June 30, 2017

Guy Tillim Wins 2017 HCB Award

Guy Tillim’s Kenyatta Avenue, Nairobi, Kenya, 8 May 2017. Photo: Henri Cartier-Bresson Foundation

On June 20, South African photographer Guy Tillim was named the winner of the 2017 HCB Award, presented by the Henri Cartier-Bresson Foundation in Paris, for his “Museum of the Revolution” project, which documents residual signs of revolution and colonialism across cities in Africa. He will receive $40,000 in support of his proposal, and will use the funds to photograph the streets of Dakar, Accra, Kampala, and Lagos.

“The history of colonialism is especially apparent in the streets and the avenues, which were often arranged at the whims of colonial power and then renamed after the countries gained independence,” Tillim said. “This paradigm—that of post-colonial societies imitating certain aspects of colonial regimes—is not unique in Africa: it is the law of history. However, the hopes and aspirations of recent generations who do not have a colonial past provide opportunities for societies to overcome the mistakes of the past.”

Born in Johannesburg in 1962, Tillim started working in photography in 1986 and was a member of the Afrapix collective until 1990. During apartheid, in the late 1980s, Tillim served as a freelance photographer for local and foreign press. Tillim’s works have been presented at the Photographic Center of Ile-de-France, Paris; the Huis Marseille Museum of Photography, Amsterdam; the Henri Cartier-Bresson Foundation; the Museu Serralves, Porto; FOAM_Fotografiemuseum, Amsterdam; and the Museum of Contemporary Photography in Chicago.

June 30, 2017

New Website Compiles Provenance Data for Individual Artworks

Screenshot of Mapping Paintings, a website that tracks provenance of works by Titian, depicting the migration of Titian’s Europa.

Mapping Paintings, a new open-source website spearheaded by Boston University professor Jodi Cranston, tracks artworks and allows users to map out provenance information, Claire Voon of Hyperallergic reports. The initiative aims to make researching histories of individual works, including details of owners and past transactions, easier for art historians.

The website was inspired by one of Cranston’s past projects, Mapping Titian. “Provenance information is in printed catalogues and on some museum websites, but visualizing the movement of these artworks allows users to recognize their objecthood and also not to get bogged down in concerns about authenticity and pedigree that often come with provenance information,” Cranston said.” Sometimes seeing that an artwork went somewhere unexpected is more impactful than reading it in a long list of text.”

Users will be able to make individual entries on the website as well as publish their own projects. These submissions will be reviewed for accuracy purposes and then added to the site by an administrator. The Kress Collection, comprising more than three thousand works of European art amassed by Samuel H. Kress between 1929 and 1961, will be added to the platform this fall.

June 30, 2017

London Launches Citywide Contest to Boost Cultural Initiatives

London mayor Sadiq Khan. Photo: Mayor of London’s Office

London’s mayor Sadiq Khan announced on Friday that the city is organizing a new cultural contest designed to bolster support for the arts and promote creativity across its thirty-two boroughs. The competition will name one of London’s communities its first-ever Borough of Culture. The winner will receive a $1.3 million grant. In addition, $780,000 will be dispersed among other notable projects.

During a press conference held on June 30, Khan remarked that the competition reflects the commitments outlined in his manifesto. “Not all Londoners are able to enjoy the full benefits of our cultural riches, and as mayor I am determined to change this,” Khan said. “It’s about helping to bring culture to all Londoners of every faith, ethnicity, and background, regardless of where you live and what you earn.”

Applicants will have five months to prepare their bids. Since the cultural sector in London rakes in $55 million each year, the incentives for entering the competition include boosting tourism to all the boroughs and growing their local economies.

June 30, 2017

Le Corbusier Museum Founder Files Lawsuit Against Zurich’s Culture Minister

Center Le Corbusier

Heidi Weber, a friend and collaborator of the Swiss-French architect Le Corbusier, a pioneer of modernism and a proponent of the international school of architecture, is suing Zurich’s culture minister, Peter Haerle, for defamation after he allegedly made derogatory remarks about her while on a radio show, Henri Neuendorf of Artnet reports.

The legal dispute was sparked by the city’s decision to rename the museum that Le Corbusier designed for Zurich’s lakefront in 1964. Originally christened the Center Le Corbusier Heidi Weber Museum, the building was not completed until 1967, after Le Corbusier’s death.

Weber managed the institution for five decades before she turned the building over to the city, which was one of the conditions that she and Le Corbusier agreed to in order to get permission from Zurich’s city council to build the exhibition space. Two years later, the city rebranded the museum the Pavilion Le Corbusier.

June 30, 2017

Xavier Douroux (1956–2017)

Xavier Douroux. Photo: Photo Fred Tanneau for AFP

Xavier Douroux, the founder of Les Presses du Réel and the Consortium in Dijon, died on June 28 at the age of sixty-one years old, Judicaël Lavrador of Libération reports.

Born in Dôle, in the Jura region of France, in 1956, Douroux studied art history at the University of Burgundy before becoming an associate lecturer of contemporary art at the institution. In 1977, Douroux and Franck Gautherot founded Le Coin de Miroir association, in Dijon, which in 1982 became Le Consortium, the first institution dedicated to contemporary art to be established outside of Paris. The arts space consists of an exhibition space, a publishing house, and a design studio. It also oversees the activities of a Paris-based film studio, Anna Sanders Film.

