Art Industry News: Maroon 5 Singer Adam Levine Is Willing to Die for an Artwork by Raymond Pettibon + Other Stories
Plus, Pussy Riot flees Russia and the NYPL whisks its Picture Library out of sight.
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 on this Wednesday, August 4.
The NYPL Locks Up Its Picture Library, and Artists Aren’t Happy – One of New York City’s great oddities is being whisked out of sight: The New York Public Library Picture Collection, a library-within-a-library featuring a huge range of pictures and visual material, classified under 12,000 categories, “from Abacus to Zoology,” will soon be available to peruse by special request only. It has long been a resource for artists, including Taryn Simon, who bemoans that the archive will no longer be casually accessible. But conservators could no longer cope with the wear and tear the public put on the Collection—or the risk of theft. Andy Warhol is one of the artists said to have borrowed hundred of images from the NYPL, only to never return them. (New York Times)
Man Faces Trial For Botched Robbery of Trier Gold Hoard – A Dutch man has confessed in court to his role in attempting to steal a trove of 2,500 Roman coins from the Rhineland State Museum in Trier back in 2019. The 28-year-old, who said he was just the lookout, was traced after leaving DNA at the scene. Two accomplices, who attempted to steal the €10 million hoard, are still on the run. He is facing charges of attempted gang theft and between two-and-a-half and three years in jail, with the verdict due on August 24. (Monopol)
A Look at the Levine-Prinsloo Collection – Architectural Digest has a spread on the L.A. home shared by tattooed Maroon 5 frontman Adam Levine and model Behati Prinsloo—and there’s lots of art, including works by Mary Corse, Albert Oehlen, Richard Prince, Henry Taylor, Mary Weatherford, and Andrew Zuckerman, not to mention “a king’s ransom in blue-chip sneakers.” Prinsloo commissioned a painting by Sage Vaughn for her husband (who also did the cover for Maroon 5’s new album Jordi), while an immense Raymond Pettibon hangs above the couple’s bed. “It’s not exactly earthquake-friendly, but we’re willing to die for that piece of art,” Levine quips. (Architectural Digest)
Director of Guadeloupe Slavery Memorial Fired – The director of the Mémorial ACTe slavery memorial in Pointe-à-Pitre in Guadeloupe has been sacked. The memorial’s board has accused Laurella Yssap-Rincon of opaque management, and said there were complaints of “authoritarian practices” and “improper interviews” given to the media. Rincon said she believes she was fired because she uncovered a €420,000 ($498,000) shortfall in the museum’s coffers and reported the missing funds to the district attorney. She suspects some €5 million ($5.9 million) has gone missing from ticket sales since the museum opened in 2015. (The Art Newspaper)
MOVERS & SHAKERS
Baltimore Museum Adds Five Board Members – Five new trustees including artist and film director John Waters have joined the board at the Baltimore Museum of Art. Michael Ealy, Nupur Parekh Flynn, Lori N. Johnson, Anne L. Stone, and Waters variously have backgrounds in art, education, entertainment, marketing, and management. (Press release)
White Cube Adds Tunji Adeniyi-Jones to Roster – New York-based artist Tunji Adeniyi-Jones has joined the roster at powerhouse blue-chip gallery White Cube. The artist, who is known for vibrant paintings that engage with post-colonial writings, will have his first exhibition with the gallery in November. (Press release)
Pussy Riot Members Take a Break From Russia – Members of the punk activist collective Pussy Riot have been leaving Russia following a slew of relentless arrests this summer. The collective said they are being arrested for “no reason” as the Kremlin clears the way before parliamentary elections on September 19. Members Alexander Sofeyev, Anna Kuzminykh, and Veronika Nikulshina have left the country “to take a break from constant arrests for a second.” (TAN)
FOR ART’S SAKE
The Story of the Enslaved People Who Built the White House – A new marker has been added to Lafayette Square outside the White House acknowledging the role enslaved people played in building the D.C. landmark. “The use of enslaved labor to build the home of the President of the United States—often seen as a symbol of democracy—illuminates our country’s conflicted relationship with the institution of slavery and the ideals of freedom and equality promised in America’s founding documents,” it reads. It is the first time a public work has acknowledged that hundreds of enslaved Black people worked on the site between 1792 and 1800. (Smithsonian)
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