Ronnie van Hout, “Quasi” (2016), steel, polystyrene, resin (courtesy Christchurch Art Gallery) (click to enlarge)

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

Ronnie van Hout‘s 16-foot-tall work, “Quasi,” a sculpture of an “artist’s hand made giant,” was installed on the roof of the Christchurch Art Gallery in New Zealand. The work is based on scans of van Hout’s body parts.

Johnny Depp consigned nine works by Jean-Michel Basquiat to Christie’s. The actor is currently engaged in divorce proceedings with actress Amber Heard.

Tate Modern‘s new wing, the Switch House, open to the public today. The new 212-foot-tall pyramidal tower was designed by Herzog & De Meuron, the same firm that developed the museum’s original building 16 years ago. Activist groups WHEREISANAMENDIETA and Sisters Uncut demonstrated outside a preview opening of the Switch House in protest over the inclusion of works by Carl Andre while works by Ana Mendieta were excluded.

David Nahmad admitted ownership of Amedeo Modigliani’s “Seated Man with Cane” (1918) in an interview with the New York Times. The Panama Papers leak revealed Nahmad to be the owner of International Art Center, the Panamanian corporation that purchased the painting at auction in 1996. The Nahmad family previously denied ownership of the painting, which is the subject of a Nazi loot claim.

Egyptian authorities plan to reopen the tombs of Queen Nefertari and King Seti I in the ancient Upper Egyptian city of Luxor. The tombs were closed for several years as a result of an increase in humidity caused by visitors.

Artnews SA, the Polish company that briefly published ARTnews Magazine and Art in America, filed for bankruptcy. Art collector Peter Brant is the majority shareholder of the company.

Paul Gauguin, “Fleurs D’Ete Dans Un Goblet” (c. 1885) (courtesy Litchfield County Auctions) (click to enlarge)

The Wildenstein Institute authenticated Paul Gauguin‘s “Fleurs D’Ete Dans Une Goblet” (ca 1885), a long lost still life painting that was included in the artist’s catalogue raisonné. The work will be sold by Litchfield County Auctions on June 29.

Brian Sewell‘s art collection will be sold at Christie’s on September 27. The controversial critic, who passed away last year, began his career as an Old Master drawings specialist at the auction house. Sewell left Christie’s after an unsuccessful bid for a directorship. The critic claimed that his appointment was opposed by board member Patrick Lindsay, who allegedly stated “we’ve got one homosexual on the board, we don’t need two.”

The Museum of Modern Art fired assistant film curator Sally Berger over her decision to pull Vitaly Mansky’s documentary about North Korea from the museum’s 2016 Doc Fortnight festival. According to the New York Times, email exchanges show that Berger pulled Mansky’s film, Under the Sun, after expressing concerns that the museum might be subjected to the same sort of digital attack that afflicted Sony Pictures prior to the release of The Interview (2014).

The Romanian government launched a telethon to raise funds for the purchase of Constantin Brâncuşi‘s “Wisdom of the Earth” (ca 1907–08). The government is looking to raise €11 million (~$12.4 million) in order to purchase the work from its private owner.

Leon Black assumed ownership of Pablo Picasso’s 1931 sculpture “Bust of a Woman” following last month’s legal settlement between Larry Gagosian and the Qatari royal family.

All 14 issues of Avant Garde magazine (1968–71) were made available online.

Transport for London unveiled Johnston 100, an update of its iconic Johnston typeface. The new version, which has has been created to mark the centennial of the type’s use across London’s bus, rail, and underground systems, includes the hastag and @ symbols.


Hayv Kahraman, “House in Kathemiya” (2013), oil on wood, 105 x 124 in (courtesy Jack Shainman Gallery) (click to enlarge)

The Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego acquired works by Ellsworth Kelly, Hayv Kahraman, Kim Jones, and Gillian Wearing.

Charlotte Feng Ford donated $2.5 million to the Smith College Museum of Art.

Three paintings by LS Lowry were sold at Sotheby’s for just under £700,000 (~$995,000). The works were owned by English singer and television presenter Cilla Black.

The Cherokee Nation donated $500,000 to the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian.

The University of West Florida will assume ownership of the Pensacola Museum of Art on July 1.

