Art Industry News: Van Gogh’s Dutch Sunflowers Are Forbidden From Traveling Forever + Other Stories

Plus, France and Germany team up to launch joint cultural institutes and Mark Bradford makes a new work about police body cameras.

Van Gogh Museum's director Axel Ruger explains the restoration process of De Zonnebloemen (The Sunflowers) by Vincent van Gogh, on January 24, 2019, in Amsterdam. Photo by Olaf Kraak/AFP/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 Friday, January 25.


Behind the Art in Hudson Yards – The $25 billion development project in New York City is getting a heavy dose of art to accompany its sweeping architecture. Frank Stella, Jaume Plensa, Joel Shapiro, and other artists have been enlisted to create massive new works for the skyscrapers. (And don’t forget Thomas Heatherwick’s $150 million sculptural structure, Vessel.) The art was selected by billionaire real estate developer Stephen Ross without the help of an art advisor; his selections are heavy on sculpture. “A painting, it’s so static,” Ross explained. “You get bored by it.” (Bloomberg)

Smithsonian Is Losing $1 Million Per Week – The ongoing government shutdown is costing Smithsonian’s 19 museums a hefty sum in lost ticket sales and missed restaurant and shop revenue. And while furloughed employees will receive backpay once the record-setting shutdown is over, Smithsonian Secretary David J. Skorton said the other financial losses are unrecoverable and will affect the rest of the fiscal year. The museums been closed since January 2. (CNN)

Van Gogh’s Sunflowers Get a Travel Ban – After giving one of the world’s most famous paintings a “full body scan,” the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam has come to the conclusion that one of its prized possessions, Sunflowers, is not fit to travel—ever. The painting is one of five versions of the subject Van Gogh created. This yellow one is said to be in a stable but vulnerable state. It will remain in Amsterdam from now on, and will go on view in February after its restoration is complete. If you can’t make it to the Netherlands, other versions are in museums in London, Philadelphia, Tokyo, and Munich. (Courthouse News)

Germany and France Team Up to Establish Cultural Institutes – While Brexit is preparing to make it more difficult for UK art institutions to collaborate with those in other countries, Germany and France’s cultural ministries are getting closer. The two countries have agreed to establish at least 10 joint cultural institutes by 2020. The first group will open in Rio de Janeiro, Bishkek, the capital of Kyrgyzstan, Erbil in Iraq, and Palermo, Sicily. (The Art Newspaper)


Mark Bradford Teams With Art for Justice at Frieze – The artist will present posters depicting police body cameras around the city and on a large billboard at Paramount Studios for the inaugural edition of Frieze Los Angeles. All proceeds from the sale of his limited-edition print series of the work, called Life Size, will go to the Art for Justice Fund, which was established in 2017 with a $100 million gift from patron Agnes Gund. (Press release)

Catherine Deneuve’s YSL Wardrobe Brings in $1 Million – The 40-year friendship between the French actress and designer Yves Saint Laurent helped make her one of the country’s best-dressed figures. And the sale of her wardrobe at Christie’s in Paris this week was fiercely competitive: 90 percent of the 129 lots sold for several times their pre-sale estimates, achieving a total of €900,625 ($1.02 million). (Press release)

Expo Chicago Names Curator of Sculpture Section – Jacob Fabricius will head Expo Chicago’s sculptural installation program, called In/Situ, for the upcoming edition, scheduled to run from September 19 to 22. The curator currently serves as artistic director at Kunsthal Aarhus in Denmark. (Press release)


University of Texas Gets a Major Asian Art Collection – The family of the late collectors Trammell and Margaret Crow has gifted the University of Texas at Dallas the collection of the Crow Museum of Asian Art, along with $23 million to build a space to display it. The Crow Museum in the city’s arts district, which can only exhibit around 15 percent of its 1,000 works at a time, will remain open. (New York Times)

Hood Museum Reopens in New Hampshire – The Hood Museum of Art at Dartmouth College will reopen this weekend after a three-year, $50 million renovation by architects Tod Williams and Billie Tsien. The latest high-profile art museum project at a major American university, the new building will increase the museum’s footprint by 50 percent and add six new galleries. (WBUR)

Getty Names New Medal Winners – The J. Paul Getty Trust is bestowing its highest honor on artists Lorna Simpson and Ed Ruscha, as well as the classicist Mary Beard. This year’s Getty Medals, which recognize outstanding achievement in the visual arts and humanities, will be awarded in September at the Getty Center in Los Angeles. (Press release)

Artes Mundi Prize Awarded – The Thai film director Apichatpong Weerasethakul has won the eighth edition of the biennial prize for contemporary political art. He will be awarded the UK prize, worth $52,500, for his 12-minute film, Invisibility, on view now at the National Museum Cardiff, in Wales. (South China Morning Post)


Outrage Over Architectural Expansion in Italy – The country’s culture minister, Alberto Bonisoli, has said he will block a proposal to build a modern extension on the 15th-century Palazzo dei Diamanti in Ferrara. Bonisoli is one of 35,000 (no, that’s not a typo!) signatories on a petition opposing the €3.5 million ($3.97 million) steel-and-glass wing, which would house much-needed exhibition space, a cafe, a bookshop, and toilets. (TAN)

MoMA Gets a Gift From Herzog & de Meuron – The Swiss architects Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron have given the museum nine projects through their Kabinett foundation. The gift encompasses 23 pieces, including sketches and architectural models, related to projects the firm completed between 1994 and 2018. It will go on view at MoMA later this year. (ARTnews)

French Students Map Out Public Art by Women – Seven art history students at the École du Louvre in Paris teamed up to create an interactive map of the city highlighting the contributions of female artists. Called a guide to Paris’s “matrimoine” (a play on the French word for heritage, “patrimoine”), the map currently lists more than 130 works, buildings, and monuments made by women. (Le Monde)

Man Photoshops Himself Alongside Kendall Jenner – An amateur model has created a hilarious online alter-ego to troll Kendall Jenner. The man, who goes by the Instagram handle @KirbyJenner, claims to be Kendall’s fraternal twin, and shares images of himself photoshopped alongside her with his 1.1 million followers. In today’s postmodern, post-Internet world, this can definitely be considered an art project, no? (Bored Panda)

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