Art Industry News: Benjamin Genocchio Is Officially Out for Good at the Armory Show + More Must-Read Stories

Plus, MOCAD suspends Jens Hoffman too and a missing Constable painting is found under the stairs.

Benjamin Genocchio. Photo: Sarah Cascone.

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 Wednesday, December 6.


Peter Doig Gets the New Yorker Treatment – The Trinidad-based painter opens up to Calvin Tomkins about his latest work after torrid years in which he got divorced, his father died, and he had to convince a judge that he didn’t paint a work by “Peter Doige” as a teen. Doig says the millions mega-collectors pay for his works on the secondary market is “disgusting.” (The New Yorker)

MOCAD Suspends Jens Hoffmann Too – MOCA Detroit’s director, Elysia Borowy-Reeder, has confirmed that the star curator has been suspended from the museum following allegations of sexual misconduct at the Jewish Museum that surfaced on Monday. “Jens is on unpaid leave of absence until this is settled to our satisfaction,” she said. The Honolulu Biennial has also terminated its relationship with Hoffmann, while the Kadist Foundation has suspended projects with him. (artnet News, ARTnews)

Benjamin Genocchio Out for Good at Armory Show – When Nicole Berry assumed the role of director of the Armory Show following Genocchio’s departure amid accusations of sexual harassment, it was unclear whether the replacement was temporary or permanent. Her first interview as director makes it clear that Berry, the former deputy director of Expo Chicago, is in the role for good. She laid out a vision that includes more curated booths and a day-long “Curatorial Summit” at the New York fair. (ARTnews)

Kim K’s Instagram Reignites Furor Over Nude Taylor Swift Sculpture – For some reason, Kim Kardashian decided to share anew a year-old image of herself at LA’s Blum & Poe gallery, inspecting husband Kanye West’s controversial sculptural installation depicting a bed full of nude celebrities, including Taylor Swift. The post bore the caption “famous,” which is the name of West’s waxwork. Thousands of enraged Swift fans stormed Kim’s Instagram with rat emoji. (People)


New Venue for Mexico City Art Fair – The fifth iteration of Material Art Fair will move from the Expo Reforma convention center to Frontón México, a newly renovated art deco site, for its 2018 edition, which runs February 8 to 11 (opposite the Zona Maco fair). Material has also added about 25 exhibitors. (ARTnews)

Lynette Yiadom-Boakye’s Paintings Inspire ‘Market Frenzy’ – The London artist’s secondary market is blowing up. Last month’s contemporary auctions saw 3 of her paintings sell over 2 days at Sotheby’s, with The Hours Behind You (2011) beating its high estimate of $350,000 to sell for $1.575 million, and the artist making $460,000 on two other paintings. (Bloomberg)

Charles LeDray Represented by Peter Freeman – The New York gallery now represents the sculptor, who is known for his miniature sculptures such as diminutive ceramic vases and mini clothing racks featuring different fabrics. (ARTnews)

Blum & Poe to Rep Tomoo Gokita – The contemporary gallery with locations in Los Angeles, New York, and Tokyo, now represents the graphic designer turned artist known for his grayscale paintings that evoke pop culture references and noir detective fiction. (Press release)


Will S. Smith to Lead Art in America – Smith has been appointed editor of the prominent magazine, moving up from a previous post as senior editor. He has been the interim editor since Lindsay Pollock stepped down in May. (ARTnews)

New Director and Chief Curator at Parsons – Christiane Paul has been named director and chief curator at Sheila C. Johnson Design Center (SJDC) at Parsons School of Design. Previously, Paul was a professor in the School of Media Studies at The New School and adjunct curator of digital art at the Whitney Museum of American Art. (Press release)

Fair Brane Wins New Lesbian Film Grant – Los Angeles-based painter and filmmaker Fair Brane has been awarded the first annual Barbara Hammer Lesbian Experimental Filmmaking Grant, named for the famed experimental filmmaker. Brane’s work applied for the grant with a project entitled Drink More Water, a short essay film bringing together her interest in the intersection of race, power, and social relations. (Press release)

Blanton Completes Fundraising Campaign – Ellsworth Kelly’s Austin is now fully funded, after a successful campaign to raise $23 million. The freestanding structure will open to the public February 18th at the Blanton Museum of Art at the University of Texas. (Press release)


Controversial-ish “Casting Couch” Sculpture is Back on View in LA – Erika Rothenberg’s 2001 installation The Road to Hollywood, sited in an LA mall, features a rather suggestive daybed. It was removed and hidden (under a tarp in plain sight) in the wake of the Weinstein scandal, when observers found the allusion to a “casting couch” was offensive. The work has been returned to full view after a censorship controversy ensued over its removal. (LA Times)

Missing Painting by Constable Found Under the Stairs – John Constable’s preparatory oil sketch for the Opening of Waterloo Bridge was spotted by a Sotheby’s expert when visiting a client’s home in London on other business. Now, the rediscovered work goes on sale this week with an upper estimate of £1.5 million ($2 million). (Daily Telegraph)

Carnegie International Makes Commitment to Pay Artists Fairly – The upcoming edition of the Carnegie International has now been certified by W.A.G.E. (Working Artists and the Greater Economy), an organization that advocates for artists to receive fair compensation from institutions for the exhibition of their work. (Artforum)

Here’s An Online Gift Shop for Joke Salvator Mundi Merchandise – The “Real Salvator Mundi” website bills itself as “the ultimate art gift shop,” which is perfect if you’re looking for holiday gifts for all your friends who are auction news fanatics. Pick up a T-shirt, some playing cards, or, if you’re feeling splashy, one of the site’s “Contemporary Inspirations”: limited edition prints of Salvator Mundi-mocking memes, printed on canvas and mounted on wood. The proceeds also apparently go to charity, although it’s not yet clear which one! (

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