Art Industry News: Meet Lawrence Jackson, the Photographer Chronicling Kamala Harris’s Historic Vice-Presidency + Other Stories
Plus, dealer Almine Rech doubles down on Paris and the art-filled Moynihan Train Hall is now "the coolest place in New York."
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 on this Thursday, January 21.
Disgraced Socialite Fêted With Two Museums – The local government of Cuenca, Spain, has financed the creation of two spaces to showcase the collection of the financier and Cuban-American art collector Roberto Polo. Officials have been noticeably quiet, however, about Polo’s shady past, which includes a prison term following his embroilment in a $130 million art-fraud lawsuit. The Spanish government has agreed to insure the collection and provide the exhibition space and an annual budget in return for a 15-year loan of nearly 450 works from Polo’s modern and contemporary art trove. (New York Times)
Vogue Releases Special Inauguration Edition Harris Cover – Following backlash over the cover image of its February issue, Vogue announced that it will publish a limited-edition inauguration version of the magazine featuring a more formal portrait of the new VP. “Obviously we have heard and understood the reaction to the [original] print cover,” editor-in-chief Anna Wintour said. “And I just want to reiterate that it was absolutely not our intention to, in any way, diminish the importance of the vice president-elect’s incredible victory.” (Complex)
Meet the Photographer Documenting Harris’s Historic Term – That’s not the only VP Harris photo news of the day. The photographer Lawrence Jackson has been named Vice President Kamala Harris’s official photographer. Jackson was staff photographer to Harris on the campaign trail, and was previously a staff photographer in the White House during Barack Obama’s administration. At the time, he was the only Black photographer on staff. President Obama penned the forward for his 2019 book, Yes We Did: Photos and Behind-the-Scenes Stories Celebrating Our First African American President. (Culture Type)
Penn Station Is Now an Art Destination – The new, art-filled Moynihan Train Hall has managed to thrill weary New Yorkers. “It’s like an icon of the city,” said one visitor. “Already.” Tourists have been drawn to the space after seeing photos of installations by artists such as Elmgreen & Dragset on Instagram. A week after the opening, one Amtrak police officer was overhead calling it “the coolest place in New York right now.” (New York Times)
Almine Rech Opens a Second Paris Gallery – The contemporary art dealer is expanding her presence in Paris with a second space on the gallery-lined Avenue Matignon. The new space opens today with an exhibition of work by the market-ascendant American artist Kenny Scharf called “Vaxi Nation.” (WWD)
A Dealer’s Works on Paper Head to Christie’s – A trove of works on paper from the family of London art dealer Thomas Gibson are heading to the block on March 1 with a combined value of around $16 million. Highlights include Vincent van Gogh’s La Mousmé (1888), expected to fetch between $7 million and $10 million, and Lucian Freud’s Self-portrait (1974), estimated at $1.8 million to $2.5 million. (Financial Times)
COMINGS & GOINGS
Surrealist Trove Donated to Rotterdam Museum – Collectors Laurens Vancrevel and Frida de Jong have gifted the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen with a massive library of Surrealist books and paintings. The gift, which includes a whopping 4,000 publications as well as the 50 Surrealist paintings the pair has donated to the museum since 2017, will form the basis of a new research center focusing on Surrealism to open in 2026. (The Art Newspaper)
Chicago Pledges $2.5 Million to Local Arts – Chicago’s department of cultural affairs is giving out $2.5 million in grants to local artists and arts organizations. The newly launched Artist Response Program is now accepting proposals for public art commissions with budgets ranging from $50,000 to $100,000. (Hyperallergic)
FOR ART’S SAKE
Hank Willis Thomas Teams Up With Designer Sacai – The artist Hank Willis Thomas has joined forces with the fashion brand Sacai on its pre-spring and men’s spring/summer 2021 collections. Designer Chitose Abe wanted to work with the artist and activist to evoke themes of peace, love, and unity. Willis Thomas invited friends and family, including his wife, curator Rujeko Hockley, to pose for the campaign. (Yahoo News)
Rem Koolhaas Designs Constructivist Rooms for Prada – In other art-fashion crossover news, the Dutch architect and theorist has designed the set for Prada’s fall/winter 2021 menswear presentation. The abstract tableau is made up of four colorful geometric rooms in different shapes connected by square doorways. (Dezeen)
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