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Art educators bring claim for unfair dismissal against National Gallery

Plus: Pussy Riot invade pitch after World Cup final | Site Gallery appoints Sharna Jackson new artistic director | National Railway Museum cancels design contest for redevelopment | and recommended reading

16 July 2018

Our daily round-up of news from the art world

Art educators bring claim for unfair dismissal against National Gallery | A preliminary hearing has been held today for the claim of a group of 27 art educators against the National Gallery in London for unfair dismissal – and recognition of their status as employees. The Guardian reports that twenty of the claimants have been dismissed from their roles, while seven are working on less well-paid contracts than they were on before. The group also claims to have suffered age and sex discrimination, to have been insufficiently consulted about changes to their employment, and to be entitled to retroactive holiday pay.

Pussy Riot invade pitch after World Cup final | The Russian activist group Pussy Riot has claimed responsibility for a pitch invasion at the final of the World Cup in Moscow on Sunday. The Art Newspaper reports that four members of the group have been charged with ‘violating spectator’s rights’ and wearing police symbols illegally. The group issued a statement declaring that the performance-protest, entitled ‘Policeman enters the game’, was held to highlight the poor treatment of Russian political prisoners, and was a tribute to the artist Dmitri Prigov (who died 11 years ago) and his concept of the ‘ideal policeman’.

Site Gallery appoints Sharna Jackson new artistic director | Ahead of its reopening in September after a £1.7m redevelopment, Sheffield’s Site Gallery announced today the appointment of Sharna Jackson as its new artistic director. Jackson, who has previously worked at Tate, Design Museum and The Broad, among other institutions, will work alongside executive director Judith Harry to deliver exhibitions and oversee community engagement programmes at the contemporary art space.

National Railway Museum cancels design contest for redevelopment | The Science Museum Group has cancelled the design competition for a £12m redevelopment of the National Railway Museum in York, after its funding application was rejected by the Heritage Lottery Fund. Architect’s Journal reports that the winning team would have received £600,000 to draw up plans for an overhaul of the museum’s Great Hall exhibition space. The Science Museum Group has stated that ‘the museum’s masterplan and the project to regenerate the Great Hall will still go ahead, but we are reviewing the phasing and timescales’.

Recommended reading | Taking her cue from the National Gallery’s recent acquisition of a self-portrait by Artemisia Gentileschi, Rhiannon Lucy Cosslett argues in The Guardian that an account of the artist’s life is essential to a full understanding of her painting. In Artforum, the American artist Adrian Piper compares the role of the individual in Kant’s notions of Enlightenment with non-Western philosophical traditions of illumination and rationality. In the Sunday Post, the Scottish artist and playwright John Byrne makes a stinging contribution to the debate as to whether the Glasgow School of Art should be rebuilt, arguing that the school had ‘given up’ its soul long before being destroyed by last month’s fire.

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