Walmart Gives $2 Million to Crystal Bridges Contemporary – The Momentary, a vast contemporary art space under construction by the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, has gotten a $2 million boost from Walmart. The museum founded by the Walmart heiress, Alice Walton, plans to turn a former Kraft Foods factory in Bentonville, Arkansas, into a multidisciplinary art space by 2020. (Northwest Arkansas Democrat)
Jan Fabre Is Accused of Sexual Harassment – The Belgian artist and choreographer has been accused of sexual harassment in an open letter. About 20 employees and interns who have worked with Fabre’s at his Troubleyn Theatre Company have complained about his behavior, which they say includes humiliating and trying to obtain sexual favors from dancers. Fabre and the company have denied the allegations. “I regret that this media storm is taking down an entire company and is standing in the way of a fair trial,” the artist said in a statement. (Brussels Times)
Trump’s Immigration Crackdown Targets Artists – The US government is making it harder for artists to get work permits or visas as part of its crackdown on immigration. As of this week, officials can deny applications they decide are “frivolous or meritless,” and they do not need to say why. Critics fear decisions will be arbitrary and testimonial letters will be ignored “no matter who they are from, how specific or how well documented.” (Observer)
Artist Pyotr Pavlensky Released from Detention – The Russian political performance artist who recently set fire to the Bank of France has been released by authorities from pre-trial detention and ordered to report regularly to the court before his trial begins in January. Pavlensky previously fled Russia for France, but now says the treatment of prisoners in the Fleury-Mérogis prison is worse than at home. Outside the courthouse, activists from the political protest group Femen showed their support by recreating his first performance in which he sewed his own mouth shut. (The Art Newspaper)
Art Advisor Sells Kerry James Marshall’s Study – Joel Straus is cashing in on Kerry James Marshall’s soaring auction prices. The art advisor is selling Study for Past Times (1997) at a guest-curated Sotheby’s sale in New York. The finished painting sold for more than $21 million to Sean Combs in May. Straus bought the study from the artist at the same time he bought the finished work for the McCormick Place Art Collection in Chicago for $25,000. The study now carries an estimate of $900,000 to $1.2 million. (ARTnews)
Hollis Taggart Tests Third Chelsea Space – The New York gallery plans to occupy a 500-square-foot space this fall at the flashy new High Line Nine building. After December, it will decide whether to make it a permanent location. Hollis Taggart moved to 521 W. 26th Street and opened private viewing and storage annex in Chelsea earlier this month. (Press release)
Various Others Gallery-Share Weekend Opens – Munich hosts Germany’s latest gallery-share program—called Various Others—this weekend. Among the visiting dealers is mega-gallery Hauser & Wirth, which is setting up shop at Galerie Christine Mayer. The program also offers major exhibition openings, including Thomas Hirschhorn at Villa Stuck, Jörg Immendorff at Haus der Kunst, and Sophie Calle at Espace Louis Vuitton.