Art Industry News: Justin Timberlake Says the Presence of Confederate Monuments in His Home State ‘Isn’t Acceptable’ + Other Stories

Plus, the Elizabeth Murray estate ditches Pace for Gladstone and the Berlin Biennale releases its star-studded artist list.

Justin Timberlake during the filming for the Graham Norton Show. (Photo by Isabel Infantes/PA Images via Getty Images)

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 Wednesday, July 8.


MacDowell Colony Drops the “Colony” – The prestigious New Haven artists’ retreat has decided to drop the word “colony” from its name because of the term’s “oppressive overtones.” The decision was taken by the board of directors in response to a staff petition that asked for the change. Some of the retreat’s fellows and artists had previously criticized the terminology as objectionable and outmoded. (New York Times)

Could COVID End the Reign of Current Art Stars? Although the art market is likely to bounce back after a vaccine becomes available, time of death could be called on some fashionable artists at the ultra-high-end of the art market whose work appears increasingly out of step with the times. Some experts predict that “investment-grade” figures such as Christopher Wool and Rudolf Stingel will fall off the market pedestal, just as George Romney and Thomas Lawrence did in the 1930s amid the Great Depression. (The Art Newspaper)

Justin Timberlake Wants Confederate Monuments Gone – Pop star Justin Timberlake has, Vulture reports, called for America to say “bye bye bye” to Confederate monuments. In a lengthy post on Instagram, Timberlake, who is from monument-heavy Tennessee, contends that the number of these statues in the South “isn’t acceptable” and that “no one should be protecting the legacies of Confederate leaders and slave owners.” Joining other celebrities, including Tennessee resident Taylor Swift, in publicly supporting the removals, he shared a video from the ACLU explaining the history and ideology of Confederate monuments. “But let’s remember,” he concluded, “removing these statues does not erase our country’s vile history of oppression—removing them is a symbol of respect for Black people in America and it’s a step towards progress and actual equality for all.” (Vulture)

On the Erasure of Black Architects No Black-led architecture firms were chosen to be on a London panel that hopes to engage a new generation of diverse designers. The New Architect Design Services Framework seeks to petition the government for £100 million over the next four years for projects in Southwark, a neighborhood with the largest Black African population in England. “The outcome was entirely predictable,” one local Black architect, who applied for the panel, tells the Guardian. “They didn’t even shortlist a Black practice, and they haven’t ever done so in the past…. Almost no Black child can see anybody that looks like them be appointed to design so much as a park bench in their borough.” (Guardian)


Christie’s Will Host Its First-Ever Virtual Asian Art Week The auction house is taking its delayed Asia Week, which is typically held in March, online this month. It will hold a slew of auctions and virtual viewings from July 7 through 24, with themes including South Asian Modern and contemporary art, Chinese ceramics, and explorations of spirituality across cultures. (Press release)

Elizabeth Murray Estate Moves to Gladstone Gallery – The Neo-Expressionist painter (and, after her death in 2007, her estate) has been represented by Pace Gallery for more than two decades. Now, the estate is making a change and joining Barbara Gladstone gallery. “I’ve been thinking about this and dreaming about this for a long time,” Gladstone said. (NYT)


Richard di Liberto, Photographer of Museum Collections, Has Died – Di Liberto, who served as chief of photography at the Frick Collection in New York from 1974 until his retirement in 2014, died on April 1 at 82 from COVID-19. The son of an Italian bricklayer, he dropped out of high school at 17, joined the air force, and began apprenticing with photographer Scott Hyde after he finished his G.E.D. (NYT)

Canadian Art Galleries Begin to Reopen – Ontario’s largest museums are beginning to reopen their doors after months of closure. The first to take the plunge was the Art Gallery of Ontario, which opened to members on July 2 (the public will follow on July 23). Later this week, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Toronto welcomes back donors, members, and frontline workers, with the full audience following on July 16. (TAN)

Fondation Pernod Ricard Is Moving – France’s Pernod Ricard Foundation is moving to a new headquarters in Paris’s Saint-Lazare district in the fall. The new space designed by NeM architects includes a 3,200-square-foot exhibition hall and a 130-seat auditorium. The winner of the prestigious Prix Pernod Ricard will also be announced in September. (Press release)


Kanye West Drops Sneak Peek at Construction of His YZY Homeless Shelter Plans – Kanye West, presidential candidate, has unveiled the latest prototype for his low-cost prefabricated housing for the homeless, YZY shelters. The Star Wars-inspired wood-lattice domes are Ye’s first architectural experiment as part of the celebrity’s Yeezy Home brand. (Dezeen)

Berlin Biennale Reveals Artist List – The Berlin Biennale has named the artists participating in its 11th edition, now scheduled to run September 5 through November 1 across four spaces in the city. Participants include Cecilia Vicuña, Käthe Kollwitz, and Zehra Doğan. (ARTnews)

Christo’s Mastaba Returns to London in AR – Acute Art is bringing the late artists Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s London Mastaba back to the Serpentine this summer through the magic of augmented reality. Christo’s final large-scale public artwork was installed in the lake in Hyde Park in 2018; now, visitors to the park can resurrect the sculpture on their phones. (Press release)

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