Contemporary Art Society and Frieze Tate Fund acquisitions at Frieze London; protests over MAM São Paulo performance
The Contemporary Art Society has acquired a Dineo Seshee Bopape installation at Frieze London, which will be donated to Towner Art Gallery, Eastbourne. Bopape’s work will join the Towner’s collection which explores ideas of the ‘edge in landscape’. The Contemporary Art Society’s Collections Fund was set up in 2012 and works in partnership with Frieze London to support the acquisition of works for CAS museum members in the UK. Bopape’s work Sedibeng, it comes with the rain (2016) incorporates a slide projection of a woman’s hand moulding clay rocks, metal beams and bags of herbs, rooted in materials associated with cosmology and fertility. Caroline Douglas, Director of the Contemporary Art Society commented: ‘Bopape has the distinct voice of a new generation of South African artists, coming of age in the immediate post-apartheid era, and the issues she addresses in her work about our relationship with the earth are urgent for us all.’ Bopape’s installation will be presented at the Towner during autumn 2018. In addition, the 2017 Frieze Tate Fund has acquired works as gifts to the Tate collection, from artists Lawrence Abu Hamdan, Mary Beth Edelson, Hannah Black and Dorothy Iannone. Tate Director Maria Balshaw said in a statement: ‘We are once again excited to be able to select work from Frieze so that a broad public at Tate can experience new art as it emerges.’
Lawrence Abu Hamdan has won the Abraaj Group Art Prize 2018. The prize, in its 10th edition next year, supports contemporary artists from the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia. The winner is awarded a USD$100,000 commission for the next edition of Art Dubai. Berlin-based Abu Hamdan, known for installations that explore the politics of sound and silence, commented: 'The prize allows me to produce and conceive a work using materials and technologies previously unavailable to me, and in doing so enables me to deepen my exploration of the most contemporary ways of seeing and hearing world.’
The 2018 Margaret Tait Award has opened for nominations. The award is for a Glasgow Film Festival commission, established in 2010, supported by Creative Scotland And LUX Scotland, dedicated to a Scottish or Scotland-based artist with a significant portfolio over the last 5 to 12 years, working with film and moving image. The recipient receives a GBP£10,000 prize – nominated through open call and then assessed via jury. Nominations are open until 4 December.
Participating artists for the 2018 Liverpool Biennial have been announced – the biennial, heading into its 10th edition, will be curated by the Art Gallery of Ontario’s Kitty Scott and biennial director Sally Tallant, under the theme ‘Beautiful World, Where are you?’. Participants include Agnès Varda, Ei Arakawa, Holly Hendry, Ari Benjamin Meyers and Naeem Mohaiemen. You can see the full list over here.
The Louvre have pulled an installation by Dutch collective Atelier Van Lieshout, Domestikator (2015), which was set to go on view on 19 October in the museum’s Tuileries Gardens. Domestikator is a structure that implies a (possibly bestial) sexual act in its outline. The Louvre’s decision follows the Guggenheim in New York removing pieces from a major Chinese art survey following an outcry from animal rights activists.
A new gallery dedicated to Latin American art, Proxyco, is opening on New York’s Lower East Side, at 167 Suffolk Street. The space, which launches on 16 November, will host an inaugural show curated by Daniel Garza-Usabiaga, looking at artists responding to the legacy of Mexican poet and art critic José Juan Tablada. The space will be run by architect Enrique Norten, art advisor Alexadra Morris and Laura Saenz, the former director of the Leon Tovar Gallery.
Protests have been triggered around a nude Wagner Schwartz performance piece at the Museu de Arte Moderna de São Paulo (MAM), with right-wing activists from the group Movimento Brazil Livre (MBL) accusing the institution of supporting paedophilia. Schwartz’s piece, shown as part of the '35º Panorama da Arte Brasileira' show, involved the artist lying down naked in the museum, inviting visitors to interact with him. According to a report in ArtReview, the city’s mayor has also sided with protesters. The protests follow on from the shutting down of a queer contemporary art survey at Santander Cultural in Porto Alegre.
The Riga International Biennial of Contemporary Art has announced the theme of its inaugural edition, opening 2 June 2018. ‘Everything Was Forever, Until It Was No More’ references a book by the anthropologist Alexei Yurchak, which discusses the fall of the Soviet Union. The biennial is curated by Katerina Gregos and invites artists to respond to notions of change as ‘a constant and imperceptible process’.
New York’s Essex Street gallery has confirmed the passing of artist Vern Blosum (whose true identity remains unknown to the general public). Blosum was known for his works which mocked Pop – his pieces ended up being included in several key Pop surveys, and also acquired by the Museum of Modern Art. He died on 20 August.