Briefing

Barkley L. Hendricks has died; the Tate faces a lawsuit from its neighbours

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Barkley L. Hendricks, Sweet Thang (Lynn Jenkins), 1975-76, oil on linen, 1.3 x 1.3 m. Courtesy: © Barkley L. Hendricks and Jack Shainman Gallery, New York

Barkley L. Hendricks, Sweet Thang (Lynn Jenkins), 1975-76, oil on linen, 1.3 x 1.3 m. Courtesy: © Barkley L. Hendricks and Jack Shainman Gallery, New York

Barkley L. Hendricks has died, aged 72. Born in 1945, the artist received his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from Yale University and served as Professor Emeritus of Studio Art at Connecticut College. Known for his life-size portraits of well-dressed black subjects, portraying aspects of black music, fashion and culture from the late ’60s onwards, Hendricks’s work was included in the influential show ‘Black Male: Representations of Masculinity in Contemporary American Art’ at the Whitney Museum of American Art in 1994. A retrospective of his work, titled ‘Barkley L. Hendricks: Birth of the Cool,’ opened at the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University in 2008 and travelled to the Studio Museum in Harlem, the Santa Monica Museum of Art, the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, and the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston. ‘He was a true artist’s artist, always dedicated to his singular vision; he was a figurative painter when it was trendy and especially when it wasn’t,’ said his gallerist Jack Shainman.

The Tate is facing a lawsuit by five residents of a luxury apartment building next door to the new Tate Modern extension. The writ claims that the 360-degree viewing deck at the top of the Switch House is in breach of their human rights, putting them under ‘near constant surveillance’ and turning their homes into ‘goldfish bowls.’ Opened last summer, the Herzog & de Meuron-designed extension overlooks the neighbouring Neo Bankside apartments. Featuring floor-to-ceiling windows, the apartments are reportedly priced between GBP£1.5 and £19 million (about USD$1.9 and $25 million).  The residents say gallery visitors have used binoculars to look into their homes and have taken pictures of their flats and posted them on social media.

Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, the Turkish President recently granted a sweeping set of powers in a closely-fought constitutional referendum, will build a museum commemorating last summer’s failed coup when a faction of the Turkish military tried to overthrow him. Called the Museum of the 15 July: Martyrs and Democracy, and based in the outskirts of Ankara, it will host temporary and permanent exhibitions commemorating the ‘martyrs and warriors’ of last summer’s coup. Work on the project, set to cost 10 million Turkish liras (roughly GBP£2.1 million), is scheduled to start this June with an opening date scheduled for the end of 2018. Nearly 240 people died during the attempted coup, and some 35,000 people were subsequently detained, many of them artists and journalists.

Animal Liberation Tasmania, an activist group, has started a petition calling for the cancellation of a performance by Viennese Actionist Hermann Nitsch. The work, titled 150.Action, is part of ‘Dark Mofo’ a yearly festival organized by the Museum of Old and New in Hobart in June. Its centrepiece features the carcass of a bull slaughtered for the performance. Defending the work the creative director of the festival, Leigh Carmichael, said, ‘the animal to be used is specifically on the market for slaughter. The carcass will be sourced locally, and the animal will be killed humanely, adhering to Australian standards.’ In 2015 a Nitsch exhibition at the Museo Jumex in Mexico City was cancelled after a petition was organized accusing him of animal cruelty. In a statement released at the time, the artist said, ‘Everybody who knows me, knows that I am an animal protector. From my point of view, factory farming is the biggest crime in our society.’

The Musée d’Orsay has been accused of discriminating against a group of students visiting the museum, a year after the Paris institution faced similar allegations. (French) A link to a page on the museum’s website describing different rules for school groups from different socio-economic areas was posted on Twitter provoking an outcry on social media. The offending clause stated that groups of 20 students are allowed from schools in ‘priority education zones’ (a term used to describe schools in low-income neighbourhoods), while schools in other zones are permitted to bring up to 30 students. Two French ministers immediately called upon the museum to remove the ‘discriminatory clause’ – it since has been.

Karen Archey has been appointed Curator of Contemporary Art for Time-based Media at the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam. Former editor of the e-flux conversations website and editor-at-large of Rhizome at the New Museum (as well as regular contributor to frieze), Archey begins the newly-created role by curating a solo exhibition by artist Stefan Tcherepnin at the museum this autumn. ‘Karen Archey not only has extensive international experience as a curator, writer, and lecturer on new media and performance art, but also a personal view of the meaning of contemporary art in society and in the museum,’ said Chief Curator Bart van der Heide. ‘With Archey we welcome an internationally renowned and inspiring curator to our team; a new voice.’

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