German Museum Suspends Bruce Weber Retrospective After Misconduct Claims

In other news: Ed Moses (1926-2018); Jude Kelly leaves Southbank Centre; Hepworth Wakefield revives postwar ‘School Prints’ project

Bruce Weber, 2011. Courtesy: Wikimedia Commons; photograph: Christopher Macsurak

Bruce Weber, 2011. Courtesy: Wikimedia Commons; photograph: Christopher Macsurak

Bruce Weber, 2011. Courtesy: Wikimedia Commons; photograph: Christopher Macsurak

Hamburg’s Deichtorhallen contemporary art centre has suspended its upcoming Bruce Weber retrospective after sexual misconduct claims against the 71-year-old American fashion photographer emerged. The New York Times published a report over the weekend in which 15 male models who worked with Weber accused him of coercive sexual behaviour – Weber denies the allegations. The ‘Far From Home’ retrospective was scheduled for October 2018 – its suspension follows an announcement by Condé Nast that its publications will no longer work with the photographer.

Meanwhile attorneys for former Artforum employee Amanda Schmitt have filed rebuttals following the motions filed last month by Artforum and its former co-publisher Knight Landesman to dismiss a suit brought by Schmitt – she alleges that Landesman subjected her to sexual harassment both during and after her time at the publication. Schmitt’s lawsuit names both Artforum and Landesman as defendants and claims that the magazine’s publishers excluded her from events after she approached them with complaints in 2016. ‘Artforum once again shamelessly joins forces with Landesman seeking to have Schmitt’s claims dismissed’, her lawyers now say. Schmitt was named last year by TIME magazine as one of its ‘People of the Year’, honouring women in the cultural industries who have publicly stood up against alleged harassment.

The pioneering postwar LA abstractionist Ed Moses has passed away at the age of 91 from natural causes – he was a prolific painter who carried on working until a fortnight before his death. Moses was born in Long Beach, California on 9 April 1926, and served in the navy during the war. He held his first solo at Los Angeles’s Ferus Gallery in 1958. He became known as a founding member of the ‘cool school' collective of avant-garde painters – which included Ed Ruscha, Larry Bell and Robert Irwin – associated with the influential gallery, who shifted the fortunes of the LA art scene with them. During the 1960s and ‘70s Moses taught at UC Irvine and UCLA. Early works included his ‘Rose Drawings’ where he traced and repeated patterns of an oilcloth from Tijuana, Mexico – his works became sparser and more process-orientated from the late ‘70s. Moses’s friend, the architect Frank Gehry told the LA Times: 'I think he influenced others by his sense of freedom, his personality, his willingness to step into the unknown’.

Jude Kelly is stepping down as artistic director of the Southbank Centre in the UK – she has been in the role for 12 years. Over her time there she has sought to give the centre’s various venues a more cohesive identity, staging themed festivals including The Rest Is Noise, Nordic Matters and Art of Africa. Kelly was previously artistic director of Battersea Arts Centre. She is now turning to the Women of the World festival which she founded in 2010.

The Venice Biennale has awarded the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement and Silver Lion to the dancers and choreographers Meg Stuart and Marlene Monteiro Freitas respectively. The Golden Lion for Lifetime Achivement will be presented on 22 June, at the opening of the 12th International Festival of Contemporary Dance, at which Stuart and her company Damaged Goods will perform Built to Last (2012); the Silver Lion will be presented on 28 June – Monteiro Freitas will present her recent performance Bacchae – Prelude to a Purge with her company. 'Surrendering to the process is the true constant across all the variation in her works’ writes Astrid Kaminski in our 2013 profile of Stuart – you can read more about Stuart’s ‘laboratory of mixed emotions’ and the uncanny world of her dance pieces from our archive.

South London Gallery’s new Fire Station building is to open on 20 September. The annexe is housed in a Grade II-listed Victorian building – the former Peckham Road Fire Station which dates back to 1867 – situated opposite the main gallery. The development is being led by 6a architects, and will include exhibition and educational spaces as well as an artist’s studio.

In other gallery news: Los Angeles gallery Freedman Fitzpatrick is opening a new space in Paris on 8 February, with a solo show by Matthew Lutz-Kinoy – the new gallery is located in the 4th Arrondisement. Monya Rowe Gallery plans to reopen in New York – its first exhibition there will be new work by Polina Barskaya; the gallery has spent a few years in St Augustine, Florida, after over a decade in assorted New York neighbourhoods – details regarding the location and date of its New York return have not been announced.

Finally, the UK's Hepworth Wakefield is leading a project to revive the postwar ‘School Prints’ initiative which sought to introduce contemporary art to British schoolchildren. The gallery has commissioned six British artists – Martin Creed, Jeremy Deller, Anthea Hamilton, Helen Marten, Haroon Mirza and Rose Wylie to create a limited edition print which will be donated to six Wakefield schools. The new prints will also be available for purchase in editions of 85, which will be used to fund the gallery’s education programme. The original scheme was led by education campaigner Brenda Rawnsley who commissioned low-cost prints for schools from artists including Henry Moore, LS Lowry, Picasso and Matisse. 

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