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Students from Beacon High School in Manhattan holding new posters published by Badlands Unlimited (courtesy Badlands Unlimited)

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

Helen Molesworth was fired as the chief curator of the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA), Los Angeles. An email sent to the museum’s trustees implied that Molesworth decided to resign, an assertion rejected by artist Catherine Opie — herself a MOCA trustee — who told the Los Angeles Times that the decision was made by director Philippe Vergne. Molesworth’s departure follows Mark Grotjahn‘s recent decision to withdraw his acceptance of the museum’s annual gala honor, citing the lack of diversity of the award’s recent honorees.

Anish Kapoor penned an open letter to the National Rifle Association (NRA) objecting to the organization’s use of “Cloud Gate” (2006) in a promotional video entitled “The Clenched Fist of Truth.” “The NRA’s ‘advertisement,’” Kapoor states, “seeks to whip up fear and hate. It plays to the basest and most primal impulses of paranoia, conflict, and violence, and uses them in an effort to create a schism to justify its most regressive attitudes.”

The Vatican admitted that its communications office doctored a photo of correspondence written by Pope Benedict XVI.

PAIN Sackler (Prescription Addiction Intervention Now) held a protest at the Sackler Wing of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, calling for the immediate family of Mortimer and Raymond Sackler to fund opioid rehab and education programs across the US.

Badlands Unlimited, the publishing company founded by artist Paul Chan, unveiled a new set of its New Proverbs posters for use at gun-control protests, including the upcoming March for Our Lives on March 24.

Libérons le Louvre staged a die-in in front of Théodore Géricault’s “The Raft of the Medusa” (1818–19) in protest over Total’s corporate sponsorship of the Louvre.

Five women accused Richard Meier of sexual harassment in a report published by the New York Times. Sotheby’s closed a solo exhibition of works by the architect at its S|2 Gallery in New York following the report’s publication.

The Metropolitan Opera fired conductor James Levine following an internal investigation into sexual abuse and harassment allegations.

The Portland Building in August 1982 (photo by Steve Morgan/via Wikipedia)

Crews began to dismantle the facade of the Portland Building as part of a major — and controversial — alteration of Michael Graves’s iconic postmodern structure.

The London Central mosque in Regent’s Park acquired Grade II listed status.

Seventy-nine artists, curators, and arts workers signed an open letter in Libération objecting to the dismissal of Maria Inés Rodriguez as director of Bordeaux’s Contemporary Art Museum (CAPC).

Russia passed a new law ensuring that contemporary art (specifically art created within the last 50 years) will no longer be subject to the 30% import dues imposed on “luxury goods.” The changes will benefit collectors seeking to establish private museums in the country.

Andrew Shannon, the convicted criminal who punched a hole into Claude Monet’s “Argenteuil Basin with a Single Sailboat” (1874) at the National Gallery of Ireland in 2014, was extradited to Ireland following the issue of a European arrest warrant. The warrant concerns the theft of a painting from a hotel in County Cork.

The Lucas Museum of Narrative Art released new renderings to coincide with the museum’s groundbreaking ceremony.

The Portland Museum of Art will offer free, unlimited admission to everyone age 21 and under as of April 11.

John Constable’s (1776–1837) former London townhouse went on sale for an asking price of £4 million (~$5.6 million).

Banksy unveiled a new stencil work in New York, the first since his highly publicized New York “residency” in 2013.


Bartolomeo Ammannati, “The Medici Genius” (Florence, ca 1556), red wax, height 31 cm (courtesy Rijksmuseum)

The Rijksmuseum acquired a preparatory wax sculpture by Bartolomeo Ammannati (1511–92).

The Getty Research Institute acquired the archive of Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions (LACE), the longest running contemporary artists’ space in Los Angeles.

The Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden (State Art Collection) acquired over 1,200 artworks from the Erika and Rolf Hoffmann collection.

The Cleveland Museum of Art acquired Carlo Maratti’s “Portrait of Francesca Gommi Maratti” (ca 1701). Other recently announced acquisitions include works by Edward Weston, Kendell Geers, and Hervé Youmbi.

The NSU Art Museum Fort Lauderdale acquired works by Theaster Gates, Jenny Holzer, Glenn Ligon, Zanele Muholi, and Serge Vandercam.

A stoneware cycladic vase by Hans Coper (1920–81) was sold at Bearnes Hampton & Littlewood for £305,000 (~$425,000), a record for a piece of modern and contemporary studio pottery.

The Guggenheim Museum acquired Xu Bing’s “A Case Study of Transference” (1994) according to a report by ARTNews. The video piece was one of three art works removed by the museum from its exhibition, Art and China after 1989: Theater of the World, following “explicit and repeated threats of violence.”

