Art Industry News: Artists Dig Grave for the ‘American Dream’ on Trump’s Golf Course + More Must-Read Stories
Plus, man held after reclining naked in front of Mona Lisa and Margaret Thatcher statue in London rejected.
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 24.
Throngs Flock to The Wrong Biennial – The Wrong is the world’s largest digital art biennale, and its founder, David Quiles Guilló, admits that he will not even get to see all the work that 1,500 artists are showing in 100 exhibition pavilions. It’s estimated that millions of viewers will log in to to see the biennial before it closes on January 31. (NYT)
Margaret Thatcher Statue Rejected in London – A proposed larger-than-life statue of the late British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in central London has been rejected by Westminster Council because of “monument saturation” and the possibility of attracting “civil disobedience and vandalism” in Parliament Square. The divisive politician’s likeness would have stood alongside Abraham Lincoln’s memorial on a 12-foot-high plinth. (Guardian)
Artists Dig Graves in Trump Golf Course – Guerrilla street art collective Indecline, which created naked Trump statues in 2016, strikes again, mounting headstones in a Trump-owned golf course in New Jersey to mourn the loss of “decency” and the “American Dream” during the US President’s first year in the White House. (Hyperallergic)
Anselm Kiefer Is Now Austrian – The 71-year-old German artist has gained honorary Austrian citizenship, in recognition of his cultural contributions. The award was given to him on Tuesday in the Austrian town of Salzburg, which is also the site of the “Kiefer Pavilion,” a permanent walk-in sculpture that houses works by the artist. The Paris-based artist often addresses themes relevant to the country, including Germanic mythology, the Holocaust, and National Socialism. (DPA)
Phillips Adds Matisse and Picasso to London Sale – In what could be its priciest sale in London to date, Phillips is looking cash in on the sale of Nu Allongé by Matisse, an historic 1907 sculpture of a reclining nude, which pairs well with the other star work going under the hammer: Pablo Picasso’s Sleeping Nude, a portrait of his lover Marie-Thérèse Walter from 1932. (The Telegraph)
New Design Fair Launched in Brussels – Liv Vaisberg, the former co-director of Independent Brussels and the founder of the boutique Brussels fair Poppositions, has teamed up with Clélie Debenhault to launch a new fair, Collectible, with a focus on design. Collectible will be held March 7–11 inside the centrally located Vanderborght building. (Press release)
Paddle8 Embraces Cryptocurrency in Swiss Merger – The Swiss e-commerce technology company The Native is buying a 15 percent stake in the struggling online auction platform for $8.8 million. The new partnership will draw on The Native’s blockchain division, allowing sales via cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin in the hopes of engaging a new generation of art collectors. (NYT)
Ole Scheeren Completes Headquarters for China Guardian – Doors down from the Forbidden City palace complex in Beijing, the German architect Ole Scheeren has finished the world’s first purpose-built auction house. It is set to be a hybrid institution with galleries, a hotel, restaurants, art conservation facilities, and even integrated public transport infrastructure. (Press release)
COMINGS & GOINGS
Heidi Rabben Heads to the Contemporary Jewish Museum – Previously an independent curator, Rabben joins the Contemporary Jewish Museum in San Francisco from Canada, where she was the Banff International Curatorial Institute’s curator-in-residence. (Press release)
Polish Artist Wins App-Entry Prize – The Warsaw-based artist Zuza Golińska has won the inaugural ArtePrize, the first award open to entrants via an app. Golińska will receive $15,000 and a three-month residency at London’s Delfina Foundation, where her work is being shown alongside that of the three runners up until January 27. (Press release)
Nick Stillman to Head Prospect New Orleans – Stillman will become the triennial’s new executive director on April 2 from his current position as president and CEO of the Arts Council of New Orleans. Meanwhile, Susan G. Brennan will resign as its president and chair, though she will remain on the board of trustees. (ARTnews)
Robin Rhode Wins Zurich Art Prize – The South African, Berlin-based artist Robin Rhode has won the prestigious art prize totaling €85,000 ($105,000), which includes a solo exhibition next fall in Zurich’s Museum Haus Konstruktiv. Rhode is known for his humorous, sometimes cheeky wall drawings which embrace performance art, constructivism and color theory. (Monopol)
FOR ART’S SAKE
Art21 Releases Films on Kruger, Whitten, and Others – To celebrate the nonprofit’s 21st anniversary, Art21 will premier five new films. The first features the conceptual collagist Barbara Kruger, who is interviewed about her oeuvre, past and present. Other films feature Doreen Garner, Raúl de Nieves, Abigail DeVille, and the late painter Jack Whitten. (Press release)
Film About Mexican Museum Heist Premiers in Berlin – Anant Singh’s film Museo will have its world premier in Berlin on February 22, at the 68th edition of the Berlin International Film Festival. Directed by Alonso Ruizpalacios, the film is loosely based on a true story of two veterinary students looting Mexico’s treasured Anthropology Museum and unsuccessfully attempting to sell their haul. (Biz Community)
Man Detained After Disrobing Before Mona Lisa – A 28-year-old Spanish man laid down naked in front of Leonardo’s most famous work in the Louvre on Monday. Thirty-five minutes later, he was handcuffed, arrested, and the museum has filed a complaint against him—performance art or not. (Le Parisien)
Oldenburg’s Big Eraser Heads to Palm Beach – Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen’s Typewriter Eraser, Scale X will stand outside the new entrance of the Norton Museum of Art in West Palm Beach. Collector Ronnie Heyman commissioned the pop art sculpture with her late husband, Samuel, for their sculpture garden in Connecticut and has since donated it to the museum. (Palm Beach Daily News)
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