Architecture studio Matheson Whiteley wins approval for £2.3 million redesign of Studio Voltaire Lambeth council has approved proposals for the redevelopment of south London-based not-for-profit arts organisation Studio Voltaire.

The expansion and refurbishment by Matheson Whiteley will include a new public entrance, café and retail space for art gallery House of Voltaire, alongside expanded exhibition and studio spaces.

The development will enable the gallery to extend its programme of exhibitions and increase its offer of affordable studio space for artists by 40%. It will also include repairs and upgrades to the site’s former chapel and industrial buildings, and an adjustment to the existing roof volume to form a new mezzanine level. A public garden will provide a shared entrance for the public and studio users on Nelson’s Row.

Matheson Whiteley’s other gallery projects have included Stuart Shave Modern Art in Clerkenwell and Künstlerhaus Stuttgart, Germany. It also won last year’s AJ Small Projects award for its ‘confidently understated’ Hackney extension, Wrong House.

The architecture studio was selected following a competition run in 2017 by Studio Voltaire in collaboration with the Architecture Foundation.

ACE research finds ‘deeply rooted’ transparency concerns New research by Qualia Analytics for Arts Council England has revealed that the arts funding body needs to be clearer about why arts organisations do or do not receive funding if it wants to improve its standing in the sector.

In-depth interviews with ‘key opinion formers’ in the cultural sector showed that a lack of transparency about the basis of priorities and the exact scoring criteria used for applications creates a feeling that investment decision-making ‘takes place within a type of ‘black box’’.

Arts Professional reports that 78% of respondents said they were positive towards ACE’s performance as an organisation, but only 55% agreed that ACE’s funding decision-making process is fair and transparent.

53% of respondents said decision-making transparency should be a future priority, but it was less important than other responsibilities such as supporting artists (64%) and promoting equality and diversity (62%).

The research, intended to assess perceptions of ACE among its key constituencies, forms part of ongoing work that has been taking place since 2009. As well as these in-depth qualitative interviews, it includes a large-scale online survey of individuals and organisational representatives across the sector.

Read the full report:

Kanye West donates $10m for James Turrell art installation The US rapper’s donation will fund the ongoing construction of Roden Crater in Arizona, with the completed work featuring a series of 21 viewing spaces connected by six tunnels.

According to the project’s website, the work is “a controlled environment for the experiencing and contemplation of light. It takes its place within the tradition of American landscape art that began in the 1960s, requiring a journey to visit the work in the remote desert with truly dark night skies”.

It adds that the completed artwork will create “a vast, naked eye observatory for celestial objects and events ranging from obscure and infrequent to the more familiar summer and winter solstice”.

The site is managed by Arizona State University, which is working with Turrell to raise $200m to complete the project. The American artist has been working on the installation since 1977, when he first acquired the dormant volcano.

This isn’t the first time West has shown interest in the visual arts, having previously commissioned artists such as George Condo and Takashi Murakami to design his album sleeves.

New art fair dedicated to modern and contemporary drawings due to launch in London this spring Draw Art Fair London will take place at Saatchi Gallery, 17-19 May, and will include up to 60 galleries and exhibitors.

The fair will feature exhibitions of artists’ drawings or groups of drawings in a ‘museum-style context’, plus several special projects. These include a large-scale drawing installation by the London-based artist Aleksandra Mir, and a new display of portraits by the Drawing Room.

Jill Silverman van Coenegrachts, the fair’s strategic director, said the focus on drawing will help the fair stand out in an already crowded arts calendar. “The opportunity to exhibit 70% drawing and 30% related works means gallerists will be showing the importance of drawing within an artist’s total range of production: sculpture, painting, video, digital art, even performance.”

She added that the organisers want people to look at drawings as more than pencil on paper. “What is drawing in the digital age? Can we expand the concept of drawing here within an art fair context where this medium is usually given short shrift?”

Recently discovered ‘lost Michelangelo’ goes missing from Belgian church The artwork, which depicts Mary, Joseph and a sleeping baby Jesus, was due to be assessed by a respected Michelangelo expert, Maria Forcellino. She had been alerted to the painting after the pastor of the church, Jan Van Raemdonck, noticed its similarity to a drawing by the Renaissance master.

However, the work has now disappeared. Van Raemdonck told the Guardian: “On Friday morning at 9am, two ladies who were putting flowers on the altar noticed the external door was open and the painting was missing.”

He also claims only 20 people knew of his suspicions regarding the authorship of the work. “I wanted to wait for the experts and if they said it was a Michelangelo I would have improved the security of the building. I only told some family, friends and the church’s council.”

Van Raemdonck added that the work, which was donated to the church 16 years ago by a former Belgian senator, Etienne Cooreman, could be worth €100m (£89m) if it is verified as an authentic Michelangelo.

Jock McFadyen announced as coordinator of Royal Academy’s 251st Summer Exhibition The Scottish painter will head a group of committee members which also includes fellow Royal Academicians Bob and Roberta Smith and Timothy Hyman. The exhibition’s Architecture Gallery will be organised by Spencer de Grey while the Summer Exhibition Committee will be chaired by RA president Christopher Le Brun.

McFadyen, whose work is held by 30 public collections including the Tate, V&A and the British Museum, said: “The focus this year will be on artwork in all media which responds to the contemporary world. I hope to welcome back many of the artists who have been exhibiting at the Royal Academy over the past few years and look forward to presenting new artists in the exhibition.”

The Summer Exhibition has taken place continuously every year since its inception in 1769, with last year’s show co-ordinated by Grayson Perry. The 251st edition will take place from 10 June – 12 August 2019.

1. Studio Voltaire

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