Art Movements is a weekly collection of news, developments, and stirrings in the art world.
A fire caused catastrophic damage to the National Museum of Natural History in New Delhi. The majority of the museum’s exhibits, including the 160-million-year-old bones of a dinosaur, are thought to have been destroyed.
Pyotr Pavlensky invited sex workers to testify at his criminal trial. One of the artist’s witnesses, Yelena Posadskikh — who was unimpressed by a video of Pavlensky’s performance — told the court that she works in “sales.” “They are prostitutes whom I paid so that they would come and testify,” Pavlensky told the Meduza news agency, “And it is equivalent to the testimony of other witnesses for the prosecution since they have just as much to do with the case. They have exactly the same motive.”
Anish Kapoor said that the addition of Carsten Höller’s slide to the ArcelorMittal Orbit tower was “foisted” upon him by London’s Mayor Boris Johnson. Kapoor said that he approached Höller after Johnson stipulated that the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park sculpture needed to become more of an attraction. The 583-foot-long slide, which will cost £5 to ride in addition to the tower’s £12 entry fee, will open to the public on June 24.
Lego‘s vice chairman, Kirk Kristiansen, told the Wall Street Journal that the toy maker’s rejection of Ai Weiwei‘s bulk order last year was due to an “internal mistake.” According to Kristiansen, Ai’s request was rejected “very low in the organization by our consumer service department.” In the wake of its row with the artist, Lego abandoned its policy of asking customers who place bulk orders about the specific nature of their project.
The American Institute of Architects cancelled an upcoming conference in Wilmington, North Carolina, in protest against the state’s new law requiring transgender people to use single-sex restrooms based on the gender on their birth certificate.
Wolfgang Tillmans unveiled a series of anti-Brexit posters aimed at young British voters. Voter registration for the UK’s EU referendum is set to close on June 7. “The official ‘Remain’ campaign feels lame and is lacking in passion,” Tillmans wrote on his website. “Please feel free to share these posters, they work as print your own PDFs, or on social media, or in any other way you can think of. I consider them open-source.”
Swiss authorities rejected a request from the Turkish consulate to remove an installation of work by photographer Demir Sonmez that is critical of president Tayyip Erdogan.
Anne Hidalgo, the mayor of Paris, announced plans to convert the Bourse de Commerce in Les Halles into a museum showcasing François Pinault‘s art collection.
Ai Weiwei stated that he intends to make a film on the European migrant crisis. The artist told an audience in Bern that he has amassed over 600 hours of footage so far.
The National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC, acquired Janine Antoni’s “Lick and Lather” (1993). The museum’s other recent acquisitions include two photographs by Sally Mann and eight works by Chicago Imagist artists Roger Brown and Christina Ramberg.
The Gemeentemuseum Den Haag became the first museum in the Netherlands to acquire work by Lee Lozano (1930–99).
Two of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art‘s longtime supporters donated $75 million toward the museum’s $600 million building project. Elaine Wynn, co-chair of the museum’s board, pledged $50 million. A. Jerrold Perenchio added $25 million to his original pledge of 47 paintings.
The Fowler Museum at UCLA received a pledge worth up to $14 million from longstanding supporters Jay and Deborah Last.
The Brooklyn Museum received a four-year, $1 million curatorial grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
An unfinished self-portrait of Lucian Freud was allocated to London’s National Portrait Gallery in lieu of inheritance tax. The work will join an archive of sketchbooks, drawings, and letters that were allocated to the museum last year.
Vlad Alexandrescu resigned as Romania’s culture minister after citing his failure to resolve an ongoing dispute at the Bucharest National Opera.
Iris Müller-Westermann will succeed John Peter Nilsson as director of the Moderna Museet Malmö as of January 2017.
Myrna Ayad was appointed director of Art Dubai.
Martin Eisenberg, the vice president of Bed Bath and Beyond, was appointed chair of the board of governors at Bard College’s Center for Curatorial Studies.
The Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona appointed Tanya Barson as chief curator and Pablo Martínez as head of programming.
The Minneapolis Institute of Art appointed Ghenete Zelleke as curator of decorative arts and sculpture and head of the department of decorative arts, textiles, and sculpture.
Claire Whitner was promoted to assistant director of curatorial affairs and senior curator of collections at the Davis Museum at Wellesley College.
The fourth edition of the Art International fair in Istanbul was postponed.
303 Gallery will open its new space at 555 West 21st Street on May 7 with a show of work by Alicja Kwade.
The MAP Fund published its list of 2016 grant recipients.
The winners of the 2016–17 Rome Prize were announced. E.V. Day, Nicole Miller, Michael Queenland, and Enrico Riley received awards in the visual arts category.
Angela Davis will be honored at the annual Sackler Center First Awards at the Brooklyn Museum on June 2.
Suzanne O’Sullivan was awarded the Wellcome Book Prize for It’s All in Your Head, a book about psychosomatic illness.
Gloria Groom, the chair of the Art Institute of Chicago’s European painting and sculpture department, was awarded the Chevalier Légion d’Honneur.
The Staten Island Museum was awarded the Lucy G. Moses Preservation Award for the restoration of its Snug Harbor campus.
The finalists for the Prix Canson drawing prize include Ruby Onyinyechi Amanze, Bethany Collins, Njideka Akunyili Crosby, David Shrigley, and Lucy Skaer.
Creative Capital’s 2016 Arts Writers Grant Program is now accepting applications. The deadline for submissions is May 18.
The University of Maryland issued a call for papers for “Art History in Digital Dimensions,” a symposium scheduled to be held October 19–21. The deadline for applications is May 30.
Brian Asawa (1966–2016), countertenor.
Rod Daniel (1942–2016), film director. Best known for Teen Wolf (1985) and K-9 (1989).
Jenny Diski (1947–2016), author. Best known for Stranger on a Train: Daydreaming and Smoking Around America with Interruptions (2003).
Scott Goodall (1935–2016), comic book writer.
Sue Jackson (1938–2016), founder of the Cabaret Mechanical Theatre.
Maurice Kenny (1929–2016), poet.
Lonnie Mack (1941–2016), blues-rock singer and guitarist.
Royston Nash (1933–2016), conductor. Former music director of the D’Oyly Carte Opera Company.
Billy Paul (1934–2016), singer. Best known for “Me and Mrs Jones” (1972).
Abdul Aziz Raiba (1922–2016), painter. Member of Bombay Progressive Artists’ Group.
Philip Townsend, aka Mr. Sixties (1940–2016), photographer.
Les Waas (1921–2016), wrote the jingle for the Mister Softee ice cream vans.
Papa Wemba (1949–2016), Congolese rumba singer and musician.
George A. “Frolic” Weymouth (1936–2016), painter, conservationist, and founder of the Brandywine Conservancy and Museum of Art.
Guy Woolfenden (1937–2016), composer and conductor. Head of music with the Royal Shakespeare Company.