Robert Mapplethorpe, "Self-Portrait" (1980) (all images courtesy and © the Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation)

Robert Mapplethorpe, “Self-Portrait” (1980) (all images courtesy and © the Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation)

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.

João Ribas, director of the Serralves Museum of Contemporary Art, resigned from his post in the midst of a controversy surrounding an exhibition at the Portuguese Museum of works by Robert Mapplethorpe. Twenty images were removed from the show, and two rooms were designated for mature audiences over 18 years of age. Ribas had initially affirmed there would be unrestricted access to Mapplethorpe’s photographs. Over 150 art professionals signed a letter in support of the director, including Wolfgang Tillmans and Tania Bruguera, directed at the president of the Serralves Foundation.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art will likely hand over its recently acquired Met Breuer building to the Frick Collection for the last three years of its eight-year lease. In doing so, the Met would save $18 million annually, while the Frick would score a prime location while it renovates its permanent home, a Gilded Age mansion on the Upper East Side.

Thomas Gainsborough’s “Blue Boy” will be restored for the oil painting’s 250th anniversary. Conservator Christina O’Connell will head the restoration in the painting’s original exhibition space so patrons can get an insider’s view of the process and hear about the process from O’Connell herself. The painting is one of the most highly regarded works inSouthern California’s Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens.

Moderna Museet in Stockholm is spearheading a call by Swedish museums asking the country’s Culture Ministry to form a panel to investigate Nazi looting claims. In Early September, the museum returned an Oskar Kokoschka artwork to the heirs of Alfred Flechtheim after they were stolen in Nazi Germany.

The Reina Sofia in Madrid celebrated its 80th anniversary with a budget surplus. The museum’s exhibition highlighting Pablo Picasso’s Guernica was likely an influence in the museum’s end-of-year income of €4.7 million (~$5.5 million).

Turin’s Chapel of the Holy Shroud reopened on September 27, 21 years after a devastating fire almost destroyed the Baroque architecture, which reportedly holds a linen cloth believed to have held the body of the dead Christ.

Activists from the art collective BBZ London staged a brief sit-in at the opening of the 2018 Turner Prize. They wore shirts saying “Black Pain Is Not for Profit,” opposing Luke Willis Thompson’s “autoportrait” (2017), a film installation depicting Diamond Reynolds, whose boyfriend Philando Castile was murdered by police in 2016. They say Thompson, a New Zealand artist of Fijian and European descent, habitually exploits Black trauma in his artworks.

Artist Candice Breitz and curator Verena Kaspar-Eisert penned an open letter addressing gender inequality in an exhibition at Düsseldorf’s NRW Forum. The exhibition, curated by Florian Waldvogel and Alain Bieber, features work by 12 men, three all-male collectives, and only two women artists (one of whom was added after earlier criticisms of misogyny). Of the 1,000 signatories, two are artists whose work was featured in the exhibition, Trevor Paglen and Suzanne Treister.

An unauthorized Hebrew translation of writings by Arab women has been pulled from the shelves by an Israeli publisher after the authors told Hyperallergic that they did not give permission for the book.

“Mi Gente,” a student group at Duke University, painted a mural for National Hispanic Heritage Month (also referred to as Latinx Heritage Month), but not even 24 hours later, someone had defaced the brightly-colored mural with black spray paint.

Scholastic has revised its strict copyright restrictions thanks to a campaign by child artist, Sasha Matthews. Now, student artists “will retain any intellectual property rights they have in their works, including copyright. This means, for example, you can submit the same work you submit to us to other scholarship programs or contests, keep the work in your portfolio, and license it to others for non-exclusive publication.”

(image courtesy of Plastic Jesus)

After a series of vandalisms to Donald Trump’s star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame were threatened with legal repercussion, subversive street artist Plastic Jesus has found the perfect loophole, literally putting it behind bars. [via email announcement]

Jean-Michel Basquiat‘s life and career will take the stage as a Broadway musical, produced by Alan D. Marks and Barbara Marks and composed by Jon Batiste.


Betye Saar in her Los Angeles studio, 2015 (photo by Ashley Walker, image courtesy the artist and Roberts Projects, Los Angeles)

Betye Saar in her Los Angeles studio, 2015 (photo by Ashley Walker, image courtesy the artist and Roberts Projects, Los Angeles)

The Getty Research Institute has acquired the archive of artist Betye Saar. This acquisition will launch the beginnings of the Getty’s African American Art History Initiative, a program meant to establish the Institute as a “major center for the study of African American history,” according to the press release. “Betye Saar is one of the most innovative and visionary artists of our era. She has also, in many ways, been the conscience of the art world for over fifty years and we are so honored that she has trusted us to preserve her powerful legacy,” said Andrew Perchuk, acting director of the Getty Research Institute. The archive includes works from Saar’s entire career, with sketchbooks, prints, drawings, book illustrations, and documentation of her assemblages and installations, among other works. [via email announcement]

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


Cosima von Bonin is now represented by Gaga in Mexico City.

John Christakos was appointed the president of the board of trustees at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis.

