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Art Movements

This week in art news: the Hirshhorn Museum postponed a projection by Krzysztof Wodiczko in the wake of Douglas High School shooting, President Trump proposed eliminating the NEA and NEH (again), and Robert Indiana’s repainted “LOVE” returned to Philadelphia.

Robert Indiana “LOVE” (1976) (courtesy City of Philadelphia’s Office of Arts, Culture and the Creative Economy)

Art Movements is a weekly collection of news, developments, and stirrings in the art world. Subscribe to receive these posts as a weekly newsletter.

The Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden postponed its re-staging of Krzysztof Wodiczko’s three-story-tall projection “Hirshhorn Museum, Washington, DC, 1988” in the wake of the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida. Wodiczko created the work in response to the political rhetoric surrounding issues such as the death penalty and abortion. “George Bush on one hand is for the death penalty and on another is anti-abortion,” Wodiczko told the Washington Post in 1988. “On one hand he goes on about ‘a thousand points of light‘ and on another defends guns and a strong militaristic policy.”

In a repeat of last year’s budget proposal, President Trump called again for the elimination of the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Robert Indiana’s “LOVE” (1976) sculpture was reinstalled at John F. Kennedy Plaza in Philadelphia in time for Valentine’s Day. The work was repainted following confirmation from Indiana’s representatives that the sculpture’s original colors had faded over time.

The official portraits of Barack and Michelle Obama — painted by Kehinde Wiley and Amy Sherald, respectively — entered the permanent collection of the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, DC.

Iranian-American art dealer Karan Vafadari smuggled a letter out of Tehran’s Evin Prison pleading for international pressure to secure his and his wife’s release, while also detailing the charges for which he was convicted to 27 years in prison, 124 lashes, and a fine of around $243,000.

A pro-bono investigation by the law firm Katten Muchin Rosenman concluded that the Queens Museum‘s former president and executive director, Laura Raicovich, and its former deputy director, David Strauss, had “knowingly misled the [museum’s] Board” over a decision to rent the institution’s space to the Permanent Mission of Israel to the United Nations for an event last year. Raicovich resigned from her position last month, attributing her decision in a New York Times interview to political differences with the museum’s board.

Exterior of 5Pointz on the morning of November 13, 2013 (photo by the author for Hyperallergic)

A federal judge awarded a total of $6.7 million to 21 graffiti artists whose artworks were destroyed at the former 5Pointz complex in Long Island City, New York. Judge Frederic Block affirmed a previous jury decision that the complex’s owner, Jerry Wolkoff, had violated the Visual Artists Rights Act of 1990, when he arranged a whitewash of the artworks during the early hours of November 13, 2013.

The National Coalition Against Censorship issued a statement expressing its support for an unnamed student whose artwork was removed from display at Sunset Park High School in Brooklyn. The work, which depicts a police officer pointing a gun at a young black girl as she spray paints the phrase “Bigger Than Hate,” was taken down following complaints that it was offensive.

The New York City Department of Cultural Affairs released a Request for Expressions of Interest to identify potential partners with whom to develop and operate affordable artist workspaces. The call is part of the City’s Affordable Real Estate for Artists initiative.

The New York City Mayor’s Office and State Street Global Advisors are negotiating the possible relocation of “Fearless Girl” (2017) and “Charging Bull” (1989), according to Adweek.

The darkest building on Earth was unveiled at the Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang. The Hyundai Pavilion is coated in Vantablack VBx2, a derivative of the nanomaterial Anish Kapoor controversially acquired the artistic rights to in 2016.

Archaeologists discovered 2,000 year-old rock carvings of camels and dromederies in Saudi Arabia.

According to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, over 700,000 people visited Michelangelo: Divine Draftsman and Designer, making it the 10th-most visited exhibition in the museum’s history.

Urban Light” (2008), Chris Burden’s iconic installation of 202 restored street lamps outside the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, was retrofitted with LED bulbs with the support of the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation.

Transactions

Niccolò di Giacomo da Bologna, detached leaf from the Gradual of the Carthusian Monastery Santo Spirito near Lucca (ca 1392–1402), tempera and gold leaf, 14 x 12 in, the J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, gift of Elizabeth J. Ferrell

The J. Paul Getty Museum acquired a gift of six rare Italian manuscript illuminations from collectors James E. and Elizabeth J. Ferrell.

Two early portraits by Lucian Freud will go on display at the Abbot Hall Art Gallery after being donated to the UK through the Acceptance in Lieu scheme.

