Art Movements is a weekly collection of news, developments, and stirrings in the art world.
Oliver Williams, Margarete Green, and Iris Filmer sued the National Gallery in London over Henri Matisse’s 1908 portrait of their grandmother, Margarete ‘Greta’ Moll. Moll’s heirs claim that their grandmother, fearing that the portrait would be confiscated by the Nazis, entrusted it to a family friend. The lawsuit follows the museum’s rejection of the family’s ownership claim last November.
In an interview with the London Evening Standard, Justine Simons, London’s deputy mayor for culture, revealed that City Hall is considering establishing “creative enterprise zones” in neighborhoods such as Hackney and Peckham. Simons told the Standard that artists working in such zones would receive assistance in purchasing unused space and that businesses would receive lower rates.
Maurizio Cattelan installed a fully functional, 18-karat solid gold toilet at the Guggenheim Museum. The work is entitled “America.”
The Finnish government refused to allot a proposed €40 million (~$45 million) in funding for the Guggenheim Helsinki.
Heatherwick studio unveiled renderings of the “Vessel,” the proposed centerpiece for New York’s Hudson Yards development. The structure, which resembles a pine cone crossed with a beehive, will consist of 154 interconnecting flights of stairs. “It has no commercial job to do,” Thomas Heatherwick explained in a promotional video. “It’s not based on electronics. It’s not based on advertising. It’s extremely interactive.”
Egypt banned the placement of statues that have not been approved by government authorities in public squares. An anonymous cabinet official told the Guardian that the decision followed the “the repeated setting up … of bad statues that do not conform with Egypt’s deep-rooted history.”
Arthur Beale, the retired chairman of the conservation and collections management department at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, endorsed Gregory Hedberg’s theory that a plaster version of Edgar Degas‘s “Petite Danseuse de Quatorze Ans” (“The Little Fourteen-Year-Old Dancer”) is an earlier model for the work.
The New York City Department of Cultural Affairs launched a $1 million initiative to improve diversity at museums by financing internships for City University of New York students at institutions including Carnegie Hall, MoMA PS1, and the American Museum of Natural History.
Collectors Nancy Olnick and Giorgio Spanu plan to open a private exhibition space for their Italian postwar and contemporary art collection in Cold Springs, New York. Named “Magazzino” (Italian for “warehouse”), the site will consist of 18,000 square feet of exhibition space and will be open to the public “by appointment.”
The Pérez Art Museum Miami acquired 400 language-based artworks from the Sackner Archive of Concrete and Visual Poetry.
The Getty Research Institute acquired the archive of artist Harmony Hammond.
The National Museum of Sweden acquired a large still life by Jan Weenix (1640–1719).
Elkin Goddard Alston donated $1 million to the Museum of Contemporary Art of Georgia.
MCH Group, the Swiss conglomerate that owns Art Basel, acquired 60.3% of the shares in Seventh Plane Pvt. Ltd in New Delhi, the organiser of the India Art Fair.
The Swiss Institute will relocate to the site of a former Chase bank branch at 38 St. Marks Place next year. Nine people recently joined the non-profit’s board of trustees: Bice Curiger, Matthias Dettling, Alexandra Economou, Sam Keller, Lisa Schiff, Dominique Lévy, Christian Marclay, Michael Ringier, and Iwan Wirth.
A two-story, 2,640 square-foot building named “The Cubes” will be built at Socrates Sculpture Park. The structure will be used for programming and on-site administration.
Laura Sparks was appointed the 13th president of the Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art — the first woman ever appointed to the role.
Monica Nassif was appointed president of the Walker Art Center’s board of trustees.
Hamza Walker was appointed executive director of LAXART.
Jewel D. Malone was appointed COO of the National YoungArts Foundation [via email announcement].
David Breslin joined the Whitney Museum’s curatorial department as director of the collection.
Sean O’Neal was promoted to director of digital experience and media at the Saint Louis Art Museum.
Lal Bahcecioglu was appointed exhibitions coordinator at the Elmhurst Art Museum.
Pedro Reyes was appointed the inaugural Dasha Zhukova distinguished visiting artist at MIT.
Berlin’s Berghain nightclub was designated a “high art” institution by the Berlin-Brandenburg fiscal court in Cottbus, thereby reducing its tax rate by 10%.
Parisian art dealer Kamel Mennour will open a gallery in London next month.
Next year’s edition of London’s Art16 fair was cancelled.
Solveig Settemsdal was awarded the Jerwood Drawing Prize for “Singularity” (2016), a nine-minute video of swirling white ink in gelatine. According to the artist, the work explores the “temporal and sculptural process of drawing.”
President Barack Obama will present the 2015 National Medals of Arts next week. Recipients will include Jack Whitten, Ralph Lemon, Philip Glass, and the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center.
Cindy Sherman received the 2016 Praemium Imperiale Prize for outstanding achievement in the arts.
London’s National Portrait Gallery announced the shortlist for the 2016 Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize.
The Norton Museum of Art announced the nominees for the Rudin Prize for Emerging Photographers.
Roger Hiorns received the 2016 edition of the Faena Prize for the Arts.
Alexis Arquette (1969–2016), actress. Champion of transgender rights.
John Belle (1932–2016), architect. Founding partner of Beyer Blinder Belle, the firm that led the restoration of Grand Central Station.
Peter Blundell Jones (1949–2016), architectural historian.
Alex Danchev (1955–2016), historian and art theorist.
Jack Hofsiss (1950–2016), stage director.
Norma Moriceau (1944–2016), costume designer and art director.
Gérard Rondeau (1953–2016), photographer.
Derek Smith (1931–2016), jazz pianist.
Robert Timberg (1940–2016), Vietnam War veteran, author, and journalist. Best known for The Nightingale’s Song (1995).
Brian Wildsmith (1930–2016), author and illustrator.
Nora York (1956–2016), singer and performer.