Three-dimensional rendering of the Statue of Idrimi (C16th BC) (via Sketchfab)

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

Karan Vafadari and Afarin Nayssari, the founders of Aun Gallery, were charged with “attempting to overthrow the Islamic Republic of Iran” by Judge Abolqasem Salavati. The couple have been held in prison without recourse to legal counsel for over eight months.

A group of artists and art workers protested the opening of Carl Andre: Sculpture as Place, 1958–2010 at the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art. Among other actions, the group handed out thousands of postcards with an image of artist Ana Mendieta and the phrase “Dónde está Ana Mendieta? (Where is Ana Mendieta?).” Andre was acquitted of all charges related to Mendieta’s death in 1988.

The British Museum collaborated with the Factum Foundation to produce precise 3D renderings of the 3,500-year-old statue of Idrimi — the Syrian refugee who later became King of Alalakh in southern Turkey. The work of the Foundation, the non-profit wing of Factum Arte, was profiled by New Yorker contributor Daniel Zalewski last year.

Over 150 members of Congress signed a letter advocating for increased funding for the National Endowment of the Arts. Eleven House Republicans are among the signatories.

Casino magnate Frank Fertitta settled his claims against art historian Oliver Wick. Fertitta paid the art historian $150,000 after he allegedly described a Mark Rothko painting that Fertitta later purchased as “perfectly fine.” The work was subsequently revealed to be one of over 30 fakes sold by the now defunct Knoedler Gallery.

A man stepped on a blue pigment work by Yves Klein during a press conference for an exhibition dedicated to the artist at the Musée d’art moderne et d’art contemporain in Nice, France.

Marc Chagall’s “A Wheatfield on a Summer’s Afternoon” (1942) was removed from the foyer of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, where it was displayed for over three decades. The monumental work will be loaned to the Aomori Museum of Art in Japan where it will be temporarily reunited with the three other theatre backdrops that the artist designed for the 1942 production of Aleko by Léonide Massine for the Ballet Theatre of New York.

A collection of unpublished letters written by Sylvia Plath includes allegations of domestic abuse according to a report by the Guardian. The letters, which Plath sent to Dr. Ruth Barnhouse, came to light after an antiquarian bookseller put them up for sale for $875,000. A statement issued from the Ted Hughes estate on behalf of the poet’s widow, Carol Hughes, described the claims as “absurd.”

Pawel Machcewicz was dismissed from his role as director of the newly-opened Second World War Museum in Gdansk. Poland’s right-wing government intends to merge the museum with the still-unbuilt Westerplatte Museum in order to create a new state sanctioned institution.

Artists Against Evictions, an Athens-based artist group, published an open-letter addressed to the participants and visitors of Documenta 14 decrying the government’s eviction of artists and round-up of refugees and displaced persons around the city.

Norfolk Museum Service launched a crowdfunding campaign to cover part of the cost of putting a monumental Napoleonic-era ensign back on display. The ensign, which measures 16 meters by 8.3 meters (~52.5 feet by 27 feet), was captured from the French warship Le Généreux by Captain Sir Edward Berry in February 1800.

Plans to establish a museum dedicated to Hilma af Klint (1862–1944) were placed on hold due to a dispute between the project’s organizers and the artist’s descendants.

Installation view, Hilma af Klint: Painting the Unseen at Serpentine Gallery, London, March 3–May 15, 2016) (image © Jerry Hardman-Jones)

Gillian Wearing was commissioned to create a statue of suffragist Millicent Fawcett. The artist will become the first ever woman to create a statue for Parliament Square in London.

The site of the Bell Foundry arts space was put up for sale with a listing price of $1 million. The property was condemned by the City of Baltimore last December leading to the evictions of dozens of local artists.

Arturo Di Modica, the creator of Wall Street’s “Charging Bull,” claimed that Kristen Visbal’s “Fearless Girl” violates his artistic and commercial rights.

Numerous alarmed residents mistook smoke billowing from the Fridericianum Museum in Kassel as a fire. The white smoke is part of an installation entitled “Expiration Movement” by artist Daniel Knorr.

The National Gallery of Denmark launched a new initiative to assist individuals who wish to improve their Danish language skills.

London-born DJ, Dax J, was handed a one-year prison sentence in Tunisia for remixing the Muslim call to prayer during a performance.

