Art Industry News: Vogue Drops Bruce Weber and Mario Testino After Harassment Exposé + More Must-Read Stories

Plus, Sotheby’s will offer a fresh-to-market Picasso in London and some ask: will cryptocurrencies change the art market?

Bruce Weber (L). Photo by Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Images. Mario Testino (R). Photo by Jeff Spicer/Jeff Spicer/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 Monday, January 15.


Removal of Student Painting From US Capitol Stirs Protest – The Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council and 16 other groups have condemned the censorship of a painting by a young African-American artist from the U.S. Capitol Building in Washington, DC. David Pulphus’s Untitled #1 depicts a clash between police and civil rights campaigners. (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)

Holland Cotter on NYC’s Equivocal Solution to Problem Monuments – The art critic says the New York City Mayoral Advisory Commission’s strategy for dealing with four controversial monuments, including statues of Theodore Roosevelt and Christopher Columbus, is measured to the point of being “half-measured.” The committee recommended extra signage, relocation of one sculpture commemorating a doctor who owned slaves, and received $10 million to fund new commissions. (NYTimes)

Vogue Drops Bruce Weber and Mario Testino After Harassment Claims – Saying that the accusations against the star photographers have been “been hard to hear and heartbreaking to confront,” Vogue editor Anna Wintour has severed her longtime working relationship with Weber and Testino “for the foreseeable future” after male models accused them of sexual harassment, as was first reported by the New York Times. Representatives for Weber and Testino deny the allegations. (BBC)

Deneuve Stung by #MeToo Criticism – The actor Catherine Deneuve has apologized to victims of sexual abuse and distanced herself from other female signatories of a controversial letter in France, written by art critic Catherine Millet, that criticizes the #MeToo campaign. But the French film star stands by the letter’s condemnation of post-Weinstein “puritanism” in the US.  (Guardian)​


Sotheby’s to Offer Fresh Picasso in LondonThe auction house will sell an estimated $50 million Picasso that has never been on the market before in London on February 28. Femme au béret et à la robe quadrillée (Marie-Thérèse Walter) (1937) will show in Hong Kong and Taipei before it appears in Sotheby’s Impressionist and Modern evening sale. (The Art Newspaper)

Will Cryptocurrencies Change the Market?Cryptocurrencies like bitcoin have exploded in value, but there’s still not much you can do with them. One online gallery that specializes in blockchain-based artwork could, however, be leading the way for a new digital art market. Distributed Gallery is auctioning off a unique unit of cryptocurrency created by “Richard Prince” (but not that Richard Prince) for $2,600. (NYT)

Why the New Tax Code Is Bad for CollectorsUnsurprisingly, real estate fares better than art in Trump’s tax code rewrite. The famous 1031 loophole that used to apply to art collectors, allowing them to sell art tax-free if the proceeds are spent on more art, has been eliminated, although this “like-kind exchange” workaround still applies to real estate. This may impact American collectors, who now receive one less financial incentive to buy art and keep it in US museums. (NYT)

New Director for Company GalleryElizabeth Lamb will direct the New York gallery, taking over from Andrew Durbin, who left in November to work at Frieze magazine. She comes to Company from a four-year tenure at Callicoon Fine Arts. (ARTnews)


President of French Art Academy Announced French TV journalist and writer Patrick de Carolis will preside over the Académie des Beaux-Arts in 2018. Sculptor and painter Pierre Carron, who was president in 2002, has been appointed vice president. (Le Journal des Arts)

NADA Names Winners of Gallery PrizeGalleries Parallel Oaxaca in Mexico and Stereo in Poland have been awarded the New Art Dealers Alliance International Gallery prize. The New York edition of the fair opens March 8, and each gallery will receive a sponsored booth. (ARTnews)

Iraq War Veteran to Lead Army MuseumFormer Brigadier Justin Maciejewski has been appointed director general at the UK’s National Army Museum after audiences found its £24 million ($33 million) restructuring to be “filled with inaccuracy, political correctness, and guilt about Britain’s colonial past.” Maciejewski takes over from Janice Murray, who retired in October last year. (Telegraph)

VIA Art Fund Announces Grant Recipients – The Boston-based nonprofit has announced $100,000 grants to support British artist Tacita Dean’s new film installation Antigone, Yinka Shonibare’s The American Library Collection for Cleveland’s FRONT triennial, South African artist Zanele Muholi’s The Women’s Mobile Museum (her first major project in the US), and Pope.L’s Whispering Campaign at documenta 14. (Artforum)​


Timothy Spall’s Next Role? Another Artist – In 2014, the British actor delivered an award-winning portrayal of JMW TurnerNow, Spall is preparing for his new role as the Manchester painter LS Lowry in a biopic exploring the artist’s relationship with his mother. “I’m trying to tick off all the artists,” he quipped. (The Guardian)

No Ransom for Stolen Emil Nolde – Four years after robbing a church in Denmark of its Nolde painting, valued at €1.3 million, and attempting to receive 10 percent of its worth in ransom from the Nolde Foundation, the thieves have finally given up and handed back the 1904 painting Christus zu Emmaus in late December. (DPA)

LGBT Arab Artists Get Time in the Spotlight – Painter Nabil Mousa, who emigrated to the US from Syria as a child, explores his sexual identity in his work, currently on view at the Arab American National Museum; other institutions have also started collecting works by Arab artists who deal with queer themes. (NYT) 

Artist Projects Trump’s Vulgar Comment Onto DC Hotel – Rubin Bell, the artist who’s been projecting slogans on the Trump Hotel in DC to criticize the US president, returned this weekend with a message referencing Trump’s vulgar comment on Haiti and African countries. (Twitter)

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