June 15, 2016

Angela Vettese Appointed Artistic Director of Arte Fiera

Angela Vettese

Exibart reports that Angela Vettese has been appointed the new artistic director of Bologna’s annual international modern and contemporary art fair, Arte Fiera. She will begin her role in 2017.

Vettese, a critic, journalist, and essayist, as well as a lecturer at the Università Iuav di Venezia, will replace Giorgio Verzotti and Claudio Spadoni, who codirected the last four years of the fair, including this year’s fortieth edition.

In a brief press release, Antonio Bruzzone, general director of BolognaFiere, announced: “We are delighted that Angela Vettese has agreed to bring her expertise and experience to Arte Fiera. Special thanks goes to Claudio Spadoni and Giorgio Verzotti for their important work over the past years.”

According to Exibart, the announcement was received by some as a sign of the fair’s renewal. Vettese, who created Faenza’s Contemporary Art Festival, has previously served as the cultural council for the City of Venice, president of the Fondazione Bevilacqua La Masa, and director of Modena’s Galleria Civica.

June 14, 2016

Smith College Museum of Art Receives $2.5 Million Gift from Alumna

Charlotte Feng Ford

The Boston Globe’s Mark Shanahan has written that Charlotte Feng Ford, a 1983 graduate of Smith College, has gifted the school’s museum with $2.5 million for an endowed contemporary art curatorship. Ford is a major art collector based in New York and owns works by Karen Kilimnik, David Hammons, Gabriel Orozco, Alice Neel, and Laura Owens, among others. The museum’s director Jessica Nicoll has stated that the Charlotte Feng Ford Curator of Contemporary Art will, according to Shanahan, “spearhead acquisitions, conduct research, collaborate with faculty and students to organize curriculum-integrated exhibitions, and bring contemporary art practitioners to Smith.”

Said Ford to the Boston Globe, “I spoke with [Smith College] about a donation and I wanted to do something meaningful that would have some impact . . . I hope it will generate a lot of interest from really great candidates, and I think it will have a lot of impact on students. I hope this will be great for the college.”

June 14, 2016

Franz West Private Foundation Accused of Embezzlement

Franz West

Der Standard has reported that the Oberlandesgericht Wien, the higher regional court of Vienna, has dismissed three board members of the Franz West Private Foundation for paying themselves enormous salaries: $560,000 during a five-month period in 2012 and more than $900,000 in 2013. Though its judgment is not final, the court ruled that the payments were not for the benefit of the foundation. Before her death in March 2016, West’s widow, Tamuna Sirbiladze, filed to have the board members removed from their positions.

West started the foundation merely days before his death in 2012 to push all revenues and copyrights from his estate away from the Franz West Archive, a nonprofit, and the artist’s family.

June 14, 2016

Galerie Perrotin Leaves Madison Avenue for Lower East Side

Galerie Perrotin's new space on 130 Orchard Street.

Galerie Perrotin is leaving its landmarked Madison Avenue residence (Dominique Lévy will be taking over the entire building, as artforum.com recently reported) for a 25,000-square-foot space located at 130 Orchard Street, according to M. H. Miller of Artnews. Perrotin is part of a sizable list of galleries that have made homes for themselves downtown, such as Gavin Brown’s Enterprise in Chinatown, Feuer/Mesler at 319 Grand Street, and Sperone Westwater, which opened its Foster+Partners–designed building on the Bowery in 2010.

June 14, 2016

Significant Revisions Made to NYC Landmarks Law

On June 8, 2016, the New York City Council approved measures to establish deadlines for reviews on sites considered for landmark status, reports Tanay Warerkar from Curbed. The name of the revised bill is Intro 775-A. The new bill states that there will be a deadline of two years to vote on historic districts and one year for individual properties. The council voted thirty-eight to ten on the measures, and the Land Use Committee, with one abstention, twelve to four in its favor.

June 14, 2016

Private Museum Highlighting Work by Edvard Munch Paid for by Sale of Artist’s The Scream

Petter Olsen and Edvard Munch's The Scream, 1895.

The Art Newspaper’s Clemens Bomsdorf writes that Norwegian businessman Petter Olsen will be opening a private museum to showcase his collection sometime next year. The museum is being paid for by the sale of Edvard Munch’s The Scream, 1895. The work, from Olsen’s collection, sold for $120 million.

The museum, which was originally scheduled to open in 2013 to coincide with Munch’s 150th birthday, will highlight other works by the artist from Olsen’s holdings. It will be located in Ramme—an area south of Oslo—on land that was once owned by Munch.

