Art Industry News: Gladstone Gallery Dealer With Thing for Dead Celebs Teams Up With Lena Dunham on Podcast + Other Stories

Plus, the Getty Foundation names a new director and original art by the creator of Garfield is heading to the auction block.

Artist Bjarne Melgaard and Gladstone director Alissa Bennett in New York in 2013. ©Patrick McMullan. Photo: JONATHON ZIEGLER/

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 9.


Artists Battle Gentrification in New York – Grassroots organizations led by artists are fighting against the swathes of new luxury developments coming to Manhattan’s Lower East Side. Members of the Art Against Displacement coalition from Chinatown are throwing their support behind the Small Business Jobs Survival Act, which would protect small businesses’ commercial leases. The group’s artist founder, Michelle Rosenberg, says the bill “offers a sliver of hope that we may be able to keep our studios and gallery businesses a little while longer.” (The Art Newspaper)

When an Artist in Your Show Turns Out to Be Part of the Alt-Right – The Leipzig Annual Exhibition—which has presented work by dozens of artists in a former cotton-spinning mill every year since 1993—has been thrown into chaos by the inclusion, and then exclusion, of artist Axel Krause. After he made anti-immigrant posts on Facebook and professed sympathy with the alt-right party AfD, Krause was dropped by his gallery and excluded from the Leipzig show. Days before the exhibition was due to open, organizers called the whole thing off, fearing protests over Krause, but later reconsidered and opened it later than scheduled. The debacle has stirred debate in Germany’s art world over whether it is appropriate to exclude an artist because of his political views. (TAN)

Lena Dunham’s New Collaborator Is a Gallery Director – Gladstone Gallery director Alissa Bennett—who, coincidentally, has the same job as Jennifer Lawrence’s fiancé Cooke Maroney—will be partnering with Dunham on her podcast, the C-Word. Bennett—an ex-model and author who is also a muse to artists including Alex Bag—dubs herself a “historian of bad behavior” who makes zines that often focus on the dead and the criminally minded. (The New York Times titled a recent profile of her “This Gallery Director Is Obsessed With Dead Celebrities.”) This new podcast project seems to be right up her alley: the C-Word is dedicated to recounting the lives of dead or forgotten women who were dismissed by society as crazy. (Vogue)

How Ancient History Helps Us Understand Contemporary Society – The new book “Archaeology From Space: How the Future Shapes Our Past” by leading archeologist Sarah Parcak illuminates how satellite views have revolutionized the field of archaeology. In her research, Parcak recounts how political, economic, and social instability, as well as climate change, shaped ancient Egypt in ways not so different from how forces are remaking out world today. (New York Times)


Garfield Creator’s Collection Comes to Auction – Heritage Auctions is selling examples of the original artwork for Jim Davis’s Garfield comic strip as part of a series of auctions of the Jim Davis Collection beginning today. Both the daily and Sunday installments of the 41-year-old comic will hit the block, as well as examples from some of Davis’s other comics. Bids for individual strips start as low as $6. (New York Times)

Timothy Taylor Adds Annie Morris to Roster – The British artist Annie Morris, whose work combines painting, drawing, and readymade sculptures, is now represented by Timothy Taylor gallery. Morris’s first solo exhibition will open at the gallery’s New York branch in September. (Instagram)

Avery Singer Leaves Gavin Brown – As her market soars, the sought-after 31-year-old painter has become a free agent. Having left her gallery Gavin Brown’s enterprise, she is now being courted by mega-dealers David Zwirner, Larry Gagosian, and Ivan Wirth, according to Kenny Schachter. Our columnist reports that “Larry has repeatedly shown up to her studio unannounced, while David has relentlessly courted her and Ivan has tried to trump (take that as you may) them all by sending her a private jet.” (artnet News)


Getty Foundation Names New Director – The J. Paul Getty Trust has appointed Joan Weinstein as director of the Getty Foundation. Weinstein, who is currently its acting director, assumes her position immediately, succeeding the foundation’s longtime director Deborah Marrow. Weinstein played a central role in developing the Getty’s Southern California-wide “Pacific Standard Time” initiative. (Press release

Smithsonian Will Partner With Museums Across the American West – The Smithsonian American Art Museum has received a $2 million grant to carry out a five-year collaboration with five museums in cities across the American West. The group of museums, known collectively as the American West Consortium, includes the Nevada Museum of Art in Reno and the Utah Museum of Fine Arts in Salt Lake City. (Press release)

DC Opens a New Museum Dedicated to the Palestinian Experience – A new 800-square-foot private museum in Washington, DC, is focused on telling the stories of Palestinians through art and archives. The museum’s inaugural exhibition, “Re-imagining a Future,” brings together 10 works by contemporary Palestinian artists from the US, Canada, the West Bank, Gaza, and Israel. It is on view now until the end of the year. (TAN)


Art by Syrian and Iraqi Refugees Comes to Philly – Thanks to a grant from the Pew Center for Arts and Heritage, a group of refugees from Syria and Iraq who have settled in the Philadelphia area were able to collaborate with book artists to make art and share their own stories. Now, their handiwork is on view in three exhibitions across the city called “Friends, Peace, and Sanctuary,” through August. (WHYY)

Someone Recreated a Bob Ross Painting in Minecraft – A genius YouTuber named SmallishBeans is reinterpreting Bob Ross paintings in Minecraft. Using the game’s rudimentary building blocks, Smallish Beans managed to recreate a well-known mountain and lake scene by Ross. (Mashable)

Ibrahim Mahama Recreates the Ghanian Parliament Using Train Seats – The Ghanian artist, who is known for collecting and repurposing junk as monumental works of art, has salvaged 120 old train seats and arranged them into a mock parliament. The work is part of his exhibition “Parliament of Ghosts,” on view at Whitworth Gallery in Manchester until September 29. (BBC)

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