Briefing

Nari Ward wins prize for immigrant artists; collector Eli Broad calls on senators to vote against Betsy DeVos; terror suspect shot at the Louvre

Nari Ward, We Shall Overcome, 2015, shoelaces, 244 x 244 x 4 cm. Courtesy: the artist and Lehmann Maupin, New York and Hong Kong; photograph: Elisabeth Bernstein

Nari Ward, We Shall Overcome, 2015, shoelaces, 244 x 244 x 4 cm. Courtesy: the artist and Lehmann Maupin, New York and Hong Kong; photograph: Elisabeth Bernstein

  • Jamaican-born, New York-based artist Nari Ward has been awarded the USD$100,000 Vilcek Prize, which recognizes significant contributions made to US culture by immigrants working in the fields of biomedical studies, the arts, and the humanities. In a statement, Marica Vilcek, the vice chairman of the Vilcek Foundation, said: ‘These immigrant artists are explorers and philosophers. They seek answers to questions about the nature of power, politics, and the relationship between the individual and the collective’. The Vilcek Foundation also named Iman Issa, Meleko Mokgosi, and Carlos Motta as the winners of its Vilcek Prizes for Creative Promise, which recognize emerging immigrant artists.
     
  • Famed art collector and philanthropist Eli Broad has spoken out against billionaire Republican Betsy DeVos, Donald Trump’s nominee for Federal Education Secretary. In a letter sent to US senators Mitch McConnell and Charles E. Schumer, Broad wrote that, ‘at the risk of stating the obvious, we must have a Secretary of Education who believes in public education and the need to keep public schools public’. Broad is the patron of a number of major US institutions, namely The Broad, the Broad Contemporary Art Museum at LACMA, and the Eli and Edythe Broad Museum at Michigan State University, and is also a strong supporter of a campaign to increase the number of charter schools in Los Angeles.
     
  • A major security operation is under way in the area surrounding the Louvre Museum, Paris, following an incident this morning that saw a man was shot while attempting to attack a security patrol with a knife. French prime minister Bernard Cazeneuve, speaking after the Louvre had been evacuated and the nearby streets closed, described the incident as an ‘attack of terrorist nature’.
     
  • London’s Saatchi Gallery is opening a new commercial exhibition space. SALON, which is directed by Philippa Adams, current senior director of Saatchi Gallery, will endeavour to circulate and sell the work of leading artists who have been underrepresented in the UK. SALON opens on 24 February, with a solo exhibition of works by Tsuyoshi Maekawa organised in collaboration with Lévy Gorvy.
     
  • This morning sees the unveiling of Humber Street Gallery, a new contemporary art space opening in Hull as part of the 2017 City of Culture programme. The new space, which occupies an old warehouse in the Fruit Market cultural quarter, will open with the first retrospective of 1970s collective COUM Transmissions, which was founded in the city by Genesis Breyer P-Orridge and Cosey Fanni Tutti. Martin Green, CEO and director of Hull’s City of Culture programme, said Humber Street Gallery will, ‘helps consolidate the Fruit Market’s status as a cultural quarter and adds to Hull’s already strong visual arts offer.’
     
  • The German Cultural Council has strongly criticized President Donald Trump’s recently imposed travel restrictions, which prevents citizens from Sudan, Syria, Libya, Somalia, Yemen, Iraq, and Iran from entering the US. Talking in Berlin, Olaf Zimmermann, managing director of the council, condemned the sanctions as ‘disgraceful’, adding that ‘international cultural exchange is severely hampered by this measure.’ (German)

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