The whole weekend passed without any ethically compromised (allegedly!) board members resigning from major contemporary arts institutions, though there were reports that hedge-fund billionaire Kenneth C. Griffin had stepped down from the board of the Whitney Museum in New York. The move was, it seems, in solidarity with Warren Kanders, who resigned his position last week after protests over his position as CEO of a tear gas manufacturer grew to the point that the Whitney Biennial risked being emptied out by artists' withdrawals. But, ArtNews reported, after a phone call with other board members Griffin apparently 'reconsidered, and decided to stay'. It remains to be seen where this particular buck will stop.
More decisively, one hopes, Jacob Fabricius was confirmed as artistic director for the 2020 edition of the Busan Biennale, which kicks off in just over a year's time. A tantalising and unusually frank press release announced that 'despite having little time for preparations', the Danish curator (currently the artistic director of the Kunsthal Aarhus) impressed the biennale's organising committee with a proposal that crossed a 'profound understanding of Busan’s local character and history' with a creative concept incorporating literature and music.
Such an expanded interpretation of contemporary art would no doubt have appealed to the pioneering Venezuelan artist Carlos Cruz-Diez, who has passed away in Paris at the age of 95. Best known as for his expansive experiments in kinetic and installation art, Cruz-Diez was eulogised by Venezuela's opposition leader Juan Guiadó as an artist whose 'work transcended barriers and filled us with pride as Venezuelans'. Cruz-Diez, who founded an art school in Caracas and now has a museum named after him in the city, moved to Paris in his mid-30s and by the end of his life was a naturalised French citizen. Younger was Karsten Schubert, who has died aged 58. A longstanding figure in the London artworld, the German gallerist was a key figure in the promotion of the YBA scene in the 1990s, staging exhibitions by Michael Landy, Gary Hume, Rachel Whiteread and Liam Gillick among others.
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