• London’s National Gallery.

    British Museums and Galleries to Close in Accordance with Second Lockdown

    UK prime minister Boris Johnson on Saturday announced that British museums and galleries must close from November 5 through at least December 2 as part of a new lockdown in England amid a surge in Covid-19 cases in the country. The lockdown plan is to be voted on in the House of Commons November 4 but will almost certainly be approved.

    The news came as a blow, as both galleries and institutions have been struggling to regain their financial footing in the wake of the March-through-May closure brought on by the initial arrival of the coronavirus on British shores. Though the government delivered

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  • Agnes Gund, New York City, 2014. Photo: Annie Leibovitz. Courtesy of the Dwight D. Opperman Foundation.

    Agnes Gund Leaves Post as MoMA PS1 Board Chair to Head Diversity Effort

    Renowned philanthropist Agnes Gund, who has led the board of New York’s MoMA PS1 for the past decade, is vacating her position in order to chair the institution’s diversity, equity, and inclusion committee, Artnews reports.

    Gund, president emerita of the Museum of Modern Art, New York, on whose board she also serves, is a longtime champion of racial justice and the founder of the Art for Justice Fund, which she sold a $165 million Roy Lichtenstein painting to form in 2017. The organization issues grants to artists and advocates with the intent of reducing the US prison population and spurring

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  • Sindika Dokolo. Photo: Sindika Dokolo Foundation.

    Sindika Dokolo (1972–2020)

    Sindika Dokolo, the Congolese businessman and megacollector who tirelessly promoted African art through his foundation and acquisitions, and who later crusaded for the restitution of looted objects to African nations and courted international scandal over his suspicious business dealings, has died at age forty-eight after suffering an embolism while scuba diving in Dubai. He is survived by his wife, Angolan billionaire businesswoman Isabel dos Santos.

    Wellborn in Kinshasa in 1972 and raised in Belgium, Dokolo attended the Lycée Saint-Louis-de-Gonzague in Paris before studying economics and commerce

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  • Paul C. Ha, Agustín Arteaga, Jeffrey Gibson, and Franklin Sirmans.

    Warhol Foundation Announces New Board Chair, Members

    Paul C. Ha has been named board chair of the Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, and Agustin Arteaga, Jeffrey Gibson, and Franklin Sirmans have been elected to the board, the New York–based grant-making organization announced today. The foundation’s board comprises a diverse group of seventeen members working in the field of art, including curators, artists, and scholars from around the country.

    Ha, a board member since 2017 and the director of the MIT List Visual Arts center, succeeds Julián Zugazagoitia in the post. Before coming to MIT List, Ha, who has worked in the visual arts field for

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  • The Shed in New York.

    Frieze New York 2021 Shrinks to Fit Nonprofit Shed

    With next year’s iteration of Frieze New York pared from 190 exhibiting galleries to roughly 60, the fair will move to the Shed, in the city’s tony Hudson Yards development, from its more expansive digs on Randall’s Island, where it has been held since its founding in 2012.

    The ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, which was responsible for the cancellation of this year’s fair, continues to have an effect on Frieze New York: the reduction by two-thirds of the number of participants is owing to the need for social distancing.

    “This is a time for creativity, flexibility, and collaboration,” said Victoria

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  • The Baltimore Museum of Art.

    Baltimore Museum of Art Pauses Contentious Deaccession Hours Before Auction

    After weeks of raging debate surrounding the Baltimore Museum of Art’s decision to auction three major works by Brice Marden, Clyfford Still, and Andy Warhol reached a fever pitch days ago when two ex-board chairs withdrew a planned $50 million donation and two artists—Amy Sherald and Adam Pendleton—stepped down from the board in protest of the sale, the museum said today that it was calling off the deaccession. The surprising move was publicized this afternoon just two hours before the auction was to take place at Sotheby’s in New York. The sale’s estimated $65 million would go toward staff

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  • Philip Guston, Scared Stiff, 1970, oil on canvas, 57 x 81".

