The Whitney Museum of American Art has announced that David Breslin, currently the chief curator of the Menil Drawing Institute in Houston, will join the institution as curator and director of the collection. Breslin will take up the position in October.
“David is that rare and remarkable combination of a scholarly curator and sensitive champion of living artists,” Scott Rothkopf, deputy director for programs and chief curator, said. He added, “In his leadership position at the Whitney, he will help steward our collection and shape its future by guiding acquisition strategy, along with the display and publication of our holdings.”
During his tenure at the Menil Drawing Institute, Breslin helped shape the design of its new facility, which is slated to open in 2017. He curated “The Precarious” (2015–16) and “Harold Ancart: There Is No There There” (2016). Breslin also supervised the production of the catalogue raisonné of Jasper Johns’ drawings that will be published next year and grew the collection with acquisitions of works by artists including Trisha Brown, John Cage, Lee Mullican, Amy Sillman, Nancy Spero, Danh Vo, and Jack Whitten.
Breslin previously served as the associate director of the research and academic program as well as associate curator of contemporary projects at the Clark Art Institute in Williamstown, Massachusetts. He is currently collaborating with Whitney curator David Kiehl to organize the retrospective “David Wojnarowicz: History Keeps Me Awake at Night,” which will open at the Whitney in 2018, and create the exhibition’s catalogue.
“I'm thrilled to be joining the Whitney at such an exciting and important time, shortly after the first anniversary of the museum’s move downtown,” Breslin said. “It is an honor to be able to work with this dynamic and growing collection and help convey the diverse histories and possibilities of American art.”
According to Gareth Harris of the Art Newspaper, fourteen Istanbul dealers are launching a new initiative in order to boost the Turkish arts scene in the wake of a failed military coup, which led to the arrests of thousands of cultural figures.
By founding the Contemporary Art Galleries Solidarity, the dealers from numerous galleries, including Pi Artworks, Galeri Nev, and Zilberman Gallery, are trying to reinvigorate the arts market after the 2016 editions of Art International and the Çanakkale Biennial were canceled due to the tense political climate.
“The majority of the galleries in the new association have been the primary galleries that have been active for the longest time—they have helped to raise the international profile of art coming out of Turkey,” Kerimcan Güleryüz, founder of the Empire Project, said.
The first Istanbul Gallery Weekend will take place from September 30 to October 2, 2016. The participating galleries will extend their hours and promote the event through a social media campaign.
Güleryüz said, “We feel that Istanbul Gallery Weekend will be an important annual event in the years to come as it serves to highlight and showcase the scene as a whole, and bring some positive energy to a scene that has had more than its fair share of trials and tribulations.”
Among the twelve recipients of this year’s National Medal of Arts are artists Philip Glass, Ralph Lemon, and Jack Whitten, according to a release from the National Endowment for the Arts. The other awardees are Mel Brooks, Sandra Cisneros, Eugene O’Neill Theater Center, Morgan Freeman, Berry Gordy, Santiago Jiménez Jr., Moises Kaufman, Audra McDonald, and Luis Valdez.
Whitten was cited for “remaking the American canvas.” Commenting on a portfolio the artist did for the February 2012 issue of Artforum, editor Michelle Kuo wrote, “His work eludes the perimeters we know. It conjures something else: infinite extension, scanning, even searching.”
Lemon, also on the shortlist for the 2016 Hugo Boss Prize, is being honored “for his contribution to dance and the visual arts.” His recent work Scaffold Room debuted in 2014 at the Walker Art Center and appeared at the Kitchen in New York in 2015. The first monograph on his work, edited by curator Thomas J. Lax, was recently published by the Museum of Modern Art as part of the series “Modern Dance.”
President Obama will present the awards in a live-streamed ceremony at the White House on Thursday, September 22.
Elmhurst Art Museum has announced that Lal Bahcecioglu will join the institution as exhibitions coordinator. In the newly created position, Bahcecioglu will collaborate with museum curators to organize the upcoming show “Kings and Queens: Pinball, Imagists and Chicago,” which will open in February 2017.
“Lal brings the most up-to-date knowledge of curatorial practice as well as expertise in architecture, which she studied in Vienna, making her a valuable team member in the restoration and interpretation of the cornerstone of EAM’s collection, Mies van der Rohe’s McCormick House,” executive director Jenny Gibbs said.
Originally from Istanbul, Lal Bahcecioglu moved to New York in 2014 and is now based in Chicago. She earned her BA in architecture from Vienna University of Technology and her MA in curatorial practice from New York’s School of Visual Arts. Bahcecioglu has worked in several art institutions, including Turkey’s Zilberman Gallery.
On September 24, President Barack Obama will inaugurate the new National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C., which was designed by architect David Adjaye, by ringing a five-hundred-pound bell from a Virginia church that was founded by slaves and free blacks in 1776, Graham Bowley of the New York Times reports.
The historic bell will travel to the museum from the First Baptist Church in Williamsburg, Virginia—one of the oldest African American churches in the country.
After Obama rings the bell at the start of the museum’s opening ceremony, members of an African American family that lived in America for four generations will ring it again at the closing of the ceremony.
The Swiss Institute announced today that it has found a new home in New York City’s East Village and has welcomed nine new trustees to its board. Designed by Selldorf Architects, the new 7,500-square-foot space is located at 38 Saint Marks Place and will open in the spring of 2017.
Director Simon Castets said, “This new building offers tremendous opportunities to expand upon our mission and serve a growing audience, to whom we will continue to offer forward-looking exhibitions and public programs, always free of charge.” He added, “We look forward to joining and contributing to the diverse community of cultural organizations and artists that have called the East Village home for many years.”
