September 15, 2017

Harry Dean Stanton (1926–2017)

Harry Dean Stanton

The actor Harry Dean Stanton died today in Los Angeles, according to a report from Anita Gates in the New York Times. Stanton, perhaps best known for his role in Wim Wenders’s Paris, Texas (1984), also frequently worked with David Lynch, appearing in Wild at Heart (1990), The Straight Story (1999), and the recent revival of Twin Peaks, the latter of which Sarah Nicole Prickett recapped for artforum.com.

Born in West Irvine, Kentucky, in 1926, he served in the Navy during World War II and was stationed in the Pacific before he attended the University of Kentucky, where he was drawn to drama. He dropped out after three years and moved to Los Angeles, where he studied acting at the Pasadena Playhouse. Stanton made his first television appearance in 1954 in an episode of “Inner Sanctum,” a syndicated mystery and suspense anthology series. His first film was Tomahawk Trail (1957), the first of many Western films and TV shows that the character actor appeared in earlier in his career. Paris, Texas, which won the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival after its release, marked a breakthrough in his career, as he had generally been typecast into supporting roles prior to Wenders’s film.

Later in life, he had a leading role in the HBO series Big Love (2006–11), playing a polygamous, self-proclaimed prophet. He also played in the Harry Dean Stanton Band, a rock, blues, jazz, and Tex-Mex group that performed at Los Angeles nightclubs as well as on tour.

September 15, 2017

Aglutinador, Cuba’s Longest-Run Independent Arts Space, Crowdfunds New Initiatives

Sandra Ceballos, founder of Aglutinador in Havana, Cuba, and Coco Fuso.

Cuban-American artist Coco Fuso has teamed up with artist and gallerist Sandra Ceballos, the founder of Cuba’s longest-running autonomous art gallery, to make the “real” story of Cuban art accessible to a broader public. By launching workshops in English, digitizing the arts space’s massive archive, and upgrading its communication systems, the two creatives intend to turn the gallery into an educational resource available to the local and international community.

In order to raise funds for the artists’ vision for Aglutinador, Fusco and Ceballos launched a Go Fund Me campaign, which has already raised more than $3,000. The gallery will continue its fundraising efforts through the end of 2017 and is hoping to hold its inaugural workshop next year. While Ceballos has been running the gallery out of her home for the past twenty-four years, she is unable to finance the space through the sale of artworks because she is not permitted to work as an art dealer in Cuba.

Over the years, Aglutinador has earned a reputation for being a space where artists can exhibit free from government interference. “Lots of people who travel to Havana are impressed by the island’s rich culture and its world-class art schools, but the art that that most visitors get to see is limited to what state organizations will show them,” Coco Fosco said. “Contemporary Cuban art is often much bolder and much edgier than what you might find in a museum.” For Fusco, in order to engage with the “real” Cuban art scene, visitors need to go to galleries such as Aglutinador. The space features works by emerging artists and household names including Tania Bruguera and Carlos Garaicoa alongside artists who have been jailed and censored by the state.

September 15, 2017

Berlin Dealer Johann König to Open New London Gallery

Johann König. Photo: Ulrike Kuschel

König Galerie in Berlin, which was founded by Johann König in 2002, announced today that it will open a new space in London on October 5. Called König Archiv & Souvenir, the gallery will take over a former parking lot in the residential area of Marylebone in Central London.

König told Caroline Elbaor of Artnet that Brexit motivated him to expand to Great Britain. He said, “I think it’s important to be here because galleries are closing; there is instability. When I opened my gallery in Berlin, the market was in a downturn. In London, there is also a wider market—China, Russia. It’s very international and very business-driven. It’s not a Mayfair townhouse, so for London, we don’t have that intense pressure—we can play around.”

The venue will be the dealer’s third space, and his first outside of Germany. The inaugural show, featuring installations and documents tracing the gallery’s history, will coincide with the debut of its new biannual magazine, The German Surplus.

September 15, 2017

Istanbul’s Yapi Kredi Cultural Center Reopens after Extensive Renovation

The Yapı Kredi Cultural Center in Istanbul. Photo: HG Masters / ArtAsiaPacific

The Yapi Kredi Culture and Art Center in Istanbul, established by one of the first nationwide commercial banks in Turkey, unveiled its modern building’s new facelift when it reopened on Wednesday, September 13, after being closed for renovations for more than five years, H. G. Masters of ArtAsiaPacific reports.

Residents were surprised by the celebrated contemporary art space’s transformation, since many neighboring structures along İstiklal Avenue, and within the Beyoğlu district, show signs of neglect. The side of the venue facing Galatasaray Square has been replaced with a wall of glass, allowing passersby to view the artworks on display and much of its gallery space. The building’s makeover also includes a new bookstore, since Yapi Kredi is also a major publisher of books on literature, history, culture, and art.

Currently on view is Yapi Kredi bank’s collection, “Sarmal (Helix).” Curated by art historian Necmi Sönmez, the show features twentieth- and twenty-first-century artworks from Turkey, including pieces from the late Ottoman period.

September 15, 2017

Collectors Irmina Nazar and Artur Trawinski Establish European ArtEast Foundation

Maria Rus Bojan, Artur Trawinski, and Irmina Nazar. Photo: European ArtEast Foundation

Alex Greenberger of Artnews reports that collectors Irmina Nazar and Artur Trawinski have founded a new organization dedicated to promoting Eastern European art. Its opening will coincide with the start of the Frieze Art Fair in October. The European ArtEast Foundation will award grants to institutions organizing Eastern European art exhibitions, fund the production of catalogues and books, and support emerging artist from the region.

