Week in Review is a weekly collection of news, developments, and stirrings in the art world. Subscribe to receive these posts as a weekly newsletter.
The Art Institute of Chicago has postponed a major exhibition of Native American pottery prior to its opening in late May. James Rondeau, the Art Institute’s president and director, said: “The principal thing that we have not accomplished is to have an aligned indigenous perspective, scholarly and curatorial, with the project. And I think that ultimately for us has been the crucial realization that our ability to reflect back what we were learning needed to be done in multiple voices, not just our voice.” Indigenous scholars voiced concerns that many of the objects, owned by a Chicago collector and pledged to the Art Institute, had been stolen from burial sites. [The Chicago Tribune]
Eight members of the Sackler family have filed a motion to dismiss a lawsuit against them and their company Purdue Pharma, led by the state of Massachusetts. The Sacklers say the lawsuit is “rife with mischaracterizations and factual inaccuracies.” This is one of over 1,000 lawsuits currently pending against the Purdue Pharma. In March, the family and Purdue Pharma settled a lawsuit against Purdue with the state of Oklahoma for $275 million, and New York State launched an opioid lawsuit naming the Sacklers and Purdue Pharma. [Guardian]
The artist Christo plans to wrap the Arc de Triomphe in Paris next spring with silvery blue polypropylene fabric and 7,000 meters of red rope. The piece, titled L’Arc de Triomphe Wrapped (Project for Paris, Place de l’Etoile-Charles de Gaulle), will be on view April 6-19 in 2020. The project was first conceived in 1962. [TAN]
The images, like life, are ephemeral. Once pasted, the art piece lives on its own. The sun dries the light glue and with every step, people tear pieces of the fragile paper. The process is all about participation of volunteers, visitors, and souvenir catchers. pic.twitter.com/vNArYszXxo
— JR (@JRart) March 31, 2019
A public installation surrounding the Louvre Museum in Paris, by street artist JR, has been badly damaged. The glue holding down the 183,000 square foot sticker, which created an optical illusion of the Louvre’s iconic period, dried and created a peeling effect that some visitors ripped off as a souvenir, while some was unintentionally shredded by pedestrians. The damage occurred within just hours. [Colossal]
The French government will open a new office within its ministry of culture dedicated to researching and restituting art looted by Nazis, now in the collections of French museums. “We want to have one very clear office in the ministry because this public policy was already there, but not very visible,” says David Zivie, who will head the new office. “Now we want to take it further and go faster, because it’s 75 years after the war. We want to have more means including people, help, and financial resources.” [artnet]
Twenty-eight years after tobacco sponsorship was banned by Tate museums, the British Museum has continued to accept donations by Japan Tobacco International (JTI), The Art Newspaper has discovered. JTI, which owns Benson & Hedges, Winston, Camel, and Silk Cut, provides funding to the British Museum’s Asia department through the JTI Japanese Acquisition Fund. A museum spokeswoman told TAN that “JTI have supported the museum since 2010 and we are grateful to JTI for their long-term partnership.” The museum’s 2016 Acceptance of Donations Principles indicates that trustees are required to consider “the economic benefits of accepting the money being weighed against the potential cost of reputational risks.” [TAN]
At the end of March, Women’s History Month, Congress introduced bipartisan bills in the House of Representatives and the Senate to establish a Smithsonian museum dedicated to women’s history. “The US needs and deserves a comprehensive women’s history museum that will inspire men and women of all ages and for future generations,” said Representative Carolyn Maloney (D–NY). “For too long, women who have made extraordinary contributions to our nation have been left out of the telling of our history.” Both bills are called the “Smithsonian American Women’s History Museum Act.” [artnet]
The Kochi-Muziris Biennale in India has dropped its investigation into an allegation of sexual harassment against Riyas Komu, the biennale’s co-founder. “Since no complaint was forthcoming after pursuing the matter for several weeks, the [International Complaints Committee] recommended the dropping of the inquiry suggested by the Foundation,” the biennial said in a statement. “This recommendation has been examined and has been accepted by the board of trustees.” Komu is now able to resume his position at the biennial. [ARTnews]
The Jewish Museum in Berlin has announced that they would no longer accept donations from the Sackler family, whose company Purdue Pharma has been accused of perpetuating the opioid crisis. Although they are declining donations, they have no plans to rename the Sackler Staircase, named in homage to a Sackler donation in 2002. “In 2002 we were not aware that OxyContin is subject to misuse,” a spokeswoman from the museum told the Art Newspaper. “Returning the donation would also not be an option because we would have to use public funds to do that. We also feel that renaming would be an inappropriate attempt to disguise what happened. It would contradict the fact that we acted in good faith in 2002.” [The Art Newspaper]
The Cincinnati Art Museum has announced an acquisition agreement to form the Nancy Rexroth Collection, bringing together over 300 photographic works. Through this agreement, the Museum will acquire a number of Rexroth’s early photographs, some of which are previously unseen. The acquisition includes a complete set of photos from the 1977 and 2017 editions of Rexroth’s photobook, IOWA. The agreement is made possible through the Cincinnati Art Museum’s foundations and its photography community. [via email announcement]
This and other notable sales and acquisitions are chronicled in our latest Transactions story.
More News from This Week
- Mercedes-Benz Is Suing Artists Who Accused the Car Company of Copyright Infringement
- Latinx Scholars, Curators, and Artists Urge El Museo del Barrio to Stay True to Its Mission
- Memorial to Enslaved People Vandalized with Racist Language and Urine at the University of North Carolina
- A Tiny Danish Town Will Get Western Europe’s Biggest Skyscraper
- LACMA Renovation Is Shrinking Gallery Space, and Angelenos Are Confused About It
- Fraud Case Against Academy of Art University in San Francisco Will Proceed
- What the EU’s New Copyright Law Means for Artists
- An Artist Works to Break Down the Walls Between a College and Its Community
- Week 2 of Whitney Protests: Freedom Songs for the Unliberated
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