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Walker Art Center director Olga Viso steps down

Plus: Düsseldorf state museum cancels Max Stern exhibition | 2017 Taylor Wessing prize goes to portrait of 16-year-old migrant | Edvard Munch Art Award goes to Kerstin Brätsch | Laura Owens responds to anti-gentrification protests | and Laura Copelin is appointed executive director of Ballroom Marfa

15 November 2017

Our daily round-up of news from the art world

Walker Art Center director Olga Viso steps down | Olga Viso, director of the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis since 2008, is stepping down from her role at the end of the year, the museum announced yesterday. The past year of Viso’s tenure has seen the successful completion of a $75 million fundraising campaign, as well as the reopening of the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden featuring work from the museum’s collection – including a controversial Sam Durant sculpture, which provoked high-profile protests and was subsequently dismantled. The institution’s board has created a team of four senior officials who will lead the museum while it conducts its search for a new director.

Düsseldorf state museum cancels Max Stern exhibition | An exhibition exploring the life and work of German-Jewish art dealer Max Stern, due to open at Düsseldorf’s Stadtmuseum in four months, has been cancelled, the Art Newspaper reports. City authorities cited ‘current demands for information and restitution in German museums in connection with the Galerie Max Stern’ as its reason for abandoning the exhibition, which it intends to replace with a symposium on the gallerist’s legacy next autumn. The Max Stern Art Restitution Project is currently seeking to recover around 400 artworks that were forcibly sold during the Nazi regime. The decision in Düsseldorf has drawn criticism from multiple sources, including the Haifa Museum of Art, to which the exhibition was due to travel next year.

2017 Taylor Wessing prize goes to portrait of 16-year-old migrant | The winner of the Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize 2017 has been announced as Spanish photojournalist César Dezfuli, for his photograph of 16-year-old Malian migrant Amadou Sumaila, taken on board a rescue vessel in the Mediterranean Sea. Dezfuli was awarded £15,000 for the portrait, which was selected from nearly 6,000 submissions entered for this year’s edition of the National Portrait Gallery’s annual prize for contemporary photographic portraiture.

Edvard Munch Art Award goes to Kerstin Brätsch | Artnews reports that the Munch Museum in Oslo has announced New York-based painter Kerstin Brätsch as the winner of the second edition of the Edvard Munch Art Award for contemporary artists inspired by Munch’s life and work. Brätsch will receive $65,000 as well as a residency and a solo exhibition at the Oslo museum, scheduled for 2020. The first winner of the prize, awarded in 2015, was French artist Camille Henrot.

Laura Owens responds to anti-gentrification protests | Last week the Boyle Heights Alliance Against Artwashing and Displacement staged a protest at the Whitney Museum of American Art exhibition opening for painter Laura Owens, who co-runs the Boyle Heights art space 356 Mission. Owens has now issued a statement responding to the ongoing calls to shut down the gallery, which she founded with her dealer Gavin Brown. While acknowledging the ‘extremely complex and multi-layered issue’ of gentrification, Owens has accused the protesters of ‘aggressive techniques’, from the distribution of false information to bullying and violent threats

Laura Copelin is appointed executive director of Ballroom Marfa | Texas-based contemporary art centre Ballroom Marfa has named Laura Copelin, who is currently serving as interim director, as its new permanent executive director. Copelin, who has worked as a curator at the Marfa non-profit since 2014, succeeds Susan Sutton, who departed earlier this year.

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