Art Industry News: Beyoncé Is Hatching a Mysterious New Project That Required Her to Borrow Art From Her Mom + Other Stories

Plus, the CEO of auction house Bonhams steps down and artist Adam Pendleton prepares to take over MoMA's atrium.

Tyler Mitchell's portrait of Beyoncé for Vogue magazine. Courtesy of the artist.

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 Tuesday, February 11.


Adam Pendleton Will Take Over MoMA’s Atrium – The artist Adam Pendleton will transform the New York museum’s atrium into an immersive Black Dadaist experience this summer. He is creating a multimedia collage for his installation Who is the Queen?, combining audio recordings of artists and curators from MoMA’s archives with hip-hop music and other sound clips, including recordings of Black Lives Matter protests. Daily live performances will include readings by civil rights activists and poets, as well as musical events. The artist is due to take over the prestigious space from July 25 through October 4. (New York Times)

Dealer Susanne Vielmetter Slams Empty Talk About Equality – The LA-based, German-born gallerist says there is a lot of “empty talk” about gender equality, but most big galleries don’t represent more female artists “because money is still in the hands of men.” Vielmetter is optimistic, however, about how the “big four,” referring to Pace, Gagosian, David Zwirner, and Hauser & Wirth, are keen to share representation of artists who want to stay loyal to her pioneering gallery. “There’s no need to be cut-throat,” Vielmetter says. “We need to work together.” (The Art Newspaper)

Tina Knowles-Lawson Loans Art for Beyoncé’s New Project – The collector confesses she misses the art she loaned to her daughter, Beyoncé, to use for a not-yet-disclosed-but-likely-to-be-amazing-because-it’s-Beyoncé special project. Tina Knowles-Lawson revealed that there are now lots of empty spaces in her LA home. “I’m looking at my walls and it just makes me sad, because I miss seeing all my babies there,” she says. Knowles-Lawson, who is also the co-founder of LA-based nonprofit Where Art Can Occur Theater Center, made a concerted effort to expose her children to art when they were growing up. “It is really important to surround your children, growing up African-American, with images of positive reinforcement and not the traditional ideas of what commercials say beauty is,” she says. “It really makes a difference in your life.” (Wall Street Journal)

Call for a Mural to Honor the Victims of Jack the Ripper – A feminist historian has launched a campaign for a permanent mural to commemorate the victims of the Victorian serial killer. Hallie Rubenhold wants a public artwork in Whitechapel as an alternative to the commercial tours that continue to sensationalize the unsolved murders of five women. She shared the idea on Twitter alongside an image of a temporary work of urban art in the East End commissioned to promote her book, which celebrates the poverty stricken women’s lives rather than focusing on their gruesome deaths. (Guardian)


Bonhams CEO Steps Down – Bonham’s chief executive since 2014, Matthew Girling, is leaving the auction house. Executive director Bruno Vinciguerra, who joined the auction house when after it was acquired by private equity group Epiris in 2018, will take over Girling’s role of global CEO. Girling, who started out as a jewelry specialist, had been at Bonhams for more than three decades. (Antiques Trade Gazette)

Highland Sword Found in a Garage Sells for $38,000 – A 600-year-old sword flew past its low estimate of $258 to sell for $38,000. The rusty weapon with a broken tip, which is believed to have been used by a Scottish mercenary, was snapped up by a Canadian buyer at Hutchinson Scott auction house in Yorkshire, the North of England. (Daily Mail)

Flowers Gallery Goes Ahead With Hong Kong Expansion – The London-based Flowers Gallery is expanding to Hong Kong this spring although the impact of coronavirus means an opening date is still to be confirmed. The gallery is marking its 50th anniversary in London with a show opening on February 11 of 50 works by 50 artists. (Press release)

More Hong Kong Cultural Events Are Postponed – Meanwhile, other art and market events in Hong Kong and beyond have been postponed due to the coronavirus, including the Hong Kong Arts Festival and Bonhams’ March sales in Hong Kong. The auction house has also rescheduled its Asia Week sales in New York from March to June. (Press release, South China Morning Post)


Museum Dhondt-Dhaenens Names New Director – The Museum Dhondt-Dhaenens in Deurle, Belgium, has named Antony Hudek as its next general director. He takes up the post on February 17. Hudek succeeds Joost Declercq, who had held the post for 10 years. His contract was not renewed after a dispute with the board over a proposed expansion. (Artforum)

Collage Artist Irwin Kremen Has Died – The artist and Duke University psychology professor Irwin Kremen died on February 5. Klaus von Nichtssagend Gallery has announced that Kremen, who was known for his abstract collages of painted materials, will have a final show at the New York gallery opening on May 15. (ARTnews)


The 2020 Calder Prize Winner Is Announced – The Berlin-based artist Rosa Barba, whose work meditates on the formal properties of film, has won the $50,000 Calder Prize, which will additionally see her work placed in a public institution. The biannual award is given out by the Calder Foundation to an artist who is continuing the legacy of the Alexander Calder. (ARTnews)

Russian Prankster Captures Candid Takes on Putin – A Russian prankster glued an enormous portrait of the Russian president Vladimir Putin inside a residential elevator, and installed a camera to capture people’s reaction to the work. Most appeared upset by the intervention, speculating that Putin might be watching them through it, with one commenting: “This is a nightmare.” (Moscow Times)


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