Art Industry News: Statue of Liberty Staffers Illegally Turn Away Visitors in ‘Abolish ICE’ T-Shirts + Other Stories

Plus, North Carolina votes to keep confederate monuments and Brett Gorvy shares more of his art-market secrets.

The Statue of Liberty. Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images.
The Statue of Liberty. Photo by Spencer Platt/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 Thursday, August 23.


M+ Building Will Be on Time Despite Losing its Builder – Despite axing the Hsin Chong construction group for alleged insolvency, resulting in a pause of construction on the museum for six to eight weeks, the West Kowloon District Authority says the home of M+ is still due to open in 2020. As of now, the museum, which was originally slated to open in 2016, is 60 percent complete. The authority is confident the new contractor will catch up on the lost time. (The Art Newspaper)

North Carolina Votes to Keep Confederate Monuments – The State’s Historical Commission voted 10-1 that three other controversial monuments should stay at the old State Capitol in Raleigh. Contextual information about slavery and the Civil War will be added, and the commission announced a new memorial honoring black citizens. This week, student protesters toppled a Confederate monument at the University of North Carolina. (Courthouse News)

Visitors in “Abolish ICE” T-Shirts Illegally Turned Away at the Statue of Liberty – The National Park Service has admitted that it prevented two visitors from visiting Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi’s monument in July because of their homemade slogan T-shirts, and that it had been an illegal form of discrimination and a violation of the visitors’ freedom of speech. Tiffany Huang and Sam Lewin are due to revisit the Statue of Liberty on Friday in the same shirts protesting at the separation of migrant families. (Art Forum)

An Art History of Breast Feeding – After speaking to a doctor who runs a breast-feeding clinic, the Washington Post Sebastian Smee considered the implausible debates that still surround the natural process—Trump recently opposed a World Health Assembly resolution in support of it, for instance, and this year is the first time public breast feeding is legal in all 50 states—and wondered whether “talking about it in the context of art can help.” To that end, the Pulitzer Prize-winning critic surveyed some of the classic depictions of the maternal act in art, from Degas’s At the Races in the Countryside (1869) to Paula Modersohn-Becker’s Nursing Mother in Front of Birch Forest (1905). (Washington Post)


Lévy Gorvy Aims for “Sweet Spot” With a $400 Million Show – Brett Gorvy says smaller works of top quality often spark a bidding war at auction. Also, $1.5 million to $5 million is the “sweet spot” providing the best commissions, he notes. So Lévy Gorvy has organized “Intimate Infinite,” featuring almost 100 works no taller than 20 inches, which are worth an estimated $400 million. Around 10 percent are on sale. Billionaire collector Steve Cohen and the Whitney are among the lenders of the other 90 percent. (Bloomberg)

Artemisia Gentileschi Painting Heads to Auction – A painting by the famed 17th-century artist of the death of Lucretia heads to auction at Dorotheum in October. Consigned from a private aristocratic collection, it carries an estimate of $577,000 to $808,000. The National Gallery in London recently bought a self-portrait by Gentileschi, the most celebrated female artist of the Italian Renaissance, for £3.6 million ($4.6 million). (Press release)

Expert Predicts a $60 Ikea Table Will Be Worth Thousands Ikea is re-releasing for a limited period a 1953 classic, the Lövbacken side table. Antiques expert Pontus Silfverstolpe of the auction company Barneby’s predicts that it will become a collectible, if you have the patience. He thinks it could be worth more than $6,000… by 2040. (Scotsman)

Dellasposa Opens London Gallery – The Modern and contemporary art gallery co-founded by yachtsman-turned-dealer Julian Phillimore opens its first permanent space in London’s Mayfair in October. Dellsposa will be in the upmarket Connaught Village area near Hyde Park. (Art Fix Daily)


The Minneapolis Institute Hires a Photography Expert – The Midwest art museum announced the appointment of Casey Riley as the curator and head of the department of photography and new media. She will join the museum in September from the Boston Athenaeum. (Press release)

Duke University Leaves Robert E. Lee’s Plinth Empty – The niche in a chapel doorway where a statue of the Confederate general’s stood until a year ago will remain empty, Duke University’s president has decided. Vincent E. Price wrote that he agreed with the dean of Duke Chapel, who thinks the void should serves as a reminder of the university’s and the nation’s links to slavery. (Hyperallergic)

Mohn Award Gives Three Artists $150,000 in “Made in LA” Prizes – Artist Lauren Halsey received the top prize of $100,000 and will receive a monograph of her work at the Hammer, while Daniel Joseph Martinez won a $25,000 career-achievement award and EJ Hill scooped up the $25,000 public recognition award from visitors to the biennial in Los Angeles. (Press release)

Photojournalist Donates 15,000 Works to the University of Houston – The Texas-based photographer Janice Rubin, who recorded Houston’s movers, shakers, and astronauts in the ’70s and ’80s for Rolling Stone, Forbes, Newsweek, and Sports Illustrated, has donated thousands of portraits to the university’s special collections. Among them is one of her favorites: Andy Warhol and Diane von Furstenberg at the 1980 premiere of Urban Cowboy. (Press release)


Giphy is Launching a Micro-Film Festival – The gif database is launching a film festival for shorts that are 18 seconds and under. Directors can submit their work until September 27 and the winner will be announced on November 8. There will be one grand prize winner who will receive $10,000. (Fast Company)

FRONT International Announces Public Programming – The public program is out for the inaugural edition, coming up this September. Highlights include panels on artist-run spaces and galleries, artist residencies, and public art in the city, as well as a discussion on regionalism in art with FRONT director Michelle Grabner and art critic Jennifer Kabat. (Press release)

Dog Art Gallery Spins Off the Museum of Ice Cream – Just when you thought museums couldn’t get any more Instagrammable and fun, two of the Museum of Ice Cream’s collaborators have upped the ante with a new project. The West Village can look forward to a pop-up dog-art gallery called Human’s Best Friend, where you and your four-legged pal can share an aesthetic experience. (Metro US)

Enter the Teeny, Tiny Art World of Michael Pederson – The street artist Michael Pederson, otherwise known as Miguel Marquez Outside, has been installing miniature interventions near gutters and cracks in the ground. Making the otherwise unremarkable into something completely new, his little road signs enchant the public sphere with his crafty vision for street art. (Colossal) (Instagram)


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