ARTnews in Brief

ARTnews in Brief: $250,000 Sotheby’s Prize Goes to Two Brazilian Exhibitions About Indigenous Art—and More from November 8, 2019

Pinacoteca de São Paulo

Pinacoteca de São Paulo.


Friday, November 8, 2019

$250,000 Sotheby’s Prize Goes to Two Brazilian Exhibitions About Indigenous Art
Three years ago, Sotheby’s established an award to recognize and support the curatorial work of “innovative institutions who strive to break new ground by exploring overlooked or under-represented areas of art history,” as the auction house put it. Now, the company has said that its $250,000 Sotheby’s Prize will be shared by two exhibitions in Brazil that look at the work of indigenous artists. The first is “OPY,” an ambitious undertaking set to open in July that is co-organized by the museum Pinacoteca de São Paulo, the cultural center Casa do Povo, and Kalipety, an indigenous prayer house. The exhibition will potentially stage work by indigenous artists both within the Pinacoteca and outside it. The second exhibition is “Histórias indigenas” at the Museu de Arte de São Paulo, which will open in October 2021, will look at various global indigenous histories from the 16th century to today, and each section will be co-curated with indigenous curators and artists. Of the MASP exhibition, juror Nicholas Serota said in a statement, “The exhibition promises to be an authoritative examination of the phenomenon of indigeneity which has become a pressing subject of enquiry in the visual arts.” —Maximilíano Durón

Institute for International Visual Arts Names Artistic Director
Sepake Angiama will join the Institute for International Visual Arts, a London–based organization that commissions new works and offers a residency program, as its artistic director in January. Angiama most recently served as curator of the 2019 Chicago Architecture Biennial. She has previously held positions at the Hayward Gallery and Turner Contemporary in the United Kingdom, and she has worked with the Manifesta Foundation and Documenta 14, which was staged in Kassel and Athens in 2017. In her new role, Angiama will oversee the organization’s commissioning and accessioning of new artworks by Britain-based artists of African and/or Asian descent. She said in a statement, “With the support of the team at Iniva I look forward to stewarding this organization as it continues the work of broadening our understanding of African and Asian artists and the diaspora.”

Tuan Andrew Nguyen, 'The Specter of Ancestors Becoming,' 2019, 4-channel video installation

Tuan Andrew Nguyen, The Specter of Ancestors Becoming, 2019, 4-channel video installation.


Thursday, November 7, 2019

Major Updates on the El Museo del Barrio Front
New York’s El Museo del Barrio in Upper Manhattan has been embroiled in controversy for much of the past year. A retrospective for Alejandro Jodorowsky was canceled, an open letter calling for major changes at the museum was penned, and an action was staged during a major event over the summer. It seems that for now El Museo has begun to listen to the protestor’s demands. In a press release circulated today, the organization announced “a transformational season.” The biggest news is that will form a Community Advisory Council to “establish platforms for on-going dialogue and engagement with local community members” that will involve residents of East Harlem and other cultural leaders throughout New York City. El Museo has also acquired a 2,200-square-foot space “dedicated to experimental programming aimed to provide museum-goers with an additional entry point into Puerto Rican, Latinx, and Latin American art and culture,” that will open in 2020. Protestors also called for a more diverse board, and El Museo announced that Monica Tavares, the associate vice chancellor of the City University of New York system who was born in the Dominican Republic and lives in East Harlem, is now a trustee. The museum will also launch a new membership program for $5 a year that grants free admission for one to the museum. The museum also announced two exhibitions on deck for the spring: “Taller Boricua: A Political Print Shop in New York” and “Underground/Elevated: Art and the New York City Subway.” —Maximilíano Durón

Tuan Andrew Nguyen Joins James Cohan Gallery
James Cohan Gallery in New York now represents Ho Chi Minh City–based artist Tuan Andrew Nguyen, and will stage a solo exhibition of his work in February. Nguyen’s work, which spans assemblage and film, often addresses Vietnam’s history and modes of resistance within that history. His four-channel video installation The Specter of Ancestors Becoming (2019), which was shown at the Sharjah Biennial this year and is currently on view at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, focuses on a group of West African colonial soldiers sent by France to combat Vietnamese liberation uprisings in the 1940s. Nguyen’s single-channel video installation, titled The Island, premiered at the 2017 Whitney Biennial, and several of his films have also been screened at international film festivals. His work is included in the collections of the Guggenheim Museum and Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Queensland Art Gallery in Brisbane, and elsewhere.

Ebony G. Patterson, …a pale horse weeps in silence...for those who bear/bare witness, 2018

Ebony G. Patterson will be included in the 2020 Liverpool Biennial. Pictured here is her 2018 installation, …a pale horse weeps in silence…for those who bear/bare witness.


Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Nicholas Galanin Gets New York Gallery Representation
One of the 2019 Whitney Biennial’s most talked-about artists, Nicholas Galanin, will now be represented by Peter Blum Gallery in New York. The artist, who is based in Sitka, Alaska, and is of Tlingit and Unangax̂ descent, frequently deals with themes related to Indigenous identity and the perception of it by non-Indigenous people in his work. At the Whitney Biennial, he showed a prayer rug resembling white noise on a television monitor, which Galanin said refers to the way that distractions are generated to ward off political strife. Earlier this year, he made headlines for being one of eight artists to request that their work be removed from the Biennial amid controversy over a Whitney board member—a topic he addressed in an essay for ARTnews. A show of his work will open at Peter Blum Gallery in 2020.

Liverpool Biennial Announces Artist List, Theme
The organizers of the Liverpool Biennial in the United Kingdom have announced the theme and participating artists for its upcoming 11th edition, set to open in July. This will be the first iteration of the biennial since Sally Tallant, who led the biennial from 2011 to 2018, departed to become director of the Queens Museum. The exhibition, curated by Manuela Moscoso with artistic director Fatos Üstek, will be titled “The Stomach and the Port,” and look at the ways in which notions of the body can be connected to Liverpool’s history as a major international port city, itself being a point of contact. Among the 50 artists who will show work in the biennial are Judy Chicago, Rashid Johnson, Ebony G. Patterson, Xaviera Simmons, Sonia Gomes, Jutta Koether, Haroon Mirza, and Larry Achiampong. The full list of participating artists is available here.

Connie Butler Wins Award for Curatorial Excellence
The Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard College has named Connie Butler, the chief curator at the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles, as the winner of its annual Audrey Irmas Award for Curatorial Excellence for “lasting contributions to the curatorial field,” according to a release. Butler, who was chosen by a panel of prominent curators, museum directors, and artists, will receive $25,000. Butler is known for her ground-breaking, large-scale exhibitions that look at contributions by artists who have long been underrecognized. Her 2007 exhibition “WACK!: Art and the Feminist Revolution” at L.A.’s Museum of Contemporary Art is widely seen as a watershed in its analysis of the ways in which the Feminist Movement influenced artistic practices in the 1960s and ’70s. Other curatorial credits include surveys of Mark Bradford, Adrian Piper, Lari Pittman, Maria Merz, and Lygia Clark, as well as the 2014 edition of the Hammer’s Made in L.A. biennial. “Her exhibitions are touchstones of curating in the United States—helping to re-define subjects and the institutions where she works,” Tom Eccles, CCS Bard’s executive director, said in a statement. Artist Andrea Fraser will present Butler with the award at a gala in New York next April.

Artadia Names Finalists for Atlanta Award
The nonprofit Artadia has announced the five finalists for its 2019 award for Atlanta-based artists. They are Danielle Deadwyler, Bojana Ginn, Gerald Kennedy, Courtney McClellan, and Sonya Yong James. Each artist will receive studio visits with second round jurors, who will select two artists to receive $10,000 each. Finalists were chosen by jurors Gabriel de Guzman, curator and director of exhibitions at Smackmellon in New York; Ike Onyewuenyi, curatorial assistant at the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles; and independent curator Louise Shaw.

Newark Museum Changes Name, Celebrates with Free Admission
The Newark Museum in New Jersey is offering free admission—along with various activities and live performances—to all visitors on Wednesday to mark its adoption of a new name. The institution will now be known as the Newark Museum of Art as part of an effort to brand the museum as “the city’s hub—the place where art, science, technology, social issues, and culture converge to ignite compassionate conversations,” as Linda Harrison, the museum’s chief executive and director, said in a statement.

Front International Makes Hires Ahead of 2021 Triennial
The second edition of the Front International: Cleveland Triennial for Contemporary Art in Ohio, which will take place from July 17 to October 2, 2021, has appointed Sarah Spinner Liska as deputy director, Meghana Karnik as associate curator, and Lo Smith as curatorial assistant. Spinner Liska, a lawyer and historian, will work closely with Front founder and director Fred Bidwell to expand the exhibition’s reach. Karnik, the former associate director of EFA Project Space in New York, and Smith, a cross-disciplinary artist, are both Cleveland natives. The new additions to the team join artistic directors Prem Krishnamurthy and Tina Kukielski, who were appointed to their posts earlier this year.

RJ Messineo Joins Morán Morán
The Brooklyn-based painter RJ Messineo has joined Morán Morán in Los Angeles, where she will have a solo exhibition in March. The artist, who is also represented by Canada gallery in New York, creates abstract works focused on tensions between interior and public spaces. Her large-scale paintings incorporate plywood elements, which extend beyond the canvas. Messineo has exhibited at James Cohan Gallery in New York, Redling Fine Art and REDCAT Gallery in Los Angeles, and elsewhere, and she participated in the Fire Island Artist Residency in 2014.

