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  • Feb 16, 2024

Weekly News Roundup: February 16, 2024

Installation view of (rear) MIRE LEE’s Endless House: Holes and Drips, 2022, rope, bisque-fired ceramic, liquid glaze, peristaltic pump, silicone tubes, metal scaffold, metal receptacle, dimensions variable. (front) Endless House: Holes and Drips #1-4, 2022, concrete, liquid glaze, peristaltic pump, silicone tubes, metal scaffold, metal receptacle, dimensions variable, at 59th Venice Biennale, Venice, 2022. Photo by Sebastiano Pellion di Persano. Courtesy the artist and Tina Kim Gallery, New York. 

Mire Lee Awarded Turbine Hall Commission

London’s Tate Modern announced that it has selected Seoul-born artist Mire Lee to create the next Hyundai Commission, an annual presentation set in the Tate’s massive 3,400-square-meter atrium, the Turbine Hall. The artist’s new site-specific project will open to the public on October 8, one day before the opening of the Frieze London art fair. Lee is known for combining mechanical structures with goopy, visceral materials, including silicone and clay, to create sprawling kinetic installations. Working between Amsterdam and Seoul, Lee has participated in a number of shows and art fairs, including the 59th Venice Biennale in 2022, where her installation Endless House: Holes and Drips (2022) comprised a scaffold seemingly engulfed in entrails. In 2023, the New Museum in New York hosted her first US solo show, titled “Black Sun” in reference to Julia Kristeva’s eponymous book (1987) on depression and melancholiaKarin Hindsbo, director of Tate Modern, stated: “Lee produces powerful sculptures, and we look forward to seeing how she transforms the iconic Turbine Hall with her subversive, multisensory forms.”

Exterior of Bassam Freiha Art Foundation in Saadiyat Cultural District, Abu Dhabi. Courtesy Bassam Freiha Art Foundation.

Bassam Freiha Art Foundation to Open in Abu Dhabi

Founded by Beirut-born philanthropist and art collector Bassam Freiha, the Bassam Freiha Art Foundation (BFAF) will open on March 4, marking the first private institution within Abu Dhabi’s Saadiyat Cultural District, neighboring the Louvre Abu Dhabi and Zayed National Museum. Curated by BFAF exhibitions director Michaela Watrelot, two exhibitions will open concurrently: The inaugural show “Echoes of the Orient” juxtaposes works from the Orientalist movement with works by Arab modernists to explore the fantasies and realities surrounding the region, as well as to reclaim Orientalist narratives. Meanwhile, “Reclaiming Visions,” in the annex gallery of the Foundation, will feature photographs of Iraqi-Palestinian artist Sama Alshaibi from her Carry Over series (2017–19); sculptures by Emirati artist Azza Al Qubaisi; and 19th-century portrait photography from the Orientalist art movement, forging a complex dialogue on exoticized representations of Arab women. Both exhibitions will run until August 15, 2024. BFAF will be open from Monday to Friday, 10am to 8pm and admission is free of charge.

The entrance of Guangdong Times Museum in Guangzhou. Image via Facebook.

Guangdong Times Museum Returns in March

Guangdong Times Museum, a private art museum in Guangzhou, plans to reopen this March after being shut for nearly two years. In August 2022, the museum announced its suspension due to a lack of financial support from its major corporate partner, Times China, but a charity auction on January 7 enabled its comeback, with the top-selling work fetching USD 47,000. The group exhibition “Follow the Feeling,” curated by Shenzhen- and Hong Kong-based Qu Chang, on intimacy in contemporary China will inaugurate the museum's reopening on March 23. It plans to host two more group exhibitions, “The poetics of images, fields and geography” in July and “There is also a way on the island” in October, as well as a mid-career survey of Fuxin-born artist Sun Xun, details for which have yet to be determined. Deputy director Nikita Cai Yingqian commented on the reopening: “We want to restart not because . . . the future capital budget has been secured. It is because too many people have expectations from us. This is also a responsibility, a responsibility for this ecology of art and we want to continue to be able to do something.”

Portrait of CHELSEA PETTITT. Courtesy Bagri Foundation, London. 

Bagri Foundation Announces New Director

The London-based Bagri Foundation has announced the return of Chelsea Pettitt, the previous head of arts at the Foundation from 2018–21, as its new director. Remarking on the appointment, Pettitt said: “I feel immensely privileged to be the first Director of the Bagri Foundation, returning to an organisation that I truly believe in.” Pettitt’s past experience with the Foundation involved leading projects such as the Bagri Commission at the Hayward Gallery, “Soheila Sokhanvari: Rebel Rebel” (2022) at the Barbican, Anicka Yi’s presentation at the 58th Venice Biennale, and the initiative “Untold: Write Afghanistan,” among others. Prior to becoming director, Pettitt was general manager at the National Trust from 2021 to 2024 and a curatorial assistant at Hayward Gallery from 2008 to 2011. Pettitt has also been an independent curator since 2007, organizing exhibitions at the Hayward Gallery such as “A Universal Archive: William Kentridge as Printmaker” (2013), “Louise Bourgeois Prints” (2014), “The House in the Sky: Artists Imagine New Utopias” (2014) and solo shows by Yu-Chen Wang and Kim Beom (both 2012). She served as a trustee of Artes Mundi from 2022 to 2023, has been a fellow of the Royal Society of the Arts since 2020, and a member of ICOM since 2015.

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