Apollo Magazine

Martin Puryear to represent US at next Venice Biennale

Plus: Chilean minister quits over past criticism of human-rights museum | Petition filed for case of Norton Simon Museum’s Cranachs to be reheard | Activists and artists attack Cuban government decree | and Baltimore Museum of Art appoints three curators

Installation view of 'Face Down' (2008) by Martin Puryear at John Berggruen Gallery.

Installation view of 'Face Down' (2008) by Martin Puryear at John Berggruen Gallery. Photo: flickr/rocor

Our daily round-up of news from the art world

Martin Puryear to represent US at next Venice Biennale | The US Department of State’s bureau of educational and cultural affairs has confirmed that Martin Puryear will represent the United States at the next Venice Biennale, opening in spring 2019. Puryear’s selection was reported by Artnews over the weekend but was officially confirmed today, ending weeks of speculation as to why an artist had not yet been announced. The pavilion will be curated by Brooke Kamin Rapaport, deputy director and senior curator of the Madison Square Park Conservancy in New York.

Chilean minister resigns over past criticism of human-rights museum | Mauricio Rojas, the Chilean minister for culture, has resigned after comments he made in 2015 about the Museum of History and Human Rights came to light. The Museum opened in Santiago in 2010, and documents the abuses committed under the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet (1973–1990). In a book published in 2015, Rojas described the institution as making ‘shameless and inaccurate use of a national tragedy’.

Petition filed for case of Norton Simon Cranachs to be reheard | Marei von Saher has filed a court petition in San Francisco, seeking to overturn a ruling that two paintings by Lucas Cranach held in the Norton Simon Museum belonged to the museum and not to her. Von Saher is the daughter-in-law of the Dutch Jewish art dealer Jacques Goudstikker, whose collection was seized in 1940 by the Nazis. The museum contends that the pair Adam and Eve (c. 1530) were rightfully acquired from private hands in the 1970s.

Artists and activists criticise Cuban government in open letter | Artists and activists including Tania Bruguera and Yanelys Nuñez Leyva have joined with Laritza Diversent, director of human-rights organisation Cubalex, to criticise a recent decree by the Cuban government. In an open letter posted in Spanish and English on the activism website Avaaz, the signatories attack Decree 349, which gives the government greater powers to impose censorship and levy fines on dissenting artists. They describe the move as likely to cause ‘the impoverishment of Cuban culture’.

Baltimore Museum of Art hires three curators | The Baltimore Museum of Art has announced the appointment of three new curators. Asma Naeem will become chief curator, Andaleeb Badiee Banta will become senior curator of prints, drawings and photographs, and Virginia Anderson will become curator of American art.