art industry news

Art Industry News: Here Are the Winning Art Projects for London’s Coveted Fourth Plinth + Other Stories

Art Industry News is a daily digest of the most consequential developments coming out of the art world and art market. Here’s what you need to know on this Monday, July 5.


Trouble at the Norway Biennial – At least seven artists asked to withdraw their work from the Momentum 11 biennial in Moss, Norway, after curator Théo-Mario Coppola was fired just weeks ahead of its June 26 opening. The biennial cites Coppola’s unprofessional behavior as the reason for their dismissal, while the curator blames unfair working conditions and a lack of preparedness to execute installations from a technical perspective. Artists Marinella Senatore and Karol Radziszewski say that their works have been included in the exhibition against their wishes. (The Art Newspaper)

France Is Bringing Creatives to the U.S. – The French government is launching the Villa Albertine, a roving residency program that will give French artists around €20,000 ($23,600) each to work on projects in the U.S. But unlike the nation’s Rome residency, the Villa Medici, the new initiative doesn’t have a dedicated headquarters, which allows participants to stay in different parts of the U.S., or to travel during a one-to-three month residency. The inaugural cohort of artists includes cartoonist Quentin Zuitton, who will draw portraits of teenagers while riding the rails from New York to Los Angeles. (TAN)

The Next Fourth Plinth Artists Have Been Chosen – Artists Samson Kambalu and Teresa Margolles have been chosen to make the next two commissions for the fourth plinth in London’s Trafalgar Square in 2022 and 2024. Kambalu’s sculpture will re-stage a 1914 photograph of Baptist preacher and pan-Africanist John Chilembwe and European missionary John Chorley, and Margolles, who will create the plinth in 2024, has cast the faces of 850 trans people from London and around the world. (Press release)

Controversy Embroils Korea’s Venice Biennale Pick – The Arts Council Korea had narrowed down its choices for the nation’s pavilion at next year’s Venice Biennale to just four artists—until it was revealed that two of the finalists had worked with a member of the selection committee, creating a potential conflict of interest. That judge has been asked to step down, and the now six-member panel will restart the review process to consider all 12 applications. (Korea Times)


Banksy’s Painting With Critique on Climate-Change Fetches $6M – Banksy’s 2009 hijacked oil painting, Subject to Availability, sold for $6,342,180 at Christie’s last Wednesday. Banksy copied an 1890 painting of Mount Rainer and added his own snarky commentary on climate change to the work, writing: “*Subject to availability for a limited period only.” (Seattle Times)

A $4.42M Copy of the Declaration of Independence Breaks Records – A signer’s copy of the Declaration of Independence that was printed in the 19th century sold for $4.42 million at Freeman’s in Philadelphia. The rare document sold for more than five times its $800,000 upper estimate. (ArtfixDaily)


Sculptor Kenzi Shiokava Dies – The Brazilian-born artist, whose wooden totems inspired by Brazilian and Japanese motifs were included to much acclaim in the 2016 “Made in L.A.” biennial at the Hammer Museum, died last month at the age of 82 from chronic conditions exacerbated by a recent car accident. (Los Angeles Times)

France Returns Painting to Hugo Simon’s Heirs – The French government has returned a Max Pechstein painting to the heirs of its former owner, a Jewish banker who fled to France after the Nazis took power in 1933. The painting was in the collection of the Musée national d’art moderne in Paris. (TAN)


World Wildlife Fund Recruits Artists – The wildlife conservation group is marking its 60th anniversary with a print sale called Art for Your World, hosted by Sotheby’s London and organized by London’s Artwise Curators. The auction, running from October 8 to 15, will feature Tracey Emin, Anish Kapoor, and Jadé Fadojutimi, among others. The initiative hopes to raise awareness of the potential risks to wildlife caused by climate change and rising temperatures, as illustrated in World Wildlife Fund’s recent report, “Feeling the Heat.” (ARTnews)

Futura Beats The North Face in Lawsuit – The clothing retailer North Face is in trouble after using an atom-like logo that street artist Futura says is a copy of his signature design. Futura filed a lawsuit claiming the brand purposefully invoked him in order to suggest an association. The brand denies any copyright infringement, but says it will begin to phase out its use as a gesture of goodwill, adding that it is committed to supporting artists and their communities. (Creative Bloq

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An Immersive Mixed-Reality Banksy Extravaganza (a.k.a. Exhibition) Is Coming to New York + Other Stories

Art Industry News is a daily digest of the most consequential developments coming out of the art world and art market. Here’s what you need to know on this Tuesday, April 27.


