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Week in Review: Literary Legend Toni Morrison Passes Away, Freedom of Speech Exhibition Censored in Japan

Also, Maya Angelou will be honored with a work of public art in San Francisco, maps of gerrymandered districts were turned into a typeface, and more.

Kim Seo-kyung and Kim Eun-sung’s “Statue of Peace” (2011) outside the Japanese embassy in Seoul, South Korea (via YunHo LEE/Flickr)

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.

After organizers received threats of violence, a freedom of speech-inspired exhibition at the 2019 Aichi Triennale was shuttered. The controversy stemmed from a statue of a Korean “comfort woman,” highlighting the history of sexual slavery during World War II. 72 of 90 of the artists in the triennial objected to its closure with a statement posted to Facebook. | Hyperallergic

A child visiting London with his family from France was thrown from the 10th floor of the Tate Modern. Police describe the victim’s condition as “critical but stable.” The suspect, a 17-year-old boy who remains anonymous because of his age, was charged with attempted murder. | Hyperallergic

Manuel Oliver painting a mural of his son Joaquin in El Paso, Texas (photo by and courtesy of Rania Batrice)

On August 3, 22 individuals were murdered in an act of gun violence in El Paso, Texas. The following day, nine individuals were killed in another mass shooting in Dayton, Ohio. Artist Manuel Oliver, father of a victim in the 2018 Parkland shooting, has painted 30 murals in honor of his son Joaquin and his advocacy for a compassionate immigrant policy. He and his wife were in El Paso, Texas visiting immigrant shelters in the area at the time of the El Paso shooting. A mural that Oliver had planned to paint in honor of his late son’s advocacy for immigrants’ rights has now come to signify a shared tragedy. | Hyperallergic

James Turrell’s “Meeting” at MoMA PS1 in 2013 (courtesy of Hrag Vartanian)

In January of 2019, James Turrell opted to indefinitely close his popular skyspace at MoMA PS1 after its view was interrupted by construction on a nearby luxury condo. But after six months, “Meeting” (1980–86) reopened on August 1 with a clear view. | Hyperallergic

After an eight-year legal battle, Facebook has finally reached an agreement with Frédéric Durand-Baïssas, a French teacher who posted Courbet’s “The Origin of the World” on his profile. The social media giant will make an unspecified donation to a French street art association, Durand’s lawyer said. | Hyperallergic

Phillip Stevens has become the fourth Sotheby’s shareholder to sue the auction house in an attempt to stop its $3.7 billion sale to Patrick Drahi, a French-Israeli businessman. Michael Kent, Eli Goffmna and Shiva Stein have also launched suits against the auction house,  saying that Sotheby’s filed insufficient information to the Securities and Exchange Commission about its finances. In response, Sotheby’s says: “As the vast majority of all public company mergers over $100 million are the subject of shareholder litigation, the lawsuits filed were expected and routine. We do not expect the suits to have any impact on our targeted closing timing of the fourth quarter of this year.” | Observer

Lava Thomas’s proposal, called “Portrait of a Phenomenal Women” (all images courtesy the San Francisco Arts Commission)

The celebrated poet and novelist Maya Angelou is slated to return to her one-time home of San Francisco as a new monument — part of the city’s plan to close the gender gap between public art representing historical men and women. | Hyperallergic

The font “Gerry,” created by two Chicago-based digital creatives, renders maps of gerrymandered districts into letters of the alphabet as a commentary on the “eroding of democracy.” | Hyperallergic

DC’s Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority reversed its decision to reject a Phillips Collection advertisement campaign for its exhibition The Warmth of Other Suns: Stories of Global Displacement. Originally, the metro organization cited a rule that prohibits advertisements “intended to influence members of the public regarding an issue on which there are varying opinions” and “intended to influence public policy.” Many of the 75 artists in the exhibition are refugees displaced from their home countries because of war, climate change and other hardships. | Washington Post

“Quiet As It’s Kept” by Kara Walker will be on the cover of The New Yorker next week to commemorate literary legend Toni Morrison. | Instagram

Ingrid Calame “CgONG!” (made from “#70 3/4 Working Drawing”) (2002) enamel on aluminum, 48 x 48 inches (courtesy the artist)

The Mead Art Museum at Amherst College received 170 works of contemporary art from an anonymous donor. The pieces span a range of formats and media from masters and emerging artists alike, including works by Mona Hatoum, David Hockney, Toba Khedoori, Ingrid Calame, Carroll Dunham, Robin Rhode, and Analia Saban, among many others. Selections from the gift will be shown at an exhibition titled Starting Something New: Recent Contemporary Art Acquisitions and Gifts, which starts from September 10, 2019, and runs through July, 2020.

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

Opportunities

Applications are open for the fall 2019 session of the Magnum Foundation Fellowship for New York City-based photographers. Applications are due August 15. | Magnum Foundation

Learn about other opportunities you can apply for this month in our latest “Opportunities for Artists in August 2019.”

This Week in the Art World

Octavio Abúndez, “A Select History of Humanity” from the (Hi)stories series, 2018, acrylic on canvas, 200 x 106 x 1 inches (courtesy of Kohn Gallery)

Octavio Abúndez is now represented by Kohn Gallery. | via email announcement

Amara Antilla was named senior curator of the Contemporary Arts Center in Cincinnati. | via email announcement 

Mark Beasley was appointed the curatorial director of Pace Live. | via email announcement

Gagosian will grow its space on W 24th Street to include the former spaces of Mary Boone Gallery and Pace Gallery. | Bloomberg

Ngahina Hohaia and Julian Arahanga were selected for the Wānanga | Wānana Residency offered by Bishop Museum in partnership with Creative New Zealand. | via email announcement

Robin Howell was appointed board chair of the High Museum in Atlanta. Farideh Azadi, Watt Boone, Will Powell, and Mark Preisinger have also joined the board. | Artforum

The Istanbul Biennial, previously located at the Istanbul Shipyards, will be relocated to the Pera Museum and Büyükada Island. | via email announcement

Michael Liburd was elected chair of the board of trustees at BRIC. Susan Jurevics, Jin Kang, Martha Redbone, and Kim Soule joined the board as trustees. | via email announcement

The estate of William Pène du Bois is now represented by 511 Gallery. | via mail announcement

Jeffrey Richmond-Moll was named American art curator at the Georgia Museum of Art at the University of Georgia in Athens. | Artforum

Stephanie Sparling Williams was appointed associate curator at Mount Holyoke College Art Museum. | Culture Type

Jessica Strahan, Sarrah Danzinger, Rachel David, and Thomas Deaton were given the Louisiana Contemporary by the Ogden Museum of Southern Art in New Orleans. | via email announcement 

Yares Art will move into Mary Boone’s former gallery in Midtown Manhattan. | ARTnews

In Memoriam

Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient Toni Morrison in the White House with Barack Obama in 2012 (via Obama White House/Flickr)

David Berman (1967–2019), musician, singer, poet, and cartoonist | Pitchfork

Kamal Boullata (1942–2019), artist and art historian | TAN

Corbin Gwaltney (1922–2019), editor an founder of the Chronicle of Higher Education | Chronicle

Toni Morrison (1931–2019), acclaimed novelist, editor, professor, and Nobel laureate in literature who confronted the harshest truths about American history and wrote poetic odes to the Black experience | New Yorker

Steve Sawyer (1956–2019), Greenpeace activist and leader | Greenpeace

Don Suggs (1945–2019), painter, sculptor, photographer, and teacher | LA Times

Dorothy Toy (1917–2019), tap dancer who was part of the Toy and Wing tap dance duo | Smithsonian

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