Art Industry News: ‘The Bachelorette’ Visits a Dutch Art Museum and Learns Poignant Lessons About Love + Other Stories

Plus, the artist behind Fearless Girl is fighting for control of the image and Heidi Zuckerman steps down as director of the Aspen Art Museum.

Hannah and one of her many suitors on the Bachelorette. (ABC/Mark Bourdillon)

Art Industry News is normally 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 2.


Fearless Girl’s Creator Fights for Control of Her Artwork – The sculptor Kristen Visbal claims she cannot sell, donate, or even talk about her most famous work without fear of repercussions because of an onerous agreement she made with the investment company behind the viral commission. Now, Visbal says she regrets signing the contract and accuses the investment firm, State Street Global, of unfairly blocking her from using Fearless Girl for its intended purpose: to promote female equality and diversity. A private German buyer recently called off a purchase of an edition, telling the artist that “[t]he city of Frankfurt does not want to be part of the in-fighting between you and State Street.” The finance company, which owns the trademark of the work, says its contract with the artist is “fair” and it is simply protecting its rights. (Daily Beast)

Why Artists Are All the Rage on Paris’s Runways – Artists have been ubiquitous on and off the Paris catwalks during the city’s Fashion Week. As high-end male fashion enjoys a “graphic” moment fueled by digital culture, designers and visual artists are collaborating more than ever. Virgil Abloh teamed up with graffiti artist Futura; the Dior Men runway featured installations by Daniel Arsham; and Japanese brand Undercover featured Cindy Sherman’s photographs on its new clothes. Fashion-friendly artists Sterling Ruby, who has his own label now, and Takashi Murakami, were also in attendance. Bruce Pask, the men’s fashion chief at Bergdorf Goodman and Neiman Marcus, says artists are “just a totally perfect repository of great visual inspiration and information.” (Wall Street Journal)

The Bachelorette Gets Emotional at Dutch Art Museum – Stars of the ABC reality show the Bachelorette are used to elaborate dates. Often, they must attend a private concert by a little-known country star who they have to pretend they’ve been a fan of forever. This time around, the show’s lead had a different kind of intimate cultural encounter. After a daytime date at an art studio involving some awkward figure drawing in The Hague, the Bachelorette—known simply as Hannah—got a private tour of the Mauritshuis. The reality star went eye-to-eye with Vermeer’s The Girl With the Pearl Earring, and was moved to tears by a painting of Saint Catherine surrounded by fighting men—she later compared the scene to her own situation on the show. “I’ve never been surrounded by so much beauty. It’s overwhelming,” a still-emotional Hannah told her date, Mike, before sending him packing. (Vimeo)

UK Leadership Rivals Back a British Freeport – The two candidates to lead the Conservative Party, Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt—one of whom is poised to become the next UK Prime Minister—both back controversial plans for a freeport in the UK. Critics have accused the candidates of trying to turn the UK into a haven for tax evaders and money launderers, pointing to the European Commission’s report on the abuse of freeports. They also cite the ongoing legal battle between the Swiss “freeport king” Yves Bouvier and the Monaco-based Russian billionaire Dmitry Rybolovlev as an example of how freeports can be exploited by the super-rich. Proponents, on the other hand, say the plan would boost the economy of northern, coastal communities where the freeports are likely to be based. (Guardian)


Chicago Has a Condo Predecessor – Chicago’s Alternative Space, a monthlong collaborative exhibition platform held at nine venues across the city, offers small galleries and artist-run spaces a low-cost alternative to an art fair. Launched by Heaven Gallery in 2015—making it older than the gallery-share event Condo—the initiative, on view until July 28, charges no fee to exhibit. Heaven manages sales and staffing. (The Art Newspaper)

Gallerist Is Accused of Harassing Homeless Woman – A San Francisco gallerist, Don Soker of Don Soker Contemporary Art, is under fire after another member of the Bay Area arts community posted a video on Facebook capturing him throwing a bucket of water from the roof of his gallery building, close to a homeless woman and her belongings. Soker has offered conflicting accounts of the incident, which prompted a police investigation, but now denies that he intended to soak the woman. (LA Times)

Only One Art Fair Has Survived in the Hamptons – Max Fishko, the founder of the Market Art + Design fair in Bridgehampton, is “the last man standing,” in the words of New York gallerist and exhibitor Peter Marcelle. While all the other Hamptons art fairs have shuttered, Fishko’s remains, returning from July 5 to 7. The secret to his success? “We don’t take ourselves too seriously,” Fishko says. (Observer)


Heidi Zuckerman Steps Down From the Aspen Art Museum – The museum director has announced she will be stepping down at the end of her contract period on September 30. Zuckerman did not immediately offer a reason for her departure from the museum, which she led for 14 years. During her tenure, the institution moved from the outskirts of downtown to a custom building designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architect Shigeru Ban; it saw attendance triple; and admission became free. (Aspen Daily News)

Museo de Arte de Lima Names Director – Bartomeu Marí has been named the next executive director of the Museo de Arte de Lima in Peru. From 2016 to 2018, Marí led the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art of the Republic of Korea. He resigned from a position at MACBA in 2015 amid controversy over the cancellation of an exhibition that included political, sexually explicit artwork. (ARTnews)

Dallas Museum of Art Names American Art Curator – Sue Canterbury will become the new curator of American art at the Dallas Museum of Art, after holding down the associate curator position at the museum for more than seven years. When given her promotion, Canterbury was praised specifically for her role in highlighting the significance of Georgia O’Keeffe’s sister Ida as an artist in the exhibition “Ida O’Keeffe: Escaping Georgia’s Shadow.” (Glasstire)

South African Artist David Koloane Has Died – Goodman Gallery has announced the death of artist and activist David Koloane at age 81. He was a key figure in South African art during the apartheid era and opened the first space in Johannesburg dedicated to black artists in 1977. His own semi-abstract work confronted colonialism and the oppression of black South Africans. (ARTnews)


A New Installation Comes to Auschwitz – A new installation designed by American-Polish architect Daniel Libeskind at the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum aims to tell the stories of Holocaust survivors in a distinct way. The exhibition, titled “Through the Lens of Faith” and featuring 21 large color photographs of survivors by Caryl Englander, aims to shift the emphasis from the atrocities perpetrated against the Jewish people to their resilience. (The Art Newspaper)

What Does Art Sound Like? – The British artist Oliver Beer has selected 32 objects from the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art—ranging from a 5,000-year-old Persian jar to a 20th-century Joan Miró vase—to create a “Vessel Orchestra” that will be activated by a series of musicians over the next month. The objects have been hooked up to microphones, mixers, and a keyboard. When the conductor presses a key, the object’s sound comes out. The show is on view at the Met Breuer until August 11, with live performances by a rotating cast every Friday. (TimesInstagram

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