Cape Town Students Arrested after Burning Paintings Near Site of Protest

student at site of protest

A small group of students has taken paintings from the University of Cape Town’s dorms and lit them on fire, reports News24. The incident took place near the shack erected by protesters campaigning against the university’s lack of dorm space for students from poorer backgrounds.

According to Gerda Kruger, a spokesperson at the university, the act of arson occurred after school officials asked the students to move their protest and shack off the road. “They refused, and while we were still deliberating on what to do, a group entered the two residences on our upper campus, removed artwork from the walls, and set it alight in a fire.”

Police armed with stun grenades then showed up, dispersing the crowd and making arrests on the spot.


October 21, 2016

The New Art Gallery Walsall in England May Close Due to Funding Cuts

The New Art Gallery Walsall

The New Art Gallery Walsall located in the West Midlands of England is at risk of closing after the local council announced that it needs to reduce the venue’s funding by more than $610,000 between 2017 and 2020, Hannah Mcgivern of Art Newspaper reports.

The gallery currently receives a subsidy of roughly $1 million each year, which the Walsall Council has proposed reducing by $122,000 in 2017 and possibly as much as $476,000 in 2019. A spokesman for Walsall Council said it has to save $105 million by 2020.

According to a report released by the council, the free-admission gallery “will have to operate on a more commercial basis and become self-sustaining…or may close.” The final budget will not be decided until February.

The Arts Council England, which has a $760 million budget for the arts, grants the gallery around $977,000 annually. However, Peter Knott, the Midlands area director for Arts Council England, said, “we cannot use that money to replace funding lost from local authorities.” He added, “We remain confident that our partners recognize the great value of our combined investments into art and culture in Walsall.”

More than 1,300 people have signed a petition on protesting the budget cuts and are calling them “unethical.”

October 21, 2016

Edgar Munhall (1933–2016)

Edgar Munhall Photo: Derek Thompson

Academic Edgar Munhall, who was the first curator of the Frick Collection where he worked for more than three decades, has died in Manhattan at the age of eighty-three, Sam Roberts of the New York Times reports.

Born in Pittsburgh in 1933. Munhall earned his Bachelor’s degree in art history from Yale University in 1955. He received his Master’s degree from New York University before returning to Yale for his Ph.D.

From 1959 to 1965, he served as assistant curator of prints and drawings at the Yale University Art Gallery and taught art history. He joined the Frick Collection as its first curator in 1965. Previously, the role of curator was the responsibility of the director of the institution, which was founded in 1935. During Munhall’s tenure at the museum he worked under five directors. He was responsible for acquisitions, publications, conservation, lectures, and exhibitions.

The eighteenth-century scholar became known as the leading expert on the work of artist Jean-Baptiste Greuze. In 1976, he organized the first exhibition dedicated to the artist. Titled “Jean-Baptiste Greuze, 1725-1805,” the show traveled from the Wadsworth Atheneum in Connecticut to the California Palace of the Legion of Honor in San Francisco and the Musée des Beaux-Arts in Dijon. In 1996, he organized “A Portraitist for the ‘90s,” the Frick’s first exhibition devoted to Greuze, and in 2002 he curated the first show featuring the artist’s drawings at the institution, “Greuze the Draftsman.”

October 21, 2016

Jordi Colomer to Represent Spain at 2017 Venice Biennale

Jordi Colorer and Manuel Segade

Artist Jordi Colomer has been selected to represent Spain in the Fifty-Seventh edition of the Venice Biennale, which will be held from May 13 to November 26, 2017. Manuel Segade, director of the Center for Dos de Mayo Art Madrid, will curate the pavilion.

Jordi Colomer, who lives and works in Barcelona and Paris, is best known for his video installations, which explore urban spaces and how they influence human behavior. His work has been exhibited at the National Art Museum Reina Sofia in Madrid, the Jeu de Paume in Paris, the Bronx Museum of the Arts, the Argos Center for Art and Media in Brussels, Matadero Madrid, and the Santa Monica Art Centre Barcelona, among other places.

The winning proposal, titled “City of Pocket,” was selected from a shortlist that also included projects by artist Luis Bisbe and curator Alicia Chillida, artist Eugenio Ampudia, and artist Cristina Lucas and curator Gerardo Mosquera.

