The Serralves Foundation Museum of Contemporary Art in Porto, Portugal is currently embroiled in controversy, after Artistic Director João Ribas resigned over alleged censorship of a Robert Mapplethorpe show. “The proposal of the exhibition was to present the works of an explicit sexual nature in an area with restricted access, given the tenor of several exhibited works and being that Serralves is an institution visited annually by almost a million people of all backgrounds, ages and nationalities, including thousands of children and hundreds of schools,” the institution said in a statement. “The foundation considered that the visiting public should be alerted, in accordance with the legislation in force.”
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415 West 13 Street
New York, NY 10014
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Sperone Westwater Fischer was founded in 1975, when Italian art dealer Gian Enzo Sperone, Angela Westwater, and German art dealer Konrad Fischer opened a space at 142 Greene Street in SoHo, New York. (The gallery’s name was changed to Sperone Westwater in 1982.) The original goal of the gallery was to showcase European artists who had little or no recognition in the United States, along with a collection of American painters and sculptors to whom the three founders were committed. Notable early exhibitions include “Aspects of Recent Art from Europe,” a 1977 group show featuring important work by Joseph Beuys and Jannis Kounellis; a 1977 exhibition of minimalist works by Carl Andre, Dan Flavin, Donald Judd, and Sol Lewitt; German artist Gerhard Richter’s first solo exhibition in New York in 1978; and the installation of one of Mario Merz’s celebrated glass and neon igloos in 1979 – part of the gallery’s ongoing dedication to Arte Povera artists, including Alighiero Boetti. Other early historical exhibitions in the Greene Street space featured the work of Lucio Fontana and Piero Manzoni.
In 2002, Sperone Westwater moved from SoHo to a 10,000 square foot space on West 13th Street in the Meatpacking District. Today, almost 35 years after its conception, the gallery continues to exhibit the work of prominent artists of diverse nationality and age, who work in various media. Renowned American artists Bruce Nauman and Susan Rothenberg have been with Sperone Westwater since 1975 and 1987, respectively. They are joined by established and internationally-recognized artists such as Malcolm Morley, Richard Long, Guillermo Kuitca, Evan Penny and William Wegman as well as a younger generation of artists like Tom Sachs, Charles LeDray, Wim Delvoye and Liu Ye. The gallery’s 2008-2009 exhibition schedule includes two major group shows, “Sculpting Time” and “ZERO in New York”, and solo presentations of work by Evan Penny, Susan Rothenberg and Bertozzi & Casoni. Also in 2009 Bruce Nauman will represent the United States of America at the Venice Biennale in an exhibition organized by the Philadelphia Museum of Art.