Art Industry News: Artist Says His Golden Sculpture of Trump With a Magic Wand at CPAC Is ‘Definitely Not an Idol’ + Other Stories

Plus, more Confederate symbols in the US were removed in 2020 than in the previous four years combined, and a Rockefeller retrieves a tapestry from the UN.

Matt Braynard (L) helps artist Tommy Zegan (R) move his statue of former President Donald Trump during the Conservative Political Action Conference on February 27, 2021 in Orlando, Florida. (Photo by Joe Raedle/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 Monday, March 1.


Rockefeller Retrieves Guernica Tapestry From the UN – The United Nations has returned a tapestry replica of Picasso’s Guernica to the Rockefeller family, which loaned it to the UN headquarters in New York back in 1985. The 25-foot-long replica that hung outside the security council chamber was commissioned by the Rockefellers in the 1950s, and has been returned on request to its current owner, Nelson Rockefeller, Jr. (New York Times)

UK and Irish Galleries Reach Truce Over Collection – London’s National Gallery and the Hugh Lane Gallery in Dublin have ended a century-long dispute over the ownership of 39 masterpieces by artists including Manet and Degas. Irish collector Hugh Lane officially bequeathed the works to the London institution but changed his mind before his death and decided he wanted them to remain in Ireland. Now, per a new 10-year partnership agreement, both institutions will work together to care for and display the works on rotation. (Guardian)

A Celebratory Trump Sculpture Comes to CPAC – The hottest attraction at this year’s Conservative Political Action Conference in Orlando was a six-foot-tall fiberglass sculpture of Donald Trump painted in gold, wielding a magic wand. Trump-supporting artist Tommy Zegan created the work in 2018, when he was appalled to find so few statues dedicated to the president (and even fewer that were flattering). At the Republican summit, the steadfastly pro-Trump mood was exemplified by the line of attendees seeking to take photos with the sculpture. “It’s definitely not an idol,” Zegan clarified. (NYT)

Gilbert and George Condemn “Shameful” Statue Toppling – In an interview about their latest body of work responding to the pandemic, septuagenarian artist duo Gilbert and George have decried the removal of controversial public monuments as “shameful behavior.” Gilbert told the Guardian: “Leave them as they are, because they are part of the city.” In the same interview, George called the British empire “a wonderful invention.” (Guardian)


Dealers Rethink Their Real Estate Needs – Some dealers are reconsidering the need for a permanent brick-and-mortar space amid the migration of art sales online in 2020, the growing trend of galleries renting out pop-ups ins the Hamptons, Aspen, and Palm Beach, and the establishment of dedicated gallery hubs by Frieze and Cromwell Place in London. (NYT)

Perrotin Now Represents Alain Jacquet – Emmanuel Perrotin now represents the French artist and New Realist pioneer. The gallery will open the first survey of Jacquet’s work in nearly two decades in Paris on April 10. “His work is revolutionary within the context of postwar image distribution, and you can see his influence embedded in the work of a number of significant contemporary artists,” Perrotin says in a statement. (Press release)


More Than 160 Confederate Symbols Removed in the US Last Year – The Southern Poverty Law Center has reported that more than 160 Confederate symbols were removed from public space in 2020. The nonprofit, which campaigns for the removal of Confederate symbols and imagery, says last year saw more progress than the previous four years combined. More than 2,100 symbols, including 704 Confederate monuments, remain standing across the US. (NYT)

Help Bring the Lithuanian Pavilion to Germany – E-WERK Luckenwalde, a renewable power station and art center south of Berlin, is crowdfunding to bring Sun & Sea, the environmental opera that won the Golden Lion at the 2019 Venice Biennale, to the empty Bauhaus Stadtbad in May. Its Kickstarter launched today and aims to raise €40,000 (around $48,000) by April 5. (Press release)


Report Finds Belarus Culture Figures Face Repression – A new report by Amnesty International has condemned the repression of cultural figures in Belarus since the disputed re-election of the country’s president Alexander Lukashenko in August. The organization expresses concern over the arrest and torture of artists, actors, musicians, and poets who have expressed opposition views. (The Art Newspaper)

JR’s New Work Raises Awareness of Australian River System – The French street artist created four enormous portraits of local farmers and a Baakandji artist for the National Gallery of Victoria’s ongoing triennial. The installation is part of an ongoing campaign to attract investment in Australia’s languishing Darling/Baaka River. The blown-up portraits were taken on a procession down the river, while stained-glass versions are on display in an open-air chapel in the garden of the NGV. (Guardian)

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