in News | 06 FEB 18

Wes Anderson and Juman Malouf to Curate Show in Vienna

In further news: Sonia Boyce explains removal of Manchester Art Gallery’s nude nymphs; Creative Scotland responds to Transmission Gallery backlash

in News | 06 FEB 18

Filmmaker Wes Anderson and the novelist and designer Juman Malouf have been invited to create an exhibition for Vienna’s Kunsthistorisches Museum, which will run from 11 September 2018 to 20 January 2019. In the first exhibition that Anderson and Malouf have curated, the couple will select pieces from the Kunsthistorisches Museum’s extensive collection of musical instruments, armour and weapons, Greco-Roman antiquities, as well as imperial carriages and sleighs from the Wagenburg museum. According to a statement from the Kunsthistorisches Museum, the exhibition will then travel to Venice to the Fondazione Prada. 'Wes and Juman are the third guest curators to have been invited by the Kunsthistorisches Museum, following the projects with Ed Ruscha in 2012 and Edmund de Waal in 2016', the museum's curator of modern and contemporary art Jasper Sharp told frieze: 'Their approach to the selection of objects and the method of their display seems certain to produce something most unexpected.' Anderson’s latest film Isle of Dogs (2018) has its world premiere next week, opening the Berlin Film Festival on 15 February.

After the UK’s Manchester Art Gallery removed John William Waterhouse’s Hylas and the Nymphs (1896) from public display (intended ‘to prompt conversations’ about problematic artworks) the painting is back on the walls. In a statement, the gallery said that its temporary removal had been part of a project linked to its upcoming solo show by Sonia Boyce. Amanda Wallace, interim director, commented: 'Throughout the painting’s seven day absence, it’s been clear that many people feel very strongly about the issues raised, and we now plan to harness this strength of feeling for some further debate on these wider issues.’ In an article published by the Guardian today explaining the removal, Boyce criticized ‘the rhetoric of ‘censorship’’, saying that it had a polarizing effect and veiled the complexities of the debate. Boyce said that the takedown of the painting followed an event in which she invited a group of performance artists to respond to works in the gallery, along with an audience of visitors, 'to help us consider these artworks in a non-binary way’. The removal of the painting itself, Boyce writes, was not a militant action, but 'sedate and quite low-key. Once the painting was off the wall, people continued mingling.' Read Ellen Mara De Wachter on the risks when cultural programming takes up an activist mantle.

Queens Museum board trustee Kristian Nammack has resigned, writing in a letter to friends and colleagues that he stands in solidarity with the museum’s departing director Laura Raicovich, and detailing his political disagreements with the board. Nammack is director of the financial advisory International Endowments Network. The recent departure of Laura Raicovich from the New York museum following her own differences with the board – including her responses to the US presidency and immigration debate – triggered an open letter defending her leadership signed by leading US curators. The letter was started by Carin Kuoni, chief curator of the New School’s Vera List Center for Art and Politics, who told frieze last week that it was intended 'as a (modest) way to counter the increasingly pernicious ways in which vibrant and vital discussion and debates around political issues are curtailed under the current administration in D.C. and the effects this has on cultural institutions.’

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The Head of Visual Arts at Creative Scotland, Amanda Catto, has responded to news that the arts funding body has removed storied Glasgow art gallery Transmission from its 2018-21 portfolio of regularly funded organizations. Speaking to frieze yesterday, Catto said that the decision ‘was not taken with any intention to damage Transmission. We respect and value their very long and quite exceptional history in terms of being an artist-run space’. Catto said that with a changing cultural landscape in Scotland, ‘what we wish to do is create a targeted fund that will support many artist-run initiatives across the country, including Transmission, and create a much more considered and strategic response to their needs.’ Creative Scotland’s decision will lose Transmission support of GBP£210,000 over three years, and has created a backlash among artists, curators and gallerists. Meanwhile two Creative Scotland board members Ruth Wishart and Maggie Kinloch have resigned in protest over the controversial cuts – Wishart, a Scottish broadcaster and journalist, said that the board had been asked to sign off on Creative Scotland initiatives without adequate time to properly consider them.

