May 13, 2016

Charlie White Named Head of Carnegie Mellon School of Art

Charlie White

Carnegie Mellon University has announced that artist and educator Charlie White will be the new head of its School of Art. A former professor at the University of Southern California’s Roski School of Art and Design, White has worked in academia for thirteen years. He had also served as director of the Roski School’s master of fine arts program for four years, from 2007 through 2011. In May 2015, the school found itself in the middle of a controversy when the entire MFA class dropped out, citing “the university’s unethical treatment of students” as one of the many reasons. The students—who would have graduated this year—said that the faculty, curriculum, program, and funding packages which drew them to the institution were dismantled after the students had enrolled.

The students also criticized the administration, claiming that it drove Roski’s then-program director, A.L. Steiner, to step down in December 2014, which was followed by other high profile resignations including tenured professors Frances Stark and Sharon Lockhart, as well as graduate coordinator Dwayne Moser. In a roundtable hosted by Artforum and published in the October 2015 print issue, Steiner, Stark, and White discussed what the students’ decision to leave en masse meant for the school, among other topics.

An internationally exhibited photographer and filmmaker, White has had solo shows at LACMA, the Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art in Connecticut, Domus Artium in Spain, and Oslo Kunstforening in Norway. He has participated in numerous group shows including the 2011 Singapore Biennial, the Hammer Museum’s “Nine Lives: Visionary Artists from LA,” and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum’s “Art in America Now.” In 2009, White’s film American Minor, 2008, screened at the Sundance Film Festival and in the Director’s Fortnight section at the Cannes Film Festival.

“Charlie brings to the School of Art a demonstrated commitment to fostering creative expression and experimentation across all genres of art,” dean of Carnegie Mellon’s College of Fine Arts Dan Martin said. “He is a firm believer in art as a crucial part of our lives and culture, and while at the University of Southern California he furthered that belief through the development of new platforms for growth, change and diversity.” White will succeed John Carson who will continue to work at the college as a professor.

May 12, 2016

Piper Marshall to Curate the 2017 A.I.R. Biennial Exhibition

Piper Marshall

A.I.R. Gallery announced today that Piper Marshall will curate the twelfth edition of its biennial which will kickoff in January 2017.The biennial exhibition surveys emerging and midcareer female artists.

Piper Marshall is a New York–based independent curator and writer. She is currently a Ph.D. student at Columbia University. Marshall has organized numerous exhibitions including solo shows for Ryan McNamara, John Miller, and Caitlin Keogh, among others. She writes for various publications such as Texte Zur Kunst, Art in America, Kaleidoscope, Spike, and artforum.com.

Former curators of A.I.R. include Connie Butler, Anne Ellegood, Charlotta Kotik, Shamim Momin, and Maura Reilly.

May 12, 2016

Vincent Price Art Museum Names New Director

Pilar Tompkins Rivas

Los Angeles East College’s Vincent Price Art Museum has appointed Pilar Tompkins Rivas, the former coordinator of curatorial initiatives at Los Angeles County Museum of Art, as its new director.

“It's important for us to have someone who not only has a deep knowledge of the artists who have developed in East Los Angeles, but also someone who has a connection to the contemporary art world—someone who serves as a bridge,” board chairman Pete Galindo said.

At LACMA, Rivas served as codirector of the institution’s Art History Practicum Initiative and the Andrew W. Mellon Undergraduate Curatorial Fellowship Program. She has been a museum professional since 2002, and has organized dozens of exhibitions throughout the US, Colombia, Egypt, France, and Mexico. Rivas has also worked as curator and director of artist-in-residence programs at 18th Street Arts Center, the arts project coordinator at the UCLA Chicano Studies Research Center, curator of the Claremont Museum of Art, and as director of the Latin American branch of the Artist Pension Trust.

May 12, 2016

Official Name of New Lebanon Art Institution Revealed

Beirut

The Association for the Promotion and Exhibition of the Arts in Lebanon, also known as APEAL, has announced that the country’s new art institution, which is expected to open in 2020, will officially be named the Beirut Museum of Art. The new space will exhibit modern and contemporary Lebanese culture. It will be located on property owned by the Université Saint-Joseph on Beirut's museum mile, which is also home to the National Museum, Museum of Lebanese Prehistory, the Mineral Museum, Beit Beirut (House of Beirut), and Metropolis Center.

