Briefing

Linda Nochlin (1931-2017); 5,000 sign open letter against sexual harassment in the art world

Jenny Holzer, Untitled, 1982. Photo by John Marchael. Artwork courtesy of: Jane Dickson, Project Initiator and Animator ​Image Courtesy of Public Art Fund, NY.

Jenny Holzer, Untitled, 1982. Courtesy: Jane Dickson, Project Initiator and Animator ​Image, Public Art Fund, NY; Photograph: John Marchael

Jenny Holzer, Untitled, 1982. Courtesy: Jane Dickson, Project Initiator and Animator ​Image, Public Art Fund, NY; Photograph: John Marchael

The groundbreaking feminist art historian Linda Nochlin has died at the age of 86. Her essay ‘Why Have There Been No Great Women Artists?’ published in ARTnews in 1971, became a landmark text for feminist perspectives on art history, concluding that it was 'institutionally made impossible for women to achieve artistic excellence, or success, on the same footing as men, no matter what the potency of their so-called talent or genius.' Born in 1931 in Brooklyn Nochlin’s graduate work at New York University’s Institute of Fine Arts focused on the French 19th century painter Gustave Courbet. Deeply influenced by second-wave feminism, Nochlin went on to contribute key works in feminist art history including Women, Art, and Power, and Other Essays (1988), doing much to reshape thought around the teaching and display of art, challenging notions of ‘white male genius’. She was a professor at NYU’s Institute of Fine Arts from 1992 until her retirement in 2013.

An open letter responding to the sexual harassment allegations surrounding Artforum publisher Knight Landesman has been signed by 5,000 female, trans and gender-nonconforming artists, writers and curators, including photographer Cindy Sherman, artist and writer Coco Fusco and gallerist Sadie Coles. Shared across social media with the hashtag #NotSurprised (after Jenny Holzer’s 1982 work Abuse of Power Comes As No Surprise), the letter calls on art institutions to act against discrimination: 'We are not surprised when curators offer exhibitions or support in exchange for sexual favors. We are not surprised when gallerists romanticize, minimize, and hide sexually abusive behavior by artists they represent. We are not surprised when a meeting with a collector or a potential patron becomes a sexual proposition.’ Following the news of the passing of Linda Nochlin, the letter also states that it is dedicated to her memory, ‘whose activism, spirit, and pioneering writings have been an inspiration for our work.'

Ireland’s EVA International Biennial has named the participating artists for its 2018 edition which will be curated by Inti Guerrero. Artists include Alejandro González Iñárritu, Laurent Grasso, Lee Bul, Liu Xiaodong and Trevor Yeung. Guerrero’s curatorial theme begins with the painting Night Candles are Burnt Out (1927) by Sean Keating which takes as its subject the hydroelectric dam built in 1925 in Ireland, Ardnacrusha, and its symbol of technological modernity. It runs from 14 April to 8 July 2018.

Kassel council members belonging to the German far-right party Alternative for Germany (AfD) are suing documenta over alleged financial irregularities, naming artistic director Adam Szymczyk and CEO Annette Kulenkampff as well as board members and past and present mayors – following the news that the organization ran EUR€7 million over budget in producing the 14th iteration of the exhibition. While there are valid questions over documenta's financial management, this is the latest in the AfD’s politicization of debate around the quinquennial exhibition – two months ago the AfD member and Kassel councillor Thomas Materner protested discussion of the city’s acquisition of a work by American-Nigerian artist Olu Oguibe, describing it as ‘ideologically polarizing, deformed art.’

Miami Beach’s Bass contemporary art museum has reopened after USD$12 million renovation works that began in 2015, doubling its exhibition and public space, with architect David Gauld working on the project. Works had been beset by repeated delays, but the museum now opens with a set of inaugural shows by artists Ugo Rondinone and Pascale Marthine Tayou, as well as a Mika Rottenberg exhibition scheduled next month to time with Miami Art Week.

