Art Industry News: David Zwirner Moves Into L.A., Completing the Mega-Gallery Takeover of the City + Other Stories

Plus, the Hammer taps curators for the next Made in L.A. biennial, and the Barnes is showing its Native art collection for the first time.

David Zwirner speaks during the
David Zwirner speaks during the "Yayoi Kusama: Give Me Love" press preview at David Zwirner on May 9, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Andrew Toth/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 on this Friday, February 18.


Barnes to Show Native Art Collection for the First Time – The Barnes Foundation in Philadelphia will highlight its little-known collection of Native art, assembled by founder Albert C. Barnes between 1929 and 1931. The institution will showcase the objects alongside 27 contemporary artworks by Native artists in “Water, Wind, Breath: Southwest Native Art in Community,” which opens at the Philadelphia institution on February 20. (Philadelphia Inquirer)

Jordanian Artist Mona Saudi Dies – The celebrated Jordanian sculptor, who used stone to create graceful compositions based in simple forms, has died at age 76. Her works are in the collections of the British Museum in London, the Institut du Monde Arabe in Paris, and others. (The Art Newspaper)

David Zwirner Is Going to L.A., Too – Not be left out, the mega-gallery has also decided it too will open up shop in California. (Eagle-eyed readers may recall we first revealed their plans last April.) The official announcement comes on the heels of Pace’s merger with Kayne Griffin in L.A. and Hauser & Wirth’s plans to open a second space in West Hollywood. Zwirner nabbed a three-building gallery in East Hollywood that will open in January 2023 with an exhibition of work by local art star Njideka Akunyili Crosby. All this mega-gallery migration may make local stalwarts like David Kordansky and Blum & Poe nervous; they’ll have to fight to keep their market share for artists also represented by the new arrivals. (New York Times, The Art Newspaper)

Charles Ray Gets a Pan – The L.A.-based artist is having a moment, with an acclaimed show on view at the Met in New York as well as two in Paris and one at Glenstone in Maryland. But critic Sebastian Smee is not convinced. “You cannot easily say what he is getting at without playing academic parlor games and resorting to cant words like ‘problematize’ and ‘liminal,'” he writes. “The works… for all their shininess, look as lifeless as ash.” (Washington Post)


Made in L.A. Biennial Names Curators – Diana Nawi and Pablo José Ramírez will curate the sixth iteration of the Hammer Museum’s Made in L.A. biennial, which opens September 23, 2023. The L.A.-based Nawi is a guest curator at the Contemporary Austin in Texas and Ramírez is adjunct curator of First Nations and Indigenous art at Tate Modern. (Artforum)

MoMA to Stage Major ​​Wolfgang Tillmans Show – New Yorkers will get their first-ever museum survey of Berlin-based photographer Wolfgang Tillmans. “To look without fear” opens at MoMA on September 12, 2022. (Press release)

Indigenous Slavery Research Project Gets $1.5 Million – The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation is funding a three-year, $1.5 million initiative to conduct research into the slavery of Indigenous people in the U.S. It is estimated that between 150,000 and 340,000 Indigenous people were enslaved between 1490 and 1750, though their stories are often left out of history books. (TAN)

Sotheby’s Is Selling a $48 Million Blue Diamond – A blue diamond unearthed in Africa in 2021 will go on sale at Sotheby’s in a jewelry sale planned in Hong Kong in April. The exceedingly rare gem is expected to sell for $48 million. (ARTnews)


Chris Burden Installation Is a Hit at Frieze L.A. – Every art fair worth its salt has one artwork that becomes a selfie magnet. At Frieze L.A., that work is Chris Burden’s Dreamer’s Folly. Gagosian was showing the 2020 cast-iron gazebo structure, which has benches inside for visitors and is made of the same material as his celebrated light installation outside LACMA, for the first time in the U.S. It sold during the VIP preview to a major European institution. (Los Angeles Times)


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