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Hammer Museum launches $180m capital campaign

23 February 2018

Our daily round-up of news from the art world

Hammer Museum launches $180m capital campaign | The Hammer Museum in Los Angeles yesterday announced the launch of an $180m capital campaign in support of its renovation and expansion project which, headed by architect Michael Maltzan, began last year and aims to be finished in 2020. In the same announcement, museum director Ann Philbin thanked L.A. philanthropists Lynda and Stewart Resnick, who have contributed the largest donation in the museum’s history ($30m) towards the scheme, and revealed the museum’s decision to name the Hammer’s building after them. The campaign has already raised more than $130m.

US court rules against bomb victims being compensated with Iranian artefacts | The US Supreme Court on Wednesday unanimously ruled that the victims of a terrorist attack in Jerusalem in 1997 are not permitted to take a collection of Iranian antiquities from the University of Chicago in lieu of the $71m compensation they are owed. The victims, who suffered injuries in a suicide bombing in Jerusalem, claimed their right to the Oriental Institute’s Persepolis artefacts by drawing on an act that allows victims of terrorism to seize foreign assets. Government lawyers said seizing ‘such unique cultural artefacts’ in this way ‘could cause affront and reciprocity problems’.

Sou Fujimoto Architects wins competition to build Switzerland centre | The architect Sou Fujimoto has been selected to build a new learning centre for the University of St. Gallen (HSG) in Switzerland. The new complex will occupy a 7,000 square metres and take the form of stacked cubes on a grid, while glass walls will link inner rooms with outer rooftop terraces. Construction is expected to begin in 2019 for a 2022 opening.

Experimenter announces new space in Calcutta | The contemporary art gallery Experimenter has announced its plans to open a new space in Ballygunge Place in Calcutta at the end of this month. The area will be the second Experimenter gallery to form, with the original, opened in 2009 by co-founders Prateek & Priyanka Raja, located on the nearby Hindustan Road. The second branch will occupy two floors of a restored 1930s building. The inaugural exhibition ‘I wish to let you fall out of my hands (Chapter II)’ will be a continuation of Chapter I at Hindustan Road, and will include featuring artists such as Ayesha Sultana,  Julien Segard, Moyra Davey, and Samson Young.

Recommended reading | On Wednesday, ARCOmadrid removed a politically contentious exhibit by Santiago Sierra. In the Guardian, Sam Jones reports from Madrid on reactions to that decision, and increased disquiet about freedom of expression in Spain. Also in the Guardian, Nadja Sayej reflects on cases of sexual harassment in the art world and the changes that should follow. In National Geographic Michael Greshko looks at the studies suggesting that Neanderthals may be responsible for the art on the walls of caves in Spain, while in Artsy Carsten Höller talks about why he is obsessed with slides.