Art Industry News: Did a Scholar Unearth Two Lost Artemisia Gentileschi Paintings in a Blasted Beirut Palace? + Other News

Plus, the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum plans a major expansion, and Oxford lecturers boycott over the presence of Cecil Rhodes's statue.

The façade of the Sursock Museum in Beirut on August 5, 2020.

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 Thursday, June 10.


Lecturers Boycott Oxford Over Cecil Rhodes Statue – More than 150 lecturers have reportedly refused to teach students at Oriel College in Oxford, U.K., after Oxford University made the decision not to remove a statue of British imperialist Cecil Rhodes. A governing body for the college said the time and cost were “considerable obstacles” in the removal of the statue, but opponents say its presence promotes institutional racism. (Evening Standard)

Artist Inmate Fights For Access to Art Magazines With Nudity – The artist and inmate Richard Valdez is waging a lawsuit against San Quentin, California’s oldest prison, over its decision to withhold Artists Magazine from him due to nudity contained in its pages. The prison staff claimed that full-frontal nudity violates their ban on pornography, but Valdez, a painter, said the magazines were for educational purposes. (The Mercury News)

Did a Scholar Uncover Two Artemisia Gentileschis in Beirut? – According to art historian Gregory Buchakjian, two previously unknown paintings by the Old Master might have been hiding in plain sight at Sursock Palace in Beirut, which was badly damaged in the blast that shook the city last summer. A painting of St. Mary Magdalene and a larger canvas, Hercules and Omphale, both sustained damage. Buchakjian has drawn connections to her style through the use of jewelry, which has been a consistent detail in Gentileschi’s paintings. (Hyperallergic)

How Chicago Is Leading the Way on Monuments – As some cities’ efforts to reckon with local monuments stall, Chicago is forging ahead. The Chicago Monuments Project is fostering perhaps the most open, wide-ranging dialogue on the issue of any American city. To analyze 41 monuments, an advisory committee is considering several criteria, including whether they promote narratives of white supremacy or present inaccurate, demeaning characterizations of American Indians. Under review are statues like the Illinois Centennial Monument, which depicts early contact between Europeans and Indigenous peoples. (Bloomberg)


Painting Consigned by Mavis Staples Sets New Record – Ernie Barnes’s painting The Grape Vine (1976) blew past its $20,000-to-$30,000 estimate to fetch $75,000 with fees at Hindman in Chicago. Its provenance likely helped matters: it was offered by Mavis Staples, the legendary gospel and soul singer, who had purchased it directly from Barnes. (Culture Type)

Almine Rech to Represent Haley Josephs – The gallery will represent the New York-based painter in Europe, the U.K., and China. Josephs, whose paintings explore notions of femininity and power, will make her solo debut with Almine Rech in Brussels in September. (ARTnews)


Georgia O’Keeffe Museum Plans Major Expansion – The Santa Fe, New Mexico museum will relocate to a 54,000-square-foot space on the site of a former grocery store. The $60 million project is expected to open in 2024; the museum’s current space will become an annex. (AP News)

Queer Cultural Center Comes to London – London is getting a permanent center for LGBTQ+ artists at Greenwich Peninsula’s Design District. The project has been allotted £400,000 by the Greater London Authority, Outset Studiomakers Initiative, and Arts Council England—with £40,000 of the budget coming from a GoFundMe. (TAN)


Shortlist Announced for Sobey Art Prize – The prestigious Canadian award has selected Rémi Belliveau, Lorna Bauer, Rajni Perera, Laakkuluk Williamson Bathory, and Gabi Dao for its shortlist. Each artist will receive CA$25,000 ($20,640) and present their work at the National Gallery in Ottawa from October 8 to February 20. The winner gets a prize of around C$100,000 ($82,680). (TAN)

See Elmgreen and Dragset’s New Monument in Stockholm – The Berlin-based Scandinavian art duo has unveiled a delightful new public work in Stockholm, Sweden. The 26-foot-tall tower of life rafts, called Life Rings, suits its new permanent home on the city island Djurgården, which has a royal park and an open-air maritime museum. (Monopol)

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