April 25, 2015

Hyde Collection Appoints New Director

Erin Coe, who was formerly chief curator of the Hyde Collection, will now be returning to the institution to serve as its director, reports the Glen Falls Post-Star’s Maury Thompson.

The previous director, Charles Guerin, recently left after two years in the role to become executive director of Biggs Museum of Art in Delaware.

During her fifteen years at the Hyde Collection, Coe curated or cocurated thirty-eight exhibits, such as “Modern Nature: Georgia O’Keeffe and Lake George,” 2013. She left last year to complete her doctoral degree in the history of art and architecture at Boston University.

Said Coe, “I am excited to continue the work of the museum’s founder, Charlotte Hyde, who believed art can change lives.”

April 24, 2015

Corcoran Gallery of Art’s Interior Granted Historical Landmark Status

Corcoran Gallery of Art's staircase.

Jonathan Wolfe reports in the New York Times that most of the interior of the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington D.C. was designated a historical landmark yesterday—despite the objections of George Washington University, which now owns the building.

The Historic Preservation Review Board granted landmark status to the 1897 Beaux Arts building, which is located a block from the White House, after the structure was nominated by the local nonprofit DC Preservation League. George Washington University has argued that the designation would be a regulatory burden for the school and wanted freedom to use the space more flexibly.

The university only recently took ownership of the 1897 building last August after running operating deficits for a decade. In 2012, the Corcoran’s board of trustees considered selling the building but this prompted a group of preservationists to submit the nomination for landmark status in order to prevent major changes. The new landmark designation includes only portions of the interior, including the atrium and the grand staircase; the exterior of the building has been a National Historic Landmark since 1992.

April 24, 2015

Art Institute of Chicago Receives Another Major Donation of Artworks

The Art Institute of Chicago recently received a gift of art valued at over $400 million. Now, as if it didn’t have enough to celebrate already, the institute's also just been given another major donation of 105 drawings from the collection of Chicago philanthropist Irving Stenn Jr., a trustee of the museum, reports Shia Kapos in Crain’s. Stenn’s collection includes works from the 1960s by the likes of Mel Bochner, Sol LeWitt, Brice Marden, and Agnes Denes.

Museum president Douglas Druick said: “Irv has a discerning eye for art and tremendous stamina for searching it out, and this makes his generous and enlightened support of the museum especially potent.”

News of Stenn’s donation comes right on the heels of the largest gift the institute has ever received in its history, as Artforum.com reported here—the $400 million collection given by Stefan Edlis and Gael Neeson includes pieces by Jeff Koons, Roy Lichtenstein, and Gerhard Richter.

April 24, 2015

Printed Matter Plans Move to New Two-Level Space in Chelsea

Printed Matter, Inc. has just revealed that it’ll be moving to a larger two-level space at the corner of Eleventh Avenue and Twenty-sixth Street in Chelsea. The move will take place this September.

Designed pro bono by Handel Architects, Printed Matter’s new facility will have twice as much space as its current site; an expanded bookstore area will feature a staircase that leads to a wraparound balcony as well as a public reading room.

To fund the move, Printed Matter embarked on a Capital Campaign with a goal of $850,000. About 40 percent’s been raised so far. The organization’s spent the last decade at 195 Tenth Avenue.

April 24, 2015

Tate Modern Director Chris Dercon Steps Down to Lead German Theater in 2017

Chris Dercon.

Mark Brown reports in The Guardian that the director of Tate Modern, Chris Dercon, will be stepping down to lead Berlin’s Volksbühne theater. Dercon will be taking over the theater’s direction from Frank Castorf in 2017 but will continue to oversee the extension of Tate Modern’s Tanks spaces for live works and performance art, due to open in 2016.

Tate also recently lost the director of Tate Britain, Penelope Curtis, who announced in March that she was moving to the Calouste Gulbenkian Museum in Lisbon.

April 24, 2015

Strikes Resume at London’s National Gallery

PCS strike at National Gallery.

Employees at the National Gallery in London have resumed their strike as of last Monday over plans to privatize the museum’s visitor services, reports Hannah McGivern in the Art Newspaper.

