Diotima Schuck
25 January 2023

Scandal and corruption in Algiers. On Sunday 25 December 2022, the public prosecutor of the Court of Algiers called for a five-year prison sentence against the former Algerian Minister of Culture Khalida Toumi.

Minister of Culture of Algeria from 2002 to 2014 and prosecuted for “abuse of office, granting of undue advantages and squandering of public funds” during her term of office, Khalida Toumi was charged in 2019, then imprisoned.

In April 2022, the former minister was sentenced to six years in prison and in July, her sentence was reduced to four years. At the end of the same month, Khalida Toumi was granted parole. The verdict of the appeal was then overturned by the Supreme Court.

For some, the prosecution was intended to please the country’s Islamo-conservative circles, as Khalida Toumi is a strong feminist political figure in Algeria.

Khalida Toumigovernment
Diotima Schuck
20 January 2023
Paris

On 20 December 2022, Maya Widmaier-Picasso, the eldest daughter of the artist, died in Paris of pulmonary complications at the age of 87. The news was confirmed by her son, Olivier Widmaier-Picasso.

First daughter of Pablo Picasso and Marie-Thérèse Walter, María de la Concepción, nicknamed Maya, was born in 1935. The subject of a series of portraits painted by the artist between 1938 and 1939, she later studied art history and specialised in the works of her father. She was decorated several times by the French state for her work, contributing to Picasso’s influence in the world.

An exhibition at the Picasso Museum opened until 31 December highlights the relationship between Picasso and his daughter on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the artist’s death.

obituaryPablo Picassoexhibition
Diotima Schuck
12 January 2023

On 19 January 2023, a study of Black figurative painting by artists from Africa and its diaspora entitled When We See Us: A Century of Black Figuration in Painting will be published. It will accompany a major exhibition at Zeitz MOCAA.

The publication will explore the question of Black representation through portraiture and figuration from a pan-African and pan-diasporic perspective, from the 1920s to the present. As African artists have seen a rise in popularity on the international art scene and in the art market over the past decade, the book will trace a general history of practices long sidelined in the West and in art history as it has been written so far.

With the study of more than 200 works of art, the exhibition that guided the development of this publication brings artists into dialogue in a global way by intersecting them with the work of thinkers, writers and poets. A major event in favour of less Eurocentric historical perspectives.

exhibitionart historycontemporary African art
Diotima Schuck
10 January 2023
New York

In New York, the counterpart of the Villa Médicis, the Villa Albertine, has launched calls for applications for two residencies in the United States at the beginning of 2023. Potential artists and designers will have until 1 February to apply.

The programme is aimed at designers and craftspeople and will enable two project leaders working in France to carry out research requiring immersion in the United States. An opportunity for dialogue and contact for the residents, and a chance for the French Institute to establish its influence on American territory.

The residencies will take place in the Brooklyn district of New York in 2024 for two months, between February and December 2024. Applicants will receive a response in May 2023 and the two selected winners will have the be able to discover the New York artistic and cultural scene, accompanied by the creative platform WantedDesign.

cultural policydesign
Diotima Schuck
10 January 2023

It had been closed for almost three years. However, the Centre for Chinese contemporary art in Manchester announced its reopening on its Instagram page on 10 January 2023. It is scheduled to open on 18 February with a new exhibition curated by Hanlu Zhang.

Following the arrival of Covid-19, the centre was forced to close its doors. Controversy had also surrounded the place regarding the lack of diversity in its teams. In March 2020, curator Tiffany Leung withdrew from the organisation of an exhibition, expressing her incomprehension about the Eurocentric outlook of a predominantly white team representing Chinese artists.

Founded in 1986, the institute thus had to review its internal policy to integrate a new perspective. It is now planning to move away from its "Chinese artists" focus and become a platform for artists and artistic practices that know and identify with Southeast Asia.

openingexhibitioncontemporary art
Diotima Schuck
10 January 2023

The Lebanese association for visual arts Ashkal Alwan has found new premises in Beirut. The most important contemporary art organisation in the city, it has moved after eleven years to the Mar Mikhael district, at the beginning of 2023.

