Art Industry News: the Museum of Chinese in America’s Archives, Feared Lost, Are ‘Very Much Salvageable’ + Other Stories

Plus, Hauser & Wirth cancels its Art Basel dinner and funds environmental causes instead, and a detailed photo of the sun stuns the world.

The Museum of Chinese in America. Image courtesy of Ajay Suresh via Flickr

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 30.


The Super Bowl Is the Biggest Art Show in Miami Right Now – As the Super Bowl returns to Miami, organizers are celebrating the city’s street artists by inviting them to commemorate Super Bowl LIV in a series of murals around the city. They also turned over the game’s tickets and program to artist Tristan Eaton, who transformed them into an explosion of tropical color. The participating artists—including Dasic Fernandez, RISK, and Kelsey Montague—were selected by Jessica Goldman, a member of the Super Bowl host committee and CEO of Goldman Properties. And that’s not the only art-related event tied to the Super Bowl: Deaf artist Christine Sun Kim will also sign the national anthem during the broadcast(NYT)

The Art World Tries to Become More Eco-Conscious – After art advisor and market journalist Josh Baer made an art world “call to arms” for the environment in his last newsletter, the Baer Faxt, several art-market participants came through with commitments. Hauser & Wirth is canceling its dinner during Art Basel in June, opting instead to donate the allotted budget to Art for Acres, which will be matched by Global Wildlife Conservation to conserve five square miles of forest. (“We will also ask our clients to do the same,” the gallery’s co-founder Iwan Wirth said.) Meanwhile, Christie’s is reducing auction catalogue waste by 50 percent this year, Peter Halley’s studio is offsetting its carbon footprint, and former auctioneer Loïc Gouzer suggests that collectors donate works to an environmental charity auction, which he has offered to organize. (Baer Faxt)

Museum of Chinese in America Archives May Be Saved – There may be a rare happy ending to the tragic story of a five-alarm fire at a Chinatown building that housed the archives of the Museum of Chinese in America in New York. After city workers began recovering the museum’s boxes from the building on Wednesday, MOCA’s president said that the materials appear to be “very much salvageable.” The first set of boxes will be immediately sent to Allentown, Pennsylvania, where they will be put in freezers in order to be stabilized. Recovery efforts to salvage the rest of the archive—which contains 85,000 objects tracing the history of the growth of the Chinese diaspora in New York and the wider US—are ongoing. (Gothamist)

New Photograph of the Sun Wows the World – The largest solar telescope in the world has captured the best picture ever taken of the surface of the sun. Thanks to the Daniel K. Inouye Solar Telescope (DKIST) in Hawaii, the world can observe the honeycomb-like pattern of plasma that roils across the sun’s surface. The image is five times the resolution of images from the next-best solar telescope. “We have now seen the smallest details on the largest object in our solar system,” said Thomas Rimmele, the director of DKIST. (New Scientist)


A Salvador Dalí Diptych Could Fetch $13 Million at Bonhams – Dalí’s 1937 diptych painting titled Couple With Their Heads Full of Clouds will be sold at Bonhams London on March 26 with an estimate of £7 million to £10 million ($9 million to $13 million). The surrealist depiction of the artist and his wife Gala is up for sale as part of the collection of Modernist composer Giacinto Scelsi; it does not carry a guarantee. (TAN)

Rare 17th-Century Wine Bottles Could Fetch $22,000 – An eagle-eyed construction worker unearthed a hoard of rare 17th-century wine bottles at a building site in the UK. The bottles are now headed for auction at BBR Auctions of Elsecar, South Yorkshire, next month, where they could sell for as much as £20,000 ($22,000). (Daily Mail)


Bruce High Quality Foundation Founder to Lead Children’s Museum – Seth Cameron, a founder of the collective known as the Bruce High Quality Foundation and a former president of its alternative art school, BHQFU, will be the next executive director of the Children’s Museum of the Arts in SoHo. He takes up his post on February 3. (NYT)

Independent Curators International Names Deputy Director – Frances Wu Giarratano has been named deputy director of the curatorial organization, where she will lead daily operations and work on long-term strategy and programming. Giarratano joins ICI from the American Federation of Arts. (Artforum)

Les Wexner May Step Down From Victoria’s Secret – The billionaire CEO of the lingerie brand’s parent company, L Brand, is in talks to step down. Wexner, who is an avid art collector and founded an arts center in Columbus, Ohiohas been trying to distance himself from the late financier and convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein. Wexner came under intense pressure after Epstein’s arrest last July for having employed him as a personal adviser, giving him powers over his finances, philanthropy, and private affairs. (NYT)


Dia Announces Lineup for New York Location – The Dia Art Foundation’s Chelsea space will reopen on September 19 with free admission and an exhibition by American artist Lucy Raven, who has been commissioned to create two new works that will explore the depiction of the American West. Meanwhile, at Dia Beacon, the first institutional survey of Mario Merz in 30 years will debut in May. (Press release)

Joan Mitchell Foundation Announces Artists in Residence – The foundation has named 37 residents for its 2020 residency program in New Orleans, including Ebony G. Patterson, Stephanie Syjuco, and Scott Andresen. Each will receive studio space on the center’s two-acre campus along with a $600 monthly stipend. (Artforum)

Asia Society Names Inaugural Triennial Participants – New York’s Asia Society has announced the more than 40 artists and collectives from 19 nations who will participate in the inaugural Asia Society Triennial, which will unfold across multiple venues in New York City beginning June 5. Titled “We Do Not Dream Alone,” the exhibition will include Chinese artist Lu Yang, New York artist Jordan Nassar, and Japanese collective teamLab. (Press release)

Nasim Nasr, 33 Beads (Unworried) #2 (2018). Image courtesy of the artist.

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