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Artists exhibiting at MoMA PS1 call on museum to drop board members

Plus: Stan Douglas to represent Canada at 2021 Venice Biennale | former media tycoon appointed first Frieze CEO | and Betty Pat Gatliff (1930–2020)

15 January 2020

Our daily round-up of news from the art world

Artists exhibiting at MoMA PS1 call on museum to drop board members | 37 artists involved in MoMA PS1’s exhibition ‘Theater of Operations: The Gulf War 1991-2011’ have sent an open letter to its curators and MoMA’s directors urging the museum to part ways with trustees whom they claim profit from the ‘suffering of others’. The letter, signed by almost half of the artists featured in the exhibition, expresses support for Phil Collins, who previously withdrew a video work from the show in solidarity with activists demanding that trustee Larry Fink withdraw his company BlackRock’s investment in private prison companies. The letter also targets the chairman of MoMA’s board of trustees Leon Black, whose equity firm Apollo Global Management is invested in a defence contractor.

Stan Douglas to represent Canada at 2021 Venice Biennale | The National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa has announced that Vancouver-born artist Stan Douglas will represent Canada at the 59th Venice Biennale in 2021. In selecting Douglas for the prestigious international exhibition, the Canadian Jury Committee cited the artist’s ‘continuing re-imagination of the mediums of photography and multi-channel film and video installation, together with his paradigmatic investigations into the relation of local histories with generational social forces’.

Former media tycoon appointed first Frieze CEO | Simon Fox has been named as the first CEO of the Frieze group and will oversee its publications and four international art fairs when he takes up the position on 2 April. Fox is the former chief executive of Reach, a UK media company that owns the Daily Mirror and Daily Express. It has also been announced that Andrew Durbin, a senior editor at Frieze magazine, will replace Jennifer Higgie as its editor-in-chief. Last year the Hollywood-based entertainment group Endeavor bought a 70-per-cent stake in Frieze.

Betty Pat Gatliff (1930–2020) | Betty Pat Gatliff, the American forensic sculptor whose reconstructions of faces assisted the police in identifying missing persons or victims of murder, has died at the age of 89. With a shrewd understanding of facial structure and outstanding artistic skill, Gatliff reconstructed faces based on the skulls sent to her by coroners, medical examiners and police departments. Gatliff made more than 300 faces in more than 40 years, with her personal records showing that identification was made in 70 per cent of cases.