Art Industry News: Does the 5Pointz Decision Actually Hurt Graffiti Artists? + More Must-Read Stories

Plus, Jimmy Iovine donates a Mark Bradford painting to LACMA and the embattled gallery Moran Bondaroff has a new name.

People walk in front of New York's graffiti iconic spot "5Pointz" as it stands defaced with white paint covering most of the art work, after the building was painted white in New York, November 19, 2013. Photo: EMMANUEL DUNAND/AFP/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, February 15.


Turner’s Descendants Angry at Tate for Dr. Martens Boots – The London museum’s decision to allow two of JMW Turner’s paintings to be reproduced in miniature on Dr. Martens’ boots—which sell for around $200 a pair—has upset three descendants of the artist, who say the deal cheapens his art. Tate says “it is common for artworks to be reproduced on objects and fashion.” (The Times)

FBI Tracks Down Suspect in Terracotta Warrior Thumb Theft – Who has three thumbs and a big problem? A Delaware man who allegedly broke off and stole a thumb from a Terracotta Warrior on loan to the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia during an after-hours party there in December. When the FBI’s art crime team confronted Michael Rohana, he handed the ancient Chinese digit back to an agent. (USA Today)

Why the 5Pointz Decision Is Bad for Art – Justin Davidson argues that the recent decision to award a group of graffiti artists $6.7 million for the destruction of their work at 5Pointz is not, in fact, a win for culture. What motivation will developers have to collaborate with artists if they think they may be fined millions of dollars when the collaboration comes to an end and new real estate inevitably gets built? (New York Magazine)

Degas Sculptures in Denver Show Challenged – The debate over Degas’s posthumous casts has surfaced again, this time in Denver. The city’s art museum has dismissed a critic’s claim that eight Degas sculptures (authorized casts created after the artist’s death) on loan from the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the Musée d’Orsay in Paris, and the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge, England, should be labeled as replicas. (Denver Post)


The First Edition of Dusseldorf Photo Opens – Germany’s newest photo festival opens tomorrow and is expected to become the largest in the region. The event, which runs from February 16 to 25, includes around 50 museum and gallery exhibitions focused on historical and contemporary photography by emerging and established artists. (Press release)

After Sexual Misconduct Scandal, Moran Bondaroff Has a New Name – Just over a week after the art dealer Aaron Bondaroff resigned from his gallery following accusations of inappropriate sexual behavior, his former business partners, brothers Al Moran and Mills Moran, have renamed the gallery. It is now called Moran Moran. The space was originally founded as OHWOW in 2008. (Website)

Why Are Galleries Organizing Residencies? – Residencies are not just for nonprofits anymore. After mega-gallery Hauser & Wirth launched a formal residency program—offering its artists a one- to three-month stay in Bruton, England—close to half a dozen others have followed its lead. The format offers artists time away from their day-to-day lives to focus on work—and, in some cases, provides galleries a handy way to avoid import taxes. (Artsy)


Smithsonian Adds Two New Board Members – Elizabeth A. Eisenstein and Deborah Willis have joined the board of commissioners at the Smithsonian for four-year terms. Eisenstein has in the past been on the board at Georgetown University, and Willis, an art historian, chairs NYU’s department of photo and imaging at the Tisch School of the Arts. (ARTnews)

Portland Museum Acquires Homer Works – The Berger Collection Educational Trust has donated 12 19th-century paintings by Winslow Homer to the Portland Museum of Art in Maine. The museum also owns the Winslow Homer Studio on the Maine coast. (Star Tribune)

Metropolitan Museum Curatorial Position Endowed – Lawyer and art collector Aaron I. Fleischman has endowed a curatorial position in the Met’s department of modern and contemporary art. Ian Alteveer, who has been working at the museum since 2006, is the first to occupy the role. (Artforum)

Swiss Witch Museum Gets $1 Million From Anonymous Patron – The Anna Göldi Museum in Switzerland, named for Europe’s last witch, has received a $1.1 million gift from an anonymous patron to enable the museum, which currently shutters for the winter, to stay open year-round. (Swiss Info)


Russian Artist’s French Detention Extended – Pyotr Pavlensky’s detention in France has been extended by four more months. The controversial Russian performance artist, who set fire to a bank lobby in Paris, went on a 13-day hunger strike while in custody. Pavlensky’s past actions include sewing his mouth shut, nailing his scrotum to Red Square, and setting fire to the Lubyanka Building in Moscow. (The Art Newspaper)

Boston Art School Hosts Students Affected by Hurricane Maria – Ten Puerto Rican art students, many of whom lost their entire portfolios in the storm, have been offered a fully funded semester at MassArt college while their own school is being rebuilt. In the past, MassArt has hosted students displaced by Hurricane Katrina as well as the fire at Glasgow’s Mackintosh School Of Art. (Hyperallergic)

Jimmy Iovine Donates Bradford Work to LACMA – The music industry mogul and his wife, Liberty Ross, will donate Mark Bradford’s 150 Portrait Tone to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. The large-scale text painting, made out of excerpts from a 2016 video of the police shooting of Philando Castile, has been on view at the museum since October last year. (Hollywood Reporter)

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