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.
United States Politics
The recently passed $1.9 trillion COVID stimulus, called the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, includes $470 million for arts and culture relief, including $135 million to both the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities.
The US Capitol curators have requested $25,000 in emergency conservation funding to repair art damaged when pro-Trump rioters stormed the government building on January 6.
Restitution and Repatriation
The looted status of a Nepali stele in the Dallas Museum of Art’s collection has been well documented since the 1980s. However, it wasn’t until this year that the FBI and DMA collaborated to repatriate the religious artifact. The restitution was catalyzed by a tweet calling attention to its questionable provenance by art crime professor and Hyperallergic contributor Erin Thompson.
A work by Egon Schiele, belonging to the artist’s dentist, will be returning to his heirs at the suggestion of Germany’s advisory commission on Nazi-looted art. The body also recommended the return of a painting by Erich Heckel to the heirs of Jewish journalist Max Fischer.
Artists Advocating for Cultural Reform
The artist-activist collective Godzilla withdrew from a retrospective at the Museum of Chinese in America, slated for May, citing the New York museum’s “complicity” in the city’s plan to build four new jails.
Ahead of a massive march for International Women’s Day, activists painted the names of femicide victims outside of Mexico’s presidential palace. The makeshift mural also included messages like “Trans women are part of my struggle” and “Legal abortion now.”
In Other News
Non-fungible tokens, the latest crypto-art frenzy in the cultural sector, exist on the energy costly Ethereum blockchain, which utilizes high-power processing machines that emit CO2. As market demand for NFT art increases, recently peaking with the recent sale of a Beeple NFT for $69 million, so do questions about the carbon footprint of NFTs.
Archaeologists discovered a one-of-a-kind chariot near Pompeii, preserved in ash from Mount Vesuvius. The ornate chariot includes elaborate scenes on rear medallions that refer to Eros, leading researchers to theorize that it could have been used for marriage rituals or processionals.
Awards & Accolades
Chloë Bass was named the Brooklyn Public Library’s Katowitz Radin Artist in Residence for 2021.
Lower Manhattan Cultural Council awarded $1.3 million to 284 artists and organizations. | LMCC
See the captivating shortlisted and finalist images from the 2021 Sony World Photography Awards.
Series by photographers Matika Wilbur, Karen Zusman, and Anna Boyiazis were selected for the second Leica Women Foto Project award, announced on International Women’s Day. See their projects here.
Kader Attia was named curator of the 12th Berlin Biennale for Contemporary Art.
Garrett Bradley is now represented by Lisson Gallery.
Adam Broomberg is now represented by signs and symbols.
Lauren Haynes was named senior curator at Duke University’s Nasher Museum of Art. | CultureType
Nancy Holt is now represented by Sprüth Magers.
Marcus Margerum was appointed deputy director and chief business officer of the Contemporary Arts Center in Cincinnati.
Wilhelmina “Billie” Cole Holladay (1922–2021), founder of the National Museum of Women in the Arts | Georgetowner
Barbara Ess (1944–2021), avant-garde musician and photographer | New York Times
Charles Hill (1947–2021), detective who discovered Edvard Munch’s “The Scream” after it was stolen from the National Gallery in Oslo | Texarkana Gazette
Norton Juster (1929–2021), architect and author of children’s classic The Phantom Tollbooth | Guardian
Ralph Peterson Jr. (1962–2021), bandleader, jazz drummer, professor | Boston Globe
Aaron Rose (1936–2021), photographer, filmmaker, and writer | New York Times
What would it look like if museums turned their billions toward positive good instead of questionable investments simply for profit?
Patricio Guzmán combines reflection on the past, observation of the present, and hope for the future into an expansive vision of all the ideas he’s explored in his work.
Artists reflect on histories of oppressive power structures in Brazil in this exhibition at the Visual Arts Center at the University of Texas at Austin.
So closely do Disney’s animators assimilate the sensibility of French design that on occasion their source material appears almost more Disney than Disney itself.
The Grand Avenue Billboard Project enables artists like Karen Fiorito to publicly express their political views.
The museum opens to the public on October 8 with a 24-hour kickoff and a rebooted California Biennial.
The report estimates that 6.7 million Indigenous objects and human remains continue to be held in Canadian institutions, most of which do not have formal repatriation policies.
Funding options at UB include full-tuition scholarships for MFA students, the Arthur A. Schomburg Fellowship Program, and additional opportunities for MA students.
The Association of Art Museum Directors announced a shift in its longstanding policy, which restricted the use of funds from sales of art to new acquisitions only.
Martín Mobarak may have broken Mexican law, but he burned the proof.
Your list of must-see, fun, insightful, and very Los Angeles art events this month, including the Maya Codex of Mexico at the Getty, Beatrice Wood, Trenton Doyle Hancock, and more.