March 17, 2013

Katharine Stout Named Head of Programs at the Institute of Contemporary Arts in London

Katharine Stout has been appointed head of programs at the Institute of Contemporary Arts in London, effective June 6. For the past fourteen years, Stout has worked at the Tate where she is currently a curator of contemporary art. She also serves as associate director of the Drawing Room. Said executive director Gregor Muir: “We are all delighted that Katharine is joining the ICA. The ICA is now in a strong and sustainable position to build on recent successes; Katharine’s knowledge, energy, and vision will contribute to its future development at this important time.”

March 15, 2013

Anthony Huberman Named Director of CCA Wattis Institute

Anthony Huberman has been named director of the San Francisco CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Art, reports Andrew Russeth of the New York Observer. Huberman is currently director of the Artist’s Institute, a space run through Hunter College in New York. From 2007 to 2010 Huberman acted as chief curator of the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis and from 2003 to 2006 as a curator at the Palais de Tokyo; prior to these roles, he was a curator at Sculpture Center and before that, director of education and public programs at MoMA PS1. Said Huberman: “It is a great honor and privilege to join the CCA Wattis Institute. I have followed its program for many years and have always been impressed with its willingness to take risks and test new ideas.”

March 15, 2013

Cody Hartley Appointed Director at Georgia O’Keeffe Museum

Cody Hartley has been named director of curatorial affairs at the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum in Santa Fe, reports Artdaily. Hartley previously acted as an assistant curator and later as director of gifts at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. Said director Robert Kret: “Cody has a thorough understanding of the challenges facing museums in the twenty-first century and believes in a visitor-centered approach to museums. He will make a significant contribution to shaping our exhibition schedule and working as part of a team to fulfill our mission dedicated to the artistic legacy of Georgia O’Keeffe, her life, American modernism, and public engagement.” The museum has also promoted Eumie Imm-Stroukoff from the role of librarian and assistant director of its research center to the role of director in this department.

March 14, 2013

Gagosian Settles Suit Over Lichtenstein

Larry Gagosian has settled a bitter lawsuit that was originally brought against him last January, reports Randy Kennedy of the New York Times. The art dealer was accused of selling a Roy Lichtenstein painting belonging to Jan Cowles—a prominent collector—without her permission, prompting the litigation between both parties. The settlement is confidential and no terms were disclosed, except that the painting will remain in the possession of the man who purchased it from Gagosian—Thompson Dean, a managing partner of a private equity firm.

March 14, 2013

Merton D. Simpson (1928–2013)

Painter, collector, and gallery owner Merton D. Simpson died last Saturday, reports Bruce Weber of the New York Times. His son, Merton Jr., and Alaina Simone, director of the Merton D. Simpson gallery, New York, confirmed his death after an affliction with several prolonged illnesses.

Simpson was well known for his interest in African and tribal art, which he began collecting in the late 1940s, citing as a primary influence the primitive inspirations of Picasso and Joan Miró. He began dealing art from his studio apartment in the early 1950s, later opening his namesake gallery now located at 38 West Twenty-eighth Street. Among his own most regarded artworks, Simpson’s “Confrontations” series of black-and-white figurative faces were created in response to a standoff between Harlem residents and police in 1964, a year after the artist joined the Spiral collective of black artists.

Simpson’s work has been the subject of various solo and group exhibitions, including “Young American Painters” at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in 1954; “The Journey of an Artists” at the Gibbes Museum of Art, Charleston, South Carolina in 1995; and most recently “Confrontations” at the Greenville County Museum of Art, South Carolina in 2010. He was also the recipient of many awards, including the South Carolina Library Research Archives Award (1984), an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from the College of Charleston in South Carolina (2010), and an honor at the Studio Museum in Harlem, where his work is part of the collection.

March 14, 2013

Artists Announced for 2013 Venice Biennale

The list of artists for Massimiliano Gioni’s “The Encyclopedic Palace” at the 2013 Venice Biennale has been released. The show, which the curator describes here as one about “obsessions and the transformative power of the imagination” consists of 154 artists and five collections of work. Said Gioni: “Blurring the line between professional artists and amateurs, outsiders and insiders, the exhibition takes an anthropological approach to the study of images.”

March 14, 2013

Twombly Foundation Sues Directors

The Cy Twombly Foundation filed a lawsuit against four people this past Wednesday, report Randy Kennedy and Carol Vogel of the New York Times. The lawsuit states that foundation directors Thomas H. Saliba, a financial adviser based in New England, and Ralph E. Lerner, an art-world lawyer, took more than $300,000 in commission fees by inflating the appraisal value of Twombly’s estate in 2012 to $1 billion. “Lerner and Saliba have refused to provide a copy of the trust or disclose their trustee commissions, which makes it impossible to confirm the extent of their wrongdoing.” says the lawsuit, which was filed by Nicola Del Roscio, Twombly’s companion, and Julie Sylvester, the foundation’s vice president, in Delaware state court. An appraiser, hired by Lerner, the suit details, valued some unfinished paintings at $5 million each and some unfinished drawings at $300,000—including a fake that was determined by the artist himself to be not of his own hand—by using a printed archive without ever physically inspecting the works. According to the plaintiffs, these overstatements could create confusion over their true value, destabilizing the market for the artist’s work.

March 13, 2013

National Gallery of Art Announces Major Expansion

The National Gallery of Art has announced plans to expand its east building on the National Mall, adding over twelve thousand square feet of exhibition space. Funded entirely through private donations, the addition will include an outdoor sculpture terrace, which will be flanked by two tower galleries that are primarily intended to display modern art from the institution’s permanent collection. Construction is slated for January of 2014 and is expected to last three years.

March 13, 2013

LA MoCA Nears Agreement with National Gallery of Art

Patricia Cohen of the New York Times writes that the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles is close to reaching an agreement with the National Gallery of Art that would allow the two institutions to collaborate on research, exhibitions, and programming over the next five years. While this deal does not include any financial or fundraising assistance for LA MoCA, according to Cohen it could “help lift its own efforts to raise money and ward off, at least temporarily, a merger with a wealthier and more powerful neighbor: the Los Angeles County Museum of Art or the University of Southern California.” Eli Broad, who donated sixteen million to LA MoCA five years ago and is building his own museum across the street from it, initially approached the National Gallery and asked for assistance. Said John Wilmerding, chairman of the National Gallery board: “The goal at this point is stabilizing them and get them standing as an independent institution. We’d like to see them survive and thrive, and if we can help them, that’s all we’re doing.” Cohen notes that the wing that houses the National Gallery’s contemporary art collection will be closed for a few years for renovations, during which time works could be lent to LA MoCA. Wilmerding added that he thought an agreement could be finalized within a week.