Yayoi Kusama to open her own museum; Confederate monuments removed in Baltimore; David Roberts Art Foundation to leave London
Yayoi Kusama is opening her own museum in Tokyo’s Shinjuku neighbourhood on 1 October. Kusama commissioned Kume Sekkei to design the building back in 2014 – though she never revealed the true purpose of the five-storey lantern-like structure. Tensei Tatebata has been named as director of the museum dedicated to Kusama's work, which will host two exhibitions per year, as well as floors containing her ‘infinity rooms’ and other installations. The inaugural exhibition, ‘Creation Is a Solitary Pursuit, Love Is What Brings You Closer to Art’, showcases a recent painting series ‘My Eternal Soul’ (2015–16).
The controversy over the dismantling of Confederate monuments, brought into focus with the violence and killing in Charlottesville, Virginia, following protests over the planned removal of a statue of Confederate general Robert E Lee, continues with statues removed by the city council in Baltimore in the early hours of Wednesday following the Confederate statue brought down by demonstrators in Durham, North Carolina on Monday. Many other US cities are considering the fate of their own monuments. In Baltimore the removal of the statues was cheered by local activist groups. Meanwhile President Trump has tweeted: ‘Sad to see the history and culture of our great country being ripped apart with the removal of our beautiful statues and monuments.’ The Guardian ran an article showing some of the monuments are not as old as you might think.
The press release for Kara Walker’s forthcoming show at New York’s Sikkema Jenkins & Co., has caused a stir. One half reads like snake-oil sloganeering: ‘Sikkema Jenkins and Co. is Compelled to present The most Astounding and Important Painting show of the fall Art Show viewing season!’ But it bluntly shifts tone in the artist’s statement: ‘I don’t really feel the need to write a statement about a painting show,' Walker writes. 'I know what you all expect from me and I have complied up to a point. But frankly I am tired, tired of standing up, being counted, tired of ‘having a voice’ or worse ‘being a role model’'. You can read it in full over here.
Collectors Anita and Poju Zabludowicz are in a battle with Historic England over extension plans for their art foundation, currently housed in a 19th-century Methodist chapel in London. The heritage organization claims their expansion proposal for further gallery space, which involves demolishing the building's former Sunday School, will ‘cause harm to a listed building’.
On the 70th anniversary of the division of Pakistan and India at the end of the British Raj, the Partition Museum – the first of its kind – has opened in the Indian city of Amritsar in northern Punjab, close to the border with Pakistan. It features a collection crowdsourced from families affected by the violent period of migration and displacement, documenting their lives, from clothing to identity cards. Curatorial assistance has been provided by the London School of Economics and the University of Cambridge.
David Roberts Art Foundation plans to leave London and launch a new 20-acre Sculpture Park in Somerset (set for 2019), which will host David Roberts’s collection. DRAF is planning other activities involving regional institutions and pop-up events ‘with the aim of reaching new and broader audiences’. The new programme of events will be funded through the sale of their Camden exhibition space. The final DRAF London show, ‘(X) A Fantasy’, opens on 8 September and features artists Theaster Gates, Danh Vō, Julian Opie and Wolfgang Tillmans. David Roberts commented in a press release: ‘I hope that this new direction will allow us to build on the success of our London programmes, and take them to more places than ever before.'
JMW Turner’s former home in Twickenham, London, has been restored and reopened to the public. Turner's House Trust raised GBP£2.4 million from National Lottery funds and private donations to carry out repairs, removing later extensions and shrinking the building back to its original size; the work involved drawing on sketches in the Tate’s collection of Turner’s papers. The Grade II*-listed building is now open daily from Wednesday to Sunday.
Artist Chiara Fumai (1978–2017) has died, the Fiorucci Art Trust announced by email. The trust worked with the Milan-based artist for a number of years, including a lecture performance she gave at the trust's 2011 Volcano Extravaganza in Stromboli and also helped to produce her project ‘Moral Exhibition House’ for dOCUMENTA (13). Working predominantly in performance, Chiara’s practice aligned itself with a tradition of female psychics, dealing with radical feminism, media culture, language and repression. Recent shows include ‘The Book of Evil Spirits’, at waterside contemporary, London, UK in 2016, and recent works and performances were presented at David Roberts Art Foundation, London, and CA2M Centro de Arte Dos de Mayo, Madrid, in 2015.