Art Industry News: Central Park Plans to Unveil Its First-Ever Statue of an Actual Woman + Other Stories

Plus, the Warhol Foundation condemns the censorship of Josephine Meckseper's flag and dealers rally against a planned tariff on Chinese art.

The maquette of Meredith Bergmann's Sculpture. Courtesy of the New York Historical Society, photo: Glenn Castellano.

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, July 24.


Zadie Smith on Henry Taylor – “Other people look; Taylor sees,” writes best-selling author Zadie Smith in her essay on the enigmatic painter. “He puts himself in the way of people. His door is open to all kinds of folks at all kinds of hours.” According to Smith, Taylor’s practice represents “black history the way many black people actually experience it: as simultaneous change and stasis, revolution and stagnation.” He trains his remarkable eye on the poor, the rich, the mentally ill, and the famous alike. (New Yorker)

Warhol Foundation Condemns Removal of Meckseper’s Flag – Joel Wachs, the head of the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, has written an official letter to the University of Kansas to protest its removal of an artwork by Josephine Meckseper. Her stained flag was the last in a series of flags commissioned by Creative Time, but was taken inside after local politicians claimed it was disrespectful. “It is crucial that the work be seen as the artist intended and not be censored as a result of political pressure,” Wachs wrote. (ARTnews)

Central Park Plans Its First Statue of a Woman – In New York City, there are only five public statues of women and 145 of men. But that will change—at least a little bit—in 2020, when Central Park will get its first-ever statue of a real woman. (It already has one of Alice in Wonderland.) The forthcoming monument, designed by sculptor Meredith Bergmann, will depict suffragettes Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony. (Gothamist)

Statue of British Merchant Will Mention Role in Slave Trade – Bristol’s city council has voted to add a plaque to a statue of the celebrated 17th-century merchant Edward Colston that explains his role in the deaths of nearly 20,000 Africans and the enslavement of a further 84,000, including 12,000 children. The decision comes after the monument, which paints Colston as “virtuous and wise,” became the target of multiple acts of vandalism. Colston, who worked with the Royal Africa Company, was partly responsible for industrializing the slave trade. (Mail Online)


Dealers Oppose Chinese Art Tariff – The trade war with China shows no signs of abating, but American dealers are stepping in to oppose the most recent policy that includes a 10 percent tariff on art and antiques imported from the Asian country into the US. Hearings on the policy will be held in August. (The Art Newspaper)

Bahrain Fair Was Allegedly Mismanaged – Art Bahrain Across Borders, or ArtBAB, is in hot water. Its parent company has reportedly not yet paid a number of employees, including a photographer and VIP relations head. Meanwhile, the 15 participating dealers were angry to discover that 29 booths had been booked by artists themselves to sell their work directly to collectors with what they say was little vetting. The affair illustrates the challenges of establishing a new fair in a developing market with little experience, participants note. (TAN)

Company Offer Online Valuations Based on AI – The New Hampshire-based start-up ARTBnk wants to revolutionize the way people evaluate their art with a little hep from artificial intelligence. The company’s online database uses AI to offer real-time appraisals of works of art. The company, which was founded last year, now has 40 employees. (Union Leader)

EXPO CHICAGO Announces Talks Program – Speakers at the Chicago art fair include artist Dawoud Bey on the underground railroad and Iván Navarro on institutional structures of power. Kay Rosen will weigh in on the feminist history of alternative spaces and Theaster Gates will share his views on the Johnson Publishing Archive. The fair runs from September 27 to 30. (Press release)


Spike Island Names New Director – Beginning this fall, Robert Leckie will take the helm of the contemporary art and design center in Bristol, UK. He succeeds Helen Legg, who left to lead Tate Liverpool. Leckie has been a curator at the South London nonprofit Gasworks since 2011. (ARTnews)

Cleveland Museum to Build Chinese Art Conservation Center – A $1.5 million gift from June and Simon K.C. Li—which matches an equal-sized challenge grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation—will help build a new center for Chinese paintings conservation at the Cleveland Museum of Art in Ohio. The center hopes to build up badly needed expertise on the subject in the US. (ARTnews)

MASS MoCA Director Involved in Fatal Collision – Joseph Thompson, the director of the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art, was involved in a crash that resulted in the death of motorcyclist Steven Fortier on Friday night. Neither Thompson nor a passenger in the same vehicle sustained serious injuries and no charges have been filed in connection with the incident. (Boston Globe)


Berlin Museum Cancels Talk Under Pressure From Israeli Ambassador – After Israel’s ambassador to Germany condemned a talk by the Palestinian-raised Swarthmore College professor Sa’ed Atshan scheduled to take place in July at Berlin’s Jewish Museum, the museum’s director decided to cancel it. Atshan, who was due to deliver a talk titled “On Being Queer and Palestinian in East Jerusalem,” is connected to the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement against Israel. (Jerusalem Post)

How to Fight Gender-Based Violence in the Art World – In response to a prominent South African photographer’s alleged abuse of his partner and the art world’s muted response to the news, professor M. Neelika Jayawardane writes: “How we, as professionals in the art world, decide to react towards the violent people working in our field will have a significant impact. Individuals in influential positions and persons on boards are the guides of institutional policies—they reflect prevailing ‘norms’ and belief systems of dominant cultural groups.” (Al Jazeera)

Denver Art Museum Will Show 100 Monet Paintings Next Year – The museum is staging what it bills as the most comprehensive American exhibition of works by Monet in two decades in a show titled “Claude Monet: The Truth of Nature” (October 20, 2019–February 2, 2020). The exhibition will borrow work from institutions in Japan and Amsterdam as well as private collections and is scheduled to travel to the Museum Barberini in Germany in the spring of 2020. (303 Magazine)

Olympic Diver Views His Portrait by David Hockney – The British diver Tom Daley visited the Los Angeles County Museum of Art with his husband Dustin Lance Black, their newborn son, and his mother over the weekend to see a nude portrait of himself by David Hockney. Daley sat for the charcoal and crayon portrait last August. See Daley’s Instagram post about the moment below. (Gay Times)

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