Art Forum: Yayoi Kusama Museum Will Open in Tokyo this October

Written by Kiara Ventura

Edited by Lauren Cavalli

Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama, is opening her own museum in the Shinjuku neighborhood of Tokyo on October 1. David Zwirner gallery, which represents Kusama, confirmed the news. Her new series of paintings, “My Eternal Soul,” will be featured in the museum’s inaugural exhibition, “Creation Is a Solitary Pursuit, Love Is What Brings You Closer to Art,” which will run October 1 through February 25.

The New York Times reports that the artist commissioned the new institution’s glowing lantern-like structure, designed by Kume Sekkei, years ago. While the five-story building was completed in 2014, Kusama has remained quiet about its purpose. She may have alluded to it in an interview with the Washington Post in February, when she was asked what had been the highlight of her career. “It’s still coming,” Kusama responded. “I’m going to create it in the future.”

The museum will be directed by the president of Tama Art University and director of the Saitama Museum of Modern Art, Tensei Tatebata. Dedicated to Kusama’s own work, the venue will mount two exhibitions each year. It will also house the artist’s popular “infinity rooms” and other installations, a reading room, and archival materials.

Published article: https://www.artforum.com/news/id=70417

 

Art Forum: Hashem El Madani (1928–2017)

Written by Kiara Ventura

Edited by Lauren Cavalli

 

Hashem El Madani, known for his portrait photography of Lebanese citizens from the mid- to late twentieth century, has died. The Arab Image Foundation, founded by artist Akram Zaatari, confirmed his death on Tuesday. The cause of his passing is still unknown, Alex Greenberger of Artnews reports.

At twenty years old, Madani established what he called a “Shehrazade,” where he photographed men, women, and children in Saida, Lebanon. He created an open studio where anyone could walk in and pose however they’d like in front of a simple backdrop. Madani captured candid photos of same-sex couples kissing, newlyweds, and the people of Saida enacting theatrical scenes that reflected the cultural and political shifts of Lebanon at the time. Despite the destruction of his studio from a bomb blast in 1982, the artist continued documenting the people of Saida. According to Madani, he took photos of about 90 percent of Saida’s inhabitants.

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In 1999, the Arab Image Foundation, an organization dedicated to the preservation of pictures related to Arab culture, began archiving Madani’s work. Zaatari has exhibited the photographer’s prints at Tate Modern and the Photographers’ Gallery in London. Madani’s photos were also featured in the New Museum’s 2014 exhibition on Middle Eastern contemporary art, “Here and Elsewhere.”

“His work told stories of time lost, voices unheard, and the unknown histories of Saida,” Sfeir-Semler Gallery, which represents Zaatari, said of Madani in a statement. “Each photograph in his immense archive showed his kindness, humor, and humanity. He will be greatly missed.”

 

Published Article: https://www.artforum.com/news/id=70264

 

Art Forum: NALAC Announces New Grants for Latinx Artists

Written by Kiara Ventura

Edited by Lauren Cavalli

Screen Shot 2017-11-10 at 1.57.39 PMThe National Association of Latino Arts and Cultures (NALAC), a San Antonio–based nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting the Latinx arts field, recently announced its twelfth funding cycle of grants. This season comes with new investments from the Andrew Mellon Foundation, which will go toward a new award category for emerging filmmakers, the NALAC Fund for the Arts (NFA), and status updates for the Transnational Cultural Remittances (TCR) and Diverse Arts Spaces (DAS) grant programs.

NALAC is one of the few organizations that offer grants specifically to Latinx artists and arts organizations across the country. This season it expanded its grant program to emerging video and filmmakers “who demonstrate a compelling body of work that contributes toward cultural understanding and social justice,” with a $10,000 award that is also supported by the Adán Medrano Legacy Award Donor Collaborative.

“As Latinx families and communities evolve, our stories become essential not just to understand our identities, but to build a just world,” Christine Ortega, a representative of the Adán Medrano Legacy Award Donor Collaborative, said. “With this fund, we hope to contribute to this process, helping spark the creative process of those just starting to share their experiences and world views.”

