Art Industry News: Jeff Koons Is Building a Giant Balloon Monkey Outside LACMA + More Must-Read Stories

Plus, a Rick Owens survey opens in Milan and K11 Art Foundation announces plans to expand to nine cities across China.

US artist Jeff Koons' poses next to Balloon Dog (Red) in 2012. Photo by Fabrice Coffrini/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, December 15.


Will Artificial Intelligence Change the Art World? – Algorithmically generated art is rising in popularity, and with it grow concerns about its consequences for creative authorship and artistic valuation. Programs like are online resources for artists that are powered by “deep neural networks”—in other words, machine-learning algorithms that identify stylistic elements of one image and apply them to another. (Slate)

Iran Gets its First Museum Dedicated to a Female Artist – The 93-year-old Iranian artist Monir Shahroudy Farmanfarmaian has donated more than 50 of her artworks to the Monir Museum, an institution dedicated to her oeuvre that opens tomorrow in a former 19th-century palace. The artist is world renowned for her reflective mosaics. (The Art Newspaper)

LACMA Gets a Monkey by Jeff Koons – LACMA’s Los Angeles Times Central Court is in the middle of assembling the first components of an enormous new balloon animal by Koons. While the color has yet to be confirmed, it has been revealed that it will be a massive monkey. The sculpture replaces the much-loved Penetrable by Jesús Rafael Soto. (Los Angeles Magazine)

Rem Koolhaas to Design Displays for Stedelijk – Before she departed in October, director Beatrix Ruf set in motion plans to massively reorganize the museum and put its permanent collection of 700 works in its new wing (the one that looks like a monumental bathtub). Opening to the public on Saturday, Koolhaas’s radical redesign of the collection’s displays were informed by his personal experience, as he visited the museum often as a child. (The New York Times)


How the Rockefellers Became Great Collectors – Ahead of the Christie’s sale of the late David and Peggy Rockefeller’s art collection—which carries a $650 million estimate—Vanity Fair reveals how the couple were shamed into upping their game by MoMA’s legendary director Alfred Barr. The pair started out with minor 18th-century English portraiture but soon graduated to Picasso and Manet. (Vanity Fair)

India Art Fair Announces 2018 Program – The India Art Fair, which is due to take place in New Delhi in February, promises more work by local Indian artists, emerging artists from South Asia, and also big debuts by Western galleries, including David Zwirner and Blain/Southern. A new section will present large-scale installations by Indian, Pakistani, and South Korean artists. (Press release)

Allan D’Arcangelo’s Estate Repped by Waddington Custot – The estate of the US artist Allan D’Arcangelo (1930–1998), best known for painting highways and road signs in a vivid Pop style, will be represented by Waddington Custot. His first UK solo exhibition at the gallery in January will focusing on his semi-abstract landscape paintings from the 1960s to ’80s. (Press release)​


Russell Simmons Resigns From Arts Organization – The music mogul has stepped away from his position as co-chairman of the board of Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to arts education and exhibitions of emerging art, after numerous women accused him of sexual violence. (Hyperallergic)

New Editor Named for the Art Newspaper Alison Cole has been tapped as the new editor of the Art Newspaper. (TAN’s former editor Javier Pes is now UK editor at artnet News.) Cole is a critic for the Arts Desk and the Independent and works as an art consultant. She begins her new role in February 2018. (ARTnews)

New Director of the National Trust Announced – Hilary McGrady will be the new director-general of the National Trust of England, Wales, and Northern Ireland. McGrady, the conservation charity’s chief operating officer who was originally a graphic designer, was the board’s unanimous choice. She steps up in March 2018, succeeding Helen Ghosh. (Press release)

Adrian Cheng’s K11 to Expand to Nine Cities It’s been a good week for Adrian Cheng, the founder of K11 and the K11 Art Foundation. His company announced plans to expand its art malls to nine Chinese cities by 2023. And he was awarded France’s Officer of the Order of Arts and Letters for his work improving French-Chinese cultural relations. (Artforum)


The Village Voice on Overlooked Art of 2017 – Siddhartha Mitter considers 10 New York shows that provided solace in a tumultuous 2017 by presenting new ideas and alternative histories. Among them are “Architecture of Independence—African Modernism” at the Center for Architecture, Sanford Biggers at Marianne Boesky, and Meriem Bennani at the Kitchen. (Village Voice)

Work Halts on the Calatrava Church at World Trade Center – Construction on the Greek Orthodox Church has been terminated by the contractor Skansa after the archdiocese defaulted on payments for the $40 million to $50 million project. Designed by Calatrava, who also created the Oculus transport hub, the church’s shell is largely complete. The archdiocese claims that smaller features like skylights will be developed offsite and calls the suspension temporary. (dezeen)

Storm King Show to Focus on Climate Change – Opening in May, the exhibition in the sprawling sculpture park outside New York City will explore a topic that “has always been very close” to the art center, says curator Nora Lawrence. The show of work by 12 artists will explore how people might live in an altered climate. (NYT)

Rick Owens Survey Opens in Milan – The California-born fashion and furniture designer discusses his retrospective “Subhuman, Inhuman, Superhuman,” which opens at the Triennale di Milano today. Musing on the current moment, he says: “Didn’t this generation ever learn something about Dadaism, or Cubism, or Surrealism? I mean, those were really radical, shocking cultural movements in their times, and they think I’m shocking compared to those guys?” (Vogue)

Installation view of “Rick Owens, Subhuman Inhuman Superhuman” at Triennale di Milano. Courtesy Owenscorp.

Installation view of “Rick Owens, Subhuman Inhuman Superhuman” at Triennale di Milano. Courtesy Owenscorp.

Installation view of “Rick Owens, Subhuman Inhuman Superhuman” at Triennale di Milano. Courtesy Owenscorp.

Installation view of “Rick Owens, Subhuman Inhuman Superhuman” at Triennale di Milano. Courtesy Owenscorp.

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