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Garden Bridge project is officially scrapped

14 August 2017

Our daily round-up of news from the art world

Garden Bridge project is officially scrapped | The Garden Bridge Trust has officially abandoned its plans to build a bridge across the river Thames. Months after London’s mayor Sadiq Khan withdrew his support in April 2017, the trust today announced that it has stopped working to find alternative ways to fund the controversial project and will now officially wind down. In response to this decision, Khan has commented that it was his ‘duty to ensure taxpayers’ money was spent responsibly’ and that he was ‘very angry that London taxpayers have now lost tens of millions of pounds – committed by the previous mayor on a project that has amounted to nothing’.

Stolen de Kooning painting returns to Arizona museum | A Willem de Kooning painting that was stolen in 1985 from the University of Arizona Museum of Art has been found and returned to the museum, it was announced on Friday. Woman-Ochre (1954–55) was recovered by the owners of a furniture and antiques store in Silver City, New Mexico, who unwittingly purchased the painting as part of an acquisition of an unnamed estate earlier this year, returning it as soon as they realised its true identity. Although the painting is in good condition considering the theft, in which it was cut and removed from its frame, it will be now sent for restoration before going back on public display.

Yayoi Kusama museum to open in Tokyo | In an unexpected announcement on Thursday week, it was revealed that Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama is opening her own museum. The five-storey building in Tokyo, completed in 2014 by architectural firm Kume Sekkei, will open to the public this October. Tensei Tatebata, current president of Tama Art University and director of the Saitama Museum of Modern Art, has been appointed director of the new museum, which will be dedicated to Kusama’s work. Artnet reports that a spokesperson for Kusama’s gallery David Zwirner confirmed that the museum has been in development for some time, but that the artist ‘wanted to keep it as a surprise for her fans’.

Susan Dackerman is the new director of Stanford’s Cantor Arts Center | Stanford University’s art museum, the Iris & B. Gerald Cantor Center for Visual Arts, has named its new director: Susan Dackerman. Dackerman, a German Renaissance scholar, joins the Cantor after two years at the Getty Research Institute in Los Angeles and a decade as curator of prints at the Harvard Art Museums. She succeeds the museum’s former director Connie Wolf, who resigned from the post just over a year ago.

Recommended reading | The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum has released a statement in response to the fatal violence which occurred at a neo-Nazi rally in Charlottesville, Virginia this weekend. In the New York Times, Holland Cotter reviews the group exhibition ‘Blue Black’ curated by artist Glenn Ligon at the Pulitzer Arts Foundation in St Louis. Cotter finds that the exhibition carries ‘a spectrum of meanings that runs from polemical to personal and poetic.’ And in the New York Review of Books, Tobi Haslett takes a look at the life and work of New York street photographer Jamel Shabazz, currently the subject of an exhibition at the Studio Museum in Harlem.