Art Industry News: Larry Gagosian Recalls His Raucous Days as a Party Animal + More Must-Read Stories

Plus, an infamous statue is removed from Central Park and the Tate slashes the price of tickets for young visitors.

Larry Gagosian in 2017 in Basel, Switzerland. Photo by Harold Cunningham/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 this Wednesday, April 18.


Controversial Statue Removed from Central Park The statue of J. Marion Sims, a surgeon considered the founder of gynecology who experimented on female slaves in the 19th century, has been removed from New York’s Central Park. A special commission established by the mayor voted unanimously for its relocation. It is now heading to Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn, where Sims is buried. (New York Times)

Why Jerry Saltz’s Pulitzer Prize Is a Problem  Because Saltz’s art criticism has become “nearly indistinguishable” from his online persona and in light of the amount of “genitalia content” on his Instagram, the Observer’s Margaret Carrigan has issues with the jury’s decision. Besides, she writes, Saltz’s wife Roberta Smith is “one of the shrewdest and most seasoned art critics out there.” (Observer)  

Larry Gagosian Recalls Late Nights in New York – In the early 1980s, the fledgling LA-based art dealer Larry Gagosian bought a loft on West Broadway to break into New York. The architect Peter Marino fixed it up (and added a hot tub) in exchange for a Brice Marden and $10,000. Opening parties routinely went on past 4 a.m. “You could say I was not a considerate neighbor,” Gagosian admits. (NYT)

Guggenheim Ducks Criticism at Forum on Discontent – Critic Rahel Aima was disappointed by the Guggenheim’s recent forum, “Culture and Its Discontents.” She described the two-day affair as a “feel-good liberalpalooza” that largely side-stepped controversial subjects close to home, including the museum’s decision to pull three works from its “Art and China” show amid threats from animal rights activists. (Art in America)


Sotheby’s Private Sales Are Booming – Private sales at the publicly traded auction house were up 28 percent, to $744.6 million, last year. One recent coup: The British investment advisor and museum founder Jonathan Ruffer bought 20 Spanish Old Masters in only 18 months from Sotheby’s, almost all through private sales. (NYT)

Christie’s Launches Art+Tech Summit – The first annual art and technology summit will be held in London on July 17. Co-organized by Christie’s and online art hub Vastari, it will focus on the potential and pitfalls of blockchain in the art market. Speakers include the UK’s former culture minister Ed Vaizey and the musician Imogen Heap. (Press release)

Christie’s Jewels Sale Totals $45 Million Jewelry by society-favorite JAR (Joel Arthur Rosenthal) topped Christie’s New York’s jewel auction on April 17. One of his blue diamond rings sold for $2.8 million. In total, the sale made just over $45 million. (Art Daily)


Qatar Opens National Library – The vast, OMA-designed library has opened in Doha, holding more than a million books from the national library, the public library, the university library, and the heritage collection. Rem Koolhaas designed the 42,000-square-meter building in such a way that you can see all the books at once. (Designboom)

Australian Art Biennial Announces Curators – In 2019, the second edition of the New Australian Art Biennial—organized by the Museum of Contemporary Art, Australia, the Art Gallery of New South Wales, and Carriageworks—will be curated by Clothilde Bullen, Isobel Parker Philip, Anna Davis, and Daniel Mudie Cunningham. (Artforum)

Sobey Art Award Announces Nominees – The 25 nominees on the long list for the $80,000 Canadian contemporary art prize include Howie Tsui, Kapwani Kiwanga, and Jon Rafman. The shortlist will be announced on May 29; the winner will be named on November 14. (ARTnews)

Milwaukee Gets a Monumental Tony Cragg – An anonymous donor has given an 18-foot-tall bronze by the British sculptor titled Mixed Feelings to Milwaukee. The sculpture was previously on loan from Marian Goodman Gallery to Sculpture Milwaukee, and will be relocated outside City Hall beginning April 30. (Milwaukee Record)


Discontent About the Met’s New Director – Critics were quick to point out that Max Hollein is the tenth white male in a row to take up directorship of the Met. The Austrian art historian is good with numbers—and at convincing patrons to part with their hard earned cash—but has some suggesting that his appointment further illustrates the bias of museum trustees. (Guardian)

Feminist Artist Censored by a Feminist Gallery – Natalie Frank’s new pastels based on The Story of O—a transgressive novel about one woman’s journey into sexual submissionwere meant to go on show at a new gallery this spring, but owner Sara Kay withdrew the invitation amid the rise of the #metoo movement, citing concerns that some might find the material triggering. The show has found a new home at Half Gallery, where it opens May 16. (Vulture)

Tate Slashes Exhibition Tickets for Young Visitors – Amid soaring prices of special exhibitions, the Tate has decided to offer a £5 ticket for 16- to 25-year-olds. The free scheme also grants discounts in Tate’s shops and restaurants, as well as £5 entry for three friends to any given show, which ordinarily would cost around £20 per person. The gallery is also seeking a new trustee to represent young people. (Guardian)

Banksy Sells West Bank Souvenirs – The shop at Banksy’s Walled Off Hotel in Bethlehem is selling a new set of souvenirs: a series focused on the dilapidated West Bank barrier painted by local artists. Several of the works feature a mini hooded figure spray painting or vandalizing the Israeli West Bank wall. (Colossal)


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