Since 1991, the arts space has been a mediator of the Fondation de France Nouveaux Commanditaires, which helps individuals and organizations commission works of art. In 2011, Le Consortium reopened after undergoing a redesign led by Shigeru Ban, that same year Douroux announced that Le Consortium planned to give its holdings of 350 works to the Musée des Beaux-Arts of Dijon. “We would like this collection, which came mostly from the artists’ generosity, to be publicly owned,” Douroux said. “For us a donation is the ultimate revolutionary gesture.”

June 30, 2017

Philadelphia Gallery Vox Populi Closes Temporarily Following Building Fire

319 N. Eleventh Street in Philadelphia, which houses Vox Populi, a contemporary art space and collective. Photo: Google Maps

The Philadelphia contemporary art space and artist collective Vox Populi has temporarily closed after a fire broke out in the stairwell of its building Tuesday morning, John Timpane of philly.com reports.

While no one was injured by the small blaze, which started around 1:45 AM, the building has significant smoke and water damage. Karen Guss, a spokeswoman for the Department of Licenses and Inspections said that the building will remain closed until the damages and any code violations can be addressed. The cause of the fire is currently under investigation.

Located at 319 N. Eleventh Street, the building housed a number of artists, galleries, and other businesses. Several of the displaced tenants said they could not wait for a month or longer to for the building to reopen. Jeff Stockbridge, the owner of Stockbridge Fine Art Print on the fourth floor, said that he was concerned about not being able to deliver works to his clients. “We really rely on our creative spaces that we’ve cultivated here over many years,” he said. “Now we’re wondering where to go from here.”

June 29, 2017

Canada’s New Remai Modern Museum to Open in October

Remai Modern

After four years of construction, Canada’s new modern and contemporary art museum, the Remai Modern, is set to open its doors on October 21. Named after the local philanthropist and its head patron, Ellen Remai, the nearly one-hundred-and-twenty-four-thousand-square-foot building is located along the river in Saskatoon, a growing city in the Canadian Prairies, a western region of Canada comprising the provinces of Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba.

Designed by Canadian architect Bruce Kuwabara, the museum will boast of flexible galleries, spaces for public gatherings, and a 150-seat theater. Construction costs have amounted to $71 million, but the final cost of the project has yet to be determined. The museum will house eight-thousand works that were inherited from the Mendel Art Gallery, which was established in 1964 by a collector who fled Nazi Germany. The extensive collection includes 406 of Pablo Picasso’s linocuts as well as works by other leading modern artists including Robert Rauschenberg, James Rosenquist, Dennis Oppenheim, and Nancy Spero.

The museum aims to be a leading center for contemporary indigenous art and discourse. “The art museum’s biggest challenge now is how to adapt to the massive changes resulting from the continuing aftershocks of colonization, climate change, globalization, and technological advances. The relevancy of the art museum depends on its response,” the executive director and CEO, Gregory Burke, said in a statement.

June 29, 2017

Terra Foundation for American Art Awards $2.5 Million in Grants to Art Design Chicago

Francis Chapin, City Scene, c. 1940, Terra Foundation for American Art, Gift of Bridges Collection.

The Terra Foundation for American Art announced today that it awarded $2.5 million in support of thirty-three grants for projects that are a part of Art Design Chicago, a year-long initiative that examines the contributions of Chicago's artists, designers, and creative producers to art and design movements.

Grant monies will go toward the creation of a diverse range of exhibitions, publications, projects, and academic and public programs. Individual grants ranged from approximately $5,000 to $200,000, depending on the format, scope, and scale of the project. The recipients include Chicago Design Museum, Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, Chicago Parks Foundation, Art Institute of Chicago, South Side Community Art Center, Ukrainian Institute of Modern Art, Video Game Art Gallery, the University of Chicago Center in Paris, and New York’s MoMA.

In total, the Terra Foundation is investing $6.5 million in bringing the initiative to fruition. This includes grants given to cultural partners as well as funds for promotional and administrative support. Organizations interested in developing public programming for Art Design Chicago currently have another opportunity to apply for funding through an application on the Terra Foundation’s website. The submission process will close in fall 2017, and the final round of Art Design Chicago grants will be announced in early 2018.

June 29, 2017

New Study Reveals Increasing Salaries in Museum Field

The recently released Association of Art Museum Directors’s (AAMD) 2017 salary survey reveals that employment in the museum field is strengthening. Based on responses from 219 museums in the United States, Canada, and Mexico, as well as fifty different staff positions ranging from leadership and support positions in curatorial, education, advancement, communications, and security departments, the report states that the average median salary increased by 3 percent in 2016. The preceding year, the rate grew by 2.7 percent.

Highlights of the survey include a 4.6 percent increase rate in average median incomes within curatorial staffs between 2011 and 2016, a 1.6 percent growth rate in median salaries among museum directors between 2015 and 2016, and a 5.5 percent compound annual growth rate increase for chief operating manager salaries.

“The trends highlight an industry recognition of the increasing complexity of running a museum and making the arts available to the public, and the team you need to make it all happen,” said Rafi Musher, founder and CEO of Stax Inc., the company that partnered with AAMD to conduct the research.