Art Industry News: Ai Weiwei’s Refugee Film Will Stream on Amazon + More Must-Read Stories

Plus, a festival in Venice seeks to revive the endangered art of glassmaking and Rodin's market is on the rise.

Chinese artist Ai Weiwei takes photos with his phone on May 12, 2016 at the port in Gaza City for his upcoming documentary film on the refugee crisis in the Middle East. Photo Mohammed Abed/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 Friday, August 4.


Behind Julie Mehretu’s Epic SFMOMA Murals – The artist is preparing to unveil her most ambitious works to date: two 27-by-32-foot murals created in the aftermath of the US election and destined for the lobby of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. (New York Times)

Ai Weiwei Documentary Picked Up by Amazon – Distribution rights for the hotly anticipated Human Flow, the Chinese artist’s first film about the global refugee crisis, have been secured by the online giant, so the movie could be available for streaming soon. (The Art Newspaper)

Buildings Damaged in Japan Earthquake to Be Restored – The World Monuments Fund plans to restore around 350 historic buildings in Kumamoto Castle Town that were damaged by the Kumamoto Earthquake in April 2016. The project is due to be complete in March 2019. (Press release)

Venice Launches First-Ever Glass Week – The first international festival devoted to glassmaking aims to revive the struggling industry in Venice. More than 140 commercial and institutional exhibitions have been planned citywide this fall (September 10–17). (TAN)


Rodin’s Market Still Going Strong – Rachel Corbett explores the plethora of exhibitions worldwide marking the 100th anniversary of Rodin’s death this year—and how the celebrations are influencing the sculptor’s bull market. (In Other Words)

Phillips Promotes Latin-American Specialist – Kaeli Deane has been promoted from specialist and head of sale to Head of Department for Latin American Art, a development the auction house says reflects the increasing importance of the sector to the company’s growth strategy. (Press release)

Lévy Gorvy to Show Adrian Piper in September – Ahead of her solo exhibition at MoMA next year, the celebrated Conceptual artist will have her first show at the gallery. It will focus on works from her “Mythic Being” series, It’s Just Art, and the recent work Here. (Press release)


MoMA Names New Library Chief – Michelle Elligott has been appointed chief of archives, library, and research collections at New York’s Museum of Modern Art. She has been with the museum for two decades, most recently as chief of archives. (ARTnews)

Graham Foundation Awards $400K in Architecture Grants – Organizations all over the world have received grants from the foundation for 41 projects—including exhibitions, site-specific installations, and performance—that engage original ideas in architecture. (Artforum)


Archbishop Surprised by Negative Reaction to Cathedral Spider – The archbishop of Ottawa installed a robotic spider created by local artists atop the Cathedral to mark Canada’s 150th birthday—but locals are calling it “sacrilegious” and “demonic.” (Catholic News Service)

Hilton Als to Organize Shows of British Artists at Yale – The writer and critic has selected painters Celia Paul, Lynette Yiadom-Boakye, and Peter Doig for a series of solo exhibitions starting next year at the Yale Center for British Art. (TAN)

London Exhibition to Focus on Cover Art – This fall, “The British Underground Press of the Sixties” will gather the iconic covers of counterculture publications at London’s A22 Gallery. A book will also be published on October 5 to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the Summer of Love. (Press release)

Gandalf’s Garden, 3. Courtesy British Underground Press.

Nasty Tales-1. 1971. Courtesy British Underground Press

Frendz-24, 31 March 1972. Courtesy British Underground Press.

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