The Beirut museum is currently in the process of developing its collection and programming. Despite not having a building, in March, it launched an artist-in-residence program in the city of Ras Masqa, and as of April, twelve commissioned artists have begun publishing in different Lebanese newspapers for a project called “Works on Paper”—a series curated by Amanda Abi Khalil. Information about future events has yet to be announced.

A two-stage international design competition for the museum’s new building, called “A Museum in the Making,” has already announced a shortlist consisting of thirteen architectural firms. The jury was assembled by the chair of the Pritzker Architecture Prize, Lord Peter Palumbo, and consists of international and local experts including the late Zaha Hadid, Hans Ulrich Obrist, Julia Peyton-Jones, Rodolphe El Khoury, Lamia Joreige, Lord Richard Rogers, and Fares Al Dahdah, as well as representatives from APEAL and the Université Saint-Joseph. The winner will be announced this fall.

May 12, 2016

Auctionata and Paddle8 Announce Plans to Merge

Some members of the management team of the new company, left to right: Patrick van der Vorst, head of Auctionata UK and founder of Valuemystuff.com; Johannes Riedl, COO; Aditya Julka, chairman and chief strategy officer and cofounder of Paddle8; Susanne Zacke, chief marketplace officer and cofounder of Auctionata; Alexander Zacke, CEO and cofounder of Auctionata; Osman Khan, EVP and CEO for the Americas and cofounder of Paddle8; Christof Schminke, chief marketing officer; Alexander Gilkes, chairman, chief innovation offer, cofounder of Paddle8; Artashes Torosyan, Chief Technology Officer; Jan Thiel, deputy CEO; Martin Heyne, chief auction officer.

Online auction houses Auctionata and Paddle8, who sell to what they call the “middle market,” have announced that they are planning to merge in order to expand their audience and extend their reach, Michael J. de la Merced of the New York Times reports.

The middle market they are referring to buys items that are too valuable to be put on eBay, but are generally less than $500,000. However, both art auctioneers have sold objects for much more, such as an eighteenth-century Chinese clock that was bought on Auctionata for over $3 million last year.

In 2015, their combined sales were around $140 million. Auctionata cofounder Alexander Zacke told ArtNews that “It makes sense to join forces as you close in on the summit. We saw that both companies were growing very quickly.” In the expanding online market place, the two startups ranked in fifth (Paddle8) and ninth (Auctionata) place, according to a survey of 672 art buyers who ranked online art platforms, which was compiled by the research firm Hiscox. Christie’s LIVE placed first.

After the merge, the new entity will have a combined user base of almost 800,000. Although the companies declined to disclose the terms of the deal, they confirmed that they will both retain their own branding and their own headquarters. However, the single domain name for their new entity has yet to be determined.

May 12, 2016

German Railroad Company Bans Ad For LGBTQ Show

Cassils and Robin Black, Advertisement: Hommage to Benglis, part of the series “CUTS: A Traditional Sculpture,” 2011, six-month durational performance.

This week the German railroad company Deutsche Bahn AGAn announced that an ad depicting a trans person in promotion of an exhibition called “Homosexuality_ies,” which is set to open May 13 at the LWL-Museum für Kunst und Kultur, will not be allowed in its train stations, Maximilíano Durón of ArtNews reports.

Titled Advertisement: Hommage to Benglis, 2011, the piece was created by Cassils, who identifies as a gender-nonconforming trans masculine visual artist. In the work, Cassils stands in the center of the poster wearing nothing but a jock strap and red lipstick. Made in collaboration with Robin Black, the work pays tribute to Lynda Benglis’s famous Advertisement, 1974, which ran in Artforum’s November issue of the same year.

Deutsche Bahn called the ad “sexualized” and “sexist.” According to the Schwules Museum, one of the organizers of the exhibition, the rail company said that the German public had become more sensitive to “sexism” after eighty women reported that they had been sexually assaulted in Cologne on New Year’s Eve.

On Tuesday, the Schwules said that it considered the ban “wrong and inappropriate.” The museum added, “It is interesting that the Deutsche Bahn AG has no problems showing people—with nudity—in advertisements when they conform [to] heterosexual norms. Yet an image that obviously questions such norms is being ‘censored’ and considered unacceptable for public display.”

Yesterday, the rail company announced on social media that it had reversed its decision to ban the poster, but regretted to inform the public that it had already sold the advertising locations that were reserved for the exhibiton.

