The Ellsworth Kelly Foundation has donated $250,000 to the Foundation for Art and Preservation in Embassies. The gift was made in honor of the organization’s thirtieth anniversary, and the endowment will be used to care for FAPE’s collection.
The Ellsworth Kelly Fund for Preservation will help maintain more than 2,300 works located in 140 countries. Established as a public-private partnership with the US Department of State in 1986, FAPE upholds a legacy of cultural diplomacy by permanently placing works by American artists in US embassies around the world.
Ellsworth Kelly, an American painter, sculptor, and printmaker, was involved with FAPE since 1997 and has completed commissioned works that are on display in US embassies in China and Berlin. Born in Newburgh, New York, the artist died in December 2015 at the age of ninety-two.
“We are profoundly saddened by his loss, but we are honored and grateful for this extraordinary gift, which guarantees that FAPE’s entire collection will be cared for in perpetuity at no cost to the government,” FAPE chair Jo Carole Lauder said.
According to Nate Freeman of Artnews, Lisa Cooley Gallery has closed. The last exhibition at the space, “Jeff Witscher: August,” ended on August 26, 2016. No other exhibitions are slated for the future on the gallery’s website.
Cooley has been on the Lower East Side for eight years. Her space on Norfolk Street, designed by the architectural firm Ashe + Leandro, was three times the size of her space on Delancey Street (Cooley opened her first space in 2008 on Orchard Street).
Cooley represented Trudy Benson, Alice Channer, Fiona Connor, Andy Coolquitt, Cynthia Daignault, Matthew Darbyshire, Josh Faught, Lucy Kim, Scott Reeder, Alan Reid, Sue Tompkins, Ben Vida, and Jennifer West. Artforum.com critic Yin Ho Picked Tompkins’s exhibition at the gallery in March 2016.
Robin Pogrebin of the New York Times writes that two executives and four board members from the Bronx Museum of the Arts have resigned over disagreements regarding director Holly Block’s leadership. It is the exhibition “Wild Noise,” a massive institutional art exchange between the Bronx Museum and Havana’s Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, and a costly gift for Cuba from the Bronx Museum, that have caused the resignations.
“Wild Noise,” which was scheduled to open this past spring, was postponed because the Havana museum did not deliver their works—they worried the art would be confiscated by the US government over Fidel Castro’s seizure of American properties during his rise to power in 1959 (the American claims on those properties total over $7 billion, as Artforum.com reported in June 2016). Also, $2.5 million is being spent by the Bronx Museum on a replica of a statue of the Cuban revolutionary leader José Martí—the original sits on the outskirts of Central Park. The duplicate would be sent to Cuba as a symbol of solidarity between the two countries.
Laura Blanco, the chairwoman of the Bronx Museum’s board, and Mary Beth Mandanas, the vice chairwoman, in an email to the rest of the board regarding their resignations, said, “We are alarmed by the serious nature of these issues and by the lack of an unbiased mechanism for resolving them. While many of our comments concern the executive director and her lack of transparency, we are equally focused on the broader system that has been constructed to erode the power of the board.”
“Our yearly budget is approximately $3.2 million,” Blanco and Mandanas said. “To say [the statue] will have no impact on our fund-raising for our actual operating budget, the continuation of free admission, the capital campaign, other exhibitions, education or even starting an endowment, seems to be overly optimistic at best. The life of José Martí will have little or no relevance to the local community. While there is a substantial Latino population in the Bronx, the number of Cubans is approximately 8,000 out of a total population in excess of 1.3 million residents.” Joshua Stein, a real estate lawyer and board member who responded on Block’s behalf, said “We are, as a board, working on those issues—that process is underway. I’m not prepared to say whether they’re valid concerns or not valid concerns, but the board will take them seriously.” Stein also said that “the José Martí project and “Wild Noise,” in particular, were undertaken with full board support” and that the Martí project “fits well with our interest, as an institution, in Cuban art. Holly Block has been an outstanding leader in these efforts. She has the full support of the board.”
Block received a great deal of negative criticism last year for helping to host a party celebrating a lavish condo project in one of the nation’s poorest neighborhoods, the South Bronx.
Jaime Davidovich, a video and installation artist based in New York who, before many others, recognized the emergence of cable TV in the 1970s as a polymorphous medium that could serve artists—and viewers—in extraordinary ways, died today from pancreatic cancer.
