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150+ Artists Urge MoMA to Remove Leon Black From Board; Turkish Students Jailed for LGBTQ Poster

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Over 150 artists have urged the Museum of Modern Art to remove Leon Black from its board of trustees. Black recently announced that he would step down as CEO of his private equity firm Apollo Global Management after an independent report found that he provided convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein with a $30 million loan. Andrea Fraser, Nan Goldin, Michael Rakowitz, and Xaviera Simmons are among the signatories.

The activist group Guerrilla Girls revealed that it canceled a book deal with Phaidon in 2019 after realizing the publisher is owned by Leon Black.

After weeks of opposition against government censorship in Turkey, protests have escalated after a group of students was detained for creating LGBTQ posters. The initial demonstrations started one month ago after President Erdoğan appointed one of his political allies as the school’s rector, inciting outrage over political motivations.

Months of dispute over a Nick Cave artwork has come to a close after a zoning board in Kinderhook, New York, ruled in a unanimous vote that “Truth Be Told” (2020) was “a political message and art,” and therefore protected by the First Amendment. The work had recently been removed after a code enforcement officer instigated a stop-work order for the 160-foot message on Jack Shainman Gallery’s upstate outpost.

PEN America has released a handbook for artists facing persecution, produced with input from creators worldwide.

Botticelli painting sold for $92.2 million, becoming the second most expensive Old Master work ever sold at auction. The tempera on panel painting is one of three portraits by the 15th-century artist left in private hands.

Two recent investigations of “Salvator Mundi,” including one conducted by the Louvre, suggest sections of the portrait were not part of Leonardo da Vinci’s original design and may have been painted by another artist.

Nine Gee’s Bend quilters have opened their first online shops on Etsy, with prices that range from $27 to $5,500 per piece.

Mexico has asked Christie’s to cancel an upcoming sale of pre-Hispanic objects. The National Institute for Anthropology and History says 30 items in the sale belong to the country’s national patrimony, and three others are fake.

The Getty Foundation announced that it would be awarding 45 grants amounting to over $5 million for the next Pacific Standard Time initiative.

Awards & Accolades

Tacita DeanRenée GreenSky HopinkaJoan Jonas, and Oscar Santillán were selected for an inaugural art commission by the Holt/Smithson Foundation.

Porfirio Gutiérrez will be awarded the Carolyn Glasoe Bailey Foundation Art Prize, and Jovan C. Speller will be awarded the Carolyn Glasoe Bailey Foundation Minnesota Art Prize.

Lauren Halsey was awarded the 2021 Gwendolyn Knight and Jacob Lawrence Prize by the Seattle Art Museum.

Transitions

Polly Brannan was named artistic director of Open School East in the United Kingdom.

Kelly Taxter was named director of the Parrish Art Museum in Watermill, New York.

In Memoriam

Guy Brett (1942–2021), curator and critic | ARTnews

Robert Cohan (1925–2021), dancer, choreographer, and artistic director | Guardian

Dustin Diamond (1977–2021), actor and stand-up comedian known for his role on Saved by the Bell | New York Times

Rini Dippel (1931–2021), Stedelijk Museum curator | ARTnews

Sibongile Khumalo (1957–2021), singer of classical, jazz, opera, and traditional South African music | Africa Report

Richard L. Feigen (1930–2021), art collector and dealer | Antiquities and the Arts

Ricky Powell (1961–2021), photographer known for his images of the hip-hop music scene and downtown New York City

Sophie (1986–2021), pioneering producer, songwriter, and musician | Pitchfork

Monika Tilley (1934–2021), swimwear and loungewear designer and founding Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) member | WWD

Marc Wilmore (1963–2021), writer for In Living Color, The Simpsons, F Is for Family, and more | New York Times

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