Art Industry News: Ai Weiwei Shrugs Off Criticism Over Selfie With Far-Right Politician + More Must-Read Stories

Plus, augmented reality is transforming museums and Christie's will sell the collection of Paramount's late CEO.

Ai Weiwei with AfD leader Alice Weidel. Courtesy @Alice_Weidel via Twitter.

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 25.


Anicka Yi on Being a Woman in the Art World – The New York-based artist says she could be president of the United States “and still half the people in the room would question my authority”—including a few women. Straight women in the art world often act against their best interests and don’t support female artists, she says: “It’s analogous to the psychology of voting Republican.” (Frieze)

Augmented Reality Enters the Museum – Forget unofficial tours—now, renegade artists are creating interactive museum experiences with augmented reality apps. The unofficial MoMAR Gallery App, for example, places other artists’ work atop those of Jackson Pollock inside MoMA. Institutions have mixed feelings about such “virtual trespassing.” Boston’s Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum isn’t a fan, while the Met is on board with augmented invasions. (Wired)

Ai Weiwei Defends Selfie With Far-Right Politician – The Berlin-based, Chinese artist Ai Weiwei has defended his decision to take a selfie with the German right-wing politician Alice Weidel. While he disagrees with the AfD leader’s anti-immigrant politics, he was happy to pose with her in the name of building bridges. “No one has the right to judge who I choose to take a photograph with,” he says. (Frieze)

Tisch Fund Gives Millions for Art and Mental Health – The Laurie M. Tisch Illumination Fund has made a $10 million pledge to New York City arts programs that aim to support patients with mental health issues. Among the beneficiaries is the nonprofit Arts & Minds, which brings people with Alzheimer’s disease to museums. Tisch is auctioning off her parents’ $80 million art collection next month in part to boost the fund. (New York Times)



Sotheby’s Gets Rufino Tamayo’s Top Dog – The Mexican Modernist’s painting Dog Howling at the Moon (1942) is heading to auction at Sotheby’s New York on May 14. The last work from Tamayo’s celebrated “Animal” series in private hands, it has an estimate of $5 million to $7 million. It has been in the same collection for more than 20 years. (Art Daily)

Christie’s to Sell Hollywood Exec’s Blue-Chip Art – The auction house will sell works from the late Paramount CEO Brad Grey’s collection, including an Agnes Martin abstract ($4 million to $6 million), works by Ellsworth Kelly, Richard Prince, and Cy Twombly, and a Diego Giacometti table. (Art Market Monitor)

Three Unknown Dalí Drawings Head to Auction – Three early sketches by Salvador Dalí, one of which could be a portrait of his friend, the poet Federico García Lorca, are due to go on sale at Suite in Barcelona on May 10. The other two works are a drawing of a female nude and a preliminary sketch for Dalí and Luis Buñuel’s Surrealist film Un Chien Andalou. (El Pais)

TEFAF Report Focuses on Art Finance – Anders Petterson of ArtTactic has written TEFAF’s made-over art market report, which will focus on how dealers and collectors source capital in a notoriously illiquid market. It will be launched during the fair’s spring New York edition with a panel discussion moderated by artnet News’s Tim Schneider. (Art Daily)


Fondazione Prada Names New Director – Cristian Valsecchi has been appointed the new general manager of the Prada Foundation in Milan. He is currently secretary general of the Turin Museums Foundation and the Italian Association of Contemporary Art Museums. He has previously taught at the University of Bergamo, directed Artissima, and headed the Palazzo Grassi and Punta della Dogana. (WWD)

CHART Fair Gets a New Director – The Danish art and design fair will be led by Nanna Bjerre Hjortenberg, who was previously a director of the Golden Days history festival and the Danish Architecture Center. This year’s edition of the Copenhagen fair opens on August 31. (Press release)

Palestinian Art Museum Opens in the US – The first museum dedicated to Palestinian art in the US has opened in an office building in Woodbridge, Connecticut. The inaugural show features work by artists including Ayed Arafah, Maher Naji, and Mohammad Khalil. It also includes memorial murals to Palestinians killed in the conflict with Israel. (Hartford Courant)



Jessica Chastain to Play Activist Artist – In Woman Walks Ahead, a new film in theaters June 29, the Hollywood star plays the 19th-century artist Caroline Weldon as she embarks on a mission to paint the portrait of Sitting Bull. The film takes her through a storm of misogyny and racism in the Dakotas leading up to the 1890 Wounded Knee Massacre. (Vulture)

Bjarke Ingels Markets Condos With Flash – A developer conscripted Beyoncé’s stage designer Es Devlin to create a dramatic setting for a preview of 200 luxury condominiums and a hotel designed by the Danish architect Bjarke Ingels. Devlin created three full conceptual representations of The XI (pronounced “The Eleventh”) and its two towers, which will be on view in the West Village beginning May 14. The project should be finished by the end of 2019. (ARTnews)

Ingvild Goetz Sells Art to Fund Philanthropy – On the 25th anniversary of her collection, the German philanthropist looks back on her decision in 2013 to sell some of her art to support charitable causes, like a school in Ghana and training for female refugees in Germany. “The joy of spending $20 million on a painting lasts maybe three weeks,” she says. “The other kind [of joy] one always has.” (New York Times) ​

Museum of Ice Cream and MoMA Scoop Up Webbies – The winners of the the this year’s Webby awards (“the Internet’s highest honor”) include the Museum of Ice Cream for “best overall social presence” and New York’s MoMA for the best cultural institution website. The sculpture Fearless Girl nabbed the honor for best “cause-related campaign.” The winners were selected based on three million online votes. (Press release)


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