The Portland Museum of Art acquired a dozen works by Winslow Homer.

The Art Institute of Chicago acquired one of Marcel Duchamp’s “Bottle Rack” (1914/59) readymades.

Sotheby’s acquired Viyet, an online marketplace dedicated to furniture and accessories.

Joan and Robert Feitler donated $5 million to the University of Chicago’s Smart Museum of Art. The gift will be used to establish a new research hub dedicated to “object-driven inquiry.”

The Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation acquired the estate of filmmaker and Nazi propagandist Leni Riefenstahl (1902–2003). The estate was donated by Gisela Jahn, Riefenstahl’s former secretary and last living heir.

The Meadows Museum at Southern Methodist University acquired an oil sketch by Vicente López y Portaña (1772–1850).

Mary Gordon Roberts donated two impressions of Rembrandt’s print “The Three Crosses, Christ Crucified Between the Two Thieves” (ca 1660) to the Smith College Museum of Art [press release].

Jimmy Iovine and Liberty Ross donated Mark Bradford’s monumental painting “150 Portrait Tone” to the the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

The San Diego Museum of Art acquired Lucas Cranach the Younger’s “Nymph of the Spring” (ca 1540) and John Singer Sargent’s “Portrait of John Alfred Parsons Millet,” (1892).

John Singer Sargent, “Portrait of John Alfred Parsons Millet (1892)” (courtesy San Diego Museum of Art)

Transitions

Maggie Appleton was appointed president of the Museums Association.

Elizabeth A. Eisenstein and Deborah Willis joined the Smithsonian Museum of American Art’s board of commissioners.

Sohrab Mohebbi was appointed curator of the SculptureCenter in Long Island City.

Carolyn Swan Needell was appointed curator of glass at the Chrysler Museum of Art [via email announcement].

Susanne Østby Sæther was appointed curator of photography and new media at the Henie Onstad Kunstsenter in Norway.

Britany Salsbury was appointed associate curator of prints and drawings at the Cleveland Museum of Art.

The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art appointed Hathaway Maranda as vice president, development.

Manish Engineer was appointed the Seattle Art Museum’s first chief technology officer.

Andrew M. Heller, Stephen B. Pierce, and Walter Padow were appointed to the NSU Art Museum’s board of governors.

Nato Thompson was appointed artistic director of the Seattle Art Fair’s fourth edition.

Accolades

Kipwani Kiwanga, “Afrogalactica: A Brief history of the Future” (2012–ongoing), live reading with video projection, 40 minutes (courtesy the artist, photo by Emma Haugh)

Kapwani Kiwanga was named winner of the inaugural New York edition of the Frieze Artist Award.

Itsuko Hasegawa was awarded the 2018 Royal Academy Architecture Prize.

Architect Frida Escobedo was selected to design the 2018 Serpentine Pavilion.

David Nadlinger was awarded the overall prize in the UK’s Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council’s science photo and imaging contest for his image “Single Atom in an Ion Trap.”

The Joan Mitchell Foundation announced the participants of its 2018 Artist-in-Residence program.

The Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation announced its 2017 grant recipients.

South Arts named the finalists for its 2018 Southern Art Prize.

Opportunities

The Van Alen Institute is currently accepting applications for New York State Council on the Arts Independent Project grants, an “opportunity for architecture, design, and historic preservation professionals to apply for fiscal sponsorship.” The application deadline is Monday, March 12.

Obituaries

Jef Geys, “Foto’s Gewad (Parcel)” (2017), framed photographs, bubble wrap, tape, paper, marker, paint , 20 x 9 x 4 3/4 in (courtesy the artist and ESSEX STREET, NY)

Harry W. Anderson (1922–2018), art collector and philanthropist.

David Bernstein (1937–2018), architect.

Vic Damone (1928–2018), singer.

Jef Geys (1934–2018), artist.

Asma Jahangir (1952–2018), lawyer and human rights campaigner.

Jóhann Jóhannsson (1969–2018), composer. Best known for his film scores, including Arrival (2016) and The Theory of Everything (2014).

Ruth Ann Koesun (1928–2018), ballet dancer.

Tom Rapp (1947–2018), musician and civil rights lawyer. Founder of Pearl Before Swine.

June Rose (1926–2018), writer and journalist. Author of Modigliani: The Pure Bohemian (1990).

Francis Sheppard (1921–2018), historian. First general editor of the Survey of London.

Frederieke Taylor (1940–2018), art dealer, collector, and curator.

Wesla Whitfield (1947–2018), singer.

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