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Plans for David Bowie memorial sculpture unveiled

Plus: London art gallery sparks racism row | Rashid Johnson to make feature film debut | Andrea Rosen to close gallery after 27 years | Michael Werner awarded France's Legion of Honour | and recommended reading

22 February 2017

Our daily round-up of news from the art world

David Bowie memorial sculpture plans unveiled | A crowdfunding campaign to fund the construction of a public David Bowie memorial has been launched. The proposed structure, to be located near Bowie’s birthplace in Brixton, would take the form of a three-storey steel ‘ZiggyZag’ lightning bolt, referencing the music legend’s iconic Aladdin Sane album cover. To fund the project, at least £990,000 must be raised over the next 27 days – after which the design, created by artist group This Ain’t Rock and Roll, will need to be approved by Lambeth Council’s planning department.

London art gallery sparks racism row | Artists and campaigners are calling for the closure of LD50, an East London art gallery accused of promoting ‘hate speech’ by hosting openly racist speakers and exhibiting neo-Nazi art. According to the Guardian, the gallery held a ‘Neoreaction’ conference last summer with speakers apparently including noted ‘white supremacist’ Brett Stevens and anti-immigration activist Peter Brimelow, alongside an exhibition entitled ‘Amerika’ which explored far-right and Nazi imagery. LD50 owner Lucia Diego has defended the gallery’s programme, dismissing criticism from protestors as an ‘exceptionally aggressive, militant and hyperbolic reaction’.

Rashid Johnson to make feature film debut | Conceptual artist and photographer Rashid Johnson is to make his feature-film debut, it has been announced. Johnson, who is celebrated for making art that explores the contemporary African-American experience, will direct an adaptation of Native Son, Richard Wright’s classic novel from 1940.

Andrea Rosen to close gallery after 27 years | Prominent New York dealer Andrea Rosen has announced her decision to close her Chelsea gallery after 27 years.  In a long email sent to selected supporters yesterday, Rosen states that she ‘will no longer have a typical permanent public space and therefore no longer represent living artists’. The email also announces that Rosen’s continued representation of the Estate of Felix Gonzalez-Torrez will be in partnership with David Zwirner Gallery.

Michael Werner receives Légion d’Honneur | In other gallerist news, German dealer Michael Werner is to be awarded France’s Légion d’Honneur in the rank of Chevalier. The honour, France’s highest decoration, will be conferred at a private ceremony this evening in Berlin.

Recommended reading | The New York Times today published an impassioned op-ed by Metropolitan Museum of Art director Thomas P. Campbell, in which he argues for the importance of arts and cultural programming in the US in the context of the current administration’s proposed plans to defund the National Endowment for the Arts. The article follows a shorter statement opposing the NEA’s elimination, released by the Met this weekend.

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