Art Industry News: Fearless Girl Will Stay in NYC for All Eternity + More Must-Read Stories

Plus, Christie's will sell the blue-chip Tisch Collection and the Louvre Abu Dhabi turns its art into billboards.

The statue known as Fearless Girl in New York City's financial district. Photo by Jewel Samad/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 Friday, February 16.


Incredible Rock Art Discovered in Saudi Arabian Desert – Archeologists have uncovered around a dozen life-size, 2,000-year-old carvings of camels and two carvings of donkeys in the Saudi Arabian desert. The discovery may offer insight into the development of rock art on the Arabian Peninsula. (New York Times)

Critics Oppose Decision to Postpone Wodiczko’s Projection – Out of respect for those affected by the school shooting on Wednesday in Florida, the Hirshhorn Museum in Washington, DC, postponed a projection by Krzysztof Wodiczko that features a large image of a gun. But critic Philip Kennicott writes that the misguided decision “plays into a fundamental misunderstanding of how artworks like this operate.” (The Washington Post)

Fearless Girl Is Not Going Anywhere, Ever – Sources tell Adweek that Fearless Girl, the controversial sculpture of a young woman installed facing Charging Bull last year, will become a permanent fixture in New York City. Yet to be determined is whether the girl and the bull—now considered inseparable—will be relocated to a spot better suited to accommodate the crowds they generate. (Adweek)

Kehinde Wiley Comes Under Fire for Past Paintings – Some in conservative corners of the media were scandalized to learn that before painting the former US president’s official portrait, Kehinde Wiley created two images of black women holding up the decapitated heads of white women. The paintings are modern interpretations of Renaissance works by Caravaggio and Gentileschi that reinterpret the Biblical story of Judith beheading Holofernes. Twitter users had witty responses to the discovery. (Daily Mail)


Christie’s to Sell $80 Million Tisch Collection – Paintings by Picasso, Miró and Willem de Kooning that belonged to the late billionaire couple Joan and Preston Robert Tisch may fetch more than $80 million at Christie’s May sales in New York. Proceeds from the 40 works—described by art dealer Brett Gorvy as “one of those great, old-school New York collections”—will go to the Tisch family’s charitable foundations. (Bloomberg)

UK Dealers Risk Big Data Protection Fines – There is widespread confusion over how the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)—which protects European Union citizens against privacy and data breaches—applies to mailing lists and other personal data held by British art dealers and auction houses. Art businesses are racing for clarity before the regulation becomes law on May 25; potential fines could be as high as $25 million. (The Art Newspaper​)

Seattle Art Fair Names Nato Thompson Artistic Director – Thompson is the latest museum curator to moonlight for an art fair. The director of the new Philadelphia Contemporary and former artistic director of Creative Time will organize site-specific, large-scale installations and a talks program for the Seattle Art Fair in August. (Press release)​

Berlin Art Week Changes Dates – The annual Berlin art event is moving to the end of September to coincide with Art Berlin, which has also shifted its dates, and this year runs from September 27 to 30. Art Berlin is also switching locations and will now be held at the disused Tempelhof airport. Visitors will have to decide between the Berlin fair and viennacontemporary, which overlap. (Monopol)


Leading Candidate for Met Job Heads to Botanical Garden – Carrie Rebora Barratt, the Met Museum’s deputy director for collections and administrations, is leaving the museum after 30 years for the New York Botanical Garden, where she has been named its first female president. The move upends speculation that Barratt was in line to succeed Thomas P. Campbell as director of the Met. (NYT)

Inaugural Frieze Artist Prize Awarded – Canadian artist Kapwani Kiwanga has won the new Luma Foundation-supported award for emerging artists. With a budget of up to $30,000, Kiwanga will create a large-scale, open-air sculptural installation at Frieze New York from May 4 to 6. Her project was selected from an international call that generated hundreds of applications. (Press release)

Rashid Johnson Wins AAM’s 2018 Award – The Aspen Art Museum’s Aspen Award for Art will be awarded to the New York-based artist at the museum’s annual “ArtCrush” fundraising benefit on August 3. Johnson will also have a solo show at AAM in the summer of 2019. (Press release)

Henie Onstad Kunstsenter Taps Photography Curator – Susanne Østby Sæther will take up a new role as curator of photography and new media at the Norwegian art center on August 1. She previously served as an external curator for the museum. (Artforum)


Louvre Abu Dhabi Turns Its Collection Into Billboards – The Louvre Abu Dhabi has printed 10 massive billboards with images of artwork from its collection and peppered them along a 62-mile stretch of the emirate’s main highway. They are accompanied by 30-second radio broadcasts about the works. The project has been called the world’s first guided highway gallery. (TAN)

Rockwell Family Pulls Out of Berkshire Lawsuit – Rockwell’s sons have withdrawn their objections to the Berkshire Museum’s controversial plan to sell off 40 works from its collection. Their decision comes after the Berkshire reached an agreement with the Massachusetts attorney general that would allow it to sell Rockwell’s Shuffleton’s Barbershop to another US museum, where it would remain on public view. (ARTnews)

Knight Foundation Launches Art-Tech Challenge – The Knight Foundation has launched a national open call for new ideas about how American cultural institutions can use technology to connect people with the arts. Winners will be awarded up to $50,000 from the Knight Prototype Fund, with a total of $1 million up for grabs. The deadline is March 6; winners will be announced in May. (Press release)

Tate Britain Will Stage Van Gogh Blockbuster – Van Gogh’s brief time in London as a young art dealer—and his long-term influence on British artists—will be the subject of a major exhibition at Tate Britain in 2019. The show will present more than 40 works by Van Gogh, including the rarely loaned Sunflowers (1888), as well as paintings by other British artists including Walter Sickert and Francis Bacon. (Press release)


On February 28th, Phillips will kick off the 2018 auction season in New York with its “New Now” sale, the first of Phillips’s 20th Century & Contemporary Art auctions to include Latin American works since the announcement of the house’s full incorporation of the two categories. In recent seasons, Phillips began offering Latin American works within the context of 20th Century & Contemporary sales, setting record prices for works by Carmen Herrera, Hélio Oiticica, and Mira Schendel. The upcoming “New Now” sale will offer a group of Cuban lots from a private collection, including works by Los Carpinteros, Armando Mariño, and Carlos Garaicoa.

Here are some highlights from the upcoming sale:

Carlos Garaicoa
Rivoli (The Place Where Blood Flows)
lightbox and chromogenic print
19 3 / 4 x 19 3 / 4 x 5 in. ( 5 0.2 x 5 0.2 x 12.7 cm.)
Executed in 2002, this work is number 1 from an
edition of 3.
Estimate: $8,000 -12,000

Carlos Alfonzo
acrylic on paper
32 x 5 0 in. (81. 3 x 127 cm.)
Executed in 1989.
Estimate: $8,000 -12,000

Los Carpinteros
Sala de Lectura Ovalada (Oval Reading Room)
watercolor on paper
29 7/ 8 x 4 3 7/ 8 in. ( 75.9 x 111.4 cm.)
Executed in 2011.
Estimate: $12,000-18,000

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