In response to the controversy surrounding the work, Cassils said, “The phobic response to Cassils’s image here calls to mind broader instances of transphobia which seek to prohibit the presence of trans and gender-nonconforming bodies from public spaces.” The artist made the work available for free download so that people could paste it over images displayed in the Deutsche Bahn that they believe are sexist.

May 12, 2016

17 Paintings Stolen in Verona Museum Heist Recovered in Ukraine

President Petro O. Poroshenko of Ukraine, left, with some paintings that had been stolen from the Castelvecchio Museum in Verona.

Italy’s minister of culture, Dario Franceschini, has confirmed that the seventeen paintings stolen from Verona’s Museo di Castelvecchio last November have been recovered by police in the Ukraine.

According to the Art Newspaper, the paintings, which include works by Baroque and Renaissance masters such as Peter Paul Rubens and Jacopo Tintoretto, were found wrapped in plastic bags and hidden in shrubbery along the Dniester river on Turunchuk island, which is near the southwestern border of Moldova. Authorities suspect the thieves planned to sell the canvases in the Ukraine or Russia. Ukrainian President Petro Porochenko said that the recovery of the paintings was a sign to the world that "Ukraine is starting to effectively combat smuggling.”

The mayor of Verona, Flavio Tosi said, “We are breathing an enormous sigh of relief and we are very happy because it is an important piece of Verona that is to be returned to the citizens of the city and the whole world.”

The works were stolen from the museum by masked robbers on November 19, as previsouly reported by artforum.com. In March, thirteen arrests were made including eleven Moldovans and two Italians, one of which was a security guard at the institution. Valued at around $16 million, the works will soon be returned to Italy.

May 12, 2016

Jerwood/FVU Announces 2017 Award Winners

Patrick Hough, Funerary Relief, 2016. Installation view.

The Jerwood/Film and Video Umbrella Awards has selected Patrick Hough and Lawrence Lek as the winners of the 2017 prize. Both artists will receive $28,956 to support new moving-image works that will be featured in an exhibition at Jerwood Space in spring 2017.

The artists, chosen from over 250 applicants, were asked to respond to the curatorial theme of “Neither One Thing or Another.” Both artists’ works capture the blurring line between the real and the artificial. Lek’s proposal probes ideas surrounding artificial intelligence—a computer-generated ghost becomes aware of its own autonomy and discovers it is capable of exercising the human power of creativity. In Hough’s proposal castaway props and abandoned sets are revalued and given new life as significant mementos of cinema history. “Moving fluently between definitions and across formal boundaries, both works make us look again at the uncertain nature of what we think we know and see.”

The jury panel consisted of Film and Video Umbrella director, Steven Bode; artist and 2014 Turner Prize winner, Duncan Campbell; Hayward Gallery curator, Cliff Lauson; Frieze reviews editor, Amy Sherlock; and Jerwood Visual Arts’s head of programs, Sarah Williams.

May 12, 2016

UCLA’s Art School to Build $31 Million Studio Complex With Major Donation

Johnston Marklee and Associates design for UCLA’s School of Arts and Architecture’s new complex.

The University of California Los Angeles’s School of the Arts and Architecture is planning to add a $31 million studio complex that will be slated to open in 2019, Christopher Knight of the LA Times reports.

The plan for the 75,000-square-foot building for graduate students was originally conceived in 2011, but was shelved due to a lack of funds. The project is being revived after a major donation was gifted to the school by art dealer Margo Leavin. While the amount of the gift has not been revealed, sources have guessed that the funding might be about $20 million.

Leavin, the former owner of Margo Leavin Gallery in West Hollywood, said that after her retirement in 2012, she wanted to give back to the city in which she operated her business for forty-two years. An alumna of the university, Leavin said, “I began to realize that I could also make just one significant bequest. Artists are the backbone of the community, so I wanted it to be something that would have a real impact on that.”

The new facility will replace a run-down building in Culver City. The current studio is cramped and also boasts a leaky roof and lack of ventilation. “I was shocked,” Leavin said after she toured it last year. Johnston Marklee & Associates’s design of the new complex will be a two-story structure featuring a translucent, polycarbonate roof—to introduce natural light—a covered entry portico, common areas, classroom spaces, an apartment for visiting artists, a gallery, and a communal kitchen and garden. Construction for the project should begin next year.