The design for the new building will feature space for exhibitions, projects, public programs, a library, bookstore, and a useable rooftop. The institute will be within half a mile of several other cultural organizations, including Cooper Union, Danspace Project, the International Center of Photography, and the New Museum.
With the addition of the nine new trustees, board has doubled in size to eighteen members. The new trustees are: Bice Curiger, cofounder and chief editor of Parkett and artistic director of the Fondation Vincent Van Gogh Arles; Matthias Dettling, head of the culture and education department at the Consulate General of Switzerland in New York; Alexandra Economou, philanthropist and art collector; Sam Keller, director of the Fondation Beyeler; Lisa Schiff, president and founder of the advisory firm Schiff Fine Art; Dominique Lévy, founder of Dominique Lévy Gallery; Christian Marclay, visual artist and composer; Michael Ringier, chairman of Swiss media company Ringier AG; and Iwan Wirth, president and cofounder of Hauser & Wirth.
Founded in 1986, the Swiss Institute is an independent nonprofit contemporary art institution dedicated to promoting forward-thinking and experimental artmaking through innovative exhibitions and programs. The organization has been looking for a new building since the lease for its 18 Wooster Street location ended and Jeffery Deitch decided to move back into the space.
Art patrons Nancy Olnick and Giorgio Spanu have announced that they are planning to open an art space in Cold Spring, New York, which will house their collection of four hundred works of Italian postwar and contemporary art.
The couple has been committed to bringing Arte Povera, a conceptual Italian art movement that emerged in the 1960s, to a US audience since they were first exposed to the works when they lived in Rome for a year. “The only drawback to collecting Arte Povera is that much of the work is huge in scale,” Olnick said. “This led us to look for an appropriate space to display the artwork.”
With works spanning the 1950s through the present, the collection includes pieces by artists Giovanni Anselmo, Alighiero Boetti, Pier Paolo Calzolari, Luciano Fabro, Jannis Kounellis, Mario Merz, Marisa Merz, Giulio Paolini, Giuseppe Penone, Michelangelo Pistoletto, and Gilberto Zorio, as well as five hundred pieces of Murano glass from 1910 to 2010.
Olnick and Spanu have been residents in the Hudson River area for more than twenty-five years and said that the new art space is an opportunity for them to give back to the community. Drawing inspiration from Margherita Stein, the founder of the historical Galleria Christian Stein in Turin, Italy, and a pioneer of the Arte Povera movement, Olnick said, “We hope to continue Stein’s legacy in the US by sharing these works that have been important in our lives. Furthermore, we wanted to ensure access to these works would be free and open to not only the art world, but also to scholars and students as well as viewers who might be newly interested in art.”
Called Magazzino, which means warehouse in Italian, the venue will boast 18,000 square feet of exhibition space, a library with more than five thousand publications, administrative offices, and an orchard. Architect Miguel Quismondo has repurposed a pre-existing structure in order to fit the new facility’s needs. Quismondo doubled the size of the former space, giving the institution 20,000 square feet to work with, and was able to preserve some of the character of the former space, creating a contrast between the old and new architectural elements.
The new space will be directed by Vittorio Calabrese and will be open to the public by appointment.
Installation photograph of the exhibition “Bauhaus: 1919-1928,” which was on view from Dec. 7, 1938, through Jan. 30, 1939.
The Museum of Modern Art has announced that it has released an extensive digital archive that chronicles its exhibitions from when the museum opened its doors in 1929 to today.
The archive features more than thirty-five hundred exhibitions and more than thirty-three thousand installation photographs, as well as primary documents such as press releases, checklists, catalogues, and artist lists.
Michelle Elligott, chief of the museum’s archives, told the New York Times, “This is like a dream come true for me, because I’ve been playing around with this material for twenty years and I know the depth of what’s here.”
Elligott, who worked with Fiona Romeo, the director of digital content and strategy, to realize the “living archive,” said that they made some surprising discoveries while working on the project. They learned that the date of the first show dedicated to a female artist was actually earlier than they previously thought. Titled “Creative Growth, Childhood to Maturity,” the 1939 exhibition presented works by Dahlov Zorach Ipcar. They also found that Pablo Picasso has been included in 320 exhibitions at the museum, which is more than any other artist.
In a statement, MoMA said, “By making these unique resources available at no charge, the exhibition history digital archive directly aligns with the museum’s mission of encouraging an ever-deeper understanding of modern and contemporary art and fostering scholarship.”
This new digital archive is accessible on MoMA’s website.
Switzerland’s Fondation Beyeler has announced that it has commissioned Pritzker Prize–winning architect Peter Zumthor to design its new $82 million building, which will be constructed in Iselin-Weber Park in Riehen.
Director Sam Keller said, “The interaction of human beings, nature, art, and architecture is one of the keystones of the Fondation Beyeler’s success, and was also essential for the development of Renzo Piano’s award-winning museum.” He added, “Peter Zumthor possesses the sensitivity and experience that are needed to create a building of outstanding quality in this very special location.”
The price tag for the privately funded extension project includes the acquisition of the land, construction costs, and the operating and maintenance costs for the new building for the first decade.
Zumthor, who is known for his numerous designs for museums, including Kunsthaus Bregenz, the Kolumba Kunstmuseum in Cologne, and currently LACMA, will present his designs for the project in late fall or early winter.
Fondation Beyeler was established by art patrons Ernst and Hildy Beyeler in 1997. Designed by the Italian architect Renzo Piano, the building is situated on the Villa Berower estate. Since its founding, the organization’s modern and contemporary art collection has doubled in size.