July 5, 2013

Tate Modern Receives $55 Million

Israeli shipping tycoon Eyal Ofer has promised fifty-five million dollars to the Tate Modern’s two-hundred-and-seventy-five-million dollar expansion project, reports Ellie Armon Azoulay of Haaretz. In response to his donation, the museum will name three eastern galleries after him.

July 5, 2013

Hannah Collins Wins 2015 SPECTRUM International Prize for Photography

Hannah Collins has been named winner of the 2015 SPECTRUM International Prize for Photography. Awarded by the Foundation of Lower Saxony in Germany, the prize was created as way to “pay tribute to the significance of photography as a modern medium of artistic expression,” noted a press release. It is worth nearly twenty-thousand dollars and includes a solo exhibition at the Sprengel Museum. Collins is the ninth recipient of the prize; she will be honored in the spring of 2015 alongside the opening of her show. Said the adjudicators of the award: “Profoundly democratic, Collins’s work quietly insists on revealing the complexities of life, and the ways we relate to the world around us collectively and as individuals, through vision and memory, to achieve works of subtle power.”

July 3, 2013

BMW to End Support for Guggenheim Lab

The New York Times’ Carol Vogel reports that BMW will no longer be providing financial support for the BMW Guggenheim Lab. Three years ago, the car manufacturer had announced that it would collaborate with the Guggenheim museum on a six-year project involving three pop-up structures, cycling through three locations in the United States, Europe, and Asia respectively, that would serve as sites for programs and panels on urban life. But it seems like the first lab—which launched in New York two years ago, and went on to Berlin and Mumbai—will now also be the last. Thomas Girst, BMW’s head of cultural engagement, cited “strategic shifts within the company,” but added, “We’re still holding hands with the Guggenheim.”

July 2, 2013

Andy Warhol Foundation Grants $75,000 to Contemporary Art Museum in Saint Louis

The Contemporary Art Museum in Saint Louis has been given a seventy-five-thousand-dollar grant by the Andy Warhol Foundation to support a solo exhibition by Nicole Eisenman, reports Matthew Hibbard of the Saint Louis Business Journal. Curated by Kelly Schindler, the show will open in January of 2014, coinciding with the beginning of the museum’s tenth anniversary. It will be Eisenman’s most comprehensive midcareer survey to date.

July 1, 2013

Amazon Launches Art Retail Platform

Amazon will launch a virtual art gallery later this year that aims to offer over one thousand artworks from some 125 galleries, reports Julia Halperin of the Art Newspaper. The Seattle-based company will take a sales commission that will range from 5 percent to 10 percent. Halperin notes that thus far the platform has targeted midlevel galleries, including Eleven Rivington, On Stellar Rays, Vogt Gallery, and Zach Feuer. One dealer reports that his gallery was told he could offer art under pseudonym until the website became successful. Most, Halperin writes, are not interested. Said Augusto Arbizo of Eleven Rivington: “I didn’t really have to think much about it and said it wasn’t for me. I have said no to most e-commerce opportunities for the simple reason that I just do not have that much inventory. And we work with very few artists who do editions or prints.”

June 30, 2013

International News Digest


In the Art Newspaper, Sophia Kishkovsky reported on what seems like a disturbing instance of censorship in Russia. The director of the Perm Museum of Contemporary Art, Marat Guelman, has been fired, and prosecutors have begun investigating the Russian director’s financial practices, allegedly also seizing a work he curated and deeming it an example of “extremism”—raising concerns that Russia could be seeing the beginnings of a crackdown on contemporary art and freedom of speech. Authorities shut down “Welcome! Sochi 2014,” an exhibition organized by Guelman that seemed to obliquely support the political opposition’s stance that the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi is a “corrupt Kremlin vanity project,” in Kishkovsky’s words. According to a tweet by Guelman, police confiscated from the exhibition a tongue-in-cheek portrait made by artist Vasily Slonov of Joseph Stalin as an Olympic mascot. Guelman posted an outraged response on Facebook: “All of this looks like they received an order from Moscow. To find something at any cost. And this is even though I’m not in any way part of the opposition, but simply a person who openly speaks what I think. In short, soon you’ll learn that I transported narcotics, am a pedophile, or work for the CIA.”

After complaints surfaced regarding a three-day-long action to be performed by artist Herman Nitsch at the Leipzig Central Theater, which was originally to include corpses of a cow and three pigs on stage, Der Standard reports that the performance will be allowed to continue with only the brains and blood of the animals. “It will definitely take place, but in a modified form,” said a spokeswoman for the Nitsch Foundation. The foundation had received a letter from Burkhard Jung, the mayor of Leipzig, lamenting the fact that the performance required the “killing of animals particularly for this production.” Jung wrote that animals should only be killed by a man for “reasonable cause,” among which the legislature does not consider art actions.

According to Monopol, a watercolor by painter Egon Schiele has sold for just under $2.4 million, the highest price for an image in an online auction. The Berlin-based auction house, Auctionata, sold the 1916 painting Reclining Woman after discovering it in a private estate, lying in a folder between pieces of paper in a library. The previous highest price paid for a picture in an online auction was 1.3 million dollars for a Warhol. Auctionata was launched last year.

June 28, 2013

Herzog & de Meuron and TFP Farrells to Design Hong Kong’s M+

Herzog & de Meuron and TFP Farrells have been selected to design M+, a contemporary art museum in Hong Kong slated for completion in late 2017. Included in the design are plans to construct “one of the largest screens devoted to contemporary art worldwide with the fašade studded with LED lighting to activate the museum within the Hong Kong skyline.” The two-hundred-thousand-square-foot museum will be situated overlooking the water of Victoria Harbor in the West Kowloon Cultural District.

June 28, 2013

Joshua Holdeman Leaves Christie’s for Sotheby’s

Joshua Holdeman has resigned as Christie’s international director of twentieth-century art to assume a post at Sotheby’s. Effective March of 2014, he will become a vice chairman working globally with various departments, reports Carol Vogel of the New York Times. She adds that Holdeman’s departure follows the resignation of Christie’s Asia chairman Ken Yeh, who left for Acquavella Galleries earlier this year.

June 28, 2013

Dia Will Auction Work to Launch Acquisition Fund

The Dia Foundation plans to auction off a group of paintings and sculptures at Sotheby’s in New York this fall, reports Carol Vogel of the New York Times. The foundation has no acquisition fund and according to director Philippe Vergne, “cannot be a mausoleum” and “needs to grow and develop.” Over a year ago, the foundation purchased the former Alcamo Marble building in Chelsea; Vogel reports that it has since been in “fundraising mode” for renovations on that site and the two spaces next to it. It hopes to raise twenty million dollars in auction for an acquisition budget.