Art Industry News: Angry Trump Supporters Flood the Guggenheim With Bad Yelp Reviews + More Must-Read Stories

Plus, a Philly museum takes a different approach to Chuck Close and a resolution to the Berkshire saga may be on the horizon.

The Guggenheim Museum in New York. Photo credit: STAN HONDA/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 Tuesday, January 30.


Is a Resolution Near in the Berkshire Saga? – The state attorney general’s office filed a motion yesterday asking for a one-week extension of the injunction barring the museum’s planned art sale, which has been in place for two months. The fact that the request was not opposed by the Berkshire may indicate that talks are underway to resolve the deaccessioning dispute before next Monday, February 5. (Berkshire Eagle)

PAFA Keeps Close, Plans Responsive Exhibition – Although the National Gallery of Art and Seattle University opted to sideline Chuck Close’s work, the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts in Philadelphia has decided not to pull its ongoing show of the artist’s photographs. Instead, the academy will mount a separate show in response to the sexual harassment allegations against him. The presentation, which addresses issues of gender and power, will go up outside the Close exhibition next month. (ARTnews)

The Guggenheim’s Yelp Reviews Are in the Toilet – Guggenheim curator Nancy Spector’s offer to lend Trump a golden toilet by Maurizio Cattelan hasn’t gone over well on the most popular online rating sites. Yelp began actively “cleaning up” the museum’s page on Friday, the site’s standard practice when an institution has a major media moment. But Facebook hasn’t been as conscientious: The museum now has 33,000 one-star reviews. (Huffington Post)

New Saudi Art Institute Reveals Program – The Misk Art Institute, the new institution funded by Saudi Arabia’s crown prince and led by artist Ahmed Mater, has revealed its 2018 program. Important initiatives include the development of the first Saudi pavilion for the Venice Architecture Biennale, an Arab art festival in New York in October, and a cultural exchange program with California in November. (Artforum)


Cherry & Martin Gallery to Dissolve – After 12 years, the well-regarded Culver City gallery’s co-founder Mary Leigh Cherry is moving on from the business to pursue new opportunities. Fellow co-founder Philip Martin will continue to represent the gallery’s artists under a new name, Philip Martin Gallery. The venue will make its art-fair debut at the Armory Show in March. (ARTnews)

Sotheby’s Stock Is Back Up – After six months of ups and downs, the company’s stock is off to a strong start in 2018. It is currently at $55 per share, close to its multi-year high of $57 that was notched last year. The solid result could be influenced by the impending release of the company’s fourth-quarter results next month. (Art Market Monitor)

Prints and Multiples Are on the Rise – Once considered a “gateway drug” for budding collectors, editions have recently established themselves as a fast-growing collectible category in and of themselves. One auction house executive estimates that each dedicated auction receives 50 percent new bidders: “We don’t get it: How is it possible?” (Bloomberg)

The True Value of Contemporary African Art – Touria El Glaoui, founder of the 1–54 contemporary African art fair, argues in a recent TED talk that the boom in the market for art from the African continent is not the end goal. Rather, the social value of telling African stories through art will lead to a true sense of empowerment and agency for artists. (Quartz)


MoCAD Co-Founder Dies – Photographer and art patron Julia Reyes Taubman, who co-founded the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit, has died from cancer at the age of 50. Taubman also served on the board of governors of the Cranbrook Academy of Art and was a former board member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland. (Detroit News)

Canada’s Sobey Art Award Doubles – Changes are afoot for the annual award supporting young Canadian artists. The top cash prize has doubled to 100,000 Canadian dollars and cash prizes will now be given to shortlisted and longlisted artists. The foundation has also launched three residency programs. (CBC)

Rubin Foundation Gives Art and Social Justice Grants – Sixty organizations in New York City have received grants ranging from $5,000 to $20,000 to fund daily operating costs, including the Leslie Lohman Museum of Gay & Lesbian Art, Creative Time, W.A.G.E., and the Bronx Museum of the Arts. (ARTnews)

KMA 2018 Himmel Award Recipients Announced – Power couple Art Spiegelman and Françoise Mouly will receive this year’s award for significant creative achievements. Spiegelman holds a Pulitzer for his graphic novel Maus, while Mouly is art editor of The New Yorker. (Press release)


UK Arts Minister Steps in to Prevent Turner Export Ehrenbreitstein, a painting by JMW Turner depicting a historic fortress in Germany, is at risk of leaving the UK unless a buyer can match the asking price of $26 million. In the meantime, arts minister Michael Ellis has deferred the work’s export license, citing it as an object of important cultural interest to the UK. (Press release)

Dallas Museum of Art Acquires Major European Works – The museum has announced the acquisition of three major works of European art: a double-sided drawing by Piet Mondrian; an oil-on-paper work from 1909 by Pierre Bonnard; and a recently rediscovered work by Jacques Blanchard titled Zeus and Semele (circa 1632). (Glasstire)

Jewish Museum Just Realized It Was Hanging a Painting Upside Down – After years hung incorrectly, a work by Morris Louis has now been flipped 180 degrees. Curators noticed red arrows on the back of the painting and, having turned the canvas, identified an abstracted figure reaching for the Star of David. Upon further research, they also discovered that the title of the work was wrong: In a 1953 brochure, the painting was referred to as Man Reaching for a Star, not Untitled (Jewish Star) as had been previously thought. (New York Times)

Herzog & de Meuron Building at Royal College of Art Gets Go-Ahead – The proposed $152 million design for the RCA’s new flagship building in London’s Battersea neighborhood, which was unveiled last fall, has received approval to begin planning. The new campus site marks an important shift in the RCA’s program, as the school moves into new design and creative disciplines at the intersection of art, math, and science. (archdaily)

Herzog & de Meuron Concept for the Royal College of Art, London, UK. Courtesy Herzog & de Meuron.

Herzog & de Meuron Concept for the Royal College of Art, London, UK. Courtesy Herzog & de Meuron.

Herzog & de Meuron Concept for the Royal College of Art, London, UK. Courtesy Herzog & de Meuron.

Herzog & de Meuron Concept for the Royal College of Art, London, UK. Courtesy Herzog & de Meuron.

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