Art Industry News: Will Martin Puryear Represent the US at the Venice Biennale? + Other Stories

Plus, Judy Chicago defends The Dinner Party's Hispanic guest list and a new Banksy artwork disappears overnight.

Martin Puryear, Big Phrygian (detail) (2010–2014). Photography by Ron Amstutz. © Martin Puryear, Courtesy Matthew Marks Gallery.

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 Monday, August 13.


Judy Chicago Hits Back at Snippy Review – The artist takes issue with the reviewer of “Radical Women” at the Brooklyn Museum who criticized The Dinner Party for omitting notable Spanish and Latin American women from the top table. Chicago points out that Santa Teresa de Ávila, Sor Juana de Inés la Cruz, and Frida Kahlo among others made it to the party, albeit on the Heritage Floor or on accompanying information panels. “How unfortunate that women continue to feel the need to denigrate the work of their foremothers,” Chicago writes. (New York Review of Books)

Black Photographers Respond to Vogue’s September Cover – Thanks in part to Beyoncé, the US magazine has the first cover shot by a black photographer in its 126-year history. Asked what he thought of Tyler Mitchell’s achievement, fellow young black photographer Bobby Rogers says: “I hope it doesn’t take a long time to get another black photographer, or a black woman—that should be their next step.” (ABC)

Will Martin Puryear Represent US in Venice? – The US Department of State has not confirmed—or denied—speculation that the 77-year-old African American artist will represent the US at the 2019 Venice Biennale, which opens next May. A State Department spokesperson says: “We expect to be able to announce the recipient organization and featured artist soon.” Puryear is not known for working quickly, however. His sculpture for the US Embassy in Beijing was unveiled earlier this year, a decade after it was commissioned. (ARTnews)

Banksy Road Sign Disappears in a Day – The stenciled artwork on a lamppost in North Somerset depicted two children carrying elderly people on their shoulders. After it was posted on Banksy’s official Instagram page on Friday, the work has gone missing and it is unclear whether it was stolen or removed by the local council, leaving Banksy fans baffled. (BBC)


Experts Caution Against Buying Fakes on eBay – The art dealer Philip Mould, who presents the BBC TV series Fake or Fortune?, says the rise of “technically brilliant” forgeries on sale online is “almost like an arms race.” Co-presenter Fiona Bruce says online sellers are getting more slippery, referring to a work as a “Lowry,” rather than by LS Lowry, for example. (Telegraph)

Catalogue Raisonné Expert Is Not Convinced – An expert on William Nicholson accepted that the backing of a still life painting may have belonged to the British artist after being presented with new research on the TV program Fake or Fortune? But Patricia Reed refuses to accept that painting on the front was by his hand, rendering it almost worthless. She now thinks that painting, which the owner bought for $210,000 from a reputable gallery, may have been by one of Nicholson’s students. He taught Winston Churchill, among others. (Independent) (BBC)

Charles Gaines Joins Hauser & Wirth – The artist has left Susanne Vielmetter Los Angeles Projects and Paula Cooper Gallery in New York to join Hauser & Wirth. Gaines is staying with Galerie Max Hetzler in Berlin, however. His first show with his new mega-gallery will be in its Los Angeles space in 2019. (ARTnews)

Sol LeWitt Online Auction Piques Ritzy Interest – The Robb Report, the venerable chronicler of the luxury sector’s tippy top, writes about artnet Auctions’s current 23-lot sale (ending August 14) of work by the conceptual-art pioneer, which includes the monumental sculpture Black Cubes (est. $250,000 to $350,000) and which comes at time when LeWitt’s market is seen as a growth opportunity. (Robb Report)


Berlin’s New Modern Art Museum Will Break Ground in 2019  The Museum der Modern in Berlin will be breaking ground later than planned. The Swiss duo Herzog & de Meuron are designing the new museum, which will house a massive collection of 20th-century art. Initially, it was set to be completed in 2021, but now a delayed start of 2019 will inevitably set the completion date back further. The estimated construction cost of 200 million ($228 million) could also increase further, due to rising prices in the city. (Monopol)

Art Spiegelman Wins Edward MacDowell Medal – The creator of the Pulitzer-winning epic Maus is the first graphic novelist to receive the honor, which since 1960 has recognized an individual who has made an outsize contribution to American culture, and he hopes his acceptance in New Hampshire on Sunday will lead to more cartoonists being recognized. Previous laureates include Georgia O’Keeffe and “Looney Tunes” animator Chuck Jones, who also won for achievement in comic art. (Washington Post)

Bloomberg Donates $43 Million to the Arts – Forty-five small and mid-sized arts organizations in Atlanta, including the Apex Museum, the Museum of Contemporary Art of Georgia, and Flux Projects, will receive special training in arts management, fundraising, and strategic planning from Bloomberg Philanthropies through a $43 million program. More than 200 cultural organizations in Atlanta, Austin, Baltimore, Denver, New Orleans, Pittsburgh, and DC will be invited to participate in the initiative. (Artforum)

dOGUMENTA Heads to LA – Following the success of last year’s edition of the art show for dogs in New York, culture hounds in Los Angeles are invited to their own edition at FIGat7th in downtown LA over two weekends in September (14-16 and 21-23). For the show—curated by the art critic Jessica Dawson, her dog Rocky, and the consultant Mica Scanlin—local artists including Meena Khalili and Joshua Levine will make work addressing the concerns, interests, and worldviews of canines. (Press release)


Meet the Curator Behind Buffalo’s Public Art Boom – The Albright-Knox Art Gallery’s first curator of pubic art, Aaron Ott, says that he is determined to make sure Buffalo’s public art boom does not go bust. “[We] are not trying to get too far ahead of ourselves before imploding on a big project,” he says. Ambitious recent efforts include Stephen Powers’s billboards and signs across Erie County. Ott was thinking of 100l; Powers said: “I like 101!”  (Citylab)

Palestinian Cultural Center Destroyed – The Al-Meshal Cultural Center in Gaza, which included a library, a community center, and a theater for arts, has been destroyed by the Israeli military. The Israeli Defense Forces claim they targeted the five-story building on Thursday last week believing it to be a headquarters of Hamas. The organization has since responded, saying their actual headquarters was located across the street. (Hyperallergic)

Two Art-Related Tweets Went Viral This Weekend – One pro-art and one anti-art tweet went viral over the weekend. On the positive side, over 13,000 people got some joy out of a mom’s visit to the Smithsonian Museum, during which she mimicked the poses in the art. On the flip side, a self-described Catholic convert who says “if you try to remove God from art, you are left with an ugliness similar to sin” posted images of artwork at the Moderna Museet in Stockholm, calling Modern art “the biggest joke if ever I saw one.” Unfortunately, more than 29,000 people agreed with her. (Twitter)

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