Art Industry News: Astute Honey Bees Can Learn to Differentiate Between Works of Art in a Single Afternoon + Other Stories

Plus, the Royal Academy in London names a new CEO and Art Basel releases its 2019 exhibitor list.

A bee collects pollen on a blossom during sunny summer weather in Christchurch, New Zealand on December 29, 2018. This is what he does when he's not visiting museums. (Photo by Sanka Vidanagama/NurPhoto via 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 Wednesday, February 13.


Marina Abramović Picks Female Artists for Forbes‘s 30 Under 30 – The performance artist was a judge for Forbes‘s list of 30 under 30 European creatives. Art figures in the class of 2019 with Abramović’s stamp of approval include four artists: Hannah Rose Thomas, Issy Woods, Katja Seib, and Valeria Palmeiro (better known as Coco Dávez). The gallerists who co-founded Unit London, Johnny Burt and Joe Kennedy, are also identified as future movers and shakers. (Forbes)

Ai Weiwei and Frank Gehry Compare Notes – In a wide-ranging conversation, the Chinese artist who has designed buildings and the American architect whose buildings are works of sculpture talk about architecture, Legos, and spending time in jail. Gehry reveals that he spent a night behind bars many years ago after being busted for a bag of marijuana he picked up for a date at a rock concert. Ai remarks that “it would be nice to design a jail.” The pair also describe their other aspirations: Ai would like to design a museum, while Gehry would like to design “a new kind of Lego.” (T Magazine)

Are Honey Bees Art Connoisseurs? – As part of the Great Australian Bee Challenge, researchers showed bees paintings by Claude Monet and an Australian Indigenous artist Noŋgirrŋa Marawili, rewarding them for landing on the latter with a drop of sugar water and giving them a bitter flavor for landing on the former. Researchers then removed the reward system and showed the bees new works by both artists. The critters consistently landed on the Marawili, suggesting that they are quick to learn and classify visual information. (Quartzy)

Iranian Photographer Hits Back at Trump’s Twitter Appropriation – Yalda Moayeri, the Iranian photojournalist whose image of a Tehran student protest was tweeted out by the US President without permission, is furious. She took to Instagram to complain that sanctions have made her family and other Iranians poor—and even if she had the money, she would be unable to visit her father in the US because of Trump’s travel ban. Moayeri won the Iranian Photojournalists Association’s first prize last year for the dramatic image. (New York Times)


Art Basel Releases Its 2019 Exhibitor List – The 290 galleries heading to Basel in June include 19 newcomers, among them David Lewis Gallery (New York), which will present work by Thornton Dial, and Project Native Informant (London), which will show Hal Fischer’s work in the Feature section. Meanwhile, Galerie Pietro Spartà; Peres Projects, Société, Wentrup, Hollybush Gardens, Sprovieri, and P.P.O.W. are all graduating to the main section and Gianni Jetzer will curate the Unlimited section for his eighth and final year. (ARTnews)

Tribeca Gallery Launches Gallery Walk – The first annual Tribeca Gallery Walk is due to take place on Sunday, March 10th from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. to coincide with the nearby Independent New York fair. The walk is organized by Redwood Property Group in partnership with Independent. “Northeast Tribeca represents an exciting alternative to West Chelsea due to numerous integral features,” says Jonathan Travis, who has represented many of the new gallery transplants to the neighborhood. (Press release)

Teresa Margolles Is Now Represented by James Cohen – The New York gallery is now representing the Mexican conceptual artist and former mortician Teresa Margolles. Her work often responds to the country’s gang violence and drug war, often incorporating human remains or debris from crime scenes.  (Press release)


The Royal Academy Picks a New CEO – The Royal Academy of Arts in London has named Axel Rüger, the director of the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, as its new secretary and chief executive. He will assume the role in June 2019, taking over from Sir Charles Saumarez Smith, who stepped down at the end of 2018. (Press release)

Cindy Sherman Wins the Max Beckmann Prize – The artist has won the 2019 edition of the prestigious prize, which is awarded every three years by the city of Frankfurt am Main. The €50,000 ($57,000) prize recognizes outstanding performance in the arts. (Press release)

Dallas Contemporary Names New Curatorial Team – Laurie Ann Farrell has been named the new senior curator of Dallas Contemporary. She previously served as the curator of Modern and contemporary art at the Detroit Institute of Arts and begins her new role on April 1. She will join a team including curatorial assistants Caroline Elbaor (an artnet News alumna who helped organize the museum’s Jeremy Scott retrospective) and Emily Edwards (formerly of the 9/11 Memorial Museum in New York). (Press release)

Artist and Author Tomi Ungerer Dies at 87 – The writer and artist died on February 8 at his daughter’s home in Cork, Ireland. Ungerer, who was also a sculptor, painter, and printmaker, published and illustrated more than 140 books. He specialized in satire but was perhaps best known for his children’s fiction, for which he won the Hans Christian Andersen Award in 1998. (Washington Post)


Cory Arcangel Brings a Pop-Up Shop to LA – The artist is bringing a temporary version of his lifestyle store Arcangel Surfware to Dover Street Market in Los Angeles during Frieze Week. From February 16 to March 6, visitors can buy clothes featuring screen prints of Arcangel’s work, as well as items made with excess fabric from his scanner paintings. The store is designed just like his flagship in the town of Stavanger, Norway, where Arcangel is based. (ARTnews)

Edmund de Waal Plans Venice Ghetto Project – The British artist will create a “library” of 2,000 books by writers in exile in the former Jewish Ghetto of Venice during this year’s Biennale. In addition, inside a historic synagogue in the city’s Jewish Museum, he plans to create an installation inspired by the site’s musical and literary heritage. The artist is best known for his ceramics and memoir about his Jewish heritage, The Hare with Amber Eyes. (The Art Newspaper)

Archeologists Uncover Ancient Workshop – Egypt’s antiquities ministry has announced that archeologists have found an ancient ship repair workshop, dating back to the Ptolemaic era, in Northern Sinai. The site includes two dry dockyards where ships were worked on as early as 332 B.C. to 30 B.C. (AP)

Mickalene Thomas Shoots the Cover of Out Magazine – The photographer shot five black, queer, and trans women for Out’s March issue honoring Women’s History Month guest-edited by Janet Mock. The issue only featured, and was entirely created by, women and non-binary femmes. The group photographed by Thomas—dubbed the Mothers and Daughters of the Movement—includes activist Miss Major Griffin-Gracy and the filmmaker and artist Tourmaline, among others. (Out)


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