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Briefing

Maria Balshaw to become new Tate director; exhibitors list announced for Frieze New York 2017; Labour MP to direct the V&A Museum

Switch House, Tate Modern, London. Photograph: © Iwan Baan

Switch House, Tate Modern, London. Photograph: © Iwan Baan

Switch House, Tate Modern, London. Photograph: © Iwan Baan 

  • Maria Balshaw is expected to be named the new director of Tate, replacing Sir Nicholas Serota who will become chairman of Arts Council England next month. Balshaw, who in 2015 was presented a CBE by the Queen, has been the director of the Whitworth, Manchester, since 2006, where she has spearheaded a GBP£15m redevelopment project, overhauled the institution’s collection and programming, and greatly increased visitor numbers. Lucy Powell, MP for Manchester Central, said of Balshaw’s appointment: ‘Manchester’s loss is the Tate’s gain. I feared she would get it. It’s brilliant for Manchester to have a Mancunian sprinkling in the cultural scene in London but we will miss her.’
     
  • The exhibitors list has been announced for the sixth edition of Frieze New York, which will be take up residence on Randall’s Island from 5-7 May. This year’s fair will welcome more than 200 galleries from 30 countries, and will feature a higher number of significant works from the 20th century. Victoria Siddall, director of Frieze Fairs, said: ‘The increased presence of 20th-century art will create a great context for the many contemporary galleries in the fair and will open up fascinating dialogues. Visitors can look forward to discovering emerging talents from Guatemala to Japan, as well as Toby Kamps’s new perspective on Spotlight and Cecilia Alemani’s inspired artist commissions.’ For more information, and the full list of exhibitors, click here.
     
  • Tristram Hunt is set to relinquish his post as Labour MP for Stoke and become the director of London's Victoria and Albert Museum. Hunt, whose resignation comes shortly after a very public condemnation of Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, will succeed Martin Roth, who announced his plans to step down in September of last year.
     
  • Sarah McCrory has been appointed director of a new contemporary art gallery at Goldsmiths, University of London, which is being designed by Turner Prize-winning architects Assemble and is slated to open in Spring on 2018. McCrory, who moves to Goldsmiths from the Glasgow International Festival, where she has been director since 2012, was previously curator of Frieze Projects; co-curator of Studio Voltaire, London; curator of the London project spaces Swallow Street and Arts & Jobs; curator of independent publishing fair Publish and Be Damned; and assistant director of Vilma Gold, London.

Sarah McCrory, director of the new gallery at Goldsmiths, University of London. Photograph: Ruth Clark

Sarah McCrory, director of the new gallery at Goldsmiths, University of London. Photograph: Ruth Clark

Sarah McCrory, director of the new gallery at Goldsmiths, University of London. Photograph: Ruth Clark

  • A plinth devoted to contemporary art is to be erected on New York’s elevated High Line from 9 February until 30 April, providing a home for temporary installations in a similar manner to London’s celebrated ‘Fourth Plinth’, which has been in operation in Trafalgar Square since 1999. The project, which is titled the ‘High Line Plinth’, is overseen by director and chief curator Cecilia Alemani, who also curates Frieze Projects and Frieze Sounds at Frieze New York. In statement given to the Guardian, Alemani said: ‘This project is an extension of what we do every day on the High Line, which is to bring a great example of contemporary art or culture in general to our audience free of charge, every day of the year, rain or shine. […]They might dislike it, they might be bored by it, or they might love it, but it’s in that kind of friction where the power of art happens.’
     
  • Glasgow-based artist Cathy Wilkes has been awarded the first ever Maria Lassnig Prize, a biennial award that was established in June of last year to recognize the achievements of mid-career artists. In addition €50,000 prize money, Wilkes will now be the subject of a solo exhibition at MoMA PS1, New York, which will be curated by Peter Eleey. In a statement, Eleey, who also sat on this year's Maria Lassnig Prize selection committee, said: 'Since the start of her career in the 1990s, [Wilkes] has created sculptural tableaux that engage with the rituals of life. Regularly employing quotidian products and residual materials drawn from her domestic life, [her] installations connect the banalities of daily existence to larger archetypes of birth, marriage, child-rearing, and death. This combination of the personal and universal parallels a meditation at the heart of her work'.
     
  • In an attempt to balance its budget, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York is postponing plans to build a new USD$600m wing on the southwest corner of its Fifth Avenue building. The extension, which was to be dedicated to Modern and contemporary art, was initially slated to open in 2020 to coincide with the institution’s 150th, but Daniel H. Weiss, the Met’s president and chief operating officer, now acknowledges that construction may not begin until 2024. Despite achieving record attendance figures in 2016, the Met is still attempting to recover from a deficit of USD$10m, which has led to a hiring freeze, voluntary buyouts and layoffs.
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