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Week in Review: Beirut Artists Raise Funds to Rebuild; New Museum Union Files Labor Complaint 

Also, a portrait by Amoako Boafo was acquired by the Guggenheim Museum, and more.

Saba Innab, “Untitled 4” (2016) From the series, Al Rahhalah (The Traveler) (courtesy the artist)

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 Beirut was ravaged by an explosion of catastrophic proportions, initiatives have sprung up in the aftermath of the explosion, with the goal of raising funds for relief efforts in the city and reconstructing its devastated cultural sector.

Madalena McNeil, a 28-year-old community organizer from Salt Lake City, Utah, could spend the rest of her life in prison for the unlikely crime of allegedly buying red spray before a protest. Seven other protesters could also face lifetime sentences for different riot charges.

After losing its entire bargaining committee in layoffs and furloughs, the New Museum Union has filed a complaint with the National Labor Relation Board (NLRB) accusing the museum of unfair labor practices and of violating the National Labor Relations Act.

More than 150 employees of the Milwaukee Art Museum are organizing to join the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, which represents the museum’s security guards

The Edward Said National Conservatory of Music in Jerusalem (courtesy of PalMusic UK )

Brian Eno, Peter Gabriel, Ahdaf Soueif, and Turner Prize winners Lawrence Abu Hamdam and Tai Shani are among more than 60 international musicians, artists, writers, and filmmakers who signed an open letter condemning Israel’s crackdown on three Palestinian culture centers in East Jerusalem.

In the wake of Cuban dissident Yosvany Arostegui’s death in police custody last Friday, August 7, artist and activist Tania Bruguera has summoned a virtual “chorus of voices” to acknowledge and honor the political prisoners on the island. On her Facebook page yesterday, she posted a list of 102 current prisoners and asked supporters to record themselves reading the names out loud.

The National Museum of American Jewish History’s “YO SEMITE” shirt has garnered over $30,000 in sales since the president mispronounced Yosemite.

This year’s Wikipedia Edit-a-Thon, Black Artists Matter, focused on artists of the African  in the National Museum of Women in the Arts’s collection.

Transactions

A large-scale portrait by Ghana-born, Vienna-based painter Amoako Boafo was acquired by the Guggenheim Museum. Titled “Joy Adenike” (2019), the oil painting depicts a Black woman who meets the viewer’s gaze, the bright red stripes of her skirt offset by a glass of red wine. The artist, who sees his paintings as celebrations of Black life, used his hallmark finger-painting technique to depict the sitter’s face. Boafo is on the rise, to say the least. In 2019 he had his first US solo show. An artist residency, major art market successes, and even a collaboration with Dior followed. Recently, Boafo’s works have appeared on the secondary market after being flipped. At Phillips London his painting “The Lemon Bathing Suit” (2019) sold for £675,000 ($875,000), smashing its high estimate of £50,000 ($64,800).

Thomas Olbricht — a chemist, entrepreneur, and one of the most significant private art collectors in Germany — will be selling around 500 works from his famous collection. The pieces will be sold in an auction titled “From a Universal Collector – The Olbricht Collection” at Cologne-based auction house Van Ham. Olbricht, who recently closed his private museum, called me Collectors Room Berlin, which he opened in 2011, collected everything from contemporary heavyweights to a cabinet of curiosities containing late Renaissance and Baroque material. Leading the sale is George Condo’s “Screaming Couple” (2005), estimated at €300,000–€500,00 (~$354,600–$591,000).

The Jordan D. Schnitzer Family Foundation in Portland purchased an archive of Judy Chicago’s prints, preparatory sketches, copper plates, wooden molds, and more. A work from every print edition that Chicago made is encompassed by the extensive archive. Highlights include prints made in connection to her iconic table installation “The Dinner Party” and a stack of prints inspired by Anais Nin’s erotic short stories and stored as a set in a heart-shaped box. Chicago has been facilitating institutional acquisitions of her print archives as of late; in May, an archive of material related to her site-specific fireworks was acquired by the Nevada Museum of Art.

Tarek Atoui, The Reverse Collection, 2016. Performance view, Tate Modern, London,
UK, 2016. Artwork © Tarek Atoui. Image courtesy the artist. Photograph by Thierry
Bal.

This Week in the Art World

Tarek Atoui is the winner of the 2022 Suzanne Deal Booth / FLAG Art Foundation Prize. | ARTnews

Phillips will open a space in Southampton. | ARTnews

Priya Frank was named Director of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion at the Seattle Art Museum. | Seattle Art Museum

Rome’s MAXXI museum will open a space in L’Aquila, Italy. | Art Newspaper

The Institute of Contemporary Art at the University of Pennsylvania appointed Zoë Ryan as its Director. | Philadelphia Inquirer

The Art Dealers Association of America was joined by six new galleries: Garth Greenan Gallery, Hill-Stone, James Barron Art, Mariane Ibrahim, Roberts Projects, and Tina Kim Gallery. | artdaily.com

The Institute for Contemporary Art at Virginia Commonwealth University announced plans to open a media center with VPM. | The Art Newspaper

Queenie Sukhadia was appointed the inaugural Writer in Residence for the Mellon Seminar on Public Engagement and Collaborative Research at the Graduate Center, CUNY. | via email announcement

Martin Riegler will serve as Head of PR and Marketing at the Museum der Moderne Salzburg. | artdaily.com

In Memoriam

Brent Carver (1951–2020), Canadian actor and singer | Guardian

Ronnie Goodman (1960–2020), Californian painter | Artforum

Matt Heron (1931–2020), civil rights photographer | New York Times

Douglas Latchford (1931–2020), antiquities dealer and alleged antiquities trafficker | Art Newspaper

Trini Lopez (1937–2020), singer and guitarist | Rolling Stone

Kurt Luedtke (1939–2020), journalist and screenwriter | Variety

Sumner M. Redstone (1923–2020), media magnate | New York Times

Judit Reigl (1923–2020), Hungarian-born abstract painter | ARTnews

Bernard Stiegler (1952–2020), French critical theorist | Artforum

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