Art Industry News: Censored Show of Queer Art Draws Record Crowd of Thousands in Brazil + Other Stories

Plus, a confederate statue is toppled by protesters in North Carolina and Holland Cotter shares his favorite work of art.

An outside view of the "Queermuseu" exhibition at Parque Lage park, home to the Visual Arts School, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on August 16, 2018. - The exhibition opened in Rio after being cancelled in Porto Alegre due to the pressure of conservative groups. (Photo by Mauro Pimentel/AFP/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 Tuesday, August 21.


Confederate Soldier Toppled by Protesters – A memorial to Confederate alumni of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has been toppled by protesters. Protestors chanted “Tar Heels!” and cars honked. The university tweeted: “We are investigating the vandalism and assessing the full extent of the damage.” The sculpture, which is known as Silent Sam, was erected in 1913. (Courthouse News)

Holland Cotter Names His Favorite Art – The co-chief art critic of the Times is over the moon about the Met’s sculpture of a standing Buddha granting protection. He loves the body language of the honey-colored copper figure from Northern India— where ancient artists were encouraged to form their gods not from ideals of the human physique but rather shapes taken from nature—especially the Buddha’s raised hand: “Calm down, it says, come closer.” But few visitors go to the South Asian galleries, which makes Cotter “crazy.” (New York Times)

Censored Queer Art Show Draws Record Crowds – Thousands stood in line over the weekend in Rio de Janeiro to visit an exhibition that was censored last year. A crowdfunding campaign raised $250,000 to bring “Queermuseu” to the School of Visual Arts of Parque Lage, which saw record attendance this weekend. Campaigners initially hoped to raise $5,600 after the mayor of Rio, who is an evangelical Christian, blocked the show coming to a museum in the city. (The Art Newspaper)

Lobbying Against a Chinese Art Tariff – A US lawyer is arguing against the Trump administration’s plan to impose a 25 percent tariff on imported Chinese art during this week’s hearings in Washington, DC. Peter Tompa, the director of the Global Heritage Alliance, says that the planned tax will harm cultural exchanges as well as US small and medium-sized businesses, museums, and collectors. (Antiques Trade Gazette)


Zona Maco’s Satellites Return a Year After Quake – The editions of the Mexico City fair dedicated to photography and antiques return this week, a year after both were cancelled when a major earthquake hit the capital. Zona Maco Foto will feature around 50 dealers and Zona Maco Salón around 20. (TAN)

A Van Gogh Bedroom Heads to Auction – A gouache version of the artist’s bedroom at Arles is being offered by New England’s Woodshed Auctions Hidden Masterpiece sale on September 6. The work is marked on the back with the stamp of Paul Gachet, the artist’s doctor and patron. The work is priced at $100,000-150,000; the online auction catalogue does not include provenance information, however. (Press release)

UK Criminals Exploit Antique Gun Loophole – The legal definition of an antique firearm in the UK could be changed after vintage weapons were used by criminals. A dealer was convicted after supplying antique weapons and bullets. Guns have to be licensed if made after 1939. That could change to 1900. (Antiques Trade Gazette)


ICA Philadelphia Receives $1 Million for Curatorial Director – The institution has received a major gift from Sun Capital CEO Marc J. Leder to endow a key curatorial directorship. The donation will support the position of the director of curatorial affairs, which is held by Robert Chaney, who joined the museum in 2001. (Press release)

Regan Grusy Named VP of Strategic Partnerships at New Museum – In her newly created role, Regan Grusy will return to the New Museum to work on establishing and maintaining major partnerships. Current partners include Nokia Bell Labs, Microsoft Kinect, and the Knight Foundation, among others. Grusy, who leaves the Met, had previously worked at the New Museum for nearly a decade. (Press release)

Charles Blackman, an Australian Modernist, Has Died – The renowned figurative painter passed away days shy of his 90th birthday. Blackman was part of the Melbourne group known as the Antipodeans, who gained notoriety in the 1950s and ’60s for their rejection of abstraction and expressionism in art. (Guardian)


Artists Plan Subway Occupation to Support Art-Not-Jail Program – On Saturday, artist’s will be riding the subway making works to exhibit in DRAW, a one-night-only gallery show of the drawings created that day. The works will be on sale for the price of a 30-day Metrocard, which goes for $121. The proceeds are in support of the Art-Not-Jail program, a public art project that advocates for criminal justice reform for young New Yorkers that are caught in the justice system. (Press release)

MFA Boston and Uniqlo Collaborate on Japanese T-Shirts – The museum and the clothing company have partnered to create T-shirts inspired by katagami stencils from the MFA’s Japanese art collection. The line, Katagami UT, offers up seven designs for men and eight for women, selected from patterns from the museum’s 4,200-strong katagami stencil collection. (Artfix)

Anti-Transgender Protesters Target Gormley Sculptures – A women’s rights group arguing against the right to “self-identify” as a female have vandalized one of Gormley’s 100 cast-iron statues on Crosby Beach. The activists, called Liverpool ReSisters, adhered one of their stickers that said “women don’t have penises.” (The Guardian)

Naomi Campbell Models With Olafur Eliasson – The model-activist was on her best behaviour during Copenhagen Fashion Week when she posed with a Little Sun eco-lamps alongside Olafur Eliasson. The super-hot designer Virgil Abloh created a poster to mark the art-fashion occasion, which is available at until Wednesday. Check out Naomi and Olafur sharing a special moment during the fashion extravaganza, plus Virgil Abloh’s poster. (Instagram)

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