Davidovich was born in Buenos Aires. He studied at the Colegio Nacional de Buenos Aires, the University of Uruguay, and New York’s School of Visual Arts. Prior to video and television, Davidovich was a painter, exploring all the material and philosophical aspects surrounding the monochrome, which led to more expansive works investigating ephemerality and site-specificity. He moved to New York in 1964, and in 1976, helped found Cable SoHo and, in 1978, founded and was president of the Artists’ Television Network. These platforms for the distribution of avant-garde thinking and programming via cable access was a way of “get[ting] out of the claustrophobic traditional art world,” Davidovich told the New York Times in 1979. He was also the creator of Cable Soho’s The Live! Show, a variety half-hour hosted by the artist’s alter ego “Dr. Videovich,” that ran from 1979 to 1984. The Live! Show owed as much to Ed Sullivan and Ernie Kovacs as it did to Dada and Situationism, and featured projects and performances from a wide range of makers and personalities, such as Laurie Anderson, Eric Bogosian, Mike Smith, Tony Oursler, Tim Maul, Walter Robinson, Linda Montano, Ann Magnuson, and Richard Hell.
Davidovich received grants from the NEA (1978, 1984, 1990) and the New York State Council on the Arts (1975, 1982). He was also the Joan Mitchell Foundation’s “Creating a Living Legacy Artist” from 2013–14. In 2010 he was given a retrospective at ARTIUM, the Centro-Museo Vasco de Arte Contemporaneo in Spain. He has had many solo exhibitions at a number of New York galleries and institutions, such as the Bronx Museum of Art; Churner and Churner; Cabinet; and the American Museum of the Moving Image, and has participated in group exhibitions at New York’s MoMA and the Whitney Museum; the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles; the Long Beach Museum of Art; and the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía in Madrid.
As critic Jacob Proctor said in the April 2015 issue of Artforum for the exhibition “Outreach: Jaime Davidovich, 1974–1984” at Chicago’s Threewalls gallery, curated by art historian Daniel Quiles, “From our contemporary perspective, it can be hard to conjure the sense of potential artists felt when they first gained access to video- and television-production facilities in the 1960s and ’70s. While many early artistic experiments in television took an explicitly oppositional stance toward the TV industry, Davidovich and his cohort devised clever ways to work with television rather than against it.”
Nearly two months ago Google disabled writer Dennis Cooper’s literary blog—a fourteen-year-long project hosted by Blogger—and his Gmail account without warning. On Friday, Cooper announced that following negotiations between the media company and his lawyers, the content of his blog will be returned to him.
DC’s, the beloved literary platform where Cooper posted writings, research, images, as well as his GIF novels, will be relaunched in a new location on Monday, August 29. Cooper will not be able to upload all of the data from his former blog at once, since he will have to repost each item by hand, but he will gradually work on the project until the blog is completely restored.
Allegedly, Google deactivated the account on June 27 in response to an almost ten-year-old post, titled “Self-Portrait Day,” for which Cooper invited readers to send him content such as writings, images, videos, or sound files related to a specific theme. He would then curate the submissions and post an entry.
In 2006, the writer had asked people to send him things that they considered sexy. “I had forgotten all about that post until the other day,” Cooper said, “and I don't remember what was in it. I do remember that, upon assembling the post, I realized there was some rather pornographic things therein that could potentially get my blog in trouble. So I set up that ‘Self-Portrait Day’ on a separate page off the blog that could only be accessed on the blog through a link with an adult content warning.” He added, “According to Google, around the time my account was disabled, some unknown person came across this ten-year-old page, thought one of the images on it constituted child pornography, and reported it to Google who immediately disabled my account. Now let me just say that I know there are people who don’t know me or my work well and think I’m some kind of ultra-transgressive shock-creating monster, but I completely assure you that if someone had sent me an image that I thought was child pornography, I would never have uploaded it, period.”
Cooper, who has a reputation as a bold and sometimes controversial author, is best known for his queer, male protagonists and writings about sex and death. He earned international recognition from his George Miles Cycle, a series of five novels that he began writing in 1984 and which culminated in Period in 2000.
Cooper cited his complaints to the tech giant, the international press, and a petition, which was signed by over 4,500 supporters, as factors that helped facilitate a resolution. Google finally broke its silence on July 15, and Cooper’s lawyers began discussions with the company. At first Google refused to show Cooper the offending image, privately restore his blog, or reestablish his email account. Three weeks later, Cooper said, “Google suddenly announced that they were going to send me the data for DC’s blog and my email account. They did, and that’s how and when the stand-off ended.”
Stockholm’s Lars Bohman Gallery and Galerie Forsblom of Helsinki have announced that they are merging. In January 2017, Lars Bohman will reopen its Stockholm location as Bohman Forsblom Gallery. Galerie Forsblom will continue operations under its current name.
“This is a great opportunity for our artists to widen their audiences, and for our collectors to be introduced to great new talents,” Jan Hansen of Lars Bohman Gallery said. The two galleries’ exhibitions have featured artists such as Ai Weiwei, Louise Bourgeois, Peter Halley, Jacob Hashimoto, Secundino Hernández, Chantal Joffe, Yayoi Kusama, Jonathan Lasker, Bjarne Melgaard, Tony Oursler, Donald Sultan, Joel Shapiro, and Not Vital among others.
In 2017, Galerie Forsblom will celebrate the fortieth anniversary of its founding and Lars Bohman Gallery will have been in business for thirty-five years.
