Art Industry News: After Second Arrest, Pussy Riot’s World Cup Stars Are Free (For Now) + Other Stories

Plus, Jerry Saltz apologizes for offensive tweets and the UK Parliament realizes that over 220 works of art in its collection are missing.

Member of the Pussy Riot Veronika Nikulshina (L) arrives for a court hearing at a courthouse in Moscow on July 31. Photo: VASILY MAXIMOV/AFP/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, August 1.


The Drawing Center Gets a New Director – Klaus Biesenbach isn’t the only MoMA curator getting a new job. Laura Hoptman, a prominent curator in the museum’s painting and sculpture department, will take over the SoHo nonprofit Drawing Center beginning September 10. Hoptman says that in a time “cultural gigantism,” smaller institutions offer an opportunity for freer and more focused work with challenging material. (artnet News, New York Times)

UK Parliament Is Missing a Lot of Art – Some 224 works in the 6,000-work-strong art collection of the Houses of Parliament are missing. Officials cannot say whether they have simply been misplaced or were stolen. The UK government is hoping that a multibillion-dollar restoration project at the Palace of Westminster will lead to the rediscovery of some of the lost works. (Daily Mail)

After Second Arrest and Hearing, Pussy Riot Is Free (For Now) – Late last night, Pussy Riot confirmed via social media that, following a re-arrest and yet another hearing, four of its members had been freed (again). They had been detained for storming the field at the FIFA World Cup final with a performance called “Policeman Enters the Field.” The group will still have to appear in court and could get another 25 days in jail. Artist Marina Abramovic shared a video in solidarity with the group last week. (Twitter)

Barnett Newman Foundation Makes a Big Gift – The Jewish Museum in New York is receiving $10 million from the Barnett and Annalee Newman Foundation to endow a curatorial post. The foundation is also donating 70 works from the artist’s collection, plus 40 more by the winners of its annual award. The works by Lynda Benglis, Mark Bradford, Joan Jonas, Jasper Johns, and Richard Serra, among others, will go on view in 2019. (Artforum)


Nicelle Beauchene Gallery Opens a Homey New Space – The New York gallerist is expanding this fall—but not in the usual way. Her second location, called Third Floor, will be in a one-bedroom apartment in Manhattan’s Lower East Side measuring about 850 square feet. Artists will have to navigate domestic furnishings, including a couch and a bed, when conceiving their exhibitions. (ARTnews)

Hauser & Wirth Makes Its Print Fair Debut – The mega-gallery is adding yet another fair to its busy calendar: the Fine Art Print Fair in New York. The event, which will also host galleries including New York’s David Tunick and London’s Paragon, will be held in New York’s Javits Center from October 25 to 28. (Press release)

Lynn Chadwick’s Daughter Loses Legal Battle – The daughter of the late British sculptor has lost her 13-year battle to gain what she says is a “fair slice” of her father’s art collection, which is worth millions. She argued that the copyrights and art should be split equally among his four children. But the court confirmed that Chadwick’s widow, Eva Chadwick, is the rightful heir to his entire collection. (Daily Mail)


Dane Mitchell Will Represent New Zealand in Venice – The artist plans to create fake trees that will broadcast “lost and extinct entities” in New Zealand’s pavilion at the 2019 biennale. The pavilion’s lead curator is Zara Stanhope, an expert in Asian and Pacific art at the Queensland Art Gallery and Gallery of Modern Art in Australia. (Press release)

The Bass Beefs Up Its Contemporary Collection – The Miami Beach museum has acquired works by Sandford Biggers, Mark Handforth, Karen Rifas, Mika Rottenberg, and Lawrence Weiner. Handforth’s light installation Silver Branch (2016) is the first work by the Miami-based, British-born artist to enter the collection. (Artforum)

DJ Is Honored by Scotland’s National Portrait Gallery – The Scottish National Portrait Gallery has added a photograph of the DJ and record producer Calvin Harris to its collection. Paul Stuart’s image of the musician, who has worked with Kylie Minogue and Rihanna, among others, was originally taken for GQ Italy. (Scotsman)

The Rolling Stones’ Favorite Antiques Dealer Has Died – The man who introduced Mick Jagger and Keith Richards to antiques and rare books while partying hard with them as a young man has died on his 80th birthday in Morocco. Gibbs was also a versatile designer who created sets for the film Performance, which starred Jagger, and served as consultant for the V&A’s British galleries. (Times)


Cindy Sherman Gets Her First UK Retrospective – London’s National Portrait Gallery is planning to open a retrospective of the American artist in June 2019. In addition to new works lent by Sherman herself, the exhibition will include Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres’s Madame Moitessier on loan from the National Gallery in London. It will be shown alongside Sherman’s own version of the painting from her “History Portraits” series. (Guardian)

Jerry Saltz Apologizes for Tweeting Hannity-Trump Poster – The art critic and Pulitzer Prize winner has taken down two tweets of posters he said were on view in New York’s subway that depict President Trump having sex with Fox News host Sean Hannity. After his followers pointed out that the images were homophobic, Saltz apologized and deleted them. (The Wrap)

Chinese Artist’s Cat Emoticons Have 1.6 Million Fans – A yellow cat named Eggy and its pink puffy sidekick Pupu have millions of followers on Chinese social media. The creation of artist Li Weiyi, the cartoon felines expressing happiness, joy, sadness, and anger have become a WeChat sensation. Now, the company Teddy Bear plans to roll out Eggy and Pupu merchandise across Asia. (

Meet the Artist Behind Chance the Rapper’s Covers – Brandon Breaux has created the artwork for the rapper’s trilogy of albums. Now, he is embracing abstraction for the cover art for Chance the Rapper’s four new singles. Breaux explains he wanted to do something different—“and I didn’t have a lot of time.” He had to create the images overnight: “They called me around midnight.” (NPR)

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