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Briefing

David Hockney to design a new stained glass window for Westminster Abbey; Richard Prince faces yet another lawsuit

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Installation view of ‘David Hockney: Current’ at the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne. © David Hockney Inc.

Installation view of ‘David Hockney: Current’ at the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne. © David Hockney Inc.

  • David Hockney has been commissioned to design a new stained glass window for Westminster Abbey in London. The 20ft by 6ft window in the north transept – one of the church’s few remaining clear ones – will be known as The Queen’s Window. The cost is being covered by two anonymous benefactors. Hockney said of the design: ‘I have planned a landscape full of blossom that’s a celebration every year.’ An Abbey spokesperson said: ‘he will have pretty much free rein – he’s David Hockney.’
     
  • Richard Prince is once again facing legal action over the alleged unauthorised reproduction of a photograph of rock star Kim Gordon, which was taken by Eric McNatt in 2014 to accompany an interview published by Paper magazine. According to McNatt, Prince cropped and posted the portrait on Instagram the day after it was first published, later scaling in up, exhibiting it at Blum & Poe, Tokyo, and placing it for sale on Oculus, an online art selling platform.
     
  • Helen Marten, the winner of the first Hepworth Prize for Sculpture, has pledged to share the GBP£30,000 award with her fellow nominees. The London-based artist who is also up for this year's Turner Prize, said she felt ‘the hierarchical position of art prizes today is to a certain extent flawed,’ adding, ‘the context of the world’s political landscape is changing so drastically. Amidst that, the art world has a responsibility to uphold an umbrella of egalitarianism and democracy and openness.’ The award is open to any British or UK-based artist who has made a significant contribution to contemporary sculpture. Phyllida Barlow, Steven Claydon and David Medalla were the other three shortlisted artists.
     
  • LeBron James, Cleveland Cavaliers forward and four-time NBA MVP, has donated USD$2.5m to the newly opened National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C. The gift has been earmarked for a presentation on Muhammad Ali titled ‘A Force for Change’, which will foreground the heavyweight boxing champion’s sporting achievements humanitarian work and social activism.
     
  • a-n, the largest membership organization for visual artists in the UK, currently boasting 20,000 members, has published a new set of guidelines for artists and exhibiting organisations to support the vast percentage of practitioners who continue to receive little to no payment for their contributions to public exhibitions. In a statement, Jeanie Scott, executive director of a-n, said: ‘this guidance is about more than just ensuring artists are fairly paid. It’s about recognising the significant contribution they make to our material lives, and to the broad economic success of the sector enjoys.’
  • American sculptor Houston Conwill, best known for his collaborative site-specific works celebrating African-American culture and spiritualism, died last week at the age of 69. Conwill, a recipient of both the Guggenheim fellowship and the Rome Prize from the American Academy in Rome, has work held in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art, New York, the Hirshhorn Museum, Washington, the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, and the Studio Museum in Harlem.
     
  • Architect Frank Gehry and artist and designer Maya Lin are amongst the 21 recipients of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian award for making ‘especially meritorious contributions to the security or national interests of the United States’, which will be awarded by President Barack Obama on Wednesday. Other awardees include Ellen DeGeneres, Robert De Niro, Michael Jordan, Diana Ross and Bruce Springsteen.
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