October 21, 2016

Tom Doyle (1928–2016)

Tom Doyle

Sculptor Tom Doyle died at his home in Roxbury, Connecticut, on October 8.

Born in Jerry City, Ohio, in 1928, Doyle received his BFA from Ohio State University in 1952 and his MFA from the school in 1953. While studying at the university he met mentors Roy Lichtenstein and Stanley Twardowicz.

In 1958, Doyle produced Stillman, which he considered his “breakthrough work.” Later that year he participated in “New Forms-New Media” at Martha Jackson Gallery, which featured works by Jean Arp, John Chamberlain, Dan Flavin, Jasper Johns, and Yves Klein.

Doyle exhibited at various museums across the United States, including the Brooklyn Museum, the Institute of Contemporary Art Philadelphia, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Walker Art Museum, and the Whitney Museum of American Art. His work was also featured in galleries in Germany, Switzerland, Sweden, France, and Italy.

October 20, 2016

Anicka Yi Wins 2016 Hugo Boss Prize

Mark Langer, chairman and CEO of Hugo Boss, artist and 2016 Hugo Boss Prize winner Anicka Yi, and Richard Armstrong, director of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum. Photo: Lauren Cavalli

Richard Armstrong, director of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, and Mark Langer, chairman and CEO of Hugo Boss AG, announced today that artist Anicka Yi has been awarded the 2016 Hugo Boss Prize. She is the eleventh artist to be honored with the prize and its $100,000 award.

Known for her collaborations with biologists and pungent petri dish works, Yi exhibits smell as sculpture. “It isn’t unusual to smell a work by Yi before seeing it stewing in a corner or leaking down a wall,” Beau Rutland wrote in the January 2013 issue of Artforum. “Scent becomes an interception, a piling-up of unexpected triggers, awakening sensations often ignored in aesthetic spaces.”

Born in Seoul in 1971 and based in New York since 1995, Yi first started showing works in 2008. Since then she’s had solo exhibitions at the Kunsthalle Fridericianum, Kassel; the Kunsthalle Basel; the MIT List Visual Arts Center in Cambridge, Massachusetts; The Kitchen in New York; and the Cleveland Museum of Art. Her work has been included in numerous group exhibitions, including the 2016 Gwangju Biennial; “Under the Clouds” at the Serralves Museu de Arte Contemporânea in Porto, Portugal (2015); the 2014 Taipei and Lyon Bienniales; “Love of Technology,” at the Museum of Contemporary Art North Miami (2013); and “das Ding!” at the Swiss Institute in New York (2013).

For “You Can Call Me F” at The Kitchen, Yi gathered biological information from one hundred women to cultivate the idea of the female figure as a viral pathogen. In an introduction to a March 2015 cover story and portfolio by the artist, Artforum editor Michelle Kuo wrote: “Teeming and communing, the bacteria conjure a microcosm of the larger social structures from which they are culled.”

Yi was selected from a shortlist of six finalists that also included Tania Bruguera, Mark Leckey, Ralph Lemon, Laura Owens, and Wael Shawky. The jury comprised Katherine Brinson, curator of contemporary art at the Guggenheim Museum; Dan Byers, senior curator at the Institute of Contemporary Art Boston; Elena Filipovic, director and chief curator at Kunsthalle Basel; Michelle Kuo, editor of Artforum; and Pablo León de la Barra, curator of the Guggenheim’s UBS Map project.

In a statement the jury said that in recognition of the prize’s twentieth anniversary it wanted to choose an awardee whose artistic practice captures the spirit of the innovative achievements honored by the prize for the past two decades.

“We are particularly compelled by the way Yi’s sculptures and installations make public and strange, and thus newly addressable, our deeply subjective corporeal realities,” the jury said. “We also admire the unique embrace of discomfort in her experiments with technology, science, and the plant and animal worlds, all of which push at the limits of perceptual experience in the ‘visual’ arts. The artist gives material and olfactory form to complex networks of ideas, imbuing her unusual materials with both political and psychological urgency.”

The Guggenheim Museum has published a catalogue featuring artist projects by each of the finalists. An exhibition of Yi’s work will open at the institution in April 2017.

Established in 1996, the Hugo Boss Prize recognizes artists for their contributions to contemporary art. Previous winners include Matthew Barney, Douglas Gordon, and Marjetica Potrč.