Malaysian Artist Arrested for Allegedly Insulting the Queen – Artist Fahmi Reza was arrested on April 23 for allegedly insulting the Malaysian queen by creating a Spotify playlist that referenced a mocking comment on her Instagram account. In response to a follower asking if the palace chefs were all vaccinated, the queen’s account asked if the follower was “jealous.” The artist—whose wry playlist included songs with the word “jealousy”—has been released on bail. (Reuters)

A Suitcase Caused an Evacuation of the Metropolitan Museum of Art – A bomb squad and emergency service unit responded to a report on Monday of an “unattended bag” outside the Metropolitan Museum of Art on Fifth Avenue “with some wires [sticking] out.” It turned out to be a false alarm—the suitcase contained only old clothes. (Gothamist)

Banksy Street Art Show Comes to New York – Can’t get a ticket to the Van Gogh Experience? Try the next best thing: an “immersive exhibit” opening in New York this August titled “Banksy Expo: Genius or Vandal?” The show, which will include 80 works alongside a virtual reality experience, has toured through 15 other cities around the world. Its location has not yet been revealed; tickets go on sale on May 4. Banksy is not involved in the show. (Time Out)

Art Collectors Will Advise Leon Black’s Company – Siddhartha Mukherjee, a scientist, art collector, and husband of artist Sarah Sze, was named to the board of Apollo alongside collector Pam Joyner back in January. Now, some are questioning whether the additions were a way for CEO Leon Black to retain his influence ahead of stepping down amid controversy over his ties to Jeffrey Epstein. A rep for Apollo says the new additions “have impeccable credentials and offer significant value to the Apollo board.” (New York Post)


Armory Show Announces 2021 Exhibitors – The Armory Show in New York will bring together 194 exhibitors at its new venue, the Javits Center, from September 9 through 12. Victoria Miro, Sadie Coles HQ, and Anton Kern Gallery are among those returning; first-time participants include Galeria Millan from São Paulo and Proyectos Ultravioleta from Guatemala City. (ARTnews)

Rare Book Collection Brings in $12.4 Million – A collection of rare books owned by New York philanthropists Elaine and Alexander Rosenberg raked in $12.4 million at Christie’s New York. The sale, which had a 98 percent sell-through rate, included 17 rare illuminated manuscripts and around 200 Medieval- and Renaissance-era books. (ARTnews)


Some Italian Museums Are Reopening – The Palazzo Barberini in Rome and Venice’s La Fenice Opera House are planning to reopen next Monday. Florence’s Uffizi Galleries will open gradually, starting with its gardens, and the archaeological site Pompeii will reopen next Tuesday. (Monopol)

Meg Onli Wins Inaugural Figure Skating Prize – The curator has won the $75,000 inaugural Figure Skating Prize, which honors Black cultural workers advancing racial equity in the arts. Onli is associate curator at the Institute of Contemporary Art at the University of Pennsylvania. (The Art Newspaper)


How Can the Art World Tackle Climate Change? – In a roundtable moderated by Midnight Publishing Group News’s own Kate Brown, London art dealer Kate MacGarry and Berlin-based dealer Jennifer Chert of Galerie ChertLüdde, two founding members of the growing Gallery Climate Coalition, speak with ecologically-minded art duo Cooking Sections and environmental artist Andreas Greiner about how the art world can transform itself to become more sustainable. (Gallery Weekend Berlin)

The New Clubhouse Icon Is an Artist – The popular audio-only app has a new face: Asian-American artist Drue Kataoka. “I am humbled & moved [sic] to be the first Asian American woman & first visual artist @joinclubhouse ‘icon,’” she said in an Instagram post. Kakoata, whose visage will now appear on the app’s home screen, is the founder of The Art Club, one of Clubhouse’s first and largest art-based clubs, and has been actively raising money for anti-racism campaigns. (Forbes)

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Art Dealers Are Shocked to Realize That 2020 Was Actually a Historically Good Year for Business + Other Stories

Art Industry News is a daily digest of the most consequential developments coming out of the art world and art market. Here’s what you need to know on this Wednesday, February 24.


