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Blaze breaks out at Santander’s modern art museum

Plus: University of Wyoming Art Museum appoints Marianne Eileen Wardle as director | Adam Szymczyk responds to documenta 14 auditor’s report | and Kemang Wa Lehulere wins Performa 17 Malcolm McLaren prize

21 November 2017

Our daily round-up of news from the art world

Fire at Santander’s modern art museum is brought under control | A fire broke out early yesterday morning in a modern art museum in the Spanish city of Santander, but was quickly brought under control, with no individuals harmed and no damage caused to any works in the museum’s collection. The Museo de Arte Moderno y Contemporáneo de Santander y Cantabria (MAS) has been closed to the public since February, with all works currently stored in the basement of the building due to a €585,980 renovation project; the source of the fire was on the museum’s top floor. The cause of the incident was not identified in reports, but is being investigated by Santander police officials.

University of Wyoming Art Museum appoints Marianne Eileen Wardle as director | The University of Wyoming Art Museum has announced the appointment of its new director, Marianne Eileen Wardle, currently curator of academic initiatives at Duke University’s Nasher Museum of Art. Wardle will succeed former director Susan Moldenhauer, who joined the museum as a curator in 1991 and retired at the beginning of this month.

Adam Szymczyk responds to documenta 14 auditor’s report | Adam Szymczyk, artistic director of documenta 14, has publicly responded to the independent auditor’s report presented at a board meeting for documenta’s parent company last week, which investigated the reasons for the €5.4 million deficit left by the 2017 edition of the quinquennial Kassel-based exhibition. Szymczyk, in a statement to Artnet, called into question the board’s conduct in handling the audit, stating that he and the exhibition’s CEO Annette Kulenkampff had been excluded from the meeting in which the findings were circulated, and that they only received the report in full after reading summaries of its contents in the media. In the report, the deficit’s primary cause is attributed to the decision to stage the exhibition across both Kassel and the city of Athens. Szymczyk also questioned the seriousness of documenta’s financial situation, describing it as a ‘controlled scandal’ designed to undermine ‘the autonomy of any future documenta through managerial “adjustments”’.

Kemang Wa Lehulere wins Performa 17 Malcolm McLaren prize | South African artist Kemang Wa Lehulere is the winner of the fourth edition of the Malcolm McLaren Award, presented every two years at the conclusion of New York performance art biennial Performa in recognition of an artist who has staged ‘an innovative and thought-provoking performance’ at the festival (this year’s biennial ended on Sunday night). Previous recipients of the award, established in 2011 in honour of its namesake, the late British impresario and Sex Pistols manager Malcolm McLaren, are Ragnar Kjartansson, Ryan McNamara and Edgar Arceneaux.

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