Art Industry News: The Irish Government Is Experimenting With a Program to Give Lucky Artists $355 Every Week + Other Stories

Plus, a new show at PPOW explores David Wojnarowicz’s first love, and Philadelphia Museum of Art workers stage a rally.

A woman walks by the mural 50 FT HEROES by the Irish artist Shane Sutton, located in Dublin. Photo by Artur Widak/NurPhoto via 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 6.


P.P.O.W Explores David Wojnarowicz’s First Relationship – A show at P.P.O.W gallery in New York, on view through April 23, explores the artist’s relationship with his first love, Jean Pierre Delage, through letters, drawings, photographs, and other artworks, including rare small prints from a time when the artist could not afford to buy larger paper. Begun in 1978, when the artist was 24, the pair’s affair lasted three and a half years, during which time Delage financially supported the artist’s work. “In memory of David, I hope to get a lot of money,” Delage said. “I don’t need it. I am rich enough. It is a symbol. If I get a lot of money for David, it is a success for him, and for me.” (New York Times)

Why Art Writing Is Bad for Us – Hettie Judah decries the ever-textier nature of the visual art world, with its increasingly hefty catalogues and long explanatory wall texts aimed at satisfying people’s “craving for the reassurance of text”—even though art rarely has a stable meaning or singular correct reading. Judah argues that institutions and artists that rely too much on explanatory text are doing viewers a disservice, removing their “roving curiosity and the ability to interpret our visual environment.” (Apollo)

Ireland Is Paying Artists for Being Artists – The Irish government is the latest entity to pilot a basic income program for artists. (The Mellon Foundation in New York State launched a similar initiative earlier this year.) Under the new scheme, which was put forward by the country’s Arts and Culture Recovery Taskforce, 2,000 artists and creative workers will receive €325 ($355) from the government each week for three years. Applications open on April 12; the lucky winners will be chosen at random. (BBC)

Nancy Lane, Longest-Serving Studio Museum in Harlem Trustee, Dies – Art collector and trailblazing corporate executive Nancy Lane has died at 88. Lane was the longest-serving board member at the Studio Museum in Harlem, where she has helped build its reputation as a hub for Black artists and curators since 1973. She also championed and collected work by artists including Mark Bradford, Sam Gilliam, Lorna Simpson, and Kehinde Wiley. (ARTnews)


Pace to Represent Huong Dodinh – The French-Vietnamese painter—who has never before been represented by a gallery—has joined Pace’s roster. Dodinh is known for her elegantly minimal paintings inspired by classical dance and will have a solo show at the Museo Correr in Venice coinciding with the Biennale. (Press release)

Manifesta Releases Artist List – The next edition of the roving biennial, Manifesta 14, will be held in Pristina, Kosovo, this summer and include work by 77 artists or collectives, nearly half of whom are Kosovar. Titled “it matters what worlds world worlds: how to tell stories otherwise,” the 100-day program will bring together art by figures including Petrit Halilaj, Roni Horn, Astrit Ismaili, and Emily Jacir. (Press release)

Philadelphia Museum of Art Workers Rally Amid Union Negotiations – Around 250 employees from the Philadelphia Museum of Art and their supporters demonstrated outside the museum on April 1. Negotiations over a collective bargaining agreement have been ongoing since the museum’s workers first voted to form a union in August 2020. (Hyperallergic)

SFMOMA Gets New Trustees – The museum, which is welcoming a new director this summer, has added five new members to its board, including private-equity firm owner Bill Fisher and beauty industry entrepreneur Katie Rodan. David Huffman, Tucker Nichols, and Carrie Mae Weems are the new artist trustees. (Press release)


Making Online Viewing Rooms Cool, With Ikea – Antwerp gallery Office Baroque chose a unique setting for its latest virtual show: an Ikea catalogue. What began as a joke about generic online viewing rooms turned into a full-scale conceptual art project that the gallery hopes the Swedish furniture giant will view as an homage: all the works in “Chambres d’Amis: IKEA” are shown Photoshopped into sample Ikea interiors. Catch a glimpse of a Scott Reeder text painting over “a rumpled Säbövik bed.” (Medium)

Jeff Koons Art Car Sells for $475,000 – Christie’s auctioned off a signed BMW Art Car, the 8 X JEFF KOONS, for $475,000 this week, with proceeds going to the International Center for Missing and Exploited Children. Koons described the BMW M850i xDrive Gran Coupé, part of an edition of 99 he playfully decorated in a Pop-infused, comic superhero style, as his “dream car.” (designboom)


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