February 12, 2016

French President François Hollande Appoints Audrey Azoulay as New Minister of Culture

Audrey Azoulay

Jean-Christophe Castelain of the Art Newspaper reports that president François Hollande hired Audrey Azoulay to replace Fleur Pellerin as the new minister of culture in France.

Azoulay, unlike Pellerin, has a background in the arts, with an expertise in cinema (Pellerin’s education is in economics). Pellerin became a part of president Hollande’s cabinet in 2014 as a consultant on cultural affairs. This appointment comes as France’s senate is considering Pellerin’s “creation, architecture, and heritage” law, which, according to the Art Media Agency, “. . . . intends to asset and guarantee the freedom of creation and modernize the protection of heritage.”

February 11, 2016

Katie Hollander Named Executive Director of Creative Time

Katie Hollander

Katie Hollander has been named executive director of Creative Time. Hollander has already been at the organization for eight years, and has served a variety of positions, starting as deputy director of development in 2008, and then becoming deputy director a year later.

She then became acting director after her predecessor, Anne Pasternak, left to head the Brooklyn Museum, as artforum.com previously reported here.

At Creative Time, Hollander was responsible for overseeing pieces including Kara Walker’s A Subtlety, 2014, at the Domino Sugar Factory, reviewed on artforum.com here and in Artforum here. Duke Riley’s Fly By Night, 2016, is the first work making its debut at the venue under her directorship.

“Over these last eight months as acting director, Katie has proven herself to be a dynamic and visionary leader. We are very fortunate to have had the best executive director candidate coming from right here at home,” said Dana Farouki, cochair of Creative Time’s board of directors.

February 11, 2016

Expo Chicago Announces Curators of EXPO VIDEO and IN/SITU

Diana Nawi

Pérez Art Museum Miami associate curator Diana Nawi has been selected as curator of Expo Chicago’s IN/SITU, which features large-scale installations and site-specific works, and Palais de Tokyo curator Daria de Beauvais will curate EXPO VIDEO.

At the Pérez, Nawi has organized shows by artists including Yael Bartana, Nicole Cherubini, Bouchra Khalili, and Shana Lutker. She has worked as assistant curator on the Abu Dhabi Project of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation. De Beauvais worked with institutions including the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Venice; and the Museum of Modern Art, New York.

Expo Chicago president and director Tony Karman said, “It is a great privilege to be working closely with Diana Nawi and Daria de Beauvais to shape these important core programs—both represent dynamic cultural institutions and are two of the most important curatorial voices working today.”

February 11, 2016

Facebook Censors “Suggestive” Image Shared by Philadelphia Museum of Art

Evelyne Axell, Ice Cream, 1964

A painting by Evelyne Axell of a woman licking an ice cream cone has been censored by Facebook, according to The Independent’s Jack Shepherd. The Philadelphia Museum of Art uploaded an image of the work, Ice Cream, 1964, and later posted a follow up explaining that the image was removed for “containing excessive amounts of skin or suggestive content.”

“Her work can be understood as a critique of mainstream Pop Art, in which women were often depicted as passive, decorative objects. In contrast, Axell sought to depict active, confident women who pursue satisfaction on their own terms,” the museum wrote on its follow-up post, adding, “Axell’s provocative paintings challenge artistic conventions while also exhibiting a liberated, playful spirit characteristic of the sexual revolution of the 1960s.”

Facebook has not yet responded to Shepherd’s requests for comment.

February 11, 2016

New Curator for Rio de Janeiro’s Museum of Modern Art

Fernando Cocchiarale

According to Artnexus, the Museo de Arte moderno in Rio de Janeiro has a new curator of visual arts: Fernando Cocchiarale. A professor of aesthetics in the philosophy department of the Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro, Cocchiarale had previously taught at the Escola de Artes Visuais do Parque Lage for over twenty years.

A former curator of the Rumos: Itaú Cultural program, he has served as visual arts coordinator of Funarte, and has authored hundreds of articles and several books, including Abstracionismos Geométrico e Informal, Funarte, Rio de Janeiro (1987), with Anna Bella Geiger.