October 20, 2016

Selldorf Architects to Renovate Frick Collection

Annabelle Selldorf Photo: Brigitte Lacombe

The Frick Collection has selected Annabelle Selldorf’s architecture firm, Selldorf Architects, to lead its renovation project, which aims to improve the traffic flow in the institution’s galleries while preserving their character, Robin Pogrebin of the New York Times reports.

After a public outcry last year that forced the Frick to shutter plans for an expansion, which included a six-story addition and the removal of its gated garden, the museum decided to renovate its existing building rather than add to its square footage.

The institution reviewed twenty proposals for the project before it chose Selldorf Architects, which has worked on other cultural institutions such as the Neue Galerie in New York and Clark Art Institute in Massachusetts.

“It’s about enhancing the visitor’s experience and making it utterly seamless, so that it doesn’t harm any of the existing experience that people cherish, myself included,” Selldorf said. “We’ll do our darndest.”

Director Ian Wardropper said, “She’s somebody who has a clear vision of respect for historical buildings but at the same time has a clean, elegant, modernist aesthetic that is very much about welcoming visitors today.”

The institution initially tapped Davis Brody Bond architecture firm for a major expansion in 2014, but abandoned the plans after they were highly criticized by architects and preservationists.

Designs are expected to be completed by next winter.

October 20, 2016

White Flag Projects in St. Louis to Close

White Flag Projects

According to Andrew Russeth of Artnews, White Flag Projects, a nonprofit space in St. Louis, will permanently close its doors at the end of October. In a meeting on Monday, the organization’s board of directors voted to shut down the venue after its current programming concludes.

In an open letter, founder and director Matthew Strauss wrote: “For the past ten years White Flag Projects has worked to provide context and opportunities to artists at pivotal junctures in their careers, and give St. Louisans a space to engage with these exhibitions in the most direct way possible. While it proved to be a poor fit for this locale, we’re proud of the uncompromised program we produced.”

Strauss cited diminishing attendance and a decline in the space’s ability to connect with local patrons as reasons for the closing. He said, “An institution, regardless of its support elsewhere, cannot be sustained without the interest of the community in which it finds itself, although I’m hopeful that the discourse we introduced here will prove to have had some effect.”

Established in 2006, White Flag Projects has held solo exhibitions for artists such as Ned Vena, B. Wurtz, Coco Fusco, Ajay Kurian, Gaylen Gerber, Lena Henke, and N. Dash. Its current and last show “Ill Seen Ill Said,” featuring works by Lutz Bacher, Robert Morris, and Banks Violette, will be on view until October 29.

October 20, 2016

NADA New York 2017 Announces Dates and Location

2016 NADA New York

The New Art Dealers Alliance, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the advancement of contemporary art, has announced that the sixth edition of NADA New York will be held from March 2 to March 5, 2017 at Skylight Clarkson North.

Located at 572 Washington Street, Skylight Clarkson North was built in 1933 and once served as the southernmost terminal of the High Line. Since its launch in 2012, NADA New York has coincided with Frieze Week, in the beginning of May. It will now take place during the same week as the Armory Show.

Founded in 2002, NADA organizes two fairs each year, one in New York and one in Miami. The fifth edition of NADA New York was hosted at Basketball City on the Lower East Side.

October 20, 2016

Clark Art Institute Receives $2 Million Gift in Support of Works on Paper

Eugene V. Thaw

The Clark Art Institute announced today that the Eugene V. and Clare E. Thaw Charitable Trust has donated $2 million in support of its growing works on paper collection. The institute will name a new gallery in its renovated Manton Research Center the Eugene V. Thaw Gallery for Works on Paper in honor of the collector.

“This very generous gift expands our ability to present exhibitions of works on paper—gleaned from both the Clark’s amazing collection and from other institutions and private collectors—that are of the highest quality,” director Olivier Meslay said. “It also allows us to imagine extraordinary programming opportunities for the future.”

Eugene V. Thaw said that the opening of the new study center and its 1,350-square-foot gallery is what prompted him to donate. “The Clark has a small but very fine collection of works on paper, particularly its extraordinary holdings of prints and drawings by Albrecht Dürer.” Thaw added, “My personal collection of works on paper is going to the Morgan Library in New York, and I wanted to do something different for the Clark to support the renovation and expansion of the Manton Research Center.”