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Week in Review: Simone Leigh to Represent US in Venice Biennale; SF Offers Artist COVID-19 Stipend

Also, over 150 artists have amplified demands for reform at the New Orleans Museum of Art following accusations of bigotry and discrimination, and more.

Luciano Garbati’s “Medusa With The Head of Perseus” being installed at Collect Pond Park today (image courtesy MWTH Project)

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.

Over 150 artists, including Ebony G. Patterson, William Powhida, and Xaviera Simmons, have amplified demands for reform at the New Orleans Museum of Art. The letter asks art workers “to place strict conditions on their collaboration with NOMA,” which is being accused of bigotry and discrimination.

A statue reimagining the myth of Medusa by Luciano Garbati, which was installed near the site of several high-profile abuse cases including the Harvey Weinstein trials, has been criticized for its depiction of Medusa’s nude body, despite its intended message of women’s empowerment.

San Francisco‘s COVID-19 recovery plan includes a $1,000 monthly stipend for 130 artists.

Ahead of Indigenous People’s Day, unidentified protesters in Portland, Oregon toppled statues of Theodore Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln.

Four activists were fined for their live-streamed protest at the Quai Branly Museum, in which Mwazulu Diyabanza removed a 19th-century funerary post from its display to protest colonialism.

The Supreme Court declined G&M Realty’s petition to review the 5Pointz case, upholding a 2018 federal court ruling that awarded $6.7 million in damages to 21 artists at the site.

The Brooklyn Museum is deaccessioning 12 artworks, including significant pieces by Lucas Cranach the Elder and Francesco Botticini, to maintain its collection. The works are estimated to accrue between $2.3 million and $3.5 million at Christie’s.

Tom Gore, the owner of a prison telecom company, resigned from the board of LACMA after over 100 artists demanded his removal.

In Washington, DC, digital screens project artworks by Carrie Mae Weems and Jeffrey Gibson as part of the “Art for Action” campaign. (image courtesy Orange Barrel Media)

Laura Lott, president and CEO of the American Alliance of Museums, criticized Donald Trump‘s resolution to forego a new stimulus package until after the election, calling the decision “irresponsible and shameful.”

The American Alliance of Museums’s newly updated “Guide to Election Year Activities” outlines what institutions can and can’t do in the lead-up to the presidential election.

Carrie Mae Weems, Jenny Holzer, Jeffrey Gibson, and Tomashi Jackson are also participating in “Art for Action,” the largest nonpartisan public art campaign to raise voter awareness.

Awards & Accolades

Artist Simone Leigh photographed at Stratton Sculpture Studios in 2020 (photo by Shaniqwa Jarvis, image courtesy the artist and Hauser & Wirth) 

The Ford Foundation and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation are launching “Disability Futures,” the only national award for disabled artists. Twenty disabled filmmakers, performers, and other creative practitioners across the US will each receive a $50,000 grant ($1 million in total) to pursue their work. | Hyperallergic

Simone Leigh will represent the United States at the 59th Venice Biennale in 2022. | Hyperallergic

Transitions

Art in General, a Brooklyn-based arts nonprofit, announced its closure after over four decades of operation.

Martina Droth was appointed deputy director and chief curator at the Yale Center for British Art. | ARTFIX Daily

John Hatfield, executive director of Socrates Sculpture Park, will step down from his role.

Elaine Yau was appointed the inaugural curator for the Eli Leon Collection of African American Quilts at UC Berkeley’s Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive (BAMPFA).

In Memoriam

Chris Killip (1946–2020), influential photographer | ARTnews

Monica Roberts (1962–2020), journalist and activist for the trans community | Washington Post

Bob Shanks (1932–2020), television producer and executive | New York Times

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