February 11, 2016

Dayton Art Institute Begins $2.2 Million Renovation

Dayton Art Institute

The Dayton Art Institute is commencing a $2.2 million renovation in preparation for its centennial celebration in 2019, reports the Toledo Blade’s Roberta Gedert. Funded through a State of Ohio Capital Appropriations Bill approved two years ago, the renovations will yield “a handicap-accessible pedestrian connection,” and improvements to the Shaw Gothic Cloister of the museum. The institute will close on Mondays and Tuesdays but will otherwise maintain its normal hours. Its current show features work by James Turrell, Robert Irwin, Leo Villareal, and Erwin Redl.

February 10, 2016

Contemporary African Art Fair 1:54 Reveals Exhibitor List

1:54 Contemporary African Art Fair

Returning to New York for a second year, the 1:54 Contemporary African Art Fair announced its exhibitor list today. The fair will feature seventeen galleries, twenty-five countries, and a selection of works by over sixty artists including Derrick Adams, ruby onyinyechi amanze, Joël Andrianomearisoa, Edson Chagas, William Kentridge, Otobong Nkanga, and Billie Zangewa.

The founder of the fair, Touria El Glaoui, said, “The energy, interest, and overall success of the inaugural US fair in 2015 has lead us to return this May in hopes of broadening our reach and expanding the art world’s knowledge of Africa and the ever-evolving African art market.”

Among the countries that will be represented are Angola, Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Mozambique, Sierra Leone, the US, and Zimbabwe.

The fair will kick off at Pioneer Works in Red Hook, Brooklyn from May 6 through May 8.

The full exhibitor list can be found here.

February 10, 2016

Serpentine Reveals Architect for 2016 Pavilion

Bjarke Ingels

Instead of selecting one architect for its annual architecture exhibition, Serpentine Gallery announced today that it has chosen five. Architect Bjarke Ingels and his firm Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) will design the pavilion, which is constructed outside the gallery, in Kensington Gardens.

In addition to Ingels’s work on the pavilion, architects Yona Friedman, Asif Khan, Barkow Leibinger, and Kunlé Adeyemi have been commissioned to design a series of summer houses inspired by a classical-style summer house built in 1734 called Queen Caroline’s Temple.

Gallery director Julia Peyton-Jones said, “After fifteen years, the pavilion program has expanded. It now comprises five structures, each designed by an architect of international renown, aged between thirty-six and ninety-three.” She will retire this year.

Yona Friedman is a Hungarian-born French architect whose ideas about addressing urban growth involve megastrucutres. The majority of the ninety-three-year-old Friedman’s work is on paper, consisting of theories about urban planning, publications, and drawings. The London-based architect Asif Khan is known for experimenting with interactive and digital approaches to architecture, exemplified in his MegaFaces pavilion at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics. Berlin’s Barkow Leibinger firm is known for its research-based approach to architecture and for projects such as the Biosphere in Potsdam. Nigerian architect Kunlé Adeyemi’s works include his famous solar-powered floating schools in Nigeria. The architects have less than six months to construct their designs.

“All projects have been thrilling to commission and will be equally exciting to realize. We cannot wait to unveil them all this summer,” Peyton-Jones said.

February 10, 2016

Croatia’s Leading Cultural Figures Protest Country’s New Minister of Culture

Zlatko Hasanbegović

Less than a month into his administration, Croatia’s freshly-minted prime minister Tihomir ‘Tim’ Orešković is fielding protests and petitions over his choice for the minister of culture, Zlatko Hasanbegović, a historian with no background in cultural management but well known for his ties to a Croatian nationalist movement that flirts with fascism, according to a report by Vedran Pavlic at Total Croatia News.

Hasanbegović’s appointment has been protested by the anti-fascist human rights group the Simon Wiesenthal Center as well as Kulturnjaci2016, an organization of Croatian cultural figures who are circulating a petition to have him removed from office. Signees include such prominent artists as Sanja Iveković, David Maljković, Andreja Kulunčić, and Damir Očko along with the curatorial collective “What, How and for Whom.” As WHW’s Sabina Sabolović explained, “Mr. Hasanbegović's public statements and his first moves”—including pulling funding from nonprofit media initiatives—“suggest that his focus will be on projecting a monolithic national cultural identity.” The petition calling for his dismissal can be found here.