Berlin’s Gropius Bau Gets New Director, Loaned Roman Statue Seized at Met, and More: Morning Links for March 31, 2023

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The Headlines

HUMAN RESOURCES. Curator Jenny Schlenzka, who brought new energy to Performance Space New York while serving as its executive artistic director over the past six years, is headed to Berlin to become director of the Gropius Bau—“one of the most beautiful exhibition spaces in all of Germany, if not of Europe,” she told the New York Times. Performance Space’s board president, author Roxane Gay, said that Schlenzka “has enriched our organization with her impeccable taste, bold vision and willingness to evolve and respond to the needs of our vibrant community.” Gropius Bau’s previous director, Stephanie Rosenthal, left last year to become project director for the Louvre Abu Dhabi. Meanwhile, over in beautiful Barcelona, Sara Puig Alsina was voted in for a second four-year term as president of the Fundació Joan Miró.

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A smiling man in a suit in a dimly lit room.

THE CRITICS. Director Lasse Hallström’s new film about artist Hilma af KlintHilma, is a “somewhat syrupy, conventional yet still respectable attempt to broaden” her audience, Tomris Laffly writes in Variety. In the Brooklyn RailCal McKeever says that Gagosian’s current Chris Burden show in New York is “filled with reminders that humor can be an exceptionally generative tool in art.” And while discussing Gego’s “Drawings without paper” in a review of her Guggenheim show in the New York TimesHolland Cotter declares, “I can assure you that you will not see any contemporary works, by anyone, in any New York museum, more stimulatingly inventive than these.”

The Digest

Documentary filmmaker Michael Blackwood, who made vivid portraits of artists like ChristoPhilip Guston, and Isamu Noguchi, as well as other cultural greats, died last month at 88. “The thread that ties together so much of Blackwood’s work is a sense of patience and respect,” Sasha Frere-Joneswrote last year. [The New York Times]

Banksy being sold by the British band Brace Yourself! went for £1.6 million (about $2 million)—more than three times its high estimate—at Julien’s Auctions in Los Angeles. The group got the work from the artist himself in exchange for changing their name from Exit Through the Gift Shop, which the shadowy figure wanted to use as the title for his 2010 documentary. [The Guardian]

Officials seized a third-century bronze statue of Roman emperor Septimius Severus from the Met, to which it had been on loan from a Swiss collector for a dozen years. They say that it was looted in the 1960s from southwest Turkey, and it will be returned to the country. [The New York Times]

Just in time for the Gwangju Biennale’s opening in the south of South Korea next week, the Seoul Museum of Art is officially inaugurating a new branch called the Art Archives, which will hold research and archival collections and host exhibitions. Its first shows include a look at the career of the late curator-critic Choi Min[The Korea Times]

In her 2024 budget, New York Governor Kathy Hochul has proposed cutting the funding for New York State Council on the Arts from $109.7 million to $48 million, a 56 percent decrease. Her office framed the dramatic drop as the result of pandemic-recovery appropriations expiring. [The Art Newspaper]

IN PROFILE. Grab a second cup of coffee! Artist Lee Bul is in the Guardian, multihyphenate provocateur Ryder Ripps is in the New York Times, painter Stanley Whitney is also in the Guardian, and architect Frank Gehry is in Time.

The Kicker

DRINK UP! Besides being an artist and art dealer, John Riepenhoff is an accomplished beer maker, and for almost a decade has operated the Beer Endowment, collaborating with breweries to brew beverages that can be sold to benefit artist-run organizations. The latest entry is Good Weather Cold IPA, a partnership between the Good Weather gallery (founded in Little Rock, Arkansas, now based in Chicago) and Little Rock’s Lost Forty Brewing. Riepenhoff is doing a pop-up solo show with the gallery in the Arkansas capital, and explained to the Arkansas Times that the goal is for the drink to be quaffable, not some art experiment. “We wanted to make the best, most refreshing beer possible,” he said, adding that “it’s a little bit lower ABV than you might expect from an IPA. In the warm summer Arkansas months it’s very drinkable and refreshing and you can have a few without losing your ability to talk about fine art.” [AT]

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