September 1, 2017

Nevada Museum of Art Crowdfunds the Launch of Trevor Paglen’s Satellite

Digital rendering of Trevor Paglen's Orbital Reflector.

The Nevada Museum of Art has created a Kickstarter to fund the launch of a satellite, an artwork by Trevor Paglen, into space. Claiming this would be the “first satellite to exist purely as an artistic gesture,” the piece will be titled Orbital Reflector and is intended as “a public sculpture, visible from the ground without a telescope—a satellite that belongs to everyone.”

Describing the piece, the museum’s Kickstarter page says that the work would be “packed inside of a small (3U) satellite called a CubeSat that will be launched into space aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, anticipated for early 2018. Once in low Earth orbit, at approximately 350 miles (575 km) from Earth’s surface, a 100-foot-long diamond-shaped balloon will deploy from the CubeSat. The balloon will reflect sunlight back to Earth, making the satellite visible to the naked eye. It will remain in space for approximately two months.” The top reward on Kickstarter for backing the project includes an editioned C-print photograph by the artist, accompanied by a certificate of authenticity, as well as stickers, a patch, and a postcard.

The artist and the museum are working with an aerospace firm called Global Western to design and manufacture Orbital Reflector. Work on this piece has been ongoing since 2015, and an early model for the artwork currently hangs in the Nevada Museum of Art’s Donald W. Reynolds Grand Hall. The institution is due to officially announce the Orbital Reflector project at its 2017 Art + Environment Conference, where Paglen will be a keynote presenter. The launch of Orbital Reflector will coincide with the Smithsonian American Art Museum’s retrospective of Paglen’s work in Washington, DC, set to open in summer 2018.

The satellite has its own website, where one can track its flight data. For more on the artist’s recent work, see his 500 Words with Andrianna Campbell from July 2017.

September 1, 2017

Five Latin American Galleries Join Forces for New LA Space

Installation view, “SANGREE, The Grand Design” at Yautepec, Mexico City. Courtesy of the artists, BWSMX (Mexico City), and Ruberta (Los Angeles). Photo by PJ Rountree.

Andrew Russeth reports in Artnews that a new gallery opening in the Glendale area of Los Angeles on September 10 will be a joint effort between five galleries from Latin America. Located at 918 Ruberta Avenue, the gallery, called Ruberta, will be shared by the Mexico City–based spaces Galeria Agustina Ferreyra, Lodos, and BWSMX along with Guatemala City’s Proyectos Ultravioleta and Bogotá’s Carne. The five galleries are sharing the costs of the collective enterprise and will take turns staging two-month shows at the space over the course of a year.

The first show opens on September 10, with the group exhibition “El eje del mal” (The Axis of Evil), a collaboration between the five galleries that will run through October 22. Solo presentations will commence afterward.

Another LA gallery, the Pit, was building out a new area next to its current space, and the owners asked Brett W. Schultz, of BWSMX and cofounder of the Material Art Fair in Mexico City, if he would be interested in renting it. The co-op model of the new gallery is reminiscent of other recent initiatives in which galleries are banding together to arrange shows and represent their artists at fairs, such as the recent edition of Condo New York (with promises of more to come) and Germany’s Okey Dokey.

September 1, 2017

David Tang (1954–2017)

David Tang

Julee WJ Chung reports at ArtAsiaPacific that the collector and entrepreneur David Tang passed away at the Royal Marsden Hospital in London on August 29. The first painting Tang bought was a traditional Chinese ink work, by Zhang Daqian, in the mid-1980s, but he also supported avant-garde artists such as Zhang Xiaogang, Yu Youhan, and Wang Guangyi before they became known globally.

Tang was born in Hong Kong and educated in England, where he studied philosophy at King’s College London and law at Cambridge University. He got his start with a short tenure at the solicitor firm of his grandfather, Tang Shiu Kin, who had founded the Kowloon Motor Bus Company in Hong Kong, and went on to establish the flagship location of the esteemed China Club restaurant in 1991, which took up the top three floors of the old Bank of China building in Hong Kong’s central business district. Tang later extended the club and restaurant’s presence to Beijing in 1996 and Singapore in 2001. The Art Deco–style dining spaces included paintings from Tang’s collection by the likes of Liu Wei and Zheng Fanzhi.

In 1994, Tang established Shanghai Tang, the clothing and lifestyle brand that would go on to become an international success. He also wrote for the Financial Times as a weekend columnist under the pen name Agony Uncle. In 2008, he was appointed as Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire for his philanthropic work.

September 1, 2017

Basel’s Freymond-Guth Gallery Closes

Jean-Claude Freymond-Guth. Photo: Linda Yablonsky.

Freymond-Guth Gallery, founded by Jean-Claude Freymond-Guth in Zürich in 2008, has announced that it is closing, according to an e-mail the founder sent to his mailing list today. The gallery, which recently relocated to a new space in Basel, worked with emerging artists such as Hannah Weinberger, midcareer artists including Virginia Overton and Billy Sullivan, and historical figures such as sculptor Heidi Bucher and painter Sylvia Sleigh. In a letter accompanying the announcement, the gallerist speaks bluntly to the trials and challenges of running a gallery in the contemporary art economy. His letter can be read in full below.

September 1, 2017

MIT List Visual Arts Center Announces Staff Promotions and New Appointment

MIT List Visual Arts Center.

The List Visual Arts Center, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s contemporary art museum, announced today that Henriette Huldisch has been promoted to director of exhibitions and curator; Yuri Stone has been appointed assistant curator; and Jamin An has been named the List Center’s 2017–18 curatorial fellow.

