Art Industry News: Björk to Headline the Moscow Biennial (and Matthew Barney, Too) + More Must-Read Stories

Plus, Shanghai's West Bund cultural corridor is booming and Univision donates a trove of art to the Frost Museum.

Björk will participate in the Moscow Biennial. Photo by Santiago Felipe/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 Wednesday, August 23.


Bellotto Work Saved for the UK – London’s National Gallery has acquired Bernardo Bellotto’s The Fortress of Königstein from the North, which was due to be exported from Britain to a foreign buyer. The panoramic painting, which cost the museum a hefty £11.7 million, is now on view in Trafalgar Square. (Press release)

New York’s Museum Boards Lack Diversity – As museums set out to diversify their staffs and boards amid a new mandate by mayor Bill de Blasio, the NYT gathered data from cultural groups to get a snapshot of where they are starting. The least racially diverse boards? New York City Ballet and the Museum of the City of New York, both with 10 percent minority members. (New York Times)

Say Goodbye to the Village Voice Print Edition – After more than 60 years, the weekly—which has published the work of many legendary art critics—will end its print edition and shift online only. Writers who got their start at the Voice include Peter Schjeldahl, Roberta Smith, Jerry Saltz, and Hilton Als—and they aren’t big fans of its new billionaire owner Peter Barbey, who has also been moving to weaken the publication’s union. (Vulture)

Confederate Symbols Disappear Across New York City – Amid controversy across the country, the city’s mayor has made his position clear, pushing to remove “symbols of hate” throughout the five boroughs. Two streets in Fort Hamilton army base named after Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson are under particular scrutiny. (Hyperallergic)


Shanghai’s West Bund Cultural Corridor Booms – The district continues to expand, with commercial galleries from around Asia flocking to the area alongside the construction of the Centre Pompidou-affiliated West Bund Art Museum and the collector He Juxing’s Start Museum. (The Art Newspaper)

Sotheby’s Nixes Buyer’s Premiums for Online Sales – In a bid to lure first-time buyers, Sotheby’s has eliminated premiums for online-only sales. At the same time, the auction house has increased premiums for live auctions, including to 20 percent for lots from $300,000 to $3 million. (Press release)


RA Gala to Honor Marina Abramović – The US office for the Royal Academy of Arts has announced it will honor artist Marina Abramović, designer Thomas Heatherwick, and investment banker Aryeh B. Bourkoff at its annual gala on September 26, hosted by British comedian Stephen Fry. (Press release)

June Yap to Lead Singapore Art Museum – June Yap, the former Guggenheim UBS MAP curator for Southeast Asia, will begin her new role as director of curatorial programs and publications at SAM on September 1. The museum, which is in talks to begin a $90 million revamp, has yet to appoint a new CEO since Leng Tshua stepped down last June. (Today Online)

Adam Pendleton Among New Baltimore Museum Trustees – The Baltimore Museum of Art has named seven new trustees, including artist Adam Pendleton, strategist Maya Rockeymoore Cummings, politician Brooke Lierman, and tech executive Scott Schelle. (Press release)

Moscow Biennial Artist List Announced – Matthew Barney, Pierre Huyghe, Olafur Eliasson, and, more surprisingly, Björk are among the 52 artists participating in the seventh edition of the biennial, curated by Yuko Hasegawa. The four-month show opens on September 19. (ARTnews)


Sites for Ai Weiwei’s New York Project Revealed – The Public Art Fund has announced details of the artist’s citywide installation inspired by the migrant crisis, “Good Fences Make Good Neighbors.” This October, Ai will install sculptural fences and other works in more than 300 locations, including the Washington Square Arch and the Unisphere in Queens. (Press release)

Univision Donates Art to Frost Museum – Miami’s Patricia & Phillip Frost Art Museum at FIU has announced a major gift of 57 works of art by 40 American and Latin American artists from the collection of the media giant. Frost will present the donation in a dedicated exhibition scheduled to open on September 23. (Press release)

Taiwan Wrestles With Its Own Divisive Monuments – The debate over what to do with statues of Chinese political and military leader Chiang Kai-shek in Taiwan echoes the one surrounding confederate monuments in the US. Since his death in 1975, more than 200 statues have been relocated to a park near Chiang’s mausoleum. (NYT)

Carlos Cruz Diez Takes His Art to LA’s Streets – Students from a local performing arts school will help install the 94-year-old Venezuelan artist’s mesmerizing “Couleur Additive” on the crosswalks outside the Broad as part of PST: LA/LA. The installation, which was commissioned by the private museum, officially opens on September 5. (Press release)

Rendering of Carlos Cruz-Diez, “Couleur Additive”, (2017) for The Broad in association with Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA. Courtesy of the Cruz-Diez Art Foundation and the artist.

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