Art Industry News: Why Google’s Viral Art Selfie App Doesn’t Work in Texas + More Must-Read Stories

Plus, Sotheby's appoints a new head of contemporary art in Asia and Thomas Demand wins Berlin's biggest art award.

Rodeo rider Blake Christie would not be able to use the fun new Google app in Texas. (Photo by Lisa Maree Williams/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 Wednesday, January 17.


Little Known J.M. Coetzee Photographs Go on View – In 2014, a box of photographs and negatives by the South African novelist and Nobel laureate were found in his former Cape Town apartment. Shot in the mid-‘50s, the black-and-white photos capture provincial life through the lens of the then 15-year-old author, and are now on view for the first time at the Irma Stern Museum. (New York Times)

Artist-Organizer Detained in Israel – Mohammed “Habshe” Yossef, a community organizer and member of Decolonize This Place and the BDS movements, was detained on January 9 by Israeli military. Habshe, who also works as a guard at Banksy’s Walled Off Hotel in Bethlehem, has already served three years in Israeli prison in the early 2000s. (Hyperallergic)

Google’s Art Selfie App Doesn’t Work in Two States – The phenomenally popular face-matching app from Google’s Arts & Culture unit can’t be used in Texas or Illinois. Why? Because unlike the 48 other states in the Union, those two have strict privacy laws regulating the way that companies are allowed to gather and retain biometric data from its citizens, nixing the spooky technology that allows the app to function as hilariously as it does. (Chicago Tribune)

Germany’s Right-Wing Party Could Control Its Cultural Policies – The German Cultural Council appealed to the winning parties not to allow the right-wing populist AfD to chair the Federal Parliament’s Cultural Committee, giving them oversight of cultural policy. Although Germany’s coalition government has not yet been formed since the September elections, the Parliamentary committees are being formed, meaning there is a chance the AfD could run the arts. (Deutsche Welle)


Phillips Moves Latin American Art Into Contemporary Sales – Reflecting a growing interest in Latin American art evinced by record prices recently set for works by Carmen Herrera, Mira Schendel, and Hélio Oiticica, the auction house has moved its Latin American offerings from a standalone category into its main contemporary sales. (The Art Newspaper)

Sotheby’s Appoints New Head of Contemporary Art in Asia – Yuki Terase, a key factor behind Yusaku Maezawa’s record purchase of a $110.5 million Basquiat last year, has been selected to run the auction house’s contemporary art operation in the fast-growing region. She will lead sales of Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and Western contemporary art in Asia from the house’s base in Hong Kong. (Press release)

Freedman Fitzpatrick Expands to Paris – Citing a renewed focus on Paris in the wake of Brexit, the cool Los Angeles gallery will open a new location near the Centre Pompidou on February 8. The inaugural exhibition will be a solo show of new works by Matthew Lutz-Kinoy, one of Freedman Fitzpatrick’s artists who has recently moved to the city. (Press release)

Art Berlin Fair Changes Date and Location – The second iteration of the fair after Köln Messe’s takeover will open two weeks later than usual, on September 27, in a new location: the defunct Tempelhof airport. However, that means a scheduling clash with both EXPO Chicago and Vienna Contemporary, and no overlap with Berlin’s art Week. The mid-September dates at the new location were already taken, says fair director Maike Cruse. (Monopol)


US Artists Announces 2018 Fellows – Forty-five artists and collectives selected from a pool of 500 will receive $50,000 fellowships from the Chicago-based organization that promotes contemporary artists. Visual artists Dread Scott, Cauleen Smith, and Abigail DeVille number among the recipients. (Artforum)

Amy Sherald Joins Baltimore Museum Board – Michelle Obama portraitist and Baltimore native Amy Sherald will take up the position of trustee at the Baltimore Museum of Art beginning February 20, joining 41 other active trustees guiding the museum’s board. (Press release)

Thomas Demand Nabs Berlin’s Art Award – The photographer will receive the prize from the Berlin Mayor Michael Müller in a ceremony on March 19. Artist Tacita Dean and museum director Marion Ackermann were among the jury members. (Press release)


Star Artists Shortlisted for San Francisco Bay Islands – Leading artists shortlisted to create public art for the $50 million redevelopment of Treasure Island in San Francisco Bay include Ai Weiwei, Pae White, Antony Gormley, and Jorge Pardo while Chakaia Booker, Andy Goldsworthy and Hiroshi Sugimoto and finalists to create works on Yerba Buena Island. (The Art Newspaper)

Yale Gets a Major Photography Gift – The London-based collectors Claire and James Hyman have donated a 125-strong collection of British documentary photography to the Yale Center for British Art. The gift includes prints by Bill Brandt, Tony Ray-Jones, Martin Parr, Roger Mayne, Jane Bowen, and Harvard-based Chris Killip, among others. Highlights are due to go on show March 29. (Art Fix Daily)

Joint Purchase of Tacita Dean’s Hockney Film – The National Portrait Gallery in London and the Royal Academy of Arts have jointly acquired Tacita Dean’s film portrait of David Hockney, in which her fellow Los Angeles-based British artist paints numerous portraits and smokes a lot of cigarettes. The novel joint-purchase comes ahead of a triptych of Dean shows this spring in London co-organized by the NPG, RA, and London’s National Gallery. (Guardian)

Bayeux Tapestry Could Return to Britain – President Macron of France is expected to announce today when meeting UK Prime Minister Theresa May that the Bayeux Tapestry could return to Britain for the first time since it was created by Anglo-Saxon embroiderers shortly after the Norman Conquest of England in 1066. (Interestingly, the unknown female makers stitched some saucy subversive details in the margin of the 70-meter-long textile work.) No date or venue have been announced to show the historic depiction of the last successful foreign invasion of Britain. (The Times)

A segment of the Bayeux Tapestry depicting Odo, Bishop of Bayeux, rallying Duke William’s troops during the Battle of Hastings in 1066. Wikimedia Commons

A segment of the Bayeux Tapestry depicting Edward the Confessor sending Harold to Normandy. Wikimedia Commons

Harold’s death. Legend above: Harold rex interfectus est, “King Harold is killed.” Wikimedia Commons

Follow Artnet News on Facebook:

Want to stay ahead of the art world? Subscribe to our newsletter to get the breaking news, eye-opening interviews, and incisive critical takes that drive the conversation forward.