Art Industry News: Donald Trump Asked Whether His Face Could Be Added to Mount Rushmore + Other Stories

Plus, Jared Leto will play Andy Warhol in a forthcoming movie and Chicago galleries use a restaurant app to arrange by-appointment visits.

Mount Rushmore in South Dakota. Image courtesy of Christian Collins via Flickr

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 Monday, August 10.


Tate Head Defends Job Cuts – Tate Modern director Maria Balshaw defended the gallery’s controversial plans to cut around 200 jobs from its commercial arm, which runs its shops and cafes. On the Radio 4 program Desert Island Disks, Balshaw explained that the division was “too big” given that Tate is expecting its attendance to drop by half for the foreseeable future. She added that the museum delayed the move as long as possible, and pledged that “as visitors do return… [the workers] will be given the first option to come back and work for us because we recognize the hard work that they do and how valuable they are to us.” (BBC)

Albright-Knox Sues Engineer – The Albright-Knox Art Gallery in Buffalo is suing the engineering company that designed its warehouse extension in 2015 for financial damages after it discovered moisture in the space that could damage its artworks. The museum has filed a suit against Watts Engineering accusing it of negligent design and construction after it promised to deliver the “critical environment” necessary for the storage of works of art. (Buffalo Business)

Trump Asked to Be Added to Mount Rushmore – Last year, White House staff reached out to the governor of South Dakota to ask a question: What’s the process to add additional presidents to Mount Rushmore? Seeing an opportunity, the governor, Kristi Noem, gifted the president a four-foot replica of the national monument that included Trump’s face last month when he visited the site for a rally. Later, Noem traveled to Washington to reassure Vice President Mike Pence that the overtures were not an indication that she was after his job. (New York Times)

Dallas Museums Prepare to Reopen – Although cases are on the rise in Texas, the Dallas Museum of Art has announced plans to reopen on August 14. Six other institutions in the Dallas Arts District, including the Nasher Sculpture Center, the Crow Museum of Asian Art, and the Perot Museum of Nature and Science also announced plans to reopen over the next six weeks. The Nasher will welcome visitors on August 20, with the others to follow in September. The Dallas Art Fair announced last week that it would cancel its fall fair. (NBC DFW)


Chicago Galleries Take a Cue From the Restaurant Industry – A group of art dealers in Chicago has started using a restaurant reservation system called Tock to manage gallery visits. The app has been adapted for art spaces to help manage reservations, tours, openings, and other events, and is now in conversation to expand to its users to New York, Los Angeles, Austin, and Belgium. (The Art Newspaper)

How Well Did Untitled’s VR Fair Work? – The virtual reality art fair, Untitled, Art Online, has scored highly with experts for its design and ease of use. As for the artworks, some appeared blurry, but overall, the fair offered a satisfying user experience. Also receiving positive marks was the chat button, which allowed visitors to engage directly with dealers in a way that was “not contingent on your perceived-are-those-expensive-shoes-wealth.” (TAN)

Austrian Galleries Get a Tax Break – The Austrian government is giving art galleries a five percent tax reduction until the end of the year in order to help offset the losses caused by the shutdown. Trade lobbyists are hoping the tax break will be extended until next year and that the government will campaign for the relief to be introduced across the EU. (FAZ)


Suzanne Deal Booth / FLAG Art Foundation Prize Winner Announced – The Contemporary Austin in Texas will award Beirut-born artist Tarek Atoui the biannual Suzanne Deal Booth / FLAG Art Foundation Prize for 2022, which comes with a $200,000 cash award. Atoui, known for his research into contemporary music, will also be the subject of a solo exhibition at Contemporary Austin in 2022. (ARTnews)

Jared Leto Will Play Andy Warhol – The 48-year-old actor revealed that he will play the famous artist in a forthcoming film. “Yes, it’s true, I’m going to play Andy Warhol in an upcoming movie,” he wrote on Instagram in a post marking the late Pop Artist’s 92nd birthday. “We miss you and your genius.” (Monopol)


Boston Art Commission to Review Columbus Statue – The fate of an Italian marble monument of Columbus that was removed beheaded by protesters during the recent Black Lives Matter protests will be decided by the Boston Art Commission in a general meeting tomorrow. After hearing testimony about the statue, the group will vote on whether to formally review (and potentially remove) the piece. The headless sculpture has been in storage in a city warehouse since it was vandalized on June 10. (North End Waterfront)

Martin Creed Offers a Message of Hope – The artist Martin Creed has unveiled a neon sculpture at Braemar Castle in Scotland to coincide with the opening of a new online exhibition with Hauser & Wirth. The colorful neon reading EVERYTHING IS GOING TO BE ALRIGHT adds a much-needed note of optimism to the locked-down summer. (Press release)

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