Art Industry News: Pedro Almodóvar Joins a Chorus of Artists Railing Against Instagram After It Censored His Movie Poster + Other Stories

Plus, the British Museum's Greek galleries have a leaky roof and a slice of Princess Diana's wedding cake sells for... a lot of money.

Spanish filmmaker Pedro Almodóvar attends the presentation of the "Soggettiva Pedro Almodóvar" at Fondazione Prada on May 31, 2019 in Milan, Italy. (Photo by Rosdiana Ciaravolo/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 on this Thursday, August 12.


This Foundation Is Helping Museums Address Climate Change – The Frankenthaler Climate Initiative is focused not on helping museums create climate-themed exhibitions, but on overhauling their infrastructures. The grants, which currently total $5.1 million, address unglamorous but important issues that lead to high carbon output, like climate control. Instead of plastering its name across fancy exhibition halls, the foundation is earning naming rights for boiler rooms, thermostats, and ventilation systems. (Washington Post)

A “Redressed” Queen Victoria Statue Is Undressed — The centerpiece of a major public art project in Liverpool has disappeared. The fashion designer Karen Arthur and historian Laurence Westgaph teamed up to create a dress and cloak for a statue of Queen Victoria to reflect on how the monarch and Britain were beneficiaries of slavery. The mysterious disappearance of the work came after right-wing commentator Nigel Farage criticized the project, saying he was “tired of this endless conversation about the U.K.’s complicity with slavery.” (The Art Newspaper)

Instagram Apologizes for Censoring Almodóvar Movie Poster – Instagram’s controversial nudity policy, which has been a bugbear for artists for years, is getting broader attention after the poster for Pedro Almodóvar’s new film Parallel Mothers, which shows a nipple producing a drop of milk, was initially censored. After angry users continually re-uploaded the image to spite the ban, the social-media behemoth apologized, saying it qualified as an exception to its nudity policy because of its “clear artistic context.” In a statement, Almodóvar cautioned, “We have to be vigilant before the machines decide what we can and cannot do.” (BBC, AP)

Michel Laclotte, Former Louvre Director, Dies – The esteemed museum director, who led the Louvre from 1987 to 1994, died on Tuesday at the age of 91. Laclotte was an architect of the Grand Louvre project, which saw the renovation and expansion of the museum as well as the centralization of many departments under one head. He was also a defender of I.M. Pei’s pyramid, which drew uproar from critics upon its debut. (Journal des Arts, French Cultural Ministry)


Christie’s to Debut Profile Pic NFTs – Here’s yet another acronym you may now need to remember if you’re following the art market: PFP NFTs (profile pic non-fungible tokens). Christie’s will be offering these avatars, which come from series like CryptoPunks, Bored Ape Yacht Club, and Meebits—in an online sale from September 17–28. (ARTnews)

Leaky Ceilings Delay Parthenon Gallery Reopening – Water has been spotted seeping into the British Museum’s Greek galleries due to a leaky roof, causing further delays to the reopening of the galleries after several months of closure. The poor state of its Greek and Assyrian rooms has been noted several times by U.K. and Greek media. (TAN)

Moderna Museet Adds a New Curator – The Stockholm museum has appointed Hendrik Folkerts as its new curator of international art. Folkerts has worked as a curator at the Art Institute of Chicago since 2017 and was also a member of the curatorial team behind documenta 14 in Kassel and Athens. (e-flux)


Slice of Diana’s Wedding Cake Sold For More Than $1,000 – A slice of the Prince and Princess of Wales’s wedding cake—complete with icing, marzipan, and a royal coat of arms wrapped in cling-wrap—sold for for £1,850 ($2,563) to a self-declared “royal fan” after intense bidding Wednesday at Dominic Winter Auctioneers in the U.K. It carried an estimate of between £300 and £500. The slice was given to someone in the Queen Mother’s household, who stowed it in cling wrap and a tin can. (Evening Standard)

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