Art Movements

Activists make moves toward decolonization for Indigenous Peoples’ Day, and the Studio Museum expands its scope.

Hundreds gathered for a closing “decolonial grathering” by the Grand Canoe (photo by Jasmine Weber)

Art Movements is a weekly collection of news, developments, and stirrings in the art world. Subscribe to receive these posts as a weekly newsletter. Listen to our weekly podcast of the same name on iTunes.

On Indigenous Peoples’ Day, almost 1,000 activists gathered at the American Museum of Natural History for the third annual Anti-Columbus Day Tour, organized by Decolonize this Place. They compel the AMNH to establish an independent Decolonization Commission, demanding the museum reconfigure its racial stereotyping and demeaning ethnographic displays of non-White people. Following the protest, they sent an invoice to the museum for $383,000,000, “on behalf of the many artists and activists who have invested their time and labor gratis over the past two years in the campaign to help decolonize the [AMNH.]” The price tag, they say, is the same cost as the museum’s new 190,000-square-foot extension in the works.

On the eve of Indigenous Peoples’ Day, the City of Los Angeles removed a statue of Christopher Columbus from Grand Park in downtown LA. In its place reads a note Los Angeles City/County Native American Indian Commission, the Los Angeles County Arts Commission, and the Los Angeles County Human Relations Commission, explaining the ordinance “to remove all references to Columbus Day as an official County holiday and recognize Indigenous Peoples Day instead.”

Robert Casterline’s photographs of the incident, including the work shredding itself and people trying to stop it. (images used with permission)

In one of the most buzzed about stories this week, Banksy rigged a 2006 artwork (titled “Girl with a Balloon”) to self-destruct upon its sale. As the gavel banged down on the $1.3 million Sotheby’s sale, the work shredded before the auction house’s eyes — and chaos ensued. Banksy renamed the piece, “Love Is In the Bin” (2018), and Sotheby’s called it “the first artwork in history to have been created live during an auction.” A week later, its anonymous European buyer has said she will be moving forward with the high-profile sale, calling it her “own piece of art history.” 

A 12-pound meteorite from the moon is expected to sell for $500,000 or more in an online bid through October 18. The rock was discovered in Mauritania last year, but made its way to earth thousands of years ago. Most lunar meteorites are about the size of a walnut or golf ball, according to the rock’s seller, Geoff Notkin, the star of Meteorite Men and CEO of Aerolite Meteorites.

Nina Chanel Abney, “Untitled” (2012), 
Acrylic on canvas, 
48 x 36 inches
 (Courtesy the artist and Jack Shainman Gallery, New York, © Nina Chanel Abney)

The late civil rights activist and Black arts patron Peggy Cooper Cafritz has bestowed over 650 works to the Studio Museum in Harlem and the Duke Ellington School of the Arts in Washington, DC. The donation is the “largest gift ever made of contemporary art by artists of African descent.” Artists represented in the gift include Mickalene Thomas, Wangechi Mutu, Titus Kaphar, Kehinde Wiley, and Kerry James Marshall.

The Studio Museum in Harlem launched a new initiative, “Find Art Here,” placing reproductions of its collection in public schools, libraries, and care centers throughout Harlem. Work by Derrick Adams, Benny Andrews, Jordan Casteel, Elizabeth Catlett, LeRoy Clarke, Glenn Ligon, Mickalene Thomas, and Stephanie Weaver will go on display.

A view of Yoko Ono’s “SKY” installation at the 72nd Street B/C subway station (photo by Patrick J. Cashin / Metropolitan Transportation Authority)

The 72nd Street B/C subway station has reopened, inaugurated with a series of six ethereal ceramic mosaics designed by Yoko Ono.

Sarah Sze has been commissioned to create a permanent sculpture at the Storm King Art Center in Mountainville, New York, which will be revealed in 2020.

The City of San Francisco made a landmark decision, its board of supervisors unanimously passing an ordinance obligating 30% of public art to depict non-fictional women. Currently, only three of 87 public statues are of real women, including Florence Nightingale and Senator Dianne Feinstein.

Architect Richard Meier has stepped down from his role at his firm, which he founded in 1963, after a seven-month leave of absence in the wake of five allegations of sexual assault.

Titian’s Crucifixion (1555) (via Wikimedia Commons)

An enormous Roman villa complex, dating third or fourth century CE, was unearthed in Cambridge, England next to a bus station. According to archaeologists, the complex stretches the size of four soccer fields and was constructed with ornate materials, indicating a high status.

A 1555 Titian painting of the Crucifixion fell off the wall at the Royal Monastery of San Lorenzo de El Escorial and onto a dresser containing liturgical objects. The fall, caused by insufficient wall fastening, created a “considerable horizontal tear,” but no damage was done to Jesus’s figure.

Sweden’s largest museum of art and design, the Nationalmuseum, will reopen on October 13 for the first time in five years. After a 1.2 billion kronor (~$133,698,000) renovation funded by the government, the museum will no longer charge admission.

The Pollock-Krasner Foundation has offered $100,000 to the Madison Square Park Conservancy in support of Martin Puryear‘s representation of the US at the 2019 Venice Biennale. [via email announcement]


Hank Willis Thomas, "All Power to All People" (2017), aluminum and stainless steel, 98 x 43 1/2 x 2 1/2 inches (image courtesy PAFA)
Hank Willis Thomas, “All Power to All People” (2017), aluminum and stainless steel, 98 x 43 1/2 x 2 1/2 inches (image courtesy PAFA)

The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (PAFA) has acquired nine artworks to be added to its permanent collection of American art. The pieces include works on paper, paintings, and an outdoor sculpture. The sculpture, Hank Willis Thomas’s “All Power to All People” (2017), was on view across from Philadelphia City Hall as part of the public art and history initiative, Monument Lab 2017. Included in the nine new acquisitions are six 19th century etchings by Stephen Parrish, Charles Adam Platt, Theodore Robinson, Frank Weston Benson, Ernest David Roth, and Julian Alden Weir. These works will be a part of the upcoming paper exhibition, Etch and Flow, on view in 2019. [via email announcement]

This and other notable sales and acquisitions are chronicled in our latest Transactions story.


