Art Industry News: Artists Condemn Trump’s Jerusalem Embassy Move + More Must-Read Stories

Plus, Mozilla wants artists to make work about surveillance and London is getting a new statue of Princess Diana.

Donald Trump. Image Courtesy.NICHOLAS KAMM/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 Tuesday, December 12.


How the Met’s Hockney Show Won Over a Hater – Andrea Scott crowns the Met’s David Hockney retrospective “a retort to all the eye-rollers” and concludes that the British artist—long considered a guilty pleasure—is both aesthetically and conceptually engaging. (New Yorker)

Should Art Come With Warning Labels? – In the wake of the controversy surrounding a Balthus painting on view at the Met, the Irish Times considers whether some works of art should be accompanied by a warning that they may offend. Such a label would have angered Balthus himself, who once told the Tate that it should begin his exhibition with the words: “Balthus is a painter of whom nothing is known.” (Irish Times)

Artists Condemn Trump’s Jerusalem Move – A number of creatives have condemned Trump’s choice to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, calling it a display of “indifference to Palestinian rights” and celebrating Palestinian resistance to occupation. The list of signatories includes actors Tilda Swinton and Mark Ruffalo alongside artists Mona Hatoum, Molly Crabapple, and Phyllida Barlow. (The Guardian)

NYT Critics’ Favorite Art of 2017 – Roberta Smith, Holland Cotter, and Jason Farago weigh in on the year in art. Ai Weiwei’s “Hansel and Gretel” earns the distinction of “second biggest waste of money after the Leonardo auction,” while props are given to the 2017 Whitney Biennial and the Women’s March in Washington, DC. (NYT)


Pamela Joyner Is on a Mission – The collector is making it a point to use her nearly 400 works by African American artists to “rewrite art history.” The latest presentation of her holdings, “Solidarity & Solitary” at Ogden Museum of Southern Art in New Orleans, traces abstract art by African American artists from the 1940s to the present. (

Relics from Trump’s Casino Were at Art Basel – Objects from the now-defunct Trump Taj Mahal Hotel and Casino were plunked on the stand outside the Faena Hotel in Miami Beach. The ornate, life-size elephant statues and glitzy chandeliers were courtesy of artist Peter Tunney. (Bloomberg)

Has Art Basel Miami Beach Peaked? – The fair, which launched in 2002, has steadily grown into an ever larger, city-engulfing bacchanalia. With non-art-related parties beginning to take over the agenda (see our “That’s Not Art” list), WWD asks whether the fair’s bubble has burst. DJ Paul Sevigny seems to think so. “It’s turned into an international s—t show,” he says. (WWD)

1-54 Art Fair Announces Lineup for Marrakech Edition – For the fair’s first edition in Marrakech, 17 galleries from across Europe and Africa will participate, including Blain|Southern, Tiwani Contemporary, and L’Atelier 21. The fair is slated to run from February 24 to 25. (Press release)


Critic Writing on AIDS and Activism Wins Pierre Daix Prize – Élisabeth Lebovici was honored for her book on AIDS and activism in the 20th century, published by JRP Ringier and La Maison Rouge. Established in 2015 by François Pinault, the prize is awarded annually for an art historical work published during the preceding year. (Artforum)

Krannert Museum Taps New Director – Curator Jon Seydl, an Italian Renaissance expert, will take up the new post in February 2018. He joins the University of Illinois’s art museum from the Worcester Art Museum in Massachusetts. (Artfix Daily)

Chinese Artist Geng Jianyi Dies Aged 55 – A central figure of China’s ’85 New Wave movement and a co-founder of the group Pond Society, Geng’s career spanned three decades. He died of cancer on December 5 in Hangzhou. (ArtAsiaPacific)

New Award for Emerging Artists Launches – ArteVue, an app dedicated to sharing artworks on social media, teamed up with Delfina Foundation to announce the finalists of its first art prize. The works will go on view at the London-based foundation in January, and the winner will receive a cash prize as well as a three-month residency there. (Press release) ​


Kate Moss Portrait Saved From Bel Air Mansion on Fire  Artist Daniel Maltzman was relieved to see his large-scale, expressionist portrait of Kate Moss saved from a burning house in Bel Air amid the LA wildfires. An artist of choice for show-biz celebs, Maltzman’s paintings are beloved by Justin Bieber and Britney Spears, according to his website. (CBS)

Mozilla Launches Grants for Art About Surveillance – Mozilla, the non-profit behind the popular web browser, is asking artists and other creatives to make films, apps, stories, and images about mass surveillance and the erosion of online privacy. Grants range from $10,000 to $35,000 and the application deadline closes at midnight PST on December 31. (Mozilla Blog)

Princess Diana Sculptor Aims to Please Princes – The Duke of Cambridge and Prince Harry have handpicked the British sculptor Ian Rank-Broadley to create a memorial to their late mother. The traditional statue will stand in contrast to the controversial, if popular, Diana memorial fountain unveiled in Hyde Park in 2004. (Vanity Fair)

SFMOMA Plans Major Rivera Show – Diego Rivera’s mural Pan American Unity (1940) will go on view at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art in 2020 as part of a major show of the Mexican artist’s work. The 10-panel mural, which measures nearly 1,800 square feet, was created for the Golden Gate Expo. After the SFMOMA show, it will return home for long-term display at the City College of San Francisco. (Press release)

Diego Rivera, The Marriage of the Artistic Expression of the North and of the South on this Continent (Pan American Unity), 1940. © Banco de Mexico Diego Rivera & Frieda Kahlo Museums Trust, Mexico D.F. / Artist Rights Society (ARS), New York. Image: courtesy City College of San Francisco.

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