Most Read

Nicholas Mangan, Ancient Lights (detail), 2015, two-screen installation, solar panels, batteries, projectors powered by solar energy, dimensions variable. Courtesy: the artist, Sutton Gallery, Melbourne, Hopkinson Mossman, Auckland and Labor, Mexico
At once stagnant and dynamic, politically tense and blissfully buoyant, the French capital was a strange place to be...
From victims of Hurricane Harvey to the music of Roger Waters, 2017 has been full of renewed debate around support for...
In further news: MOCA Detroit suspends Jens Hoffmann after harassment allegations; Met refuses to remove ‘suggestive’...
‘Conflicts of interest’ may have cost Beatrix Ruf her Stedelijk job but the problem doesn’t just lie with individuals...
Her work animates the consequences of our colonial history and the construction of identity politics: in a divided...
France's President Emmanuel Macron meets Burkina Faso's President Roch Marc Christian Kabore at the Presidential Palace in Burkina Faso on November 28, 2017. Courtesy: LUDOVIC MARIN/AFP/Getty Images
The French President’s recent comments hint at a dubious politics: using art restitution as a stopgap to France’s...
More from today’s Briefing: protesting Raghubir Singh; documenta artists defend exhibition (again); Enrico Castellani (...
Tiffany and Co., Sterling Silver Paper Cup, 2017, from the ‘Everyday Objects’ collection. Courtesy: Tiffany and Co., New York
Tiffany & Co.’s new range of gift objects and the shifting meaning of the ‘everyday’
From Hannah Black to Not Surprised, the changes demanded by today’s letter writers are still a long way from being...
Johan Grimonprez, Shadow World, 2016, film still. Courtesy: the artist, Sean Kelly Gallery, New York, Galerie Kamel Mennour, Paris, Flatland Gallery, Amsterdam, Ronald Reagan Presidential Library, Simi Valley, Louverture Films, Dillywood and Shadow World inc., New York
Johan Grimonprez’s recent films explore the mechanisms of the arms trade
A pivot to glass by the sculptor shows an attempt to see hope through political disillusionment
In further news: initiative for museum staff diversity; Gwangju Biennale's 2018 curators; Jens Hoffmann clarifies Front...
Ahead of Manifesta’s opening in Palermo next summer, the importance of remembering an alternative Mediterranean...
Inverting the gaze: real life biography, game play fantasy and Frantz Fanon combine in the British artist’s films
Old Food, 2017, production still. Courtesy: the artist, Galerie Isabella Bortolozzi, Berlin, Cabinet Gallery, London, Gavin Brown’s Enterprise, New York and Rome, and dépendance, Brussels
Helen Marten responds to Ed Atkins’s new work, Old Food, currently showing at Martin-Gropius-Bau, Berlin
Elsewhere: activists protest AfD with Holocaust Memorial replica; censorship at Kuala Lumpur Biennale; Venice Biennale'...
Twenty years after the First Cyberfeminist International at Documenta X, what does Cyberfeminism look like in...
Thinking about propaganda, palimpsests, and a presentation of Tino Sehgal works in Moscow
As London's Architectural Association celebrates 100 years of female students, rediscovering the city designed by women
Lin May Saeed, Lobster, 2017. Metal, 11 x 24 x 14.5 cm. Courtesy: the artist, Nicolas Krupp, Basel, Jacky Strenz, Frankfurt am Main and Lulu, Mexico City
Lulu, Mexico City, Mexico
For the 6th Amsterdam Art Weekend, our picks of the best shows and events across the Dutch capital
Highlights of the shows included in the third iteration of Dublin Gallery Weekend
An interview with Casco – Office for Art, Design and Theory, on new ways for art institutions to work
With her current show at Studio_Leigh, London, the artist shares some important images
Recent instances of censorship show an emboldened far right attacking the arts, queer identity and more: artists,...
The staggering price reached by Salvator Mundi prompts the question: what are you really buying when you buy an artwork?
Wong Kar-wai, Happy Together, 1997, film still. Courtesy: the artist and Alamy 
From the new issue of frieze: Changes in urban cultures and queer aesthetics across the Sinosphere 
On the occasion of two UK solo exhibitions, the British artist reflects on the art and events that have shaped her...

Latest Magazines

frieze magazine

September 2017

frieze magazine

October 2017

frieze magazine

November - December 2017