Art Industry News: Curator Hans Ulrich Obrist Will Make Himself Less Ubiquitous by ‘Significantly’ Curbing His Air Travel + Other Stories

Plus, Deutsche Bank is selling off its collection and an artist is unhappy with the Super Bowl.

Hans-Ulrich Obrist. Photo: ©Patrick McMullan.

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 Tuesday, February 4.


Norman Rockwell Museum Announces Crowd-Funding Campaign – The Massachusetts museum has launched a $50,000 GoFundMe campaign to help fund the restoration of Rockwell’s renowned civil rights-era painting of a young black girl, Ruby Bridges, walking to her newly desegregated elementary school. The painting, The Problem We All Live With (1964), once hung in the White House during Barack Obama’s presidency. (Press Release)

Beautiful Political Murals Are Popping Up in Baghdad  Political murals have sprung up around Iraq’s capital city, painted largely by young people. Although the country has a strong artistic tradition, murals and protest art are a relatively recent cultural development. Baghdad’s residents are now redefining their city through art and expressing both frustrations and beauty in these murals. (New York Times)

Hans Ulrich Obrist Is Cutting Back on Flying  The ubiquitous curator is cutting down on his frequent plane travel in an effort to curb his impact on climate change. Inspired by artists, particularly his late friend Gustav Metzger who worked on the Serpentine’s Extinction Marathon in 2014, Obrist writes that he is “very significantly” changing both his personal approach and that of the Serpentine Gallery. With climate change in mind he speaks of sending fewer emails, introducing “slow programming,” buying fewer clothes, and reducing air travel. (The Art Newspaper)

Is Glasgow’s Gallery of Modern Art in Danger of Closing? – As the UK city tries to reduce its budget by $65 million, it is floating the idea of moving the historic museum’s collection elsewhere and selling off the building. The news caused an outcry, but a politician reassured everyone over Twitter that it is a routine part of budgeting to “examine every venue but GoMA won’t close on the SNP’s watch so don’t panic.” (Artforum)


Deutsche Bank Is Selling Off Its Collection  The beleaguered bank, which is cutting 18,000 jobs, has announced plans to sell off part of its significant art collection. One work that it is giving up is the Gerhard Richter triptych Faust (1981), which has hung for years in the lobby of its building on Wall Street. The bank is making a move to Columbus Circle and says it no longer has room to keep the work. (TAN)

Andrew Kreps Will Represent the Estate of Sister Corita Kent  The estate of the late pop artist, social activist, educator, and nun will now be represented by Andrew Kreps in New York with the Corita Art Centre, and by the Milan-based gallery Kaufmann Repetto in Europe. (Press release)

Bonhams Is Unloading Supreme Skateboards in Los Angeles  The sale, which takes place on February 15, will include one of the largest collections of Supreme skateboards, including collaborative boards from KAWS, John Baldessari, Cindy Sherman, Raymond Pettibon, Mike Kelley, and Nan Goldin. Also coming up for sale are works of art by Alex Israel, Wolfgang Tillmans, and Richard Prince. (Press release)


The Berlin Biennale Announces Its Locations – The 11th edition of the biennial, which is set to take place starting June 13, has announced the four arts institutions where it will hold the event: the art collective space ExRotaprint, daadgalerie, Gropius Bau, and KW Institute for Contemporary Art. (Press release)

Seattle Asian Art Museum Reopens – After a $56 million renovation that took two years to complete, the museum will reopen this Saturday with more space to showcase its collection. The revamp includes a new 2,648-square-foot gallery, a community meeting room, and a conservation studio. (NYT)

Resorts Are Getting Into the Creative Experiences Game  Artistic workshops programming are increasingly becoming integral parts of luxury tourism in what is being dubbed “transformational travel” trend. Travelers to properties like the new Potato Head Studios in Bali can expect to participate in activities like pottery classes, art therapy, sustainability workshops, and more. (NYT)


Portrait of Louis XIV’s Son Is Actually Somebody Else – A 10-foot-tall portrait that was thought depict France’s Grand Dauphin, King Louis XIV’s son, has been revealed to in fact depict a 17th-century lord mayor. The work is on public display at the Tate Britain as part of the exhibition “British Baroque: Power and Illusion.” (Guardian)

Berlin Artist Creates a Traffic Jam With 99 Cellphones – Simon Weckert’s artwork Google Maps Hacks saw the artist pull a little red wagon down Berlin’s main streets, carrying 99 smartphones that were all reporting their locations back to Google. As a result, the company reported of a huge cluster of slow-moving traffic in its maps. (Guardian)

Christine Sun Kim Is Unhappy With Her Super Bowl Airtime  When artist Christine Sun Kim was asked to sign the national anthem and “America the Beautiful” alongside Demi Lovato’s performance at the Super Bowl, she was hesitant to agree, but saw it as a chance to represent the deaf community. Unfortunately, she has since spoken out about how it was a “huge disappointment” to discover that her signing was only broadcast by Fox Sports for a few seconds. See a full video of her performance below. (New York Times and YouTube)

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