Art Industry News: The 2018 Turner Prize Nominees Are Revealed + More Must-Read Stories

Plus, the Mexican American photographer Laura Aguilar has died and an artist sues Old Navy for copyright infringement.

Tate Britain. Photo: Courtesy of Tate.

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 Thursday, April 26.


Artist Sues Old Navy for Copyright Infringement – LA-based artist Lili Chin is suing the clothing company for allegedly ripping off illustrations from her “Dogs of the World” series on a set of PJs that the brand started selling last fall. Old Navy is denying any copyright infringement. “All I want is for Old Navy to do the right thing,” Chin says, adding would have been happy to collaborate. (Complex)

Photographer Laura Aguilar Has Died at 58 – The Mexican-American photographer, whose retrospective at the Vincent Price Museum of Art made her a breakout star of Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA, has died. Her work, much of which examines identity and ideas of beauty, aimed to make marginalized communities—including lesbians, Latinas, the working class, and overweight people—visible. (ARTnews)

Tate Britain Names Four Turner Prize Nominees – The London museum has issued its ever-surprising shortlist for the world’s most famous art prize, giving the nod to Forensic Architecture, a Goldsmiths-based research unit that employs refined aesthetics to produce high-impact data visualizations for use in trials regarding human-rights abuses; Naeem Mohaiemen, whose films fuse personal history with narratives of forced migration and post-colonialism; Charlotte Prodger, a filmmaker who tackles issues of queer identity by subtly introducing them within the context of landscapes and natural history; and Luke Willis Thompson, a film and performance artist who uses his work to powerfully explore racial oppression. (Guardian)

Thieves Strike the Vienna Secession’s “Golden Cabbage” – The dome on the historic Art Nouveau building has been plundered. Half a dozen of its gilded leaves were stolen on Monday night as thieves took advantage of scaffolding erected for restoration work. The museum is beefing up its security to protect the remaining gold-coated leaves, which are each worth around $1,200. (The Local)



Illinois to Enjoy Kerry James Marshall Windfall – A struggling municipal authority in Illinois has voted to auction off Kerry James Marshall’s painting Past Times (1997) at Sotheby’s next month. The work, which was prominently featured in the artist’s recent traveling retrospective, is expected to bring in between $8 million and $12 million. The authority bought the painting the year it was made for $25,000—making this sale a potential 48,000 percent return. (Bloomberg)

Basquiat Boosts Christie’s Amsterdam $10.3 Million Sale – The auction house attracted a growing number of Asian clients to participate in the city’s postwar and contemporary sale, which made a total of $10.3 million. One highlight was a Jean-Michel Basquiat work on paper from the collection of designer Martin Visser, which sold for $893,276 with fees. (Press release)

Liste Founder to Retire – Peter Bläuer is stepping down after directing Basel’s art fair for emerging artists and galleries for the past 23 years. Ahead of the fair’s upcoming edition in June, he will begin a new role as vice president of the fair’s board. He has handed off management of the operation to a nonprofit while the fair hunts for a new head. (ARTnews)

Christie’s Reveals Full Blue-Chip Tisch Collection – The 40 works, which will be sold in New York next month, are expected to generate $80 million for the family’s foundations. Highlights include Alberto Giacometti and Henry Moore bronzes and work by Willem de Kooning, Joan Miró, and Pablo Picasso. Léger’s Les trois femmes au bouquet (1922) will lead the sale with an estimate of $12 million to $18 million. (Press release)


Museums Invest in Tech With Knight Grants – Eight museums across the US can now hire full-time, in-house digital experts thanks to the Knight Foundation, which has announced dedicated grants worth a total of $970,000. The beneficiaries include the Detroit Institute of Arts, the Wolfsonian in Miami Beach, and the San Jose Museum of Art. (Press release)

Magnum Photographer Abbas Has Died – The Iran-born, Paris-based photojournalist Abbas has died at age 72. He documented the Iranian Revolution, South Africa under apartheid, and conflicts in Bangladesh, Vietnam, and the Middle East. (AFP)

Martin Scorsese Wins Spain’s Royal Arts Prize – The film director will receive the Princess of Asturias Award for the Arts from Spain’s King Felipe VI in October. Previous American recipients of the prestigious honor include architect Frank Gehry and director Francis Ford Coppola. (AFP)

Canadian Museums at Odds Over a David – An art swap proposed by the National Gallery of Art in Winnipeg has set off a firestorm in Canada. The museum wants to sell one of its two Chagalls to buy a work by David from a cash-strapped church in Quebec. But Quebec institutions, as well as the local government, are fighting to keep the painting. National Gallery director Marc Mayer says that if Quebec can raise the $5 million needed to buy it, “then hats off, bravo.” (Bloomberg)​


Bar Tip Money Funds Artists in LA – Next time you go to an art event in LA, remember to tip your bartender. A group of bartenders who frequent art events, performances, and museum openings have decided to pool their tips and redistribute them as artist grants. To date, 10 artists in LA have benefitted from $1,000 prizes from the so-called Bar Fund. (LA Magazine)

Kate Bush Pens Brontë Tribute on Wuthering Heights The singer has written a tribute to Emily Brontë for a new public art installation honoring the author and her talented sisters on the moors. The singer joins three writers whose words will be inscribed on four stones, creating a trail linking their famous home and their birthplace in Yorkshire. (BBC)

Latoya Ruby Frazier Flies a Flag for Flint – A flag that seeks to raise awareness of the ongoing water pollution crisis in Flint, Michigan, is flying atop 16 institutions across the US thanks to the artist Latoya Ruby Frazier and Creative Time. The New York-based nonprofit unfurled the latest in its artist-designed “Pledges of Allegiance” series yesterday. (Press release)

Lynching Memorial Includes Black Lives Matter Sculpture – The artist Hank Willis Thomas has created a new version of the sculpture Raise Up for the new memorial to the victims of lynching and racial violence in the US. The work, which addresses police violence against African Americans and racial bias in the criminal justice system, is due to be unveiled today at the opening of the National Memorial for Peace and Justice and the Legacy Museum in Montgomery, Alabama. (Instagram)

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