Friday, February 5
Shai Baitel Named Artistic Director of MAM Shanghai
The Modern Art Museum Shanghai has named Shai Baitel as its first-ever artistic director. Baitel is a cofounder of Mana Contemporary, an art space based in Jersey City, New Jersey, that also operates satellites in Miami and Chicago. He will begin at MAM Shanghai later this year, having previously worked on the museum’s 2019 Bob Dylan survey. In a statement, he said, “My vision for MAM isn’t simply to house a collection and present fine art. Instead, MAM is a destination for culturally engaged audiences who can experience exhibitions conceived from their own viewpoint.”
Yokohama Museum of Art Faces Years-Long Temporarily Closure
The Yokohama Museum of Art in Japan announced that it will close on March 1 for a refurbishment project that will last several years. The institution anticipates reopening between April 2023 and March 2024.
Thursday, February 4
Mike Kelley Foundation for the Arts Announces Grant Recipients
The Mike Kelley Foundation for the Arts has named the 18 recipients of its inaugural Organizational Support Grants, a new initiative intended to support the daily operations of Los Angeles arts organizations impacted by the pandemic. The grants carry unrestricted funding of up to $30,000. The grantees are: the Center for Land Use Interpretation; Center for the Study of Political Graphics; Coaxial Arts Foundation; Clockshop; Echo Park Film Center; Future Roots Inc. DBA dublab; Human Resources LA; Institute of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (ICA LA); Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions; Los Angeles Filmforum; Los Angeles Poverty Department; Museum of Jurassic Technology; Pieter Performance Space; Poetic Research Bureau; Side Street Projects; Society for the Activation of Social Spaces through Art and Sound; Vincent Price Art Museum Foundation; and Women’s Center for Creative Work.
Open School East Names Artistic Director
Open School East, an art school and community space in Margate, England, has appointed Polly Brannan as its artistic director. Brannan has extensive experience as an education curator, including tenures at the Liverpool Biennial and Serpentine Galleries in London. She also contributed to the 2017 Istanbul Biennale and the 2018 Kochi-Muziris Biennale. In her new role, Brannan will implement the organization’s artistic vision, create new arts curricula, and oversee curatorial projects.
Joan Mitchell Foundation Launches New Fellowship Program for Artists
The Joan Mitchell Foundation in New York has detailed its new Joan Mitchell Fellowship, which will annually award 15 artists working in painting and sculpture $60,000 each in unrestricted funds. The money will be distributed over the course of five years, with artists receiving an initial $20,000 and annual installments of $10,000 in the following four years. The inaugural cohort of fellows is expected to be revealed in October after a multi-phased nomination and jury selection process.
Wednesday, February 3
Small Axe, a five-film anthology from artist Steve McQueen, has been nominated for two Golden Globes. The series, which premiered on Amazon in the U.S., focuses on the West Indian community in London during the ’60s, ’70s, and ’80s, and includes segments focused on the Mangrove Nine, racism in the British education system, and more. It was nominated for Best Television Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television and for John Boyega’s performance in the film Red, White and Blue.
Phillips Collection Receives $2 M. Gift
The Phillips Collection in Washington, D.C. has announced the endowment of its chief diversity officer position with a $2 million gift from the D.C.-based philanthropists Lynne and Joe Horning. In 2018, the Phillips Collection secured a grant to create the chief diversity officer position, which has been filled since by Makeba Clay, an arts educator. She also currently serves as a senior diversity fellow for the American Alliance of Museums. Among her initiatives at the institution are the establishment of a paid internship and fellowship and the development of an institution-wide anti-racism training program. “This gift reinforces The Phillips Collection’s work in DEAI, and comes amid the social unrest occurring across the country in support of Black lives, and as museums are facing charges to address their exclusionary history and practices,” Clay said in a statement.
The Art Dealers Association of America (ADAA) has announced new fall dates for its annual Art Show in New York, which will take place from November 3 to 7 this year at the Park Avenue Armory. All proceeds from admission to the Art Show and its preview benefit Henry Street Settlement, a New York–based nonprofit organization. From 2021 on, the Art Show, previously staged in the spring, will be held in early November.
Tuesday, February 2
Gilles Fuchs Steps Down as Head of Association for the International Diffusion of French Art
Gilles Fuchs, who founded the Association for the International Diffusion of French Art in 1994, is stepping down from the helm of the organization. Collector Claude Bonnin, who was elected ADIAF’s executive vice-president in 2018, will succeed Fuchs. The ADIAF is best known for running the annual Prix Marcel Duchamp, which is among France’s biggest art prizes.
Monday, February 1
Lauren Halsey Wins Gwendolyn Knight and Jacob Lawrence Prize
The Seattle Art Museum’s Gwendolyn Knight and Jacob Lawrence Prize, an annual award honoring an early-career Black artist, will go to Lauren Halsey, who will now receive $10,000 and a solo show at the institution. Halsey is known for her work focused on the community in South Los Angeles, to which she has paid homage using sculptures and installations. Halsey also runs Summaeverythang, an organization focused on South L.A. residents that provides food and more to the community.
Gwangju Biennale Pushes Back Opening by a Month
The Gwangju Biennale in South Korea has delayed its opening by a month. Initially expected to open on February 26, the exhibition will now begin welcoming the public on April 1. Its end date is still May 9, however, meaning that the biennial will only run for a little over a month. “While the Biennale is postponed due to the pandemic, participating artists and commissioned artworks remain as planned,” the biennial said in a statement.
Kathmandu Triennale Reveals New Dates for 2021 Edition
The Kathmandu Triennale in Nepal, which had been set to take place in December 2020 but was delayed due the pandemic, will hold its fourth edition from October 27 to November 27. Led by artist director Cosmin Costinas and co-curators Sheelasha Rajbhandari and Hit Man Gurung, both of whom are Nepal-based artists, the exhibition is called Kathmandu Triennale 2077 to mark the current year of the Nepali calendar. It is jointly organized by the Ministry of Culture, Tourism, and Civil Aviation and the Siddhartha Arts Foundation.
University of Texas at Austin Names New Dean of College of Fine Arts
Ramón Rivera-Servera, who has previously served as chair of the department of performance studies and the department of theatre in the School of Communication at Northwestern University, will join the University of Texas at Austin as dean of the College of Fine Arts on July 1. Rivera-Servera was the first graduate of the Performance as Public Practice Ph.D. program in UT Austin’s department of theatre and dance, and he will be the first Latino dean of the school’s College of Fine Arts.