A photo a protest in Washington Square in New York, processed with a face-blurring tool (all photos by the author for Hyperallergic)

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.

Warren B. Kanders, art collector and former Whitney Museum vice chair who resigned last summer after months of protest over his role in the use of tear gas against civilians worldwide, says that he is divesting his company, Safariland Group, from divisions that sell tear gas and riot gear.

A new iOS shortcut, innovated by software developer Noah Conk and a cohort of anonymous programmers, allows protest photographs to be published without revealing information about when and where they were taken, as well as blurring the faces of those in the images.

The statue of Confederate soldier Robert E. Lee in Richmond, Virginia covered in graffiti (Mobilus In Mobili/Flickr)

Worldwide, demonstrations protesting anti-Black racism gain steam, and people have torn down and graffitied monuments to Confederate leaders and imperialist figureheads.

Following a petition by the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago’s Teen Creative Agency, the museum has pledged to stop contracting CPD’s services until the department makes reforms. But the group believes much more work remains to be done.

Street art commemorates Breonna Taylor, who was murdered by police (via Dana L. Brown/Flickr) 

Breonna Taylor, a Black woman who was murdered by police in her home, would have turned 27 on June 5. Jordan Peele, Ava DuVernay, and others joined the thousands who are calling out for justice in Taylor’s case, and demanding the officers responsible be arrested.

To mark its 95th anniversary, the Schomburg Center’s staff and curators chose 95 books by Black authors, including titles by James Baldwin, Saidiya Hartman, Jesmyn Ward, Deborah Willis, and Colson Whitehead.

Artist Titus Kaphar’s painting “Analogous Colors” (2020) on the cover of TIME magazine (courtesy of TIME)

A painting of a grieving Black mother by artist Titus Kaphar will adorn the cover of the upcoming issue of TIME magazine.

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette chose to remove and ban at least two of its Black staff contributors from covering the current wave of actions protesting police brutality, citing “bias” in their reporting.

An open letter on behalf of NYC cultural workers by curators Natalia Viera and Patrick Jaojoco outlines a series of demands that would steer the city’s expense budget “away from the NYPD, and towards social and civic services and education programs.”


Wayne Thiebaud’s “Pinball Machines” (1962) (courtesy Christie’s Images Ltd. 2020)

In Christie’s upcoming “One: A Global Sale of the 20th Century” sale, which opens on July 10, Wayne Thiebaud’s “Pinball Machines” (1962) is estimated at a record-smashing $18-$25 million. Previously, the artist’s record at auction was $8.5 million for “Encased Cakes” (2011), a painting sold at Sotheby’s in November 2019. “Pinball Machines” was last at auction in 1981, when it sold for $143,000. It is believed that the seller is Ken Siebel, founder of a Californian wealth management firm and Gavin Newsom’s father-in-law.

Chika Okeke-Agulu, who teaches African and African Diaspora art history at Princeton University, made an Instagram post criticizing Christie’s for bringing a pair of Nigerian Igbo sculptures with troubling provenance to the auction block. Christie’s had stated that the sculptures were “acquired in situ” by Jacques Kerchache between 1968–69 — or, in the heart of the Biafran War (1967–70), when widespread looting of art was taking place across Eastern Nigeria. The statues, which are estimated at €250,000–€350,000 ($283,000–$396,000), are slated for inclusion in Christie’s Arts d’Afrique, d’Océanie et d’Amérique du Nord auction on June 29. Considering with the current stance on restitution in France, I would be surprised if Christie’s goes forward with the sale.

As of Tuesday, KAWS is holding an online sale with the goal of attaining $250,000 to benefit Black Lives Matter and Color of Change. Items on offer include his newest art toy, “TAKE,” which comes in black, blue, and pink; the exhibition catalogue KAWS: COMPANIONSHIP IN THE AGE OF LONELINESS; and works from the artist’s private collection. For those who want to check out additional sales that benefit the Black Lives Matter movement, artnet put together a list.

This Week in the Art World

Category Winner, Professional competition, Still Life, 2020 Sony World Photography Awards (© Alessandro Gandolfi)

The Annenberg Space for Photography in Los Angeles is closing. | Los Angeles Times

Lynda Roscoe Hartigan was appointed Deputy Director for collections and research and Chief Innovation Officer at Toronto’s Royal Ontario Museum. | Artforum

Elliot Bostwick Davis left her position as director and CEO of Norton Museum of Art in West Palm Beach, Florida. | The Palm Beach Post

American artist Lynda Benglis joined the roster of Xavier Hufkens in Brussels. | ARTnews

Chicago’s Richard H. Driehaus Museum announced the awardees of its 2020 Emerging Artists FellowshipMaryam Taghavi, Alexandria Eregbu, Devin T. Mays, and Unyimeabasi Udoh. | Via email announcement

 Pamela Hugdahl was named Executive Director of the Rochester Art Center in Minnesota. | Artforum

The Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam has appointed Yvette Mutumba and Adam Szymzcyk as its inaugural curators-at-large. | Stedelijk Museum

David Kordansky Gallery in Los Angeles now represents photographer Deana Lawson and painter Jason Fox. | David Kordansky Gallery

South African artist Igshaan Adams is now represented by Casey Kaplan in New York. | ARTnews

Mariane Ibrahim in Chicago announced representation of Ugandan artist Ian Mwesiga. | Via email announcement

The World Photography Organisation announced the winners of the 2020 Sony World Photography Awards. | World Photography Organisation

In Memoriam

Bert Bial (1927–2020), New York Philharmonic contrabassoonist and bassoonist | The New York Times

Grace Edwards (1933–2020), mystery writer  | The New York Times

Manuel Felguérez (1928–2020), Mexican abstractionist | ARTnews

Robert Ford Jr. (1949–2020), hip-hop journalist and producer | The New York Times

Cynthia Navaretta (1923–2020), feminist art critic | ARTnews

Lennie Niehaus (1929–2020), composer for film and television | The New York Times

Bonnie Pointer (1950–2020), singer and founding member of the Pointer Sisters | NPR

Cassie Packard is a Brooklyn-based art writer. (cassiepackard.com)