Art Industry News: The Louvre Will Stage a Major Exhibition in Sudan + More Must-Read Stories
Plus, a new auction record for Motherwell is on the way and why climate change has left Mongolian artifacts vulnerable to looting.
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 this Friday, April 13.
Backlash Over Saul Levine’s Departure from MassArt – The filmmaker and professor Saul Levine’s emotional posts on Facebook about being forced to retire early have sparked an outpouring of support. But in a joint statement, several fellow professors say his departure was not due to a dispute over academic freedom but over the hostile atmosphere he created in class. They urged Levine “to stop his lies about… MassArt and his cyber-bullying against his colleagues.” (Artforum)
One Unanticipated Side Effect of Climate Change? Looting – As climate change makes it more difficult for herders to make a living in Mongolia, some have turned to looting ancient burial sites in an effort to make ends meet. In the old stomping ground of Genghis Khan, bones, tools, and other precious pieces of the archeological record are being destroyed as looters search for silver and gold. (Smithsonian Magazine)
Louvre Director Ramps Up Cultural Diplomacy – Jean-Luc Martinez, who has made cultural diplomacy a priority, says the museum is now active in 75 countries. In addition to the newly opened Louvre Abu Dhabi and a loan show now on view in Iran, the director reveals that the museum is organizing an exhibition in Northern Sudan about the ancient Kushite pharaoh Taharqa, an antiquities show with Russia’s Hermitage for 2019, and another with Qatar in 2020. (The Art Newspaper)
Huma Bhabha’s Aliens Land on the Met’s Roof – The New York-based, Pakistan-born artist has created two large-scale sculptures that have an extraterrestrial vibe for her rooftop commission at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art. Called “We Come in Peace,” a reference to a 1950s sci-fi movie, the installation opens to the public on April 17. (New York Times)
Sotheby’s Staffer to Open Chinatown Gallery – Charles Moffett is opening a gallery in New York’s Chinatown on May 4 with a solo show of American artist Lily Stockman’s abstracts. The former co-head of Sotheby’s day sales plans to host exhibitions of work by emerging artists with “nice, long runs” of seven to eight weeks. (ARTnews)
Robert Motherwell Poised for a Record – A painting from Robert Motherwell’s “Elegy” series headed to Philips next month is expected to sell for $13 million to $16 million—almost as much as all the artist’s auction sales last year combined. The seller, interior designer Holly Hunt, bought hers for $500,000 in 1981. Amusingly, Bloomberg describes Motherwell in its headline as “an artist favored by Axelrod in ‘Billions,'” referring to the hedge fund manager who has a lookalike work in his apartment on the Showtime show. (Bloomberg)
P.P.O.W. to Rep Judith Linhares – The veteran US figurative painter has joined the New York gallery, which will present her paintings at Frieze New York in May. Her work was included in the landmark “Bad Paintings” feminist art show at the New Museum in 1978. (ARTnews)
Censored Dorothea Lange Photos Head to Auction – Five rarely seen prints of Japanese-Americans interned in camps during World War II taken by Dorothea Lange—and later censored by the US government—are going on sale as a single lot at Swann Galleries on April 19 with an estimate of $30,000–45,000. (Observer)
COMINGS & GOINGS
The Man Who Modernized the Brooklyn Museum Has Died – Robert T. Buck, the art historian and director who expanded and modernized the Brooklyn Museum, has died at age 79. Buck, who presided over the museum from 1983 until his retirement 13 years ago, transformed the space and its approach to funding, ousted its art school, and oversaw important exhibitions by Matisse and Louise Bourgeois. (NYT)
Winter Antiques Show Has a New Director – Helen Allen will be the new executive director of New York’s Winter Antiques Show. Allen was previously the executive director of Ramsay Fairs for nine years. The next edition of the New York event opens January 2019. (ARTnews)
ICA Miami’s Director Steps Down – After overseeing the Institute of Contemporary Art, Miami’s move to its new home in the city’s Design District last year, director Ellen Salpeter has announced that she is leaving her post to pursue new projects. Her deputy, Alex Gartenfeld, will become the artistic director, while associate director Tommy Ralph Pace will be promoted to deputy director. (ARTnews)
Garage Museum and BMW Team Up – A new partnership between the German carmaker and the contemporary art museum in Moscow includes a $12,000 grant that supports work in the fields of IT, engineering, and science-based art. The inaugural award goes to Sergey Kasich, who is researching noise pollution and the creation of silent havens in cities. (Press release)
FOR ART’S SAKE
Art Student Acquitted of Making Revenge Porn – After she included a naked image of her ex-boyfriend in an art project, a University of Lincoln student was arrested and charged with “revenge porn,” which carries a prison sentence of up to two years. But after prosecutors agreed the subject’s identity was obscured and not identifiable by others, she was acquitted. Her work had been awarded a high grade before her ex complained. (Telegraph)
Dealers Respond to Incoming UK Ivory Ban – A powerful new ban in the UK against ivory is sure to have definitive effects on the market for the material worldwide. Some have characterized the crackdown as a “disaster” for middle market or emerging traders. (NYT)
See the 2018 World Press Photo Winner – The winner of the World Press Photo of the Year has gone to photojournalist Ronaldo Schemidt for his fiery image of a Venezuelan protestor titled Venezuela Crisis. The powerful photograph depicts Jose Victor Salazar Balza catching fire amid clashes with riot police in Caracas last May. You can see the winners in all categories here. (Deustche Welle)
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