Aug 06 2021

Upgrade Plan: Weekly News Roundup

by The Editors

Exterior view of Palazzo Venier-Manfrin on the Cannaregio Canal in Venice. Image via Wikimedia Commons.

Anish Kapoor Plans to Transform Venetian Palazzo into an Art Center

The Anish Kapoor Foundation has purchased the dilapidated Palazzo Venier-Manfrin in Venice with plans to redevelop it into a gallery, studio, and archive. Originally constructed in the 16th century for the aristocratic Priuli family and renovated in the 18th century, the building has since fallen into disrepair. Led by Foundation director Mario Codognato, the project will convert the ground floor into a gallery for temporary exhibitions and the first and second floors into spaces for the Foundation’s collection displays. The third floor will be transformed into an archive and workshop space for artists and scholars working in the fields of history, technology, and art. The Venetian architecture firm FWR Associati and Hamburg-based studio UNA are leading the renovation. The complex rehabilitation and structural work is not expected to be completed before 2023.

Installation view of ADRIAN GEBERS’s ARTSPACE LOGOS 1983–2015, 2015, graphite on paper, electric light bulb, at Ideas Platform, Artspace, Sydney, 2015. Photo by Zan Wimberley. Courtesy Artspace, Sydney.

Sydney’s Artspace Embarks on Major Refurbishment

Following the New South Wales government’s decision to make a AUD 5 million (USD 3.7 million) investment last November, Sydney’s Artspace has vacated its current space at The Gunnery in Woolloomooloo to make way for its redevelopment into a new facility, which is scheduled for completion in late 2022. The new site will include expanded galleries; additional studios that will support more than 100 artists over the next decade; upgraded amenities; public access to the 35-year archive; and a learning space for education and local outreach programs. During the renovation, Artspace will operate from its temporary site at National Art School in Darlinghurst, where the organization will provide support and mentorships for students, while curating exhibitions, including a finalists’ presentation for the NSW Visual Arts Emerging Fellowship.

Installation view of Sydney Contemporary at Carriageworks, 2019. Photo by Zan Wimberley.  Courtesy Sydney Contemporary.

Sydney Contemporary Announces New Dates for 2021

Australia’s largest art fair, Sydney Contemporary, has been delayed from September to November 11–14 in light of the latest Covid-19 situation in Australia. The fair will return to the multidisciplinary cultural complex Carriageworks after canceling its 2020 live edition in favor of a virtual platform. Featuring more than 80 galleries, primarily based in Australasia, the booths are categorized into three parts: “Galleries,” the main section; “Future” which spotlights young galleries established within the last five years; and “Paper” which focuses on contemporary printmaking and works on paper. Additional details of the four-day program are yet to be released. 

MARK BRAUNIAS, In Search of the Saccharine Underground, 2021, ink and acrylic on paper, 200 × 250 cm. Courtesy Parkin Drawing Prize.

Winner Revealed for the 2021 Parkin Drawing Prize

On August 2, Waikato artist Mark Braunias won the 2021 Parkin Drawing Prize with his ink-and-acrylic diptych In Search of the Saccharine Underground (2021), which depicts cartoon-like animal figures in vibrant colors. Described by the artist as a “halfway point between drawing and painting,” the work also pays tribute to the rock music critic Greil Marcus, who coined the term “saccharine underground.” The Prize’s judge, Sarah Farrar, noted that the winning work’s “raucous energy is irrepressible and hard to ignore.” The Parkin Drawing Prize, established by the collector and businessman Chris Parkin in 2013, saw 563 applicants this year, its highest in seven years. Braunias will receive a prize of NZD 25,000 (USD 17,620), and the works of all 80 finalists are on view at the New Zealand Academy of Fine Arts in Wellington through August.

Portrait of JING CHONG and CLARA WONG. Photo by Felix Wong. Courtesy Hong Kong Art Gallery Association.

Hong Kong Mini-Fair Unscheduled Returns to Central in September

The second edition of Hong Kong’s gallery showcase Unscheduled will run from September 2 to 6 at 59–65 Queen’s Road Central, the two-story space formerly rented by fashion retailer Topshop. Organized by the Hong Kong Art Gallery Association and curated by Jing Chong and Clara Wong, the fair will feature 15 galleries and a collaborative presentation with Hong Kong Baptist University’s Academy of Visual Arts. Unscheduled was first launched in 2020 as a response to the pandemic and the cancellation of Art Basel Hong Kong in 2020.

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Opera Gallery KUKJE GALLERY Artspace SAM 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art