Briefing

Former South Korean officials sentenced for ‘artist blacklist’ involvement; Australia’s Archibald Prize attracts criticism

Cho Yoon-Sun

Cho Yoon-Sun, former South Korean culture minister. Courtesy: OECD, Andrew Wheeler; Flickr/Creative Commons

Cho Yoon-Sun, former South Korean culture minister. Courtesy: OECD, Andrew Wheeler; Flickr/Creative Commons

Six former officials of the previous Park Geun-hye administration in South Korea have received prison sentences for creating an ‘artist blacklist’, denying thousands of people access to government subsidies. Cho Yoon-Sun, the former South Korean culture minister, has been acquitted of involvement in creating the ‘artist blacklist’, although she was aware of it and lied at a congressional hearing, for which she has been sentenced to one year in prison, suspended for two years. Kim Ki-choon, who served as Park’s chief of staff, was handed a three-year term for ordering the creation of the blacklist and asking staff to lie about its existence. The ‘artist blacklist’ concerns a list of cultural figures critical of the Park Geun-hye administration, including writer Hang Kang and director Park Chan Wook. The blacklisting was part of the corruption scandal that led to Park’s impeachment and removal from office earlier this year.

Collector and patron Dennis Scholl has been announced as president and CEO of nonprofit ArtCenter/South Florida. Scholl was previously vice president for arts of the Miami-based Knight Foundation. In the new position, Scholl will oversee the USD$88 million injection into the ArtCenter's endowment (after developer South Beach TriStar 800 bought up its Lincoln Road building in 2014), which makes it the largest endowment of any South Florida visual arts organization. The new funds allow an expansion of ‘its role in serving the city’s growing cultural community’, ArtCenter said in a press statement.

Australia’s Archibald prize for portraiture – awarded by the Art Gallery of NSW, now in its 96th year – has been caught up in bitter debate. Sydney artist Mitch Cairns was announced as the winner for his portrait of artist and partner Agatha Gothe-Snape, and awarded AUD$100,000. Within hours, former recipient John Olsen condemned the selection as ‘the worst decision ever made in the Archibald’, and 2012 winner Tim Storrier also joined in the criticism. Judge Ben Quilty described Olsen’s comments as ill-timed and ‘ungracious’.

Art Newspaper editor Javier Pes has resigned to ‘pursue other projects’, after a year in the role. Pes has been with the paper for nearly a decade, serving as deputy editor since 2009. ‘This has been a hard decision to make but the time feels right to leave at the top of my game to write about a greater variety of artists and museums’, Pes wrote in a letter to staff.

Sam Durant is the winner of this year’s Rappaport Prize, awarded by the deCordova Sculpture Park in Lincoln Massachusetts. The prize comes with USD$25,000; recipients are restricted to artists with connections to New England.

LA-based painter Tomory Dodge is now represented by Ameringer McEnery Yohe, after the closure of CRG Gallery earlier this year.

Katherine Brinson has been named as the first Daskalopoulos Curator of Contemporary Art at the Guggenheim – a newly endowed position supported by Dimitris Daskalopoulos. Brinson has previously organized exhibitions by artists including Anicka Yi and Doris Salcedo and is currently curating a Danh Vō survey, set for February 2018. She has been with the Guggenheim since 2005.

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