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Anish Kapoor, “Descent Into Limbo” (photo by Filipe Braga, © Fundação de Serralves, Porto)

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

A visitor of the Serralves Museum in Portugal fell victim to an Anish Kapoor installation, “Descent into Limbo.” The guest fell into the gaping 2.5 meter (~8 foot) hole, which appears as an optical illusion to look like a painted black circle on the ground. The museum said an overseeing staff member was present in the space where the hole is located, and that there were disclaimers posted to publicize the safety hazard. All visitors were made to sign a disclaimer acknowledging the risk before entering.

Engraved boulders called “hunger stones” are emerging in the Elbe River, near the Czech town Decin, due to a lasting drought in Central Europe. Evaporating river water has revealed the stones (the oldest dated 1616), which at one time were placed to warn of imminent hard times based on detrimental water levels. More than a dozen of the stones are now visible. One of the stones reads, in German, “When you see me, cry.”

Activist Patricia Okoumou at the 2018 Pride Parade in NYC, wearing the same “TRUMPCARE MAKES US SICK” t-shirt she wore to scale the Statue of Liberty on Independence Day (image by Elvert Barnes)

Patricia Okoumou, who scaled the Statue of Liberty on July 4 to protest institutional white supremacy and ICE, will return to court on August 28 to determine her trial date. Her hearing was originally scheduled for October 1. Okoumou is facing up to 18 months in jail for the protest. She has launched a petition to request the charges be dropped by U.S. Attorney Berman.

New Yorkers Tiffany Huang and Sam Lewin were turned away from a tour of the Statue of Liberty for wearing handmade t-shirts reading “Abolish ICE.” When given the ultimatum of changing or leaving, the two opted out of the pre-paid tour and were escorted away by security. Huang says guards justified their decision with “what happened on July 4th.” The pair contacted the New York Civil Liberties Union, who condemned the decision. The National Park Service acknowledged the decision as a “misstep.”

A group of trans-exclusionary radical feminists (TERFs), ReSisters, has been plastering stickers reading “Women don’t have penises” around Liverpool. The group graffitied a series of Anthony Gormley statues on Crosby Beach to oppose proposed legislation to lessen restrictions on changing one’s gender identification on legal documentation. Mayor Joe Anderson condemned the hate speech on social media and promised that the city will remove the stickers and that Liverpool police will investigate the matter further.

A group of artists in Jobar, Syria has transformed the walls of a tunnel formerly occupied by terrorists into a sculpture gallery. The artists have sculpted 20 reliefs into the tunnel, located 9 meters (~30 feet) under the earth.

After pleading guilty in an art fraud scandal in May, art dealer Ezra Chowaiki is being brought to court by The Art Collection Inc. The company is demanding Chowaiki return two Salvador Dalí paintings and an artwork by Juan Gris, which the corporation reportedly did not receive payment for. Chowaiki could be sentenced with up to 20 years in prison for defrauding collectors of around $16 million worth of art.

François-Pascal-Simon Gérard, “Prince Camillo Borghese” (1810), oil on canvas, 213 x 139 cm (The Frick Collection, New York, via press release)

The Italian government has revoked the export license it granted on a 19th-century painting by François Gérard, purchased by the Frick Collection in late 2017. A seven-foot portrait of Prince Camillo Borghese, the painting is considered integral to Italy’s cultural heritage. In December, the Frick called the work its most significant painting acquisition in 30 years.

The Bishop of Liege, Monsignor Jean-Pierre Delville, was reportedly tied up in his apartment within the Belgian episcopal palace and robbed of goods worth €20,000 (~$23,000). The thieves took off with cash, paintings, and chalices.

A tour group stumbled upon a 20 meter (~66 foot) stretch of the Berlin wall that was previously unknown. Led by Berlin’s city councilor for urban development, Ephraim Gothe, the unaccounted for stretch of the wall, which was torn down in 1989, was eclipsed by vines and graffiti.

Theresa-India Young, “Paupia Curtain” (n.d.), wood and sisal, 36×24 in. (courtesy Paul Goodnight)

The Massachusetts College of Art and Design plans to rename its President’s Gallery in honor of art educator and alumna, the late Frances Euphemia Thompson. In the fall, MassArt will showcase an archival display celebrating Thompson’s legacy in art education, and an exhibition of work by fiber artist Theresa-India Young and recipients of the MassArt scholarship in Young’s name [via email announcement].

Shamsia Hassani, reputedly Afghanistan’s first Muslim woman graffiti artist, has relocated to Sacramento, where she has unveiled her first public work of art in the city.

Oleg Sentsov, a Ukranian anti-Putin filmmaker, has been on a hunger strike for over 100 days. Sentsov was arrested in 2014 for opposing Crimea’s annexation by Russia.

The Tuscaloosa Museum of Art in Alabama is set to close at the end of August. They will retain a number of works in their collection.

The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, received a $1 million grant from the Ishibashi Foundation in Tokyo. The fund will support five fellowships for curatorial training in Japanese art.

The Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia, received a $1 million fund from Sun Capital CEO Marc J. Leder. The grant will directly support the position of director of curatorial affairs, currently held by Robert Chaney.


