Art Movements is a weekly collection of news, developments, and stirrings in the art world.
A monumental bust of Queen Nefertiti was removed from public display in Egypt after citizens complained that it was ugly. The sculpture, which is supposedly modeled after the iconic Nefertiti bust housed at the Egyptian Museum of Berlin, was likened to Frankenstein by online commenters.
Mark Altaweel, a near-east specialist at the University College London Institute of Archaeology, claimed to have identified antiquities looted by ISIS on display in British antique stores.
French culture minister Fleur Pellerin fired Nicolas Bourriaud from his post as director of the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts. Bourriaud rallied against his sudden dismissal on Facebook, writing “the Minister [of Culture] has just fired me ‘for reasons related to a change of direction’ of her politics …. Not a single factual argument in the course of a forty-five-minute discussion.” Following speculation in the French press, Pellerin strenuously denied that Bourriaud’s dismissal was a ploy to appoint Éric de Chassey to the role — a close friend of president François Hollande’s partner, actress Julie Gayet.
Okwui Enwezor, Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev, and other former and future curators of Documenta sent a letter to the Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority asking that the travel ban against artist Walid Raad be lifted.
The White Cube gallery will close its São Paulo location after only three years in operation. The gallery’s decision not to renew its lease is reportedly due to the Brazilian government’s high import tax rate.
Tower Hamlets council was declared the legal owner of Henry Moore’s “Draped Seated Woman” (nicknamed “Old Flo”). The decision follows a protracted legal battle that was sparked by Bromley council’s 2012 claim over the sculpture.
The Crawick Multiverse, a 55-acre site regenerated by the tenth Duke of Buccleuch Richard Scott, opened today. The park will feature works by postmodern land artist Charles Jencks.
The Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History is aiming to collect and freeze around 800 plant samples by September as part of its initiative to preserve biodiversity.
The Art Newspaper‘s Ermanno Rivetti speculated that the Metropolitan Museum of Art will stage a Lucio Fontana retrospective at the Breuer building, the former home of the Whitney Museum of American Art, in 2017.
The Alamo and four Spanish colonial Catholic missions in Texas were designated world heritage sites by UNESCO.
Argentine writer Pablo Katchadjian was charged with intellectual property fraud for remixing Jorge Luis Borges’ short story “The Aleph” (1945) with excerpts of his own writing.
Eli Wilner and Company are accepting applications from museums and institutions for five grants dedicated to the restoration of historic picture frames.
The National Capital Planning Commission approved Frank Gehry’s design for the National Eisenhower Memorial.
Random International’s “Rain Room” will open at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art in November.
Firefighter Maxwell Singer painted two ghost-themed crests on the sidewalk outside of Hook and Ladder 8, the firehouse that was featured in the 1984 film Ghostbusters.
The Boston Museum of Science disproved a “correction” of one of its exhibits by a 15-year-old visitor.
Lucas Cranach the Elder’s “Bocca della Verità (The Mouth of Truth)” sold at Sotheby’s for $14,401,752, an auction record for the artist. Despite setting auction records for four other artists, Bloomberg observed that the result of the Old Masters sale “represented a 42 percent drop from an equivalent auction a year ago.”
The Thompson Family Foundation donated $65 million to the Park Avenue Armory.
The Ashmolean Museum successfully raised the £860,000 (~$1.3 million) required to acquire JMW Turner’s “The Hight Street” (1810). The painting, which had been on long-term loan to the institution, was offered to the museum in lieu of £3.5 million (~$5.4 million) of inheritance tax.
The Farnsworth Art Museum received a $3-million gift from the Wyeth Foundation of American Art.
The Antinori Foundation donated $50,000 toward the Museum of Contemporary Art of Georgia’s Archives Digitization and Dissemination Project.
The Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden acquired one of the Art Workers’ Coalition’s “Q. And babies? A. And babies” (1970) posters. One of the best-known anti-Vietnam war images, the poster features one of Ronald L. Haeberle’s photographs of the My Lai Massacre. The quote derives from a CBS news interview with US soldier Paul Meadlo, who admitted firing his gun indiscriminately at a crowd of men, women, and children. The Museum of Modern Art’s board of trustees infamously reneged on the museum’s promise to print the poster and fund its circulation.
The Hong Kong Museum of Art will close on August 3 in order to commence work on its HK$930-million (~$120 million) renovation.
The Akron Art Museum will begin construction on its new “art garden” later this month.
The China Institute will reopen at a new location in Lower Manhattan in the spring of 2016.
The Peabody Essex Museum moved ahead with its $650-million expansion plan, due to be completed in 2019.
Lori Bettison-Varga was appointed president of the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County.
Pedro Gadanho was appointed the first artistic director of the new Museum of Art, Architecture, and Technology (MAAT) in Lisbon.
The Whitney Museum of American Art promoted five members of its curatorial staff — Dana Miller, Jane Panetta, Claire Henry, Laura Phipps, and Elisabeth Sherman.
Veronica Kessenich was appointed executive director of the Atlanta Contemporary Art Center.
Max Schumann was appointed executive director of Printed Matter.
The Art and Culture Center of Hollywood fired curator Jane Hart.
Gary Carrion-Murayari and Alex Gartenfeld will curate the 2018 New Museum Triennial.
The Kansas Gallery will relocate from Tribeca to 210 Rivington Street on the Lower East Side.
Freight + Volume announced that it will relocate from Chelsea to a new location in the fall [via gallery newsletter].
Farley Aguilar was awarded the second annual Orlando Museum of Art Florida Prize in Contemporary Art.
The Rema Hort Mann Foundation announced the recipients of its ACE (Artist Community Engagement) grants.
Maia Asshaq and Sacramento Knoxx became the first recipients of the $5,000 Gilda Awards.
David Aronson (1923–2015), artist associated with Boston Expressionism.
Beverly Buchanan (1940–2015), artist.
Charles Harbutt (1935–2015), photojournalist.
Ralph Hyde (1939–2015), former curator at the Guildhall Library.
As arts communities around the world experience a time of challenge and change, accessible, independent reporting on these developments is more important than ever.
Please consider supporting our journalism, and help keep our independent reporting free and accessible to all.