    Tate Suspends Curator for Publicly Criticizing Postponement of Guston Show; Postponement Moves from 2024 to 2022

    Tate Modern has reportedly suspended senior curator Mark Godfrey after he posted to his personal Instagram account a lengthy criticism of the controversial decision to postpone until 2024 a major Philip Guston retrospective, “Philip Guston Now,” that was a long-planned collaboration among four institutions meant to open this year.

    The postponement of the show—today announced to be only until 2022—of the American-Canadian neo-expressionist artist, which was to have been a joint effort among the National Gallery of Art (NGA), Washington, DC; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Museum of Fine Arts, Houston;

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  • Antwerp Expo.

    Covid-19 Sparks Second Museum Shutdown in Brussels—and a New Art Fair in Antwerp

    With coronavirus cases spiking across Europe, museums in Brussels are shutting down for the second time since March, while Art Brussels has announced plans for a December art fair in the Belgian city of Antwerp, less than thirty miles away, Artnews reports.

    At the behest of the Belgian government, the Brussels institutions will remain closed until November 19; Art Antwerp, as the new fair is named, is slated to open at the Antwerp Expo on December 10 and run through December 13. The organizers in a statement acknowledged that the pandemic played a part in the decision to launch the fair this

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  • The Zoom headquarters in San Jose, California. Photo: Wikipedia.

    NYU Professors Accuse Zoom of Censoring Political Speech

    Video conferencing provider Zoom shut down a New York University webinar about censorship by tech platforms, including Zoom, that was being held via the service, according to a statement released late last week by the NYU chapter of the American Association of University Professors (AAUP).

    The October 23 online seminar, which was subsequently held privately and recorded, was specifically about Zoom’s censorship of a San Francisco State University Zoom event featuring Palestinian rights advocate Leila Khaled. NYU’s webinar was sponsored by the university’s Department of Middle Eastern and Islamic

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  • Protesters at the EndSARS protest in Lagos, Nigeria.

    Art X Lagos Postponed in Solidarity with Those Protesting Police Brutality in Nigeria

    Leading West African art fair Art X Lagos, scheduled to run from November 5 through November 16, has been indefinitely postponed in solidarity with those fighting police brutality in Nigeria, Artnet News reports.

    “We are vehemently against police brutality and fully support those who are against a system that denies essential civil liberties, freedom, and opportunity to its people,” said fair founder Tokini Peterside in a statement. Continuing peaceful protests, under the rubric #EndSARS, broke out against Nigeria’s Special Anti-Robbery Squad on October 8 in response to the unit’s abuse of power,

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  • Frederick Weston. Photo: Clifford Prince King.

    Frederick Weston (1946–2020)

    Artist, fashion designer, and poet Frederick Weston, who explored the queer body, mass media, and accumulation in elaborately intimate collages and designs, has died of cancer at seventy-three years old. A longtime member of Visual AIDS and a self-professed attendee of “Clutters Anonymous,” Weston lived and worked in New York with an impressive collection of both paper and fabric ephemera for fifty years.

    Born in Memphis in 1946, Weston, whose family moved north during the Great Migration, was raised in Detroit by his young mother, Freda, and his grandparents. He first learned how to sew by

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  • The Baltimore Museum of Art.

    Baltimore Museum of Art Loses $50 Million Planned Gift Over Deaccession

    The furor over the Baltimore Museum of Art’s (BMA) deaccessioning of three major works—by Brice Marden, Clyfford Still, and Andy Warhol—continues, with two former board chairs announcing the withdrawal of planned gifts totaling $50 million, and two artists resigning from the institution’s board of trustees.

    Stiles Colwill and Charles Newhall III said that they would cancel their pledged gifts, of $20 million and $30 million, respectively, in protest of the sales, with Newhall additionally resigning as honorary trustee. Colwill, whose planned gift comprised the entire value of his estate, told

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