Presenting grants ranging from $5,000 to $15,000 this season, NALAC has awarded a total of $2.3 million to 469 Latinx artists and organizations throughout the United States, Puerto Rico, Mexico, and Central America to date. Due by October 5, the NALAC grants for this year include $5,000 to $5,400 grants for working artists and small arts organizations with budgets under $250,000; $10,000 grants to midsize and large organizations with budgets over $250,000; and $15,000 grants for artists serving as mentors to their peers. For more information visit: www.nalac.org/tcr.

 

Published article: https://www.artforum.com/news/id=70262

Art Forum: More Than Three Hundred African Artworks Gifted to Williams College Museum of Art

Written by Kiara Ventura

Edited by Lauren Cavalli

Screen Shot 2017-11-10 at 1.37.47 PMThe Williams College Museum of Art in Williamstown, Massachusetts, received a gift of more than 340 pieces of African art from doctors Carolyn and Eli Newberger. Representing various cultures of West Africa, the collection includes decorative, religious, and utilitarian objects from the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

The Newbergers began collecting in 1967, when they volunteered for the Peace Corps and lived with their infant daughter in Ouagadougou, the capital of Burkina Faso. They soon became friends with the director of the national museum there, Toumani Triandé. Under Triandé’s guidance, they collected authentic West African village artifacts. Over time they acquired works created by more than fifteen cultures, including the Ashanti, Bamana, Baule, Bobo, Dogon, Igbo, Mossi, Peul, Senufo, and Yoruba people.

“This generous gift greatly expands WCMA’s collection of African art and will be incredibly valuable not only in teaching but also in showing art that is politically, socially, and culturally relevant,” the class of 1956 director Christina Olsen said. “ We are grateful to Carolyn and Eli for their vision and generosity.”

 

Published Article: https://www.artforum.com/news/id=70237

 

Art Forum: Centre Pompidou Moves Forward with Launch of Shanghai Outpost

Written by Kiara Ventura

Edited by Lauren Cavalli

After more than a decade of negotiations, the Centre Pompidou in Paris has finalized a deal allowing it to establish its first exhibition space in China. The Paris institution and the West Bund Group in Shanghai is calling their agreement “the most important cultural exchange project” to take place between France and China.

The space is set to open in a wing of the West Bund Art Museum in 2019, and the Centre Pompidou plans to stage twenty exhibitions in its first five years. Designed by British architect David Chipperfield, the West Bund Art Museum is currently being built in Shanghai’s cultural district and is scheduled to open in 2018. The renewable five-year contract will be signed by both parties before the end of 2017.

Last year the Pompidou mounted its first show in China. Titled “Masterpieces from the Centre Pompidou 1906–77,” the exhibition featured works by Marcel Duchamp, Pablo Picasso, and other well-known artists at the Shanghai Exhibition Center.

 

This article was originally posted on Art Forum’s site.

Art Forum: Nazarian Family Gifts CSUN’s Valley Performing Arts Center $17 Million

Written by Kiara Ventura

Edited by Lauren Cavalli

The Valley Performing Arts Center at California State University, Northridge received a $17 million gift from first-generation Iranian immigrants Younes and Soraya Nazarian last Tuesday, Jeffrey Fleishman of the LA Times reports. The donation is the largest single arts gift ever awarded to the state’s university system.

Younes Nazarian, head of the Los Angeles–based Nazarian Enterprises, which invests in alternative energy, logistics technology, aerospace, and real estate, and his wife Soraya Nazarian, a sculptor who often works with Italian marble, fled their home in Tehran during the 1979 Iranian Revolution and migrated to California.

