Art Industry News: Uplifting Street Artist JR Will Get a Major Survey at the Brooklyn Museum This Fall + Other Stories

Plus, Beijing's Picasso blockbuster show from Paris was almost stuck in Chinese customs and JR gets a major museum survey in Brooklyn.

JR with his immigration-themed artwork on the Mexican border. Photo courtesy of the artist.

Art Industry News is normally 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 2.


Beijing’s Blockbuster Picasso Show Nearly Didn’t Open – France has lent 103 works from the Musée Picasso in Paris for a blockbuster show in Beijing. Although the exhibition at the UCCA Center for Contemporary Art had the blessing of Presidents Xi Jinping and Emmanuel Macron, it nearly didn’t open. The problem was not censorship, the director of the Ullens, Philip Tinari, revealed—“It was that the works are so valuable.” Chinese customs treated the loans as if they were being sold, and insisted on a deposit of $225 million. It took the late intervention of France’s foreign minister to scrap the fee, so the show could go ahead. (New York Times)

Family Learn Their 18th-Century Portrait Is Worth $600,000 – A portrait long thought to be by a female artist—and worth £8,000 ($9,000)—has been reattributed as an early work by leading Georgian-era portraitist Thomas Lawrence with a value around £500,000 ($606,000), according to research by BBC TV’s art detective program Fake or Fortune? The painting of the aristocrat Peniston Lamb has been in England’s Cecil family for several generations, who always thought it was by the English-Italian artist Maria Cosway. Now, Peter Furnell, a former curator at the National Portrait Gallery, says it was a “very fine example of Lawrence’s early work.” (Daily Mail)

JR Is Getting a Major Museum Survey – The Brooklyn Museum will present the French street artist and photographer’s largest solo museum exhibition so far in the fall. The exhibition will feature JR’s monumental mural The Chronicles of New York City, which features more than 1,000 people photographed and interviewed in the Big Apple during the summer of 2018. The exhibition, called “JR: Chronicles,” will fill 20,000 square feet of the museum’s Great Hall and range from the artist’s politically engaged projects in Berlin and on the US-Mexico border to early works like Expo 2 Rue, where he documented fellow graffiti artists in action and pasted photocopies of the images in the streets of Paris. The museum’s curator of photography, Drew Sawyer, says: “Over the past two decades, JR has emerged as one of the most powerful storytellers of our time.” (Press release)

James Turrell’s “Skyspace” Goes Back on View at MoMA PS1 – The Queens museum is once again letting visitors bask in the meditative calm of Turrell’s beloved Meeting installation, which has been closed since January because the view at the heart of the piece—a quadrilateral aperture cut into the ceiling of its gallery—was interrupted by a hoist being used in nearby construction on luxury apartments. (NYT)


Another Gallery Opens in Mary Boone’s Old Space – Yares Art, which specializes in Color Field painting, is moving into the disgraced art dealer Mary Boone’s old gallery in Midtown Manhattan. Dealer Dennis Yares has leased a space across the hall since 2016. (ARTnews)

Investment Funds Are Hoarding Art as Loan Collateral – Art Lending Fund in Westwood, Los Angeles, has a high-security, climate-controlled warehouse full of its clients’ works of art, including a Rothko. The art is collateral in exchange for loans from the fund run by Alan Snyder, who jokingly describes his business as “a high-end pawn shop.” His target market is gallery owners who need financing, and collectors wanting a cash injection. (Los Angeles Times)

Andy Warhol’s Lenin Heads to Phillips – Phillips will hold a selling exhibition this fall of Andy Warhol’s “Lenin” series, which was the artist’s final group of works. The 1986 collaboration with Bernd Klüser, who was Warhol’s publisher and gallerist in Munich, is based on a little-known photograph of the young revolutionary; the works are coming from the archive of Galerie Klüser. (Press release)


Jerry Saltz Is Curating an Exhibition on Paper – The Pulitzer Prize-winning New York magazine critic will be the juror for an exhibition in print, to be published in New American Paintings’ “Northeast Issue” on the occasion of its 25th birthday. Saltz will select works from artist-applicants working in the region for the magazine, which will be released in early 2020. (Press release

John Michael Kohler Arts Center Acquires Major Trove – Lewis Greenblatt, the owner of the estate of artist Eugene Von Bruenchenhein, has gifted the arts center in Sheboygan, Wisconsin, more than 8,300 artworks by the self-taught artist. The artworks join 6,000 existing Von Bruenchenheins in the collection, and the full trove will be displayed in a replica of the environment the artist created at his home in West Allis. The installation will be a highlight of the arts center’s new Art Preserve opening in fall 2020. (Art Daily)

Mary Ann Carter Is the New Chairman of the NEA – The Trump-appointed acting chair of the National Endowment for the Arts was officially confirmed by the US Senate yesterday. Carter has been in the role since June last year, championing arts therapy programs for veterans together with a number of national initiatives. (Artforum)

The High Museum Appoints Robin Howell Board Chair – The Atlanta museum has named Robin Howell to succeed Charles Abney II as board chair for the next two years. New board members Farideh Azadi, Watt Boone, Will Powell, and Mark Preisinger, have also been welcomed into the fold. (Artforum)


Can AR Enrich Viewing Art? – Inspired by Pokémon Go to begin experimenting with augmented reality, the artist Lucas Blalock has created AR billboards for the Whitney Biennial and has become an advocate for the art form. But while artists  are increasingly intrigued by the young technology, Blalock thinks its principle is not that far off from what artists have always been doing, telling the FT, “If you think about it, a painting on a wall is the original augmented reality.” (Financial Times)

Glasgow Museum Veggie for Linda McCartney – The café at the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum in Glasgow is going meat-free on Mondays in honor of Linda McCartney, who is the subject of a photography retrospective at the museum. If it proves a success, the vegan and vegetarian menu might be extended beyond the show’s six month run. (Evening Times)

Nancy Holt’s Dark Star Is Aligned – The Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden and Arlington Public Art are celebrating the 35th anniversary of Nancy Holt’s Dark Star Park (1979-1984) in Arlington, Virginia. Visitors gathered at 9:32 a.m. yesterday to watch the yearly occurrence of the summer sun hitting the spheres in just the right way to create shadows that align with metal shapes in the ground. The museum in DC is also screening Holt’s film The Making of Dark Star Park (1988) in honor of the occasion. (dcist)


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