The museum was previously forced to close most of its galleries during strikes last February. Members of the Public and Commercial Services union have been on strike all this week and will resume again on Friday May 1. The union's also circulating sign an open letter along with the strike that's already been signed by the likes of artist Ryan Gander and film director Ken Loach.

According to a statement on the museum’s website, much of the main building will be closed until April 25, and many education events have been canceled or rescheduled, though the public can still access the gallery through the Sainsbury Wing.

April 24, 2015

EVA International Announces 2016 Curator

Koyo Kouoh.

According to E-flux, the curator for the thirty-seventh edition of Ireland’s contemporary art biennial EVA International in 2016 will be curated by Koyo Kouoh, an independent curator and founding artistic director of an art center in Dakar, Senegal called RAW Material Company.

The upcoming edition also marks the 100th anniversary of the Easter Rising that began on April 24, 1916, which initiated the modern Irish struggle for liberation from British colonial rule. The biennial will be titled “Still (the) Barbarians” and will investigate the postcolonial condition of Ireland as a point of departure. On her curatorial approach, Koyo Kouoh said: “Ireland, which I consider the first and foremost laboratory of the British colonial enterprise, has always been a fixture in my thinking on the psychological and political effects a system designed to humiliate and alienate can have on peoples’ souls. The coincidence of EVA 2016 with the centenary celebrations of the Easter Rising provides a welcome opportunity to engage artists and thinkers in this exciting discussion.”

Kouoh is also a curator of FORUM, the education program of the 1:54 Contemporary African Art Fair in London and New York and has served on the curatorial teams for Documenta 12 (2007) and 13 (2012). She lives and works in Dakar and Basel.

April 23, 2015

Jasper Johns’s Assistant Receives Prison Sentence for Stealing Johns’s Art

Untitled drawing by Jasper Johns at stake in civil suit against James Meyer

Sentenced today to eighteen months in prison for stealing unfinished artworks from his boss, James Meyer, the longtime assistant of Jasper Johns, spoke of regretting his actions and described Johns as “my mentor, employer, and friend since I was twenty-one years old.”

Meyer was ordered to pay restitution of more than thirteen million dollars, according to the New York Times’ Serge F. Kovaleski. He’d sold thirty-seven pieces through a New York gallery, saying that the works had been presents from Johns.

According to prosecutors, the works he sold brought in about about ten million dollars. The judge, however, “described him as a humble and kind man who . . . . had been of significant help to prosecutors,” according to Kovaleski.

Robert Kolker wrote last fall in New York Magazine that one of the dealers who had sold a work brought by Meyer to a client called Johns, trying to explain how bad he felt. Johns reportedly replied in the call, “You feel bad? Imagine how bad I feel. I got duped.”

April 23, 2015

El Anatsui Awarded Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement at Venice Biennale

El Anatsui, Strips of Earth's Skin, 2008

El Anatsui has been selected to receive the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement of the fifty-sixth Venice Biennale. The biennial’s board, chaired by Paolo Baratta, chose Anatsui with the recommendation of the festival’s curator Okwui Enwezor.

“El Anatsui is perhaps the most significant living African artist working on the continent today,” said Baratta, citing his “originality of artistic vision, his long-term commitment to formal innovation, and his assertion through his work of the place of Africa’s artistic and cultural traditions in international contemporary art.”

The Ghanaian sculptor has shown work at the 2007 Venice Biennale, the Brooklyn Museum, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

In addition, Susanne Ghez was announced winner of the Special Golden Lion for Services to the Arts. Said the board, “Ghez has played a pioneering role in the field by introducing and giving young artists such as Jeff Wall, Mike Kelley, Isa Genzken, Thomas Struth, and Kara Walker their first museum exhibitions.”

The Biennale also announced the jury of its fifty-sixth edition: This year's jurors are Naomi Beckwith (USA), Sabine Breitwieser (Austria), Mario Codognato (Italy), Ranjit Hoskote (India), and Yongwoo Lee (South Korea).