Art Industry News: A Keith Haring Sculpture Makes a Nasty Cameo in the Mugrabi Divorce + Other Stories

Plus, a first look at Maya Hoffman's Frank Gehry-designed Luma Arles and an anti-Putin filmmaker's hunger strike reaches 100th day.

David and Libby Mugrabi in Miami Beach on December 5, 2017. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for Champagne Armand De Brignac)

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 Wednesday, August 22.


El Salvadoran Artist Takes on History of Child Separation in LA Show – The recent trouble at the US-Mexico border brings back painful memories for the artist Juan Edgar Aparicio, who lost his wife, brother, and daughter and was separated from his mother after his role as a student leader in the Salvadoran Civil War. “My Veins Do Not End in Me” at the Mistake Room showcases the work of three generations of his family—Aparicio, his mother, and his son Eddie—addressing the trauma and struggle of war and displacement. (Los Angeles Times)

Residents Displaced by the Fire at Glasgow School of Art Could Sue – Residents and businesses near the Mackintosh building are still not able to return to their properties after 10 weeks as efforts to stabilize the burnt structure continue. The local Govan law center is exploring taking “public interest litigation” against the city council, the art school, and Kier Construction, the company that oversaw the initial rebuilding of the school after an earlier fire in 2014, as people have not even been permitted to breach the security cordon to collect car keys, medicine, or IDs. (Times)

Ugly Details Emerge in Mugrabi Divorce – A battle over art is at the center of the divorce between the collectors Libbie and David Mugrabi, and a new tale leaked from the warring camps paints a literal instance of that fight: a few days after Libbie reportedly had her nanny secretly record her husband—whose family owns $5 billion in art—“frolick[ing]” naked with another woman, he caught her holding a half-million-dollar Keith Haring sculpture and allegedly knocked her over, causing the three-foot statue to fall on her. “Police took a domestic incident report, but no arrest was made,” according to the Post. “The next day Libbie filed for an order of protection at Manhattan Family Court.” (Page Six)

Anti-Putin Ukrainian Filmmaker’s Hunger Strike Reaches 100th Day – Activists and Western governments are increasing the pressure on the Russian government to release Oleg Sentsov from prison. Sentsov was arrested in Crimea after opposing its annexation by Russia in 2014 and began a hunger strike in May demanding the government free all Ukrainian political prisoners being held in Russia. Sentsov’s first film, Gamer, was shown at several European festivals in 2012, and he was working on his second film when he was arrested. (Agence France-Presse)


Dealer and artnet News Columnist Kenny Schachter Gets a Retrospective – East Hampton’s Rental Gallery is staging an exhibition devoted to the life, work, and faux-death of the art-world provocateur from August 25 through October 31. Highlights promised include a floor-to-ceiling installation of Schacter’s artnet News columns, a selection of the video works and digitally manipulated photos he created to accompany them, and a limited-edition remembrance book based on his imagined death, titled KENNY SCHACHTER, ART-WORLD PROVOCATEUR WHOSE COLUMN DEMYSTIFIED THE ART MARKET (AND MADE POWERFUL ENEMIES), DIES. (Press release)

Chinese Buyers Are Slow to Pay for Works Sold at Auction – According to artnet and the China Association of Auctioneers’s global Chinese Art Auction Market Report 2017, just 49 percent of total payment due for works bought at auction was received as of May this year. Despite an uptick for the Chinese art industry as a whole, the problems of non-payment and fake bidding in China’s art market still pose a problem. (Straits Times)

George Washington’s Gold Coin Sells for $1.74 Million – The unique 1792 $10 coin was sold by Heritage auctions on August 16, the first time the item has appeared in public auction since 1890. Its prominent coin-collector owner, Eric P Newman, held the numismatic novelty from 1942 until his death in 2017, and it was auctioned off for charity. (Press release)

You Can Now Own a Stake in a Warhol or Monet for $20 – A new online platform called Masterworks is trying to, yes, “democratize the art market” by offering people the chance to invest as little as $20 in a share of an artwork. The company buys undervalued works (its first two offerings are a Monet and a Warhol) and flips them after 120 days, doling out the profits (minus 22 percent in commission and admin fees) to the investors. (Observer)


Indian Sculpture Park Names Curator – The Saat Saath Arts Foundation and the Sculpture Park at Madhavendra Palace have appointed former Indian Art Fair international director Noelle Kadar as the director of the Sculpture Park. Kadar had helped guide the New Delhi fair through its rebranding and acquisition by Swiss company MCH group, the parent company of Art Basel. (Press release)

Hallie Ringle Named Curator at Birmingham Museum – Birmingham Museum of Art in Alabama has named Hallie Ringle as its new curator, effective November 1. Ringle joins from New York’s Studio Museum in Harlem, where she was most recently assistant curator. (ARTnews)

Chase F. Robinson Will Head the Smithsonian’s Freer Sackler Galleries – Robinson is the incoming director of the Freer Gallery of Art and the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery at the Smithsonian in Washington. He will take over the post in December, after exiting his current position as president of the Graduate Center of the City University of New York and professor of Middle Eastern history and culture. (NYT)

Meryl Streep and Her Artist Husband Are Selling Their Art-Filled Penthouse – The award-winning actress and her husband, American sculptor Don Gummer, are selling their sprawling home in New York’s Tribeca neighborhood. The price tag of $24.6 million is over double what the couple paid in 2006. (Architectural Digest)


Blanton Museum Transfers 500 Works to Other Texas Institutions – The Blanton has announced a historic transfer of 500 works of art to 17 museums across Texas. The transfer includes renowned artists like Alexander Calder, Dorothy Hood, Luis Jiménez, Alex Katz, and Robert Rauschenberg. (Press release)

ArtPrize Announces Recipients of $165,000 Worth of Grants – The Michigan-based arts competition has handed out $165,000 in grants to 63 artists around the world, ahead of ArtPrize 10, which returns to Grand Rapids, Michigan from September 19 through October 7. The funds awarded will assist winning artists in realizing their ambitious projects for the fall event, and competing for awards totaling $500,000. (Press release)

A First Look at Luma Arles and the Powerplayer Behind It – Swiss art patron Maja Hoffman has spent $100 million so far to realize the ambitious Luma Arles, her conceptual arts institution in Arles, France. The 184-foot tower, designed by Frank Gehry, is set to open at the end of 2019. (Press release) (Wall Street Journal)

Photo: Derek Henderson. Credit WSJ Magazine.

Photo: Derek Henderson. Credit WSJ Magazine.

Photo: Derek Henderson. Credit WSJ Magazine.

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