Friday, April 17
Getty Releases Art Generator for Animal Crossing Game
The Getty in Los Angeles has created a new tool for the video game Animal Crossing: New Horizons. With the Getty’s Art Generator, users can give their avatars clothes, homes, and other surroundings emblazoned with artworks from the museum’s collection. Players can also create their own exhibition using the works available in the game, which include Vincent van Gogh’s painting Irises along with pieces by Monet, Renoir, Rembrandt, and more artists.
Art Brussels Cancels 2020 Edition
Art Brussels said that it would no longer plan to hold the 2020 edition of its annual fair. This year’s fair was originally scheduled to take place from April 23 to April 26, and was originally postponed until June after the coronavirus pandemic forced the cancelation of numerous mass gatherings around the world. The news came as the Belgium government announced that no large-scale events could take place in the country through August 31. Among the work that was to be shown at the fair was Bill Viola’s installation The Dreamers (2013), presented by financial services firm Degroof Petercam. The work is confirmed to be shown at the 2021 edition, which has been scheduled for April 23–25 of that year. Unlike other art fairs that have been forced to cancel their in-person gatherings, Art Brussels has not yet announced plans for a virtual iteration of the fair for this year. —Maximilíano Durón
Taipei Biennial Reveals Participants for 2020 Edition
The Taipei Biennial, which was postponed until November 21 due to the pandemic, has named the 39 participants from 18 countries showing work in its 12th edition. Co-curated by Bruno Latour and Martin Guinard, the exhibition is titled “You and I Don’t Live on the Same Planet” and will focus on environmental and ecological themes. Among the artists in the show, which will run through March 14, 2021, are Aruwai Kaumakan, Cemelesai Dakivali, Mika Rottenberg, Jonas Staal, and Su Yu Hsin.
Thursday, April 16
Wednesday, April 15
Sobey Art Awards Alters Prize Structure in Face of Coronavirus
Each year since 2002, the Sobey Art Awards has recognized one Canadian artist under 40 with a $100,000 prize, with additional funds given to shortlisted artists and those on its longlist. This year, in response to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, which has threatened the livelihood of many artists, the award’s facilitator, the National Gallery of Canada, said it would instead give $25,000 CAD to each of the 25 artists it had selected from its longlist from a pool of 100 nominations. Artists receiving the funds include Sara Cwynar, Lou Sheppard, Caroline Monnet, Zadie Xa, and Joseph Tisiga. The award cycle each year also includes an exhibition of the work of the five shortlisted artists, a gala, and a residency for the winner, all of which have also been canceled for this year. In a statement, the National Gallery’s director Sasha Suda said, “By altering this year’s program, the 2020 Sobey Art Award is contributing to the short and long-term preservation of Canada’s contemporary art ecosystem in the face of the unknown.” —Maximilíano Durón
Tomm El-Saieh Is Now Represented by Luhring Augustine
Two years after appearing in the 2018 New Museum Triennial, Miami-based artist Tomm El-Saieh has joined the roster of New York’s Luhring Augustine gallery, which also represents Lygia Clark, Ragnar Kjartansson, Pipilotti Rist, Christopher Wool, and others. El-Saieh creates abstractions that refer to the artist’s Haitian heritage, and he will continue to be represented by Miami’s Central Fine gallery.
Tuesday, April 14
Art Paris Cancels 2020 Edition
After hoping to stage this year’s edition, the Art Paris fair announced that it would cancel the 2020 iteration, which was to bring together 150 galleries to the French capital. It had originally postponed its early April run until the end of May as the new coronavirus concern forced governments around the world in March to prohibit large gatherings of people. In a statement, the organizers said that they had considered a further postponement until July as a way “to keep our hopes up until the very last minute,” and as a way for its exhibitors to be able to “meet their collectors after a spring period of complete standstill.” Art Paris said that it will offer an online version of the fair in the coming weeks, and that it plans to return as an in-person event in April 2021, this time to the temporary Grand Palais structure while the original one undergoes renovations for the 2024 Summer Olympics. —Maximilíano Durón
Monday, April 13
Portland Art Museum Places 168 Staff Members on Unpaid Leave
Due to financial fallout precipitated by the coronavirus pandemic, the Portland Art Museum in Oregon will put 80 percent of its staff on unpaid leave. According to a report by the Oregonian, the 168 staff members who will be impacted will be allowed to use sick days and vacation leave to continue receiving pay and health benefits during the pandemic. The institution’s director, Brian Ferriso, and other senior leadership will take pay cuts.
Getty Postpones All Public Programming Through August 31
The J. Paul Getty Museum—comprising its two locations, the Getty Center in L.A.’s Brentwood neighborhood and the Getty Villa in Pacific Palisades—said that all of its public programs and events scheduled through the end of August have been postponed. In a statement, the museum said it called off months of programming because of uncertainty over when bans on large social gatherings in California would be lifted. The two spaces have been closed since March 14, and the museum has not yet announced any layoffs. (Earlier this month, the affiliated Getty Trust established a $10 million relief fund to help sustain other L.A.-based arts organizations through their temporary closures.) The Getty also said that it is unable to make decisions about its exhibition programming, including whether current exhibitions might be extended and future ones postponed, until it can determine a reopening date. —Maximilíano Durón
Roberts Projects Now Represents Wangari Mathenge
Roberts Projects gallery in Los Angeles has added Chicago-based artist Wangari Mathenge to its roster. Mathenge is best known for bold, emotive paintings which foreground the black female experience. In 2019, Roberts Project staged a solo exhibition of Mathenge’s painting, titled “Aura of Quiet.” Her second solo show at the gallery is scheduled to take place in 2021.
Berlin’s Humboldt Forum Assesses Damage After Fire Last Week
The Humboldt Forum, a soon-to-open museum in Berlin that will bring together ethnographic objects from throughout various German state collections, said that a fire that broke out last week at its construction site had not impacted its planned September opening. According to a report in Monopol, as of now the main damage seems to be in the ceiling of a passageway, which would mostly like have to be replaced. The fire broke out at 10 a.m. on April 8 when two containers with poured asphalt caught fire and exploded. Two workers were injured in the fire and one has returned to work. The damaged area is still closed off for an internal investigation, but local authorities announced at the time that they do not believe foul play caused the fire.