Art Industry News: Philip Guston’s Daughter Weighs in on the True Personal Meaning of His Most Controversial Paintings + Other Stories

Plus, the pandemic could cost Germany's culture industry €30 billion, and a former Met director makes the case against deaccessioning.

Philip Guston, Scared Stiff (1970), sold by Hauser & Wirth for $15 million at Art Basel in 2016. The Estate of Philip Guston, courtesy of the estate and Hauser & Wirth.

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 Monday, February 22.


Judge Dismisses Defamation Suit Over Forgery Case Coverage – A New Hampshire judge has dismissed a $250 million defamation suit filed against a number of media outlets for their coverage of a lawsuit over fake works by Leon Golub. Collector Andy Hall found that 24 works he bought from Lorettann and Nikolas Gascard were inauthentic, and won $500,000. The Gascards claimed some of the coverage of the case was defamatory and misleading; a judge disagreed. (Concord Monitor)

Thomas Campbell Makes the Case Against Deaccessioning – The former director of the Metropolitan Museum of Art has made a more formal case against deaccessioning (following a viral Instagram post that likened the practice to crack-cocaine addiction). By allowing museums to use the proceeds of art sales for purposes beyond buying more art, the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco head says the Association of Art Museum Directors has opened a Pandora’s box. “I fear that what was instituted as a temporary measure will become the norm; that the relaxation of the guidelines will undermine the AAMD’s authority to police deaccessioning in the future; that donor trust will be damaged,” he writes. (Apollo)

Musa Mayer Considers the Guston Controversy – On the occasion of the publication of Philip Guston, a new book about her father’s life and work, Musa Mayer reflects on the controversial postponement of a major Guston retrospective at four museums. She maintains the institutions pushed back the show out of fear, and that it was a mistake. The “paintings are essentially about white culpability—the culpability of all of us, including himself,” Mayer says. “That is why he referred to some of them as self-portraits. He wasn’t just pointing the finger at others, he was pointing it at himself. What hope is there if artists cannot examine theirselves?” (Guardian)

Brexit Means College Fees for EU Students Could Increase – Tuition fees for students from the European Union who wish to study in the UK will increase following Brexit. Beginning September 2021, EU students will have to pay the international student tuition for both undergraduate and postgraduate courses. Institutions are planning scholarships to help EU students offset costs, but they are likely to encounter red tape in getting UK loans and applying for visas. (The Art Newspaper)


London Collective Announces Second Sale – The digital platform Vortic is launching its second iteration of the London Collective, bringing together more than 20 London galleries, including Victoria Miro, White Cube, and David Zwirner. Each will present an online exhibition that will run on the platform from February 24 through April 30. (Press release)

Auction House Suspends Sale of 19th-Century Jewish Burial Records – A rare relic of the Romanian city of Cluj-Napoca’s Jewish history, all but erased in World War II, resurfaced at a New York auction house last week. The bound memorial register of Jewish city burials between 1836 and 1899 was pulled from a sale at Kestenbaum & Company in Brooklyn at the request of the Jewish community in Cluj and the World Jewish Restitution Organization. (New York Times)


Lorraine O’Grady Prepares Her Retrospective – The trailblazing artist will unveil a new persona in her first retrospective at the Brooklyn Museum, “Both/And,” which opens on March 5. She has captured herself in a series of photomontages wearing a suit of medieval armor adorned with palm-tree headgear, speaking both to European conquest and Caribbean heritage. The 40-pound outfit hides race, age, and gender, and takes the 86-year-old about 45 minutes to put on. (NYT)

Quilting Artist Donates Award Winnings – Master quilter Carolyn Mazloomi was named as part of the latest class of United States Artists Fellows, a distinction that comes with a $50,000 cash prize. Mazloomi donated the entire purse to the nonprofit Women of Color Quilters Network, an organization she founded in 1985 to help female quilters sustain themselves and their work. (Business Journal)


The Pandemic Could Cost Germany’s Culture €30 Billion – A new study estimates that the pandemic has resulted in a loss of more than €30 billion ($36.4 billion) for Germany’s cultural and creative industries. Sectors that have been particularly hard hit, like the performing arts, have taken as much as a nearly 70 percent hit. (Monopol)

Street Artist Puts Margaret Thatcher’s Head on a Pike –  Mark Robla, an artist in Grantham, UK, claims he has “saved” the local city council £400,000 by putting up his own, bespoke statue of Margaret Thatcher. The district council is about to unveil its own bronze statue of the former Prime Minister. This one is a bit… different. (Grantham Journal

Follow Artnet News on Facebook:

Want to stay ahead of the art world? Subscribe to our newsletter to get the breaking news, eye-opening interviews, and incisive critical takes that drive the conversation forward.