Art Industry News: GQ’s Editor-in-Chief Is Producing a Movie About a String of High-Profile Chinese Art Heists + Other Stories
Plus, more museums part ways with David Adjaye and a pair of rare Rembrandts sold for $12 million.
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 Friday, July 7.
NEED TO READ
Italian Culture Minister Ignites Outrage After Rant – Italy’s undersecretary for Culture, the art critic Vittorio Sgarbi, launched into a sexist screed during a panel discussion at Rome’s MAXXI museum, boasting about his sexual prowess and saying male genitalia “is an organ of knowledge, of penetration, it makes us understand.” A video posted online prompted outrage and condemnation from several public figures, but Sgarbi has defended the outburst as “a show” and “freedom of speech.” (EuroNews)
More Museums Part Ways With David Adjaye – After serious allegations of sexual abuse, misconduct, and a toxic workplace were reported in the Financial Times this week, museums have been scrambling to distance themselves from the starchitect. The latest institutions to part ways include Studio Museum in Harlem, Multnomah County Library in Portland, Oregon, and Princeton’s University Art Museum, although it appears that Adjaye Associates will still be involved to some degree in the projects’ completion. The National Museums Liverpool has not yet dropped Adjaye but said it takes “the allegations described very seriously.” (New York Times) (Hyperallergic)
GQ’s Editor-in-Chief Is Producing Warner Bros.’s “The Great Chinese Art Heist” – Based on a blockbuster 2018 article published in GQ about a wave of thefts of Chinese antiquities from European museums, the film will be produced by the magazine’s editor-in-chief Will Welch. It will be directed by Jon M. Chu, best known for the box-office hit Crazy Rich Asians. (Variety)
Sudan’s Cultural Institutions & Legacy At Risk – Major armed conflict in Sudan between rival military factions is still raging, putting cultural heritage at risk. In the capital city of Khartoum, the national museum remains vulnerable to looting and rare books have been burned, while in the city of Nyala, damage to the roof by projectiles may result in leaks. Elsewhere, at least 28 archaeological and heritage sites have reportedly been targeted. (Reuters)
MOVERS & SHAKERS
Warhol Foundation Grants Awarded – More than $4 million worth of grants will be dispersed to 49 cultural organizations around the United States, Mexico, and Sweden as part of the Warhol Foundation’s spring grants. Grantees include Tennessee’s Stove Works; New York’s Leslie-Lohman Museum of Art; and Omaha’s Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts. (Artforum)
Museums Donate Hip Hop Digital Interactive Archive to HBCU Library – The Baltimore Museum of Art along with the Saint Louis Art Museum will donate the digital interactive archive “For the Record,” from the acclaimed show “The Culture: Hip Hop and Contemporary Art in the Twenty-First Century” to the Atlanta University Center Woodruff Library after the touring museum exhibition concludes in 2025. (Press release)
Marlborough Veterans Open New Space – Frankie Rossi, Geoffrey Parton, and John Erle-Drax, all former senior directors at Marlborough, have joined forces for a new venture called Frankie Rossi Art Projects. The first show at the London-based gallery features self-portraits by Frank Auerbach. (Financial Times)
Frieze Reveals Lineup for Sculpture Show – Curator and writer Fatoş Üstek will helm the exhibition of Frieze Sculpture, slated to open in London’s Regent’s Park from September 20 through October 29, 2023, alongside Frieze London and Frieze Masters. Work by more than 20 international artists including Hank Willis Thomas, Louise Nevelson, and Tomas Saraceno will be installed. (Press release)
FOR ART’S SAKE
Rembrandt Portraits Sell for $12 Million – A pair of rediscovered portraits by the Dutch master sold at Christie’s London for more than 9.5 million British pounds ($12 million), doubling their presale low estimate. The works are the smallest of Rembrandt’s known portraits, and depict a plumber, Jan Willemsz van der Pluym and his wife Jaapgen Carels. (DW)
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