Art Industry News: Tracey Emin Wants Her Art Out of 10 Downing Street, Where Boris Johnson Partied During Lockdown + Other Stories

Plus, Chavez Lamar becomes the first Native woman to lead a Smithsonian museum, and Gagosian is opening in Gstaad.

Tracey Emin. (Photo by Jack Taylor/Getty Images)
Tracey Emin. (Photo by Jack Taylor/Getty Images)

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, January 20.

NEED-TO-READ

Smithsonian Names Director of the National Museum of the American Indian – Chavez Lamar, a member of San Felipe Pueblo tribe from New Mexico, takes up her new role as director of the Washington, D.C., institution on February 14. The first Native woman to lead a Smithsonian museum, she succeeds Kevin Glover, who left in January 2021. Lamar has served as the museum’s acting associate director since January 2021; she was named assistant director for collections in 2014. (New York Times)

Julia Garner Visited Anna Delvey in Prison – Emmy award-winning actress Julia Garner is playing the art-world fraudster Anna Delvey in an upcoming Netflix series (watch the trailer here). She met the convicted scammer in jail to do research for her starring role in Inventing Anna, and said she found Anna quite sweet. “She was extremely charming,” Garner said. “She’s very gentle. But then her voice gets less soft-spoken when she wants something.” (Yahoo)

Tracey Emin Wants Her Art Removed From Downing Street – Tracey Emin has demanded that Number 10 Downing Street, the seat of the U.K. prime minister, take down an artwork she gifted to the government because the “current situation is shameful.” Boris Johnson is in deep trouble for hosting parties at the official residence while the country was in strict lockdown in 2020 and 2021. Emin’s neon work More Passion has been hanging in there since 2011, when David Cameron was prime minister. “I feel More Passion is the last thing this present government needs,” the artist said in an Instagram post. “It could hang in the British embassy in Cairo, or go back into storage. There are many places it could go.” The prime minister’s office has said it will speak to Emin about her request. (Evening Standard)

Teddy Roosevelt Statue Starts to Come Down – The controversial bronze statue of Theodore Roosevelt, flanked by depictions of a Native American man and an African man on foot, is finally being disassembled after a long debate over its fate. It has been on view at the American Museum of Natural History since 1940 and is scheduled to leave in pieces throughout the week in a $2 million removal process. The statue will go into storage before eventually being transferred to the Theodore Roosevelt Presidential Library in Medora, North Dakota. (NYT)

MOVERS & SHAKERS

There’s Gonna Be a Lot of Monet at Auction – Five works by Impressionist Claude Monet could rake in £35 million ($50 million) during Sotheby’s modern and contemporary art evening sale in London in March. The works, which all come from the same American private collection, come with a financial guarantee. Sotheby’s Helena Newman said that Asian buyers in particular have reinvigorated the artists’s market. (ARTnews)

Gagosian to Open in Gstaad – The globe-engulfing gallery will open a new location—it’s 19th!—in the ski town of Gstaad, Switzerland, on February 14. The inaugural show will present never-before-seen oil paintings by Damien Hirst spanning 15 years that depict iconic subjects including Marilyn Monroe and Pablo Escobar. (Press release)

Louis Vuitton Collabs With Sotheby’s on Virgil Abloh Sneaker Drop – Louis Vuitton is selling 200 special-edition pairs of “Air Force 1s” designed by the fashion house’s late artistic director Virgil Abloh at Sotheby’s. Proceeds will benefit the Virgil Abloh™ “Post-Modern” Scholarship Fund, which supports the education of promising students of Black, African American, or African descent. Bidding begins at $2,000. (Press release)

KAWS Goes White Glove – Artnet Auctions’s first white-glove sale of the year was “KAWS: Urge,” which offered the complete set of prints from the artist’s 2020 portfolio, featuring colorful variations of his CHUM character. The auction closed with a 100 percent sell-through rate by volume and a 122 percent rate by value. (Press release)

FOR ART’S SAKE

Hirshhorn and Albright-Knox Jointly Acquire an Infinity Room – The Albright-Knox Art Gallery and the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden are the latest institutions to take part in the growing trend of joint acquisitions. The two will share Infinity Mirrored Room—My Heart Is Dancing into the Universe (2018) by Yayoi Kusama, which they bought together for an undisclosed sum. It will first go on display at the new Albright-Knox campus in Buffalo, New York, in 2023. (Press release)

Yayoi Kusama’s Infinity Mirrored Room - My Heart Is Dancing Into the Universe (2018). Photo: Jack Hems. Courtesy Ota Fine Arts and Victoria Miro, London/Venice. © YAYOI KUSAMA. Purchased jointly by the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C. (Joseph H. Hirshhorn Purchase Fund, 2020), and the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, with funds from the George B. and Jenny R. Mathews Fund, by exchange.

Yayoi Kusama’s Infinity Mirrored Room – My Heart Is Dancing Into the Universe (2018). Photo: Jack Hems. Courtesy Ota Fine Arts and Victoria Miro, London/Venice. © YAYOI KUSAMA. Purchased jointly by the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C. (Joseph H. Hirshhorn Purchase Fund, 2020), and the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, with funds from the George B. and Jenny R. Mathews Fund, by exchange.


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