“Since joining the List Center in 2014, Henriette Huldisch’s stellar work has reflected the type of leadership and curatorial vision necessary to implement and build on the innovative programming the List has become nationally and internationally recognized for,” said director Paul C. Ha.

During her tenure at the institution, Huldisch has organized a number of exhibitions, including “An Inventory of Shimmers: Objects of Intimacy in Contemporary Art” (2017), “Edgar Arceneaux: Written in Smoke and Fire” (2016–17), and “List Projects: Ann Hirsch” (2016). She is currently curating a forthcoming group exhibition, “Before Projection: Video Sculpture 1975–1995,” which opens in February 2018. Prior to her appointment at the List Center, Huldisch served as curator at the Nationalgalerie at the Hamburger Bahnhof in Berlin, from 2010 to 2014.

September 1, 2017

Edinburgh’s Historic Inverleith House Saved from Closure

The Inverleith House at the Royal Botanic Garden in Edinburgh, Scotland.

The Inverleith House at the Royal Botanic Garden in Edinburgh, Scotland, has reopened as an art gallery after it announced that it would close its doors due to budget cuts in October of last year.

Simon Milne, the garden’s Regius Keeper, told Tim Cornwall of the Art Newspaper that it will likely continue to mount two exhibitions per year with a “strong contemporary element.”

Following a public outcry when the gardens shared its plans to shutter its historic house, citing the “inevitable financial risks attached to running a high-profile gallery,” arts journalist and theater critic Joyce McMillan launched a petition to save the space. It was signed by more than ten thousand people.

September 1, 2017

Village Voice Lays Off More Than a Dozen Union Employees

A cover of the Village Voice.

On Wednesday, August 30, the Village Voice, a left-leaning New York alternative newsweekly founded by Dan Wolf, Ed Fancher, and Norman Mailer in 1955, laid off thirteen out of seventeen of its union employees, Colin Moynihan of the New York Times reports. The layoffs come on the heels of the paper’s announcement that it would end its print edition as part of an effort to “revitalize and reimagine the Village Voice brand.”

A spokesperson for the publication said that the staff reductions were mostly positions tied to the production of the print side of the newsweekly, as it would now become a digitally focused company. According to the union, among the employees who will no longer have jobs once the last print edition is issued, during the third week of September, are a writer, a social-media producer, an administrative assistant, and a photo editor who has worked for the Village Voice for decades.

“We were shocked,” said Maida Rosenstein, president of the United Auto Workers Local 2110, which represents the Voice’s union members. “And frankly, we’re appalled because of the proportion of the bargaining unit being let go.”

September 1, 2017

SFMoMA Trustee to Open Arts Space in San Francisco

Wayne Thiebaud’s painting For Nan: Cake, Pie Slice and Olives,1997, one of the works that will be displayed at the McEvoy Foundation for the Arts in San Francisco. Photo: VAGA, New York

Collector Nion McEvoy, the chief executive of Chronicle Books and an SFMoMA trustee, has announced that he is working on opening a nonprofit arts space, allowing him to share with the public photographs and other artworks from his collection, Jori Finkel of the New York Times reports.

“I live in a modest home, and I’d say 85 percent of my works are in storage,” said McEvoy. “So this is a great opportunity to take some art out for public view and also work with other members of the creative community.” McEvoy added that he also wants to host public talks, performances, and other events at the new venue.

The McEvoy Foundation for the Arts, a roughly 5,000-square-foot exhibition space, will open in the Minnesota Street Project Gallery complex on October 28. Inaugurating the space is “La Mère la Mer” (The Mother, the Sea), a group show curated by McEvoy’s art consultant Kevin Moore. It will feature works that were acquired by McEvoy’s mother, the philanthropist Nan Tucker McEvoy, alongside his own collection, including three works by American painter Wayne Thiebaud, who was a friend of Nan; paintings by Richard Diebenkorn, David Hockney, and Joan Brown; and photographs by Roe Ethridge and Thomas Ruff.

September 1, 2017

Dak’Art Biennial Announces Curators for Its Thirteenth Edition

Dak’Art Guest Curators 2018. Top row: Elvira Dyangani Ose and Alya Sebti. Bottom row: Marisol Rodriguez, Bonaventure Soh Bejeng Ndikung, and Hou Hanru.

The Dak’Art Biennial of Contemporary African Art has revealed that Simon Njami will return as artistic director for its 2018 edition, titled “The Red Hour.” Elvira Dyangani Ose, Marisol Rodriguez, Bonaventure Soh Bejeng Ndikung, Alya Sebti, and Hou Hanru will serve as guest curators, each arranging a group show featuring three to five artists. The biennial will be held May through June 2018 in Dakar, Senegal.

Elvira Dyangani Ose is a senior curator at Creative Time, a lecturer in visual cultures at Goldsmiths, and a member of the Thought Council at the Fondazione Prada. Marisol Rodriguez, a journalist, curator, and cofounder of Mono Ediciones, currently works as a freelancer for Confabulario, the cultural supplement of El Universal in Mexico, and Letras Libres, as well as a number of other publications.

Bonaventure Soh Bejeng Ndikung is an independent art curator, biotechnologist, and founder and artistic director of Savvy Contemporary Berlin. He also serves as the editor in chief of Savvy Journal for critical texts on contemporary African art and is currently curator at large for Documenta 14. Alya Sebti, the Moroccan-born art historian, is the curator and director of the ifa-Galerie in Berlin and a former artistic director of the Fifth Marrakech Biennale. Rome-based curator Hou Hanru is the artistic director of MAXXI, the National Museum of the Twenty-First Century Arts in Rome, and since 2015 he has been a consulting curator at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York.