Hong Kong debut for M+ museum’s collection
The first large-scale exhibition of works donated and sold to the M+ museum in West Kowloon by the pioneer collector of Chinese art, Uli Sigg, will open next year (23 February-5 April 2016)—a month after the institution’s director, Lars Nittve, steps down. The show will include work by artists including Ai Weiwei, Cao Fei and Zhang Peili.
Julia Peyton-Jones to leave Serpentine
Julia Peyton-Jones will leave the Serpentine Galleries in London next July after 25 years at the helm of the institution. A consummate fundraiser, Peyton-Jones has transformed the gallery into a widely respected venue for international contemporary art, which now attracts around 1.2 million visitors a year. In 2006, she was joined by Hans Ulrich-Obrist as the co-director of exhibitions and international projects. Together they oversaw the opening of a second space, the Serpentine Sackler Gallery, designed by Zaha Hadid, in 2013. Peyton-Jones also launched the annual Serpentine Gallery Pavilion commission for a temporary building by an international architect each summer.
Canada’s new leader promises money for arts
Justin Trudeau, the leader of Canada’s Liberal party who was elected prime minister in October, pledged to invest an additional $380m into arts and culture. Over the past eight years, the cultural sector has seen funding decline under Stephen Harper’s conservative government. Trudeau intends to double the government’s investment in the Canada Council for the Arts, which funds music, theatre, dance and visual arts across the country.
Whitney names next biennial curators
The Whitney Museum of American Art in New York named Christopher Lew and Mia Locks as the organisers of its 2017 biennial. In a statement, Scott Rothkopf, the museum’s deputy director for programmes, said the pair “have great intellectual chemistry” and that it was “exciting to see the first biennial in our new home in the hands of such talented young curators”. Lew is an associate curator at the Whitney and Locks is a former assistant curator at MoMA PS1.
Ulay sues former lover Marina Abramovic
The German artist known as Ulay is suing his former collaborator and lover Marina Abramovic for breach of contract. Ulay claims that a 1999 contract between the two, which stipulated that he be named as a co-author on certain works and be paid for sales, has not been honoured. Abramovic’s lawyer told the Guardian newspaper that the suit is “abusive and aims to damage [Abramovic’s] reputation”.
Malevich’s Black Square hid off-colour joke
Specialists at the State Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow have discovered a racist joke underneath the top coat of black paint in a version of Kazimir Malevich’s 1915 avant-garde work Black Square. X-rays of the canvas reveal an inscription in the artist’s handwriting which appears to read: “Negroes battling in a cave”, an apparent reference to an 1897 black painting by the French writer Alphonse Allais called Negroes Fighting in a Cellar at Night.
New Bacon catalogue raisonné out in 2016
Almost every known work by the British artist Francis Bacon will be included in a catalogue raisonné to be published by the artist’s estate next April. The five-volume catalogue, ten years in the making, will reveal for the first time more than 100 paintings that are not on public display, including the first painting in Bacon’s “Screaming Popes” series.
Compiled by Julia Halperin, Hannah McGivern and Pac Pobric