BY Frieze News Desk in News | 12 JUL 19

Mass Redundancies Threatened at Munich’s Haus der Kunst

In further news: British Museum director defends BP sponsorship; David Zwirner to open in Paris

BY Frieze News Desk in News | 12 JUL 19

El Anatsui, Second Wave, 2019, installation for Haus der Kunst’s facade. Courtesy: the artist and Haus der Kunst, Munich; photograph: Jens Weber

48 employees at Munich’s Haus der Kunst – two-thirds of the public institution’s team – are likely to lose their jobs, according to new management plans, the Süddeutsche Zeitung (SZ) reports. The commercial director of the Haus der Kunst, Bernhard Spies, confirmed to the SZ that these roles (reportedly, mostly so-called ‘mini-jobs’ and part-time positions) are likely to be outsourced externally. In recent years, the Haus der Kunst – a non-collecting public museum – has suffered grave financial losses. Spies was hired in 2018 in order to put the museum on a solid financial track. Its previous director, Okwui Enwezor, died in March 2019, and a new head has not been announced.

Hartwig Fischer, the director of the British Museum in London, has defended his institution’s relationship with sponsor BP, as pressure grows on galleries to divest from oil companies. Fischer said that support from BP had helped ‘create unique learning opportunities […] This sort of support is vital to [the museum’s] mission,’ the Art Newspaper reports. Fischer’s comments followed an open letter calling for an end to BP’s sponsorship of the National Portrait Gallery – signatories included Turner prize-winning artists Antony Gormley, Rachel Whiteread, Anish Kapoor, Gillian Wearing and Mark Wallinger. Don’t miss Mel Evans writing on the arts community’s responsibility to address the climate emergency.

In further news: David Zwirner Gallery is to open a space in Paris, moving into a 8,600-square-foot space in the Marais – Zwirner told the Financial Times: ‘Brexit changes the game. After October, my London gallery will be a British gallery, not a European one’; the Institute of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles has named Anne Ellegood as its new director; and Greene Naftali gallery has added artists Cory Arcangel and Andy Robert to its roster.