Alex Katz, “Ada in a Hat” (1990), silkscreen in 14 colors on Arches paper, 35 x 44 1/2 x 1 inches (Collection of Wichita Falls Museum at Midwestern State University, Gift of the Blanton Museum of Art, 2018, Transfer from The Contemporary Austin, gift of Camille and Dave Lyons, 2010; image courtesy of The Blanton Museum of Art)

The Blanton Museum of Art at The University of Texas at Austin has announced the transfer of 500 works to 17 museums throughout Texas. In May 2017, the Blanton and The Contemporary Austin began a collaboration in which The Contemporary Austin transferred its legacy collection, comprising of over 700 works, to the Blanton. This most recent transfer marks the second phase of that collaboration. The transfer includes works by Andy Warhol, Alex Katz, Julian Schnable, and Judy Chicago, among others. Blanton director Simon Wicha said, “As leaders in Austin’s vibrant and rapidly growing arts community, the Blanton and The Contemporary Austin are delighted to collaborate on this ambitions multi-phase project, which will impact the arts here in Austin and throughout Texas.

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


Manish Nai, “Untitled” (2017), The Sculpture Park at Madhavendra Palace (photograph courtesy Dhruv Malhotra and Saat Saath Arts)

Noelle Kadar was named director of The Sculpture Park at Madhavendra Palace, Jaipur [via email announcement].

Hallie Ringle was named Hugh Kaul Curator for Contemporary Art at the Birmingham Museum of Art in Alabama.

Christina Nielsen was appointed art chief of the Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens in San Marino, California.

Regan Grusy was named vice president of strategic partnerships at the New Museum [via email announcement].

John G. Hampton was appointed director of programs at the MacKenzie Art Gallery [via email announcement].

Joseph Maida was named chair of BFA Photography and Video at the School of Visual Arts.

Chase F. Robinson was appointed director of the Freer Gallery of Art and the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery in Washington, DC.

Lauren Snelling was named Senior Director of Alumni Programming of the National YoungArts Foundation in Miami, Florida [via email announcement].

Jennifer Sudul Edwards stepped down from her role as curator at the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Casey Riley was appointed curator and head of the Department of Photography and New Media at the Minneapolis Institute of Art [via email announcement].

Yasuaki Ishizaka was appointed chairman & managing director of Sotheby’s Japan [via email announcement].

Roya Sachs named curator of the Lever House Art Collection in Manhattan, New York.

Christopher J. Cyphers was named provost of the School of Visual Arts in New York. Carol Rusche Bentel was named chair of the Bachelor of Fine Arts’s Interior Design department. Jimmy Calhoun was named the chair of the BFA Computer Art, Computer Animation, and Visual Effects department. Joseph Maida was named chair of BFA Photography and Video department. Catherine Rosamond was named chair of the MAT Art Education department.

The National Center for Arts Research at the Meadows School of Arts in Dallas, Texas, and DataArts in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania have merged with economic support from Bloomberg Philanthropies.

Gallery VICTORI + MO announced plans to relocate from Bushwick, Brooklyn to Chelsea, Manhattan [via email announcement].


Scott Ogden & Allegra LaViola in front of 179 East Broadway (courtesy Sargent’s Daughters and SHRINE)

Sargent’s Daughters and SHRINE have opened a shared gallery space at 179 East Broadway, New York. Sargent’s Daughter’s Allegra LaViola told Hyperallergic, “Both galleries are focused on a wide range of artists, but overlap in our interests in ‘outsider’ art, specifically artists from the Souls Grown Deep collection in Atlanta.” Emily Furr|Mother Lode, curated by Sargent’s Daughters, and Billy White|Coming to America, curated by SHRINE, continue through September 9.


Giphy has launched a film festival for shorts up to 18 seconds. The grand prize winner of the Giphy Film Fest will receive $10,000. Submissions are open until September 27.


Lauren Halsey was awarded the $100,000 Mohn Award for artistic excellence by the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles. Halsey’s work will be featured in a monograph at the museum. Additionally, Daniel Joseph Martinez will receive the Career Achievement Award and EJ Hill will receive the Public Recognition Award. Both artists will receive $25,000.

The Museum of Arts and Design announced a list of 16 finalists for the inaugural Burke Prize for contemporary artists working in the field of craft. The winner will receive a $50,000 award for their work in glass, fiber, clay, metals, or wood.


Charles Blackman (1928–2018), Australian painter renowned for his Alice in Wonderland paintings.

Mary Pratt (1935–2018), realist painter of light-soaked still lives.

John Calder (1927–2018), publisher and bookseller who fought censorship

Khaira Arby (1959–2018), adored Malian songstress.

Craig Zadan (1949–2018), producer of the Oscars, director, and writer.

Miriam Nelson (1922–2018), Hollywood choreographer and dancer

John Glines (1933–2018), Tony-winning producer and playwright

Arthur Isamu Shibayama (1930–2018), victim of Japanese internment in the United States and advocate for reparations.

Uri Averny (1923–2018), Israeli journalist, politician, and advocate for Palestinian nationhood.

Vivian Matalon (1929–2018), Tony-winning director.

Don Cherry (1924–2018), big band singer and golfer.

Brian Murray (1937–2018), Broadway actor and theater director.

Barbara Harris (1935–2018), famous actress.

David McReynolds (1929–2018), antiwar pacifist, socialist, and politician

Johnny Kline (1932–2018), Harlem Globetrotter and political advocate against racism.

Louis Gignac (1929–2018), luxury hairstylist

Jasmine Weber

Jasmine Weber is Hyperallergic's news editor. She is an artist and writer based in Brooklyn, particularly interested in Black art histories and visual culture. She received her B.A. in Ethnic Studies...