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Briefing

Hassan Sharif passes away; ICA London appoints a new director

hassan_sharif_at_his_studio_in_dubai_2015._photograph_maaziar_sadr

Hassan Sharif at his studio in Dubai, 2015. Photograph: Maaziar Sadr

Hassan Sharif at his studio in Dubai, 2015. Photograph: Maaziar Sadr

  • Hassan Sharif, one of the most prominent Emirati artists, has passed away, aged 65. Sharif, who twice has represented the United Arab Emirates at the Venice Biennale (in 2009 and 2015), was the founder of both the Emirates Fine Art Society and the Al Marijah Art Atelier in Sharjah, and co-founded The Flying House in Dubai in 2005, an institution established in order to promote young artists from the region.
     
  • Stefan Kalmár has been announced as the new director of the Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA) in London, succeeding Gregor Muir, who in June was appointed Director of Collection, International Art, at Tate. Kalmár joins the ICA from Artists Space, New York, where he has been executive director and curator since 2009, but has previously worked in London as artistic director of Cubitt Gallery.
     
  • Dimitris Daskalopoulos, Greek businessman, collector and founder of NEON, a non-profit contemporary art organisation established in 2013, has funded a new cultural centre in Athens, which is due to open this Friday. The new space will be located in the basement of the Athens Conservatoire, the oldest conservatoire in modern Greece, which has recently been refurbished and converted into a 1,800-square-metre exhibition space at a cost of €180,000.
     
  • Don Buchla, the pioneering experimental musician and inventor of the Buchla 200 synthesizer and the Buchla Music Easel, has passed away at the age of 79. Numerous musicians have since paid tribute, with close friend Bob Ostertag stating: ‘He was a genius and an adventurer – an adventurer in the real sense of the word. Almost everything he made was unprecedented.’
     
  • Laura Sparks has been named as president of The Cooper Union for the Achievement of Science and Arts in New York, a position that she will assume in January of next year. Sparks will leave her role as executive director of the William Penn Foundation in Philadelphia to replace the outgoing Bill Mea, becoming the first woman to ever lead the institution.
     
  • Edward Albee, one of the most celebrated playwrights of his generation, died on Friday in New York, aged 88. Albee, who will be remembered for his Broadway debut play Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1962), was awarded a number of Tony Awards throughout his lengthy career – one for lifetime achievement – and was also the recipient of three Pulitzer Prizes.
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