Art Industry News: Pussy Riot’s Daring Outlaw Tour Earns Rave Reviews in England + Other Stories

Plus, Mary Beard takes on the politics of the nude and TIME magazine includes art venues on its top 100 places list.

Maria Alyokhina's Riot Days (Penguin, 2017).

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 Friday, August 24.


Mary Beard Tackles the Politics of the Nude – The Cambridge University classics professor is returning to TV in 2019 with a new two-part series on a hot topic. Beard will focus on the gender politics of the nude in art, casting revealing light on such already rather revealing masterpieces as Manet’s Olympia and Michelangelo’s David. She will also meet contemporary artists and image-makers to explore attitudes to nudity and nakedness. Whether she will discuss the benefits of nude museum-going remains to be seen. (Guardian)

The Editor Behind the Viral Art Handler Instagrams – The artist Clynton Lowry is the founder and editor of Art Handler Magazine, which chronicles via Instagram the lighter side of being an art technician. He explains its editorial strategy to give technicians their voice, which is typically droll. Lowry says he dreams of reviving the Art Handling Olympics, which was a very entertaining event. (Hyperallergic)

Pussy Riot Tour Gets Rave Reviews – Based on Maria Alyokhina’s book about being jailed in Russia, “Riot Days” is a “multimedia hybrid of rock concert, dadaist cabaret and political seminar” that “combines the confrontational energy of punk with the spiky rhetorical power of Brechtian theatre,” says the Times, hailing it as a “thrillingly ambitious show.” Alyokhina flew to Britain illegally, having been stopped in Russia, to perform in Edinburgh. Now touring the UK, the collective is due to perform at the art-and-faith festival Greenbelt at the weekend. However, one band member was denied a British visa. (Times)

Grayson Perry Does Death Well – In Rites of Passage, the artist’s new TV series, Perry turns anthropologist to explore how different cultures deal with life from cradle to the grave. He started with death, which included making an urn for Roch Maher, who was dying of a terminal illness during filming. “Perry has very direct way of asking a question and an extremely generous laugh,” which works well for death, writes Tim Dowling. (Guardian)


Ancient Chinese Ink Painting Could Break Auction Record – The poet-artist Su Shi’s painting Wood and Rock is “possibly the world’s rarest and most valuable Chinese painting,” according to Christie’s. The 1,000-year-old ink painting, which could fetch HK$450 million ($57 million), goes on show in Hong Kong. (South China Morning Post)

Sotheby’s Japan Welcomes Back Chairman – Yasuaki Ishizaka will rejoin the auction house. He returns as chairman and managing director of Sotheby’s Japan, having left in 2014 to be an art advisor after a decade at the helm in Tokyo. (Press release)

Online Auction to Aid Kerala Flood Victims – An online charity auction of 32 works of Modern and contemporary Indian art will aid the victims of the Kerala flood. StoryLTD by Saffronart plans to conduct the online no-reserve fundraiser auction on August 29 through 30. Proceeds will go to a distress relief fund. (Press release)


Roya Sachs Takes Over as Curator of Lever House – Sachs succeeds Richard Marshall, who died in 2014, as curator of the space owned by Aby Rosen and Alberto Mugrabi. Sachs has worked at Sotheby’s and MoMA and began curating at Lever House in spring last year. She is organizing a Peter Halley installation at the space opening September 20. (ARTnews)

Westervelt Company Closes the Tuscaloosa Museum of Art – The museum showcasing the collection of former Westervelt CEO Jack Warner (who died last year) will close on August 31. Some of the works of American and Asian paintings, furniture, and decorative art will stay in the collection while others will now longer be on public display. (Tuscaloosa News)

Indian Artist Krishna Reddy Has Died – The sculptor, printmaker, and NYU professor emeritus who studied under Henry Moore and Lucien Freud in London died at 93 years old on August 22. His works are in the collections of MoMA, the British Museum, and the National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne. (Asia Art Pacific)

Bryn Mawr Art History Gets $5 Million Boost – Emily Rauh Pulitzer, founder and chair of the Pulitzer Arts Foundation and chair of the board of the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting, has pledged $5 million to the college’s history of art department. The money will go towards endowing a professorship and a student support fund at Pulitzer’s alma mater. (Press release)


Louvre Abu Dhabi Makes Time Magazine’s Top 100 Places – Several museums and art hotspots feature on the magazine’s annual World’s Greatest Places, including the Louvre Abu Dhabi, New York’s Governor’s Island, and Zetiz Mocaa in South Africa. Other mentions go to the museum MACAN in Jakarta, Montana’s Tippet Rise Art Center, Moscow’s Zaryadye Park, and Florida’s Underwater Art Museum. (Time)

New Show of Portraits by the Photographer Who Shot Hitler and Duchamp – Montpellier’s Pavillon Populaire is exhibiting the work of Heinrich Hoffman in a show called “A Dictator in Pictures.” Hoffman, who photographed Marcel Duchamp in 1912, went on to be Hitler’s official photographer. The show dissects how many of the propaganda photos that he presented as photojournalism, and which often appear in history books as archival documents, were staged. (Le Monde)

An Architect Gives Thomas Kinkade-Style Makeovers to Modernist Homes – On Twitter, an architect has been sharing his hilarious vision of what it might look like if Thomas Kinkade painted famous Modernist buildings in his trademark syrupy style. Buildings including the Eames House, the Gehry House, the Glass House, and Louise Kahn’s Fisher House have been utterly transformed by @robyniko in a series of surreally saccharine images that raise uncanny parallels between the artist’s nostalgic outlook and that of contemporary Modernist designers. (Fast Company)

Follow Artnet News on Facebook:

Want to stay ahead of the art world? Subscribe to our newsletter to get the breaking news, eye-opening interviews, and incisive critical takes that drive the conversation forward.