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Briefing

Tate St Ives reopens today; the Philadelphia Museum of Art begins a USD$196 million expansion project

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Rendering of Tate St Ives’s planned renovation. Courtesy: Tate

Rendering of Tate St Ives’s planned renovation. Courtesy: Tate

Tate St. Ives reopens today, following an 18-month, GBP£20 million renovation project which will see its exhibition space double when fully completed in October. Opening today is a solo show by Jessica Warboys and the group show ‘That Continuous Thing’ exploring 100 years of the ceramics studio, curated by Sam Thorne with UK artists Aaron Angell and Jesse Wine. In October, a semi-permanent display of work will focus on artists of the St. Ives School including works by Barbara Hepworth and Naum Gabo. The museum’s director, Mark Osterfield, said the refurbishment will ‘re-present the story about why St. Ives is significant in the story of modern art, in an international context.’ Eldred Evans and David Shalev, the venue’s original architects, oversaw its remodelling. Anne Barlow, the former director of New York’s Art in General, will take over as Tate St Ives artistic director next month.

Following Donald Trump’s plans to scrap the NEA in his first budget proposal as President, a march has taken place in Boston, calling for increased state funding for culture. Advocates are urging the state to allocate USD$16 million for the Massachusetts Cultural Council next year, nearly USD$2 million more than the council’s current budget. ‘The news coming out of Washington, DC, has a lot of people thinking about their core values,’ said Matthew Wilson, executive director of the arts advocacy group MassCreative, which organized the event. ‘A number of issues may be falling to the states, and we’re looking for state leaders to tap into the vast resources of the arts and culture community.’ Combined annual budgets for the endowments, which is around USD$300 million, is 0.003 per cent of the nearly USD$4 trillion total in annual discretionary spending in the US. PEN, an organization of writers and editors championing freedom of expression, has organized a petition calling for the preservation of the NEA which has received close to 240,000 signatures so far.

The Turner Prize is doing away with its rule that states only artists under 50 are eligible for the award. It is also expanding its judging parameters meaning that the selection panel will also take into consideration works created for the Turner Prize exhibition (previously artists were only judged on the show they were nominated for). Director of Tate Britain and chair of the Turner prize jury Alex Farquharson told the Guardian that it was the right time to make a change. ‘The Turner prize has always championed emerging artists,’ he said. ‘Now that its reputation is so firmly established, we want to acknowledge the fact that artists can experience a breakthrough in their work at any stage.’ The changes were announced along with the jury for the 2018 prize – novelist Tom McCarthy; Lisa Le Feuvre, head of sculpture studies at the Henry Moore Institute; Elena Filipovic, director of Kunsthalle Basel and Oliver Basciano, art critic and international editor of ArtReview. The nominees for the prize will be announce in May.

Clashes between Chinese authorities and artists broke out on Wednesday, as artists Shen Jingdong and Cao Zhiwen tried to prevent the demolition of their home and studio in the Songzhuang district of Beijing, according to ArtAsiaPacific. A number of protesters were injured and two were arrested after hundreds of local artists answered Shen and Cao’s call for help on the social media platform WeChat. Despite the artists’ efforts to try and halt the demolition, their belongings were dumped on the street and the studio was bulldozed which is located in one of Beijing’s largest artist communities. Government officials are claiming the building was condemned because of illegal construction and did not offer the artists any compensation.

The Centro Botín, the new home for the arts and educational programming of Spain’s Fundación Botín – a private cultural foundation – will open in June. The building is Pritzker Prize-winning architect Renzo Piano’s first completed project in Spain. Located on the waterfront in Santander, the capital of Cantabria, Centro Botín boasts 27,000-square feet of gallery space, a 300-seat auditorium, classrooms, workspaces, a shop, a rooftop terrace, and a restaurant. Three exhibitions will inaugurate the space: a permanent sculptural intervention by Cristina Iglesias, a selection of works by Carsten Höller, and 80 Francisco Goya drawings from the foundation and the Museo del Prado’s permanent collections.  

The Philadelphia Museum of Art is beginning a $196 million expansion project— designed by architect Frank Gehry and scheduled to be completed by 2020. Plans include a vaulted walkway and a two-story public area known as the ‘The Forum’. Overall, more than 23,000 square feet of gallery space will be added, allowing the museum more room to display works from its collection of American art. The project, is supported by a USD$525 million fundraising campaign; the institution already having raised more than $326 million, or just over 62 percent of its goal. 

Edinburgh Art Festival (EAF), the largest annual festival of visual art in the UK, has announced details of its 14th edition, with 45 exhibitions spread across more than 35 venues. The festival runs 27 July – 27 August 2017. Highlights include: Jac Leirner at The Fruitmarket Gallery; Charlotte Barker at Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop; Pablo Bronstein at Jupiter Artland; Ed Ruscha at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art; Patrick Staff at Collective; Douglas Gordon and Graham Fagen at Scottish National Portrait Gallery; Stephen Sutcliffe at Talbot Rice Gallery and winner of the 2016 Margaret Tait Prize, Kate Davis, at Stills.

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