Dealer Ronald Feldman Dies at 84, John Akomfrah Is Knighted, and More: Morning Links for January 3, 2023

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The Headlines

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DEALER RONALD FELDMAN, a stalwart of New York’s vanguard art scene for decades, died December 20, his namesake gallery announced. He was 84. Feldman started the business in 1971 with his wife, Frayda Feldman, after becoming disenchanted as a corporate lawyer. The couple would go on to show venturesome figures who addressed sociopolitical issues through conceptual and performance art, like Hannah WilkeChris Burden, and Mierle Laderman Ukeles . Originally located on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, the gallery moved to SoHo in 1982. In the 1990s, Ronald Feldman served on the National Council on the Arts for five years. He retired from the gallery in 2019 for health reasons, and his eldest son, Mark Feldman, took the helm, telling the New York Times, “We’re going to continue to try to push boundaries, and continue Ron’s legacy.”

SINGAPORE SINGS. There are indications that Singapore is rising as an art hub in Asia, Reena Devi reports in ARTnews. The international Lehmann Maupin gallery has hired a director who will be based there: Ken Tan, a Singaporean who has worked at the Asia Society Museum and the Marc Straus Gallery in Manhattan. Meanwhile, collector Kevin Poon is opening a gallery, and next week, the long-delayed Art SG fair will run in the city-state, with backing from Art Basel ’s parent company. Still, these are early days for the city’s art scene, some say. “Having lived and worked in New York for many years,” Tan said, “I constantly remind myself that as far as the art and culture ecosystem go, Singapore is still only adolescent, and slightly hormonal!”

The Digest

The National Portrait Gallery in London has acquired a kiosk outside its entrance that was once used to sell theater tickets. Underneath, there is a former Victorian public bathroom that could become an exhibition space. The museum, which is currently being refurbished, paid about £3 million ($3.61 million). [The Art Newspaper]

A Connecticut auction house pulled an Andy Warhol drawing of Queen Elizabeth II a day before it was set to be offered, amid questions about its authenticity. “We’d like to be 100 percent certain that it’s real and right before we sell it,” a company official said. [Penta/Barron’s]

In the King’s New Year U.K. Honours List, artists Grayson Perry and John Akomfrah were knighted, and outgoing Tate Modern director Frances Morris was named a Commander of the Order of the British Empire. [BBC News and The Art Newspaper]

Journalist Susan Delson asked five artists about their plans for the new year. Anicka Yi will be in residence at Stanford, and Lucy Raven is finishing a trilogy of moving-image installations. Richard Serra’s thoughts on art in 2023? “Keep at it.” [The Wall Street Journal]

Also keeping at it: Yayoi Kusama. The 93-year-old giant has a retrospective at M+ in Hong Kong right now, and said an email interview: “I paint every day. I am going to continue creating a world in awe of life, embracing all the messages of love, peace and universe.” [CNN]

MORE ARTISTS UPDATES: SoCal EDITION. The masterful sculptor Kelly Akashi, who has a show up at the San Jose Museum of Art, is in the Los Angeles Times. Venice artist William Tunberg, who makes astonishingly intricate examples of marquetry, is, too. And the life of the immensely influential, and still-underrated, legend Rammellzee is detailed in the paper, as well, timed with a show of his work at Jeffrey Deitch’s L.A. gallery.

The Kicker

SAY CHEESE. Photographer Tony Vaccaro—who captured indelible images of World War II while fighting in the U.S. Army, and then became a celebrated commercial photographer—died last week at the age of 100, the New York Times reports. Vaccaro shot portraits of many famous artists, including Pablo Picasso and Jackson Pollock, and said that a 1960 assignment to create a portrait of Georgia O’Keeffe was one of his trickiest. Why? O’Keeffe wanted a more famous photographer. To win her over, he cooked her a meal, which included a plate of Swiss cheese. The painter, apparently in a playful mood, peered at him through a hole in a slice of the fromage, and Vaccaro got his photo. “That moment was not even a second, but I stopped it,” he said. “She was amazed by it. She said, ‘I never saw anyone working like you.’ ” [NYT]


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