Phillips’s Evening Sale of 20th Century and Contemporary Art realized £97,845,050 ($135,153,368), the highest sale total in the company’s history. The auction included the sale of Mark Bradford’s “Helter Skelter I” (2007) for $11,977,943, an auction record for a work by the artist.

The Bronx Museum of the Arts acquired artworks by Glenn Ligon, Heidi Lau, and ASCO (Harry Gamboa Jr, Gronk, Willie F. Herrón III, and Patssi Valdez) from the NADA New York art fair.

The Crocker Art Museum will undertake a conservation of five Wayne Thiebaud paintings following a $15,000 contribution from Bank of America’s Art Conservation Project.

A first edition of Luis de Lucena’s Arte de Ajedres (ca 1496–97), the earliest extant manual on modern chess, was sold at Swann Auction Galleries for a record $68,750. The same auction saw the sale of an unauthorized first edition of Sir Philip Sidney’s The Defence of Poesie (1595) for a record $149,000.

The National Museum of Women in the Arts acquired two works by Mildred Thompson (1939–2003).

Mildred Thompson, “Magnetic Fields” (1990), oil on canvas, 62 x 48 in, gift of the Georgia Committee of the National Museum of Women in the Arts in honor of the 30th anniversary of the Georgia Committee and the National Museum of Women in the Arts (© The Mildred Thompson Estate; courtesy Galerie Lelong & Co., New York)


Marie-Christine Labourdette was appointed president of the City of Architecture and Heritage, France.

Alejandro Jassan joined Norte Maar’s board of directors.

Markus Heinzelmann stepped down as director of the Museum Morsbroich.

Sarah Story was appointed executive director of the UMLAUF Sculpture Garden & Museum.

Christina Yu Yu was appointed chair of Asian art at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

Fatoş Üstek was appointed director of the David Roberts Art Foundation.

The Smithsonian’s Archives of American Art appointed Erin Jenoa Gilbert as curator of African American manuscripts and Rayna Andrews as archivist of its three-year African American Collecting Initiative.

Brian Curtin was appointed curator and director of Sàn Art.

Melinda Watthas was appointed chair and curator of textiles at the Art Institute of Chicago.

Sotheby’s promoted Nicolas Chow to chairman of Sotheby’s Asia.

Galerie Nagel Draxler opened a second space in Cologne.

Philip Martin launched a new gallery in Los Angeles.

Perrotin gallery will open a space in Shanghai in September.

Artist Takao Tanabe inaugurated an annual $15,000 award for up and coming Canadian artists at the National Gallery of Canada.

Adjaye Associates unveiled its design for the National Cathedral of Ghana.

Frank Gehry was selected to design an expansion of the Colburn School’s campus.


Erik van Lieshout, “Untitled” (2016), mixed media on paper, part of Brexit Diary, 42 x 29.7 cm (courtesy Annet Gelink Gallery, Amsterdam)

Erik van Lieshout was awarded the 2018 Dr A. H. Heineken Prize for art.

Michael Morgner was awarded the inaugural Schmidt-Rottluff Art Prize.

Ellen Driscoll was awarded the International Sculpture Center’s Outstanding Educator Award for 2018.

Giovanni Valderas received the 2017 Moss/Chumley Award.

Farah Al Qasimi was named the recipient of the 2018 NADA New York Artadia Award.

The Graham Foundation announced its inaugural Fellows: Brendan Fernandes, Torkwase Dyson, Martine Syms, and Mark Wasuita [via email announcement].

The Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony Statue Fund announced the finalists of the Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony Woman Suffrage Movement Monument design competition: Meredith Bergmann, Jane DeDecker, Victoria Guerina and Lloyd Lillie, and Ann Hirsch.

The Association for Magazine Editors awarded its National Magazine Award for General Excellence, Literature, Science, and Politics to Aperture.


Ethel Stein, “Blue and White Shift” (2009), mercerized cotton, damask, ikat weft, 91.5 x 89 cm (photo by Tom Grotta; courtesy browngrotta arts)

Lucie Brock-Broido (1956–2018), poet.

Hubert de Givenchy (1927–2018), fashion designer.

Sir Wilson Harris (1921–2018), writer.

Stephen Hawking (1942–2018), physicist. Best known for A Brief History of Time: From the Big Bang to Black Holes (1988).

Dorothy Henriques-Wells (1926–2018), painter.

Daniele Lombardi (1946–2018), composer, pianist, and artist.

Craig Mack (1971–2018), rapper.

Val Mulkerns (1925–2018), writer.

Emily Nasrallah (1931–2018), writer and feminist.

Ethel Stein (1917–2018), artist and weaver.

Nitin Vadukul (1965–2018), photographer.

Hayden White (1928–2018), historian. Best known for his essay “The Burden of History” (1966).

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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...