Appropriation artist Richard Prince is being sued for copyright infringement for the fourth time, Julia Halperin of the Art Newspaper reports.
California-based makeup artist and model Ashley Salazar filed a complaint in the US District Court of the Central District of California on June 15, after she discovered that Prince had used an image of her that she had posted on her Instagram account, @mynxiiwhite, in his “New Portraits” series. The works, which were first exhibited at Gagosian Gallery’s Madison Avenue location in 2014, feature Instagram photos of a range of women, including celebrities such as Kate Moss as well as images of female college students. Prince enlarges the images and adds his own mix of emojis and comments in the text below.
The image of Salazar, which depicted the model taking a selfie in a mirror with cat memes adorning the right edge of the frame, was sold at Frieze New York last year. According to The Guardian, Gagosian was selling the “New Portraits” series works for up to $100,000.
Salazar’s lawsuit states that Prince “wrongfully created copies” of her photo and “engaged in acts of affirmative and widespread self-promotion of the copies directed at the public at large.” Salazar claims that the image was registered for copyright, and her lawyer is currently working to transfer the case from California to a New York federal court.
Prince is also currently fighting two other lawsuits that were filed against him and Gagosian Gallery, which represented him at the time. He was accused of copyright infringement by photographer Dennis Morris, due to Prince’s appropriation of Morris’s photographs of Sex Pistols’s bass player Sid Vicious, and by photographer Donald Graham, whose work Prince also used in his “New Portraits” series.
Arts Alliance Illinois has announced that Claire Rice has been appointed as excutive director. She will take up the position on September 19.
“Claire is a collaborative and strategic leader with a deep understanding of the opportunities and challenges facing our sector here in Illinois,” Kassie Davis, board chair, said. “With Claire on board, we are confident that the Alliance will remain a strong and vocal advocate for the arts statewide.”
Rice has over eighteen years of professional experience working in the nonprofit and corporate sectors with a focus in arts education, community engagement, and cultural ecosystems. Since 2012, Rice has served as National Program Director of Harvard University’s Sustain Arts Project, a cultural data, research, and policy initiative.
Previously, she held several positions with the University of Michigan’s University Musical Society, including interim director of education and audience development, project manager of the Royal Shakespeare Company residency, and coordinator of large-scale productions featuring over 400 performers.
“I’m thrilled for this opportunity to lead Arts Alliance Illinois, as we look to the future of the arts sector and how our field can more meaningfully engage and support vibrant communities around the state,” Rice said. “I look forward to working with the board and other key stakeholders to continue to expand the impact and relevance of this critical organization, putting the arts at the center of critical conversations about the development of Illinois.”
Philadelphia’s Colorful Legacy by Keir Johnston and Ernel Martinez was created as part of the city’s Porch Light Project. Photo by Steve Weinik.
According to Carl Campanile of the New York Post, New York City has announced that it will use a $500,000 grant to hire artists to paint three murals to raise awareness about mental health. The artists will be asked to work with between thirty and forty people from the community who are involved in the numerous mental-health programs based in the city.
“The Health Department is launching its first Mural Arts Project using art as a public-health approach to address mental and behavioral health issues through artistic collaboration,” spokeswoman Carolina Rodriguez, said.
Funded by the state’s Office of Mental Health, the murals will be completed in three different neighborhoods. The proposal for the project cited the success of Philadelphia’s Porch Light Project, a collaborative initiative launched by the Philadelphia Mural Arts Program and the Philadelphia Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual Disability Services. The program sought to transform neighborhoods with art while promoting the health of the community.
New York’s Museum of Modern Art has announced that Ron Magliozzi, who joined the institution’s staff as supervisor of MoMA’s International Film Study Center in 1979, has been promoted to curator in the department of film.
Magliozzi, who specializes in collections research, development, and acquisitions, has served as associate curator since 2011. During his tenure at the MoMA, Magliozzi organized over fifty film series and gallery exhibitions, including “100 Years in Post-Production: Resurrecting a Lost Landmark of Black Film History,” 2015, a show organized around the discovery of the earliest surviving footage for a feature film with a black cast, Bert Williams’s Lime Kiln Club Field Day (1913). The previously unidentified, 101-year-old footage was selected by the Library of Congress for preservation in the National Film Registry and earned Magliozzi the 2014 Film Heritage Award from the National Society of Film Critics.
Rajendra Roy, chief curator of film said, “Ron Magliozzi is a visionary collections and exhibitions curator whose work has resulted in historic discoveries and some of the most popular exhibitions in MoMA's history. More than a million people have experienced his work through exhibitions such as ‘Pixar: 20 Years of Animation,’ ‘Tim Burton,’ and ‘Quay Brothers: The Pharmacist's Prescription for Lip-Reading Puppets.’” She added, “Ron has been an essential part of the department for many decades and it is thrilling to see him step into this new leadership role.”