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MOCA director Philippe Vergne to depart

29 May 2018

Our daily round-up of news from the art world

Philippe Vergne to leave MOCA in Los Angeles | Philippe Vergne, the director of Los Angeles’s Museum of Contemporary Art, is to leave the institution when his contract expires in March 2019. According to a statement released by MOCA, Vergne and the museum’s board had come to a mutual agreement over his departure; according to sources cited by Artnet, the board is said to have been dissatisfied with Vergne’s handling of the controversial dismissal of chief curator Helen Molesworth earlier this year. Vergne, who joined the museum in 2014, was previously director of the Dia Art Foundation. The museum has appointed a committee to search for his successor.

Painting of Ivan the Terrible vandalised in Moscow | A work by Ilya Repin, depicting Ivan the Terrible and His Son Ivan (1885), has been seriously damaged by an attack on the canvas, which took place on Friday evening at the State Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow. The painting shows the 16th-century tsar cradling his dying son, whom he is said to have killed in a violent rage. A curator at the gallery has suggested that the vandal may have been motivated by the belief, popular among nationalists, that the tsar did not in fact murder his son. The Russian interior ministry has released a video in which the suspect claims that he was ‘overwhelmed’ after drinking vodka. The suspect was arrested after the incident and continues to be detained.

Original site scrapped for Jeff Koons’s Paris memorial | Jeff Koons’s controversial tribute to the victims of the Paris attacks, a sculpture titled Bouquet of Tulips, will not be installed outside the Palais de Tokyo, as was originally planned. The French culture minister Françoise Nyssen told Le Figaro (French language article) that the artist ‘is not set on the Palais de Tokyo site’ and that he the ministry was planning on proposing ‘a number of other potential sites in the capital’ to Koons for consideration.

Berkshire and La Salle University museums face sanctions over deaccessioning | The Association of Art Museums Directors (AAMD) in America is to impose sanctions on the Berkshire Museum and La Salle University Art Museum following the institutions’ respective decisions to deaccession holdings from their collections for purposes other than the acquisition of other works. The AAMD has requested that its 243 members ‘refrain from lending or borrowing works of art to either the Berkshire Museum or the La Salle University Art Museum, and to also refrain from collaborating with either institution on exhibitions’.

Swiss pavilion awarded Golden Lion at Venice Architecture Biennale | The Swiss Pavilion has been awarded the Golden Lion, the top prize at the Venice Architecture Biennale. Designed by Alessandro Bosshard, Li Tavor, Matthew van der Ploeg and Ani Vihervaara, the installation was an imagining of an empty apartment featuring rooms built to various dimensions that distorted visitors’ perception of scale. Portuguese architect Eduardo Souto de Moura was awarded the prize for best individual presentation.