Recipients of the 2014 Artadia Atlanta Awards have been announced. Robbie Land and Paul Stephen Benjamin have been named winners at the twenty-thousand-dollar level, while Bethany Collins and Lauri Stallings will receive awards at the eight-thousand-dollar level. This year's Artadia Awards are being given to artists living in the greater Atlanta area, which includes twenty-three counties. Jurors for the 2014 awards included Michael Rooks, curator of the High Museum, Carter Foster, curator of drawings at the Whitney Museum of American Art, and Christopher Y. Lew, assistant curator at MoMA PS1. Said Lew: “Participating in the process to select the Atlanta finalists was a great way to learn more about the city's impressive artistic community. I am sure this year’s awards will continue to foster the diverse and energetic practices that are well rooted in Atlanta.”
Pamela Rosenkranz will represent Switzerland at the 2015 Venice Biennale. The Swiss-born artist translates complex issuesfrom globalization and environmentalism to technology and pop cultureinto accessible sets of symbols, which are often presented through conceptually driven abstract sculptures, works on paper, videos, and installations. She has called upon color schemes of global corporations, soft drinks, and water bottles in her practice, interfering with their respective aesthetics to comment on macro-level issues. A press release issued today by Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia states: “With unexpected references to topics we encounter in the generated images and overabundant information of everyday life, Pamela Rosenkranz creates links that enable us to see things in an unexpectedly connected way while haunting and alienating us at the same time.”
Argentinian theorist Ernesto Laclau has passed away at the age of seventy-eight. The cause of death was a heart attack; an article posted on critical-theory.com notes that Laclau was in good health earlier that day, visiting Seville for a conference with his long-term partner Chantal Mouffe. Mouffe and Laclau coauthored Hegemony and Socialist Strategy in 1985, one of the theorist’s most important books, which developed a theory of radical democracy. He also coauthored books with Judith Butler and Slavoj Zizek and is the author of On Populist Reason, 2005, which explored how the greater public or “the people” could emerge as a collective actor.
Laclau was professor emeritus at the University of Essex as well as a distinguished professor of humanities and rhetorical studies at Northwestern University. He has been based in London since 1969, when he joined Oxford University following an invitation by late British historian Eric Hobsbawm. His work was deeply admired by many influential figures in Argentine politics including President Cristina FernŠndez de Kirchner, who believed in his conviction that populist Latin American governments possess the capacity to face corporations. Laclau was a champion of Kirchnerism, a brand of Peronism that opposes neoliberalism while avoiding the extremes of Communism, which was developed by Krichner and her husband. Said Laclau in an interview this past February: “Kirchnerism represents the real left. It is the only political force that is effectively able to confront corporate power.” Mourning his death, philosopher Ricardo Forster said: “He was probably one of the most important Latin American intellectuals of the last century. His absence will be felt because he was one of the greatest emancipatory theorists.”
The New York Times’ Carol Vogel reports that film and video-art pioneer Joan Jonas will be representing the United States at next year’s edition of the Venice Biennale. Paul C. Ha, director of the M.I.T. List Visual Arts Center and commissioner of America’s pavilion, proposed Jonas, who was then officially selected by the State Department’s bureau of educational and cultural affairs. Jonas’s work has appeared at Documenta six times, and was featured at an exhibition at the Queens Museum in 2003. Along with Ute Meta Bauer, the director of the Center for Contemporary Art in Singapore, Ha will organize the pavilion’s exhibition, for which Jonas will create a site-specific installation that includes video, drawings, objects, and sound.
Lucy Clout and Marianna Simnett have been named winners of the Jerwood/Film and Video Umbrella Awards. Each will receive approximately $34,000 to develop moving image works that will be shown at Jerwood Space, London, and the Center for Contemporary Arts in Glasgow in 2015. Clout and Simnett were selected from a shortlist of four artists who were given $6,000 to respond to a curatorial brief; these works are currently on view at Jerwood Space. Said the selection panel: “All four artists have raised the bar to remarkable heights with the rigor and ambition of their development works. Their distinctive voices and subject matter have resulted in an exhibition, which is deep and rich in relation to the theme. For the singularity and pertinence of their proposals, we commended Lucy Clout and Marianna Simnett for the awards. Their brave, confident grasp of the layers and complexities of their ideas was invigorating.”
Elena Filipovic has been named director of the Kunsthalle Basel. For the past five years, Filipovic has acted as senior curator at the WIELS Contemporary Art Center in Brussels. The Los Angeles–born curator replaces Adam Szymczyk, who was appointed artistic director of Documenta 14 in November of 2013. Filipovic was selected from a pool of 150 applicants by a committee chaired by Martin Hatebur, president of the Basler Kunstverein. Filipovic has a doctorate from Princeton and curated the fifth Berlin Biennale along with Szymczyk. She has curated a number of traveling retrospectives including “Marcel Duchamp: A Work that Is Not a Work of ‘of Art,’” 2008, and “Felix Gonzalez-Torres: Specific Objects Without Specific Form,” 2010.
The Los Angeles Times’ David Colker reports that Lucia Eames has passed away. A designer in her own right, Eames also devoted the last quarter decade of her life to preserving the legacy of one of the most influential design duos in the last century: Charles and Ray Eames, her father and stepmother. In particular, Lucia Eames created a foundation that maintained the two-story Eames House and the furnishings within it—including 1,800 objects from the house’s living room alone, which were loaned to LACMA for its “California Design” show in 2011. Her own works were often steel or bronze, with geometric cut patterns. Particularly well known was her Wind Harp, 1967, a steel tower topped with an Aeolian harp that she created with her second husband, which stands in south San Francisco.
The Los Angeles Times’ Mike Boehm reports that artist Betye Saar will be honored with this year’s Edward MacDowell Medal. The award’s given by the MacDowell Colony in recognition of lifetime achievement. Saar will join an elite roster of honorees that also includes artists like Nan Goldin, Kiki Smith, Robert Frank, Ellsworth Kelly, and Jasper Johns, as well as composer Stephen Sondheim, writer Joan Didion, and architect I. M. Pei. Novelist Michael Chabon—chair of the MacDowell Colony— commended Saar for creating work “as inescapably recognizable as our own broken world . . . mapping it with fierceness, a sense of play and . . . wild accuracy.”
The Museum of Modern Art in New York has announced that several of its curators have been promoted: Jodi Hauptman and Starr Figura are now senior curator and curator, respectively, in the department of drawings and prints, while Joshua Siegel has been named a curator in the department of film. Hauptman joined the museum in 2002. She is the author of Joseph Cornell: Stargazing in the Cinema (1999) and winner of the Smithsonian American Art Museum’s Charles Eldredge prize for distinguished scholarship in American art. Figura, meanwhile, had served in the department of prints and illustrated books since 2008, where she was Phyllis Ann and Walter Borten associate curator. She organized “German Expressionism: The Graphic Impulse” in 2011. Siegel, who's been with the museum since 1993, has organized or coorganized over ninety exhibitions, including “Vienna Unveiled: A City in Cinema,” which opened earlier this year.