Art Industry News: Los Angeles Is Now the Artist Capital of the US + More Must-Read Stories

Plus, a "People's Biennale" in Cuba and why Ultra Violet is Pantone’s color of the year.

The Broad Art Museum illuminated in the colors of Los Angeles sunset. Photo by Kevork Djansezian/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 8.


Why Ultra Violet is Pantone’s Color of the Year – Ultra Violet is the color of 2018, Pantone has declared. It “communicates originality, ingenuity and visionary thinking,” says Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute. The color was a fave of Frank Lloyd Wright, Wagner, and, of course, Prince. (New York Times)

Jens Hoffmann’s Suspensions Multiply In the wake of sexual misconduct allegations at the Jewish Museum in New York, the star curator has now been suspended by Milan-based Mousse magazine as an editor-at-large. Fundación Arte in Buenos Aires has suspended him as artistic director, and his involvement in the People’s Biennial organized by the Indianapolis Museum of Contemporary of Art is on hold, as well. (ARTnews)

LA Beats New York As Art Hub – New York is not America’s leading art center if you compare the places artists actually work, according to guru urbanist Richard Florida. Granted, he defines artist very broadly: “employed and self-employed fine artists (including painters, sculptors, and illustrators), craft artists, multimedia artists and animators, and other artists and related workers.” By these terms, Los Angeles is now the US art capital—more specifically, Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim—with 23,941 jobs to New York’s 22,746. (Citylab)

Organizations Rally Behind Balthus – The National Coalition Against Censorship backs the Met’s decision to keep Balthus’s controversial painting Therese Dreaming (1938) on view, despite an online petition asking that it “reconsider” how it displays the painting of a young girl. So does PEN America. Both groups believe that attacking art shuts down the “necessary debates that lead to reform.” (Newsweek)


Has The Art Market Gone Mad? Salvator Mundi might be going to the Louvre Abu Dhabi, but it is “horrifying” that millions of dollars of great art is stored in free ports, or “luxurious high-security prisons,” writes Jan Dalley. Booming art storage, rocketing prices for trophy art, and guaranteed auction records are among the “crazy consequence of crazy market forces.” (Financial Times)

Carolin Eidner Wins Artadia-NADA Prize – The jury of the Artadia and New Art Dealers Alliance (NADA) award picked Carolin Eidner, who has a solo booth at Nathalie Hugat at the 2017 edition of the Miami fair. Düsseldorf-based Eidner is the first European artist to win the $5,000 prize. (Artforum)

Four LA Artists Reveal How They First Made Real Money – Career-making lucky breaks come in many forms: Scott Hove landed a $18,000 commission from Comme des Garçons, while Ugo Nonis’s met his first collectors at a dinner party by chance. Husband-and-wife duo Kozyndan simply had a good idea: They hit paydirt with limited-edition prints inspired by Hokusai’s The Great Wave, replacing the foam of the wave with scrambling white rabbits. (CKET)

BMW Art Journey Announces Shortlist – A.K. Burns, Jamal Cyrus, and Mariela Scafati, who are all presenting work in Art Basel Miami Beach’s emerging artist sector, Positions, have been shortlisted for the BMW Art Journey. All three must now develop a proposal for their ideal journey. The winner will be announced early next year. (Press release)


Show Goes On at Late Hong Kong Tycoon’s Gallery Hong Kong property mogul, museum founder, and collector George Wong Kin-wah died suddenly this weekend—but his gallery, Parkview Hong Kong in Central, is going ahead with its relaunch as a space selling Chinese abstract art. (South China Morning Post)

Speed Art Museum Fires More Staff – The newly reopened Louisville museum will close its gift shop and lay off all four of its employees. This comes after seven employees were let go in August 2016. Museum director Stephen Reily denies financial troubles, saying that the layoffs just “fine tuning.” (Insider Louisville)

Coventry Will Be UK City of Culture 2021 – Beating out Swansea, Paisley, Stoke-on-Trent, and Sunderland, Coventry will take the four-year title over from Hull. Once the center of the British motor industry, and severely hit by the Second World War, the city hopes to boost its economy and change its reputation. (BBC News)

Laura Grisi (1939–2017) – The Italian pop artist, known for her work with neon, died on Wednesday. In 2018, her work will go to MASP São Paulo in a show, “Matrix for Actual Time.” (Artforum)


Cuban Artists Crowdfund For A “People’s” Biennial – When damage from Hurricane Irma prompted the government to postpone the Havana Biennial until 2019, Cuban artists began crowdfunding for an independent alternative set to run between May 5 and 15, 2018. The #00Bienal will be “the Havana Biennial for everyone,” and will champion street, Outsider, performance, digital art, conceptual art, and photography. (TAN)

New Book Gathers 50 Years of NASA Photos – Chronicle Books’s new release, The Planets, compiles 200 images from half a century of NASA’s archives, from ancient lava flows to hydrocarbon seas, accompanied by commentary from science writer Nirmala Nataraj. (WSJ)

Drones Scan Ancient Rock Art – Philip Riris, an archaeologist at the University College of London, is using drones loaded with photogrammetry cameras to capture 3D versions of the enormous rock art in the Atures Rapids in Venezuela. (National Geographic)

Interactive LED Head Puts Visitors’ Faces on View in Columbus – A 14-foot-tall interactive head sculpture in the Greater Columbus Convention Center called As We Are rotates through a face database of Columbus residents and museum visitors and projects them onto 24 bands of LED screens. The Matthew Mohr creation lets visitors pose for a photo that will be featured on the work. (Colossal)

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