October 12 | Njideka Akunyili Crosby, Trevor Paglen and Dawoud Bey receive the MacArthur “Genius” Fellowship 2017
Three artists are among the recipients of the 2017 MacArthur “Genius” Fellowships — one of the world’s most prestigious awards. In other news, Los Angeles’ gentrification continues to cause a stir among the local community, whereas the New Museum has chosen the architecture firm that will be in charge of its $85 million expansion.
Three artists receive the 2017 “Genius” fellowships
Each year, mathematicians, historians, anthropologists, journalists but also artists are awarded a MacArthur “Genius” Fellowship. This year, artists Njideka Akunyili Crosby, Trevor Paglen and Dawoud Bey are among the recipients of the $650,000 grants, recognizing the work of “talented individuals who have shown extraordinary originality and dedication in their creative pursuits and a marked capacity for self-direction”. Crosby, Paglen and Bey follow in the footsteps of past fellows Bill Viola, David Hammons, Vija Celmins, Kerry James Marshall, Kara Walker, Mark Bradford and Carrie Mae Weems.
The work of the Nigerian-born, Los Angeles-based painter Njideka Akunyili Crosby was described as expressing “the hybridity characteristics of transnational experience through choices of subject matter, materials, and techniques.” Paglen was awarded a fellowship for his work, exploring the complicated issue of mass surveillance in its relationship with individual rights. Lastly, Dawoud Bey was described as “a photographer and educator whose portraits of people, many from marginalized communities, compel viewers to consider the reality of the subjects’ own social presence and histories.” More on the 2017 fellowships here.
Trevor Paglen, NSA/GCHQ Surveillance Base, Bude, Cornwall, UK, 2014 — Courtesy of the Artist, Metro Pictures, New York and Altman Siegel, San Francisco.
In Boyle Heights (Los Angeles) activists continue to wage war against gentrification
Photo courtesy of Heather M. O'Brien, member of Los Angeles Tenants Union/Sindicato de Inquilinos LA and School of Echoes.
Earlier this year, we featured a piece on the Boyle Heights activists pushing back against the gentrification of the area, which has long been seen as the heart of LA’s Mexican-American community. Last week, a talk organized by independent publisher Semiotext(e) with Chris Kraus and Bruce Hainley at gallery 356 S. Mission Rd. was cancelled following pressure from activists. Read more on LA Weekly.
OMA to design New Museum expansion
The architecture firm led by Rem Koolhaas and Shohei Shigematsu will be in charge of the construction works for the New Museum’s $85 million expansion. The institution has raised more than 50% of the costs and it expects to break ground on the new project in 2019. Director Lisa Phillips has said ““OMA is a great choice for our next building. Koolhaas has thought deeply about the identity and landscape of our city, going back to his landmark book Delirious New York, published in 1978, a year after the Museum’s founding. Though he is one of the world’s finest architects with a deeply civic and public spirit, this will be his first public building in New York City.” Read more on The New York Times.
The New Museum and its new building on the right.