Week in Review is a weekly collection of news, developments, and stirrings in the art world. Subscribe to receive these posts as a weekly newsletter.
Honoring the Lives of Hate Crime Victims
A portrait by Amanda Phingbodhipakkiya on the cover of TIME Magazine reflects on the rise of anti-Asian violence. The kaleidoscopic painting honors the lives of Ashley Yaun, Xiaojie Tan, Daoyou Feng, and three other Asian women brutally murdered by a white gunman targeting Atlanta massage parlors.
In the wake of the massacre, the deadly consequences of racism and misogyny have come into the media spotlight. Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, hate crimes targeting Asians and Asian Americans have increased exponentially. Arts organizations like StopDiscriminAsian and NYC’s Museum of Chinese in America have directed their resources to document and combat the rise of violence against AAPI groups, which has been exacerbated by xenophobic and destructive hostility by politicians and pundits like Donald Trump.
Behind the scenes of Theater of Operations: The Gulf Wars 1991–2011 at MoMA PS1, several artists included in the exhibition confronted leadership over Chairman Leon Black’s implication in the Iraq War. The artists say they were ignored and demeaned after speaking up about the trustee’s ownership of a security firm linked to untold carnage in Iraq.
A recording of a confidential meeting at the Detroit Institute of Art last November, leaked and published by the Metro Times, elucidated a toxic workplace culture, including descriptions of director Salvador Salort-Pons’s leadership as “erratic, autocratic, condescending” and “intolerant of dissent.”
Six artists and dozens of members of an artist collective withdrew from an exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago in solidarity with workers at the museum who have been laid off over the past year, many of whom are people of color.
Several crypto-art collectors claim they had their non-fungible tokens (NFTs) stolen by hackers of the digital marketplace Nifty Gateway, with little recourse to get them back.
A recent analysis ranked the world’s 20 most Instagrammed art museums, starting with the Louvre.
In a proposed amendment for Purdue Pharma’s bankruptcy restructuring plan, 23 states are calling to protect nonprofits that choose to drop the Sackler name. Artist advocacy organization PAIN said the amendment’s passing would “be like a magic wand freeing museums of honoring the Sackler name.”
Artforum has settled an unlawful retaliation lawsuit brought by its former employee Amanda Schmitt in 2017 for an undisclosed amount. Schmitt accused Artforum’s former co-owner and publisher Knight Landesman of sexually harassing her and retaliating against her when she and other women went public with the allegations.
In Other News
The new Institute of Contemporary Art, San Diego, will open in September, citing the area’s expansive Latinx history as central to its identity and mission.
The Al Thani Collection, a Qatari foundation, stepped in to prevent the deaccession of Islamic artifacts by the Museum of Islamic Art in Jerusalem.
Using X-ray technology, researchers have been able to examine letters that were previously impenetrable through modes of “letterlocking,” a means of folding paper correspondence so that they serve as their own envelopes.
Awards & Accolades
- The World Photography Organisation has announced the category winners and shortlist in the Open competition of the Sony World Photography Awards 2021. | WPO
- The Institute of Museum and Library Services announced the 30 finalists for the 2021 National Medal for Museum and Library Service. | IMLS
- Louis Grachos was appointed executive director of SITE Santa Fe.
- Deana Haggag stepped down as president and CEO of United States Artists. She will join the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation as a program officer in arts and culture. | Hyperallergic
- Ficus Interfaith is now represented by Deli Gallery.
- Naudline Pierre is now represented by James Cohan Gallery.
- Philemona Williamson is now represented by Jenkins Johnson Gallery. | Culture Type
- Patrick Dupond (1959–2021), ballet dancer and director of the Paris Opera Ballet | New York Times
- Leon Gast (1936–2021), director of the Oscar-winning When We Were Kings | New York Times
- Flory Jagoda (1923–2021), singer, songwriter, guitarist, and accordionist who preserved Sephardic Jewish music traditions | NPR
- Yaphet Kotto (1939–2021), actor known for roles in Alien and the James Bond film Live and Let Die | Variety
- Carmel Quinn (1925–2021), Irish singer and storyteller | Irish Times
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