“The foundation is aiming to promote research for a period that was ignored in Eastern European art history—namely, after the changes following World War II, when all these Eastern European countries turned to communism,” said curatorial advisor Maria Rus Bojan. “There were lots of artists who embraced this new ideology, therefore there were many artists during the ’50s and ’60s who were simply doing their job. But, because it was a period that was so contaminated with propaganda, nobody would touch that area.” Bojan hopes that the foundation’s work will help foster a new network of museums with similar goals.

September 14, 2017

Shirin Neshat and El Anatsui Among Recipients of 2017 Praemium Imperiale Awards

Shirin Neshat.

The Praemium Imperiale award, an annual global arts prize presented by the Japan Art Association since 1989, has named this year’s five laureates, who are being honored for their work in the fields of painting, sculpture, architecture, music, and theater and film. Iranian painter Shirin Neshat, Ghanaian sculptor El Anatsui, the Spanish architect Rafael Moneo, Senegalese musician Youssou N’Dour, and Latvian-born dancer Mikhail will each receive approximately $137,000. Their lifetime achievements will be celebrated at a ceremony scheduled to take place in Tokyo on October 18.

The association awarded the 2017 Grant for Young Artists to the Beirut-based theater collective Zoukak Theater and Cultural Association, which was formed in 2006 in order “to develop a professional continuity” and to use theater to engage with incarcerated youth, children with disabilities, victims of domestic violence, and other marginalized groups, while continuing to work with people affected by the Israeli war in Lebanon.

September 14, 2017

Indianapolis Museum of Art at Newfields Announces Curatorial Appointments

Annette D. Schlagenhauff.

The Indianapolis Museum of Art at Newfields has named Annette D. Schlagenhauff as its new curator of European art and Kjell M. Wangensteen as the assistant curator of European Art. Wangensteen will work with Schlagenhauff on the curatorial oversight of the IMA’s early European collection, which includes works by Italian, Spanish, German, and Dutch masters, such as El Greco, Ribera, Cranach, Rubens, Jan Brueghel, and Rembrandt.

“I am excited about the future of our European collection as Annette and Kjell reimagine the galleries afresh,” said director and CEO Charles L. Venable. “During her time at the IMA, Dr. Schlagenhauff has done exceptional work, including exhibitions and scholarship. With Wangensteen’s arrival I am confident the two will create many projects and exhibitions that will both engage and delight our guests.”

Schlagenhauff first joined the museum in 2003 as assistant curator of European paintings and sculpture from 1800 to 1945. Since then she has held the positions of assistant curator of prints, drawings, and photographs and associate curator for research. Most recently, Schlagenhauff served as curator of special projects, and she has curated several special exhibitions, including “Continuing the Works of the Monuments Men” (2014–15) and “19 Stars of Indiana Art: A Bicentennial Celebration” (2016–17). Wangensteen recently completed a fellowship at Morgan Library and Museum, and served as the 2014–15 Theodore Rousseau Fellow in the department of European paintings at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. He had previously held positions at a number of institutions including the J. Paul Getty Museum and the Princeton University Art Museum.

September 14, 2017

Axel Kasseböhmer (1952–2017)

Axel Kasseböhmer. Photo: Sprüth Magers

Painter Axel Kasseböhmer, best known for his landscapes, which can be found in the collections of the Museum für Moderne Kunst in Frankfurt, the Bundeskunsthalle in Bonn, and the Museum of Modern Art in New York, died on September 9, after suffering from a long illness. Sprüth Magers, who represented the artist since 1984, confirmed his passing.

Born in Herne, in North Rhine-Westphalia, in 1952, Kasseböhmer studied at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf with Joseph Beuys and Gerhard Richter, and in 2001, he began working as a professor at the Munich Academy of Arts, where he taught for many years.

In the March 1990 issue of Artforum, Norbert Messler reviewed Westfälischer Kunstverein’s ten-year survey of the artist’s still lifes and landscapes from the 1980s. Messler wrote: “Kasseböhmer’s medium is painting; his stylistic device is the quotation. Classical motifs such as figures, landscapes, and still lifes constitute his themes, but his methods are conceptual. They lead, by way of details, fragments, and homages, from existing paintings to new pictures based on pictures. A highly personal need for painting and a profound respect for preexisting works fuse on this conceptual level with a search for the relevant social basis of painting in our time.”

September 14, 2017

Documenta 14 Curatorial Team Addresses $8.3 Million Deficit

Adam Szymczyk. Photo: e-flux / lokalo24

Documenta 14 artistic director Adam Szymczyk and the curatorial team have released an open letter in response to recent reports that the exhibition is facing an $8.3 million deficit resulting from managerial oversights. Shortly after, more than two hundred artists rallied to defend the exhibition.

“We have decided at this moment to speak out, and collectively take agency to protect the independence of Documenta as a cultural and artistic public institution from political interests,” the letter reads. “Unfortunately, politicians have prompted the media upheaval by disseminating an image of imminent bankruptcy of Documenta and at the same time presented themselves as the ‘saviors’ of a crisis they themselves allowed to develop.”

On September 12, the German newspaper HNA published an article claiming that the exhibition was bankrupt and that the insolvency of its parent company was only averted because the state of Hesse and the city of Kassel agreed to act as guarantors to keep the exhibition running until September 17. It also alleged that Szymczyk’s two-city vision for the quinquennial caused Documenta to go over its $44 million budget and that managing director Annette Kulenkampff “lacked perseverance and experience” to stop him.

Published on Thursday, September 14, the Documenta team’s letter denounces the “exploitative model under which the stakeholders of Documenta wish the ‘most important exhibition of the world’ to be produced.”

“The expectations of ever-increasing success and economic growth not only generate exploitative working conditions but also jeopardize the possibility of the exhibition remaining a site of critical action and artistic experimentation,” it reads.

The full letter is as follows: