Checklist: Artists Attacked by Indian Police, & More

Jutta Koether withdrew her nomination for the Vincent Van Gogh Biennial Award. (Credit: Patrick McMullan)

Jutta Koether withdrew her nomination for the Vincent Van Gogh Biennial Award. (Credit: Patrick McMullan)

Art Collective Assaulted by Police in India: The Indian collective Kalakakshi has alleged that they were assaulted by police while constructing an effigy commissioned by the Kochi Muziris Biennale. Some 25 members of the collective were apparently working on the effigy when they were attacked in an “absolutely unprovoked” manner, according to sculptor Jasinther Rockfeller. The alleged assault took place while the artists were attired in garb that clearly identified them as art workers, and some have speculated that the incident is an example of “moral policing.” [Artforum, The Hindu]

Artists Withdraw From Prize Over Bert Kreuk Link: Two of the five artists shortlisted for the Vincent Van Gogh Biennial Award for Contemporary Art in Europe, Nairy Baghramian and Jutta Koether, have withdrawn from consideration over the prize’s connection to the Gemeentemuseum Den Haag, its host since 2014. The Dutch museum was at the center of the recently settled dispute between the artist Danh Vo and collector Bert Kreuk. “I have to question the involvement of the Museum in the law case between the artist Danh Vō and the collector De Kreuk,” Bagharian wrote in a message to the award committee and jury. [Hyperallergic]

Oscar Nominations Announced: The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has released its list of Oscar nominees. The candidates for best picture are: “Bridge of Spies,” “Spotlight,” “The Big Short,” “The Martian,” “Brooklyn,” “Room,” “The Revenant,” and “Mad Max: Fury Road.” “It’s so weird how no movies this year were made by people of color, I guess,” New York Times culture reporter Dave Itzkoff wrote on Twitter, referring to a perceived lack of diversity among the nominees. [NYT]

Fire at Historic French Church Ruled Arson: A January 10 conflagration at the Church of Saint-Louis in Fontainebleau has been ruled an arson, and authorities are looking into various significant objects thought to have been stolen or destroyed in the blaze, including a 17th-century altar and a 14th-century polychrome wood sculpture. [TAN]

Tacoma Art Museum Receives Major Gift: Seattle philanthropist Becky Benaroya has donated her family’s 225-object art collection, along with $14 million, to the Tacoma Art Museum (TAM). “Museums are collections of collectors,” TAM executive director Stephanie Stebich said. “We were surprised and delighted when she approached us.” [Seattle Times]

Director Departs Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts: Harry Philbrick has left the institution after some five years to found a nonprofit that will “explore the relationship between contemporary art and performance.” [Artdaily]

— The RISD Museum has appointed three new fellows — James P. Falzone and Xander Marro, the institution’s inaugural artist fellows, and Amber Lopez, a recent Rhode Island College graduate who is the inaugural Nancy Prophet fellow. [Artforum]

Massimo de Carlo gallery of London and Milan is opening a third space in Hong Kong’s Pedder Building. [ARTnews]

— Collector and developer Marwan Zakhem plans to open a contemporary art gallery in Ghana. [TAN]

— The British actor Alan Rickman has died at 69. [NYT]

—Mostafa Heddaya