Fred Eversley is now represented by the David Kordansky Gallery in Los Angeles.

The Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland (MOCA) announced Courtenay Finn as chief curator. [via email announcement]

The Lisson Gallery in New York and London will represent Hugh Hayden.

Tamara Holmes Brothers was appointed the director of development of Duke University’s Nasher Museum of Art. [via email announcement]

Jill Maney was appointed the director of development at the Munson-Williams-Proctor Arts Institute in Utica, New York.

Deborah Marrow will retire as the director of the Getty Foundation. [via email announcement]

Galerie Max Hetzler will open an exhibition space in London.

The Nordic Pavillion at the 2019 Venice Bienalle has announced its artists. Janne Nabb and Maria Teeri will represent Finland; Ane Graff will represent Norway; and Ingela Ihrman will represent Sweden.

Amanda Parmer named the director of programs for Independent Curators International. [via email announcement]

Larissa Sansour will represent Denmark at the 2019 Venice Biennale.

14th Sharjah Biennale, which runs next year from March to June of 2019, has released its full list of exhibiting artists.

Bart van der Heide will leave his role as chief curator at Amsterdam’s Stedelijk Museum.

Cécile Verdier was tapped as the president of Christie’s France.

Upcoming Exhibitions

Lesbian Herstory Archives-Newsletter from June 14, 1993 (Image courtesy of the Lesbian Herstory Archives)

WE DISSENT… Design of the Women’s Movement in New York at the 41 Cooper Gallery at The Cooper Union will host politicized feminist artifacts spanning 150 years. The exhibition includes work by and from artists and organizations including Sisters of the Black Panthers Party, Dyke Action Machine! (DAM!), Guerrilla Girls, Jenny Holzer, Interference Archive, The Lesbian Herstory Archives, Faith Ringgold, Salsa Soul Sisters, Third World Women’s Alliance, and WITCH (Women International Terrorist Conspiracy from Hell). WE DISSENT… was curated by Stéphanie Jeanjean and Alexander Tochilovsky. The exhibition will run October 3 – December 2, 2018.

To coincide with the November 6 midterm elections, Maccarone in Los Angeles will be exhibiting political cartoons by Jim Carrey. From October 13 through November 10, IndigNation: Political Cartoons by Jim Carrey, 2016-2018, will display about 80 sketches and one painting by the comedic-actor-turned-cartoonist.


The Museum of Contemporary Art in Cleveland has opened applications for the Gund Curatorial Fellowship, a two-year appointment for an emerging curator from an underrepresented community in the contemporary art and museum fields.

The Rockaway Village Public Art Commission has extended applications for artist proposals to create a public artwork for a plaza in an affordable housing community in Downtown Far Rockaway, Queens by Phipps Houses. The selected artist will receive a $100,000 public art commission. Applicants should work, live in, or have a significant connection to Queens, and be a New York City resident over 21 years of age. Applications are open through September 30.


Artist Kandan G was recognized with the 18th Asian Art Biennale Award.

Isa Genzken has won the 2019 Nasher Prize for her work in sculpture. The German artist will receive $100,000. [via email announcement]

Latino Arts, Inc. was awarded $10,000 as part of Ovation and Spectrum’s Stand for the Arts joint initiative.

The New York Foundation for the Arts has announced the 2018 recipients of the Murray Reich Distinguished Artist Award, which recognizes artistic excellence and provides resources to mature visual artists. This year’s recipients — Sarah Draney, Rick Klauber, Reeva Potoff, and Kay WalkingStick — will receive an unrestricted cash award of $12,000 each.

The Rema Hort Mann Foundation announced the winners of its 2018 Emerging Artist Grants. Adama Delphine Fawundu, Cheyenne Julien, Dana Lok, Ektor Garcia, Jeannine Han, Jose Delgado Zuniga, Jules Gimbrone, and Sara Sternwhich will each receive $10,000 of unrestricted funds.

The Zagreb Museum of Contemporary Art was awarded a special recognition by the Forum of Slavic Cultures.


Jane Fortune

David DiChiera (1935–2018), founder of the Michigan Opera Theatre

Jane Fortune (1942–2018), known as “Indiana Jane.” She was a successful champion for women artists; the founder and chair of Advancing Women Artists; and author of Invisible Women: Forgotten Artists of Florence. [via email announcement]

Katherine Hoover (1937–2018), prolific composer and flutist

Stephen Jeffreys (1950–2018), The Libertine playwright

Perry Miller Adato (1920–2018), acclaimed documentarian of artists’ lives

John Putnam (1936–2018), beloved historian of the South Street Seaport Museum

Dr. Beat Richner (1947–2018), cellist and pediatrician who founded the Kantha Bopha Children’s Hospitals

Constance Sutton (1926–2018), feminist anthropologist

Henry Wessel Jr. (1942–2018), photographer of the American West

Madeleine Yayodele Nelson (1948–2018), founder of the percussion ensemble, Women of the Calabash

Jasmine Weber is an artist, writer, and former news editor at Hyperallergic. Follow her on Instagram and Twitter.