Art Industry News: Real Estate Developers Are Sick of Paying for Your Public Art + Other Stories

Plus, Chelsea galleries recover from yesterday's fire and Jim Carrey takes a new approach to his favorite artistic subject, Donald Trump.

Elmgreen & Dragset, rendering of
Elmgreen & Dragset, rendering of "Van Gogh's Ear" (2016).
Photo: Courtesy of the Public Art Fund.

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, July 11.


Inside Ethiopia’s Flourishing Art Scene – Ethiopia’s art scene is blooming thanks to a growing middle class, new urban development, and a promising new young prime minister. Ethiopian artists from the diaspora are now returning home as memories of the country’s brutal, repressive dictatorship of the 1970s and ’80s recede. The newly renovated Zoma Museum opened in Addis Ababa in June, while local art events like the photography biennial Addis Foto Fest and the Addis Video Art Festival are going strong. (ARTnews)

Sprüth Magers’s Founders on How to Boost Female Employees –Our job as a gallery is to help to create a structure which helps women to get confidence and visibility, but on the highest level possible,” gallery founders Monika Sprüth and Philomene Magers say. Sprüth’s experience working in the male-dominated architecture field in the ’60s made her fearless, while Magers grew up in a younger generation with a feminist mother working in the art world. As dealers, they strive to help women in the arts succeed by giving them strong support. (Frieze)

Developers Fight Efforts to Make Them Pay for Art – Private real estate developers are angry that a growing number of cities are requiring them to incorporate public art into their projects or contribute to a public art fund, calling the percent-for-art mandate now effective in 27 states and the District of Colombia an “art tax.” The extra costs involved will drive up rent and mortgage payments, they argue, while the ordinance itself may violate aspects of the First and Fifth Amendments. (New York Times)

Liu Xia Released From China – The widow of Nobel laureate and Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo has been released from eight years of de facto house arrest in Beijing and has arrived in Berlin. The painter, photographer, and poet, who was detained without ever being charged with a crime, is now receiving medical attention in Germany, which negotiated her release. Her brother, Liu Hui, has had to stay behind after being convicted of fraud. (Guardian)


Players in Bouvier Copycat Suit Identified – The Russian automobile manufacturing billionaire Vladimir Scherbakov and a Swiss art dealer have been identified as the previously unnamed figures in a Geneva lawsuit over the sale of dozens of high-value artworks. Scherbakov, who was once a key figure in Russian politics, says the dealer unjustly inflated sale prices so that he could pocket the difference. (The Art Newspaper)

Chelsea Galleries Recover from Fire – A fire that began in Paula Cooper Gallery’s storage space yesterday resulted in the temporary closure of a number of nearby galleries. No injuries were reported and the blaze was contained quickly, according to the New York Fire Department. Paula Cooper director Steve Henry said a conservation team will arrive today to inspect the damage to works in storage. (artnet NewsARTnews)

David Smith Estate Gets New Leadership – The longtime director of the estate of sculptor David Smith, Peter Stevens, will step down after 35 years while the artist’s daughters, Rebecca and Candida Smith, will become co-presidents. The estate, represented by Hauser & Wirth, is currently working on a three-volume catalogue raisonné of the artist’s work. (ARTnews)

Art Santa Fe Grows – Since the family-founded art fair sold last year to Eric Smith, the owner of the Red Dot and Spectrum art fairs, Art Santa Fe has expanded its total footprint and individual booth sizes. Last year, attendance at the fair grew 15 percent and sales were up 30 percent. This year’s edition opens on Friday. (Santa Fe New Mexican


Andy Warhol Foundation Awards $3.6 Million in Grants – The New York foundation has announced its latest round of grant recipients, who will receive a total of $3.6 million to support exhibitions, publications, and new commissions. The 42 chosen cultural organizations include the Contemporary Austin in Texas, Artists Space in New York, and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles. (Artforum)

Henri Cartier-Bresson Foundation Will Reopen in October – The photography foundation will relocate to a larger space in a converted garage in Paris’s Le Marais neighborhood on October 17. The new venue will triple the museum’s available exhibition space. Its inaugural show will focus on the work of Belgian documentary photographer Martine Franck, Cartier-Bresson’s second wife. (Press release)

Aldrich Contemporary Names New Director – The Connecticut museum has appointed Cybele Maylone as its new executive director. Maylone previously served as director of UrbanGlass in New York City. She will begin her new role in September. (Press release)

Dragons Return to Kew Gardens – Two centuries after the originals were taken down, some 80 new dragons have been installed in Kew Gardens, the former royal estate in London. The vibrant creatures were produced on a 3D printer, except for eight on the lower levels of the building, which were hand-carved. The reinstallation is a part of the garden’s ongoing $7 million restoration. (Guardian)


New Report Shows Impact of European Culture Grants – Add this to the list of Brexit downsides. Since 2014, Creative Europe has awarded €74 million ($87 million) to 334 UK-based organizations and provided distribution of 145 British films to other European countries. But the benefits of the program extend far beyond raw numbers, according to a new report. The grants create jobs, leverage additional funding possibilities, and expand international audiences for British art. (Press release)

How the Shed Plans to Compete – With a staff of 43 that’s set to double in size by the end of the year and a programming budget of more than half a billion dollars, the ambitious Manhattan institution is targeting both discerning art consumers (the Metropolitan Opera crowd) and those who often feel alienated by high culture (the Madison Square Garden Crowd). “I’m constantly telling my team: ‘If I saw those two groups in an audience, I’d be like, I’m coming back,'” the Shed’s Alex Poots says. (Bloomberg)

Target Teams Up With the Museum of Ice Cream – There was a time when Target sponsored art exhibitions, like the National Gallery of Art’s 2007 Jasper Johns show. Now, it’s sponsoring a very different kind of museum: the highly Instagrammable Museum of Ice Cream in New York. In addition to the sponsorship, Target will begin carrying pints of the Museum of Ice Cream’s own line of sweet treats in its stores this month. (AdAge)

See Jim Carrey’s Dr. Seuss-Inspired Drawing of Trump – At this point, we have seen the US President represented as just about everything (most recently, as a big blow-up baby due to fly over London). But actor-turned-artist Jim Carrey surprises us again with his latest creation, a bird-like Dr. Seuss creature named Trumpy Monkey McBean, which he recently posted to his Twitter account. (Twitter)

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