Just days after 78 British artists submitted an open letter to the National Portrait Gallery protesting the institution's sponsorship by British Petroleum, the director of the British Museum confirmed that it would continue to work with the oil company next year. Hartwig Fischer described the financial support of BP as 'vital' to the museum's mission, while the director of the National Portrait Gallery, Nicholas Cullinan, also acknowledged a letter (signed by Anish Kapoor, Sarah Lucas and Rachel Whiteread, among others) which described affiliation with a company so heavily invested in fossil fuels as crossing an 'ethical red line', but argued that BP's sponsorship of the annual Portrait Award had made possible free admission to an exhibition which attracted over 275,000 visitors last year. The institutions are among major four cultural organisations in the United Kingdom to receive sponsorship from BP as part of a £7.5m deal; another, London's Royal Opera House, was last week the site of a 'die-in' by the climate change movement Extinction Rebellion.
On Monday, Pace announced that it close its gallery in Beijing. Its founder, Arne Glimcher, said that the escalating trade war between the US and China, as well as a generally repressive atmosphere in the country under President Xi Jinping, had made it 'impossible' to do business on the mainland. The gallery will maintain its presence in Hong Kong. Back in London, Timothy Taylor, who recently announced the reopening of his gallery in a new five-story townhouse in Mayfair this summer, announced the representation of British artist Annie Morris. Speaking of Morris, the gallerist said: ‘Annie is a natural fit with the gallery's programme – in her work, I see both Antoni Tàpies's engagement with surface and Kiki Smith's reckoning with nature and spirituality’.
The death of the influential writer and curator Douglas Crimp was confirmed over the weekend. Best known for his role in laying the theoretical ground for the Pictures Generation of artists, most notably with his seminal 1977 exhibition Pictures at Artists Space, Crimp helped to define postmodernism and its relationship to art at the end of the twentieth century. He was a key figure in the establishment of institutional critique as an artistic practice, and was a founding member of Act Up (Aids Coalition to Unleash Power), which encouraged artist activism in exposing the US government's mishandling and deliberate neglect of the AIDS crisis.
On Tuesday, the Whitechapel Gallery and the Authors’ Club announced the shortlists for the inaugural edition of the Richard Schlagman Art Book Awards, named after the entrepreneur responsible for relaunching Phaidon Press in the 1990s. Celebrating international, English-language publications, the award is distributed in six categories comprising contemporary art, art history, contemporary architecture, architectural history, contemporary design and design history. The winners will be announced in September 2019 at the London Art Book Fair. Bart van der Heide was announced as director of Museion, the Museum for Modern and Contemporary Art in Bolzano. Van der Heide was chief curator and head of research at the Stedelijk Museum until September last year, seeing through a tumultuous time at the Amsterdam institution in which its director, Beatrix Ruf, was accused, and then exonerated, of having commercial conflicts of interest. Van der Heide takes up his role in Italy in June 2020 but will start his research for the future programme this autumn. Previous roles include director of Kunstverein München and curatorial positions at London’s Cubitt Gallery and Rotterdam’s Witte de With. Across the Atlantic (and a bit more) Anne Ellegood, a senior curator at the Hammer Museum, was appointed executive director at the Institute of Contemporary Art Los Angeles. Prominent on Ellegood's CV is her work on the Made in L.A. biennial. She takes over from retiring longtime ICA LA director Elsa Longhauser.
The death, on 5 July, was announced of Eberhard Havekost, the German painter whose work took from media imagery but veered between photorealism and abstraction. Havekost taught at Kunstakademie Düsseldorf and was the subject of solo exhibitions at the Kunsthalle Schirn in Frankfurt, Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden, Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg, and the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam.
Joining the increasingly growing pool of artists-as-curators, French artist Pierre Huyghe has announced the list of participating artists for the second edition of the Okoyama Art Summit in Japan, which he's directing. Huyghe is succeeding to British artist Liam Gillick who curated the inaugural edition in 2016. Meanwhile, the Centre Pompidou in Paris announced a five-year partnership with the Spanish cultural Foundation Caixa Forum, with the aim of presenting part of the Pompidou's extensive collection to Spanish audiences through six original exhibitions, including retrospectives for Jean Prouvé and Robert and Sonia Delaunay, as well as two photography shows, a focus on the influential art movement 'biomorphism' and a journey through design in the 1970s and 80s. Each exhibition will travel to the Caixa's cultural centres across Spain (in Madrid, Barcelona, Saragossa, Palma, Gerona, Tarragona, Lleida, and possibly in Valencia, where a new space is set to open) through 2024. News – good or bad, ArtReview isn't one to judge – often come in threes: if Huyghe and the Pompidou are branching out internationally, David Zwirner (number 1 on ArtReview’s Power 100 list in 2018) announced he was settling in Paris, opening his sixth gallery space in the Marais neighbourhood during FIAC in October, with a solo exhibition by Raymond Pettibon. Speaking to the Financial Times, Zwirner cited Brexit amongst the reasons behind that decision: ‘After October, my London gallery will be a British gallery, not a European one. I am European, and I would like a European gallery, too’. As the big galleries get bigger, the story of mid-level dealers calling it at day continues as Glasgow's Mary Mary announcing its closure. Hannah Robinson opened the gallery as a project space in 2006 with a solo exhibition of Karla Black and has since worked with artists including Lorna Macintyre, Aliza Nisenbaum and Jesse Wine.
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