June 13, 2016

Smithsonian to Open Permanent Exhibition Space in London with V&A Museum

Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park

The Smithsonian announced today that it plans to collaborate with the Victoria and Albert Museum to create a permanent gallery space in the V&A’s new building, known as V&A East, which is being constructed in East London’s new cultural complex, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. The building is slated to open sometime in 2020 or 2021.

This project is the Smithsonian’s first commitment in its 170-year history to a gallery presence in another country. The joint exhibition space, in East Stratford, will feature programming developed by the two institutions that draws from both collections. “This would not be a ‘Smithsonian outpost in London,’” Smithsonian secretary David Skorton said. “It would be a collaboration with the V&A, giving both of us opportunities to engage with diverse audiences in innovative ways. What we learn through this collaboration will enable us to better tell our stories not only in London, but in the United States and around the world.”

Discussions between the Smithsonian, the V&A, and the London Legacy Development Corporation—which spearheaded the development of the new cultural and educational district—about a possible London space for the Washington-based institution began in January 2015. “Working very closely with the Smithsonian, as well as the other partners in and around the Olympic Park, is one of the key reasons the V&A is committed to developing a new museum, and this proposed collaboration represents an exciting opportunity for us to explore the synergies between two world-class institutions and their collections and knowledge,” V&A director and chief operating officer Tim Reeve said.

The 560-acre campus, and former grounds of the 2012 Olympic games, will host other UK institutions such as Sadler’s Wells, the University of the Arts London, and University College London. The Olympic Park is expected to create three thousand jobs and bring about $4 billion in revenue to Stratford and the surrounding area. The idea to turn the site into a cultural hub was championed by London’s mayor Boris Johnson, and the government has invested $201 million in the project. Founded in 2012, the London Legacy Development Corporation was established to safeguard the park and the legacy of the Olympic games. The corporation strives “to transform and integrate one of the most challenged areas in the UK into world-class, sustainable and thriving neighborhoods.”

June 13, 2016

Boston Center for the Arts Names New President

Gregory Ruffer

Malcolm Gay reports in the Boston Globe that Gregory Ruffer has been named president and CEO of the Boston Center for the Arts. Ruffer currently serves as president and CEO of the Wisconsin Conservatory of Music in Milwaukee and will replace Veronique Le Melle, who left the Center at the beginning of the year. Ruffer will formally assume his new post on August 1. The center is an independent nonprofit that oversees a complex of buildings, which provide artist residencies and studio spaces and house the Mills Gallery, the Cyclorama, and theaters for small and midsize troupes.

Prior to his time with the Wisconsin Conservatory of Music, Ruffer served as the chair of the music department at the David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts in Tampa, Florida. He also founded the Orlando Chorale and served as its music director for nearly a decade.

June 13, 2016

Clark Art Institute Appoints New Director

Olivier Meslay

The board of trustees at the Clark Art Institute has selected Olivier Meslay to serve as the new Dena and Felda Hardymon Director. Meslay will assume his new role on August 22 from his current post as associate director of curatorial affairs, senior curator of European and American art, and Barbara Thomas Lemmon Curator of European Art at the Dallas Museum of Art.

Since 2012, Meslay has overseen the Dallas Museum’s European and American art collection of more than four thousand paintings, sculptures, and works on paper, in addition to managing the museum’s curatorial department, conservation program, and art research library. Meslay also served as the museum’s interim director from 2011 to 2012, having originally joined the institution in 2009 after seventeen years at the Louvre in Paris. From 1993 to 2006, he was a curator in charge of British, American, and Spanish paintings at the Louvre; chief curator of Louvre–Atlanta, a collaborative project with the High Museum, from 2003 to 2006; and chief curator in charge of the Louvre–Lens project, the first regional branch of the Louvre.

He is the author of such recent publications as From Chanel to Reves: La Pausa and Its Collections at the Dallas Museum of Art (2015) and was the cocurator for “Mind’s Eye Masterworks on Paper from David to Cézanne” (2014) and “Chagall: Beyond Color” (2013), all at the Dallas Museum of Art.

In 2009, the French government awarded Meslay the insignia of Chevalier of the Order of Arts and Letters. He graduated from the Institut National du Patrimoine and received a masters from the École du Louvre in 1983 after earning a masters from the Sorbonne in 1982. He is a member of the editorial board of the British Art Journal, London, and is a member of the Société d’Histoire de l’Art Français, Paris.