March 8, 2013

Winners of the Independent’s Privatus Prize Announced

The Independent has announced winners of its inaugural Privatus Prize, which recognizes outstanding curatorial work presented by a gallery or institution at the fair. The ten-thousand-dollar prize was bestowed equally to all participating nonprofit organizations—the Kitchen, Printed Matter, White Columns, and Glasgow International Festival of Visual Art. Said jurors Clarissa Dalrymple and Stefan Kalmár: “It’s in the non-for-profits–from New York and elsewhere–where new ideas are tested and contested that contribute most to innovation in contemporary art and thinking. We also would like to mention the following galleries—Broadway 1602, Real Fine Arts, Office Baroque Gallery, whose stands we liked very much.”

March 8, 2013

Karen Sherry Named Chief Curator at Portland Museum of Art

Karen Sherry, currently curator of American art at the Portland Museum of Art, has been named chief curator of the department, reports Artdaily. Sherry joined the museum in June of 2012; prior to that, she was an associate curator at the Brooklyn Museum, where she worked for almost a decade. Said director Mark H.C. Bessire: “Over the last few months, Karen has shown strong leadership skills in directing the vision of the museum’s curatorial staff and programs.”

March 7, 2013

LACMA Moves to Take Over LA MoCA

The Los Angeles County Museum of Art has formally offered to acquire the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, according to Jori Finkel in the Los Angeles Times. Michael Govan, director of LACMA, sent a letter on February 24, also signed by the two cochairs of his board, that laid out the details of the proposed acquisition. Apparently, leaders at LA MoCA—which has struggled with financial difficulties as well as the defections of staff and board members—initiated a request for the proposal. Although Finkel notes that those who have seen the letter are not at liberty to discuss any details in depth, it is known that LACMA is offering to raise $100 million for the merger, and will continue to operate the two downtown LA MoCA sites under its original name. Govan told the Times that negotiations were “friendly and cooperative.” LACMA similarly made an acquisition proposal in 2008, but the offer became unnecessary at the time when LA MoCA was bailed out by Eli Broad, who donated $30 million.

March 7, 2013

Tracey Moffatt Wins Australia Council Award

The Australia Council has named Tracey Moffatt the 2013 recipient of an award in the visual arts at a ceremony held yesterday at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney. Celebrating its fortieth anniversary, the Australia Council presents an award each year to artists and arts administrators who continue to further the development of art from Australia. “I was so thrilled to be recognized and up there with talented and important names in the Australian art world,” the artist mentioned about the recognition, which came after her solo exhibition at MoMA, New York, last May that featured her most recent video series, “Montages,” of scenes crafted from Hollywood films that coincide with the artist’s interests in popular culture and her own background. Along with Moffatt, Juliana Engberg, who was recently appointed the artistic director of the nineteenth Biennale of Sydney, was recognized as one of Australia’s leading curators. “It is my privilege to work on behalf of Australian artists,” she said, “and their amazing contributions to our culture.”

March 7, 2013

Joan Fontcuberta Wins Hasselblad Award

The Hasselblad Foundation has announced that Catalan photographer Joan Fontcuberta will receive the 2013 Hasselblad Foundation's international photography award, which comes with a monetary prize of over $140,000. The foundation, established in 1979 and named after the camera inventor Victor Hasselblad, aims to promote research in the natural sciences and photography. Fontcuberta’s thirty-year experimentation with the medium has led to the iconic series “Fauna,” 1987, and “Sputnik,” 1997, which examine photographic veracity. From the decision letter to award the prize to the conceptual artist: “His work is distinguished by original and playful conceptual approaches that particularly explore photographic conventions, means of representation, and claims to truth.” The award ceremony will take place today in Barcelona and an exhibition of the photographer’s work will open on October 25 at the Gothenburg Museum of Art, Sweden.

March 6, 2013

Layoffs at Indianapolis Museum of Art

On Monday, the Indianapolis Museum of Art laid off more than twenty employees in order to cut costs, according to Dan Human in the Indianapolis Business Journal. Nineteen full-time and two part-time positions were terminated. In addition, eight vacant jobs will be left unfilled. Said museum CEO Charles Venable, “These are difficult changes, but it is imperative that we reduce our reliance on the endowment so future generations can benefit from it. It pains me greatly that we have to make staffing reductions at this juncture, but it was clear that they were necessary.” The cuts are accompanied by plans to reduce the $22 million annual budget, and to stage more mainstream exhibitions in order to increase revenue.

March 6, 2013

Tacoma Art Museum Resolves Dispute Over Artifacts

The Associated Press notes that family members of a couple who donated Chinese artifacts to the Tacoma Art Museum have resolved a dispute that began after the museum started auctioning off several of the items which the family believed would remain in permanent collection. The museum will donate several of the works to a local institution, and, while it will continue to sell off other works, it will devote some of the proceeds to purchasing works by Chinese American artists, crediting the Young family with the donation.

March 5, 2013

Gift Ensures Free Admission at the Bronx Museum of Art for Three Years

The Bronx Museum of the Arts has received a gift of five hundred thousand dollars, which will ensure free admission for the next three years. Casey Lesser of Art in America reports that the bequest establishes the Shelley and Donald Rubin Free Admission Program and also grants the museum the funds to expand education programming and community engagement. The museum launched its first free admission program in March of 2012, which increased annual attendance by 50 percent.

March 5, 2013

Tavares Strachan to Represent the Bahamas in the 2013 Venice Biennale

Tavares Strachan will represent the Bahamas in the 2013 Venice Biennale. Andrew Russeth of the New York Observer reports that Strachan gained prominence in 2006 after excavating a 4.5 ton ice block from Alaska, which the artist kept refrigerated and transported via FedEx to the Bahamas. He then exhibited the work in the courtyard of the elementary school he attended as a child. Titled The Distance Between What We Have and What We Want, the cube of ice was also shown at Miami Basel and the Brooklyn Museum. Strachan was born in the Bahamas and is currently based between its capital, Nassau, and New York.