Artist Ardian Syaf was fired by Marvel for including religious references in a recent X-Men comic.

The Kentucky Coal Mining Museum converted to solar power.


Tracey Emin with “Death Mask” (2002) at the National Portrait Gallery’s conservation studio (© Tracey Emin/National Portrait Gallery, London, photo © Jorge Herrera)

The National Portrait Gallery in London acquired Tracey Emin’s “Death Mask” (2002).

The New York Public Library’s Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture acquired the personal archive of James Baldwin.

Robert Ryman donated 21 of his works to the Dia Art Foundation’s permanent collection.

Real estate entrepreneur Chris Bratty donated almost 25,000 photographs of Canadian news events to the Ryerson Image Centre. The images are drawn from the New York Times photo archive.

Eataly, Mario Batali’s chain of Italian grocery stores, backed the financing of an “advanced air filtration system” to help extend the life of Leonardo da Vinci’s “The Last Supper” (1495–98).


Arts journalist Randy Kennedy left the New York Times to join Hauser & Wirth as director of special projects. Kennedy had worked at the Times for 23 years. As outlined in the gallery’s press release, Kennedy will “helm a number of new editorial, writing, and documentary initiatives for web and print, including relaunching and expanding the gallery’s magazine Volume, for which he will serve as Editor-in-Chief.”

Bruce W. Dunlevie was appointed to the J. Paul Getty Trust’s board of trustees.

Eran Neuman abruptly stepped down as the new director of the Israel Museum in Jerusalem.

Susan Sayre Batton was appointed executive director of San Jose Museum of Art.

Milton Curry was appointed dean of the University of Southern California’s School of Architecture.

William Kentridge founded the “Centre for the Less Good Idea” in Johannesburg, an arts space “for uncertainty, doubt, stupidity and, at times, failure.”

Jeffrey Deitch plans to open a new gallery space in Los Angeles.

Carriage Trade Gallery will reopen at new location on the Lower East Side this month.

Pierre Huber announced the closure of the Art & Public gallery in Geneva.

Architect Peter Zumthor unveiled a revised design for the Los Angeles County Museum of Art‘s $600 million expansion.

The Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago raised its general admission fee from $12 to $15, while extending free admission to anyone aged 18 or under. The fee changes will go into effect on June 1.

Central Park’s Belvedere Castle will be close at the end of the summer for restoration work.

Belvedere Castle, Central Park, New York (via Flickr/Stig Nygaard)


Carolee Schneemann was awarded the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement at the Venice Biennale.

The John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation announced the recipients of its 2017 Fellowships.

The Leonore Annenberg Fellowship Fund announced its final grant recipients.

Hilton Als was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Criticism.

The Anderson Ranch Arts Center will award its 2017 National Artist Award to Wangechi Mutu on July 20. Other honorees include Ronnie and Jan Greenberg (Service to the Arts Award) and Ann Korologos (Extraordinary Service Award).

Peter Walker was awarded the inaugural Richard Brettell Award in the Arts.

The National Portrait Gallery in Australia awarded Gary Grealy the 2017 National Photographic Portrait Prize for his portrait of Richard Morecroft and Alison Mackay.

Graphic designer Ian Macfarlane won first prize in Dezeen’s unofficial Brexit passport design competition.

Ian Macfarlane’s unofficial Brexit passport design (via Dezeen)


Kishori Amonkar (1932–2017), singer. Renowned performer of classical Hindustani music.

Lonnie Brooks (1933–2017), blues singer and guitarist.

Louis Frémaux (1921–2017), conductor

J. Geils (1946–2017), guitarist.

Linda Hopkins (1924–2017), singer and actress.

Joanne Kyger (1934–2017), Beat Generation poet.

Patricia McKissack (1944–2017), author.

Christopher Morahan (1929–2017), director and producer.

Charlie Murphy (1959–2017), comedian. Brother of Eddie Murphy.

Glenn O’Brien (1947–2017), writer and art critic. Member of Warhol’s Factory and first editor of Interview magazine.

Paul O’Neill (1956–2017), founder of the Trans-Siberian Orchestra.

Lorraine Pearce (1934–2017), first White House curator.

David Peel (1942–2017), singer.

Don Rickles (1926–2017), comedian.

Carlo Riva (1922–2017), engineer and yacht designer.

Louis Sarno (19542017), ancestral music archivist.

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Tiernan Morgan

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...