“I’ve always sensed that women artists have to prove themselves exceptional in order to get their foot in the door, to be considered for something, whereas many, many mediocre men artists easily get by,” says American photographer and film director Cindy Sherman in response to an article by Maura Reilly on the pervasiveness of sexism in the art world. “I am hopeful that as time goes on and more households encourage both daughters and sons to assert themselves, we’ll stop seeing men as being the pushy ones, hogging the attention, while women stand complacently in the shadows. Both examples need to be revised.”
- The Getty Trust’s annual career achievement medal goes to designer Frank Gehry this year, making him the first designer or artist to win the award. According to Getty President James Cuno, no one deserved it more than Gehry, “who effectively redefined contemporary architecture through the use of new technologies.”
- Neither fiction nor documentation, Hito Steyerl’s films are pure politics: the more they portray reality, “the more they refract it, strain it, splinter it, or subject it to a vortex-like deformation that illuminates striking contradiction, truth and untruth alike.” Artists Space, an art gallery that showcases art from underrepresented artists in New York, is hosting the first US survey of Steyerl’s body of work.
- The 68th Cannes Film Festival’s Palme d’Or has been awarded to Dheepan, a tense drama by French director Jaques Audiard that follows three Sri Lankan refugees as they pretend to be a family in order to escape their war-torn country. “The movie was well received by critics if far from a passionate favorite.” The Grand Prize went to Hungarian film Son of Paul, Laszlo Nemes’s first feature film.
- Conceptual artist Lawrence Weiner has won Europe’s most valuable award for contemporary art, the $157,000 Roswitha Haftmann Prize, an honor previously bestowed upon artists like Carl Andre, Sigmar Polke, and Robert Ryman, among others.
- Documentary photographer Mary Ellen Mark has died at age 75. The creator of 18 photo books, she’s know for a humanist eye, creating vivid studies of subjects from Seattle street children to women in a state mental institution. “In every successful still photographic project that I have completed there has always been a turning point in the story where I felt that perhaps I was working on something that could be very special,” Mark once wrote.
- Right after her 100-hour reading of Hannah Arendt’s The Origins of Totalitarianism, Tania Bruguera was temporarily detained by Cuban police—yet another instance in which the artist has had trouble with the Cuban government since her arrest in December.