Art Industry News: David Hockney’s Younger Brother Wrote a Book About His Fabulously Free-Thinking Family + Other Stories

Plus, a lawsuit against the Obama Presidential Center will proceed and Miami's convention center unveils a star-studded suite of public artworks.

David Hockney in 2018. Photo by Victoria Jones - WPA Pool/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 20.


Obama Center Lawsuit Gets the Green Light – The City of Chicago has failed to stop a lawsuit brought by the group Protect Our Parks and area taxpayers opposing the planned Obama Presidential Center. A federal judge has allowed the suit, which protests the transfer of land from the city to the Obama Foundation, to proceed. In the process, however, Judge Blakey rejected two additional parts of the lawsuit that focused on the aesthetics of the museum and the fear that the building would cause environmental harm to Jackson Park. (Courthouse News)

Meet the Artists Fighting Climate Change – The artist Michel Comte, who has been campaigning against ecological degradation since the 1970s, is planning a light installation in the Arctic that calls on the world to act before it is too late. He is now part of a growing number of artists raising awareness about the dangers of climate change. At the same time, however, many art institutions have been slow to end sponsorship deals with big oil. (Guardian)

David Hockney’s Youngest Brother Writes a Family Portrait – John Hockney has written a book about his famous older brother, parents, and siblings. Due to be published in the fall, The Hockneys includes private pictures taken by David Hockney alongside accounts of growing up in the North of England in an atypical family. The book’s subtitle, “Never Worry What the Neighbors Think,” was something their father used to tell his four children. The family is full of creatives: John is a musician, Margaret was a nurse who now paints, and Paul is a former mayor of their home city of Bradford who died last year. (Guardian)

Fake Marsden Hartley Could Be Part of a Bigger Scandal – A pharmaceutical company suspects that its corporate collection might be riddled with fakes. Abbott Laboratories is suing to recover a painting by Marsden Hartley that was at some point swapped with a forgery. The company was surprised to learn that the real painting had been lent by the collector Carol Feinberg to the Wadsworth Atheneum and two other US museums. Feinberg’s lawyers say she and her late husband bought the painting in good faith and accuse the company of harassing “a little old lady.” (The Art Newspaper)


Miami Convention Center Unveils Public Art – Works by Ellen Harvey, Joseph Kosuth, Joep van Lieshout, and Sarah Morris will be unveiled in April in Miami Beach. They are part of a $7.5 million public art commission program for the revamped convention center, joining a soundscape by Bill Fontana and a mural by Franz Ackermann that have already been installed. Still to come: a gravity-defying swimming pool sculpture by Elmgreen & Dragset. (New York Observer)

Gagosian to Present a Murakami Mural for the Oscars – The Japanese artist is premiering new works for Gagosian’s annual “Oscars Show”—aka the show with the legendary after-party—in its Beverly Hills space. Murakami’s debut in the LA gallery includes a new work measuring 50 feet long, while other new paintings will incorporate what the artist describes as his “rambling texts” on social media. (Hollywood Reporter)

Sotheby’s Releases the Full List for Its All-Female Auction – Forty works by 38 female artists will go on sale in a charity auction at Sotheby’s on March 1. A collaboration between Oprah Winfrey, Agnes Gund, and Miss Porter’s School, the sale include pieces by Carmen Herrera, Jenny Holzer, and Pat Steir, among others. (Art Market Monitor)

Marianne Boesky Names a New Director – Stephanie Gabriel is leaving Lehmann Maupin Gallery, where she oversaw its expansion in Asia, to join Marianne Boesky Gallery in New York. She is joined by Sara Putterman, who leaves Sotheby’s to become the gallery’s new marketing and communications coordinator. (ARTnews)


The National Gallery Unveils a Cranach Gift – The London gallery has acquired Lucas Cranach the Elder’s Venus and Cupid (1529), which was gifted by the Drue Heinz Charitable Trust in the name of the late collector and arts patron Drue Heinz. The Renaissance master’s work will be on view at the gallery, which already owns another version of Cranach’s painting of the mythological figures, beginning today. (Press release)

Pakistan and Zimbabwe Announce Venice Biennale Picks – The London- and Karachi-based artist Naiza Khan will represent Pakistan in the country’s inaugural Venice Biennale. Her presentation will explore life on the island of Manora, which has been described as a microcosm of Pakistan. Meanwhile, Zimbabwe will be represented by artists Kudzanai-Violet Hwami, Neville Starling, Georgina Maxim, and Cosmas Shiridzinomwa in a show titled “Soko Risina Musoro.” (TAN, ARTnews)

Star MFA Boston Curator Heads to Princeton – Ronni Bear, who has served as the MFA Boston’s senior curator of European paintings since 2000, is leaving her post. On May 1, she will succeed John Elderfield as the Allen Adler Distinguished Curator and Lecturer at Princeton University. The Dutch painting expert will broaden the Princeton University Art Museum’s work with European art and teach in the department of art and archeology. (Boston Globe)


Designer Thierry Mugler Finally Says Yes to a Museum Retrospective – After years of refusing to exhibit at museums from the Met to the V&A, the fashion designer has agreed to a retrospective at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. “Thierry Mugler: Couturissime” will open on March 2 and will include 150 outfits made between 1977 and 2014, including costumes made for Beyoncé and Cirque de Soleil. (WWD)

Police Raid Gallery After Mistaking Sculpture for Corpse – Police and paramedics raided The Factory art gallery in London after concerned citizens reported seeing a dead body inside. The body turned out to be a human figure made from wire and clothing that was part of artist Kollier Din Bangura’s installation referencing the plight of refugees in the UK. The artist was greeted by broken glass from the forced entry and a note explaining the confusion. (UPI)

Laurie Anderson and Hsin-Chien Huang Will Go to the Moon in VR – The Grammy Award-winning artist has collaborated once more with the Taiwanese new-media creator on a virtual reality artwork to be presented at Art Basel Hong Kong next month. Created to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the moon landing last year, To the Moon (presented by HTC VIVE Arts) will send audiences into outer space to explore the surface of the moon for 15 minutes. (Press release)

Laurie Anderson and Hsin-Chien Huang, still from To the Moon (2018). Courtesy Laurie Anderson/Hsin-Chien Huang.

Laurie Anderson and Hsin-Chien Huang, still from To the Moon (2018). Courtesy Laurie Anderson/Hsin-Chien Huang.

Laurie Anderson and Hsin-Chien Huang, still from To the Moon (2018). Courtesy Laurie Anderson/Hsin-Chien Huang.

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