Rolling news: 10–16 August 2019

Prizes, Olympic artists and departures

Susan Norrie, Aftermath, 2016, video. Courtesy the artist

Australian artist Susan Norrie has been awarded the third edition of the Don Macfarlane Prize. The annual prize of $50,000 is given to an established Australian artist to use at their discretion with no particular outcomes required. Norrie, known for her video work which is politically focused, was chosen for ‘using art as a tool to remind us of the most vexing and urgent issues of our times’. She represented Australia at the 2007 Venice Biennale alongside Callum Morton and Daniel von Sturmer. On accepting the prize, Norrie stated, ‘This is such an incredible honour – especially as the prize is decided by leading representatives from the curatorial industry... I can’t think of any prizes that support the technical aspect of making art, and so the Don Macfarlane Prize will allow me to update my editing facilities and studio infrastructure.’ The previous winners of the prize were Pat Brassington and Linda Marrinon.

The Tokyo Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2020 have announced a list of Japanese and international artists who have been commissioned to produce artworks to ‘celebrate the Tokyo 2020 Games vision and spirit’. The participating artists and designers include manga artists, calligraphers, designers and photographers, as well as overseas artists who have won both Japanese and international awards. The artworks will be rendered as official Tokyo 2020 Art Posters and displayed at exhibitions in public spaces. The artists are: Naoki Urasawa (manga artist), Shinro Ohtake (artist), Daijiro Ohara (graphic designer), Shoko Kanazawa (calligrapher), Tomoko Konoike (artist), Taku Sato (graphic designer), Asao Tokolo (artist), Takashi Homma (photographer), Theseus Chan (art director), Viviane Sassen (photographer), Philippe Weisbecker (artist), Hirohiko Araki (manga artist), Koji Kakinuma (calligrapher), Goo Choki Par (graphic designer), Tomoyuki Shinki (artist), Asao Tokolo (artist), Mika Ninagawa (photographer, film director), Chihiro Mori (artist) and Akira Yamaguchi (painter).

American artist Nancy Reddin Kienholz died on 7 August at age 75, The LA Times reports. She is best known as one half of the artist duo Oddball with her late husband Edward Kienholz. The Kienholz's produced large-scale installation works such as The Hoerengracht (1984-88) – a tableau of life-size figures, interiors and photographs that reflected on Amsterdam’s red-light district and stretched the length of a short city block. Following her husband’s death in 1994, Reddin Kienholz continued making art with a strong feminist output. She also managed her Edward’s estate and was an instrumental figure in the 2011 restoration of Five Car Stud (1969–72), which was installed at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art as part of the Pacific Standard Time series of exhibitions — the first time the work had been publicly seen in nearly 40 years.

Takis, the Greek artist who was a pioneer of Kinetic art during the 1950s and 60s, has died aged 93. Over a 70-year career, he was known for producing a series of antennae-like sculptures titled Signals, and musical devices using magnets, electricity and viewer participation. A self-taught artist, Takis moved to Paris in 1954 and became ‘a key figure in the artistic and literary circles of Paris, London and New York’. He used magnetic fields as a way of reinventing sculpture, and in 1960 created the ephemeral action The Impossible – Man in Space, during which he read the poem Magnetic Manifesto while suspending the poet Sinclair Beiles mid-air using a system of magnets. His most recent solo exhibitions include a survey show at Tate Modern, London (through 27 October 2019), Takis. Black and white. The fourth dimension at Xippas, Paris (2017) and Takis: Champs Magnétiques at Palais de Tokyo, Paris (2015). 

The director of National Museums Scotland (NMS) Gordon Rintoul is to step down from his position next March after 18 years in the role. Rintoul joined NMS in 2002 having previously worked at Sheffield Galleries and Museums Trust as its chief executive since 1998. At NMS, Rintoul has been responsible for four museums and overseen the National Museum of Scotland’s £80m masterplan, which completed earlier this year after 15 years of development. A statement from NMS said Rintoul would ‘pursue other opportunities’ following his departure. NMS has started its recruitment process for a new director and aims to have a successor in place by spring 2020.