Nicole Eisenman Gets the New Yorker Profile Treatment – The star painter goes to visit her mom in Scarsdale, New York, in her recent New Yorker profile. Kay Eisenman explains that Nicole had trouble in school (one psychologist said she had a “grave mental disability”), but Kay says she was “an amazing child from the minute she opened her eyes—she took everything in.” Eisenman recalls life in gritty 1980s New York, when she began combining a cartoon sensibility with political art. She recalls her burgeoning style as “subjecting Richie Rich to whatever torturous fantasies I had.” (New Yorker)

David Adjaye Helped Recreate a Famed Mural – The 1199 Service Employees International Union managed to entice leading architect David Adjaye to take on the redesign of their new building. Even though it was a small project for his firm, Adjaye says he took the job because he admired the organization’s social commitment. The project came with one wrinkle: Adjaye had to reproduce the group’s famous social-realist mosaic mural by Anton Refregier, which is now facing demolition and unable to be moved. The architect remade the mural as separate pieces throughout the new building and added extra glass tiles documenting the recent history of the union. (New York Times)

American Museums Ask Congress for Relief Funds – The American Alliance of Museums has asked federal lawmakers to approve a funding boost for museums that are still suffering from shutdowns. The organization declared Monday and Tuesday as Museum Advocacy days, during which its supporters will petition Congress to increase funding for shuttered venues and expand charitable tax deductions to encourage more Americans to donate to museums. (The Art Newspaper)

Bank of England Will Remove Images of Slave Owners – As a culture war brews in the UK over controversial historic monuments, the Bank of England has vowed to move ahead with a review of its art collection to identify imagery of former governors with links to slavery. The goal is “to ensure none with any such involvement in the slave trade remain on display anywhere in the bank,” according to a statement. The news clashes with a recent announcement from the UK government encouraging institutions to “retain and explain” problematic monuments. (TAN)


Galleries Are Thriving During Lockdown – The art market “is raging,” according Los Angeles dealer François Ghebaly. His best year to date was 2020, despite the global pandemic and curbs on art fairs and travel. And he’s not alone. The main reason for the surprising success is that, while sales were down in some cases, there were no major expenses, which helped to balance the books. (Bloomberg)

Collector Who Bought Kanye’s Teenage Art Trove Speaks Out – Vinoda Basnayake was only a law student when he helped promote a Kanye West performance at a Washington, DC, club. Years later, after seeing one of West’s relatives present the music star’s childhood art on Antiques Roadshow, he tracked them down to buy it for himself. “I’ve always been really interested in the origin of artists, and where the art comes from,” Basnayake said. (Complex)


Cameron Shaw Named Director of California’s African American Museum – The museum’s deputy director and chief curator since 2019, Shaw plans to focus on four themes for the museum in upcoming programming: Black abstraction, Black spirituality, liberating the Black archives, and environmental justice. (LA Times)

Artist James Bishop Dies at 93 The Missouri-born minimalist abstract painter died in the French town of Dreux, not far from his residence in Blévy. The artist, who described himself as “an Abstract Expressionist of the quieter branch,” was known for compositions of just a few colors. (ARTnews)


Spain Removes Last Statue of Franco – In a Spanish town on the border of Morocco, the last statue of the Spanish dictator Francisco Franco has come down. The monument was erected in 1978 to commemorate the fascist leader’s role in the Rif War between the Berber tribes and Spaniards in the 1920s. (Guardian)

Maurizio Cattelan and Pierpaolo Ferrari Shoot Vanity Fair’s Hollywood Issue – The artists, who founded the cult favorite magazine Toiletpaper, managed to pull off a remote fashion shoot for the most recent cover of Vanity Fair, which features leading lights of Tinseltown including Spike Lee, Michael B. Jordan, and Zendaya. (Vanity Fair)

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Damien Hirst Confesses He First Wanted to Put Pickled People in His Vitrines Before Going With Sheep + Other News

Art Industry News is a daily digest of the most consequential developments coming out of the art world and art market. Here’s what you need to know on this Thursday, February 18.


