Contemporary Art for Pompeii

Pompeii is inviting artists to produce sculptural pieces that respond to artifacts from the historic Roman site. The director-general of the historic ruins, Massimo Osanna, envisions a permanent collection of new works that will be in dialogue with the old. Osanna has a potential space for the commissioned works in mind: a former explosives factory acquired from the state last year. The building will potentially be a site for storage, education, and conservation programming. It may also house shows and even artist residencies.

Hauser & Wirth opens in Hong Kong

The gallery Hauser & Wirth—which has several spaces in the US, a couple in the UK, and another in Zürich—is adding a new branch, in Hong Kong, due to open next spring. Planned for the new H Queen’s development, Hauser & Wirth Hong Kong will occupy the fifteenth and sixteenth floors of a building designed by William Lim of CL3, along with other galleries including David Zwirner, Pace, and Pearl Lam. A schedule of exhibitions for the new space has yet to be announced. Hauser & Wirth Hong Kong will be codirected by Vanessa Guo, who came from Christie’s in early 2016, and Lihsin Tsai, who, prior to joining the gallery, managed the exhibition space of the Shanghai collector and entrepreneur Qiao Zhibing.

Gerhard Richter donates a work to Münster

German artist Gerhard Richter wants to donate a multipart work to the city of Münster. The piece will be site-specific and will reference Foucault’s pendulum. The eighty-five-year-old artist said that he has been visiting different sculpture projects in Münster with his friend Kasper König, the artistic director of the decennial exhibition Skulptur Projekte Münster, and will continue to do so until October. He hopes to install the artwork at the Dominican church in the Westphalian city’s old center, but first the city council must approve the donation and its location.

The Martin Parr Foundation

Martin Parr has created an eponymous foundation—dedicated to the study and exhibition of documentary photography—in the city of Bristol in southwestern England. The Martin Parr Foundation will open on October 25 with “Black Country Stories,” an exhibition of the artist’s own works. The show will run until January 2018. The foundation is housed in Bristol’s Paintworks complex, which contains a library, gallery, studio, and archive space. In addition to being a research hub, Parr’s organization also plans on working with University of the West of England by giving students from its newly minted MA in photography program a space for their thesis exhibitions.

Banksy for charity

The proceeds from the sale of graffiti artist Banksy’s Civilian Drone Strike, 2017—a work depicting three Predator drones dropping bombs on a framed illustration of a house and stick figures—will go to two humanitarian organisations: Campaign Against Arms Trade and Reprieve. The picture was auctioned off at the Art the Arms Fair, a five-day expo that forms part of a larger, two-week festival organized to counter the Defense and Security Equipment International arms fair, which ran concurrently with the protest events. The auctioning of Banksy’s piece brought in about $277.000.

A new director for Witte de With

The supervisory board of the Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art in Rotterdam has announced that Sofía Hernández Chong Cuy will serve as the public institution’s new director, starting on January the 1st 2018. Hailing from Mexico, Hernández Chong Cuy has been curator of contemporary art at the Colección Patricia Phelps de Cisneros since 2011. She has also developed exhibitions independently, including “The Neighbors” (2016−17), an exhibition series at the Bronx Museum of the Arts in New York, and “Let’s Walk Together” (2016), a survey exhibition of Mario Garcia Torres at Museo Tamayo in Mexico City, a museum she also previously served as the director of, from 2009 to 2010.

Bruce High Quality Foundation shuts down its free university

In a letter published in the Brooklyn Rail, Seth Cameron, the former president of the Bruce High Quality Foundation University—a free school which opened eight years ago for those who wanted to take “MFA-quality” art classes sans the exorbitant tuition costs—has announced that the school is shutting its doors. HQFU offered courses on drawing, painting, theory, color, sexuality, and sketch comedy, among other subjects, taught by a variety of artists. It also had summer residency programs for emerging artists. The school was a success in terms of bringing people in—it enrolled thousands of students throughout the years. However, Cameron writes in his letter, “We learned quickly that classes where anyone can attend can actually close down the free exchange of ideas. We learned that democracy, in all its bureaucratic glory, can stifle individual freedom.”

Pierre Bergé ( 1930 – 2017 )

Pierre Bergé, the French businessman, died in Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, France. Bergé is best known as the driving force behind the Yves Saint Laurent fashion empire, which he helped the designer build after he left Christian Dior in 1961. Bergé and Laurent ran the iconic brand together for decades, even after they split up in the 1980s, and eventually sold the Yves Saint Laurent group for $655 million to the French pharmaceutical giant Elf Sanofi in 1993. The label changed the way generations of women dressed and is credited with creating the women’s tuxedo and the iconic Mondrian dress, and with introducing the trench coat and peacoat into high fashion.

London City Island offers affordable art spaces

Last October Sadiq Khan, the mayor of London, set up the Creative Land Trust, an initiative to create affordable studio spaces to ensure that London’s arts professionals stay in the city. In collaboration with Studiomakers, a group of philanthropists and entrepreneurs, Khan was able to convince developers and landowners to create more workspaces for artists while keeping existing ones. London City Island is the result of this effort, a new cultural hub expected to entice all manner of artists and arts organization for its affordability and sustainability. A number of institutions are planning a move to the island: the London Film School; the English National Ballet and English National Ballet School; and the Line, East London’s contemporary art walk. Arebyte, an expanded media and performance art space, will also be moving there and creating new studios.

Documenta in deficit

This this year’s edition of Documenta had left the parent company responsible for the quinquennial art exhibition with a deficit of around €7 million, and awaiting confirmation of a cash bailout from the city of Kassel and the state of Hesse. The organisers of Documenta 14 issued a statement strongly criticising these reports and defending their own financial management and the non-commercial cultural value of the event, which took place across the two cities of Kassel and Athens.

Silvia Meloni


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