Art Industry News: Leonardo DiCaprio Taps a James Bond Screenwriter to Pen His da Vinci Biopic + More Must-Read Stories

Plus, Brett Littman will lead the Noguchi Museum an archaeological site near Stonehenge is threatened by a new tunnel.

The two Leonardos, Da Vinci (Image: Public domain) and DiCaprio (Photo: Mike Windle/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 6.


America’s First Climate Change Museum Has Opened – The Climate Museum has opened (at least temporarily) at the Parsons School of Design in New York. Its bold mission: To change the national conversation about climate change through art. The new museum’s first exhibition is by Los Angeles artist Peggy Weil. She is projecting four and a half-hour-long video of glacier ice cores onto the sidewalk of 13th Street and Fifth Avenue. (The Atlantic)

Philadelphia Museum of Art Shuts for Super Bowl Parade – The Philadelphia Eagles’s Super Bowl victory means that the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Rodin Museum will be closed on Thursday as the city celebrates with a parade down the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. The institutions will happily take a hit on a day’s attendance—particularly since the Philadelphia Museum is getting a John Singleton Copley out of the game(Press release)

Screenwriter Chosen for Leonardo DiCaprio’s Leonardo Biopic – John Logan, who worked on the screenplay for the James Bond films Spectre and Skyfall and wrote the Tony award-winning play about Mark Rothko, Red, has been chosen to adapt Walter Isaacson’s Leonardo biography, which was optioned by Paramount and DiCaprio’s company Appian Way. DiCaprio will play Leonardo. (Hollywood Reporter

Artists Are Fleeing San Francisco – San Francisco’s local government has launched an online survey to measure how many artists have left the city due to rising rents and cost of living. Rents have increased a reported 70 percent between 2010 and 2016. The former art critic for the San Francisco Chronicle predicts the results of the latest survey will be “shocking.” (The Art Newspaper)


Sotheby’s Battles Dealer Over Haring Nonpayment – There will be a hearing today to determine what exactly happened when the collector Anatole Shagalov didn’t pay the winning $6.5 million bid on Keith Haring’s untitled 1982 work that was sold at Sotheby’s last May. Shagalov claims the auction house agreed he could pay in installments, but Sotheby’s refutes that claim. The non-sale set a record price for the artist—and created a false market narrative. (Bloomberg)

Former Sotheby’s Exec Moves to Di Donna Galleries – Jeremiah Evarts is the new director of the New York gallery Emmanuel Di Donna (whose founder is also a Sotheby’s alum). Until last year, Evarts served as the senior vice president and head of Impressionist and Modern art evening sales at Sotheby’s. (ARTnews)

Dallas Art Fair Releases Exhibitor List – For its 10th anniversary edition this year, the Dallas fair will see the addition of almost 30 new galleries to its roster of 100 participants from over 30 different cities. New arrivals include Casey Kaplan, The Hole, Luhring Augustine, and James Cohan from New York. The fair will run from April 12 through 15. (Press release)

Former Zwirner Partner Launches New Gallery – Tribeca is getting a new gallery. An ex-partner at David Zwirner, Ales Ortuzar, is opening Ortuzar Projects at 9 White Street this month. Its inaugural exhibition opens February 16 with the first US solo show of Michel Parmentier, the Paris-born painter who was part of the historic BMPT gang. (ARTnews)


New Director for Noguchi Museum Brett Littman, the director of the Drawing Center in New York, will head to Queens to lead the Isamu Noguchi Foundation and Garden Museum. He suceeds Jenny Dixon, who retired from the position after nearly 15 years in December. Littman begins his new role on May 1. (Press release)

Vilcek Foundation Awards Architect $100,000 Prize – Teddy Cruz, the director of design at Estudio Teddy Cruz + Fonna Forman and a professor at UC San Diego, has won the $100,000 award for architecture from the Vilcek Foundation, which celebrates immigrant contributions to the arts and sciences in the US. Cruz was born in Guatemala and emigrated to California when he was 20. (Artforum)

Rema Hort Mann Foundation Releases New Grantees – The 2018 emerging artist grant recipients for Los Angeles are: Beatriz Cortez, Kelman Duran, Daniel T. Gaitor-Lomack, Young Joon Kwak, Walker Tate, and Haena Yoo. They will each get $10,000. Janiva Ellis was granted the Stanley Hollander Award, and will receive $15,000. Previous recipients of the grant, meant to financially relieve artists at a critical time in their development, include Dana Schutz, Mickalene Thomas, and Kehinde Wiley. (Artforum)

Jameel Prize Shortlist Announced – Eight finalists have been named for the fifth edition of the Jameel Prize, Art Jameel’s biennial £25,000 ($28,000) prize for contemporary artists and designers who have been inspired by Islamic tradition.The shortlisted artists are Kamrooz Aram, Hayv Kahraman, Hala Kaiksow, Mehdi Moutashar, naqsh collective, Younes Rahmoun, Wardha Shabbir, and Marina Tabassum. The prize will be awarded at London’s Victoria & Albert Museum on June 27. (Press release)


Stonehenge Threatened by New TunnelPlans to ease congestion by building a tunnel and a flyover past Stonehenge could threaten a nearby excavation site where archaeologists have uncovered ritualistically preserved 6,000-year-old wild cattle prints. The auroch prints could have been preserved as part of a neolithic “cattle cult” and mark an important discovery about Britain’s history. (The Guardian)

Paris Welcomes a New Wave of Exiles – Since October, a drop-in center located in a working class area of northern Paris has been helping around 200 artists who have been exiled from their home countries rebuild their careers. Last week, the French culture minister Françoise Nyssen publicly welcomed artists from The Studio of Artists in Exile to her offices and invited 15 to show their work in her ministry. (Arab News)

Are There Hidden Rooms in King Tut’s Tomb? – In Egypt, archaeologists are using ground penetrating radar to scan for possible hidden chambers in King Tutankhamun’s tomb, hoping to stumble upon Queen Nefertiti’s secret resting place after a previously unknown door was uncovered a few years ago. (Daily Mail)

Herzog & de Meuron Will Design Berlin’s Modern Art Museum – It’s official—the Swiss architects are designing Berlin’s €200 million ($247 million) museum of Modern art. Now that the deal has been confirmed, the long-delayed project could be ready by 2023. But the architects’ early barn-like designs have had a mixed reception in Berlin. (Monopol)


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