Art Industry News: Anish Kapoor Donates $1 Million ‘Jewish Nobel Prize’ to Refugees + More Must-Read Stories

Plus, UK museums vie for the chance to show the Bayeux Tapestry and artist Laura Owens designs a set of iMessage stickers.

Artist Anish Kapoor stands in front of his sculpture Sky Mirror, Red, 2007, in Kensington Gardens. (Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/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 Thursday, January 18.


More Women Call Out Chuck Close – Four more women have accused the esteemed contemporary artist of inappropriate behavior stretching back to 2001. They claim that Close pressured them to undress during auditions to model for him and made explicit statements about their bodies during the encounters, which left them feeling violated and uncomfortable. Close says he “never received any complaints prior to reading about them in news reports” and apologized “without qualification.” (Hyperallergic)

Anish Kapoor Donates $1 Million Prize to Refugees – Winners of the Genesis prize, also known as as the “Jewish Nobel prize,” can award their one million bounty to organizations of their choice. The British-Indian artist, who won the prize for his commitment to Jewish values, has donated it to five charities across the world that are working with refugees. (Jerusalem Post)

UK Museums Battle It Out Over Bayeux Tapestry – After Emmanuel Macron confirmed that the Battle of Hastings tapestry will leave the country in 2022 for the first time in 950 years, institutions began to duel over which one should receive the historic work. So far, the leading contender for the loan is the British Museum, followed by the Westminster or Canterbury Cathedrals, and Hastings. Most recently, the V&A’s former director Roy Strong called for the work to go there instead, claiming the British Museum would be the wrong fit. (The GuardianTimes)

Moscow Wants to Create a Museum Mile – The Russian capital is bringing together four large art establishments by building a walking route that connects the Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts, V-A-C’s GES2, the Tretyakov Gallery, and the Garage Museum of Contemporary Art. The Garage’s director had the initial idea to connect these otherwise isolated institutions; together, they convinced the government to greenlight the plan. (The Art Newspaper)


1:54 Marrakech Exhibitor List Released – The first Moroccan edition of the contemporary African art fair—which has previously held versions in New York and London—released its exhibitor list, which includes Berlin’s Blain|Southern and New York’s Yossi Milo Gallery. The fair will also host as a series of talks curated by Omar Berrada. (ARTnews)

Can Galleries Succeed Outside Market Hubs? – As challenges mount for mid-tier galleries, commercial spaces are increasingly opting to move out of urban centers like London and New York, favoring small towns or holiday destinations like Hove and Somerset. The hope is that the lower costs, greater space, and more considerate working pace will result in increased visitors and better programming. (Apollo Magazine)

Yoko Ono and Frog King in ABHK’s Kabinett – Art Basel in Hong Kong’s Kabinett sector returns this year with 30 curated solo presentations and a focus on Asian artists. Most notably, the “Frog King Calligraphy Shop,” an iconic work by Hong Kong conceptual and performance artist Frog King, will be restaged by 10 Chancery Lane Gallery. (Press release)


South London Gallery’s New Annex Gets Opening Date – The annex, gifted to the gallery by an anonymous benefactor in 2015, will open on September 20 inside a Victorian building that was formerly Peckham Road Fire Station. It is located across the street from South London Gallery’s main site. (TAN)

Anderson Ranch Director to Step Down – Nancy Wilhelms, who has led the Colorado arts center since 2013, will step down from her position at the end of this year. She said she is leaving her post to pursue “new opportunities in arts and culture.” (Aspen Times)

Amazon Drops Art-House Films – After years of shopping sprees at Sundance Film Festival, Amazon has decided to reduce the number of indie films in its program and to focus on more commercial projects instead. The company’s TV programming will make a similar shift to bigger budget productions under the purview of interim director Albert Cheng. (Reuters)


The Dog Who Upstaged David Zwirner’s Jubilee Bash – What’s a good party without a pup in attendance? Meet Buddy, the poodle mix who modeled for photographer Philip-Lorca diCorcia and upstaged Jeff Koons, Kerry James Marshall, and Madonna’s daughter Lourdes Leon at the mega-gallerist’s 25th anniversary afterparty in New York. (Vanity Fair)

Oppenheim Sculpture Dumped in South Korea – A late, large-scale work of public art by American artist Dennis Oppenheim has been destroyed in the South Korean city of Busan. Local officials said the sculpture had become an “eyesore” after weathering storms and the elements since 2011. The Oppenheim estate was not consulted before the sculpture was carted off to the municipal dump. (AFP)

Christo Wants to Float a Mini Mastaba in London – A temporary, 65-foot-tall version of the Mastaba could float on London’s Serpentine lake during Christo and his late wife Jeanne-Claude’s Serpentine Galleries show from June to September (assuming the artist receives the proper planning permission). Made of more than 7,500 barrels, it would be a scaled-down version of the work he has long hoped to create in Abu Dhabi. (Evening Standard)

Laura Owens’s Whitney iMessage Stickers Rock – To accompany her mid-career survey at the Whitney, Laura Owens has designed a 50-sticker iMessage sticker pack, which is free to download in the Apple App Store. The bright, upbeat stickers reference popular emojis and are based on the Los Angeles-based artist’s hand-carved, glazed porcelain sculptures. The novel project was organized by Whitney curators Scott Rothkopf and Steve Crown with curatorial assistant Jessica Man. And lucky for them, next time they are caught texting during a meeting, they can just say, “It’s for work.” (Press release)

A Laura Owens designed emoji. Courtesy the Whitney.

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