Art Industry News: MoMA Will Close This Summer to Completely Rethink How It Shows Its Art + Other Stories

Plus, Megan Markle and her husband get to pick from the Royal Collection and Facebook is still censoring antiquities from museum collections.

Patricia Phelps de Cisneros and MoMA director Glenn D. Lowry, in front of Hélio Oiticica's Painting 9. (1959). Courtesy of the Museum of Modern Art.

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 5.


The Fall of Art Stage Singapore – When Art Stage canceled its 2019 edition one week before it was set to open, it left exhibitors in the dark, with artworks already en route to the Asian city. The fair and its director, Lorenzo Rudolf, have remained silent on the matter. While financial issues were certainly at play, Rudolf’s negative comments on the art scene in Singapore did not help fair participants or international exhibitors gain confidence. Its competitor fair, SEA Focus, opened over the weekend of January 24, and galleries left out in the cold by Art Stage found new venues in which to show their work. (Art Asia Pacific)

The Mystery Around the Creator of the Egg Has Been Cracked – Chris Godfrey is the man behind the most conceptual egg in the world, which “broke” Instagram. The 29-year-old advertising creative based in London posted the egg, which is named Eugene, to share an image that had no gender, race, or religion. Within days it gained tens of millions of likes and is now the most popular Instagram post in the world. “An egg is an egg; it’s universal,” says Godfrey. The egg stands for something, too. During the Super Bowl, Eugene appeared in an ad and spoke about how going viral affected his mental health and linked to a nonprofit. (New York Times)

MoMA to Close Ahead of a Mega Rehang – The museum will close for four months this summer and fall (from June 15 to October 21) to revamp and rethink the display of its mighty collections. Art by female, Latino, Asian, African American, and other artists who were long overlooked in favor of white men will now have more prominence as the museum replaces the traditional canon with a rehang that will change every six months. The museum will reopen with Pope L. and Betye Saar solo shows and a survey of Latin American Art. When its $400 million expansion is completed, MoMA will exhibit works from the collection at the Studio Museum in Harlem. (NYT)

The Queen Is Giving Prince Harry and Meghan Markle a Housewarming Gift – Queen Elizabeth has invited the couple to choose several works of art from the Royal Collection, which is the world’s largest trove of privately owned art. Comprising more than one million pieces, it contains Rembrandts, da Vincis, and contemporary works by Andy Warhol and Anish Kapoor. The royal newlyweds have been presented with a list of paintings they can borrow. (Vanity Fair)


Lisson Gallery Will Represent Sean Scully in North America – The US-based, Irish-born painter will now work with Lisson Gallery and prepare a solo show across both its Chelsea locations in New York. Scully praised Lisson, saying it is one of the few galleries that has expanded while maintaining its vision. “It’s a true artists’ gallery,” he says. (ARTnews)

Crozier Buys a Zürich Facility – The art storage and shipping company Crozier has bought Artcare’s store in Zürich. It will complement its Geneva store, making Crozier’s facilities across the US and Europe to 19 in total. (Press release)


Jessica Martinez Named Cornell Museum’s Director – Cornell’s Herbert F. Johnson Museum’s new director is Jessica Levin Martinez. She leaves Harvard Art Museums, where she has led its division of academic and public programs. (Press release)

High Museum Announces Driskell Prize Winner – Atlanta’s High Museum of Art has awarded its 2019 David C Driskell Prize to Huey Copeland, a professor at Northwestern University. The $25,000 cash prize supports scholarship of Modern and contemporary art of the African Diaspora. (Press release)


Geneva Art Museum Condemns Facebook Censorship – The Museum of Art and History in Geneva, Switzerland took to Twitter to call out Facebook for censoring two images it had posted to promote an exhibition. The institution was trying to share a sculpture of Venus and one of a male, kneeling nude for its show “Caesar and the Rhone,” which opens this week. (Courthouse News)

Inside the Norton Museum’s $100 Million Expansion – Palm Beach’s Norton Museum of Art is ready to unveil its $100 million Norman Foster-designed expansion. As well as 50 percent more space and a new entrance, the museum boasts the first sculpture garden created by the veteran British architect. (Architectural Digest)

What Does Adam Levine’s Super Bowl Shirt Have to Do With Albers? – The geometric design of the shirt worn (briefly) by the lead singer of Maroon 5 during halftime of the Super Bowl recalls Josef Albers’s “Homage to the Square,” says a Parsons School of Design professor. Preethi Gopinath also thinks it owes something to the traditional American woven design known as “summer and winter.” (Vox)

Ed Ruscha Designs an Album Cover – Ed Ruscha has designed the cover for an album created by the artist David Greenberger for a community art project. Called It Happened to Me, the album features the stories of elderly residents in Santa Ana, which Greenberger has set to music by Prime Lens, a Chattanooga-based ensemble. Organized by the Santa Ana-based Grand Central Art Center, the project has been funded by the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts. (Press release)


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