Firelei Báez’s installation at the 10th Berlin Biennale (© Firelei Báez. Image courtesy of the artist and James Cohan, New York. Photo by Timo Ohler.)

Joseph Antenucci Becherer will serve as director of the Snite Museum of Art at the University of Notre Dame in Indiana.

James Cohan Gallery now represents Firelei Báez.

Ryan Lee Gallery will represent Vivian E. Browne.

Linda Harrison was named the director of the Newark Museum in New Jersey.

Hanh Ho was appointed as curator at the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art in Arizona

Katie Hollander will serve as director of the Annenberg Space for Photography in Los Angeles.

Anne Leonard was named the curator of prints, drawings, and photographs at the Clark Art Institute in Williamstown, Massachusetts. [via email announcement]

Independent bookstore McNally Jackson has closed its Nolita branch in Manhattan after 14 years.

Yucef Merhi will serve as the first curator of digital collections at the Wolfsonian museum and library at Florida International University. [via email announcement]

Dan Monroe will retire from his role as director of the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, MA.

Judith O’Toole will serve as the acting director of the Mattress Factory in Pittsburgh, PA.

The Pasadena Museum of California Art has closed after 16 years of operation.

Renny Pritikin will retire as curator of the Contemporary Jewish Museum in San Francisco.

Maria Seferian was elected chairman, and Carolyn Powers was named the president of the MOCA Los Angeles board of trustees.

Thomas Thiel was appointed the director of the Museum of Contemporary Art in Siegen, Germany.

Chloe Vaitsou was appointed Art Dubai’s new international director

Christopher Wayner was appointed the deputy director of the Ogden Museum of Southern Art in New Orleans.

Tiana Webb Evans, Lorin Gu, Howard Pyle, and Justin Tobin were appointed to The New York Foundation for the Arts’ (NYFA) board of trustees. [via email announcement]

Art critic Murray White will join the Boston Globe.

Julián Zugazagoitia has been elected board chair of the Andy Warhol Foundation. Naomi Beckwith, Cary J. Davis, and Deborah Willis have joined the board. [via email announcement]


The Ucross Foundation in Wyoming has announced the recipients of its 2018 fall fellowships. Yasmeen Siddiqui, a Hyperallergic editor, is among the honorees.

Rhizome has announced the recipients of its 2018 microgrants for artists working in net art, virtual reality, and poetry.

Merve Elverin is the recipient of the 2018 Independent Curators International Gerrit Lansing Independent Vision Curatorial Award. [via email announcement]

Hank Willis Thomas was named the first Creative Citizenship Fellow of the California College of the Arts. [via email announcement]

The Shed has announced the 52 up-and-coming artists who they have commissioned as part of their inaugural “Open Call” program.

The Getty Foundation announced more than $1.7 million in architectural conservation grants dedicated to eleven significant 20th century buildings. The 2018 grants are part of the foundation’s Keeping It Modern initiative.

The Bloomberg HQ in Europe has won the Riba Stirling prize for architecture.

Upcoming Exhibitions:

Eikoh Hosoe, “Simon: A Private Landscape” (1971) (The Baltimore Museum of Art: Purchase with exchange funds from the Edward Joseph Gallagher III Memorial Collection; and partial gift of George H. Dalsheimer, Baltimore, BMA 1988.366. © Eikoh Hosoe)

Time FramesContemporary East Asian Photography at the Baltimore Museum of Art presents more than 40 modern and contemporary photographs by artists mostly born in China, Japan, South Korea, or Vietnam who delve into various concepts of time — the time of day, a past legend or history, or an imagined future. Time Frames: Contemporary East Asian Photography is on view at the BMA from November 4, 2018 through March 24, 2019.


Apex Art has announced an open call for exhibition proposals. Curators, artists, writers, and creative individuals, regardless of experience level, background, or location can apply. Proposals for exhibitions in New York City will be accepted through October 31.

Smack Mellon is accepting applications for its Artist Studio Program and Mid-Career Artists Program.


Dave Anderson (1929–2018), Pulitzer Prize-winning sportswriter

Hamiet Bluiett (1940–2018), baritone saxophonist who co-founded “The World Saxophone Quartet” and combined avant-garde with traditional jazz

Montserrat Caballé (1933–2018), Spanish operatic soprano

Warrington Colescott (1921–2018), printmaker and educator known for his biting social and political commentary

Ray Galton (1930–2018), British sitcom writer

Marco Gastini (1938–2018), painter known for his use of Plexiglas rather than canvas

Sydney Goldstein (1944–2018), founder of City Arts & Lectures who orchestrated cultural programming and interviews

William Helfand (1926–2018), collector of “quack” medicine memorabilia, pharmacist, and author

Richard Kaplan (1925–2018), Oscar Award-winning documentarian

Vladimir Radunsky (1954–2018), children’s book author

Roger Robinson (1940–2018), Tony Award-winning Broadway actor

Pierre Théberge (1942–2018), head of the Canadian National Gallery for 11 years

Will Vinton (1947–2018), claymation animator

Audrey Wells (1960–2018), film director, producer, and screenwriter of the recent film The Hate U Give

Scott Wilson (1942–2018), actor in The Walking Dead

David Wise (1930), journalist who exposed the CIA

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