The organisation was founded in 1993 by curator Christine Tohmé and is dedicated to the production, promotion and research of contemporary art practices in the Beirut region. In its thirty years of existence, Ashkal Alwan has developed multiple projects, a forum focused on cultural practices called Home Works, a residency program, platforms for the dissemination of works and an art studies program, the Home Workspace Program, among others.

Ashkal Alwan moved to a lively area of the capital, one of the most popular with locals and tourists alike for its restaurants and bars, but also for its artistic venues. With a large number of galleries, this new location anchors the association at the heart of the city’s cultural effervescence.

art centrecontemporary art
Diotima Schuck
10 January 2023
London

In London, the Natural History Museum is said to have signed a contract with a Danish oil company that would prevent any criticism against it from the institution. This has been denounced by several media outlets since 8 January 2023.

The facts date back to 2016, when the museum signed a contract with Dong Energy, one of the clauses of which stipulated that it could not make "any statement" that could "damage the reputation" of the company. Now called Ørsted, it has sponsored the Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition since 2016. The contract, however, is to remain in force until September 2023.

The silence clause, now revealed, has led to accusations of greenwashing from various environmental groups and concerns about the influence of large companies on public discourse in general.

climateecology
Diotima Schuck
9 January 2023
London

London just lost a fair: the next edition of the art and antiques fair, Masterpiece, has been officially cancelled on 9 January 2023 by the parent company MCH Group, which is also responsible for Art Basel. It was due to take place in early summer.

Created in 2010, the fair offered works of art ranging from old masters, contemporary art and antiques to jewellery, design and cars. The arrival of Covid had forced the management to cancel the event in 2020 and 2021, but it did take place last summer, in 2022. Masterpiece’s director, Lucie Kitchener, noted losses among the galleries represented, which fell from 150 in 2019 to 129. Economic difficulties followed for the fair.

The Brexit is also to blame, causing the capital more and more problems in terms of international cultural events. Traders are now more interested in Paris. London, for its part, is seeing its institutions face general budget cuts. A delicate situation for the city.

fair
Diotima Schuck
9 January 2023

The Brisbane Institute of Modern Art (IMA) announced on 9 January 2023 the appointment of a new director, Robert Leonard. He had previously held the position from 2005 to 2013.

An experienced curator, Robert Leonard has worked for nearly thirty years in exhibition organisation, publications and gallery management. Most recently he was Chief Curator of City Gallery Wellington and Editor of Art News New Zealand. In 2003 and again in 2015, he directed the New Zealand section of the Venice Biennale.

Founded in 1975, the IMA is the oldest independent public art institution in Australia. It exhibits contemporary and emerging artists and enjoys a very positive reputation in the art world and among critics for its experimentation and care.

Robert Leonard will return to his position this month: "I have no intention of repeating myself. The discussion has changed, I have changed. I look forward to seeing how I can contribute to this new moment", he commented.

appointmentart centre
Diotima Schuck
9 January 2023
Paris

From 9 January to 19 February 2023, installations by the artist Subodh Gupta will be visible at Le Bon Marché, Paris. Invited by the Grand Magasin, he notably created a monumental sculpture made of kitchen pots.

Indian visual artist Subodh Gupta is a figure of contemporary art in his country of origin and internationally. Sculpture, installation, painting, photography, performance or video: all these mediums are used in his work to highlight an Indian culture also constructed by everyday objects. By elaborating on ready-made pieces, Subodh Gupta tells the story of a daily life and a culture in mutation, between rituals and modernity.

The exhibition, entitled "Sangam", pays homage to French culture by using domestic objects and aims to provoke questions from consumers confronted with the works scattered throughout several spaces in the shop.

