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Week In Review: Coronavirus Prompts Art World Closures and Delays; Shell Ends Partnership With Two UK Art Institutions

Also, new Rauschenberg Emergency Grants provide artists with funds for unforeseen medical expenses, a Mexico City art collective paints the names of femicide victims on the streets, and more.

The names of femicide victims, painted on the Plaza del Zócalo, Mexico City (photo by Santiago Arau)

The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City has announced the indefinite closure of its three locations — the Met Fifth Avenue, Met Breuer, and the Met Cloisters — starting Friday, March 13 in order to contain COVID-19. Soon after, the Brooklyn Museum, Bronx Museum, and New Museum announced their temporary closures. Hyperallergic is closely monitoring global closures and delays related to the virus in a roundup, updated several times a day.

Celebrated author and Seattle native Ijeoma Oluo has launched a relief fund to help her city’s art community in the face of COVID-19. Since going live on Monday, Seattle Artists Relief has raised more than $74,000 of its stated $100,000 goal.

After this year’s LA Art Book Fair was canceled due to the coronavirus, Ohio-based curatorial assistant Jordan Spencer started a collaborative Google spreadsheet for exhibitors to share what they planned to show this year, along with detailed descriptions, prices, and links to purchase.

In the midst of protests and strikes for women’s rights worldwide, members of Colectiva SJF met in Mexico City’s central plaza, el Zócalo, to paint the names of victims of femicide in Mexico from the past four years. Over 200 other women joined them in painting about 250 names, which were scrubbed around 24 hours later.

A work by Hilma af Klint at Lightforms Art Center in the Hudson Valley (courtesy of Lightforms Art Center)

The New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA) and the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation are launching a new medical emergency aid program for artists. The one-time Rauschenberg Emergency Grants will provide visual and media artists and choreographers with up to $5,000 to cover a number of unforeseen medical expenses.

Hilma af Klint has arrived in New York’s Hudson Valley. From botanical sketches to art inspired by af Klint’s spiritual practice, lesser-known works by the beloved Swedish artist are now on view at the Lightforms Art Center.

Shell, the global oil and gas multinational, has announced plans to end its relationship with the London-based art complex Southbank Centre and the British Film Institute (BFI). The move comes in the wake of mounting pressure for cultural institutions to divest from oil sponsorship in the midst of the climate crisis.

A proposal this week to relocate the Children’s Museum of Manhattan (CMOM) to an Upper West Side Beaux-Arts church is facing fierce opposition from the local community. Preservationists and community members called the proposed changes to the church “cultural vandalism.”

The 2018 Affordable Art Fair In Battersea Park (via Jim Linwood/Flickr)

A Vietnamese artist was asked not to participate in this year’s London edition of the Affordable Art Fair because “Asians are seen as carriers” of the coronavirus. New York dealer Raquelle Azran told artist An Nguyen that their presence “would unfortunately create hesitation on the part of the audience.”

A unique 2,000-year old painted leopard sarcophagus has been unearthed in Egypt. Archeologists are now reconstructing the pieces of the sarcophagus, found in a necropolis more than 15 feet below ground on the western bank of the Nile River.

Noah Davis, “In Search of Gallerius Maximumianus” (2009), oil on canvas, 48 1/8 x 48 1/8 inches (courtesy of Phillips)

At Phillips New York’s New Now Auction, records were set for nine artists, including Leonardo Drew, Yoan Capote, and Noah Davis, whose oil painting “In Search of Gallerius Maximumianus” (2009) sold for $400,000, five times its high estimate. This and other notable sales and acquisitions are chronicled in our latest Transactions story.

This Week in the Art World

Emma Talbot, portrait in the artist’s studio, pictured with “When Screens Break” (2020) (photo by Thierry Bal)

Emma Talbot has been announced as the winner of the 8th Max Mara Art Prize for Women. | via email announcement

Marian Goodman Gallery now represents Tavares Strachan. | via email announcement

The New Museum in New York’s board of trustees has four new members: Patricia Blanchet, Füsun Eczacıbaşı, Tommie L. Pegues, and Jamie Singer. | via email announcement

Luhring Augustine now represents Richard Rezac. | via email announcement

NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio has appointed Gonzalo Casals as commissioner of the Department of Cultural Affairs (DCLA). | via email announcement

Artadia has announced Beatriz Cortez, Amir H. Fallah, and Suné Woods as its LA-based artists award winners. | via email announcement

The NYC Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment (MOME) has awarded $2 million were to 94 recipients of the NYC Women’s Fund for Media, Music and Theatre. | NYFA

Lori Starr, executive director of the Contemporary Jewish Museum (CJM) in San Francisco, will step down. | Artforum

The Mississippi Museum of Art has appointed Ryan N. Dennis as chief curator and artistic director of its Center for Art & Public Exchange (CAPE) and Holly R. Harrison as deputy director for art and programs. | via email announcement

Steven Nelson has been appointed dean of the National Gallery of Art’s Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts (CASVA). | via email announcement

The Aspen Art Museum in Colorado has named Nicola Lees its new director. | Artforum

In Memoriam

Jamey Gambrell (1954-2020), award-winning translator of Russian literature | NYT

J. Seward Johnson Jr. (1930-2020), artist of hyperrealistic sculptures | NYT

Nelson Leirner (1932–2020), Brazilian conceptual artist | ArtReview

Laurie Morgan (1926-2020), British jazz musician | The Guardian

Barbara Neely (1941-2020), activist and mystery novelist | NYT

Peregrine Pollen (1931-2020), New York auctioneer | NYT

Alan Turner (1943–2020), artist | Artforum

Max von Sydow (1929-2020), actor and The Exorcist star | NYT

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