Art Industry News: Anna Wintour Borrows the Pope’s Clothes for the Met Museum + More Must-Read Stories

Plus, KAWS busts the Qatar blockade and Duchamp's masterpieces are taking a trip to the land of the kangaroo.

Anna Wintour is most likely not borrowing this sombrero that Pope Francis received as a gift from a Mexican journalist aboard the airplane taking him from Rome to Havana on February 12, 2016. (Photo: ALESSANDRO DI MEO/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 Tuesday, February 27.


Is the Propellor Group Peddling Communism? – As the Vietnamese-American collective Propellor Group’s first US museum exhibition arrives in San Jose, California, the local Vietnamese community is suspicious that the artists might be trying to spread Communism. The exhibition includes the group’s mock rebranding of Marxism as a lifestyle choice, complete with a logo and ad campaign. (New York Times)

Duchamp Is Flying to Asia and Australia – The Philadelphia Museum of Art is sending its celebrated Duchamp collection, including Nude Descending a Staircase, to Japan in the fall, followed by stops in South Korea and Australia. While the 90-work show is traveling, the Philadelphia museum present paintings and sculptures by four of Marcel Duchamp’s siblings, who were artists in their own right, at home. (Whyy)

Artist Threatened for Image of Scantily Clad Saint – A work by Bolivian artist Rilda Paco depicting the Virgin of Socavon de Oruro clad in a red throng and thigh-high stockings has provoked ire from Bolivian officials, who say the scandalous work “disgraces the nation’s patron” and want to take legal action against the artist. For her part, Paco says the piece was meant to criticize the excessive drinking, objectification of women, and commercialism associated with the Oruro Carnival. (Telesur)

The Vatican Lends to the Met Costume Institute – The Met’s Costume Institute and Vogue editor Anna Wintour have pulled off a Vatican Museum coup by borrowing 40 religious garments for the show “Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination.” Five of the items heading to New York this spring went on show in a glitzy preview in Rome yesterday. (NYT)


Why the Art Market Is Rigged – Rachel Wetzler reviews author Georgina Adam’s new book Dark Side of the Boom, which examines the excesses of today’s art market. Wetzler says that while Adam’s diagnosis—that commodification has had a negative effect on art—is convincing, she fails to properly examine the broader social and economic causes of the disease. (The New Republic)

Arcadia Missa Gallery Moves to Soho – London gallery Arcadia Missa is moving from Peckham, where it first opened as a project space in 2011, to the city’s Soho neighborhood. Director Rozsa Farkas says Peckham’s rapid gentrification—and the gallery’s desire not to make it worse—motivated the change. (ARTnews)

James Cohan to Represent Josiah McElheny – The New York gallery now represents the American artist, known for his reflective sculptures. McElheny was previously represented by Andrea Rosen Gallery. (ARTnews)

Jennifer Guidi Shows New Works at Gagosian Hong Kong – The LA-based market darling is opening her first solo show at the Gagosian outpost in March​, to coincide with Art Basel in Hong Kong. She will show new iterations of her abstract “sand paintings.” (Press release)


Curator Named for Quebec Biennial – Jonathan Watkins, the director of the Ikon Gallery in Birmingham, England, has been named curator of the ninth edition of Quebec City’s biennial Manif d’art. The upcoming biennial will run from February 14 through April 21, 2019. (Artforum)

Church of Holy Sepulchre Closes Indefinitely – The famous site has closed to protest a prospective Israeli law that would change the current tax exemptions and allow for easier land expropriation. Church leaders are calling the proposal an attack on Christians in the Holy Land. (Reuters)

New York’s ICP Names Infinity Award Winners – The International Center of Photography has named documentary photographer Bruce Davidson the recipient of its lifetime achievement award. Other winners include Alexandra Bell, Maurice Berger, Amber Bracken, Natalie Keyssar, and Juergen Teller. The annual awards will be presented on April 9 at Spring Studios. (Artforum)

Man Linked to Gardner Heist Gets Sentenced – Robert Gentile, the octogenarian believed to be the last surviving person of interest in the Gardner heist, faces sentencing in federal court today for an unrelated weapons offense. He pleaded guilty and is facing three to six years behind bars. Authorities believe the reputed mobster has information about the unsolved 1990 robbery. (Boston Herald)


You Can Buy Rubens’s Castle – Want to live like a Baroque artist? Now you can. Elewijt Castle in Belgium, where Peter Paul Rubens lived before his death in 1640, is available for a cool $4.9 million. The Old Master redesigned the 12th-century castle in the Flemish Renaissance style and painted some of his final works there. (TAN)

Honolulu Biennial Foundation Debuts Programming Initiative – “Visions of the Future” aims to infuse continuous contemporary art programming into the local community beyond the biennial. The inaugural project is a six-week pop-up multimedia and photography exhibition in Waikiki called “Flooded,” featuring photography by Heami Lee, art direction by Allie Wist, food styling by C.C. Buckley, and prop styling by Rebecca Bartoshesky. (Press release)

KAWS Busts Qatar Blockade – Photos of the artist installing a new large-scale sculpture at Hamad International Airport in Qatar have been posted to KAWS’s Instagram account. The 30-foot-tall figure made from African hardwood is a companion piece to his SMALL LIE sculpture at Yorkshire Sculpture Park in England. (FAD Magazine)

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.
Article topics