Art Industry News: Collectors Will Send an Artwork Into Space on a Mission to Measure Climate Change in Africa + Other Stories

Plus, Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan add art to their new home and Stuart Semple continues to troll Anish Kapoor.

Ariane 5 launches at the European Spaceport on October 30, 1997 in Kourou, French Guyana. Photo by Patrick Aventurier/Getty Images.

Art Industry News is normally 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 Tuesday, August 6.


Steve Locke on Why He Withdrew His Boston Sculpture – The artist Steve Locke has written an op-ed for the Boston Globe spelling out exactly why he is no longer creating a public work of art at Boston’s historic Faneuil Hall. The artist said that his work—a memorial evoking an auction block that would acknowledge the Faneuil family’s role in the city’s slave trade—had been “mischaracterized and maligned” by people who had other agendas, including renaming the marketplace building. “I saw my work being weaponized in order to promote the notion that the city did not care about having an engaged dialogue about race, that I was the ‘house negro’ pawn of a white mayor.” He hopes another artist will be able to find a way to memorialize the “stolen lives” of generations of enslaved African Americans bought and sold at the site. (Boston Globe)

Harry and Meghan Add Art to Their New Home – The Queen has offered the Duke and Duchess of Sussex works from the Royal Art Collection to decorate the newlyweds’ home. While the titles of the works have not been revealed, the photographer Richard Wilson dropped a big hint via Instagram that his image of the race car driver Lewis Hamilton at the British Grand Prix is heading to Frogmore Cottage. The photographer boasted that a poster-sized framed aluminum print was ready to be shipped to a “Royal household.” The nearly $3 million cost to taxpayers of revamping the 10-bedroom house near Windsor Castle has raised eyebrows. The Sussexes are paying for the decor, however, enlisting the help of designers of the Soho House hotel-and-club chain. (Observer)

African Art Heads to Space to Call Attention to Global Warming – It sounds like the plot of a movie: The French collectors and philanthropists Matthias and Gervanne Leridon have hatched a plan to launch a work of art by an African artist into space in 2021. The work will be attached to the nose of an an Ariane 5 launcher carrying a satellite that will collect meteorological data on the affect of climate change on Africa. The Leridons, who have funded touring art exhibitions, three libraries, and performances in refugee camps in Africa, presented the idea to a trio of organizations that launch meteorological satellites last year. A panel of experts tasked with choosing an artist has drawn up a 60-name-strong list and invited candidates to submit ideas by September. (The Art Newspaper)

Teenager Charged With Attempted Murder of French Tourist at Tate Modern – A 17-year-old has been charged with attempted murder after a six-year-old French tourist was allegedly thrown from the Tate Modern’s viewing balcony over the weekend. The child, who fell five floors onto a gallery roof, is reported to be in a critical but stable condition. The victim was visiting the gallery with his mother. The teenage suspect is due to appear in a youth court today. Police are appealing for witnesses to the incident, which happened on Sunday afternoon when the gallery was crowded. The 10th-story viewing platform remains closed to the public. (BBC) 


Alexander McQueen’s Charity Teams Up With the LAPADA Fair The Sarabande Foundation, which was set up by the estate of the fashion designer, has joined forces with LAPADA art and antiques fair to hold a charity auction and offer limited edition jewelry inspired by McQueen. In September, the London fair will also host a stand featuring work made by artists and designers who have benefitted from the foundation’s scholarships. (Press release)

Frye Art Museum Snags Work at the Seattle Art Fair – The Frye Art Museum acquired four new works for its collection from the Seattle Art Fair, using $50,000 set aside for this purpose as part of a two-year partnership with the fair. Works by Jeffry Mitchell, Ko Kirk Yamahira, Mary Ann Peters, and Anthony White are now headed to the Frye. (Artforum)


Brooklyn Academy of Music Commissions Public Art – Three prominent Brooklyn-based artists—Teresita Fernández, Hank Willis Thomas, and Leo Villareal—will create new site-specific installations for the Brooklyn Academy of Music. The commissions are made possible by a $3.5 million gift from Robert Wilson’s charitable trust made in 2015. (Villareal already has one installation on the campus, “Stars,” and will create two additional LED light installations.) The new works—plus one commission yet to be announced—will be unveiled over the next two years. (New York Times)

Pérez Art Museum Miami Gets Major Gift of Self-Taught Artists – The art collector and scholar Gordon W. Bailey has gifted the Florida museum 46 artworks. The donation brought mostly new names to the collection, including work by southern artists Sam Doyle, Purvis Young, Thornton Dial, Herbert Singleton, Clementine Hunter, Sister Gertrude Morgan, Minnie Evans, Roy Ferdinand, Lonnie Holley, and Leroy Almon. (Art Daily)

Ogunquit Museum Gets a Major Gift – Board member Ann Ramsay-Jenkins is gifting the Ogunquit Museum in Maine nearly $2 million for its endowment, the largest donation the museum has received since its founding gift and collection. Ramsay-Jenkins is a co-founder of the College Success Foundation, which provides scholarships for low-income students. (Press Herald)


Steve McQueen Billboard Initiative Is Underway – As part of an exhibition organized with Tate Britain, the artist Steve McQueen is photographing Year 3 elementary school pupils (who are around seven or eight years old) across London, and will post the photographs on hundreds of billboards around the city in the first two weeks of November. To date, McQueen has photographed more than 1,500 classes from all parts of the capital, in both public and private schools. (The Art Newspaper)

Anish Kapoor Banned From Art Store Over Vantablack Battle – Artist and curator Stuart Semple is still not over Anish Kapoor getting the exclusive rights to Vantablack, the “blackest black” paint. Customers hoping to buy Semple’s retaliatory “pinkest pink” at Semple’s Art Shop must confirm that they are not Anish Kapoor, or working for him—though that didn’t stop Kapoor from getting his hands on some anyway and taunting Semple via a rude Instagram post. Since then, Semple has upped “security measures” at his store, asking everyone who enters to sign a declaration “to ensure they will not share my creations with Kapoor or his associates.” (iNews)

New Dinosaur Species Found Hiding in Plain Sight at a Museum – Scientists have discovered a new species of dinosaur by re-examining bones that were mislabeled in a South African museum for 30 years. New research shows that the 200 million-year-old fossilized bones (including a near-complete skull) previously identified by Johannesburg’s Evolutionary Studies Institute as Massospondylus are actually a brand new species and genus that has been named Ngwevu intloko. (Guardian)

Artist Richard Woods Turns the UK’s Housing Crisis Into Land Art – The sculptor, whose work comments on the UK’s chronic shortage of affordable homes, has teased on Instagram that he is about to install an enormous drawing of one of his famous houses at Yorkshire Sculpture Park on Saturday. He’s looking for volunteers to help map out the enormous plot of Estate, which is set to measure 70,000 square feet. The line drawing made with black fabric is designed to be seen from the air or on Google Maps.  (Press release)

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