• Margaret and Christine Wertheim and the Institute for Figuring, Coral Forest at Lehigh University Arts Galleries, Pennsylvania. Their new commission, The Helsinki Satellite Reef, will be presented at Helsinki Biennial 2020. Photo: Stephanie Veto. Courtesy of LUAG.

    Helsinki Biennial Releases Artist List for Its Inaugural Edition

    The 2020 Helsinki Biennial, taking place this summer, has announced that forty artists and artist groups, hailing from Finland, Australia, Cambodia, Germany, India, Japan, Kenya, Latvia, Poland, South Korea, Thailand, Turkey, the UK, and the US, will participate in its inaugural edition.

    Titled “The Same Sea” and curated by Pirkko Siitari and Taru Tappola, the head curators of the Helsinki Art Museum (HAM), the biennial will be staged on Vallisaari, an island in the Baltic Sea. More than 75 percent of the artworks featured will be new commissions and site-specific works that will be in dialogue

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  • Emma Talbot in her studio in When Screens Break, 2020. Photo: Thierry Bal.

    Eighth Max Mara Art Prize for Women Goes to Emma Talbot

    Emma Talbot has won the eighth Max Mara Art Prize for Women, a biennial award that supports UK-based female artists who have not previously had a major solo exhibition. Administered by Max Mara, Whitechapel Gallery, and the Collezione Maramotti, the prize comes with a six-month residency in Italy that will culminate with Talbot staging an exhibition at the Whitechapel Gallery in London and the Collezione Maramotti in the Reggio Emilia region of Italy.

    “Emma Talbot makes radiant drawings and polychromatic sculptures on an epic scale; and combines word and image to express the lyricism and the pain

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  • European Union, Brussels, Belgium.

    Culture Workers Protest UK’s Withdrawal from Creative Europe Program

    An open letter addressed to the newly appointed UK culture secretary, Oliver Dowden, and signed by more than 680 culture workers is protesting the government’s decision to leave the European Union–backed Creative Europe program, which has invested more than $175 billion into creative industries across the EU in the last six years, reports the Art Newspaper. Liverpool Biennial director Fatoş Üstek, playwright Kwame Kwei-Armah, and Whitworth and Manchester Art Gallery director Alistair Hudson are among the signatories.

    The letter, which was spearheaded by the London-based arts production agency

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  • Southbank Center, London.

    British Film Institute and Southbank Centre Will No Longer Be Sponsored by Shell

    Leading UK arts organizations the Southbank Centre—a complex encompassing the Hayward Gallery, the National Poetry Library, and the Royal Festival Hall, among other venues—and the British Film Institute (BFI) will no longer receive funding from the fossil-fuel giant Shell. They are the latest cultural institutions to end relationships with major oil companies in recent months—citing the climate emergency, the Royal Shakespeare Company and the National Galleries of Scotland severed ties with British Petroleum last year.

    Shell confirmed that it is not renewing its sponsorship deals with the

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  • Alfredo Jaar. Photo: The Hasselblad Foundation.

    Alfredo Jaar Wins 2020 Hasselblad Prize for Photography

    Chilean artist Alfredo Jaar has been awarded this year’s Hasselblad Prize for Photography, which is considered one of the field’s most prestigious awards. Endowed with one million Swedish krona (approximately $106,000), the Hasselblad Prize—which is named after Victor Hasselblad, the inventor of the Hasselblad camera—will be awarded in Gothenburg, Sweden, on October 19. An exhibition of the artist’s work will open at the Hasselblad Center the following day.

    “Through quiet and meditative works, Jaar confronts issues of great magnitude, bearing witness to humanitarian disasters and attesting to

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  • The Humboldt Forum, Berlin. Photo: Humboldt Forum.

    Humboldt Forum and Goethe-Institut to Collaborate on Future Programming

    The Goethe-Institut, the nonprofit cultural organization headquartered in Munich that promotes the study of the German language abroad, and the Humboldt Forum, the high-profile museum that is slated to open in Berlin’s former royal palace later this year, have signed a memorandum of understanding that outlines the framework of a cooperation agreement for future exhibitions, scholarly research, and other joint projects.