New Arts Hub Near Marfa Takes Shape – Marfa Invitational is a new year-round arts and cultural foundation planned for the tiny Texas enclave that Donald Judd once called home. Artist Michael Phelan hopes to complete the project, which includes a pair of exhibition halls on a five-acre plot of land, this fall. He previously founded an art fair of the same name. (New York Times)

MoMA Gets 100 Photographs by Women Artists – The collector Helen Kornblum has donated 100 photographs to the Museum of Modern Art in New York, including works by Louise Lawler, Dora Maar, and Carrie Mae Weems. The MoMA photography committee member’s gift will, according to one curator, help with “unfixing the canon.” Highlights will go on view at the museum in 2022. (ARTnews)

Damien Hirst’s Famous Pickles Could Have Looked Very Different – It turns out that Damien Hirst entertained some other ideas when considering what he would pickle for his now-famous sculptures of preserved animals in formaldehyde. He considered focusing on humans instead, and even flirted with the idea of showing a male and female form in copulation. In the end, however, he said, “I much prefer it when you’ve got this neglected thing like a sheep, which is meat—you’re thinking why am I feeling empathy? That’s a great thing because you should. Because it’s not just meat.” (Guardian)

Priest Charged With Stealing Ornaments From Hindu Temple – The former chief priest of Singapore’s oldest Hindu temple has been charged for pawning gold religious ornaments between 2016 and 2020. The items taken from Sri Mariamman Temple, which is 194 years old, are valued at $1.5 million. (Courthouse News)


Art Dubai Halves Exhibitor List, Changes Dates – As case numbers rise in the emirate, Art Dubai will scale back its planned in-person fair from 85 to 45 exhibitors and delay its opening by 12 days. The rescheduled fair, running from March 29 to April 3, will also move from the hotel Madinat Jumeirah to a “purpose-built venue” in the Gate Building at Dubai International Financial Center. Organizers are considering a shift to appointment-only. (ARTnews)

Calida Rawles Joins Lehmann Maupin – The international gallery will present a selection of works by the LA-based painter, known for her canvases depicting Black figures floating in water, at Art Basel Hong Kong in May. Rawles will continue to work with her LA gallery Various Small Fires. (Financial Times)

Hear Midnight Publishing Group CEO Jacob Pabst on Clubhouse – The CEO of Midnight Publishing Group will be sitting in on a Clubhouse, the art world’s favorite new social platform, with German collector Niklas Bolle and journalist Sebastian Späth to field questions about the art market. Tune in at 4:30 p.m. Central Eastern Europe time. (Clubhouse)


Theaster Gates and Michelle Grabner to Curate Outdoor Sculpture Show – The 2021 edition of Sculpture Milwaukee will be co-organized by artists Theaster Gates and Michelle Grabner. The outdoor sculpture show opens in June and will be on view through fall 2022. (Chicago Gallery News)

Sobey Art Award Now Open to All Ages – Canada’s top art prize has officially ditched its age restriction. (Previously, artists had to be under 40 to qualify.) The purse has grown, too. All long-listed finalists will now receive CA$10,000. The top prize remains CA$100,000, with the four-person shortlist receiving CA$25,000. (The Art Newspaper)


Photographer Sues Tattoo Artist Kat Von D – Photographer Jeffrey Sedlik is suing celebrity tattoo artist Kat Von D for copyright infringement after she posted a picture of a customer’s Miles Davis tattoo on social media. The photographer claims he owns exclusive rights to the image, which he took of Davis in 1989. (Billboard)

Hauser & Wirth’s Menorca Outpost Gets Opening Date – The mega-gallery’s new space in Menorca, Spain, will open on July 17 with a show of new paintings and sculptures by Mark Bradford. The 1,500-square-meter complex, which includes eight galleries, a shop, and a restaurant, is on the Isla del Rey. If you aren’t suffering from wanderlust yet, you will be as soon as you look at the image below. (Press release)

Hauser & Wirth Menorca on Isla del Rey. Courtesy Hauser & Wirth. Photo: Be Creative, Menorca.

Hauser & Wirth Menorca on Isla del Rey. Courtesy Hauser & Wirth. Photo: Be Creative, Menorca.

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Art Industry News: The British Government Announces an Official Stance to ‘Retain and Explain’ Controversial Monuments + Other Stories

Art Industry News is a daily digest of the most consequential developments coming out of the art world and art market. Here’s what you need to know on this Tuesday, February 16.


