ArtistsInstitutions 10-03-2017

March 10 | London’s Royal College of Art is the world’s leading university for art and design

In today’s news: Jeff Koons is once again in legal trouble, and this time, he has dragged Paris’ Centre Pompidou down with him. Elsewhere, Jenny Holzer stands out for entirely different reasons: she will be the first woman artist to be featured at Blenheim Palace, following in the footsteps of Ai Weiwei, Lawrence Weiner, and Michelangelo Pistoletto. As for the Royal College of Art, the institution is recognized as the world’s leading in the arts. Great way to celebrate turning 180!

The Royal College of Art in London named the world’s leading university of Art and Design, 2017

As the College celebrates its 180th anniversary, the QS World University Rankings affirms the RCA as the world’s leading university in art and design.

With 45% of their graduates starting their own businesses in the creative and design industry, the College remains at the forefront of innovation in the arts. For details, see The RCA.  


Sir Howard Hodgkin has passed away

A pioneer of British contemporary art, Sir Howard Hodgkin passed away yesterday at age 84, just a couple of weeks after returning to the UK from India.

Part of a generation of artists who rose to prominence in the 50s and 60s, including David Hockney and Peter Blake, Hodgkin’s success came a little later. Born in London 1932, Hodgkin was evacuated during the second world war to the US, returning to study at the Camberwell School of Art. His most sustained engagement with a place though came with his travels to India. Profoundly influenced by Indian views and experiences Hodgkin’s work is dominated by bright colours and intense expressions.

Hodgkin maintained a strong, virulent practice right up until his death. Hence, 2017 will see two major exhibitions of his work: one later this month at the National Portrait Gallery (London);  the other opening at the Hepworth Wakefield in June, exploring the influence of India on Hodgkin’s work. For a full obituary, see The Guardian article.


Howard Hodgkin, “Portrait of the artist” (1984-87) Private Collection © Howard Hodgkin


Jeff Koons and Centre Pompidou condemned by French Courts for plagiarism

Slammed with a number of fines, it has been reported that Jeff Koons and the Centre Pompidou will be made liable for plagiarism charges brought against them by French photographer Jean-François Bauret’s estate. Koon’s sculpture “Naked” (1988) was deemed a “counterfeit” by the District Court in Paris yesterday, March 9. Just over a meter high, the porcelain sculpture represents two naked children exchanging a bouquet of flowers. In 2008, a copy of the work was sold for $8 million.

Part of the artist’s Banality series, the works have become somewhat infamous for their misuse of copyright images. Over the past 30 years, the artist has been served four separate lawsuits for this series alone.

Jeff Koons LLC, whose manager is the managing director of the Centre Pompidou, will have to pay €20,000 (about $21,200) in damages, and €20,000 to cover legal costs. A €4,000 fine was subsequently added on account of the artwork being reproduced on his website.

More information on the Guardian.


A post worth €4,000. Image of Jeff Koon’s online reproduction of “Naked” (1988)


American artist Jenny Holzer to present a major solo exhibition at Blenheim Palace

Director of Blenheim Art Foundation, Michael Frahm, welcomes Jenny Holzer to showcase her work as “one of art’s strongest and most unique voices since the 1980s.”

Holzer will be the first female artist to take on the Palace’s grand eighteenth-century interior and grounds in Oxfordshire, South East England. Following in the footsteps of Ai Weiwei, Lawrence Weiner, and Michelangelo Pistoletto, Holzer will be the fourth contemporary artist to exhibit a solo show.

The show, “Jenny Holzer at Blenheim Palace”, will feature her signature LED signs, alongside new site-specific works, in an attempt to address directly the space’s political and military past, highlighting the themes of power, conflict, and activism in her practice. Details available via The Blenheim Palace website.


Jenny Holzer, “Siena” (2009) from the series “Projections”. © Attilio Maranzano


Pioneer Works in Brooklyn to hire Sheetal Prajapati

Prajapati will begin next week at the research center in contemporary art, based in Brooklyn. Taking on the role of Director of Public Engagement, Prajapati will work on their education and arts program, with a “commitment to cultural access through inclusive community engagement.”

Recently elected to sit on the artist and community council of the Laundromat Project, based in New York, Prajapati also holds a position at the Moore College of Art and Design in Philadelphia as an Associate Professor. Information via artNews.

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