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Neo-Expressionist artist A.R. Penck has died aged 77

Plus: Hong Kong’s June 4th Museum to reopen | Martin Clark named director of Camden Arts Centre | Tate Modern extension to be named in honour of Len Blavatnik | and Rod Hebden appointed interim director of Swindon Museum and Art Gallery Trust

4 May 2017

Our daily round-up of news from the art world

A.R. Penck (1939–2017) | Neo-expressionist painter A.R. Penck has died in Zurich at the age of 77, according to a statement from his gallery. Born Ralf Winkler in Dresden in 1939, the artist adopted his pseudonym in order to escape the attention of East Germany’s communist authorities, who tried to prevent him from exhibiting his work. He emigrated to West Germany in 1980 and emerged as a major figure on the global art scene. Penck was the subject of several retrospectives, and held a professorship at Düsseldorf’s Academy of Art.

Hong Kong’s June 4th Museum to reopen | A museum in Hong Kong dedicated to the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre is to reopen following a closure of almost a year. According to the Smithsonian magazine, the reopening is only temporary, and will involve a special exhibition entitled ‘What has June 4th to do with me?’. The June 4th Museum was shut down last July by city officials who claimed it violated zoning laws. It is as yet unclear as to whether the museum will find a permanent new venue.

Martin Clark named director of Camden Arts Centre | Bergen Kunsthall director Martin Clark is to take over the leadership of London’s Camden Arts Centre. Clark, who previously worked at Tate St Ives and Bristol’s Arnolfini gallery, replaces Jenni Lomax, who is stepping down after 27 years at the north London venue. He featured in Apollo’s inaugural 40 Under 40 in 2014.

Tate Modern extension to be named in honour of Len Blavatnik | The Tate has announced that the recently opened extension to Tate Modern is to be named after the Ukrainian-born American businessman and philanthropist Len Blavatnik in recognition of his financial contributions towards the project. Known as the Switch House since its opening, the extension has received over six million visitors in the past year. In a statement, outgoing Tate director Nicholas Serota praised the ‘generosity’ of Blavatnik’s gift, describing it as ‘unprecedented’.

Rod Hebden appointed interim director of Swindon Museum and Art Gallery Trust | Rod Hebden has been appointed to lead the trust overseeing plans for a museum and art gallery in Swindon following the surprise resignation of director Hadrian Ellory-van Dekker. According to the Museums Association, Hebden will oversee the trust’s £10m Heritage Lottery Fund bid. As previously reported, the project has met with considerable opposition from locals who believe the money would be better spent on Swindon’s railway heritage.

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