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Marvel Comics’ Stan Lee Dies Aged 95

In further news: Berlin cultural institutions rally against far-right; Tate Liverpool to stage first UK show dedicated to Keith Haring

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Stan Lee, 2014: Courtesy: Gage Skidmore

Stan Lee, the former editor-in-chief, publisher and chairman of Marvel Comics has died in Los Angeles aged 95. Best known for co-creating Marvel’s superheroes such as Spider Man, The Fantastic Four, the Incredible Hulk, Iron Man and Black Panther, a family attorney confirmed that the comic book author passed away at Cedars-Sinai Medical Centre early on Monday morning. Born Stanley Martin Lieber on Manhattan’s Upper West Side in 1922, Lee working his way up the ranks of the newly formed Marvel Comics in the 1960s to become publisher in 1972. He collaborated with artists such as Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko, developing what became known as ‘the Marvel Method’: brainstorming a story with an artist, writing a synopsis, then filling in the word balloons and captions once the artist had drawn the panels.

Cultural institutions in Berlin have united against far-right nationalists in Germany. More than 140 figures representing cultural institutions including art galleries, theatres and cultural spaces have formed in solidarity to denounce ‘illegitimate attempts made by right-wing nationalists to exploit art and cultural events for their own purposes,’ in a declaration launched 9 November. Representatives from The Berliner Festspiele, KW Institute, the Berlin Biennale, and Haus der Kulturen der Welt gathered near the Brandenburg Gate in the centre of the German capital to share the document. The declaration declares that ‘by attacking cultural institutions as agents of this societal vision, right-wing populism stands in hostile opposition to the art of the many.’ Raul Walch, founding member of Die Vielen, the non-profit association who organized the declaration, said: ‘This is about protecting each other from right-wing propaganda’. 

Neil Young has criticised Donald Trump for not acting on climate change after California wildfires destroy his home.The songwriter responded to the US president’s claim that the fire was down to ‘gross mismanagement of the forests’ with a post on his website stating that ‘California is vulnerable – not because of poor forest management as DT (our so-called president) would have us think. We are vulnerable because of climate change; the extreme weather events and our extended drought is part of it.’ Los Angeles fire chief Daryl Osby told The Guardianthat climate change played a big role in why the fires were more destructive than in previous years. Forty-four people have died in the wildfires while more than 200 people have been unaccounted for, according to the latest figures. Cultural sites have also been affected by the blaze, with movie compound Paramount Ranch – onetime home to the Paramount Ranch art fair founded by LA gallery Freedman Fitzpatrick – destroyed, while the state of Modernist homes by architects Frank Gehry and John Lautner are currently unknown. 

Do Ho Suh’s Korean childhood house replica and surrounding bamboo garden is to remain in the City of London for another 16 months. The sculpture installed on the footbridge at Wormwood Street near Liverpool Street Station in London and curated by the director of Draf, Fatos Ustek, has had its planning permission extended until March 2020 after Art Night and Sculpture in the City submitted an application to keep the sculpture in situ. ‘It is hugely rewarding to create a public work in London, my adopted home,’ said Suh in a statement. ‘In my work I want to draw out these intangible qualities of energy, history, life and memory.’  

The Pérez Art Museum Miami is to launch new fund focusing on Latinx and Latin American Art. The museum is aiming to become a leader in the study and presentation of work by Latinx and Latin American artists through new initiative PAMM which will launch today on 13 November. The announcement of the fund, which will be sustained through dues from participating board members, comes after museums across the country have begun to explore the underrepresented areas of art history and follows the museums launching of affiliate groups dedicated to the acquisitions of work by African American artists and also to female artists. According to PAMM’s director, Franklin Sirman, a dedicated endowment will allow the museum to produce exhibitions and a scholarship regardless of who is heading the institution.

Tate Liverpool is to stage the first UK show dedicated to Keith Haring. The gallery is planning on showing 85 works by the American artist who died in 1990, many of which will be on display for the first time in the UK. Best known for his motifs and politically-charged messages, works featured in the show will include printed flyers, posters and videos. Darren Pih, the show’s curator said: ‘We are really aiming to bring to life the cultural energy and edginess of 1980s New York City.’ Helen Legg, Director of the gallery said of Liverpool and the artist: ‘They’re both politically engaged with a history of activism, a strong sense of social justice and a love of music and fashion.’ The show will open 14 June 2019 and remain on view until 10 November. 

Louvre Abu Dhabi has drawn more than a million visitors in its first year. With more than 60% of visitors from countries such as India, Germany, China and England, foreign tourists make up the majority of the figures according the museum’s report. Although small in comparison to the Louvre in Paris, which attracted 8.1 million visitors in 2017, the figure is higher than the predicted 800,000 visitors the museum had initially hoped to achieve. Local residents from the United Arab Emirates account for 40% of the attendees according to museum director Manuel Rabaté. The Middle Eastern museum will be teaming up with the flagship Paris museum in February for a ‘Rembrandt and the Dutch Golden Age’exhibition which will be open to the public from February 14 and will include 17thcentury works on loan from Paris and the private, New York-based Leiden collection. 

In movements and gallery news: New York’s Paula Cooper Gallery now represents the estate of Bernd and Hilla BecherSondra Perry has won the biennial 2018 Nam June Paik award, receiving EUR€25,000; David Zwirner Gallery now represents Njideka Akunyili Crosby; and Klaus Bisenbach has recruited Hong Kong-based art-patron and heir to the Cheng family fortune, Adrian Cheng, to join the LA MOCA board, along with German collector Julia Stoschek, Marina Kellen French, Simon Mordant, and Napster’s Sean Parker

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