Four decades after the revolution, the Nazarians decided it was time to give back to their community. With their contribution to the 1,700-seat Valley Performing Arts Center, the couple hopes to boost the center’s visibility and strengthen its programming. Younes and Soraya’s daughter Sharon Nazarians, the president of the Y&S Nazarian Family Foundation, said, “Los Angeles is a very invigorating place to be in terms of art. It wasn’t always like that. When we first came from Iran, LA was not really well known as a mecca of the art world. But I think today we’re a serious player. The creativity California represents is penetrating the arts world.”

For Thor Steingraber, executive director of VPAC, the Nazarians’ commitment highlights the center’s status as a leading San Fernando Valley venue that showcases diverse programs that reflect the community. “The Nazarians are an immigrant family. That sentence means a lot,” said Steingraber. “It’s important and exciting to have a major donor who shares our values around the diversity of the American tapestry. The Valley is changing so quickly right now.”

The Nazarians have been longtime supporters of the Southern California art scene. Previously, they donated to the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the Skirball Cultural Center through the Y&S Nazarian Family Foundation. The center at Cal State Northridge, which has staged performances by a variety of artists including Chinese classical pianist Yuja Wang, the Russian National Orchestra, and Mariachi Vargas and Pakistan’s Sachal Jazz Ensemble, will be renamed the Younes and Soraya Nazarian Center for the Performing Arts, or “the Soraya” for short.

This article was originally posted on Art Forum’s site.

Art Forum: Cultural Leaders Fight to Protect Free Movement of Artists Post-Brexit

Written by Kiara Ventura

Edited by Lauren Cavalli

More than four hundred cultural, educational, and scientific organizations and representatives from across Europe have endorsed “Our Shared European Future,” a series of recommendations for Brexit negotiators in the European Union and the UK, which calls for the protection of cultural exchange across borders.

The document urges politicians to introduce measures such as cultural and educational permits, which will allow people and assets operating in the education, science, culture, and research sectors to continue to move with ease between the UK and the EU. It also calls for the UK to continue contributing to multilateral programs such as Creative Europe so that it may remain effective and UK institutions and individuals can remain eligible for inclusion in its programming. In addition, the cultural leaders are calling for the UK to guarantee residency for EU nationals working in the UK as well as British nationals working in the EU.

Other key recommendations include engaging with young people on post-Brexit policy-making; maintaining equal intellectual property and copyright laws between the UK and EU; and consulting with leaders and experts in the arts, education, science, and research fields in order to make informed decisions.

“For centuries, British scholars, scientists, artists have worked and shared ideas with their European counterparts, producing an untold number of scientific breakthroughs, academic achievements and great works of art, enriching us culturally and economically,” the communiqué states. “This exchange of ideas and creativity has survived wars and revolutions. We must ensure it survives Brexit, and indeed future challenges in a changing Europe.”

Among the organizations and individuals supporting the call are the UK’s Victoria and Albert Museum, the Tate, the British Museum, the National Portrait Gallery, and the Art Fund, as well as the European Cultural Foundation, Netherlands; Culture Action Europe, Belgium; the Slovak Arts Council, Slovakia; the National Theater of Budapest, Romania; the National Gallery of Ireland, the Republic of Ireland; the Serralves Museum of Contemporary Art, Portugal; and a number of universities.

Since it was published earlier this month, the document has been submitted to Brexit negotiators in the UK and EU, including the UK government and the European Parliament’s Committee on Culture and Education.

At a conference for the Creative Industries Federation in London on July 12, Nicholas Serota, the chair of Arts Council England, and Tristram Hunt, the director of the V&A Museum, discussed the cultural impact of Brexit. Serota, who resigned as director of the Tate last year, said that Brexit “reminded us of how valuable international work and exchange has become for the quality, diversity, and strength of our national culture. A two-way flow of talent is crucial to the arts in Britain. It is the interaction of forces that has made British culture so rich and increasingly complex.”

In an attempt to prevent the UK’s cultural scene from becoming “stagnate” and “irrelevant to a changing world,” Serota announced that Arts Council England is creating a Creative Practitioners Fund for creatives to “experience the value of working abroad.”

This article was originally posted on Art Forum’s site.