Artist Leila Alaoui Dies from Injuries Sustained in Burkina Faso Terror Attack

Leila Alaoui

French-Moroccan artist Leila Alaoui has died after being injured in an attack launched by al-Qaeda gunmen on a restaurant and hotel in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso’s capital. She died of cardiac arrest after enduring a six-hour-long operation on gunshot wounds to her leg and thorax. Alaoui was on assignment for Amnesty International.

A photographer who studied at the City University of New York, Alaoui had presented work at the Maison Européenne de la Photographie in Paris, as well as the 2012 and 2014 Marrakech Biennales, and her art is in the collections of the Qatar Museum and Société Generale. She often traveled in Morocco and Lebanon, photographing scenes from the two countries. Alaoui’s works “oscillat[e] between fine art and documentary photography,” wrote Lara Atallah in a recent Critic’s Pick, adding that Alaoui’s subjects “stand as witnesses to a culture that continues to survive.”


June 30, 2016

Lisa Liebmann (1955–2016)

John Brooks Adams and Lisa Liebmann in 2012. Photo: Linda Yablonsky.

Lisa Liebmann, a contributor to Artforum for over three decades and one of the defining figures of Ingrid Sischy’s tenure as editor in the 1980s, died Wednesday evening in New York.

An inspired and broad-minded critic, she contributed significant essays to the magazine on artists such as Nan Goldin, Keith Sonnier, and Eric Fischl. Liebmann also contributed regularly to Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, Interview, and other venues, and wrote books including David Salle 1979–1994 (Rizzoli, 1994), Brice Marden Paintings on Marble (Steidl, 2005), and Ross Bleckner (Harry N. Abrams/Guggenheim Museum, 1995). She also often collaborated with her husband, the writer John Brooks Adams, and in 2012 they published a book of essays on the work of New York–based painter Deborah Kass with Griselda Pollock, Irving Sandler, and Eric C. Shiner.

Reflecting in 1993 on her earliest contributions to this magazine, Liebmann wrote that, “during the very early ’80s my role at Artforum was actually somewhat ambiguous, complicated by the fact that I had been involved with this new editor, whose employment policies were rigorous in the extreme—to be a F.O.I. [Friend of Ingrid’s] could be a mixed blessing. […] As psychic handmaiden, my influence, I like to think, was important if subliminal.”

June 30, 2016

Guy and Myriam Ullens Look for New Owners for UCCA and Art Collection

Beijing’s Ullens Center for Contemporary Art

Guy Ullens, collector and founder of Beijing’s Ullens Center for Contemporary Art, has announced that he is looking to hand over ownership of the UCCA to someone who can continue to support and develop the institution in the years to come.

In a joint statement from the UCCA and the Guy and Myriam Ullens Foundation, the organizations confirmed that the center will continue to run under its current leadership. The Ullens will also be selling their art collection of over 2,000 works through private sales and at auction later this year.

“I have been a patron of the arts in China for over thirty years and have found this a hugely interesting and fascinating experience,” Guy Ullens said. “I’m now in my eighties and need to look at how to hand over the stewardship of the UCCA and my art collection to younger patrons of the arts.” Until a new benefactor is found, Guy Ullens said he will continue to support the UCCA and its team.

CEO May Xue said that the center respects his decision, is grateful for his support these past nine years, and “will stand strong and uphold our core values of highlighting artists from Chins and beyond.”

The center, which encompasses four main exhibitions spaces—more than 26,000 square feet—has welcomed over three million visitors since it was established in 2007. Each year the UCCA hosts around fifteen exhibitions and offers a wide range of programming that focuses on recent developments and historical movements in Chinese contemporary art.

Guy Ullens, whose father was a diplomat in China, was involved in various successful business endeavors in sugar and other food-related companies, including Weight Watchers. Since the 1980s, he has constantly traveled to China for his family’s firm.

June 30, 2016

Los Angeles’s Rosamund Felsen Gallery Closes

Installation view, Karen Carson, January 1982.

After almost four decades, Rosamund Felsen Gallery—which prides itself in representing artists who challenge and champion the culture of LA—has announced that it will close its doors. After first opening on La Cienega Boulevard in 1978, the gallery would relocate to West Hollywood and Bergamot Station before moving to downtown LA last year.

