Art Industry News: The New Gerhard Richter-Inspired Thriller Has Been Shortlisted for a Oscar + Other Stories

Plus, Christie's promotes from within to replace departing executives and the new Robert Mapplethorpe biopic looks pretty bad.

Still from Never Look Away. Courtesy of Sony Pictures.

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 for Tuesday, December 18.


For Once, Women Had More Shows Than Men in LA – For the first time in recent memory, more women than men had full-scale solo exhibitions in Los Angeles museums this year. By critic Christopher Knight’s count, there were 11 major museum shows dedicated to work by women, and six to men. The only major LA institution without a solo show dedicated to a female artist was the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. (Los Angeles Times)

Chinese Town Known for Copyists Works to Build a New Reputation – The Dafen neighborhood of Shenzhen, known for producing skilled painting reproductions, is trying to rebrand itself. The local government has invested some $14.5 million for an art museum and has built 268 apartments to accommodate painters who will focus on original works. (Reuters)

Film Inspired by Richter’s Life Is Likely an Oscar Nominee – The German-language, art-themed thriller Never Look Away, which is partly inspired by Gerhard Richter’s life story, has been shortlisted for an Academy Award. The film’s director, Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck, met with the real-life Richter as he developed the film, which follows a young artist as he grows up under the Nazis and comes of age in East Germany. Never Look Away is one of nine foreign-language films shortlisted for an Oscar; in January, five will be nominated for the official ballot. Winners will be announced during the broadcast on February 24. (Press release)

Lubaina Himid and Jerry Saltz Make the All-Stars List – The Turner Prize-winning artist, professor, and first artist-in-residence at the Guardian newspaper makes Ad Age’s list of 2018 Creativity All-Stars, as does New York magazine’s shoot-from-the-hip art critic Jerry Saltz, who won a Pulitzer Prize in 2018. Tate Modern’s curator of international art, Zoe Whitley, also makes the cut, alongside actor-turned-political artist Jim Carrey. The list is dedicated to writers, creators, artists, and others who made us see the world differently this year. (Ad Age)


Christie’s Begins Grand Reshuffle as Loïc Gouzer Exits – The auction house has announced a reshuffle in its postwar and contemporary art division following the departure of Gouzer and Francis Outred. Moving forward, Katharine Arnold and Cristian Albu will be co-heads of the European division; Marcus Fox joins us as global managing director; and Mariolina Bassetti becomes chairman of continental Europe. (Press release)

Istanbul Fair Announces Its Director Is Leaving – Kamiar Maleki is stepping down from his role as director of Contemporary Istanbul, Turkey’s most important art fair, which he led for the past two editions. The next one will be held in September 2019. (Press release)

Galerie Gmurzynska Launches Its New York Space – The Swiss gallery launched its New York space with show of work by Wifredo Lam and a celebrity-studded opening that included Susan Sarandon, Joel Coen, Chris Noth, and Amy Sacco, as well as the family of the late Cuban artist. The veteran Italian curator Germano Celant, who organized the exhibition, was also on hand to toast the Zurich- and Zug-based gallery’s expansion to the US. (Art Daily)

Cristin Tierney Gallery Moves to the Bowery – The Chelsea exodus continues as Cristin Tierney Gallery moves to New York’s Lower East Side. The gallery will reopen to the public in March at 219 Bowery in a newly expanded space that can accommodate seminar and panel discussions, film nights, music performances, and artist-centric dinners. (Art Daily)


Malta Opens a New Art Museum – Malta is opening a new national art museum called MUZA in Valletta as part of the city’s year as the European Capital of Culture. The 16th century Auberge d’Italie has been converted into galleries showcasing Maltese culture throughout history. (Independent)

Scotland Buys a Dalí Lobster Phone – The surrealist painter’s quirky lobster phone will stay in the UK after the National Galleries of Scotland raised £853,000 ($1.08 million) to buy it. The government had placed an export bar on the object after it sold to a foreign buyer at Christie’s. (Guardian)

Rotterdam’s Boijmans Museum Announces Revamp – The Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen will begin partially closing after January 13 to undergo a complete renovation. The museum is expected to reopen at the end of 2020 or beginning of 2021. In the meantime, its collection will visit eight cities in a program titled “Boijmans Next Door.” (Press release)

The Getty Acquires a Vilhelm Hammershøi – The Danish artist’s Interior with an Easel, Bredgade 25 (1912) has entered the Getty Center’s collection and goes on view today. The painting sold at auction for $5.04 million at Christie’s New York on October 31, according to artnet’s Price Database. (Press release)


Mayor Donates 2019 Pay to Judy Chicago’s Museum – The Mayor of Belen, Jerah Cordova, is donating his salary next year—around $10,000 after taxes (listen, you don’t do it for the money)—to support Judy Chicago’s planned museum there. “It seemed like a smart investment,” he said, because the space will attract people to the tiny New Mexico city. However, some locals in the town where the artist and her husband the photographer Donald Woodman have lived for the past three decades have objected to her feminist art. So Chicago and Woodman are rethinking the space and going ahead without city backing. (Albuquerque Journal)

Art History Scholars Call for Center on Restitution – More than 80 academics have appealed to the German government to establish an institute dedicated to handling colonial-era heritage in public collections. In a letter published in the newspaper Die Zeit, they wrote that the debate shouldn’t just be focused on restitution but also on redefining relationships with countries and communities in Africa, Oceania, Asia, Australia, and the Americas. (TAN)

The New Mapplethorpe Trailer Looks Very Bad – Garage magazine’s Emma Specter is not happy with the trailer for the upcoming Robert Mapplethorpe biopic, taking particular aim at Marianne Rendón’s portrayal of Mapplethorpe’s muse Patti Smith and an apparently cliché-ridden screenplay. “The whole thing just feels like a bloated, Hollywoodified Mapplethorpe 101,” she writes. (Garage)

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