News Recap: September 21, 2018

A weekly update of art world news.

Photo: Graeme Williams

Photo: Graeme Williams

Hank Willis Thomas Pulls Work From Johannesburg Art Fair Amid Plagiarism Claims
Hank Willis Thomas is under fire from fellow photographer Graeme Williams for the “theft, plagiarism, appropriation,” of his work in a piece (previously) on view in Goodman Gallery’s booth at the Johannesburg Art Fair. Willis Thomas’s work depicts a whited out version of Williams’s 1990 photograph of schoolchildren and police, symbolically depicting the end of the apartheid. The piece has since been removed from the fair per Willis Thomas’s request. After several attempts to reach the gallery and a frustrated Facebook post by Williams, Willis Thomas offered to never publicly show the work and loan it to Williams for one year. However, Williams says that there has been “no formal apology or commitment to destroying,” the piece. Willis Thomas, whose work frequently consists of appropriated advertising images, is eager to have a dialogue about the work and has said, “I can see why he would be frustrated. He said to me that he didn’t feel like I had altered the image enough. The question of ‘enough’ is a critical question. This is an image that was taken almost 30 years ago that has been distributed and printed hundreds of thousands of times all over the world. At what point can someone else begin to wrestle with these images and issues in a different way… much the way that people would quote from a book? Who has the right to represent the historic document of a public event and in what way?” At the time of writing, no formal decision about the Willis Thomas work has been made.
Read the full story (Artnet News

David Zwirner to Co-Represent the Estate of Diane Arbus in Upcoming Show
Works by Diane Arbus have been exclusively dealt by Fraenkel Gallery since it’s opening in 1979, until now. David Zwirner is the new co-representative of the Estate of Diane Arbus, stating, “I am honored to have been entrusted to help the Estate and Fraenkel Gallery with the extraordinary legacy of Diane Arbus, whose radical work remains as relevant today as when her photographs were taken. The Estate and Fraenkel Gallery’s handling of Arbus’s work has been exemplary and we are thrilled to partner with them.” Fraenkel and Zwirner will be hosting the first ever exhibition of Arbus’s complete Untitled series, shot between 1969 and 1971 at residences for the developmentally disabled. The upcoming display, featuring 11 never-before-seen photographs, will be on view at Zwirner’s 20th Street location in November.
Read the full story (Artnet News)

Steve McQueen to Photograph Every 7-Year-Old in London
Award winning artist Steve McQueen has launched a new initiative to photograph every Year 3 (aged 7-8) student in London. McQueen has invited all 2,410 schools in the greater London area to participate in the project, taking the form of class photographs reflecting the diversity of the city’s youth. McQueen said about the series, “There is an urgency to reflect on who we are and where we come from.” Photographs from the project will be on view at the Tate Britain among other locations, accompanied by a retrospective of McQueen’s work at the Tate Modern in early 2020.
Read the full story (The Art Newspaper)

Louis Marchesano Named Senior Curator of Prints, Drawings, and Photographs at Philadelphia Museum of Art
The Philadelphia Museum of Art (PMA) has appointed a new Curator of Prints, Drawings, and Photographs. Starting in January of 2019, Louis Marchesano will take over for Innis Shoemaker, who retired earlier this year. Marchesano comes to PMA after having served as Curator of Prints and Drawings at the Getty Research Institute from 2002. The Curator said in a statement, “I’m especially excited about working with colleagues across the museum and thinking creatively about new exhibitions and research projects. This is a great moment to be joining the PMA given its ambitious campaign to transform and renew the institution.”
Read the full story (Artnews)