January 24, 2015

Theaster Gates, Winner of This Year’s Artes Mundi Prize, to Share Winnings

Theaster Gates, A Complicated Relationship between Heaven and Earth, or When We Believe, 2014.

Chicago-based artist Theaster Gates, upon receiving the $60,000 Artes Mundi prize on Thursday night, announced that he’d be sharing the prize money with the nine shortlisted nominees to the award, according to the New York Times’ Christopher D. Shea. Gates received the prize in recognition for his piece A Complicated Relationship between Heaven and Earth, or When We Believe, 2014, currently on view at the National Museum in Cardiff. Past prize winners include Teresa Margolles, Yael Bartana, N.S. Harsha, Eija-Liisa Ahtila, and Xu Bing. The nine other nominees who’ll now be receiving a part of Gates’s cash: Carlos Bunga, Omer Fast, Sanja Ivekovic, Ragnar Kjartansson, Sharon Lockhart, Renata Lucas, Renzo Marten, and Karen Mirza with Brad Butler.

January 23, 2015

Prospect New Orleans Announces New Artistic Director

Trevor Schoonmaker.

Curator Trevor Schoonmaker will be the artistic director for the fourth edition of Prospect New Orleans, in 2017, reports Charlotte Burns in the Art Newspaper. Currently the chief curator at the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University in North Carolina, Schoonmaker has previously organized such exhibitions as “Black President,” which focused on the influence of Nigerian Afrobeat musician and activist Fela Kuti and traveled to the New Museum in New York in 2003, the Barbican Center in London, and the Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati in 2004. Schoonmaker is taking over the position from Franklin Sirmans, who was appointed after the departure of Prospect’s founding curator, Dan Cameron. Cameron left after Prospect's second edition in 2011, and the board decided to split the functions of artistic director and executive director, appointing a new artistic director for each edition. The board has also voted this year to officially move to a triennial, rather than biennial, schedule.

January 22, 2015

Design Firm Selected for Brooklyn Museum’s Entry Pavilion and Lobby Revamp

The Brooklyn Museum has announced that design firm SITU Studio will create an environment in the institution’s entry pavilion and lobby that will transform the entry experience. The design is inspired by the retail and hospitality sector, focusing on an assemblage of reconfigurable modular furniture. The transformation is part of Bloomberg Connects, a global initiative from Bloomberg Philanthropies that provides funding for the development of technology—the objective being to increase access to cultural institutions and enrich visitor experiences. Said director Arnold L. Lehman: “SITU Studio brings to this project an understanding of the museum’s mission of welcoming and serving its visitors and, in this case, using technology to greatly enhance their experience.”

January 22, 2015

Lanka Tattersall Named Assistant Curator at LA MoCA

Lanka Tattersall has been appointed assistant curator at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles. She has spent the past four years as curatorial assistant at the Museum of Modern Art in the department of painting and sculpture. Notable credits include her assistance to Kathy Halbreich on “Alibis: Sigmar Polke 1963-2010.” Tattersall is doctoral candidate in the department of history of art and architecture at Harvard University, completing a dissertation on Sigmar Polke’s practice in the 1960s. Said chief curator Helen Molesworth: “Lanka Tattersall possesses a wonderful mixture of youthfulness and erudition: she is as connected to her generation of artists as she is to our contemporary old masters.”

January 21, 2015

Bronx Museum Plans Sweeping Art Exchange with Cuba’s National Museum of Fine Arts

Rigoberto Torres, Daze, 1998.

Randy Kennedy reports in the New York Times that The Bronx Museum of the Arts and the National Museum of Fine Arts in Cuba are planning a major exchange of works from their collections. Eighty-plus artworks from the 1960s to the present will head, this spring, from the Bronx to the National Museum, coinciding with the twelfth Havana Biennial. Then, in 2016, over 100 works from Cuba will come to the US museum. Kennedy writes that it’ll be “the most sweeping collaboration between the two countries’ museums in more than fifty years.”

Corina Matamoros, a curator of contemporary art at the National Museum in Havana, said: “Because we’ve been so isolated for the last fifty years, I really don’t think the United States knows much at all about Cuban art. I think this art, which spans from the ’60s until now, is all going to be a revelation.”

January 21, 2015

Queens Museum Announces Winners of Fellowships for Emerging Artists

The Queens Museum has announced this year’s inaugural recipients of the Queens Museum/Jerome Foundation fellowship for emerging artists. The winners are Meredith James, Kameelah Rasheed, and Casey Tang. Each will receive a stipend of $20,000, and will exhibit at the Queens Museum. They were chosen from more than 800 applications by a selection panel consisting of Hitomi Iwasaki, the museum’s director of exhibitions; Herb Tam, curator and director of exhibitions at Museum of Chinese in America; and Naomi Beckwith, curator at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago.

January 21, 2015

US Supreme Court Rejects Norton Simon Museum’s Appeal

Lucas Cranach the Elder, Adam and Eve, circa 1530

The Art Newspaper’s Laura Gilbert reports that the US Supreme Court has chosen not to consider the Pasadena-based Norton Simon Museum’s appeal, allowing Marei von Saher, an heir of Jewish art dealer Jacques Goudstikker who fled the Netherlands in 1940, to continue pursuing her legal claim over Lucas Cranach the Elder’s Adam and Eve, painted around 1530. The museum took the position that von Saher’s claims went against American precedent when it comes to resolving war-related art claims.

January 21, 2015

New Chief Curator at Menil Drawing Institute

Johnston Marklee's Design for Menil Drawing Institute

David Breslin has been named chief curator of the Menil Drawing Institute. Breslin currently holds dual academic and curatorial posts at the Clark Art Institute in Williamstown, MA. There he was responsible for “Raw Color: The Circles of David Smith”; he also cocurated “Make It New: Abstract Painting from the National Gallery of Art, 1950-1975.” Breslin said of his appointment: “With its enviable collection, soon-to-be-realized Johnston Marklee-designed home, urban yet meditative setting, scholarly ambitions . . . the MDI has been and will continue to be a premier forum to consider the centrality of drawing in modern and contemporary culture.”

January 21, 2015

Luc Tuymans Convicted of Plagiarism

Luc Tuymans, A Belgian Politician, 2011.

Hyperallergic’s Benjamin Sutton reports that Luc Tuymans has been convicted of plagiarism for his portrait of Belgian politician Jean-Marie Dedecker. A civil court in the artist’s hometown of Antwerp ruled that Tuyman’s A Belgian Politician, 2011, was a replica of an image shot by Katrijn Van Giel in 2010. Tuymans had argued the work was parody, and therefore protected.

“Of course they will now say it’s a parody, since that is the only way to escape judgement,” said Dieter Delarue, the lawyer representing Van Giel. “To my knowledge, Luc Tuymans is not really best known for his humorous works. This defense is more of a parody than the work itself.”

“Like many contemporary artists, the work of Luc Tuymans is based on existing images,” said MichaŽl De Vroey—Tuymans’s lawyer—on the ruling. “How can an artist call the world into question with his works if he isn’t allowed to use that world’s images?” He says Tuymans plans to appeal.