• Metropolitan Museum to Keep Picasso Painting Sold by Collector Fleeing Nazis

    Pablo Picasso’s The Actor, 1904–05, will remain at the Metropolitan Museum of Art after a New York court dismissed a lawsuit filed by Laurel Zuckerman, the heir of a Jewish collector who sold the painting while escaping Nazi persecution in 1938. The work is from Picasso’s Rose Period, when the artist focused on painting actors and circus performers. According to the New York dealer David Norman, the value of the piece could easily surpass Picasso’s auction record of $180 million.

    Zuckerman is the great-grandniece of Paul Freidrich Leffmann, who sold the artwork at below-market price after fleeing

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  • Inés Katzenstein Named Inaugural Director of MoMA’s Research Institute for Latin American Art

    The Museum of Modern Art in New York announced today that Inés Katzenstein has been appointed the inaugural director of its new Patricia Phelps de Cisneros Research Institute for the Study of Art from Latin America. She will also serve as the museum’s curator of Latin American art. Katzenstein previously worked in the institution’s publications department earlier in her career. She returns to MoMA from Buenos Aires where she founded the art department at the Universidad Torcuato Di Tella.

    “We are delighted to welcome Inés Katzenstein back to MoMA in her dual role as director of the Cisneros

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  • Spring/Break Art Show Announces Seventh Edition Venue and Curators

    Spring/Break Art Show has announced that its seventh edition will take place from March 6 to March 12 at 4 Times Square in Manhattan, and will include more than one hundred curators from Tokyo, Mexico City, Santo Domingo, Johannesburg, Toronto, and Lagos, as well as New York City and Los Angeles. Participants will address the fair’s “Stranger Comes to Town” theme, which is based on the proverb “There are only two stories: a hero goes on a journey; a stranger comes to town.” Organized by The They Co., which was founded by Andrew Gori and Ambre Kelly in 2009, Spring/Break Art Show offers free

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  • Amy Sherald Receives 2018 David C. Driskell Prize

    Amy Sherald, the Baltimore-based artist who is known for her colorful portraits of African Americans and for exploring the ways people create and perform their identities in response to social, political, and cultural expectations, has been named the winner of the 2018 David C. Driskell Prize, which honors artists for their contributions to African American art.

    “Sherald is a remarkable talent who in recent years has gained the recognition she so thoroughly deserves as a unique force in contemporary art,” High Museum of Art director Rand Suffolk said in a statement. “We are honored to select her

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  • David Binder Joins Brooklyn Academy of Music as Artistic Director

    The Brooklyn Academy of Music in New York announced that the Tony Award–winning producer David Binder will be the organization’s new artistic director. He will officially succeed longtime BAM executive producer Joseph V. Melillo in 2019, but will begin working at the academy on a part-time basis starting immediately.

    Binder has a range of experience with on- and off-Broadway productions as well as both local and international festivals. In 1997, he mounted the original production of Hedwig and the Angry Inch and its revival, which won four Tony Awards. He also produced the stage adaptation of

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  • NEA Awards $25 Million to Arts Projects Nationwide

    The National Endowment for the Arts announced today the recipients of its first major round of grants for 2018. The agency will award 936 grants, totaling more than $25 million, to organizations in all fifty states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. These grants are for specific projects that range from performances and exhibitions to arts education programs and artist residencies.

    “It is energizing to see the impact that the arts are making throughout the United States,” said NEA chair Jane Chu. “These NEA-supported projects are good examples of how the arts build stronger and more

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  • Elizabeth Alexander Named Andrew W. Mellon Foundation President

    The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation announced today that writer, poet, and scholar Elizabeth Alexander has been elected its next president. Alexander will succeed Earl Lewis, who has led the foundation since 2013, and will take up the post in March.

    “Through her work as a professor and mentor, Elizabeth knows the academic system well, and as an architect of interdisciplinary programs, she has deep experience in cultivating partnerships that extend and amplify creative vision,” said Danielle Allen, chair of the Mellon Foundation's board. “A poet who brings an artist’s forward-looking energy to

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  • New Picasso Museum Will House Largest Collection of the Artist’s Works

    Pablo Picasso’s stepdaughter, Catherine Hutin-Blay, is planning to open a new museum dedicated to the artist and his second wife, her mother Jacqueline Roque, in the French southern town of Aix-en-Provence, where the couple is buried. Gareth Harris of the Art Newspaper writes that a former convent will be transformed into the new cultural institution, which will house the one thousand paintings that Hutin-Blay inherited from her mother.

    Town councilmen voted in favor of selling the Couvent des Prêcheurs and its adjoining church and ambulatory to Hutin-Blay’s company, Madame Z, for $14 million on

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  • New York’s The Shed Plans Twelve-Day Event Series for May

    The Shed, a new performing arts center, which is currently being built on Manhattan’s West Side, has announced that it will host twelve days of free multidisciplinary programing at an offsite location this May.

    Dubbed “Prelude,” the event will include new work by William Forsythe; a collaboration between architect Kunlé Adeyemi of NLÉ Works and artist Tino Sehgal; an experimental school led by artist Asad Raza; and concerts by ABRA, Arca, and Azealia Banks. It will also present dance “battles” as an example of work from FlexNYC, a free city-wide dance activism program led by Reggie “Regg Roc”

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  • Letitia Gallery Opens in Beirut

    Letitia Gallery, a new contemporary arts space founded by dealers Mohamad Al Hamoud and Annie Vartivarian, has opened in the Hamra neighborhood of Beirut. Focused on encouraging global engagement with contemporary art in Lebanon, the gallery plans to work with international curators to create a project-focused exhibition program that will stage four to five shows annually.

    “With the opening of this new space we aim to widen Beirut’s already burgeoning art scene to include critically acclaimed international artists such as [Eileen] Cooper and later Ahmed Badry, Alejandro Ospina, and Nathaniel

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  • Artist Sues Five New York Museums for Manipulating the Contemporary Art Market

    American artist Robert Cenedella—the subject of the 2016 documentary Art Bastard, who is known for his satirical sociopolitical works—has filed a federal class-action lawsuit against five major arts institutions over their alleged manipulation of the contemporary art market.

    In an eighteen-page filing, Cenedella, a professor at the Art Students League of New York, is accusing the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Whitney Museum, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, the New Museum, and the Museum of Modern Art of “unlawful conspiracy.” Claiming that the institutions are part of a “corporate

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  • Study Finds Artists Could be Better Served Investing in Their Own Work

    A collaborative paper titled “Democratizing Art Markets: Fractional Ownership and the Securitization of Art,” written by Amy Whitaker, an assistant professor in visual arts management at New York University, and Roman Kräussl, a professor of finance at the University of Luxembourg, suggests that artists could be even better off financially than a buyer in the stock market if they keep an investment stake in their own work, reports Sarah P. Hanson of the Art Newspaper.

    In their study, Whitaker and Kräussl used sales information from the Leo Castelli Gallery, creating an imaginary portfolio to

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