Art Industry News: A Fleet of Illuminated Drones Paid Tribute to Van Gogh’s Starry Night + Other Stories

Plus, Sonia Boyce leaves Simon Lee Gallery and the Serpentine unveiles Lina Gotmeh's breezy summer pavilion.

Aerial performance by DRIFT in collaboration with: DroneStories and TWOFIFTYK. Photo: Ossip van Duivenbode.

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 Tuesday 6, June. 


Architect Named for Smithsonian’s Forthcoming Bezos Learning Center – The firm Perkins and Will has been chosen to design the center, which is backed by Amazon’s founder Jeff Bezos and will adjoin the Smithsonian’s existing National Air and Space Museum. Construction is slated to start in 2025, with the building inaugurated in 2027. (The Art Newspaper)

Introducing a “New Michelangelo” for the 21st Century – Italian artist Jago’s marble sculptures have proven a hit, from winning the Pontifical Medal at the 54th Venice Biennale in 2013 to being launched into space, as one statuette was in 2019 courtesy of the European Space Agency’s Beyond project. Now he is enjoying his first major museum show, albeit at his own self-titled museum recently opened by the artist inside a church in Naples. (Guardian)

Drift x Van Gogh Museum Live Artwork – The artistic duo Drift created a live aerial performance using drones to honor the late artist at Amsterdam’s Van Gogh Museum to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the institution. Hundreds of light drones performed acrobatics in the night sky, in order to “bring the essence of Van Gogh’s artistic spirit to the modern era, using drones as a medium to express his vivid and emotional world.” (Press release)

National Museum Occupied Amid Conflict in Sudan – The country’s paramilitary group Rapid Support Forces have taken over the museum in the city of Khartoum, as the conflict between Sudan’s two leaders al-Burhan and Hemeti (the head of RSF) rages on. Though staff have not been able to enter the museum since the war began, the RSF posted a video online to reassure viewers that none of the artifacts have yet been harmed. (ARTnews)


Sook-Kyung Lee Appointed Director of Whitworth Gallery – Sook-Kyung Lee, the artistic director of the 14th Gwangju Biennale that is currently on show, is leaving her post at London’s Tate Modern to helm the University of Manchester’s Whitworth Art Gallery, beginning her role in August. The previous director of the Whitworth, Alistair Hudson, was ousted from his post after activist group Forensic Architecture posted a statement of support for Palestine in February 2022. (Artforum) 

Sonia Boyce Leaves Simon Lee – After only two years of representation, Golden Lion-winning artist Sonia Boyce is parting ways with dealer Simon Lee. The London-based gallery took on the artist one year before she won the Venice Biennale’s top prize in 2022. The artist did not give a reason for the break-up, though the gallery has been dealing with tax issues for months. (The Art Newspaper)  

Tim Griffin’s New Gig – The former editor-in-chief of Artforum and director of the Kitchen Tim Griffin is heading to Los Angeles to serve as executive director of the experimental opera produce the Industry. “Just as the Industry has always sought new combinations of artists to explore new expressions and expand what ‘opera’ can mean, we are all excited to see how Tim will lead the organization’s ongoing adventures,” founder Yuval Sharon said. (Press release) 


Serpentine Pavilion Design Unveiled – Sustainability was of the upmost concern for French-Lebanese architect Lina Ghotmeh when designing the pavilion Kensington Gardens, London, which is an annual public commission. Her circular, wooden structure, titled À table, establishes an open plan, summery atmosphere thanks to its intricate carved panels that allow a breeze to circulate among the tables and chairs inside. (Guardian)

Serpentine Pavilion 2023 designed by Lina Ghotmeh. Photo: Iwan Baan, courtesy of Serpentine, © Lina Ghotmeh — Architecture.

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