Mat Collishaw, Paula Rego and Rose Wylie nominated for South Bank Sky Arts Awards 2018 Three artists have been shortlisted in the visual art category of the South Bank Sky Arts Awards 2018. They include Mat Collishaw, part of the YBA generation of artists in the late 1980s and ’90s and perhaps best known for his Bullet Hole work, originally exhibited at the Freeze exhibition in 1988.

Also nominated is painter Rose Wylie, who won the John Moores Painting Prize in 2014 and the Charles Wollaston Award for ‘most distinguished work’ in the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition in 2015. Last year, her exhibition ‘Quack Quack’ showed at the Serpentine Sackler Gallery in London.

Completing the list is painter and printmaker Paula Rego, whose work is renowned for exploring feminism and folk themes from her native Portugal.

The awards represent the ‘entire spectrum of the British arts’, with other categories including TV drama, classical music, theatre, comedy, dance, film, visual art, pop, literature and opera. The winners will be announced at an awards ceremony at the Savoy Hotel in London on 1 July hosted by Melvyn Bragg.

He said: “The creative industries generate £92 billion a year, and yet the funding cuts in the arts in schools are very worrying. A recent study of 1,200 secondary schools found that 90% had cut back on arts teachers, facilities and equipment. Since 2010, there has been a 28% drop in pupils taking arts GCSEs, with a corresponding drop in the number of arts teachers being trained.

“This means that the future of everything we stand for and everything we’re good at is being threatened. But what we also stand for are events like these awards, which show how rich and diverse the arts in this country are.”

Artist Yinka Shonibare MBE, fellow of the Royal Academy, has been commissioned to design this year’s award.

Collapse in GCSE arts subjects gathers pace The fall in entry numbers for GCSE arts subjects has reached record levels, reports Arts Professional. The website states that registrations for 2018 arts GCSEs in England have dropped by a further 51,000, with the total fall in entries over the last five years almost 150,000.

New data published by qualifications regulator Ofqual shows that since 2014, arts subjects have seen a 25.6% fall in entries. Over the same period, total GCSE entries have grown by 3.4%. However, earlier this month the Department for Education stated that “the percentage of pupils taking arts GCSEs has remained stable”.

The decline is linked to the introduction of the English Baccalaureate (EBacc), the suite of subjects included in the government’s performance measure for schools, of which arts subjects are not a part. The latest figures reveal that only Art and Design has bucked the trend at GCSE level with an increase of 3,650 for 2017-18.

The figures for 2017-18 is also reveal a knock-on effect at A Level, with all arts subjects including Art and Design showing a decline in take up in England.

Tom Holley appointed as new chief executive officer of studio provider ACAVA Holley will take over from ACAVA’s founder and current artistic director, Duncan Smith, who will retire after a short handover period. Formed in the 1970s, ACAVA now manages studios for over 600 artists in 27 buildings across London, plus Essex, Stoke-on-Trent and Berlin.

Holley has previously worked at Arts Council England, Phoenix Square Film and Digital Media in Leicester, the Media Centre, Huddersfield, the Institute of Contemporary Arts, and BBC Online.  Commenting on his appointment, he said: “The exceptional social and cultural values upon which ACAVA has been built, and with which I am deeply aligned, are critical drivers at this challenging moment for artists and society.

“I look forward to working with the exceptional team at ACAVA and building exciting new partnerships and projects as we move forward together.”

Russian gallery intends to stop sale of alcohol on its premises following attack on painting Moscow’s State Tretyakov gallery has announced it intends to stop selling alcohol on its site after a man attacked a painting by Russian realist Ilya Repin with a metal pole after drinking vodka. Painted in 1885, the work has been described by the gallery’s curators as a “masterpiece in the same league as the Mona Lisa”.

A video released by Russia’s  interior ministry shows Igor Podporin describing how he had drunk 100 grams of vodka (approximately 100ml) in the gallery’s cafe, and become ‘overwhelmed’. He then used a metal security pole to strike the protective glass, breaking it and damaging the canvas underneath. It was torn in three places.

Two US museums face sanctions for selling artworks to fund operating budgets and expansions The Berkshire Museum in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, and the La Salle University Art Museum in Philadelphia, are facing sanctions by the Association of Art Museums Directors (AAMD) for selling artworks to help fund operating budgets.

In a statement, AAMD said: “Selling art to support any need other than to build a museum’s collection fundamentally undermines the critically important relationships between museums, donors, and the public. When museums violate the trust of their donors and the public, they diminish the opportunity and responsibility to make great works of art available to the public. This hurts the individual institution and affects the museum field as a whole.”

As Artforum reports, the Berkshire Museum has made over $42m (£32m) from the sale of works by artists including Alexander Calder and Norman Rockwell, with La Salle University Art Museum making $2.4m (£1.5m) at auctions held at Christie’s New York last month.

Controversial Jeff Koons sculpture will not be installed in front of Palais de Tokyo in Paris The French Ministry of Culture has cancelled its plan to install Jeff Koons’ sculpture, Bouquet of Tulips, outside the Palais de Tokyo and the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris. The 11ft high sculpture of a hand holding a bunch of tulips was intended to pay homage to the victims of the November 2015 terrorist attacks in Paris.

However, a number of French cultural figures, including the artist Christian Boltanski, were critical of the proposal, questioning how it would be funded and saying it was ‘ostentatious and self-interested‘.

1. Rose Wylie in her studio. Photo: Joe McGorty; Courtesy: the artist

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