Art Industry News: Artists Condemn Christoph Büchel’s Trump Border Wall Project + More Must-Read Stories

Plus, a new survey seeks to promote salary transparency in the art world and a business tycoon renames his Picasso painting.

The prototypes for President Donald Trump's proposed border wall. Photo courtesy of Reuters/Mike Blake.

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 Wednesday, February 7.


Survey Aims to Provide Art-World Salary Transparency – How much money do your peers make? Thanks to the Professional Organization for Women in the Arts, you may soon find out. The group has launched a survey of pay in the art industry. Two economists will help analyze the responses by gender, age, and race; the organization plans to release a full report this spring. (Artsy)

Where Is Pablo Escobar’s Art Collection? – The Hollywood Reporter delves into a story fit for a Hollywood movie: a British businessman claims to have been conscripted by a Swedish dealer to sell a cache of paintings—said to be by Picasso, Botero, Yves Klein, and others—that he believes once belonged to the Colombian drug baron Pablo Escobar. There’s just one problem: He’s not sure if they’re real. (Hollywood Reporter)

Don’t Call Trump’s Wall Art—It’s White Supremacy – Twenty-five artists and art professionals have signed an open letter blasting Hauser & Wirth and the Museum of Contemporary Art in San Diego for supporting the artist Christoph Büchel’s petition to turn prototypes of President Trump’s US-Mexico Wall into a national monument or sculpture park. “Nothing about a xenophobic and white supremacist project, artifact, wall or building should ever be spectacularized and promoted by artists or arts institutions,” they write. (Hyperallergic)

Study Says Artists Should Invest in Their Own Work – Artists may be better off getting equity in their own work than investing in the stock market, according to a study by academics at New York University and the University of Luxembourg. But this is probably only true if you are a super successful artist: The researchers used historical sales data from the Leo Castelli gallery to calculate what would have happened if Jasper Johns and Robert Rauschenberg retained 10 percent equity in their works. (The Art Newspaper)


Moran Brothers Respond to Bondaroff’s Resignation – After artnet News broke the story about the resignation of LA dealer Aaron Bondaroff following allegations of sexual misconduct, the dealer’s former partners Al and Mills Moran have released a public statement in support of the women who came forward. The gallery, Moran Bondaroff, will soon have a new name and Bondaroff’s ownership stake will be dissolved. (ARTnews)

India’s Art Market Is on the Rise – A new report from ArtTactic reveals that the regional market in India grew by 13 percent last year and is now valued at $223 million. It seems the negative effects of a tax policy introduced last year are subsiding; the tax rate for art now hovers around 12 percent. The art scene, meanwhile, is lighting up with fairs and biennials. (TAN)

Dondi Painting Sets World Record Price at artnet Auctions – The painting Solid Formations (1984) sold at an online artnet auction for $240,000, a new record for the late graffiti artist Dondi White, aka “Style Master General.” After 26 bids, the sale more than tripled the painting’s high estimate. (Press release)

How UK Ivory Rules Will Affect the Market – Leading art and antiques traders largely support the UK’s proposed new regulations on the sale of ivory, as long as art and musical instruments are exempted from the ban. But because poaching has caused the elephant population to drop by a third in the past decade, environmentalists may push the government to weaken these exceptions. The final decision will be announced in March. (TAN)


Julia Cameron Trove May Leave the UK – A collection of important work by the Victorian photographer Julia Cameron will leave the United Kingdom if a local buyer is not found before May 5. A temporary export bar has been placed on the £3.7 million Norman Album, which features photos of Charles Darwin and Alfred, Lord Tennyson, in the hopes that a UK buyer can come up with the cash. (The Guardian)

Mentors for Rolex Art Program Announced – Architect David Adjaye, choreographer Crystal Pite, composer Zakir Hussain, and author Colm Toibin will serve as mentors in this year’s Rolex art initiative. The prestigious program pairs emerging artists with leaders in their respective fields. This year, thanks to increased funding, the mentorship period has been extended to two years. (New York Times)

Selldorf Architects to Refresh High Museum – The Atlanta museum will close its permanent collection galleries in May for its first rehang in over 10 years. Selldorf Architects will design the reinstallation of the High Museum’s collection, expected to be completed by the fall. The project aims to highlight the collection’s diversity as well as improve the current lighting systems and the building’s accessibility. (Artforum)

Anderson Ranch to Honor Ai Weiwei – The Anderson Ranch Arts Center in Aspen will award Ai Weiwei the International Artist Award at its annual dinner on July 19. Artist Bunny Burson and Charles Burson, the former chief of staff to Vice President Al Gore, will receive the service to arts award. (Press release)


A Mural Recovered in a Whitney’s Former Studio – A portrait of patron Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney in the style of the Ballet Russe, painted by Howard Gardiner Cushing around 1910, has been peeling away in a 125-foot-long stairwell at Whitney’s former Old Westbury studio. Cushing’s descendants acquired the canvas last year, converted it into 18 framed panels, and are now looking for possible places to show it. (New York Times)

Can a Collector Retitle an Artwork? – Richard Caring, owner of the Ivy and Mayfair nightclub Annabel’s, has decided to rename Picasso’s The Girl With a Red Beret and Pompom, which he bought for a rumored £20 million-plus last year. He has rechristened it “Annabel,” after his nightclub, in order to distinguish it from the many other portraits of Picasso’s muse Marie-Thérèse Walter. Caring is now under fire from art historians who argue he is presenting a “fake context” for the work. (The Times)

Missing Nigerian Masterpiece Found in London – A missing 1974 painting of the Ife princess Adetutu Ademiluyi, aka Tutu, by Nigerian artist Ben Enwonwu has turned up in an apartment in north London. The painting, discovered by Bonhams’s director of modern African art, hasn’t been seen for decades. It will be sold at the auction house in London on February 28 with a high estimate of £300,000. (Guardian)

Hedi Slimane Photographs LA Artists – A suite of black-and-white photos of emerging LA artists, shot by Hedi Slimane, the director and new creative director for Céline, appears in the newest issue of Garage. The 13 Los Angeles up-and-comers snapped by Slimane include artists Awol Erizku, Max Hooper Schneider, Martine Syms, Claire Tabouret, and Kandis Williams. See a selection below. (Press release)

Awol Erizku by Hedi Slimane.

Kandis Williams by Hedi Slimane.

Buck Ellison by Hedi Slimane.

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