Briefing

The 2017 Turner Prize shortlist; A.R. Penck dies; Martin Clark appointed new director of Camden Arts Centre

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Richard Mosse, from the series ’Heat Maps’, 2016. Courtesy: © Richard Mosse, Prix Pictet 2017

Richard Mosse, from the series ’Heat Maps’, 2016. Courtesy: © Richard Mosse, Prix Pictet 2017

The shortlist for the 2017 Turner Prize has been announced, with Hurvin Anderson, Andrea Büttner, Lubaina Himid and Rosalind Nashashibi nominated. It’s the first prize with the new rule changes meaning that now artists over 50 are eligible (this year’s shortlist includes two) and that the prize is judged on the Turner Prize exhibition itself – which will be held at Ferens Art Gallery in Hull as part of the UK City of Culture celebrations from 26 September 2017 to 7 January 2018. The winner will be announced on 5 December 2017. The members of this year’s jury are Dan Fox, writer and  frieze co-editor; Martin Herbert, art critic; Mason Leaver-Yap, Walker Art Center’s Bentson Scholar of Moving Image and Associate Curator at KW Institute for Contemporary Art in Berlin; and Emily Pethick, Director of Showroom. The jury is chaired by Alex Farquharson, Director of Tate Britain. 

A.R. Penck has died, aged 77. Born Ralf Winkler in Dresden in 1939, the artist adopted his pseudonym in order to escape the attention of East Germany’s communist authorities who tried to prevent him from exhibiting his work. Emigrating to West Germany in 1980, Penck was part of a wave of painters coming out of Germany who received acclaim in New York, including contemporaries Georg Baselitz, Jörg Immendorff, and Markus Lüpertz, all in different ways grappling with notions of postwar German identity. His neo-expressionist paintings are recognizable for their vibrant colours and energetically arranged compositions that incorporate what Penck termed ‘Standart’, a fake alphabet of sorts that the artist designed. Penck was the subject of several retrospectives, and held a professorship at Düsseldorf’s Academy of Art.

Martin Clark has been named as the new director of Camden Arts Centre, taking over from Jenni Lomax who has held the position for 27 years.  Martin Clark has been Director of Bergen Kunsthall, Norway, since 2013, previously he was Artistic Director of Tate St Ives (2007–13), Exhibitions Curator at Arnolfini, Bristol (2004–7) and Curator and Exhibitions Tutor at Kent Institute of Art and Design (now University College of the Creative Arts) (2002–5). Lomax, who is retiring in August, commented on the appointment: ‘I am delighted that Martin has been appointed as my successor. It is evident from his impressive track record at Tate St Ives and at Bergen Kunsthall that his approach to working with artists and to education is perfectly in tune with the ethos of Camden Arts Centre.’

The 57th Venice Biennale has appointed its jury, which will award a number of prizes (including the Golden Lion for Best National Participation and the Golden Lion for Best Artist in the International Exhibition). It includes curators Francesca Alfano Miglietti and Amy Cheng, the writer Ntone Edjabe, Tate’s senior curator Mark Godfrey, and Museo Reina Sofía’s director Manuel J. Borja-Villel, who is president of the jury. Curated by Christine Macel, the 57th Venice Biennale opens next week.

Richard Mosse has been awarded the 2017 Prix Pictet for his series ‘Heat Maps’, recently shown at the Barbican Art Centre in London, made using a military camera that is classified as a weapon under international law. The hi-tech surveillance device, designed to detect body heat from a distance of over 30km, was used by the Irish photographer to track the journeys of refugees from the Middle East and north Africa. the The Pictet shortlist exhibition runs at the V&A in London from 6-28 May.

Tate Modern extension is to be named in honour of Len Blavatnik. The recently opened extension to Tate Modern, known as the Switch House, is to be named after the Ukrainian-born American businessman and philanthropist Len Blavatnik in recognition of his financial contributions towards the project. The extension has received over six million visitors in the past year. In a statement, outgoing Tate director Nicholas Serota praised the ‘generosity’ of Blavatnik’s gift, describing it as ‘unprecedented’. Best known as the owner of Warner Music group, Blavatnik has made donations towards several UK arts institutions, including the National Gallery, the National Portrait Gallery and the British Museum. Last year, the Blavatnik Family Foundation announced it would fund the new hall at the V&A.

Haegue Yang will take up a teaching position at the Städelschule – The South Korean artist, who lives in Berlin, Germany and Seoul, South Korea, is replacing Michael Krebber at the prestigious art school in Frankfurt. (German)

Peter Zumthor has unveiled his designs for the Fondation Beyeler extension in Basel. A group of museum buildings will be constructed on the land of the recently acquired Iselin-Weber Park, which is adjacent to the organization. The previously private park will now be open to the public.

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