New space at the V&A

The Victoria & Albert Museum in London announced that in 2018 it will open a new photography centre for nineteen-century works. The expansion will house the Royal Photographic Society collection, comprising four hundred thousand prints and other materials, which the V&A acquired from the Bradford Media Museum. Designed by David Kohn Architects, the space will also boast teaching and research rooms, a library, and a studio and darkroom for artist residencies.

PhotoWeek in Milan

The Ministry of culture of Milan, Italy, announced that from the 5th to the 11th of June there will be the first Milan PhotoWeek. Any gallery, museum, foundation or association can participate answering to an open call available online. The Ministry offers the communication and manage the calendar, while the events will be procured by the institutions themselves. The events will not follow any particular theme.

Fellows of the Guggenheim Foundation

The John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation awarded fellowships to a group of 173 scholars, artists, and scientists, chosen from a pool of three thousand applicants. They have been selected for their prior achievements and potential to contribute to their fields. The foundation has granted more than $350 million in fellowships to more than eighteen thousand individuals over the course of its ninety-two-year history. The 2017 awardees represent forty-nine scholarly disciplines and artistic fields and are from twenty-seven states.

Protests on Carl Andre

Artists and cultural workers protested the opening of sculptor Carl Andre’s exhibition at the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art. The group handed out postcards featuring images of Ana Mendieta, the celebrated feminist artist and Andre’s wife who fell to her death in 1985 from the New York City apartment the couple shared. Andre was charged with second-degree murder, but was acquitted in 1988. Following the protests, the Association of Hysteric Curators, who champion women’s issues and the representation of the female body in art, wrote an open letter to the director of the institution, Philippe Vergne, in which they criticise the choice of organising such an exhibition after the election of Donald Trump.

Vito Acconci passed away

Vito Acconci, an artist and architect who pushed the boundaries of conceptual art, died at 77 years old. He leaves behind an influential body of work, including Following Piece (1969), a performance in which he trailed strangers throughout New York City; Seedbed (1972), which saw him masturbate under the floor of a gallery; and Murinsel (2003), a manmade island forged from glass and metal. He spent the 1970s producing radical performance art, and thereafter devoted his practice to experimental architecture. Last year, a retrospective at MoMA PS1 celebrated Acconci’s multifaceted output and indelible impact on contemporary art.

First African auction in Sotheby’s

Sotheby’s has announced that it will stage its first-ever sale of modern and contemporary African work, in London on the 16th of May. The auction will feature pieces by more than sixty artists from fourteen countries across the continent. Hannah O’Leary, Sotheby’s head of modern and contemporary African, said it has been organised in direct response to the “exponential increase in market demand from collectors in Africa and the African diaspora, as well as international art collectors and influencers who are embracing art from Africa as exciting, innovative, and relevant.”

The estate of Hans Hartung

Galerie Perrotin now represents the estate of Hans Hartung, the French artist associated with the Art Informel and Tachisme movements. The gallery, which has spaces in Hong Kong, New York, Paris, Seoul, and Tokyo, will showcase the painter’s work at an Art Basel booth in June. With his abstract canvases, Hartung experimented with chance, investigating how and when an artist relinquishes control over a paint stroke.

John Waters’ Adult Summer Camp

Camp John Waters is a new venture from the esteemed movie director and 2017 Venice Biennale participant, taking place at the Connecticut-based adult summer camp grounds Club Getaway. A camp for adults only, scheduled for the weekend of the 22-24 September 2017, which will include a John Waters One Man Show, Hairspray Karaoke, and a marathon of the director’s films among many other attractions.

And the Golden Lion goes to

Carolee Schneemann, who has produced trailblazing feminist and performance art for more than half a century, has been awarded Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement by the Venice Biennale. A touring Schneemann retrospective has opened at the MMK Museum für Moderne Kunst in Frankfurt in May and will travel to MoMA PS1 later in the year. Christine Macel, the curator of this year’s biennale, said in a statement that “in opposition to traditional representation of women merely as nude object, she uses the naked body as a primal, archaic force which could unify energies.”

Museum of the 20th Century’s project criticised

A collective of academics, artists and other cultural figures have signed a petition expressing concerns about a proposed Museum of the 20th Century to be built in Berlin’s Kulturforum. The petition calls for a public discussion over the design, which is by Herzog & de Meuron, and for more transparency over the project’s finances. Already in February, German architect Wilfried Wang believes the Swiss firm’s design is severely lacking in both architectural and urbanist respects.

Silvia Meloni

Featured Image: Cards distributed at the April 1 opening of the Carl Andre retrospective at MOCA Geffen (photo courtesy Joy Silverman).

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