Bienal de São Paulo Names 2025 Chief Curator—And More


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THE HEADLINES

GENTILESCHI PROTEST. Dramatic acts of protest in controversial Italian art exhibits continue, though nonviolent this time, with a feminist group outraged by an Artemisia Gentileschi exhibition in Genoa’s Palazzo Ducale, which critics say sensationalizes the artist’s 1612 rape. On Friday, protesters led by Bruciamo Tutto (Let’s Burn Everything) shrouded the paintings by Gentileschi’s convicted rapist, Agostino Tassi, in black fabric and left crimson handprints on wall texts, along with a pool of red paint on the floor. The exhibit has been the subject of vehement criticism for its explicit attention to Gentileschi’s rape, and inclusion of her attacker’s artworks in the show, along with a “rape room” describing the crime in visual and audio form, based on graphic testimony from the rape trial. Activists also drew attention to contemporary domestic violence in Italy, and in a press release, said: “We are deeply disturbed by the choice to make the rape spectacular.”

Related Articles

LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 23: The exterior of the British Museum on August 23, 2023, in London, England. British Museum officials launched an investigation into the theft of artefacts after discovering that stolen items, comprising gold jewelry, semiprecious stones, and glass valued at up to £50,000, were being offered on eBay for as little as £40.  (Photo Leon Neal/Getty Images)

BRITISH MUSEUM INVESTIGATED. The UK’s regulatory Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) is investigating the British Museum’s alleged failure to disclose materials about 11 sacred Ethiopian artifacts in its collection, which were looted in 1868, reports ARTnews senior writer Karen K. Ho. The wood and stone altar tablets, or tabots, were snatched by British soldiers during the Battle of Maqdala and have never been on public display. Per Ethiopian tradition, only priests from the nation’s Orthodox Church are permitted to see them. However, the Returning Heritage nonprofit has filed a complaint against the museum, stating it reneged on their freedom of information request about the artworks, which it hopes to have restituted to Ethiopia, effectively launching the current investigation.

THE DIGEST

Bonaventure Soh Bejeng Ndikung has been named chief curator for the 2025 Bienal de São Paulo. One of today’s most closely watched curators, Ndikung is currently director and chief curator of Haus der Kulturen der Welt (HKW) in Berlin. [ARTnews]

More information is coming to light about Bolivia’s program for the Venice Biennale, which will be exhibited in the Russian pavilion, lent to them amid their tightening bilateral economic and cultural ties. Following the February 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine, official Russian delegations were barred from participating in the exhibition, but as Russia and Bolivia sign lithium extraction and atomic research agreements, the former has handed its Giardini pavilion to Bolivia. [The Art Newspaper]

Jonathan Frost has donated nearly 700 prints spanning a millennium to the Norton Museum of Art in Florida. The gift, ranging from a woodcut by Albrecht Dürer to a Henry Moore etching, will increase the museum’s print collection by nearly 40 percent. [The Art Newspaper]

A stolen Vincent Van Gogh painting titled The Parsonage Garden at Nuenen in Spring is back on view at the Groninger Museum in the Netherlands, along with the famous IKEA bag in which it was returned to art sleuth Arthur Brand in 2023. The display is part of a new exhibit, “150 Years of the Groninger Museum – Behind the Scenes,” on view until June 1, 2025. [Groninger Museum, Twitter]

A new study analyzes the importance of shipwrecked treasures, following a decade of research into one vessel’s valuable 16th-century cargo, found on the Belinho Beach in Portugal. [The Journal of Maritime Archaeology and Artnet News]

Quisqueya Henríquez, a conceptual artist whose installations and sculptures had a humorous edge to them, died in Santo Domingo at the age of 58. [ARTnews]

THE KICKER

STAR TREK TREASURE. A massive collection of Star Trek memorabilia, which has become an online sensation, is headed to auction, with experts arguing it may be the largest of its kind. But behind the Trekkie obsession, is also the tragic story of its creator, Troy Nelson, who took his own life on February 28 at age 57, only a few hours after the sudden death of his brother, Andrew, from a heart attack at age 55. Troy Nelson had said before, “if Andrew goes, I’m out of here,” remembers his older sister, Evan Browne, speaking to the New York Times. Images of Nelson’s collection, begun in the 1970s, have since gone viral, as the family posted photos of rooms lined with shelves brimming with displays of action figures, models, ornaments, toys, life-size cutouts, and a captain’s chair, to name a few. Russ Haslage, president of the International Federation of Trekkers, which has a museum in Ohio, concurs he has “never seen a collection that size.” Others simply “pale in comparison,” he said. 



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