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Kunsthalle Wien director to step down over fears about growing Austrian nationalism

24 May 2018

Our daily round-up of news from the art world

Kunsthalle Wien director to step down over fears about growing Austrian nationalism | Nicolaus Schafhausen, director of the Kunsthalle Wien, has announced that he is to step down from his role next spring, having reached an agreement with the city of Vienna to end his contract three years early. The museum has released a public notice, in which Schafhausen states: ‘Due to the current resurgence of nationalist politics in Austria, and the situation across Europe, the reach, impact and the possibilities of institutions such as Kunsthalle Wien seem to be put into question’.

Painting in Italian museum reattributed to Andrea Mantegna | The curator of the Accademia Carrara in Bergamo, Giovanni Valagussa, has reattributed a work in the museum’s collection to the Renaissance master Andrea Mantegna, according to the Art Newspaper. The Resurrection of Christ, a tempera on panel painting of around 1492–93, had been thought a genuine Mantegna until the late 19th century, but was subsequently downgraded to the status of a Renaissance-era copy. Newly discovered evidence for the reattribution includes the identification of the painting’s missing lower half, which was sold as a Mantegna by Sotheby’s in 2003.

Berkshire Museum’s deaccession auctions fall short of target | The first series of auctions of works from the Berkshire Museum’s collection ended today, realising a total of $42m, failing to reach the museum’s stated goal of $55m. In April the institution reached an agreement, following months of protests and legal battles, allowing it to sell up to 40 works from its collection in order to reach its fundraising target. Of the 13 works that have hit the block, two failed to sell, and others sold below estimate.

Art Gallery of Ontario retitles Emily Carr painting | The Art Gallery of Ontario in Toronto has renamed a painting in its collection by Emily Carr to remove colonial terminology from its title. The painting, which depicts a colonial missionary church erected in an indigenous village on Vancouver Island, had been known as Indian Church since it was first exhibited by Carr in 1929; it now hangs in the gallery with the title Church in Yuquot Village. Curator Georgiana Uhlyarik has said that the gallery is currently undergoing a process of reviewing the works in its collection in order to identify ‘hurtful and painful’ terms for potential revision, the Canadian National Post reports.

Gerhard Richter donates works to raise funds for housing charity | The artist Gerhard Richter has donated 18 of his works, worth more than $1m, to be sold by Fiftyfifty Gallery in Düsseldorf to raise funds for the housing initiative Housing First in North Rhine-Westphalia. The works are three series of six abstract prints, entitled Cage f.ff; the first two series of the same edition were also sold in 2015 by Fiftyfifty, who were able to purchase 48 apartments with the profits.