Art Industry News: Banksy Offers Free Art to People Who Vote Against Theresa May + More Must-Read Stories
Plus, Pope.L wins the Whitney Biennial's top prize and Marc Spiegler opens up about changes in the art fair landscape.
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 Monday, June 5.
Banksy Offers Free Prints to Those Who Vote Against the Tories – With the UK general election coming this Thursday, the mysterious artist is offering a print to people in specific constituencies who vote against the Conservatives. But critics have pointed out the scheme could contravene laws designed to ensure votes remain secret—and could also break rules against bribery. (Independent)
Artist Dale Chihuly Is Sued by Former Contractor – A Seattle man claims that the glass artist, whose work is currently on view at the New York Botanical Garden, used a group of unpaid assistants for 15 years to create works that were credited solely to him. (New York Times)
Tate Britain Plans Extensive Rehang – In an interview, the museum’s director Alex Farquharson revealed plans to hang the collection by theme and reinstate wall labels, reversing two of the main features introduced by his predecessor Penelope Curtis that had sparked major criticism. (Evening Standard)
V&A Unveils Plans for New Photography Center – London’s Victoria & Albert Museum has the first rendering of its future photography centre, slated to open in the fall of 2018. One of the largest galleries will be named the Bern and Ronny Schwartz Gallery in honor of a major gift by the California-based Bern Schwartz Family Foundation. (The Art Newspaper)
Bern Repositions Itself as Hub for Nazi-Looted Art – After the Kunstmuseum Bern become the unexpected heir of the collection the German dealer Cornelius Gurlitt, the Swiss city has had to up its act, setting up a new provenance research department and positioning itself as a hub for research into Nazi-looted art. (Swissinfo.ch)
Art Basel’s Marc Spiegler Reflects on the Art World – Ahead of the 2017 edition of Art Basel, which takes place next week, the organization’s director spoke candidly about his role, the expansion of the Art Basel fairs, and the rapid changes experienced by the art market and those who run it. (Art Media Agency)
A Closer Look at Mexico City’s Art Market – The Los Angeles Times has published an analysis of Mexico City’s booming art scene. Despite the success of the art fair Zona Maco and the opening of Museo Jumex, however, the sector is still mired in political uncertainty. (LAT)
Spanish Auction House Withdraws Autographs – An auction house in Málaga pulled autographs from a sale this weekend after a Belgrade museum claimed the lots had been stolen from the mausoleum of Yugoslav leader Josip Broz Tito. (AFP)
COMINGS & GOINGS
Artist Pope.L Wins Prestigious Bucksbaum Award – The Whitney Museum has named multidisciplinary artist Pope.L as the 2017 winner of the Bucksbaum Award, given to one artist from each iteration of the museum’s Biennial. It comes with a $100,00 grant and a solo exhibition. (Press release)
Valerie Cassel Oliver Joins the VMFA in Richmond – After 16 years as curator at the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, Oliver is leaving for a similar position at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, where she will manage and expand its Modern and contemporary collection. (Houston Chronicle)
Cleveland Museum of Art Names New Curator of African Art – Ugochukwu-Smooth C. Nzewi has been appointed to the position, where he will be in charge of the museum’s collection of sub-Saharan African art, comprised of about 300 works. He begins August 1. (Press release)
FOR ART’S SAKE
London Museum Takes a Stab at Explaining “Covfefe” – Donald Trump’s late-night coinage had everyone perplexed last week. But the staff at London’s Wellcome Collection seem to be in the know. The museum quickly Tweeted a watercolor image of a demon from the Compendium of Demonology and Magic (ca. 1775): “Our collection suggests [covfefe] is a demon summoned by writing its name over & over again. Its powers are unclear. Bear with!” (Apollo)
Liverpool Launches “Sgt. Pepper at 50” Celebration With Art – To mark the 50th anniversary of The Beatles’ famous album, the English city has commissioned a series of 13 public artworks. The first, a mural depicting the four musicians in a brightly colored rainbow, was unveiled on Thursday. (New York Times)
The Rijksmuseum Invites 10-Millionth Visitor for a Sleepover – The Amsterdam museum surprised its lucky-numbered guest, Stefan Kasper of Haarlem, with an opportunity to sleep under Rembrandt’s 1642 painting The Night Watch. Here’s Kasper, champagne in hand, having the time of his life. (Press release)
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