Art Industry News: Chuck Close Responds to Harassment Claims by Former Models + More Must-Read Stories

Plus, the Richard Avedon Foundation tries to yank salacious bio off shelves and Mark Bradford will launch Hauser & Wirth's Hong Kong gallery.

Chuck Close. Courtesy of 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 Thursday, December 21.


Chuck Close Apologizes to Women He Offended – The art star has replied to accusations, now from four women, alleging he behaved inappropriately toward them when he asked them to pose for portraits. “Last time I looked, discomfort was not a major offense,” he said. “If I embarrassed anyone or made them feel uncomfortable, I am truly sorry, I didn’t mean to. I acknowledge having a dirty mouth, but we’re all adults.” (The New York Times)

Former Spot Painter Gets an Exhibition at Hirst’s Museum – Rachel Howard was one of Hirst’s first assistants and quickly became his most skilled spot painter. Now, he’s giving her a chance to show her own work—a series of 14 large paintings that he commissioned—at his Newport Street Gallery in 2018. (The Art Newspaper)

Richard Avedon Foundation Wants to Stop Distribution of Book – The photographer’s foundation has released numerous statements about allegedly false claims in the salacious book. Now, it says the biography also contains substantial sections lifted from an unfinished novel by Avedon and has asked Spiegel and Grau to cease the book’s publication and distribution. (Artdaily)

Judge Weighs Final Decision in 5Pointz Graffiti Case – The question of whether street art should be protected lives on. Following a surprise jury verdict last month, a federal judge in Brooklyn is now making the final decision about whether the Long Island City graffiti mecca known as 5Pointz should have been preserved under the Visual Artists Rights Act. (TAN)


Mark Bradford Will Launch Hauser & Wirth Hong Kong – The Los Angeles artist is making new work for the opening of the gallery’s new Annabelle Selldorf-designed Hong Kong outpost in March. Bradford’s large-scale, site-specific works are newly popular with Asian buyers. (TAN)

How Much Money Did the ‘Mundi’ Guarantor Make? – After taking a break during the market slowdown, auction houses are increasingly using in-house and third-party guarantees to give sellers peace of mind. Those involved can make a tidy profit: The guarantor of Salvator Mundi may have walked away with between $90 million and $150 million. (Bloomberg)​

Blain Southern Now Reps Sean Scully – After leaving Timothy Taylor, the Irish-American artist has joined the London gallery’s roster, alongside Frank Thiel, Liliane Tomasko, and the estate of Avigdor Arikha. Cheim & Read still represents the artist in New York. (Press release)

Newly Discovered Artemisia Gentileschi Sells in Paris – A 1614 self-portrait of the artist as Saint Catherine sold for €2.4 million ($2.8 million) at Drouot Paris on December 19, a new record. The modestly sized painting by the Italian Baroque artist was recently rediscovered in France. (TAN)


Former Bonhams VP Joins Dickinson – William O’Reilly, formerly vice president of Bonhams New York, where he was also director of the auction house’s Impressionist and Modern art department​, is joining the private advisory and fine art dealership Dickinson. (Antiques Trade Gazette)

David Fleming Retires from National Museums Liverpool – Fleming will step down from his post as director of National Museums Liverpool at the end of March. After 17 years with the museum, he will take on a new position at Liverpool Hope University. (Press release)

Architectural Historian to Lead Queen’s Art Collection – Tim Knox, the current director of the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge, has been appointed by the Queen to lead the Royal Collection Trust. (TAN)

Weserburg Museum of Modern Art Names New Director – The Foundation Council of the Weserburg Museum of Modern Art in Bremen, Germany, has appointed Janneke de Vries as its new director. He has served as director of the Gesellschaft Society for Contemporary Art in Bremen since 2008 and begins his new role in October. (Artforum)


After California Fires, Museums Reconsider Disaster Plans – Following the natural disaster that has ripped through the Los Angeles area, museums are planning for the worst. One reporter tagged along on an evacuation exercise conducted by the Smithsonian in Washington, DC. (The Atlantic)

Is Venice Older Than We Thought? – More than 1,000 peach stones found under St. Mark’s Basilica in Venice may prove that the city is 200 years older than previously believed. Because the stones grow in just one year, scientists believe they are perfect for carbon dating; the archaeologist responsible for the discovery described it as “hitting the jackpot.” (Daily Mail)

Maurizio Cattelan Invades Museum Gift Shops – The artist’s latest project: “Made in Catteland,” a series of scarves that will hit international museum gift shops and e-shops soon. New York’s MoMA and Guggenheim, Basel’s Fondation Beyeler, and Iran’s Pejman Foundation will all carry the arty scarves. (Press release)

MADE IN CATTELAND. Museums League. Image Courtesy Pierpaolo Ferrari.

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