February 24 | Marlborough London and New York become one
Where do we begin? Marlborough Chelsea (New York) and Marlborough Contemporary (London) are now going to be collectively known as Marlborough Contemporary, Art Basel Hong Kong has revealed an exciting film program for 2017, whilst US senators defend the nation’s arts funding, threatened by the Trump administration.
Marlborough UK and US to merge
Marlborough Contemporary, London and Marlborough Chelsea, New York, have announced they will now be jointly known as Marlborough Contemporary.
Both galleries will now be called Marlborough Contemporary and will be led by Max Levai and Pascal Spengemann. Ed Spurr, formerly of Matthew Marks Gallery, will also join Marlborough Contemporary as a Director in London. The galleries will run a coordinated programme, with the first season of London programming focusing on a group of contemporary American artists making their first solo debuts in London. This series will open on April 27th with an exhibition of new work by Sarah Braman.
News of Art Basel’s HK film program
Art Basel Hong Kong has revealed details of the film program for its fifth edition, which will run from March 20 to 25, 2017.
The program features three feature-length films and 34 short films and video works, which have been selected from the fair’s participating galleries and curated by multimedia artist and producer Li Zhenhua. Some of the highlights include Scottish director Kevin Macdonald’s Sky Ladder: The Art of Cai Guo-Qiang (2016), in which Macdonald traces the making of artist Cai Guo-Qiang’s most ambitious work to date: a ladder composed of fireworks which stretched 1,650 feet into the air. The short film program will feature 11 films grouped under the heading Anthropocene, which will explore the many ways in which humans have affected—and continue to affect—the environment. Among those whose work features in Anthropocene are the collective GCC, represented by London’s Project Native Informant, and Galleria Continua’s Hans Op de Beeck. Further details on artnet News.
Sky Ladder, realized at Huiyu Island Harbour, Quanzhou, Fujian, June 15, 2015 at 4:49 am, approximately 2 minutes and 30 seconds. Photos by Lin Yi & Wen-You Cai, courtesy Cai Studio
Wix buys DeviantArt
Israeli DIY website building company Wix Ltd. has acquired Los Angeles-based company DeviantArt, one of the largest online communities for artists and art enthusiasts.
Deviant art currently boasts over 325 million individual pieces of original art and more than 40 million registered members. Wix has acquired 100% of DeviantArt's capital stock in exchange for $36 million in cash, including $3 million of assumed liabilities. Wix will provide DeviantArt users with access to powerful tools specifically designed to help emerging artists showcase their creativity online and build their brands. More information via Globes.
Huge loses for Russian collector
Only two years after the Russian fertilizer magnate Dmitry Rybolovlev sued art dealer Yves Bouvier for overcharging him by a total of $1 billion, he has already sold three paintings for a loss totaling an estimated $100 million.
As revealed by Bloomberg’s Katya Kazakina, Rybolovlev is offering five further works at Christie’s auctions in London starting next week, some for a fraction of their purchase prices, including a Rodin sculpture and paintings by Gauguin, Picasso, René Magritte and Mark Rothko. The 1938 Magritte Le domaine d’Arnheim — which Rybolovlev bought for $43.5 million — is estimated by Christie’s at between $8.1 million and $10.6 million. Bloomberg has the full story. In further news of Christie’s, Kazakina has revealed that Francis Bacon triptych of his lover George Dyer from 1963 will go on sale at Christie’s New York in May, and is expected to fetch around $70 million. More details here.
Francis Bacon, Three Studies for a Portrait of George Dyer, 1964. Image via Christie's
Two prize winners have been announced at the 2017 edition of ARCO in Madrid.
The illy SustainArt Award was given to Colombian-born artist Ivan Argote, who was showing with Galeria ADN from Barcelona. The ARCO Community of Madrid Prize, which recognizes talented young artists under 40, was awarded to Spanish artist Julia Spínola for her works De perfil de canto and Riber (2017), and Beirut-based artist Lawrence Abu Hamdan.
New director for Dia Foundation
The New York-based Dia Art Foundation has named Courtney J. Martin, currently an assistant professor in the history of art and architecture department at Brown University, as the foundation’s deputy director and chief curator.
Martin will head up the curatorial department and oversee the collections, exhibition programming, and the acquisition of new works. She replaces James Meyer, who will become Dia's curatorial and academic advisor in September. Martin, who specializes in 20th century British art, has published numerous essays on the work of artists including Kader Attia, Rina Banerjee, Ed Ruscha, and Yinka Shonibare. Artforum has further details.
24 US Senators defend arts funding
Following the Trump administration’s decision to move forward with its plan to scrap the National Endowment for the Arts and Humanities (NEA and NEH), a bipartisan group of 24 US senators, led by New York’s Kirsten Gillibrand, have written a letter to the president imploring him to reconsider.
The NEA and NEH are among nine agencies reportedly targeted by the administration for elimination as part of an effort to curb government spending. The letter makes the case for the vital importance of government funding to the arts, outlining the crucial scholarly and cultural work the organizations have fostered over their 50 year history. The senators also draw attention to the economic benefit of the two federal agencies: “The nonprofit arts industry alone produces $135 billion in economic activity annually and generates $22.3 billion in government revenue. The arts spur tourism, prepare our students for the innovative thinking required in the 21st century workplace, and employ more than 4 million people in the creative industries nationally.” Read the full letter on The Art Newspaper.
Austrian born artist, writer and curator Armin Medosch has passed away aged 54.
His work and writing explores media art and network culture since the mid-1980s. In 1996, he cofounded the award winning international online magazine Telepolis, which offered a critical outlook on the social, political, cultural and artistic aspects of the digital age. He curated “Waves – The Art of the Electromagnetic Society,” a large group exhibition of digital art held in Riga (2006) and Dortmund (2008). Find out more about Medosch via fact.
Image via FMK interview with Medosch
Shia LaBeouf’s anti-Trump performance comes to a temporary halt (again)
Shia LaBeouf’s anti-Trump performance installation, which has already been the site of many violent altercations, was temporarily shut down in response to gunshots reportedly nearby on Thursday morning.
Twenty-four hours later, the livestream was turned back on and the art piece recommenced. The anti-Trump performance was forced to relocate from its former home at New York’s Museum of the Moving Image after becoming “a flashpoint for violence.” It is now taking place in Albuquerque's El Rey Theatre. artnet News has more.