French art dealers have joined growing criticisms of Jeff Koons’s controversial monument to Paris’s terror victims. The Professional Committee of Art Galleries, which represents over 250 galleries in the country, has released a statement calling for the memorial to be relocated away from its intended site outside the Palais de Tokyo. The statement clarifies that the organization’s objection is not to the aesthetic qualities or relevance of the artwork, but what it regards as an inappropriate location. It follows an open letter published last month in the French newspaper Libération, with signatories including artist Christian Boltanski and former culture minister Frédéric Mitterand, calling Koons’s monument financially reckless: ‘We appreciate gifts, but free, unconditional, and without ulterior motives’, they wrote.

Jamie Fobert Architects are to lead a GBP£35.5 million transformation of London’s National Portrait Gallery. It will be the gallery’s most significant development since its current Trafalgar Square location opened in 1896, with 20% more public and gallery spaces to come. Recent projects by Jamie Fobert Architects include the much-lauded extension at Tate St Ives in Cornwall, and the expansion of Cambridge’s Kettle’s Yard which reopened this week. The director of the National Portrait Gallery, Dr Nicholas Cullinan said: 'We were impressed by Jamie’s evident love of the Gallery, its Collection and building, and the clear vision he had for how to make the most of these for our visitors, as well as his affinity with art and artists.’ The gallery has raised GBP£21.2 million (which amounts to 60% of its target) – fundraising is expected to be completed by March of next year, construction to begin in 2020 and work to be completed in 2022.

London’s Victoria & Albert Museum have announced the shortlist for its Jameel Prize for contemporary artists and designers inspired by Islamic tradition. The finalists are: Kamrooz Aram, Hayv Kahraman, Hala Kaiksow, Mehdi Moutashar, naqsh collective, Younes Rahmoun, Wardha Shabbir and Marina Tabassum. The winner of the international prize, now in its fifth edition, which comes with an award of GBP£25,000, will be announced on 27 June 2018. The shortlisted artists and designers will be included in an exhibition which runs from 28 June to 25 November 2018. The prize is a partnership between the museum and Art Jameel. The V&A’s director Tristram Hunt commented: ‘This year’s outstanding shortlist displays real diversity; the judges found beauty, spirituality, complexity, humour and humanity.’

In other awards and grants news: the Goethe Institut has launched a new prize for African artists, the Henrike Grohs Art Award (named after the former head of the Goethe Institut in Abidjan who was a victim of a terrorist attack in 2016) – the first recipient will be announced on 13 March in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire. Mizanur Rahman Chowdhury has won the Samdani Art Award (announced during the currently running Dhaka Art Summit) – the artist will receive a residency at London’s Delfina Foundation. And the art historian Juliane Rebentisch has won Hamburg’s Lessing Prize (the first woman to do so since Hannah Arendt in 1959) – the award honours scholars who have a connection to the city.

In gallery news: former David Zwirner partner Ales Ortuzar is opening a new gallery in New York’s Tribeca, Ortuzar Projects, with a show of work by painter Michel Parmentier; in Berlin, Aanant & Zoo have closed, while dealer Stephan Koal has also shuttered his gallery; Los Angeles’s Regen Projects now represents Silke Otto-Knapp; and Jeremiah Evarts is joining New York’s Di Donna Galleries as director – he was previously senior vice president and head of Impressionist and modern art evening sales at Sotheby’s.

Artist Mark Grotjahn has rejected the Museum of Contemporary Art Los Angeles’s 2018 gala award, claiming a lack of diversity in the museum’s previous honorees (in past years, Jeff Koons, Ed Ruscha and John Baldessari). 'There is a new urgency to change the power dynamic and we have an opportunity to do so’, the artist wrote to MOCA board co-chair Maurice Marciano. Meanwhile the artist Lari Pittman has resigned from the MOCA board. Pittman, who is gay and Latino, told the Los Angeles Times: 'I’ve gotten some privilege in the art world, and rewards, and that’s been wonderful. But that perspective – of lack of inclusiveness, of not casting a big enough net – never leaves.’

And finally: the theme for the 2018 Shanghai Biennale has been announced as ‘Proregress – Art in an Age of Historical Ambivalence’. Curated by Cuauhtémoc Medina, the 12th edition of the exhibition will run from 10 November to 10 March 2019 at the city’s Power Station of Art. Medina said that it would provide 'a framework to explore the role of contemporary art as a means by which the struggles and anxieties of many different latitudes are reflected and turned into subjective experience, training the contemporary subject in the ambivalence that allows us to tolerate the contradictory forces of contemporary life.'