Briefing

Hilton Als wins the Pulitzer Prize for Criticism; the Association of Hysteric Curators protests Carl Andre show

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Hilton Als, New York City, 2005. Photograph: Dominique Nabokov

Hilton Als, New York City, 2005. Photograph: Dominique Nabokov

Hilton Als, the theatre critic and staff writer for The New Yorker, has been awarded the Pulitzer Prize in Criticism for his ‘bold original reviews that strove to put stage dramas within a real-world cultural context, particularly the shifting landscape of gender, sexuality, and race.’ Als began contributing to The New Yorker in 1989, writing pieces for the Talk of the Town section. He became a staff writer for the publication in 1994 and a theatre critic in 2002. Prior to joining the weekly, Als was a staff writer for the Village Voice,  editor at large at Vibe, and a contributing writer for Artforum from 1989 to 2005.

documenta 14 has been criticized by a group of artists for its silence following a series of evictions of artists and raids on buildings housing refugees in the city, according to Artforum. Addressed to ‘all Documenta 14 visitors, participants, and cultural workers’, the letter from Artists Against Evictions states: ‘The silence of Documenta is not acceptable and only goes further to accommodate Mayor Kaminis, the State, the Church, and the NGOs who stand against us and force thousands into segregated concentration camps, prepped and ready for the very bodies your director says he’s trying to protect. Kaminis had said that refugees occupying municipality-owned buildings are ‘degrading the city.’

Carl Andre’s exhibition at the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art was met by protests at its opening last week. Protesters unfurled a long piece of white fabric with silhouettes of bodies outside the museum’s entrance and handed out postcards featuring images of Ana Mendieta, the celebrated feminist artist and wife of Andre who fell to her death from the New York City apartment the couple shared in 1985. They read: ‘Carl Andre is at MoCA Geffen. ¿Dónde está Ana Mendieta? (Where is Ana Mendieta?).’ Andre, who was married to Mendieta at the time of her death, was charged with second-degree murder, but acquitted in 1988.

The Association of Hysteric Curators – a group of Los Angeles-based artists and curators who champion women’s issues and the representation of the female body in art – wrote, in an an open letter to the director of MoCA, Philippe Vergne: ‘The choice of the museum to bring an Andre show to Los Angeles in this context communicates to us, as feminists, that the museum has no allegiance to women or victims of domestic abuse. As the director of a nationally recognized institution as powerful as MoCA, you have an obligation to symbolically stem the tide of increasingly violent, racist, and misogynistic attitudes throughout the United States.’

Pawel Machcewicz has been dismissed from his role as director of the newly-opened Second World War Museum in Gdansk, one of the worlds largest historical museums. The move comes shortly after a court ruling paved the way for a controversial merger with the still-unbuilt Westerplatte Museum, allowing Poland’s right-wing PiS government to create a new state-sanctioned institution. The nationalistic PiS government has been a critic of Machcewicz and the Second World War Museum describing its permanent exhibition as ‘too universal’.

The National Gallery in London is considering a major renovation project to increase exhibition space. The proposed site is an office building it owns behind the Sainsbury Wing which houses the museum’s 100 staff and which it rents out to other businesses. Speaking to the Art Newspaper Gabriele Finaldi, the National Gallery’s director, says that the proposed site ‘offers opportunities’ for a much-needed expansion now that visitor numbers have jumped from 4.5 million in 1991, the year the Sainsbury Wing opened, to around six million today. ‘We have not yet made plans or commissioned architects, but the idea is in our minds and beginning to take shape,’ he says.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York will show Native American Art alongside art by artists of European descent for the first time. The museum has announced the promised gift of 91 works of Native American art from Charles and Valerie Diker, will be added to its American Wing which is currently home to artists such as Gilbert Stuart and John Singer Sargent. Currently, indigenous American art is shown in the Arts of Africa, Oceania and the Americas galleries.

Gallery News:

David Zwirner is opening a third space in New York, returning to the Upper East side. The new gallery will be at 34 East 69th Street, in the former Richard L. Feigen & Co gallery.

Philipp Haverkampf, a former partner in Berlin’s Contemporary Fine Arts (CFA) gallery for 17 years, has opened his own gallery in Charlottenburg.

CFA is also leaving its David Chipperfield-designed location adjacent to Berlin’s Museum Island and relocating to its smaller space in Charlottenburg.

Ceri Hand, associate director of Simon Lee gallery, is leaving to become Director of Programmes at Somerset House, London. Hand ran her own eponymous gallery in London from 200814.

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