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Blain Southern closes all three galleries in London, New York and Berlin

Plus: Oliver Dowden named new culture secretary in cabinet reshuffle | House of Representatives votes to establish a Smithsonian museum for women’s history | and Elisabeth Wild (1922-2020)

13 February 2020

Our daily round-up of news from the art world

Blain Southern closes all three galleries | Harry Blain, director of Blain Southern gallery, announced last night that he is closing the gallery at all three of its locations in London, Berlin and New York. In a statement, he writes that ‘despite the support of dedicated gallery staff’ he has been ‘unable to secure the gallery’s future long term’. Blain co-founded the gallery in 2010 with Graham Southern, who left the partnership in November; senior director Charles Saumarez Smith stepped down in December. Artists including Jake and Dinos Chapman, Sean Scully and Mat Collishaw have all also parted company with the gallery in recent months.

Oliver Dowden named UK culture secretary in cabinet reshuffle | Oliver Dowden has been named as the UK culture secretary in today’s cabinet reshuffle. The Conservative MP for Hertsmere since 2015, Dowden had served as Cabinet Office minister since 2019. In the past he has served as David Cameron’s deputy chief of staff. He takes over from Nicky Morgan, who had planned to step down.  

US House of Representatives votes to establish a Smithsonian museum for women’s history | On Tuesday, the US House of Representatives voted 374 to 37 in favour of a bill that would establish a new Smithsonian museum dedicated to women’s history. The bill, which was introduced last March by congresswoman Carolyn Maloney, has since gained 293 co-sponsors. The ‘Smithsonian American Women’s History Museum Act’, a piece of legislation in support of the bill, has yet to pass in the Senate. 

Elisabeth Wild (1922–2020) | The artist Elisabeth Wild, known in her later years for brightly coloured collages, has died at the age of 98. Born in Vienna in 1922, Wild moved with her family to Argentina to escape the Nazi regime in the 1930s. The family later returned to Europe to flee the Perón dictatorship, settling in Basel. Wild moved permanently to Guatemala to live with her daughter, the artist Vivian Suter, in 1996; both have since exhibited internationally, including at Documenta 14 in 2017. She was recently commissioned by Art on the Underground to create a design for the London Tube map, which will appear in May.

Lead image: used under Creative Commons licence (CC BY-SA 3.0)

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