The gallery said it’s Closing Celebratory Show, which opens on July 9, “will be paying tribute not only to all the extraordinary artists who have filled both the gallery space and the gallery’s identity over the years, but will also serve as a marking point for the current gallery artist’s ongoing careers.” The final exhibition will feature one work from each of the artists that the gallery currently represents, including Mindy Alper, Judith Barry, Les Biller, Jacci Den Hartog, Tim Ebner, Steven Hull, Nancy Jackson, Kim MacConnel, John Mils, M.A. Peers, Maureen Selwood, and C.K. Wilde. Although the physical location will be shut down, the gallery will continue to maintain an online presence.

June 30, 2016

Independent Curators International Names Marian Goodman 2016 Leo Award Winner

Marian Goodman

Independent Curators International announced today that dealer Marian Goodman is the recipient of the 2016 Leo Award. Named after art dealer Leo Castelli, the award honors exceptional contributors to the field of contemporary art. This is the first time the award, which will be presented to Goodman in a ceremony at ICI’s annual benefit and auction in New York City in October, is celebrating the achievements of another dealer.

ICI chose to honor Goodman because of her distinctive vision, unwavering support of the creative process, and extraordinary commitment to fostering the careers of artists. “Last year, ICI marked its fortieth anniversary, a milestone that Marian Goodman Gallery will celebrate just a year from now,” Renaud Proch, ICI’s executive director, said. “Today, we’re proud to honor Marian Goodman for her steadfast support of so many of the artists who move us, impact society, and help us make sense of the world in which we live.”

Goodman founded the publishing company Multiples in 1965, which published prints, multiples, and books by American and European artists, such as John Baldessari, Marcel Broodthaers, and Roy Lichtenstein, among others. In 1977, she opened Marian Goodman Gallery and inaugurated the space with Broodthaers first show in the US. The gallery expanded to Paris in 1997 and London in 2014.

Established in 1975, Independent Curators International produces exhibitions, events, publications, research, and curatorial training programs, which have taken place in 400 cities and fifty-five countries in the last forty years. Past recipients of the Leo Award include Michael Govan, Dimitris Daskalopoulos, Roy and Dorothy Lichtenstein, Miuccia Prada, and Dasha Zhukova.

June 30, 2016

Spanish Court Rules Dalí Foundation Has No Legal Authority to Protect Artist’s Image

Salvador Dalí

The Civil Chamber of Spain’s Supreme Court has ruled against the Dalí Foundation in a lawsuit between the organization and a Barcelona exhibition organizer, declaring the foundation does not have exclusive rights to the artist’s image, Art Newspaper reports.

Filed in a Barcelona provincial court in 2009, the complaint alleged the Faber Gotic production company and its owner, Juan Javier Bofill Pellicer, had infringed on the foundation’s trademark, intellectual property, and image rights when it used Dalí’s name and image in an advertising campaign for an exhibition of the artist’s sculptural works at the Royal Artistic Circle of Barcelona. The provincial court recognized that the artist’s rights were infringed, but acquitted Pellicer because it found the artist’s image was not damaged, which led the foundation to appeal.

On June 21, Spain’s highest court found that the foundation is more interested in exploiting the artist’s image for financial gain than in preserving the memory of the painter. The court based its decision on the artist’s 1982 will, which states that Spain is the sole and free heir of all his property, rights, and artistic output. The artist established the foundation a year later, to which the state ceded its rights; however, the court claims that with the artist’s death “his fundamental personality rights—specifically the right to his own image—became extinct.”

June 30, 2016

Thaddaeus Ropac to Open New London Gallery in 2017

Ely House

Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac has announced that it will open a gallery in London’s Ely House in spring 2017. Managed by Polly Robinson Gaer, the 16,000-square-foot gallery will present exhibitions that span the venue’s five floors. New York–based Annabelle Selldorf, the principle architect and founder of the firm Selldorf Architects, will renovate the 37 Dover Street building.

