Art Movements

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Art Movements is a weekly collection of news, developments, and stirrings in the art world.

An anonymous artist adorned 100 statues on the streets of Rio de Janeiro with red blindfolds to protest the “shameful state” of Brazil. According to the BBC, the artist — who operates under the name “Oraculo Project” — stated that the work is not connected to ongoing demonstrations calling for the resignation of President Dilma Rousseff.

The pan-European heritage organization Europa Nostra declared the Venice Lagoon the most endangered heritage site in Europe. The organization called upon the World Heritage Committee to add the city to Unesco’s World Heritage in Danger list.

The National Academy plans to sell its two Beaux-Arts buildings on Fifth Avenue in order to revive its finances and establish an endowment. In 2008, the institution was criticized by the Association of Art Museum Directors for selling paintings by Frederic Edwin Church and Sanford Robinson to shore up its finances.

Henrike Grohs, the director of the Goethe-Institut’s outpost in the Ivory Coast, was killed in Sunday’s terrorist attack on the Étoile du Sud Hotel in Grand Bassam. Eighteen people were killed in the shootings, which were orchestrated by members of Al Qaeda’s North African affiliate.

Qatari poet Muhammad ibn al-Dheeb al-Ajami was given a royal pardon and freed from prison. Al-Ajami was sentenced to 15 years in prison in 2011 for reciting a poem in support of the Arab Spring.

Sir Antony Gormley, “Angel of the North” (1998) (photo by tim t./Flickr) (click to enlarge)

Antony Gormley complained to the Vote Leave campaign after the group projected a pro-Brexit slogan on his “Angel of the North” (1988) statue near Gateshead in Tyne.

A Manhattan judge dismissed Paul Nungesser’s lawsuit for emotional distress and Title IX discrimination against Columbia University. Artist Emma Sulkowicz embarked on her performance piece “Mattress Performance (Carry That Weight)” (2014–15) after alleging that she was raped by Nungesser — a fellow Columbia student. Nungesser’s lawsuit against Columbia — which cleared him of wrongdoing in its own investigation — alleged that the institution “became a silent bystander and then turned into an active supporter of a fellow student’s harassment campaign by institutionalizing it and heralding it.”

An appeals court ruled that Christie’s Fine Art Storage Services must refund some $700,000 worth of art damaged during Hurricane Sandy to the insurers of the Chowaiki & Co Gallery, XL Speciality Insurance Company.

Wythenshawe Hall was severely damaged by a fire. The Tudor hall, which has Grade II listed status, was built in 1540. The building served as a museum until it was closed in 2010.

The Italian government reached a “historic” agreement with the Torlonia family to open up one of the world’s most significant collections of classical Greek and Roman sculpture.

An Israeli hiker discovered a Roman coin bearing the image of Emperor Augustus. The only other known coin of its type, which dates from 107 CE, is in the British Museum’s collection.


Jane Dickson, “FRED” (1983) (courtesy the artist) (click to enlarge)

The Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery acquired “FRED,” Jane Dickson’s 1983 portrait of Fab Five Freddy (Fred Brathwaite).

The Cleveland Museum of Art received a bequest of over 200 works of Japanese art from the collection of George Gund III. San Francisco’s Asian Art Museum received over 140 works from the late philanthropist’s collection — a portion of which will go on display in July.

The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts acquired over 40 works by US artists, including David Johnson, Harriet Hosmer, Emil Lukas, Anne Minich, and Theodore Harris.

The National Gallery of Australia acquired Tom Roberts’s (1856–1931) easel.

London’s Garden Museum acquired an album of photographs taken by garden designer Gertrude Jekyll in 1885 and 1886.

The National Gallery of Art received a $30-million “challenge grant” from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. The museum must raise $45 million from private sources following the Foundation’s initial gift of $15 million in order to receive the full grant amount.

The Guggenheim Museum‘s conservation department received a $3 million endowment grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

The Nevada Museum of Art received a $1.5 million endowment from its trustee, John Deane.

The Shaker Museum | Mount Lebanon received a gift of Shaker pieces collected by Ellsworth Kelly and his husband Jack Shear.

The Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center at Vassar College acquired Gustave Moreau’s “Hercules and the Stymphalian Birds” (ca. 1872).

Gustave Moreau, “Hercules and the Stymphalian Birds” (ca.1872), oil on panel, 7 X 11 1/2 in, gifts of Elizabeth S. Colie, Mrs. Ruth Britten, and Mrs. Harold Deutsch by exchange (courtesy Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center)


Rashid Rana was appointed artistic director of the 2017 Lahore Biennale — Pakistan’s first-ever biennale.

Emma Lavigne was appointed curator of the 14th Biennale de Lyon.

Francesca Lavazza, a board member of the Lavazza Group, was elected to the Guggenheim Museum’s board of trustees.

The Museum of Modern Art promoted Sarah Suzuki to curator in the department of drawings and prints.

DJ Hellerman was appointed curator of arts and programs at the Everson Museum of Art.

Tony Ageh was appointed chief digital officer at the New York Public Library.

Jeffrey Deitch will reopen his former Deitch Projects space at 18 Wooster Street — currently occupied by the Swiss Institute — in August.

Joseph Nahmad will open a new gallery space in London on June 9.

Artists William Cordova and Wangechi Mutu are part of a seven-member “Artistic Director’s Council” advising Prospect 4’s curator, Trevor Schoonmaker.

New York bookseller and gallery Karma relocated to a temporary storefront at 38 Orchard Street.

Arts East New York will relocate to a larger space on Livonia Avenue in April.


Amy Sherald, “Miss Everything (Unsuppressed Deliverance)” (2013), oil on canvas (© Amy Sherald, courtesy Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery)

Amy Sherald won first prize in the 2016 Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition for her painting of Baltimore baker Krystal Mack.

Gideon Mendel was awarded the Pollock-Krasner Foundation’s inaugural Prize for Creativity.


[email protected] announced the COLLIDE International Award, a residency program for artists at both CERN (the European Organization for Nuclear Research, Geneva) and FACT (Foundation for Art and Creative Technology, Liverpool). The deadline for applications is May 23.

Faena Art launched an open call for the 2016–17 Faena Prize for the Arts. Proposals should “engage with the concept of time and duration while also interacting with the monumental architecture of the Faena Art Center in a significant way.” Online applications must be submitted by August 10.


Cover of Anita Brookner’s Booker Prize-winning novel ‘Hotel du Lac’

Sylvia Anderson (1927–2016), producer. Co-creator of Thunderbirds (1965–66).

Asa Briggs (1921–2016), historian.

Anita Brookner (1928–2016), art historian and novelist. Won the 1984 Booker Prize for her fourth novel, Hotel du Lac.

Sir Peter Maxwell Davies (1934–2016), composer. Master of the Queen’s Music.

Keith Emerson (1944–2016), musician. Keyboardist for Emerson, Lake & Palmer.

Hilary Putnam (1926–2016), philosopher.

Naná Vasconcelos (1944–2016), percussionist.

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