    According to a release, the memorandum states that the “technical expertise of both institutions is to be made even more usable worldwide,” regular work meetings will be scheduled,

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  • Franck Riester. Photo: UMP Photos/Flickr.

    France’s Culture Minister Contracts Coronavirus

    French Culture Minister Franck Riester has become the latest politician to be infected with the coronavirus, France24 reports. The forty-six-year-old minister tested positive for covid-19 Monday night after spending several days at the lower house of France’s National Assembly, where five others—four parliamentarians and a cafeteria worker—have contracted the virus. Sources who are close to Riester said that he is “feeling well” and is continuing to work from home. The high-profile case has brought attention to the high risk of becoming ill that lawmakers face since they are frequently required

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  • Chikako Yamashiro, I like Okinawa Sweet, 2004. Photo: Chikako Yamashiro. Courtesy of  Yumiko Chiba Associates.

    Hikaru Fujii and Chikako Yamashiro Receive the Tokyo Contemporary Art Award

    Japanese artists Hikaru Fujii and Chikako Yamashiro have won the second Tokyo Contemporary Art Award, which was launched by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government in collaboration with the Tokyo Arts and Space in 2018 to support Japanese midcareer artists. Fujii and Yamashiro will each receive a prize of nearly $30,000 that will be distributed over the course of two years. An exhibition of the laureates’ work will also be staged at the Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo in 2022.

    The artists were selected by an international committee that included Yukie Kamiya, director of the Japan Society Gallery in

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  • LaGuardia Terminal B Rendering. Courtesy of LaGuardia Gateway Partners.

    Laura Owens and Sarah Sze Among Artists to Create Work for LaGuardia Airport

    The Public Art Fund has announced a new collaboration with LaGuardia Gateway Partners—the private entity operating and redeveloping Terminal B at New York’s LaGuardia Airport. The fund will commission contemporary artists Jeppe Hein, Sabine Hornig, Laura Owens, and Sarah Sze to create four large-scale works that will be unveiled later this year.

    “New Yorkers will soon have a major terminal at LaGuardia Airport that reflects the energy, vitality, and innovation of New York City,” said Nicholas Baume, director and chief curator of the Public Art Fund. “Great art and artists are fundamental to New

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  • Steven Nelson, 2020. Photo: Board of trustees, National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC.

    Washington, DC’s National Gallery of Art Appoints New Dean of Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts

    The National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC, has named Steven Nelson the next dean of the Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts (CASVA). Nelson currently serves as the Andrew W. Mellon Professor at CASVA and as a professor of African and African American art history and the director of the African Studies Center at the University of California, Los Angeles. Nelson will become the center’s third dean since its founding in 1979 and will succeed Elizabeth Cropper, who will retire in May. 

    “Steven’s teaching legacy and international scholarly reputation in the field of art history, combined

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  • Installation view of “Alan Turner: Paintings, 1979–2009” (2018–19) at Parker Gallery, Los Angeles.

    Alan Turner (1943–2020)

    New York artist Alan Turner, known for his psychological portraits of humanoid figures that often appear fractured and distorted, with body parts such as eyes, ears, or chins scattered across backgrounds of stretched skin, died in Manhattan on February 8. He was seventy-six years old. According to the New York Times, the cause of death was progressive supranuclear palsy, a degenerative brain disorder.

    “The first works of his I saw, in the mid-’80s, caused a discomfort which quickly evolved into mesmerized respect as I watched him unravel his odd path,” wrote Carroll Dunham in BOMB magazine in

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  • *Trevor Paglen.

    Hong Kong Galleries Launch Digital Viewing Platform, Trevor Paglen Joins Pace, and More

    Arts institutions in Hong Kong, including galleries, museums, auction houses, and media outlets, have teamed up to create a new online platform that provides an alternative space to stage exhibitions. Hosted by the Asia Society Hong Kong Center, the project is a bid to create new opportunities and prevent the further destabilization of the art world by the coronavirus, which has led to the cancelation and suspension of art fairs, museum openings, and other cultural events.

    “Launching in March 2020, ART Power HK is an organically grown, collaborative campaign from the Hong Kong art community with

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