The Museum of Palestinian Culture

A museum devoted to the art and culture of the Palestinian people, the Palestine Museum US, is scheduled to open over the next few weeks in Woodbridge, Connecticut, writes Ed Stannard of the New Haven Register. The museum’s director, Faisal Saleh, who was born in Ramallah on the West Bank, hopes the institution will provide a richer sense of Palestinian culture to American audiences. Faisal says the nonprofit museum will not be openly political but will expand upon a narrative of a people who have experienced a great deal of hardship over the past century.

Henri Matisse’s family wins legal battle

The Versailles Court of Appeals has ruled that a Parisian dealer Jérôme Le Blay must return two cutouts by Henri Matisse to the artist’s heirs. The family of Matisse’s youngest son, the New York gallerist Pierre Matisse, filed a lawsuit against an unnamed party for fraud and the detention of stolen goods in January 2009, after learning that the artist’s White Palm on Red and Green Snail on Blue were to be sold at an Impressionist and Modern sale at Sotheby’s in New York. The works are among hundreds that were allegedly taken from storage at the art-supply company Lefebvre-Foinet sometime after they were deposited there in 1972.

Upper East Side gallery by former Christie’s director

Fernando Mignoni, a former head of the postwar and contemporary art department at Christie’s London auction house, opened a gallery on New York’s Upper East Side. Mignoni Gallery featured works by Donald Judd for its inaugural show. The director will also run an art advisory service out of the new gallery.

Two new curators for the Hayward Gallery

Hayward Gallery at Southbank Centre in London has named Vincent Honoré and Cliff Lauson senior curators. Honoré will take up the post in December. Lauson, who first joined the gallery as curator in 2009, will assumed his responsibilities in November. Honoré is a London-based curator who has served as chief curator at the David Roberts Art Foundation since it opened in 2007. Since he joined Hayward Gallery, Lauson has curated solo exhibitions for artists such as Martin Creed, Ernesto Neto, Tracey Emin, and David Shrigley. He was previously assistant curator at Tate Modern.

A controversy at the Stedelijk

Beatrix Ruf has stepped down as director of the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam. Ruf has been heavily criticised by the Dutch media for running her own advisory business while at the helm of the institution. The press has alleged that her company is a conflict of interest and may have interfered with her management of the museum. The Dutch paper NRC investigated Ruf’s private art-advisory firm, Currentmatters. Registered in Switzerland, the company was not included on the list of her external activities in the museum’s annual report.

Next UNESCO Director General

UNESCO has recently announced that the former French culture minister, Audrey Azoulay, will be its next director general, for a tenure of four years. She won the vote to lead the cultural agency by a short margin, with thirty votes to twenty-eight, against the Qatari candidate Hamad bin Abdulaziz Al-Kawari, who was seemingly handicapped by his country’s diplomatic isolation. The French candidate’s victory was apparently something of an upset due to the fact that UNESCO’s headquarters are based in Paris and UN tradition dictates that the host country of one of its agencies should not run it.

The largest audiovisual art archive at Smithsonian

More than five hundred New York panel discussions, screenings, and public dialogues about art have been procured by the Smithsonian’s Archives of American Art. Featuring artists such as Louise Bourgeois, Christo and Jeanne-Claude, Agnes Denes, Robert Longo, Ana Mendieta, and Alice Neel, the audio and visual collection is the largest ever acquired for the archive.

Art industry figures denounce sexual harassment

Over 150 people – including gallerists, artists, curators, and writers – penned a collective text, published by the Guardian, denouncing sexual harassment in the arts. The letter, entitled Not Surprised, has thousands of signatories and was closed to additions at the end of October.

Kader Attia awarded Joan Mirò Prize

The Joan Miró Prize has named Kader Attia as the sixth recipient of its $82,000 biennial award. Attia was recognized for his work focusing on post colonialism.  Attia’s experiences growing up between the suburbs of Paris and Algeria, and while living in Barcelona, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Venezuela, inform his works, which frequently address how colonialism manifests in culture, nature, science, and gender studies, and how to “repair” the damages it has caused.

Plans cancelled for Marina Abramović’s Art Institute

Performance artist Marina Abramović has decided to abandon her plan to convert a building she bought in upstate New York into a performance art institute after she was unable to raise the $31 million needed to fund the project. The Marina Abramović Institute for the Preservation of Performance Art was meant to be a venue where artists and audiences could participate in and view long-duration performances, lasting six hours or more.

Silvia Meloni

Featured Image: Kader Attia, Untitled (Ghardaïa), 2009. © 2017 The Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation

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