Art Industry News: The Louvre Now Offers a Beyoncé and Jay-Z-Themed Tour of the Museum + Other Stories
Plus, opponents of the Berkshire Museum's sales rent out a billboard and an expert proves a painting sold by Sotheby's is a modern forgery.
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 4.
LACMA Expansion Is Delayed—and Under Pressure – The Los Angeles institution is already six months behind schedule in breaking ground on its Peter Zumthor-designed building. Initially planned to commence in 2019, the project is growing more complicated due to rising costs caused by inflation, U.S. tariffs on materials, and other construction projects in the city. The museum is aiming to reach its fundraising target of $600 million for the expansion by December. (Los Angeles Times)
The Long and Winding Road for D.C.’s National Memorials – Shepherding a new national memorial from concept to ribbon-cutting ceremony can take years, if not decades. The Dwight D. Eisenhower memorial—due for unveiling in 2021—has been nearly 20 years in the making. The Desert Storm Memorial in Washington has been stalled for three years while seeking to secure a location. To get to the designing stage, a D.C. memorial must win over two commissions (and a flurry of public opinion), gain location approval, and raise 110 percent of its budget. (Washington Post)
The Louvre Creates a Beyoncé and Jay-Z Tour – Thanks to the power couple, the Mona Lisa and Venus de Milo have now been viewed on YouTube 57 million times. In response to their viral, art-packed music video APESH**T which dropped earlier this month, the Louvre is now offering a 90-minute self-guided tour dedicated to the 17 paintings and sculptures that served as backdrops for the Carters’ revisionist video. (South China Morning Post)
Berkshire Museum Critics Rent a Billboard – Protesters of the museum’s decision to deaccession 40 works from its collection have rented a billboard in the Massachusetts town. The red-and-black sign reads “NO TRANSPARENCY = NO TRUST” and “No More Sales!” with the reference to transparency and trust borrowing from the museum trustees open letter from May 31. The roadside sign was an initiative by Save the Art-Save the Museum, a group of citizens who have been publicly opposing the controversial and ongoing sale. (Berkshire Eagle)
Young Korean Artists Rise in London – At the Royal College of Art’s graduation show, some 50 paintings were sold, with young Korean talents leading the pack. Sung Kook Kim’s large surrealistic painting fetched the highest price, going for £9,000 ($11,900). British art schools are admitting higher numbers of students from outside Europe, partly because overseas students pay much higher tuition fees. (Art Market Monitor)
Expert Proves Old Masters Painting Sold by Sotheby’s Is a Fake – A painting of Saint Jerome attributed to Parmigianino that has been at the center of a fakes scandal has been proven to be a 20th-century forgery. Sotheby’s New York had sold the painting, which had been consigned by Luxembourg dealer Lionel de Pourrières, for $842,500 in 2012. To refute one expert’s conclusion that the work was a fake, de Pourrières commissioned another expert, who also came to the same conclusion. A court decision on the case is imminent. (The Art Newspaper)
German Government and Museum Block Sale of Sculpture – German Culture Minister Monika Grütters said she would make €1 million of her budget available to prevent the pharmaceutical company Bayer AG from putting the historically significant bronze statuette known as the Dresden Mars up for sale at Sotheby’s London today. The Dresden State Collections offered to buy the work, and it was withdrawn from the lot yesterday afternoon. (Monopol)
What Does Christy MacLear’s Exit Tell Us About Sotheby’s AAP Strategy? – After Christy MacLear’s surprising exit from Sotheby’s last week, Marion Maneker speculates what may have been going on behind the scenes of the announcement. “If the goal was to minimize MacLear’s departure, the strategy didn’t work,” he writes. “If the goal was to maximize the coverage or put MacLear into the best light, that didn’t seem to work either.” (Art Market Monitor)
COMINGS & GOINGS
Art Institute of Colorado to Close – The school is one of 18 that will be shuttering after the Los Angeles nonprofit Dream Center’s acquisition of 31 Art Institute schools in a $60 million deal last year, an internal company memo has revealed. The Colorado institute will close before the end of the year, resulting in 160 staff redundancies. “This decision was made for a number of reasons, including significantly declining enrollment and an increase in the demand for online programs in higher education,” the memo stated. (Denver Post)
Richmond Panel Urges Removal of Confederate Monument – After a year of consultations, a special commission has recommended removing a statue commemorating the Confederate president Jefferson Davis in Richmond, Virginia. “Change is needed and desired,” according to the 100-page report, which also advised adding contextual signage around the city’s historic Monument Avenue and creating new, more inclusive monuments to the city’s history. (AP)
For Freedoms’s “50 States, 50 Billboards” Initiative Is Fully Funded – All 50 states have reached their crowdfunding targets for the artist-run superPAC’s proposed project to go ahead. Co-founder Hank Willis Thomas posted on his Instagram that the organization had actually exceeding its goal for what he is calling “the largest creative collaboration in our nation’s history.” (Instagram)
Annette Kulenkampff Joins German Institute for Urban Design – Art historian and former documenta managing director is the new managing director of the German Institute of Urban Design. She took up the post on July 1. Kulenkampff resigned from the quinquennial art show this spring after documenta 14 ran up a major budget deficit. (Monopol)
FOR ART’S SAKE
Inside Helsinki’s New Contemporary Art Museum – Amos Rex is due to open on August 30 in the square behind the historical Lasipalatsi, or “glass palace,” in the Finnish capital. The new museum will open with an exhibition named “Untitled,” a massive light-and-music installation put together by a team of 500 artists, computer programmers, CG animators, mathematicians, designers, and writers. (Lonely Planet)
Chinese Archeological Mission Launches in Egypt – Chinese experts are heading to Egypt with an excavation due to begin in Luxor in September using the latest Chinese-designed 3D remote sensing and imaging technology. The Chinese Academy of Social Sciences will collaborate on the project as well as train Egyptian experts in cultural-relic protection, safety monitoring, and site control. (ECNS)
Solange Funds School Trip to the African American Museum – A donation from the performance artist and singer has enabled Project Row Houses to take 12 high-school students from Houston’s Third Ward area to Washington, DC, this summer to visit the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, among other cultural sites. (Glasstire)
Zak Ové’s African Sculptures Arrive in San Francisco – Forty of the artist’s six-and-a-half-foot-tall graphite tribal figures, which were originally commissioned for London’s Somerset House, have be installed until November in San Francisco’s Civic Center plaza. London-based Ové hopes the project, called Invisible Man and the Masque of Blackness, will “speak to the future of an African diaspora.”(NBC Bay Area)
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