Located in the exclusive Mayfair district, the Ely House, an eighteenth-century mansion, was built in 1772 by Sir Robert Taylor. The residence was commissioned by Bishop Edmond Keene of Ely and has served as an Episcopal home until 1909, when it was remodeled by the arts and crafts architectural firm Smith Brewer.

Founded in 1983, Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac represents about sixty established, midcareer, and emerging artists. The London space will be the fifth location for the gallery, which also has two outposts in Salzburg and two in Paris. The Marais, Paris venue has served as the gallery’s primary space since 1990.

June 29, 2016

Christie’s Postwar and Contemporary Sale Exceeds Estimate in Post-“Brexit” London

Jean-Michel Basquiat, Self-Portrait, 1981.

Following Tuesday’s successful Sotheby’s evening auction, Christie’s postwar and contemporary art sale raised $52.8 million, surpassing its high estimate and easing post-Brexit aftershocks, Robin Pogrebin and Scott Reyburn of the New York Times report. Before the bidding started Jussi Pylkkanen, Christie’s global president, urged the crowd to “be brave.”

Highlights include two Jean-Michel Basquiat paintings—previously owned by actor Johnny Depp—which soared past their estimates. Acquavella gallery purchased a 1981 Basquiat self-portrait, a triptych made of paint, paper, and wooden panels, for $4.7 million, which was $3.2 million more than the auction house expected. Pork, 1981, sold for $6.8 million, to a telephone bidder.

While the art market proved resilient, one seller was perhaps not so confident and pulled the work that had been featured on the cover of Christie’s catalogue for the sale. Gerhard Richter’s, Abstraktes Bild (811-2), 1994, was estimated at $19 million.

June 29, 2016

Rauschenberg Foundation Names 2016 Artist as Activist Fellows

Los Angeles Poverty Department, Chasing Monsters from Under the Bed, 2015

The Robert Rauschenberg Foundation has announced the recipients of its 2016 Artist as Activist fellowships—a two-year grant program established to support artists and collectives who address social issues in their practices. The winners will receive between $50,000 and $100,000.

This year’s ten fellows, selected from a pool of 228, include Maria Gaspar, The Graduates, Titus Kaphar, Los Angeles Poverty Department, Jeremy Robins/Echoes of Incarceration, Favianna Rodriguez, Paul Rucker, El Sawyer, jackie sumell, and Shontina Vernon.

The artists—who are based in Baltimore, Chicago, Los Angeles, New Orleans, New York, Oakland, Philadelphia, and Seattle—have developed projects that confront issues surrounding mass incarceration such as the impact juvenile detention has on the youth and the psychological effect of solitary confinement.

Among the various projects are Favianna Rodriguez’s questioning of the intersection between mass imprisonment and immigrant detention; Los Angeles Poverty Department’s Public Safety FOR REAL, which develops an alternate conception of public safety that includes community policing vehicles that maintain respect for their neighbors on Skid Row—one of the largest populations of homeless people in the US; and Maria Gaspar’s RADIOACTIVE: Stories from Beyond the Wall, which connects the largest jail in the United States, Chicago’s Cook County Jail, with residents in the surrounding area through a series of radio broadcasts and projections.

June 29, 2016

Liverpool Biennial Site Targeted By Arsonist

Fire engulfing a saw mill in Liverpool.

The Liverpool Biennial was forced to find a new location for Turner-Prize-Winning artist Mark Leckey’s video installation after the saw mill where the work was going to be displayed was engulfed in flames last week, Catherine Jones of Echo reports. Authorities confirmed that the fire at the Wolstenholme Square building was started deliberately, and an arson investigation is currently underway.

Firefighters were called to the scene around 7:00 PM on June 24 and fought the blaze for over fifteen hours. The derelict building, which housed the former dance club called Cream for fourteen years, was severely damaged. However, no one was injured.

Sally Tallant, the biennial’s artistic director, said, the fair was disappointed about the turn of events, but is excited to announce that Leckey’s Dream English Kid—a film assembled using archival footage from television shows, advertisements, and music, to create a record of all the significant events of his life from the 1970s until the 1990s—will be presented at the Blade Factory and Camp and Furnace.

The biennial will kickoff on July 9 and run until October 16. It will take place at various spaces across the city.