in News | 26 MAY 17


London’s Wilkinson Gallery and Paris’ Musée Dapper close; LA’s Marciano Foundation opens to the public; Jeff Koons is accused of copying

in News | 26 MAY 17

Jeff Koons, 'Seated Ballerina', 2017, installation view. Courtesy: Wang Ying/Xinhua News Agency/PA Images

Wilkinson Gallery in London is closing at the end of July. Co-owners Amanda and Anthony Wilkinson are ‘dissolving their partnership’, and have plans to separately open independent galleries. The Wilkinsons first opened a gallery on Cambridge Heath Road in 1998, and then in 2007 moved to Vyner Street. Their gallery has developed a reputation for championing women artists: it hosted the solo London debuts of Joan Jonas in 2004, Dara Birnbaum in 2009 and Laurie Simmons in 2011. Artists picked up by the gallery while still early in their careers include George Shaw (nominated for the Turner Prize in 2011) and Sung Hwan Kim. The closure of Wilkinson Gallery marks the last recognized commercial gallery to leave Vyner Street following the gallery exodus instigated by Stuart Shave/Modern Art when it left in 2008. You can read Chris Fite-Wassilak in our latest Dispatch from London on the evolution of exhibition spaces in the capital over recent years, with a spate of smaller, younger commercial galleries closing their doors this spring: ‘if we want a diversity of art spaces’, Fite-Wassilak writes, ‘we need to vote with our feet’.

Jeff Koons has been accused of copying a Ukrainian artist's work. Koons’ Seated Ballerina – a 45-foot inflatable sculpture of a blonde ballerina adjusting her blue ballet shoes – is on display at New York's Rockefeller Centre until 2 June. The original press release for the work claimed that the inspiration was a porcelain piece 'found at a Russian factory at the turn of the 20th century'. But in a Facebook post, New York-based artist Lado Pochkhua pointed out that it bore more than a passing resemblance to the piece 'Balerina Lenochka' by Ukrainian sculptor Oksana Zhnikrup, who was part of the Kiev Experimental Art Ceramics Factory, and died in 1993. A spokesperson for Koons' studio later acknowledged the source material: ‘We are aware of Oksana Zhnikrup's work and have a license to use it for Mr Koons's work’ they said.

Jo-ey Tang will head up the Columbus College of Art & Design’s Beeler Gallery, Ohio, from 15 June. Tang is currently a researcher at Villa Arson, Nice, and previously worked as curator at Paris’ Palais de Tokyo from 2014 to 2015. While there, he was chief curator for ‘Inside China – L’Intérieur du Géant’, a major collaboration between the Palais de Tokyo and the K11 Art Foundation which brought together new Chinese and French Artists including Aude Pariset and Cheng Ran. Tang was also arts editor at the journal n+1 from 2009 to 2014. ‘I hope to foster an ethos of ‘slow programming’ that will counter the speed of production in contemporary art and its contingent fields’, Tang said in a press statement.

Musée Dapper in Paris, one of the most significant specialists in traditional and contemporary African art in the world, will close on 18 June. The Olfert Dapper Foundation founded Musée Dapper in 1986, with the mission of bringing art from Africa to new audiences – it has since expanded its remit to showcase Latin American, Indian and African American work, among others. It has held over 50 exhibitions in its current space: its current show ‘Masterpieces from Africa’ is devoted to ancient pieces from Cameroon and Mali. ‘It’s difficult to manage’, president Christiane Falgayrettes-Leveau told the newspaper Le Figaro, with attendance stagnating in recent years.

Prospect New Orleans has revealed its artist list ahead of its fourth edition, 'Prospect.4: The Lotus in Spite of the Swamp' curated by Trevor Schoonmaker, which opens 18 November. The triennial, which coincides with New Orleans’ tricentennial celebration, brings together 73 artists dealing with issues of colonialism and displacement, with projects including: Odila Donald Odita creating a new work for the Algiers Point ferry, and John Akomfrah debuting a film about jazz musician Buddy Bolden. 'I'm always interested in bringing in artists who have had little exposure or who have had not as much attention as I feel they should get,' said Schoonmaker.

Marciano Foundation, a new private museum in LA, opened to the public on Thursday. It occupies the deserted former theatre of the Scottish Rite Masonic Temple on Wilshire Boulevard, repurposed by Kulapat Yantrasast of wHY architects. The fraternity sold the building to Guess Jeans cofounders Maurice and Paul Marciano in 2013. The Marciano’s inaugural exhibition is the survey show ‘Jim Shaw: The Wig Museum’, curated by Philipp Kaiser, which spans the entire ground floor. The 5,100 square-metre exhibition space is primarily devoted to ‘Unpacking’, which draws on the Marciano’s 1,500-work collection by 200 artists, with works including Trisha Donnelly, Jeff Koons, Thomas Houseago and Takashi Murakami. The Marciano is the latest in the emergence of significant private institutions joining LA’s main art museums, with the Broad museum opening in 2015, the Main Museum which opened in 2016, as well as the forthcoming ICA which opens this autumn and is also designed by Kulapat Yantrasast and wHY architects.

Jared Kushner’s and Ivanka Trump's art collection has landed the couple in trouble, after it emerged that the US president’s senior advisor and son-in-law had failed to report their multimillion-dollar collection in his financial disclosures. The Kushners’ collection, which is housed in their Park Avenue apartment, includes pieces by Alex Israel, Nate Lowman, Dan Colen, Alex Da Corte and David Ostrowski – sometimes glimpsed in Ivanka Trump’s regular Instagram posts. A lawyer for Kushner told artnet News that the artworks were for decorative purposes only, not for investment, and would be reported in a new disclosure form.

Kiluanji Kia Henda has been announced as the winner of the 2017 Frieze Artist Award. The Luanda-based artist was selected after an open call, with artist applications received from more than 82 countries: Kia Henda is the first African artist to receive the award. From 4 to 8 October, Kia Henda will create a new installation for Frieze Projects, the fair's non-profit programme, curated by Raphael Gygax. 'Kia Henda is a vital voice of his generation', Gygax said, '[he] brings satire to bear on politics and the legacy of colonialism in Africa, corrupting enduring stereotypes'.

Deutsche Bank is planning to open a new Berlin arts centre in 2018. The 279 square-metre space, located in the Prinzessinnenpalais at 5 Unter den Linden, will house its corporate collection of over 50,000 works. The collection, one of the largest in the world, was started in the 1970s and includes works by Gerhard Richter, Sigmar Polke and Joseph Beuys.