Chuck Close Responds to Sexual Harassment Allegations

Condo London 2018 participants named; Baltimore’s The Contemporary on hiatus again; Belfast’s MAC in emergency funding bid

Chuck Close, 2010. Courtesy: PBS NewsHour; Flickr, Creative Commons

Chuck Close, 2010. Courtesy: PBS NewsHour; Flickr, Creative Commons

Chuck Close, 2010. Courtesy: PBS NewsHour; Flickr, Creative Commons

Chuck Close has been accused of sexual misconduct by several people who have posed for the artist in his studio. Two women told the Huffington Post that Close had asked them to model in the nude, which they felt uncomfortable with. Artist Julia Fox says that during her session with the artist, Close told her, ‘your pussy looks delicious’, while an anonymous womans claims that after she undressed, Close asked her if he could touch her, which she refused. The 77-year-old American painter and photographer acknowledged to the New York Times that he had in the past spoken crudely and apologized if he had made anyone feel uncomfortable, though he also stated: 'Last time I looked, discomfort was not a major offence.’ Lance Gotko, the lawyer representing Close, has denied any sexual acts took place in these encounters.

The gallery-share programme Condo has named participants for its 2018 London leg, which will run from 13 January until 10 February. 19 London galleries including Sadie Coles HQ, Mother’s Tankstation and Maureen Paley are hosting 27 galleries from abroad, including Edouard Malingue Gallery (Hong Kong and Shanghai), Madein Gallery (Shanghai) and joségarcía (Mexico City) – the full list is here. Condo was founded in London in 2016 by gallerist Vanessa Carlos of London’s Carlos/Ishikawa, aimed at allowing younger galleries to show their programme abroad – don’t miss Rob Sharp writing this year about ‘collaborative exhibitions’ and the future of the gallery model.

Canada’s Winnipeg Art Gallery in Manitoba has received a $10 million grant from the municipal government to support plans to build a new Inuit art centre, which will be distributed over a five year period. Stephen Borys, the director of the gallery, which was founded in 1912, commented that the centre would 'be a platform for Inuit who use art as a voice and language to celebrate their stories with the world.’ The news follows Canada’s announcement that the Inuit film collective Isuma will represent the country at the 2019 Venice Biennale.

Baltimore’s nomadic nonprofit The Contemporary is on hiatus again, with the board of directors citing a lack of funding and failure to appoint a new executive director – the board has clarified that this does not constitute permanent closure. This isn’t the first time for The Contemporary. Founded in 1989 as a roving non-collecting organization which collaborated with other Baltimore institutions for exhibitions, The Contemporary had previously ceased operations from 2012 to 2015.

And finally, Belfast’s Metropolitan Arts Centre (MAC) is seeking an emergency funding bid. The BBC reports that a Belfast councillor has said that the venue may be forced into closure – it received GBP£40,000 in emergency funds in October, and is now seeking an additional GBP£300,000 before the end of the financial year. And it also requires a further GBP£270,000 for the following year. If those needs are not met, DUP councillor Graham Craig warns, it might be the end for the institution.

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