Brick House, 2019. Photo: Timothy Schenck for the High Line.

    Final Section of Manhattan’s High Line Opens Today

    The last stretch of Manhattan’s elevated green space, the High Line, has officially opened today, ten years after the park welcomed its first visitor. Called the Spur, the section boasts the largest seating area in the park and will feature rotating commissions of contemporary art.  

    Inaugurating the new public space is Simone Leigh’s Brick House, a sixteen-foot-tall bronze bust of a black woman who stares down vehicular and pedestrian traffic on Tenth Avenue. The work is a celebration of the beauty, strength, and endurance of black women and is the first monumental work in Leigh’s series “Anatomy

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  • Virginia Zabriskie in her gallery in the late 1960s or early ’70s, on Madison Avenue. Photo: Zabriskie Gallery.

    Virginia Zabriskie (1927–2019)

    Dealer Virginia Zabriskie, the founder of modern and contemporary art galleries in Paris and Manhattan that became known for promoting the work of underrecognized artists, died on May 7 at her home in New York, the New York Times reports. She was ninety-one years old.

    Throughout her career, Zabriskie helped advance the field of photography—she gave American photographers, including Alfred Stieglitz, Berenice Abbott, Robert Frank, Diane Arbus, Walker Evans, and Lee Friedlander their first solo shows in Europe—and presented historical exhibitions such as “Surrealism 1936—Objects,

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