in News | 10 NOV 17

Armory Show's Benjamin Genocchio Out After Harassment Allegations

In other news: shortlisted artists for Germany's Nationalgalerie prize criticize ‘problematic aspects'; Beatrix Ruf denies conflict of interest

in News | 10 NOV 17

Benjamin Genocchio. Courtesy: Wikimedia Commons

Benjamin Genocchio has been replaced as the executive director of New York's Armory Show art fair, after accusations of sexual harassment, according to a report in the New York Times. The allegations by a total of 13 people concern verbal and physical sexual harassment by Genocchio towards colleagues while working at the Armory Show, as editor at Artnet News and editorial director at Louise Blouin Media. In a statement to the New York Times, Genocchio denied he had intentionally acted in a sexually inappropriate way: 'to the extent my behaviour was perceived as disrespectful, I deeply and sincerely apologize and will ensure it does not happen again'. It remains unclear as to whether Genocchio’s employment at the Armory Show has been terminated or suspended – currently, Nicole Berry has assumed the executive director role. The accusations against Genocchio follow sexual misconduct allegations against Artforum’s longtime co-publisher Knight Landesman which led to his resignation at the end of last month. You can read Elvia Wilk writing here on why now is the moment to uncouple power from abuse in the art world.

After Berlin-based artist Agnieszka Polska won Germany’s National Gallery Prize for Young Artists last month, the shortlisted nominees of the Preis der Nationalgalerie (Sol Calero, Iman Issa, Jumana Manna and Polska) have released a joint statement concerning ‘problematic aspects of the prize’. The artists write that they have been troubled by press releases and speeches emphasizing their gender and nationalities: ‘the self-congratulatory use of diversity as a public-relations tool risks masking the very serious systemic inequalities that continue to persist at all levels of our field’ they said. The artists also accused the award ceremony of feeling ‘more like a celebration of sponsors and institutions’, and criticized the fact there was no artist fee attached to the exhbition, only ‘the promise of exposure’. You can read their statement over here.

Former Stedelijk director Beatrix Ruf, who resigned from the Amsterdam museum last month, has told the New York Times that allegations surrounding her departure are premised on ‘a misunderstanding’. She has denied claims that there was a conflict of interest between her art consultancy and position as museum director, saying that her external activities were ‘contractually approved' by the Stedelijk. She also said that the €437,000 profit she earnt in her 2015 financial statement was a result of a parting bonus paid to her by former employer the Ringier Collection, not the result of profits from her art consultancy business. ‘I am confident that I reported everything in good faith’, Ruf told the paper. The museum is currently carrying out two independent investigations into the affair.

Lehmann Maupin gallery has announced a ‘viewing office’ which will open in Seoul, South Korea, next month. The gallery’s new space will be situated in the Sogyeok-dong area near the Kukje and Hyundai gallery headquarters and the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art. The Seoul location expands the gallery's operations in Asia, joining an existing exhibition space in Hong Kong.

Turner Contemporary in Margate, UK, is planning a GBP£5.3 million expansion. Arts Council England have approved GBP£3 million for the project. ‘The next phase of Turner Contemporary will be designed to ensure that the organization is sustainable into the future’, director Victoria Pomery said. Turner Contemporary opened in 2011 with a building designed by David Chipperfield, and has played an important role in reviving the economy of the coastal town.

The Paul Hamlyn Foundation has announced its annual awards to composers and visual artists in the UK. The winning artists, who each receive a no-strings-attached GBP£60,000, are Steven Claydon, Peter Kennard, Linder, Charlotte Prodger and Rehana Zaman. The winning composers are Laurence Crane, Mary Hampton, Leafcutter John, Serafina Steer and Byron Wallen. Launched in 1994, the awards aim to support artists at pivotal moments in their careers, and are the most generous of their kind in the UK.

New York’s Studio Museum in Harlem has announced its new artists-in-residence who will take up their positions from April 2018: Allison Janae Hamilton, Tschabalala Self and Sable Elyse Smith. The residency programme launched in 1969 and aims to support emerging artists of African and Latinx descent.

And finally, the much-awaited Louvre Abu Dhabi opens to the public tomorrow (though entrance tickets are now sold out) – you can read Cristina Sanchez-Kozyreva writing here on how the concept of the ‘mirror museum’ reveals the real challenge facing the Louvre’s shiny new Middle East outpost.