Briefing

Helen Marten wins the 2016 Turner Prize; Harper Lee and Mark Twain novels removed from US schools; Ousmane Sow passes away

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Helen Marten, ‘Turner Prize, 2016’, installation view, Tate Britain. Courtesy: © Tate Photography / Joe Humphrys

Helen Marten, ‘Turner Prize, 2016’, installation view, Tate Britain. Courtesy: © Tate Photography / Joe Humphrys

  • Helen Marten has won the 2016 Turner Prize. The London-based artist, who recently won the inaugural Hepworth Prize for sculpture, was announced as the winner of the GBP£25,000 prize last night ahead of fellow nominees Michael Dean, Anthea Hamilton and Josephine Pryde, who each receive GBP£5,000. As with the Hepworth prize, Marten said she would share the prize money with the rest of the shortlist. Chair of the judges, Tate Britain director, Alex Farquharson said Marten’s work resists being pinned down: ‘It is a long long way from one-liner artwork, if it was a line it would be a sentence ... a Proustian sentence.’
     
  • Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird (1960) and Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1884) have been removed from the curriculum in a number of schools in Virginia, after a parent lodged a formal complaint their use of racial slurs. Explaining her complaint to the Accomack County public schools board, the mother in question said: ‘There’s so much racial slurs [sic] and defensive wording in there that you can’t get past that. […] Right now, we are a nation divided as it is.’ The National Coalition Against Censorship has described the removal of the two classics as ‘particularly egregious’.
     
  • Banker Steven Mnuchin, whose father Robert once made up half of the dealer duo ‘L&M’ alongside Dominique Lévy and now runs New York’s Mnuchin Gallery, has resigned from the board of the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art following his appointment as treasury secretary in president-elect Donald Trump’s presidential administration. Mnuchin, who joined the museum’s board of trustees in 2009, served as the finance chairman for Trump’s presidential campaign.
     
  • Ousmane Sow, a sculptor referred to as ‘the Auguste Rodin of Senegal’, died on Thursday in Dakar, Senegal, at the age of 81. Sow only began producing work in his 50s, devoting his early years to a career as a physical therapist, but he quickly drew attention for his large-scale sculptures of the Nuba, Masai and other African peoples. His work was included in the 1993 edition of Documenta, and the 1995 Venice Biennale, amongst others. In 2013, he became the first African artist elected as a foreign associate member of the Académie des Beaux-Arts of the Institut de France.
     
  • After 10 years in situ, a sculpture by an unnamed artist has been removed from the banks of the Huangpu River in Shanghai after British artist Wendy Taylor claimed that it was an unauthorised replica of her work Timepiece, which has stood near to London’s Tower Bridge since 1972-73, and was awarded a Grade II listing in 2004. Ms Taylor, who in 1988 was awarded a CBE for her services to art, said: ‘At first I just couldn’t believe it, then I was totally shocked and upset. I am obviously extremely pleased that the sculpture is going to be removed and hopefully destroyed.’
     
  • Rallied by outraged calls from both the Sex Worker Education and Advocacy Taskforce (Sweat), protesters are demanding that the Iziko South African National Gallery remove the work of Zwelethu Mthethwa from its current show, ‘Our Lady’, a group exhibition co-curated by Candice Allison, Kirsty Cockerill and Andrea Lewis to survey artistic representations of women. Mthethwa, a photographer born in Durban, is currently on trial for the alleged killing of 23-year-old sex worker, Nokuphila Moudy Kumalo in 2013.
     
  • The Museum Ludwig in Cologne has announced that US artist Trisha Donnelly has been awarded the 2017 Wolfgang Hahn Prize awarded to an ‘exceptional contemporary artists.’ Suzanne Cotter, a member of this year’s jury and director of the Serralves Museum in Porto, said: ‘Trisha Donnelly is without doubt one of the most compelling artists of our time whose work offers entirely new ways of experiencing and thinking about form, at once synaesthesic and disruptively transporting.’

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