Lori Spector

Lori Spector.


Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Phillips Names Regional Director for Switzerland
Lori Spector, who most recently worked as an art adviser and dealer in New York and Zurich, has been appointed regional director of Switzerland and senior international specialist in 20th-century and contemporary art at Phillips. Spector has some history with the house, having previously been a specialist and senior director in its Impressionist and modern art department.

Archives of American Art Puts Peter A. Bradley Papers Online
The Smithsonian Archives of American Art has put online its holdings of papers and photographs from the African-American painter and former art dealer Peter A. Bradley, who made two donations to the archives, in 2009 and 2018. From 1968 to 1975, Bradley was the associate director of New York’s Perls Galleries, which was in business from 1937 to 1997 and was best known for its longtime representation of contemporary French artists, as well as of Alexander Calder beginning in 1957. Among Bradley’s papers are correspondence with the gallery’s founder, Klaus Perls.

Magazzino Appoints Scholar-in-Residence, Research Center Coordinator
Magazzino Italian Art Foundation, a museum devoted to Italian postwar and contemporary art in Cold Spring, New York, has named Tenley Bick as its second annual scholar-in-residence and Melissa Dunn as its inaugural research center coordinator. Bick is an assistant professor of global contemporary art at Florida State University. During her residence, Bick will contribute to the museum’s educational and public programming by leading tours, organizing and participating in its lecture series, and curating a film series. Dunn, who has previously worked as an arts administrator at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and an editor for Flash Art International and Phaidon Press, will oversee the development and management of the research center’s collection.

Management Changes at National Gallery of Art
In an effort to refocuses its mission on public service, the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. has named two new top executives. Elisa B. Glazer, who has previously served as a chief advancement officer at the Smithsonian’s Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, will now be the NGA’s external affairs and audience engagement officer. Kate Shaw, the director of the Archives of American Art, will now oversee the NGA’s collections, exhibitions, and programs. They will start in their posts in 2020. Franklin Kelly, the institution’s chief curator and deputy director since 2008, will add to his titles the position of Christiane Ellis Valone Curator of American Paintings.

Wilding Cran Joins Downtown L.A. Gallery Complex
The Los Angeles–based gallery Wilding Cran Gallery is moving from its longtime home at 939 South Santa Fe Avenue to 1700 S. Santa Fe Ave, the Downtown L.A. complex that is now home to Gavlak, Nicodim, and Vielmetter. The gallery, which reps Sharon Engelstein, Chrisian Eckart, and Gary Lang, will open in the new space on November 16 with “LA on Fire,” a show curated by journalist Michael Slenske and featuring local artists like Vanessa Beecroft, Catherine Opie, Laura Owens, Chris Burden, Ed Ruscha, and many more.

Ryan N. Dennis and Evan Garza

Ryan N. Dennis and Evan Garza.


Monday, November 4, 2019

Big Medium Names Curators of 2020 Texas Biennial
The Austin-based nonprofit Big Medium, which organizes the Texas Biennial, has appointed Ryan N. Dennis and Evan Garza as curators of the seventh edition of the exhibition. Dennis is the curator and programs director at Project Row Houses, a nonprofit in Houston, where she focuses on African-American contemporary art and the intersections of art and social justice. Garza, a Houston native and cofounder of Fire Island Artist Residency in New York, served as director of public art at Rice University in Houston from 2016 to 2019, where he oversaw acquisitions of works by Sol LeWitt and Ursula von Rydingsvard and curated exhibitions by Nina Katchadourian, Erika Blumenfeld, and others. He has previously been assistant curator of modern and contemporary art at the Blanton Museum of Art at the University of Texas at Austin, exhibitions and public programs director at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, and member of the Boston Art Commission. And this is not the only big development coming to the next Texas Biennial—for its forthcoming edition, due to open in Austin in 2020, the biennial will for the first time include artists based outside the Lone Star State.

UCCA Center for Contemporary Art To Open Shanghai Outpost
In early 2021, a third branch of Beijing’s UCCA Center for Contemporary Art will open in Shanghai. This leg of the institution, which also has a space in Hebei Province called UCCA Dune, will sprawl across two floors in a mixed-use industrial tower in the northern Jing’an district of Shanghai, as part of a collaboration with property group K. Wah International Holdings Ltd. The space will be designed by Florian Idenburg and Jing Liu’s architecture firm SO-IL, and 5,000 square meters (about 53,819 square feet) of it will be dedicated to exhibition space.

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