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.
Citing low attendance, the Marciano Art Foundation in Los Angeles announced its decision to close indefinitely. The closure came just days after 60 employees publicly announced intentions to unionize.
In 1811, hundreds of enslaved people marched through Louisiana chanting “freedom or death.” While their oft-forgotten journey ended in massacre, artist Dread Scott spent six years organizing a reenactment to celebrate the legacy of their courage, to be staged Friday, November 8 and Saturday, November 9. It promises to be an empowering take on the historical reenactment trope.
The Feminist Art Coalition has coordinated with museums nationwide to display feminist art in anticipation of the 2020 election. The project seeks to slate a fall season of intensive cross-institutional programming centered around the theme of “feminism” in its most expansive definition.
Adeela Suleman’s The Killing Fields of Karachi was installed for the 2019 Karachi Biennale, known for being the biggest public art exhibition in Pakistan. The exhibit memorialized 444 people allegedly killed by police officer Rao Anwar. Within two hours of its public opening, Suleman’s exhibit was shut down by men who claimed to be from state intelligence, and the lower hall housing the accompanying short documentary film was indefinitely sealed.
Some of the artists participating in MoMA PS1’s exhibition Theater of Operations: The Gulf Wars, 1991–2011 were denied travel visas to the US, while others had no chance of attending the exhibition’s opening because of Trump’s travel ban or their asylum status in other countries.
Nigeria’s first entry into the Academy Awards, Genevieve Nnaji’s Lionheart, was disqualified from competing in the newly renamed category of Best International Feature Film, formerly known as the Best Foreign Language Film. The film’s mostly English dialogue did not meet the section’s criteria because submitted films need to mostly be in a language other than English to qualify.
The art community in Poland is up in arms after an unprecedented decision by the Ministry of Culture to nominate a new director for the Center for Contemporary Art Ujazdowski Castle (CCA) in Warsaw, without the customary open call process. The Ministry nominated Piotr Bernatowicz, who is currently a public sector employee working in Poznan and has been accused of platforming artworks that target social groups, including the exhibiting of misogynistic and anti-Semitic artworks.
The recent uprising in Chile is full of references to the beloved dog Negro Matapacos, which accompanied protestors for many years and is known for his tendency to attack cops.
After a year of tense negotiations, residents of the historic Santa Fe Art Colony now have city council on their side. In October, the city passed two new measures beefing up renters’ protections, and the artists facing displacement are taking full advantage of the law.
Kyoto tourists face a fine for unauthorized photos of geisha. The ban, implemented in the wake of complaints by the district’s home and business owners, includes a fine of up to 10,000 yen (~$91.90), and prohibits photo-taking on private roads.
Contentious relations between the United States and China underscore the display of Coco Fusco’s “Tin Man of the Twenty-First Century” at the Anren Biennale in China’s Sichuan province. The artist has cast Trump as a heartless Tin Man, desperately in need of oil.
Nibbles, Selena Goatmez, and Vincent van Goat were among the animals that helped clear scrub surrounding the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library before the recent California wildfires broke out. In May, a herd of 500 goats created a critical fire break that enabled firefighters to hold at bay the wildfires that threatened the library.
In the early 1970s, Surrealist Salvador Dalí ventured into the occult with a custom deck of tarot cards featuring himself and his wife, Gala, as mystical figures. The deck was originally created for the 1973 James Bond film Live and Let Die, starring Roger Moore and Jane Seymour, but it never appeared in the picture.
Researchers from the National Autonomous University of Mexico and Brown University studied the defining characteristics of Jackson Pollock’s “drip” painting techniques, which may help authenticate his action paintings.
A Swann Galleries sale of Old Master Through Modern Prints hit over $398,000 in sales. Topping the lots were works by Rembrandt van Rijn, including an etching of “Pieter Haaring” (1655), which went for $81,250, and “A Beggar Seated on a Bank” (1630), which went for $60,000. An etching by Paul Klee, “Der Held mit dem Flügel–Inv. 2.” (1905), hit second place in the lots, selling for $75,000.
This and other notable sales and acquisitions are chronicled in our latest Transactions story.
This Week in the Art World
Harry Blain and Graham Southern, cofounders of Blain Southern Gallery, have cut ties as the gallery is restructured. | The Art Newspaper
Tenley Bick was named the second annual scholar-in-residence at the Magazzino Italian Art Foundation, and Melissa Dunn was appointed as the institution’s inaugural research center coordinator. | via email announcement
Connie Butler will receive the 2020 Audrey Irmas Award for Curatorial Excellence. | via email announcement
Chakaia Booker is now represented by Mark Borghi. | via email announcement
The fifth annual Brooklyn Public Library Literary Prize was awarded to Miriam Toews for Women Talking (Fiction and Poetry Prize) and Tressie McMillan Cottom for Thick: And Other Essays (Nonfiction Prize). | via email announcement
Laura Dern, David Dolby, Sidonie Seydoux Dumas, Mark Johnson, Miky Lee, Katherine Oliver, and David Rubin have joined the Academy Museum of Motion Picture‘s board of trustees. | Oscars
FRONT, Cleveland’s triennial for contemporary art, has hired Sarah Spinner Liska as deputy director, Meghana Karnik as associate curator, and Lo Smith as curatorial assistant. | via email announcement
The Garage Museum of Contemporary Art in Moscow has hired Beatrix Ruf to work in a “senior capacity on strategy and development.” | artnet News
Elisa Glazer was named external affairs and audience engagement officer, and Kate Haw was named officer of collections, exhibitions, and programs at the National Gallery. | Washington Post
Jan Harrison is the first recipient of the New York Foundation for the Arts‘s Recharge Foundation Fellowship for New Surrealist Art. | via email announcement
Agniezka Kurant will be awarded the third Frontier Art Prize. | via email announcement
Pat Martin was awarded the 2019 Taylor Wessing Prize. | Guardian
RJ Messineo is now represented by Morán Morán. | via email announcement
Lori Specter was appointed Phillips’s regional director for Switzerland. | ARTnews
Al Burton (1928–2019), television producer and executive | Variety
William B. Branch (1927–2019), playwright | Washington Post
Marya Columbia (1956–2019), violinist who played for 9/11 rescue workers in the days following the attack | New School
Sally Dixon (1932–2019), arts administrator and curator | ARTnews
Ernest J. Gaines (1933–2019), author | NPR
Ray Jenkins (1930–2019), journalist and editor | NYT
Marie Laforêt (1939–2019), singer and actress | Boston Globe
Walter Mercado (1932–2019), astrologer, actor, dancer, and writer | Miami Herald