Le Bon Marché is no stranger to inviting artists to exhibit for the venue, occasionally transforming itself into a cultural space.

exhibition
Diotima Schuck
9 January 2023
Paris

It is official as of 9 January 2023: Philippe Bélaval has joined the position of cultural advisor at the Élysée Palace, directly appointed by Emmanuel Macron. The post had been vacant since the departure of Rima Abdul Malak as Minister of Culture in May 2022.

A senior civil servant, Philippe Bélaval has been a member of the Council of State since 1979 and president of the Centre des monuments nationaux since 2012. He was director of the Paris Opera from 1990 to 1992, then of the French National Library from 1994 and, in 1998, of the French National Archives. A dense career, consecrated by this new appointment.

Philippe Bélaval will therefore have to monitor the project to move the Cité internationale de la langue française to the Château de Villers-Cotterêts in the Aisne, a €200m government initiative launched in 2017, as well as supervising the restoration of Notre-Dame.

appointmentgovernmentcultural policy
Diotima Schuck
9 January 2023
10 January 2023

In Cairo, the Great Egyptian Museum will open in 2023. The largest archaeological institution in the world, its inauguration should take place very soon, as announced at the beginning of the year.

"A museum of the 21st century", is how Tarek Tawfik, the director of the museum, described the institute in 2019. The work has been going on for a long time, almost twenty years. The Dublin-based architectural firm Heneghan Peng designed a monumental structure of nearly 5.2 million square metres that should be able to accommodate 15,000 visitors a day.

The institute will display the relics of King Tutankhamun discovered in 1922, i.e. about 5,000 artefacts, but also nearly 100,000 objects dating from prehistoric times to the periods of ancient Greece and Rome.

openingarchaeologymuseum
Diotima Schuck
6 January 2023
London

The season of year-end reports is here, and Bonhams is no exception. The London-based auction house has shared its 2022 turnover at the beginning of 2023, which amounts to one billion dollars. A result it had never seen before.

Although Bonhams did not reach the five million dollar mark for any of its sale in 2022 like its competitors Christie’s, Sotheby’s and Phillips—the leading trio of auction houses—the group was able to benefit from an expansion with four new houses, three of which in Europe. The share of sales in this region of the world thus reached 33%, the same as in the United States.

Bonhams saw its sales increase by 27% compared to the previous year, thanks in particular to an online sales strategy and the arrival of new customers: 52% of buyers were in fact buying from the house for the first time. The company could soon overshadow Phillips, which had sales of $1.3 billion in 2022. This gap is still wide, but could close by 2023.

auctionBonhams
Diotima Schuck
6 January 2023

Lehmann Maupin Gallery is looking to expand its presence in Southeast Asia. It has therefore appointed Ken Tan, an art consultant from Singapore, to head up its expansion at the beginning of 2023.

Ken Tan was the director of programming and production for the Singapore International Arts Festival and the Singapore Writers Festival. He was also Director of the Asia Society Museum in New York and curated exhibitions internationally. He became director of Marc Straus Gallery in New York in 2015 and was also responsible for expanding its presence in Asia.

Based in New York, Lehmann Maupin has branches in Palm Beach, London, Seoul and Hong Kong. Ken Tan will be able to bring his fifteen years of experience in the contemporary art world to the gallery by handling client relations and seeking new opportunities for the artists represented.

appointmentgallery
Diotima Schuck
6 January 2023
Paris

The year 2022 marks the return of the museums, with an attendance rate of approximately 4.5m visitors for the cultural institutions of the City of Paris. A figure that tends towards pre-pandemic levels.

In first place, the Louvre, with no less than 7.8m visitors and an increase of 170% compared to the previous year. And even though this is still 19% less than in 2019 and its 9.6m visitors, the increase remains extremely positive. This growth was made possible by the return of the foreign public, which enabled the Centre Pompidou to double its attendance compared to 2021 with 3m visits.

If the explosion of the figures can be explained by the reopening of several cultural venues in the capital, it also announces a return to normal three years after the beginning of Covid. Not to mention the absence of the Chinese public, which should soon be able to travel and once again be among the public of the city’s museums in 2023...

museum
Diotima Schuck
6 January 2023
Paris

New attendance figures for Parisian institutions: It was the turn of the Orsay and Orangerie museums to announce their attendance figures for 2022, with very positive results.

