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.
Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, students at the renowned San Francisco Art Institute learned that the institution does not plan to reopen in the fall due to struggling finances.
New Dealers Alliance (NADA), a New York-based nonprofit, released a petition calling on the local government to provide relief programs that would consider the circumstances and needs of artist-run and small and mid-size galleries.
Artists and cultural institutions are stepping up to help health care workers across the United States who have been reporting shortages of face masks and other protective gear while they’re combating the spread of COVID-19.
After shuttering due to the coronavirus, MOCA Los Angeles fired all of its part-time employees. The 97 laid-off workers represent half of the museum’s total staff of 185.
The Guggenheim Union has shared on its Twitter account screenshots of several e-mails from staff asking the museum to reconsider its policy of not paying on-call (freelance) workers past March 29.
82 graduate teaching assistants were fired during University of California Strikes, which have pivoted to a digital picket line due to the novel coronavirus.
A cultural tradition in Spain has become a symbol of strength during the coronavirus pandemic.
During the COVID-19 crisis, DreamYard, an arts center in the South Bronx, pivoted its community-forward mission to provide free lunches on weekdays.
A few updates from the (remote) Hyperallergic offices: Hyperallergic now uses Bookshop to support independent publishers and has been certified as a Rotten Tomatoes outlet.
New York-based online auction house Paddle8 has filed for bankruptcy one week after being sued by the New American Cinema Group. The cinema nonprofit alleged that Paddle8 was withholding and misappropriating proceeds from a charity auction held in November. The list of creditors to whom Paddle8 owes money includes the Rema Hort Mann Foundation (over $100,000), Jay-Z’s Shawn Carter Foundation ($65,000), and Justin and Hailey Bieber (over $73,000).
At Bonhams London the Modern & Contemporary African Art Sale garnered £1.770 million (about $2.1 million) and set auction records for eight artists. “Watussi Chief’s Wife” (1946), a rare portrait painted by Irma Stern during her second trip to the Belgian Congo, led the sale at £447,000. The sitter, who dons traditional ceremonial Rwandan dress, was a member of Rwandan King Yuhi V Musinga’s Royal Court. When Belgium deposed him in 1931, she became a political exile. Another work by Stern, “Still life of roses and earthenware” (1936), sold for £87,000; Art Market Monitor has noted recent growth in her market.
David Zwirner, Gagosian, and Hauser & Wirth have reported solid sales at this year’s online-only edition of Art Basel Hong Kong. Mega-galleries sell art by PDF all the time so, as Gagosian director Sam Orlofsky notes, the only surprise was that there were big-ticket buyers amid a global crisis. On the higher end, David Zwirner reportedly sold a work by Marlene Dumas for $2.6 million and a piece by Luc Tuymans for $2 million, while Gagosian reported selling a painting by Georg Baselitz for $1.3 million.
This Week in the Art World
The Swedish Royal Academy of Fine Arts awarded Francis Alÿs the Rolf Schock Prize in Visual Arts. | Artforum
Lorenzo Fusi was appointed Artistic Director and Chief Curator of the inaugural Yerevan Biennial. | e-flux
The Ogden Museum of Southern Art selected René Morales as the juror of the ninth Louisiana Contemporary exhibition. | via email announcement
The 2020–2022 Tokyo Contemporary Art Award was awarded to Fujii Hikaru and Yamashiro Chikako. | Oculus
Mel Douglas received the 2020 Tom Malone Prize. | AGWA
Helen Jean was named Curator of Fashion Design at the Phoenix Art Museum. | Artforum
Jaynelle Hazard was appointed Executive Director & Curator of the Greater Reston Arts Center. | Tysons Today
The Eye Filmmuseum in Amsterdam awarded Kahlil Joseph the 2020 Eye Art & Film Prize. | ArtReview
Maurice Berger (1956–2020), writer and chief curator at the UMBC | Baltimore Sun
Floyd Cardoz (1960–2020), chef and co-owner of Bombay Canteen | CNN
Suzy Delair (1917–2020), French chanteuse and actress | France 24
Manu Dibango (1933–2020), Cameroonian musician | NPR
James V. Hatch (1928–2020), archivist of black theater | Antelope Valley Press
Paul Kasmin (1960–2020), Chelsea gallerist | Architectural Digest
Jeremy Marre (1943–2020), English filmmaker | New York Times
Terrence McNally (1938–2020), Tony Award-winning playwright | Al Jazeera
Merry Norris (1940–2020), LA MoCA cofounder | Artforum
Nashom Wooden (1970–2020), drag performer | Paper
Special Edition: 🖌️Artists’ Signatures ✍️
In this special edition, we investigate what artists’ signatures actually mean, and the fascinating results reveal the multifaceted history of this curious phenomenon.
What Is a Signature in the Internet Age?
As a cryptographic unit for record-keeping, an NFT can be seen as analogous to a signature or an autograph.
The Public Theater Explores the Hurricane Katrina Diaspora in shadow/land
Written by Erika Dickerson-Despenza and directed by Candis C. Jones, this lyrical meditation on legacy, erotic fugitivity, and self-determination is on view in NYC.
The Meaning of Ancient Greek and Roman Artisan Signatures
What did a signature mean in the ancient world, and how much can we trust what they seem to tell us?
Michelangelo’s Signature and the Myth of Genius
Michelangelo served as a stellar example for future artists who sought status and economic independence.
The Rubin Museum Presents Death Is Not the End
Tibetan Buddhist and Christian works of art made across 12 centuries explore death, the afterlife, and the desire to continue to exist. On view in NYC.
Uncovering the Photographer Behind Arshile Gorky’s Most Famous Painting
As we pursue photographer Hovhannes Avedaghayan a fascinating picture begins to emerge of him and the world of which he was part.
100 Years of Artist Signatures in a Detroit Club
The beams in Detroit’s Scarab Club act as a guest book of sorts, carrying a wealth of stories and history, including signatures by Diego Rivera, Marcel Duchamp, Margaret Bourke-White, Isamu Noguchi, and others.
When I Am Empty Please Dispose of Me Properly
Ayanna Dozier, Ilana Harris-Babou, Meena Hasan, Lucia Hierro, Catherine Opie, Chuck Ramirez, and Pacifico Silano explore the myths of the American Dream at Brooklyn’s BRIC House.
The Myth of Agency Around Artists’ Signatures
In an art world built on shifting sands, artists’ signatures become symbols of agency for some, and relics of the past for others.
The Women Artists Commemorated on an NYC Sidewalk
The signatures of Rosa Bonheur, Mary Cassatt, and six other historical women artists are engraved on a small stretch of sidewalk on Manhattan’s Upper East Side.
Pratt’s 2023 Fine Arts MFA Thesis Exhibition Is On View in Brooklyn
The two-part exhibition features the work of 41 graduating artists across disciplines, including painting, sculpture, printmaking, and integrated practices.
Met Museum Repatriates 15 Objects to India
The sculptures were all at one point sold by the disgraced art dealer Subhash Kapoor.
Pussy Riot’s Nadya Tolokonnikova Placed on Russian “Wanted” List
Tolokonnikova has long been a thorn in the side of Vladimir Putin’s regime.