Art Industry News: George W. Bush’s Very Effective Art Teacher Speaks Out, Gets Museum Show + Other Stories

Plus, Spain gets to keep the Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection (for a fee), and Gainsborough’s "Blue Boy" returns to the U.K. after a century.

Sedrick Huckaby, 2018. Courtesy The Studio Visit.

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, June 30.


Vanessa Beecroft Shoots SKIMS Campaign for Olympics – Skims, the shapewear brand founded by Kim Kardashian West and beloved by nursing mothers and pilates-addicts alike, will outfit female athletes competing in the 2021 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games. The reality-TV star turned designer announced the collaboration with images shot by artist Vanessa Beecroft. Skims will outfit the female competitors in underwear, loungewear, and pajamas, articles of clothing rarely supplied by other Olympics designers like Ralph Lauren. (New York Times, Instagram)

Gainsborough’s Blue Boy Will Return to the U.K. – Thomas Gainsborough’s The Blue Boy, a beloved painting that was purchased by the railway magnate Henry E. Huntington a century ago for a then-record price of $728,000, will return to the U.K.—at least for a little while. It will be unveiled at the National Gallery of London 100 years to the day since it was last seen in the country. The work, on loan from the Huntington Art Gallery in California, will be on view in London from January 25 through May 15, 2022. (Guardian)

George Bush’s Former Painting Teacher Speaks – When the former U.S. president approached Texas artist Sedrick Huckaby about painting lessons several years ago, the “generally speaking” Democratic-leaning artist was hesitant. But he was convinced by Bush’s “seriousness with art and how he really wanted to learn.” The two are still in touch—and sometimes Huckaby will still visit Bush to offer advice on a painting. Huckaby’s own work—including a portrait of the former president—is currently on view at the Blanton Museum of Art in Austin, Texas. (People)

Spain Finalizes a Loan Deal for the Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection – The collection of Baroness Carmen Thyssen-Bornemisza will remain on loan to the nation of Spain, but now at a cost of €6.5 million ($7.8 million) per year to the Spanish government. The deal is set for 15 years, after the baroness cited liquidity issues. “After loaning my collection… for 13 years without receiving a single penny, I had to do something,” she told El País. (El Pais, ARTnews)


Design Miami Will Pop Up in Shanghai – The art fair dedicated to furniture and design will hold an in-person art event to coincide with Shanghai Art Week from November 5 to 14. The program, titled Podium, will be organized by Aric Chen in a former British Consulate building in West Bund. (The Art Newspaper)

Hauser & Wirth Makes Waves in Menorca – The tiny island in the Balearics is now a veritable art destination. Piet Oudolf, the landscape designer behind New York’s High Line, revamped the flora around the 18th century ruins surrounding Hauser & Wirth’s new venue. When the gallery first decided to open on the island, they did not “know… that people were going to be re-evaluating their relationship to nature and to cities,” Iwan Wirth said. (Financial Times)


Activist Who Helped Organize Chicana Movement Dies  The writer and activist Elizabeth Martínez, known as Betita, died in San Francisco at age 95 from vascular dementia. Martínez, who went by the name Liz Sutherland until she moved to the Southwest and embraced her Mexican identity, co-founded the bilingual newspaper El Grito del Norte, worked as an assistant to Edward Steichen, and ran for governor of California on the Peace and Freedom ticket. (NYT

Warhol Foundation Names 2021 Grantees The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts has awarded its 2021 grants to 50 arts organizations for exhibitions, programs, and curatorial research. Due to ongoing financial hardships, the grantees are permitted to use up to 50 percent of the money to cover administrative expenses. (Artforum


Greek Police Unveil Looted Picasso, Then Drop It – Remember that “priceless” Picasso painting that the artist personally inscribed to “the people of Greece,” which was miraculously recovered this week after it was stolen from the National Gallery in Athens nearly a decade ago? During a news conference, a government spokesperson propped up the canvas alongside a recovered Mondrian landscape—and it promptly fell off the podium. So much for being in safe hands. (Twitter)

You Can Now Hunt for Art Along the High Line – The Shed and Acute Art have teamed up to launch an augmented reality exhibition along New York’s High Line featuring specially commissioned works by Olafur Eliasson, KAWS, and Cao Fei. Visitors need only to point a phone at a QR code displayed at one of the sites and… voila! Art! (NYT)

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