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Briefing

Paul Schimmel splits with Hauser & Wirth; The Stavros Niarchos Foundation’s cultural center is handed over to the Greek state

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The gardens of the Stavros Niarchos Cultural Center, Athens

The gardens of the Stavros Niarchos Cultural Center, Athens

  • Paul Schimmel has parted company with Hauser & Wirth in Los Angeles, relinquishing his role as director, partner and vice president at the gallery. Chief curator at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles prior to joining the gallery in 2013, Schimmel oversaw the development of the Hauser, Wirth & Schimmel downtown arts district complex in Los Angeles which opened in March last year with the mammoth survey show ‘Revolution in the Making: Abstract Sculpture by Women, 1947 – 2016’.
     
  • The Stavros Niarchos Foundation has handed over its Renzo Piano–designed cultural center, which houses the National Library and the National Opera House, to the Greek state last week. The foundation also donated roughly USD$650 million to support the maintenance of the facility. Welcoming the donation Prime Minster Alexis Tsipras acknowledged the public’s unease over the fate of the centre saying, ‘many Olympic facilities on which the people spent hundreds of millions remain unexploited, virtually in ruin.’ He added, ‘However, it is not right to create the impression that the state and citizens are not in the position to keep this jewel, to make use of it and to make it into something even better.’ Director of the foundation Andreas Dracopoulos said that the center has already been ‘embraced’ by Greeks and that 760,000 people have visited the space since it opened in 2016. President Prokopis Pavlopoulos added that if the state fails to manage the facility it ‘will not be a breach against the donors but against culture itself.’
     
  • Beijing-based photographer Ren Hang has died aged 29, his assistant confirming the cause of death as suicide. Internationally shown, his provocative photographs of nude models were repeatedly censored in China. “I don’t really view my work as taboo, because I don’t think so much in cultural context, or political context,” Ren said. “I don’t intentionally push boundaries, I just do what I do.” Taschen published a retrospective photobook of Ren’s work earlier this year.
     
  • Marlborough Chelsea is rebranding as Marlborough Contemporary, hiring Director Nichole Caruso, formerly of Wallspace Gallery and Lisa Cooley Gallery to join their West 25th Street space in New York. Ed Spurr, formerly of Matthew Marks Gallery, will join Marlborough Contemporary as a Director in London.
     
  • Celebrating its 50th birthday this year, Lisson Gallery is to open a second space in New York with a solo by British artist Haroon Mirza. The gallery’s new venue at 135 Tenth Avenue is five blocks south of the gallery’s location under the High Line on 24th Street, which opened in May 2016. The new 3,500 square-foot space has been renovated by Studio Christian Wassmann, the architect who, along with Studio MDA, was responsible for Lisson Gallery’s 24th Street gallery.
     
  • Pace Gallery will open a new outpost in the Yongsan district of Seoul in South Korea in March; Youngjoo Lee, who joined Pace Hong Kong in 2015, will serve as director. Founded in 1960, Pace has established eleven locations worldwide, and has recently focused on expanding its presence in Asia, opening its headquarters for Asia operations in Beijing in 2008 and another space in Hong Kong in 2014.
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