UK Government Says “Retain and Explain” Problematic Monuments – The UK’s culture secretary, Oliver Dowden, plans to tell museum and heritage leaders at a meeting later this month that they “must defend… culture and history from the noisy minority of activists constantly trying to do Britain down.” Representatives from the National Trust, Historic England, the National Lottery Heritage Fund, Arts Council England, the British Museum, and the Imperial War Museum will be in attendance. (The Art Newspaper)

Ukrainian Art Scholar Reportedly Imprisoned and Tortured – Art historian Olena Pekh has reportedly been imprisoned for nearly three years in a Russian-occupied region of Ukraine, where she is said to have been tortured. The 49-year-old research fellow was arrested by Russian rebels in 2018 and sentenced to 13 years for rebellion in what the Ukrainian National Committee of the International Council of Museums (ICOM) says was a fraudulent trialICOM Ukraine and Poland are both appealing to the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe to secure Pekh’s release. (TAN)

How Black Abstract Painting Claimed Its Place in the Canon – Arts journalist Megan O’Grady surveys the history of abstract painting by Black artists writing that though it “may not have tidily fit into [a] narrative of freedom and revolution… it was a vital component” of the Civil Rights era. Among the artists discussed in her essay are Howardena Pindell, Sam Gilliam, and Jack Whitten. (New York Times)

A Closed IKEA Could Become an Art Center – An IKEA in Coventry, UK, which closed in March 2020, could become an arts center depending on the outcome of a vote by elected officials next week. Officials in the city, which is the UK’s 2021 City of Culture, could transform the seven-storey building into a home for national and local artworks and collections that are not currently on display in its other museums. (BBC)


Controversy Brews Over Art Collector’s Planned Museum – Some 1,200 pieces of African art belonging to collector Sam Njunuri are sitting in limbo in a warehouse at the expense of taxpayers in Harris County, Texas, while apparently awaiting a museum that Njunuri has in the works. A criminal investigation is ongoing into how so many works arrived in the area, and whether Njunuri actually owns them. (Houston Chronicle)

Art Paris Moves Its 2021 Edition to September  The fair for modern and contemporary art has been pushed to September 9 to 12 in light of the coronavirus pandemic(Le Journal des Arts)


London’s National Gallery Plans a Major Revamp – A £25 to £30 million renovation project is set to be completed by early 2024 and includes an upgrade to the lobby of the Sainsbury Wing, a research centre, and improved outdoor space on Trafalgar Square. (TAN)

Tel Aviv Museum of Art Gets New Top Curator – Mira Lapidot, a veteran curator who has worked at the Israel Museum for more than 20 years and organized exhibitions of works by artists including Ai Weiwei, is moving to the Tel Aviv Museum. “I consider artists to be partners on our journey,” Lapidot told the Times of Israel. “Their work is the very reason for the museum’s existence.” (Times of Israel)


Inside the Louvre’s Flood-Safe Storage Facility – A $73 million facility in the French town of Liévin will become the home for 250,000 works of art from the Louvre’s collection at the end of a five-year project. So far, 100,000 works have been moved to the location in an attempt to safeguard them from the floodwaters of the River Seine. (NYT)

Sonia Boyce Chooses Theme for UK’s Window Art Exhibition – The organizers of a crowdsourced exhibition are asking the public to make artworks and display them in their windows. Artists Antony Gormley, Sonia Boyce, and Anish Kapoor will be among those setting different themes every two weeks for participants to work within. The first theme, animals, was chosen by Gormley; the second, portraiture, was chosen by Boyce. (Press release)

Artwork depicting animals, created by Louie is displayed in the window of a house in Acton, London to launch The Great Big Art Exhibition, the nationÕs largest ever exhibition, an initiative by Firstsite. PA Photo. Issue date: Thursday January 28, 2021. The exhibition asks members of the public to draw, paint, sculpt, build or create their own artwork and display it in their front windows. Artists including Anthony Gormley, Sonia Boyce, Etel Adnan and Anish Kapoor will set a different theme each fortnight for participants to work from with the first theme animals, set by Gormley. Photo credit should read: David Parry/PA Wire

Artwork depicting animals, created by Louie is displayed in the window of a house in Acton, London to launch The Great Big Art Exhibition, the nation’s largest ever exhibition, an initiative by Firstsite. Photo: David Parry/PA Wire

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