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MoMA receives major donation of Latin American art

Plus: Sonia Solicari named director of Geffrye Museum | MoMA receives major donation of Latin American art | Sekhemka statue reportedly ‘in USA’ | and recommended reading

17 October 2016

Our daily round-up of news from the art world

MoMA receives major donation of Latin American art | The Colección Patricia Phelps de Cisneros has donated 102 works of modern art by artists from Latin America to New York’s Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), including paintings, sculptures, and works on paper, made between the 1940s and the 1990s. Among the major names represented in the donation are Lygia Clark, Hélio Oiticica and Lygia Pape, along with more than 20 artists not previously represented in MoMA’s collection. The museum will open a dedicated research centre for art from the region, and in the next few years will also host a major survey of Latin American art with works drawn from the gift.

Sonia Solicari named director of Geffrye Museum | Guildhall Art Gallery head Sonia Solicari has been appointed director of London’s Geffrye Museum, and will take over the institution in January 2017. Solicari will succeed David Dewing, who is retiring after 25 years at the helm. Commenting on her record at the Guildhall and prior to that as a curator at the V&A, Samir Shah, Chair of the Geffrye’s Board of Trustees praised Solicari’s ‘commitment to innovation’.

Sekhemka statue reportedly ‘in USA’ | An ancient Egyptian sculpture that was sold by Northampton Borough Council in 2014 for nearly £16 million is thought to have left Britain for the US, reports the BBC. The Northampton Museum’s controversial deaccession of the Sekhemka statue sparked an export bar from DCMS and saw the institution have its accreditation removed by Arts Council England. For past coverage of the Sekhemka affair, see here.

Recommended reading | Following English exam board AQA’s decision to stop offering Art History as an A-Level subject, debate on the value of the discipline has been rife. In yesterday’s Sunday Times (£), critic Waldemar Januszczak described the decision as a ‘collapse in educational values’, and explained how the study of art history had ‘saved [his] life’. In the Guardian, however, Jonathan Jones argues that the subject was always the preserve of the elite, and that the wider study of art history has become ‘obscurantist’. ‘Abolish the A-Level?’ he writes. ‘This entire subject needs a shake-up.’ Elsewhere, New York Magazine’s Jerry Saltz investigates Matthew Barney’s re-staging of his 1991 debut show at the Gladstone Gallery and reminisces about how thrilling he found it the first time round. ‘Basquiat had been mythic — but only like Lou Reed was mythic’, he writes. ‘Barney was mythic like Jason and his Argonauts or Daedalus.’

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