The Farewell to Christo and the Art News of the Week 1- 7 June

Wrapped Reichstag, 1985. Photo: Wolfgang Volz. Courtesy of Christo and Jeanne-Claude
Wrapped Reichstag, 1985. Photo: Wolfgang Volz. Courtesy of Christo and Jeanne-Claude

In an attempt to face the problem of the male-dominated art world, Nordic Chart Art Fair’s organizers plan to only show women artists at this year edition. Jorge Rodriguez-Gerada, the Cuban-American artist, has nearly completed his 20,000-foot mural of the pediatrician Dr. Ydelfonso Decoo in Queens. Kovet.Art is a new online platform that will showcase the work of recent graduates from UK universities. Christo, the artist who wrapped the Reichstag and installed The Gates in Central Park, has died at the age of 84. The Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture launched last week a new online portal to expand the nation’s conversation on race.

Facing the problem of the male-dominated art world

[Nina Beier's Empire (2019) Photo: Kunst-dokumentation.com. Courtesy of Croy Nielsen, Vienna
[Nina Beier’s Empire (2019) Photo: Kunst-dokumentation.com. Courtesy of Croy Nielsen, Vienna

In an attempt to face the problem of the male-dominated art world, Nordic Chart Art Fair’s organizers plan to only show women artists at this year’s eighth edition (28-30 August). The proposal will have the purpose to “highlight one of the biggest structural barriers in the art scene and art market: gender imbalance”. This year the fair will embrace a new “de-centered format” taking place across five Nordic cities in the face of the coronavirus crisis.

Nanna Hjortenberg, the fair’s director, said “We are already planning to present women artists exclusively at Chart 2020 with a strong collective statement from the participating galleries, we want to start the debate around gender inequality and engage the entire arts sector in developing solutions for a better-balanced art scene.”

There will be 28 participating galleries with works by artists like Andrea Büttner, Anastasia Ax, Ane Graff, Emma Helle, and Chantal Joffe. Only 36% of the artists represented by galleries in 2018 were female, accounting for an average of 32% of sales, and from a survey of 82 events, just 24% of the 27,000 artists shown at art fairs are women. This was highlighted by Last year’s Art Basel and UBS Global Art Market’s report on how gender inequality underpins the male-dominated art market.

Dr. Ydelfonso Decoo honored with a 20,000-foot mural in Queens

Somos La Luz, a mural by Jorge Rodriguez-Gerada depicting the Queens doctor Ydelfonso Decoo, who died on the frontlines of the coronavirus pandemic
Somos La Luz, a mural by Jorge Rodriguez-Gerada depicting the Queens doctor Ydelfonso Decoo, who died on the frontlines of the coronavirus pandemic

Jorge Rodriguez-Gerada, the Cuban-American artist, has nearly completed his 20,000-foot mural in Queens, New York City. This great street painting titled “Somos La Luz” (we are the light) is meant to increase awareness of the pandemic’s disproportionate toll on communities of color.

The massive artwork represents pediatrician Dr. Ydelfonso Decoo, one of the first minority doctors to die during the pandemic. He was part of SOMOS Community Care who treat patients from marginalized communities like those in Queens hardest hit by the coronavirus. SOMOS Community Care is a physician-led network of mainly Latino and Chinese doctors.

The mural painting was organized thanks to the help of the immigrant’s rights organization “Make the Road New York and El Museo Del Barrio”, and it is being painted on a city-owned parking lot between the Queens Museum and the New York State Pavilion.

Kovet.Art, a platform for recent graduates

The Kovet.Art team: Saras Rachupalli, Camilla Grimaldi and Averil Curci Courtesy of Kovet.Art
The Kovet.Art team: Saras Rachupalli, Camilla Grimaldi and Averil Curci Courtesy of Kovet.Art

Kovet.Art is a new online platform that will showcase the work of recent graduates from UK universities. This new online platform intends to help emerging artists sell work during the pandemic. Saras Rachupalli, the company founder, says that this platform will also provide guidance in areas such as market support, publishing, and pricing as part of a mentoring plan.

“Delineating Dreams” is the title of the Kovet.Art’s launch show and went live on 3rd June 2020. It will include works by some artists like Candice Jewell from Plymouth College of Art; Max Gimson, a graduate of London’s Royal College of Art; and Kristy M. Chan from the Slade School of Fine Art. This new action enables “a closed number of top-class art degree students to develop their practice and profile in credible and authentic ways”.

The price of available works is usually less than £10,000 (excluding tax) and the company will take a percentage of the sales. “It’s more than an e-commerce platform. There will be conversations about knowledge for the curious about art” says Rachupalli. The Kovet.Art team includes Saras Rachupalli, Camilla Grimaldi and Averil Curci.

Christo has died at the age of 84

Bulgarian artist Christo Vladimirov poses with photographers next to his work 'La Mastaba' on London's Serpentine Lake in 2018 (NIKLAS HALLE'N / AFP)
Bulgarian artist Christo Vladimirov poses with photographers next to his work ‘La Mastaba’ on London’s Serpentine Lake in 2018 (NIKLAS HALLE’N / AFP)

Christo, the artist who wrapped the Reichstag and installed The Gates in Central Park, has died at the age of 84. He created monumental interventions on architecture and landscape with his late wife and partner Jeanne-Claude. Christo Vladimirov Javacheff was born on 13 June 1935 in Bulgaria—the same day Jeanne-Claude Denat de Guillebon was born in Morocco.

Christo studied at the Sofia Academy from 1953 to 1956 and then at the Vienna Academy of Fine Arts, before moving to Paris in 1958, where he painted portraits to earn money. He met Jeanne-Claude when he was commissioned to paint her mother’s portrait. The two collaborated on their first project together, covering barrels at the port of Cologne, in 1960.

They created their first intervention in Paris, Rideau de Fer (Iron Curtain) in 1962. Blocking off the Rue Visconti near the River Seine with oil barrels as a statement against the Berlin Wall. His following major project “To wrap L’Arc de Triomphe is Paris”, was still on track to take place in September 2021. It had been delayed by a year due to the coronavirus.

A Conversation About Race at the Smithsonian’s African American Museum

The new online portal of the Smithsonian's National Museum of African American History and Culture. Photo: Getty Images
The new online portal of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture. Photo: Getty Images

The Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture launched a new online portal to expand the nation’s conversation on race last week. The portal, called “Talking About Race” offers videos, quizzes, role-playing exercises, scholarly articles, and other multimedia resources that address racism, racial identity and the profound ways these issues shape society.

The series of recent incidents, including police actions that resulted in the deaths of George Floyd in Minneapolis and Breonna Taylor in Louisville, Kentucky, led the Washington, DC Museum to move up the launch date of the portal.

The museum said that many people believe they don’t have the information they need to talk about race “in a way that is frank, safe, and respectful of other views and experiences.” Smithsonian museums have been closed in response to the coronavirus pandemic since 14th March 2020 and have not set a date for reopening yet.

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