Art Industry News: Artist Tyler Mitchell’s Beyoncé Cover for Vogue Is Revealed—With a Twist + Other Stories

Plus, a Tehran museum finds 10 Picassos it completely forgot it owned and the Newseum pulls "fake news" t-shirts from its shop.

Beyoncé on the cover of Vogue's 2018 September issue, shot by Tyler Mitchell. Image courtesy of Vogue.

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 Monday, August 6.


Tehran Museum Shows Forgotten Picassos and an Unknown Duchamp – Iran’s contemporary art museum uncovered previously undocumented artworks in its collection during the building’s renovation, including 10 Picasso works and a previously unknown drawing by Marcel Duchamp. The rediscovered works will go on view in a major exhibition curated by Mattijs Visser that also includes recent Western acquisitions by artists including Tony Cragg and Bertrand Lavier. The show is scheduled to open on February 21. (The Art Newspaper)

Newseum Yanks “Fake News” T-Shirts – In response to mounting criticism, the journalism museum in Washington, DC, removed a line of t-shifts from its gift shop and website that sported the slogan “You Are Very Fake News.” The institution apologized, stressing that a free press is an essential part of democracy. A spokeswoman pointed out that the museum on Pennsylvania Avenue sells a range of political merchandise: red hats with the Trump slogan “Make America Great Again” are, apparently, very popular. (New York Times)

Beyoncé Cover Is Out, With a Counter-Narrative – When news broke that Beyoncé had made history by choosing 23-year-old Tyler Mitchell to shoot her cover for Vogue’s September issue, making him the first black photographer to grace the magazine’s cover, there was speculation that she used her star power to force the choice through. Now the four different covers are out, Anna Wintour has pushed back, telling Business of Fashion that “the concept and the photographer was entirely Vogue’s, specifically Raul [Martinez’s],” referring to Condé Nast’s creative director. According to the report, Martinez first learned of Mitchell’s work when he photographed the Parkland teen anti-gun activists for Teen Vogue in March, and Beyoncé approved the artist from a selection of potential photographers—still making history no matter how you slice it. (BOF)

Facebook May Lift the Ban on Picasso’s Cubist Nudes – The social media giant has promised to review its photo policy after it blocked images of Picasso nudes that the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts tried to post to promote its exhibition “From Africa to the Americas.” Although Picasso’s painting Femmes à la toilette (1956) fell foul of Facebook’s algorithms, the social network relented after the museum complained. Now, Facebook says it is considering extending the Cubist exemption to others. (CBC)


Museums Snap Up $1 Million Works at Auction – Artprice founder Thierry Ehrmann estimates that around three quarters of purchases above $1 million at auction are now made by museums. However, he did not say how many of those are private museums founded by billionaires. (AFP)

New York Collectors Show Off Their Sculpture – The Post takes a tour of upmarket backyards in the Hamptons, where outdoor sculpture is becoming a must-have status symbol. Party-loving songwriter “Sir” Ivan Wilzig has a sculpture of his ex-girlfriend Mina in the nude transforming into a dragon. (What, you don’t?) Meanwhile, investor Alan Patricof owns a Mark di Suvero work formerly owned by the curator Henry Geldzahler. “I knew Henry; we went to Horace Mann together,” he says. (New York Post)

To Invest in Art, Buy a Joan Mitchell? – If you can’t afford a painting by an in-demand artist, art advisor Erica Samuels suggests that you buy a drawing, hold it for a while, and then trade up. For those with deeper pockets, she advises buying Joan Mitchell before her prices skyrocket even further. After Christie’s sold Mitchell’s Blueberry for more than $16 million in May, Samuels asks, “Why couldn’t she go to $20 million?” (CNN)

Mary Webb Is Represented by Hales Gallery – The veteran British artist best known for her vibrant abstracts will have a solo show at Hales Gallery in London in September. A former senior lecturer in painting at the Norwich School of Art, the septuagenarian artist lives in Suffolk, East England. (Press release)


El Museo del Barrio Names Curator – Susanna V. Temkin has joined the New York institution as curator and will oversee the museum’s traveling shows and collection.  Previously, she worked at the Americas Society as an assistant curator. Temkin says she is looking forward to “engaging with emerging and established Latinx and Latin American artists in El Barrio and beyond.” (Press release)

Creative Time to Honor Pedro Reyes – The New York-based public art organization is honoring the Mexican artist, who creates art that addresses urgent social and political issues such as gun violence, during its 2018 fundraising gala. The event is slated to take place on October 11 in an industrial warehouse in Brooklyn. (Press release)

Trustee of London’s Jewish Museum Resigns – Julia Hobsbawm, the founder of the nonprofit Intelligence Squared, has stepped down from the museum’s board in protest of its decision to cancel a talk on anti-Semitism by the Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn. Hobsbawm says she is defending free speech, even though Corbyn’s Labour leadership has seen what she calls a “sweeping aside [of] its traditional qualified support for Israel.” (Times)


Feminist Protest Storms Araki Show – The feminist collective Zubryce Mowimy Nie (Bison Ladies We Say No), regarded as the Guerilla Girls of Poland, staged a protest at an exhibition in Warsaw dedicated to the Japanese photographer Nobuyoshi Araki. Wearing bison masks, the demonstrators expressed their support for Araki’s long-time model Kaori, who has accused him of exploitation and mistreatment. (TAN)

Want to Live Like a MoMA Curator? – The late MoMA curator William Rubin’s art-filled Westchester estate is up for sale with a $6.5 million asking price. Designed by Vuko Tashkovich and originally bought for around $4 million, the home has five bedrooms, an indoor swimming pool, and sits on 3.5 acres of land. (Bloomberg)

Roberta Smith on the State of Painting – Every 10 years since 1989, a group of Chelsea art dealers have teamed up to stage a survey of contemporary painting. Matthew Marks and Carol Greene’s “Painting: Now and Forever, Part III” presents 100 paintings by 46 artists across five New York spaces through August 17. The show downplays abstraction and charts a resurgence of narrative and figuration in recent years, although the New York Times‘s art critic notes a dearth of younger painters in the mix. (New York Times)

Peter Fischli Will Organize a MoMA Show – Fischli has become the 13th artist to participate in the museum’s “artist’s choice” series, in which one artist creates an exhibition from the Museum of Modern Art’s collection. His Snowman sculpture in a freezer, created with David Weiss, is on view in the museum’s sculpture garden. For the show, the Swiss artist has also selected nearly 20 other outdoor works in response to the question, “If everything is sculpture, why make sculpture?” (Press release)

Peter Fischli and David Weiss, Snowman at the Art Institute of Chicago. Courtesy of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Peter Fischli and David Weiss, Snowman at the Art Institute of Chicago. Courtesy of the Art Institute of Chicago.

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