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Dana Schutz show at ICA Boston attracts protests; Condo heads to Shanghai and Mexico City in 2018; Village Voice union threatened

Dana Schutz, Big Wave, 2016, oil on canvas, 305 × 396 cm. Courtesy: The Barbara Lee Collection of Art by Women, the artist, Petzel, New York, and Contemporary Fine Arts, Berlin; Photograph: Matthias Kolb, © Dana Schutz

Dana Schutz, Big Wave, 2016, oil on canvas, 305 × 396 cm. Courtesy: The Barbara Lee Collection of Art by Women, the artist, Petzel, New York, and Contemporary Fine Arts, Berlin; Photograph: Matthias Kolb, © Dana Schutz

Dana Schutz is facing more protests over her Emmett Till painting, this time concerning a solo show at ICA Boston (even though the painting is not featured). The exhibition opened on 26 July, despite an open letter signed by local artists and activists calling on the ICA to cancel the show. The protests continue on from the controversy around her work at this year’s Whitney Biennial, where her painting Open Casket (2016) based on photographs of Emmett Till sparked debates around the relationship between art, the ownership of pain and trauma, and institutions’ moral responsibility. 'Please pull the show. This is not about censorship. This is about institutional accountability’, the letter states. The ICA does not intend to do so, but will host an open forum ‘Representation and Responsibility in Creative Space’ later in the year.

Gallery-share project Condo is heading to Shanghai and Mexico City in 2018. Condo was launched in London in 2016 by Vanessa Carlos and expanded to New York (organized by Simone Subal and Nicole Russo) earlier this year. The cooperative model consists of mid-sized galleries hosting each other – a similar initiative, ‘Okey Dokey’, in Cologne and Düsseldorf has been announced for this September.

Banksy’s Balloon Girl (2002) mural has been voted the UK’s favourite artwork: in the poll organized by Samsung, 2,000 people selected their favourites from a shortlist chosen by arts journalists. Balloon Girl was originally painted on a Shoreditch wall, but was removed in 2014 to be sold. JMW Turner’s The Fighting Temeraire (1839) and Antony Gormley’s The Angel Of The North (1998) joined the Banksy piece in the top slots.

The Los Angeles County Museum of Art already has a USD$650 million Peter Zumthor-designed renovation in the works, but it’s now also planning a satellite for south Los Angeles, director Michael Govan revealed on the podcast In Other Words. In his words: ‘a de-centred museum in a de-centred metropolis’.

Arts journalists have written an open letter to the owner of the Village Voice, Peter Barbey, criticizing his actions against the newsweekly’s union. The terms of a new proposed contract threatens the union’s power as a negotiating body, with provisions that management approve union representative presence in the workplace, and allow management to outsource work. ‘We stand in solidarity with our colleagues in the Village Voice Union. We hope you will meet its members with a fair and reasonable contract, upholding their hard-won rights and benefits,’ alumni of the publication write. ‘If you do, our entire field will be much richer for it.’ Signatories include the New Yorker’s art, photography and theatre critics Peter Schjeldahl, Vince Aletti and Hilton Als, music critic Robert Christgau, Verso publisher Andrew Hsiao and writer Ta-Nehisi Coates.

The New York Foundation for the Arts has announced Merion Estes and Mario Martinez as recipients of its 2017 Murray Reich Distinguished Artist Award. The prize is dedicated to visual artists over 50 years-old, and each is awarded USD$10,000. Estes commented: ‘It will allow me some leeway in preparing for my three upcoming shows and in particular for the 10-year survey at the Craft and Folk Art Museum in Los Angeles', while for Martinez, ‘this award is confirmation of better professional and artistic developments to come’.

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Janiva Ellis, Catchphrase Coping Mechanism, 2019, oil on linen, 2.2 x 1.8 m. Courtesy: the artist and 47 Canal, New York; photograph: Joerg Lohse

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