Art Industry News: Nan Goldin’s Anti-Oxycontin Group Lays Out Demands in a New Petition + More Must-Read Stories

Plus, an open letter urges the reinstatement of documenta's CEO and new details emerge about the 2018 Armory Show.

US photographer Nan Goldin in 2011. Photo: Sean Gallup/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, January 16.


Open Letter Urges Reinstatement of documenta CEO – Museum directors, curators, and artists have written a letter to urge the quinquennial’s supervisory board to let Annette Kulenkampff finish her full term. In order to maintain the exhibition’s global significance, the letter argues, the board must also expand to include international experts and the budget should grow to reflect the show’s magnitude. (e-flux)

Basel Museum Revisits Heirs’ Claims – The Kunstmuseum Basel is reconsidering claims made by the heirs of Curt Glaser, the former head of the Prussian State Art Library, for art he was forced to sell before fleeing Nazi Germany. The Swiss museum rejected similar claims in 2008 for around 120 works, including a Munch lithograph, but the family claims that newly unearthed documents boost its case. (Reuters)​

Nan Goldin’s Anti-Opioid Group Launches Petition – The photographer’s new activist group P.A.I.N. (Prescription Addiction Intervention Now), created to hold the art-world philanthropist Sackler family accountable for their role in the sale of the highly addictive drug OxyContin, has launched an online petition laying out its demands. To date, the petition has received 1,112 signatures. (Artforum)

Business for Art Copyists Is Booming – It seems that the copying business (not forgery, but copying) is on the rise. Since the record-breaking sale of Salvator Mundi, three Berlin-based, Russian brothers—Semjon, Michael and Eugen Posin—have been busy copying the work for about $10,000 a pop, and they cannot make them fast enough. (Independent)


Don Thompson on the 2018 Art Market – As his new book, ”The Orange Balloon Dog,” is released in the UK, the economist predicts what the art market has in store for the year. He foresees the further rise of the über-gallery; a proliferation in online sales; and an uptick in the number of artists who do not restrict themselves to just one gallery. (The Art Newspaper)

What Was on Offer at FOG San Francisco? – The art and design fair opened its fifth edition last week, with some dealers zeroing in on artists, such as Diane Arbus and Stan Douglas, who already have a track record with important local collectors. And it turns out San Franciscans appreciate a good visual pun. Clouds—both digital and celestial—were also ubiquitous at the fair. (Art Market Monitor)

Armory Show Announces 2018 Theme The art fair has announced the 34 artists and 28 galleries participating in the Focus section curated by Gabriel Ritter of the Minneapolis Institute of Art, which will examine the way technology has reimagined the physical body “as avatar, container, prosthesis, shell, surrogate, telepresence, or otherwise.” A range of works from the late 1970s to the present will be on show. (Press release)


Berlin’s Humboldt Forum Announces Appointments – Inés de Castro, the director of the Linden Museum in Stuttgart, will helm the Humboldt Forum’s ethnological and Asian art collections. The reconstructed palace opens in 2019. German culture minister Monika Grütters is expected to name the institution’s director this year. (DPA)

Lower East Side Photographer Toyo Tsuchiya Has Died – The Japan-born, New York-based photographer Toyo Tsuchiya died on November 23 at age 69. He was best known for his photographs of the 1980s arts scene on the Lower East Side, which he combined to create mural-like collages. (Artforum)

Michael Rakowitz’s Fourth Plinth to be Unveiled in March – The Chicago-based artist’s Fourth Plinth sculpture, titled Invisible Enemy Should Not Exist, is due to be unveiled on March 28 in London’s Trafalgar Square. The monumental work, which is inspired by the looting of the Iraq Museum and Islamist extremists’ destruction at Nineveh, is due to remain in place until March 2020. (Press release)

Montreal Museum Sees Record Attendance – A record 1.3 million people visited the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts in 2017, a 42 percent increase over 2016. Last year’s Chagall show, the museum’s new Michal and Renata Hornstein pavilion, and the Canadian city’s 375th anniversary celebrations helped boost visitor numbers. (Press release)


Should the French Baguette Gain World Heritage Status? – Following in the footsteps of its glutinous friend Neapolitan pizza, which gained UNESCO World Heritage Status last year, the traditional baguette is being put forward by French President Macron and other carbohydrate-loving boosters, who believe the long loaf should be added to the list. (Press release)

Why Lebanese People Aren’t Rushing to New Beirut Museum – It’s been open for some months, but Beit Beirut, a war-scarred building that holds powerful memories of Lebanon’s civil war, has not gained traction with locals. The city’s first and only civil war museum is dividing political opinion as Lebanon continues to grapple with the difficult memories of its sectarian war. (Washington Post)

Hepworth Wakefield Revives Artists’ School Prints – The Yorkshire gallery is reviving a 1940s project in which famous artists including Henri Matisse and Pablo Picasso were commissioned to create prints as part of an initiative to bring contemporary art to school children. With the help of Phillips auction house, the gallery is reviving the program with contributions from Martin Creed, Jeremy Deller, and Anthea Hamilton, among others. The new works will be displayed alongside the 1940s originals. (Press release)

Will Ryman Sculptures Come to Paris – New York-based artist Will Ryman is conceiving his first-ever European outdoor installation in Paris. As part of interdisciplinary arts Festival 100%, Ryman is making three large-scale and site-specific installations for the historic Parc de la Villette. See renderings below. (Press release)

Will Ryman, artist mock up. Courtesy WR Studio 2017.

Will Ryman, artist mock up. Courtesy WR Studio 2017.

Will Ryman, artist mock up. Courtesy WR Studio 2017.

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