Two trustees of the Menil Collection, Janie C. Lee and Louisa Stude Sarofim, donated 110 drawings to the museum. The gift includes works by Helen Frankenthaler, Arshile Gorky, Philip Guston, and Robert Rauschenberg.

Robert Rauschenberg, “Untitled (Mona Lisa)” (ca 1952), engravings, printed paper, fabric, pencil, foil, and glue on paper, 9 1/2 x 7 1/2 inches (© Robert Rauschenberg Foundation)


Barbara M. Vogelstein succeeded Elizabeth A. Sackler as chair of the Brooklyn Museum’s board of trustees.

Malcolm C. Nolen was appointed chair of the Noguchi Museum’s board of trustees.

Olivier Meslay was appointed director of the Clark Art Institute.

Birgit Jooss was appointed director of the Documenta archive.

Gregory Ruffer was appointed president and CEO of the Boston Center for the Arts.

Mickalene Thomas was appointed to the Children’s Museum of the Arts’ board of directors [press release via email].

Carol Bintz will retire as chief operating officer of the Toledo Museum of Art on July 1. The museum also announced promotions for Amy Gilman, Adam Levine, and Lynn Miller.

Clément Chéroux was appointed senior curator of photography at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA).

Diana Y. Chou was appointed associate curator of East Asian art at the San Diego Museum of Art.

Danielle Linzer was appointed curator of education and interpretation at the Andy Warhol Museum.

Alex Rotter, the former co-chair of contemporary art at Sotheby’s, joined Christie’s as chairman of postwar and contemporary art for Christie’s Americas.

Sotheby’s announced three new hires: Peter Kloman, Harrison Tenzer, and Edouard Benveniste.

Angela Vettese was appointed artistic director of Arte Fiera.

Galerie Perrotin will vacate its Madison Avenue space for a new 25,000-square-foot location on the Lower East Side next year.

Adjaye Associates was selected to design the new Latvia Museum of Contemporary Art in Riga.

Almine Rech Gallery will open a new 3,000-square-foot space on the Upper East Side in October.

Skarstedt Gallery plans to open a second London space in the fall.


Kerry James Marshall, “Untitled (policeman)” (2015), acrylic on PVC panel, 60 x 60 in, collection of The Museum of Modern Art, New York (© Kerry James Marshall, courtesy the artist and Jack Shainman Gallery, New York) (click to enlarge)

Kerry James Marshall was awarded the University of Chicago’s 2016 Jesse L. Rosenberger Medal for outstanding achievement in the creative and performing arts.

The Swiss Federal Office of Culture announced the winners of the 2016 Swiss Art Awards.

Sara Cwynar and Mary Reid Kelley were awarded the Baloise Art Prize.


The International Association of Art Critics (AICA) launched this year’s AICA Incentive Award for Young Critics. The winner will receive a round trip to Havana to attend the forthcoming AICA Congress. The deadline for submissions is July 29.


(via Etsy) (click to enlarge)

Bill Berkson (1939–2016), poet.

Rhoda Blumberg (1917–2016), children’s book author.

Phyllis Curtin (1921–2016), soprano.

Sam Gardiner (1936–2016), poet.

Gillett Griffin (1928–2016), scholar, curator, and collector of ancient American art.

Viktor Korchnoi (1931–2016), renowned chess player. Defected from the Soviet Union in 1976.

Anatol Kovarsky (1919–2016), artist and illustrator for the New Yorker.

Michael Manser (1929–2016), architect. President of the Royal Institution of British Architects between 1983–85.

Henry McCullough (1943–2016), guitarist for Wings.

Swasti Mitter (1939–2016), economist. Best known for Common Fate, Common Bond: Women in the Global Economy (1986).

Chips Moman (1937–2016), guitarist, songwriter, and producer.

Gregory Rabassa (1922–2016), translator. Provided the first English translation of One Hundred Years of Solitude (1967)

Alberto Remedios (1935–2016), tenor.

Peter Stevens (1932–2016), theater administrator.

Aileen Ward (1919–2016), scholar. Won a National Book Award for John Keats: The Making of a Poet (1963).

Morton White (1917–2016), philosopher. Proponent of “holistic pragmatism.”

Tiernan Morgan is the former producer of Hyperallergic. His articles have examined New York’s 1980s art scene and artist resale royalties. He also collaborates with artist and regular Hyperallergic contributor...