Thousands Demand That the Met Remain ‘Free for All’

In further news: 2018 Taipei Biennial curated by Mali Wu and Francesco Manacorda; Pace opens second Hong Kong space; London’s Rokeby Gallery closes

David H. Koch Plaza, The Met, New York. Courtesy: Wikimedia Commons; photograph: Scott Segler

David H. Koch Plaza, The Met, New York. Courtesy: Wikimedia Commons; photograph: Scott Segler

David H. Koch Plaza, The Met, New York. Courtesy: Wikimedia Commons; photograph: Scott Segler

The mandatory admission charge introduced by New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art has sparked a petition demanding that the institution be ‘free for all’. At the time of writing it has garnered 16,819 supporters. The petition was started by San Francisco art enthusiast Aarti Kelapure who writes: ‘The Met is a public good, housing historical and cultural artefacts that should be free for everyone to experience’. The Met’s decision to end its ‘suggested donation’ policy (which has been in effect since 1970) for non-New Yorkers, forcing them to pay US$25 for admission, has sparked furious debate. At frieze, Cody Delistraty argues that the Met’s ticket price hike points to more structural problems for US cultural institutions who are facing a hands-off government and increasing donor-dependence.

The Taipei Fine Arts Museum has announced that the 2018 Taipei Biennial is to be co-curated by Mali Wu and Francesco Manacorda. Wu is a lecturer at Taiwan’s National Kaohsiung Normal University, as well as a curator and artist, while Manacorda is the artistic director of the V-A-C Foundation. The biennial’s 11th edition will run from 17 November to 10 March 2019. Titled ‘Life-support, Living, Survival System’, this year’s edition is themed around ideas of symbiosis and collective survival: ‘the interconnectivity of ecosystemic structures formed between humans and nature.’

Gallery-share event Condo returns to London this weekend, with 17 spaces hosting 46 international galleries. Don’t miss our highlights of the shows – and our recent feature which asks whether these ‘collaborative exhibitions’ are the future for galleries.

Pace is opening a second Hong Kong gallery, and an exhibition by Japanese artist Yoshitomo Nara will inaugurate the new space on 26 March – the opening is timed to coincide with Art Basel Hong Kong (29–31 March). Pace is joining a wave of other galleries including David Zwirner, Hauser & Wirth, Pearl Lam and Tang Contemporary Art, who are opening spaces in the H Queen’s tower in the city’s Central district, which describes itself as ‘the world's first art gallery sky arcade’.

The latest in London’s gallery closures is Rokeby Gallery which ceases operations after 13 years. ‘After 13 years of exhibitions, art fairs and 440 litres of white paint, Rokeby Gallery operations have now closed’, founder Beth Greenacre announced. The gallery began in Fitzrovia in 2005 and then later moved to Clerkenwell, showing work by artists including Liam Gillick and Graham Hudson – its last show was by Sam Dargan, which closed on 15 December last year.

In further gallery news: New York’s Morgan Lehman Gallery has opened a second space in Chelsea with a show of work by Osamu Kobayashi and Erica Prince; Los Angeles’s David Kordansky Gallery now represents Michael Williams (the LA-based painter is also represented by Gladstone Gallery in New York and Brussels and Galerie Eva Presenhuber in Zürich and New York); Berlin’s Esther Schipper is to represent Berlin-based British artist Simon Fujiwara; and David Zwirner has announced that it now represents the estate of Austrian artist Franz West – Zwirner commented: ‘I opened my gallery with Franz West’s work in a small space on Greene Street, and I am incredibly honoured, 25 years later, to represent his estate.’

Finally, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has awarded arts organization Rhizome US$1 million to develop its Webrecorder project which seeks to build an open-source program to create archival copies of websites, ‘improving digital social memory for all’ – the grant is the largest in Rhizome's history. 

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