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The week in art news – Spanish government finally approves funds for Prado expansion

Plus: Danish museum and artist in dispute over two blank canvases | and New Museum creates $400,000 sculpture prize for women

2 October 2021

After six years of delay, the Spanish government has approved funding for a €36m expansion to the Prado Museum. The project will allow the museum to incorporate and renovate the 17th-century Salón de Reinos (Hall of Realms), which once housed the largest paintings of the royal collection as part of the Buen Retiro Palace. Plans submitted by Foster & Partners and Rubio Arquitectura, who won the design competition in 2016, include the addition of a third floor and terrace to give the museum an extra 27,000 sq ft of exhibition space. The expanded museum is expected to open to the public in 2024.

The Kunsten Museum of Modern Art in Aalborg, which lent artist Jens Haaning 534,00 krone (£61,478) worth of bank notes to incorporate into two works of art, has said it expects him to return the money after he sent the museum two blank canvases. In past work the artist framed euros and Danish krone respectively to represent the average annual salaries of an Austrian and a Dane. Commissioned to recreate the two works for a labour-themed exhibition at the Kunsten Museum, Haaning, who has called his new (cash-free) works Take the Money and Run, told the Danish broadcaster DR: ‘The work is that I have taken their money.’

The New Museum has announced the creation of a new biennial sculpture prize for women artists. The prize is funded by a $2m grant from the Hostetler/Wrigley Foundation, with $400,000 awarded to each of the five winners over a ten-year period. This money will be used to cover the fabrication and installation of a sculptural work to be exhibited in a public plaza adjoining the museum (the plaza is still under construction as part of a major expansion overseen by Rem Hoolhaas). The inaugural recipient of the prize will be announced in late 2022. Also announced this week were the recipients of this year’s MacArthur ‘genius’ grants: among the 25 individuals awarded the unrestricted $625,000 fellowship are artists Jordan Casteel and Daniel Lind-Ramos, and art historian Nicole Fleetwood.

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