Art Industry News: Extremist Ordered to Pay $3.2 Million for Destroying Timbuktu World Heritage Site + More Must-Read Stories

Plus, Kara Walker’s assistant gives the backstory to that press release and you too can participate in Leo DiCaprio’s auction.

A man checks on January 29, 2013 the ruins of the mausoleum of Alfa Moya, a Muslim saint, which was destroyed by Islamists in July, in a cemetery of Timbuktu. French-led troops freed the northern desert city on January 28 from Islamist control. Hundreds of Malians looted Arab-owned shops on January 29 in Timbuktu as global donors pledged over 455 million US dollars (340 million euro) at a donor conference in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa for military operations in Mali and humanitarian aid to rout the radicals from the north. Photo: Eric Feferberg/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 Friday, August 18.


W Magazine Profiles Njideka Akunyili Crosby – The painter, who immigrated to the US from Nigeria at the age of 16, speaks about culture shocks, the assassination attempt on her mother, and her marriage to American artist Justin Crosby, which all inform the themes of her sumptuous paintings. (WMagazine)

Kara Walker’s Assistant Gives the Backstory for That Press Release – According to Allison Calhoun, Walker initially put off giving a statement to her gallery for a press release. Words then poured out after hearing Trump’s first reaction to the white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, VA. (New York Times)

Extremist Ordered to Pay $3.2 Million for Destroying Timbuktu Shrines – The International Criminal Court in The Hague found Ahmad Al Faqi Al Mahdi guilty of directing an attack on nine mausoleums and a mosque door in Mali in 2012, and ordered him to pay reparations based on damage, economic loss, and moral harm to victims who depend on tourism. (AP)

Shepard Fairey’s Disputed Brooklyn Mural Heads Back to Court – A mural the street artist created in 2014 looked a lot like the album cover he designed for the band Interpol. The legal debate over whether it was art or advertisement heads back to court for a third appeal. (Hyperallergic)


Ringo Starr’s Boots Up for Auction – Worn on stage in 1963, the Beatles drummer’s boots—a UK size seven (US 7.5) pointed-toe suede number—will go on sale in Liverpool on August 26, alongside 300 other lots related to the Fab Four. They are described as “worn but in good condition.” (BBC)

You, Too, Can Participate in Leo DiCaprio’s Auction – Couldn’t make it to Leonardo DiCaprio’s exclusive live auction in St. Tropez this summer? An online component, which also raises funds for the actor’s environmental foundation, will run through August 23. Works on offer include a portrait of Cindy Sherman by Chuck Close and a drawing by Elizabeth Peyton. (LDF Foundation)  


Brooklyn Museum Names New Curators – In addition to two new curatorial appointments—Aysin Yoltar-Yildirim (Islamic Art) and Ashley James (contemporary art)—the museum has established two newly funded positions: the Phillip Leonian and Edith Rosenbaum Leonian Curator of Photography and the Sills Family Consulting Curator, African Art. The search for who will take up these positions begins this fall. (Artforum)

Acclaimed Architect Gunnar Birkerts Dies – The modernist Latvian architect, 92, died Tuesday at his home in Massachusetts. His final project, the Latvian National Library in Riga, also known as the Castle of Light, was completed in 2014. (NYT)

Bo Bartlett Wins $10,000 Southern Art Prize – The Columbus artist, lauded for his large-scale paintings, took out 200 competitors to be awarded this year’s Gibbes Museum Society 1858 Prize for Contemporary Southern Art, which celebrates “the highest level of artistic achievement in any media, while contributing to a new understanding of art in the South.” (Ledger Enquirer)


New Doris Salcedo Work Honors Drowned Migrants – The Colombian artist’s latest public artwork, part of the ongoing Palimpsest series, is a water piece at Madrid’s Palacio de Cristal dedicated to the migrants who have drowned in the Mediterranean and Atlantic over the past 20 years. From October 6, 2017 to April 1, 2018, water will flow through 192 panels installed in the Palacio floor. (The Art Newspaper)

ICA Miami to Open With Survey of Artist Studios – The museum’s new home will be inaugurated December 1 with a major group survey titled “The Everywhere Studio,” showing recent and historic works by 50 artists, including Yves Klein, Andy Warhol, and Carolee Schneemann, in an effort to explore the significance of the artist’s studio from the post-war period to the present day. (Press release)

Norton Museum Plans Exhibition of Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney’s Art – The sculptures of Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney will go on display for the first time in nearly a century at the Norton Museum of Art. The philanthropist and founder of New York’s Whitney Museum of American Art had a significant artistic career, and 45 of her rarely seen works will be on view at the Norton January 25–April 29, 2018. (Press release)

Ancient Earthquake Reveals 8th-century Mosaic Technique – Archaeologists are gaining rare insight into how artisans from the early Islamic period assembled stunning decorative mosaics in the ruins of a house in the ancient city of Jerash. The house was abandoned during the earthquake that took down the city while artisans were still putting mosaics together for the floor, confirming that these mosaics were made on-site. (Live Science)


Bernard Jacobson Gallery (London, England)
June 6–September 16

This exhibition showcases more than a dozen works by the towering French artist, including paintings, works on paper, and sculpture. Among the highlights is Matisse’s foray into self-portraiture, L’artiste et le modèle nu (1921), which has been shown at the National Gallery of Art in Washington; the Museum of Modern Art and the Guggenheim in New York; and, most recently, at the Matisse Museum in Nice.

Henri Matisse's L'artiste et le modele nu (1921). Courtesy of Bernard Jacobson Gallery.

Henri Matisse’s L’artiste et le modele nu (1921). Courtesy of Bernard Jacobson Gallery.

Henri Matisse's Nu au peignoir (1933). Courtesy of Bernard Jacobson Gallery 2017.

Henri Matisse’s Nu au peignoir (1933). Courtesy of Bernard Jacobson Gallery.

Henri Matisse's Nu aux jambes croisees (1936). Courtesy of Bernard Jacobson Gallery.

Henri Matisse’s Nu aux jambes croisées (1936). Courtesy of Bernard Jacobson Gallery.


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