Briefing

Haegue Yang awarded 2018 Wolfgang Hahn Prize; poet John Ashbery dies at 90; Edinburgh’s Inverleith House saved

Haegue Yang. Courtesy: Gesellschaft für Moderne Kunst and the artist

Haegue Yang. Courtesy: Gesellschaft für Moderne Kunst and the artist

The Korean artist Haegue Yang has been awarded the 2018 Wolfgang Hahn Prize by the Gesellschaft für Moderne Kunst at the Museum Ludwig, Cologne. Yang, now working in Berlin, was born in Seoul in 1971. She is the first Asian recipient of the award – established in 1994 – which is dedicated to artists who have an ‘oeuvre that has consistently and substantially continued to develop and is recognized by international experts’. The prize includes the acquisition of the artist's work, an exhibition at Museum Ludwig and an accompanying publication – the award ceremony will be on 17 April 2018, during Art Cologne. Jury member and chairwoman of the Gesellschaft für Moderne Kunst, Mayen Beckmann commented: ‘With Haegue Yang, the transformative element that oscillated between materiality and emptying was the decisive factor: she compellingly realizes this difficult-to-grasp phenomenon both conceptually and aesthetically.'

The legendary American poet John Ashbery has died at the age of 90 in his home in Hudson, New York. Ashbery was born in 1927 in Rochester, New York. W.H. Auden selected his first collection, Some Trees, for publication in the Yale Younger Poets series in 1956. He became associated with what became known as the New York school of poetry through the 1950s and '60s. As well as an exalted poet – his 1975 collection Self-portrait in a Convex Mirror won the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Award and the National Book Critics Circle award – Ashbery was also an illustrious critic, variously holding positions as executive editor for ARTnews, art critic for the New York Herald Tribune in Europe, New York magazine and Newsweek and poetry critic for Partisan Review. You can read our delightful interview with Ashbery in 2004 from the frieze archives here.

Photographer William Eggleston is releasing an album of his synthesizer music this October. Musik is his debut album – David Lynch has described the work as ‘music of wild joy with freedom and bright, vivid colours.’

Anti-oil activists from BP or Not BP? staged a protest at the annual BP Portrait Award exhibition at London's National Portrait Gallery last week. Protesters hung a portrait of Benny Wenda, West Papuan independence leader (exiled in the UK) and opponent of the Indonesian government, as an act of criticism of BP’s complicity in the latter’s civil rights abuses (BP works with the Indonesian government in resource extraction in West Papua). You can read Liberate Tate activist Mel Evans’s piece for frieze on protesting against oil sponsorship in the gallery here.

The inaugural Anren Biennale has announced its list of participating artists. The biennale, titled 'Today’s Yesterday' is slated to run from 28 October to 28 February 2018 in the town of Anren in Chengdu, China, with a programme exploring art and historical narratives, directed by art historian and critic Lu Peng.

Edinburgh’s Inverleith House is saved from closure and will continue as an art gallery staging exhibitions with a 'strong contemporary element' – a new 'integrated' programme of horticulture and art will drive the gallery’s main exhibition programme. Situated in the city’s Royal Botanic Garden, the gallery's closure was announced last year, and following a public outcry, its future has been uncertain since. You can read our review of the gallery’s latest exhibition under the new remit for Edinburgh Art Festival, in our recent Critic’s Guide to Edinburgh.

It's the latest victim of gallery closures in the UK capital: Laura Bartlett Gallery in east London is shutting down after 12 years. The gallery was founded in 2005 and became a launch platform for several artists including Marie Lund and Sol Calero. Bartlett plans to act as an advisor to international collections in the future.

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