InstitutionsArtists 01-12-2016

December 1 | Senegalese artist Ousmane Sow passes away

The art world loses two important figures, Kader Attia accuses a French rapper of plagiarism, and plans for a seafront Helsinki Guggenheim appear dead in the water.


Senegalese artist Ousmane Sow — one of the most important figures in contemporary sculpture — has passed away aged 81. Born in Dakar in 1938, Sow started his artistic career relatively late, producing his first significant series of works in the early 1980s. He was known for his monumental sculptures of warrior-like figures. In a landmark moment in 2013, Sow was made a member of the Académie des Beaux-arts, making him the first African to be elected to membership. More information (in French) via Le Monde.


Alabama-born photographer William Christenberry has passed away, aged 80. Christenberry was best known for his depictions of the Alabama landscape. Initially trained a painter, Christenberry began to work predominantly in photography after discovering the 1941 Walker Evans book Let Us Now Praise Famous Men in 1960, which was shot in Hale County, Alabama. Read more on Artforum.


The Prado loses an old friend

Miguel Zugaza has announced he will be stepping down as director of Madrid’s Museo del Prado.


Zugaza, who was at the helm of the Prado for over 15 years, will leave the museum next year, remaining until a successful replacement candidate is found. He will return to the Bilbao Fine Arts Museum, which he directed from 1995 to 2001, replacing Javier Viar Olloqui, who will be retiring soon. Miguel Falomir, the museum’s deputy editor, is tipped as Zugaza’s most likely replacement. Find out more on artnet News.



The French-Algerian artist Kader Attia has accused the rapper Dosseh of plagiarizing one of his artworks in a scene from the music video Putain d’époque.


In the clip in question — which features young French rapper Nekfeu — a large group of people stand in formation wearing hooded aluminium foil garments. The scene from the video resembles Attia’s 2007 work Ghost, which depicts a group of muslim women kneeling in prayer, their bodies rendered as faceless tin foil shells. Attia commented to the French press: “It makes me very unhappy to have to demand that a clip stops being broadcast. But as artists, it is crucial that we stand up against unsolicited uses of our work.” More information (in French) via Le Monde.

Kader Attia's Ghost installation (2007)


New York-based digital arts organization Rhizome announced that is has received a $200,000 grant, hired three new staff members, and added two new members to its board. 

The grant was provided by the Knight Foundation, which funds innovative projects in the arts, technology and journalism. The $200,000 will help Rhizome to continue developing its new Webrecorder project, which helps preserve digital information such as personalized or interactive content. Martine Syms, a video and performance artist, and Josh Wolfe, a co-founder of technology and science firm Lux, have been elected to Rhizome’s board. More info on Rhizome’s blog. To find out more about Rhizome’s current online exhibition, click here.


Big change for Art Miami

The director of Art Miami Nick Korniloff announced today that the fair will move to a new, more prestigious location just north of the Pérez Art Museum Miami on Biscayne Bay.


The move is part of a multi-year agreement with Resorts World Miami, which will host Art Miami and its sister fair, Context, during Miami Art Week 2017 and in the years that follow. The new location will offer more space for the fair’s ever-expanding exhibitor numbers. Read more on artnet News.


Plans for Helsinki Guggenheim are scuppered

Plans to build a Guggenheim museum in Helsinki have been rejected.
The project encountered its first big set-back in September 2016, when the populist Finns — one of Finland’s three governing parties — vetoed a request to put forward $53 million for the project. Yesterday evening the project hit a dead end when Finnish lawmakers voted down a proposal to pay for the $138 million museum with a mixture of private and public money. For now, the plans will be abandoned. The New York Times has the full story.
Design for Helsinki Guggenheim 
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