Art Industry News: Artist Alex Prager’s New Buzzed-About LACMA Installation Is Actually an Ad for Miller Lite (Really) + Other Stories

Plus, Liste will be held near Art Basel at Messe Basel next year and Irina Antonova, the grande dame of the Russian art world, dies at 98.

Alex Prager, Holiday Party, 2020, © Alex Prager, photo courtesy Alex Prager Studio and Lehmann Maupin, New York, Hong Kong, Seoul, and London.

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 on this Wednesday, December 2.


Thousands Sign Up to Throw Eggs at Margaret Thatcher Sculpture – More than 2,300 people have signed up to take part in an “egg-throwing” contest in the UK city of Grantham on the same day as the unveiling of a bronze statue of the controversial former prime minister Margaret Thatcher. Thatcher’s hometown is divided on the monument, with many angry at its £300,000 cost (and the additional £100,000 earmarked for the unveiling ceremony). The statue is being mounted on a 10-foot-tall plinth in an effort to evade possible vandals. (Independent)

These Are the Art Figures Who Made Forbes’s 30 Under 30 – Love it or hate it, Forbes‘s latest 30 Under 30 list for North America is out. The lineup of fast-rising young stars includes artists Maria Fragoso and Kahlil Irving; photographers Faith Couch and Anna Zhang; and Pace Gallery director Sabrina Hahn. Those who made the cut were photographed by the 23-year-old photographer Mamadi Doumbouya—who also made the list. (Forbes)

The Problem With LACMA’s Alex Prager Show – Artist Alex Prager’s rollicking installation of a work holiday party gone wild, which is installed on LACMA’s outdoor plaza next to Chris Burden’s famous Urban Light installation, doubles as an ad for Miller Lite. Farewell, Work Holiday Parties was originally conceived by international advertising agency Doyle Dane Bernbach as part of its efforts to rebrand the beer for the pandemic era. The installation—and the television commercial that incorporates it—encourage customers to celebrate a year without holiday parties by availing themselves of a discount on take-home six-packs of the beverage. (Los Angeles Times)

Court Requires Dickinson Gallery to Reveal Client’s Identity – The London High Court has ruled that Dickinson gallery must reveal the buyer of a $4.85 million painting by Paul Signac that it sold in 2013. The decision, which challenges the widespread practice of client confidentiality, is the latest chapter in the Timothy Sammons affair. American collector Linda Hickox sold the work through Sammons, the now-jailed art dealer; although Dickinson paid Sammons at the time, the disgraced broker never passed on the funds to Hickox. Now, Hickox wants to go after the final buyer to recover what she claims is still rightfully hers. (The Art Newspaper)


Will Catalogues Raisonnés Ever Join the Digital Age? – Digital catalogues raisonnés are cheaper and easier to update, access, and use than print volumes. But some in the trade remain wary of relying on publications that are subject to change, preferring the solid comfort of a hefty printed tome. They mistrust that revisions will be flagged appropriately online and fear that a digital version could be hacked. (TAN)

Liste Will Be Held at Messe Basel Near Art Basel Next Year – Liste art fair will be located at Messe Basel for its 2021 edition. Rebranded for one year to Liste Art Fair Basel, the fair will be refitted to the Messe Basel convention center in order to help it meet the necessary health and safety requirements. The fair is usually at the historic, riverside Werkraum Warteck. Galleries unable to shoulder the fees to participate on their own will be able to apply for a joint stand. (Liste)


Longtime Director of Pushkin Art Museum Dies of COVID – The former director of Moscow’s Pushkin Museum, Irina Antonova, has died at 98 from the coronavirus. She led the museum for 52 years until her retirement in 2013. Dubbed the grande dame of the Russian art world, Antonova was celebrated for bringing the Mona Lisa to Moscow and returning masterpieces long hidden by Soviet cultural officials to the public. (Guardian)

Museum Leader Roger Mandle Dies – The prominent cultural leader has died at age 79 after a long illness. He served in high-ranking posts at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC, the Rhode Island School of Design, the Toledo Museum of Art in Ohio, and the Minneapolis Institute of Art. From 2008 to 2012, he was executive director at the Qatar Museums Authority. (ARTnews)

Irene Hoffman Leaves SITE Santa Fe – The executive director and chief curator of the New Mexico contemporary art space will step down in January 2021 after a decade in charge, citing a desire for new voices to lead the institution. (Artforum)


Agnes Gund Gives Art21 a Major Gift – Art21, the nonprofit dedicated to capturing leading contemporary artists on film, received a gift from arts patron and social justice advocate Agnes Gund to endow the position of executive director. The role will now be renamed the Susan Sollins Executive Director in honor of Art21’s late founder. (Press release)

Boy Thrown From Tate Modern Balcony Walks Again – The boy who was thrown off the roof of the Tate Modern last year is able to speak full words and can walk again, his family says. The boy, who is now 7, still suffers severe memory loss. (TAN)

Kassel Gets a Red Laser – The Fridericianum in Kassel, Germany has re-installed a red laser on its rooftop; it had originally been put there by architect and light artist Horst Baumann for documenta 6 back in 1977. The artwork will go back on view on December 19. (Monopol)

The Kunsthalle Fridericianum. Photo: Uwe Zucchi/dpa.

The Kunsthalle Fridericianum. Photo: Uwe Zucchi/dpa.

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