Roma Institute for Arts and Culture, Berlin
On June 8, Berlin saw the launch of the Roma Institute for Arts and Culture, the first of its kind. As the largest minority in Europe, the Roma have yet to be proportionally represented in European museums – currently only two are, points out Timea Junghaus, who is spearheading the initiative.
The group has not been entirely overlooked. In 2007, they participated at the Venice Biennale with their own pavilion. “It was a very important time in the Roma discourse. It was the first year theoreticians began to write about the economic and cultural aspects of Roma life through critical theory,” Junghaus told The Art Newspaper.
While the permanent space will not be functional until September, the German Foreign Ministry in Berlin will be hosting its exhibitions with the support of the Council of Europe, philanthropist George Soro’s Open Society Foundations, and the German government. “We’ve been living in Europe for six hundred years,” Sead Kazanxhiu, an Albanian Roma, told The Guardian. “Now for the first time we have a place we can call our own and the chance to present the image of who we are, rather than others doing it for us.”
Established in 2012 by artists Jessica Kairé and Stefan Benchoam, the Nuevo Museo de Art Contemporáneo is Guatemala City’s sole contemporary art museum, and the egg-shaped stand can only accept four people at a time.
LACMA’s campaign aims to raise $75, to reproduce the micro-museum in portable form, of which it has already raised over $15,000. Over the course of two weeks, it will theoretically travel 3,000 miles from its conceptual home to California, via cities in Mexico and Texas. “We want to do this and we want to do it big,” the founders and LACMA curator Rita Gonzalez shared with LA Times. “We were, like, it’s crazy—but let’s do it!”
Lentos Kunstmuseum and Nordico Stadtmuseum, Linz
Austria’s Lentos Kunstmuseum, an institution focused on modern and contemporary art, and the Nordico Stadtmuseum, which displays objects related to Linz’s cultural history, have announced the appointment of Hemma Schmutz as director. Schmutz succeeds Stella Rollig, who moved onto the artistic directorship of Vienna’s Belvedere Museum, and has stated plans to work on rebranding both museums.
“At only 14-years-old, the Lentos is a very young museum,” Schmmutz said in a statement, making an observation that it is unusual for the institution to house both 19th- and 20th-century works. “We need to sell ourselves better.” As of 2016, Lentos was receiving less visitors than in previous years, and Schmutz firmly endeavours to build up its international audience, foster collaborations with other museums, and improve accessibility by breaking down “institutional barriers.”
Schmutz’s first curatorial moves will include a research-based exhibition of Gustav Klimt, Egon Schiele and Kolo Moser in honour of the 100th anniversary of their deaths in 2018, and a 50th-anniversary exhibition on the student and labour unrest in Western Europe in 1968.
Bombas Gens Centre d'Art, València
A new contemporary art centre in Spain is due to open 8 July featuring the private collection of the Fondation Per Amor a l’Art in a 1930s Art Deco building. With Nuria Enguita at the helm, Vicente Todoli will serve as artistic advisor for the 6,200-square-metre cultural space.
The opening programme includes Bleda y Rosa. A Geography of Time which surveys the 25-year artistic production of Maria Bleda and Jose Maria Rosa; Ornament = Crime? based on works from the collection that address the connections between the ornamental and abstract; and Histories of Bombas Gens, which explores the history of the building in which the collection is housed.
Focusing on photography and abstract use of language in painting and sculpture from a range of local and international artists, the collection currently stands at 1,500 works and continues to grow. The institution will also dedicate resources to research for studying and promoting Wilson’s disease, as well as social action to combat the circumstances of underprivileged children.
Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Venice
Richard Armstrong, director of the Solomon R Guggenheim Museum and Foundation, announced that Karole P.B. Vail will serve as director of the Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Venice, and director of the foundation’s Italian sector. Vail will take the helm following Philip Rylands’s 37-year directorship.
“Having worked closely with Karole Vail for almost a decade, I have the deepest respect for her scholarship, curatorial insight, unfailingly sound judgment, and collegial management style,” Armstrong said of Vail, who has been part of the Guggenheim’s curatorial staff since 1997. “I have the utmost confidence in her ability to lead the Peggy Guggenheim Collection into the future, and know that her personal ties to the institution and roots in Italy and Europe will add an unmatched depth and nuance to her work.”
As the museum’s second ever director, as well as being a granddaughter of Peggy Guggenheim, artforum reports that Vail stated, “I have known and loved Peggy’s collection, and the palazzo and garden that are its home, since I was a child. Now it is my privilege and honour to lead this exceptional institution, carrying forward Peggy’s vision and ensuring that it remains a vital part of today’s culture, as she would have wanted it to be. I embark on this role with a sense of great responsibility, an eye to the future and a deep appreciation for Peggy’s extraordinary accomplishments.”