Art Industry News: Famed Ceramicist and Part-Time Actor Seth Rogen Is Quietly Building a Star-Studded Art Collection + Other Stories

Plus, New York museums increase their capacity to 50 percent and Rirkrit Tiravanija joins David Zwirner.

Seth Rogen at the 2019 SXSW Conference. Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for SXSW.
Seth Rogen at the 2019 SXSW Conference. Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for SXSW.

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, April 21.


Are These Art Dealers Getting Into the Vaccine Business? – The Abu Dhabi-based art dealers Natalya Muzaleva and Istvan Perger have reportedly expanded their business portfolio (which already includes oil and real estate) to include the sale of vaccinations to Europe through controversial private-sector supply deals. The Czech prime minister rejected the pair’s offer to procure and sell some one million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine to the Czech Republic, telling media he would not support the “black market.” (Al Jazeera)

New York Museums Can Welcome More Visitors – Museums in New York will soon become a little more crowded. The state has announced that museums can increase visitor capacity to 50 percent from April 26 as part of a broader easing of health restrictions. Museums and other attractions, including zoos, have been capped at 25 percent since August. (Gothamist)

Seth Rogen Gets the Big Profile Treatment – The writer, actor, producer, and (most importantly, for our purposes) ceramicist Seth Rogen is the subject of a lengthy profile in the New York Times Magazine. Tucked into the account of his restless creativity in comedy and his devotion to pot(s) of all kinds are details about his own art collection, which he has been building for a few years. With a focus on Pop and street art, Rogen has acquired sculptures by Barry McGee, figurines by KAWS, and a large color drawing by George Condo. (New York Times Magazine)

Science Museum Defends Relationship With Shell – London’s Science Museum has defended its decision to let the oil company Shell sponsor its flagship climate exhibition, “Our Future Planet.” The museum’s director Ian Blatchford stressed that the institution retains full “editorial control” over the exhibition; a Shell spokesperson said that the company and museum “have a longstanding relationship based on shared interests to promote engagement in science.” (The Art Newspaper


Chicago Gallery Patron Expands – Patron Gallery, one of Chicago’s most exciting art spaces, is opening a new 5,000-square-foot gallery in the city’s West Town district at the site of the historic Alvin Theater. The inaugural show, opening April 24, will be a solo exhibition of the Houston-based artist Jamal Cyrus. (Press release

Rirkrit Tiravanija Joins David Zwirner – The mega-gallery will represent the Thai artist (though not exclusively). Tiravanija will recreate his work untitled 1990 (pad thai), which involves cooking and sharing noodles with visitors, at Zwirner’s Hong Kong gallery for a group exhibition opening on May 18. The artist joined Gladstone last year after his longtime dealer Gavin Brown became a partner at the gallery. (Ocula)

Maruani Mercier Adds Kwesi Botchway to Roster – The Ghanaian painter has joined the Belgian gallery, which will host his first solo exhibition in Brussels in early 2022. Maruani Mercier will represent Botchway in Europe, while Gallery 1957 will continue to rep him in Accra and London. (Press release)


A New Grant for Artists With Disabilities – The New York Foundation for the Arts has started an emergency $1,000 grant program for artists with disabilities. New York City-based artists who have experienced financial hardship during the pandemic can apply for the Barbara and Carl Zydney Grant for Artists with Disabilities from May 4 through June 15. (Press release)

Call for Artists Issued for World Trade Center Residency – The nonprofit Silver Art Projects is inviting applications for its 2021 residency, which will focus on social justice and activism. The up to eight-month program includes a stipend and studio space in the WTC, with such mentors-in-residence as Hank Willis Thomas, Tourmaline, and Chella Man. The selection committee will choose 25 creatives for the opportunity beginning July 2021. The deadline to apply is May 16. (Press release)


ARTnews Owner Takes a Stake in SXSW – Penske Media Corporation, which owns ARTnewsArt in America, and other publications, has taken a 50 percent stake in the Texas music and culture festival South by Southwest. Jay Penske says he sees potential in future digital partnerships between the festival and his various publications. (Wall Street Journal)

New York’s Union Square Clock Gets an Update – Union Square’s Climate Clock, an art installation that displays the shrinking window of time we have to tackle global warming before scientists say its effects will be irreversible, has gotten a slightly more optimistic update. The clock will now also measure the rising use of renewable energy. (New York Times)


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