March 16 | Trump dumps National Arts Endowment
As Trump submits his first federal budget plan, the US might actually wave goodbye to the National Arts Endowment. In other news, Art Basel Hong Kong takes a step into the virtual reality world, whilst Versailles announces that it will now change its format to group shows.
Trump unveils $1.15 trillion budget, eliminating Arts and Humanities Endowments
US President Donald Trump submitted his first federal budget plan this morning.
Cuts were anticipated but the proposal seeks to totally eliminate the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities. This matches reports surfacing at the end of February. It will be the first time a US president has called to end the endowments. An impromptu meeting at the N.E.A was called Wednesday March 15, where chairwoman Jane Chu broke the news to staff. According to an anonymous source, Ms. Chu made the decision to forewarn staff in order to anticipate desperate calls from grant recipients, and prepare for media interrogation. She assured staff they were to continue their work until further notice.
A lobbying campaign has already begun, initiated by arts groups seeking to put pressure on Congress. The N.E.A’s budget last year – $148 million – stood at just 0.004 percent of the the total federal budget. For further details, see The New York Times.
New York’s Sandra Gering Gallery closes this summer
After 25 years, the gallery will close formally on August 31. Located on 14 East 63rd Street, the gallery’s final show, “Eight Views of Paradise Interrupted”, will showcase visual artist Jennifer Wen Ma, from May 11 through July 28.
In a statement, Sandra Gering said, “To the many artists whose impact on the art community have enhanced and enriched my life and left footprints on the history of our world, I thank you. Art is the unity of the human spirit, and our shared efforts throughout this creative and beautiful process have been its testament.” A quarter of a century has seen Sandra Gering Inc. show artists Orlan, Leo Villareal, Xavier Veilhan, William Anastasi, KAWS, and Janine Antoni, among others.
Jennifer Wen Ma, "Sketch for Eve at the Pond", ink on plexi glass, 2017
Art collective SUPERFLEX to take over Turbine Hall at Tate Modern for 2017 Hyundai Commission
The artist collective SUPERFLEX, alias of artists Bjørnstjerne Christiansen, Jakob Fenger and Rasmus Nielsen, has been chosen to work on the 2017 Hyundai Commission at the Tate Modern's Turbine Hall, which will see them unveil their project on October 3.
Whilst the details of their project remain resolutely undisclosed, Frances Morris, the recently appointed director of Tate Modern has commented that SUPERFLEX's work "raises timely questions about the role of the artist in contemporary society, exploring how we interpret and engage with the increasingly complex world around us". One of the group's most recent installation, a giant billboard of a doctored euro coin, will hang from the side of the Hayward Gallery on London's Southbank. Last year, French artist Philippe Parreno was chosen for the Hyundai Commission. His installation Anywhen will be on show unti April 2. The Art Newspaper has more information.
Versailles announces shift to group show format
After a series of controversial solo shows – including Anish Kapoor and Jeff Koons – director Catherine Pégard has announced a new format for the exhibition.
This autumn will see Château de Versailles host a show featuring work by ten artists. With the selection still in process, artists will exhibit in the Château’s gardens under the curatorial direction of former Musée d’Art Moderne director, Alfred Pacquement, with the aid of Palais de Tokyo’s Jean de Loisy. Prior to Pégard’s appointment in 2011, Versailles was heavily criticised by French conservative press for its controversial approach to the mega summer exhibitions it has become renowned for. Details via artnet.
Jeff Koons at Versailles (2010)
Virtual Reality propelled by Google at Art Basel Hong Kong
At its upcoming 2017 edition, running from March 21 through 25, Art Basel Hong Kong looks set to join forces with Google Arts & Culture. The show, “Virtual Frontiers: Artists Experimenting With Tilt Brush,” will feature work from an array of significant contemporary artists, including Cao Fei, fresh from a retrospective at MoMA New York, and South Africa’s Robin Rhode.
Using Google’s new Tilt Brush app, which allows the user to draw and paint in a 3-D virtual space, the exhibit will also feature emerging artists such as boychild, Chinese new media artist Yang Yongliang, and the experimental painter Sun Xun.
boychild, "wire wreath" matthew josephs. © Vice Magazine
Sun Xun, "Clown’s Revolution No.1" (2010)
Miety Heiden joins Phillips after 18 years at Sotheby’s
Announced March 15, Phillips has recruited Miety Heiden as its new Head of Private Sales. Heiden joins the auction house after departing from Sotheby’s one year ago, where she was the Senior Vice President and Head of Contemporary Private Sales for North America. Her time at Sotheby’s saw an increased focus on private sales, dodging the hefty costs of staging public auctions and publishing auction catalogues.
Phillips’ CEO, Edward Dolman, cited Heiden as “uniquely suited” to her new role, focusing on developing private sales and managing relations with collectors. More info via artnet.