In 2019, Orsay reached 3,651,616 visitors, only 10% more than in 2022 and its 3,270,182 visitors. At the Orangerie, the figures were 1,029,925 in 2019 compared with 1,013,265 in 2022. An even smaller gap, testifying to the taste of both local and international visitors for 19th and 20th century art.

The programme has had a lot to do with this, with the blockbuster exhibition centred on Edvard Munch and its 600,000 admissions recorded a month before its closing at the Musée d’Orsay. Also, the introduction of a reduced rate for its evening events helped to facilitate the return of a large public.

This is good news for Parisian museums, which are gradually returning to pre-pandemic attendance levels even though Chinese tourists are still absent from the capital.

museumOrsay Museum
Diotima Schuck
6 January 2023
Paris

At the beginning of 2023, the 193 Gallery announced the opening of a second exhibition space, opposite the first one, located near the Place de la République in Paris. A good news for Paris and its contemporary art scene.

Created in 2018, the 193 Gallery met with rapid success in the capital. A place for creation, meetings and exchanges, the gallery quickly established itself as an open and dynamic space. Its creator, César Levy, thus opened another temporary space in Venice for the duration of the Biennale. This third space—and second permanent one—will extend the exhibition space at 24 rue Béranger by 220 sqm, at the 21 of the same street.

Closed from 24 December to 6 January, the gallery will reopen on 7 January 2023 with its new exhibition, "Abstraction is Freedom". An opportunity to (re)discover its artists, as well as the new exhibition space, inaugurated the same day.

galleryopeningexhibition
Diotima Schuck
6 January 2023

From 6 to 15 January 2023, the city of Singapore will be alive with a row of events, all centred on art. This 11th edition brings together museums, galleries, independent spaces and public art interventions, with a programme open to all.

While Hong Kong usually takes centre stage as far as the Asian contemporary art scene is concerned, it is Singapore’s turn to take centre stage with no less than 130 events including new pieces created for the occasion, but also international collaborations between artists.

This art week is accompanied by the 7th edition of the Singapore Biennale called "Natasha", which opened in October 2022 and will run until March 2023. The opportunity for the city to let art emerge everywhere, in all its forms.

contemporary artfair
Diotima Schuck
5 January 2023
Monaco

On 5 January 2023, the Prince Claus Foundation and the Goethe-Institut revealed the winners of the 2022 Mentoring Award for Cultural and Artistic Responses to Environmental Change. The twelve winners are artists, filmmakers, curators and art researchers.

Designed to respond to the pressing issues of climate and the environment today, the prize brings together artists and cultural practitioners from around the world for a one-year interdisciplinary programme, supported by four mentors: Brigitte Baptise, Etcétera Collective (Federico Zukerfeld and Loreto Garín Guzman) and Serkan Taycan.

This year, the recipients come from eleven different countries: Mexico (Daniel Godínez Nivón), Kyrgyzstan (Bermet Borubeava), the Philippines (Razcel Jan Salvarita), India (Paribartana Mohanty), China (Long Pan), and Palestine (Benji Boyadgian), to name but a few. Together they will imagine solutions to the climate crisis through new works and projects.

contemporary artecologyclimate
Diotima Schuck
5 January 2023

On Thursday 5 January 2023, the board of directors of Frac Bretagne appointed its new president. Madeleine Louarn, stage director, joins the regional contemporary art fund based in Rennes.

Director of the theatre company l’Entresort, Madeleine Louarn began her career as a specialised educator in an Esat, where she created the "Catalyse" workshop. From then on, she put on shows that enabled her company to become professional. In 2021, the it became a national centre for adapted creation, working with people with disabilities.

With this appointment, the Frac Bretagne reasserts its approach on accessibility and inclusiveness. "Disability, by opening up to otherness and the unknown, is also an exciting exploration of the possibilities of life," commented the board of directors.

appointment