Art Industry News: Kara Walker Gets Carte Blanche to Take Over Tate Modern’s Massive Turbine Hall + Other Stories

Plus, politicians urge the V&A Dundee to return Sackler money and Mary Boone presides over an opening before heading to prison.

Kara Walker attends a reception at New York's Museum of Modern Art on June 29, 2010. Photo by Jason Kempin/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 this Monday, March 11.


V&A Dundee Urged to Return Sackler Money – Local politicians have urged the Scottish branch of the Victoria and Albert Museum, which opened last September, to return the $648,000 it received from the Sackler Trust. The call is doubly awkward for the V&A: Theresa Sackler is a trustee of two trusts that are beneficiaries of profits derived from the sale of OxyContin, and she has been named in the Massachusetts attorney general’s lawsuit against the family. She is also a V&A museum trustee. (Scotsman)

Museums Engage in Storage Wars – American museums have hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of works of art that they never show—and now, they are reckoning with the best way forward. MoMA director Glenn Lowry says that “it doesn’t benefit anyone” if these works are languishing in storage. Charles Venable, the director of the Indianapolis Museum of Art, scrapped a $14 million storage expansion and decided to review the museum’s collections instead, giving each work a grade. It has “D-listed” 20 percent of 54,000 items in storage, many of which are “ripe to be sold or given to another institution.” But experts caution that tackling the legacy of gifts and purchases that no longer make the grade is fraught with ethical dilemmas, reputation risks, and can deter future donors. (New York Times)

Kara Walker to Create Tate Turbine Commission – American artist Kara Walker will bring a site-specific installation to the Tate’s massive industrial Turbine Hall. Walker is known for her provocative black cut-paper silhouetted figures that often reference the history, and tormented legacy, of slavery in the US. Although the specifics of the Tate commission remain under wraps, the museum’s director Frances Morris says, “Seeing her respond to the industrial scale of the Turbine Hall—and the wider context of London and British history—is a hugely exciting proposition.” (Press release)

Behind the Scenes at Mary Boone’s Final Opening – Friends turned out for one of the dealer’s final exhibition openings before she shutters her gallery and heads to prison for tax evasion. The bad publicity didn’t seem to dampen enthusiasm: Derrick Adams’s new emoji paintings were selling briskly, priced at $60,000 each. The fur-clad Boone, who heads to a minimum-security prison camp for women in Danbury, Connecticut, on May 15, said she is looking forward to “a fresh start” afterward—“if I don’t die in prison.” Boone’s longtime gallery partner Ron Warren remains convinced she will have an “act two.” (Bloomberg)


Sotheby’s Will Offer Color-Field Painting Trove – Two paintings on paper by Mark Rothko are among the more than 100 Color Field works collected by the late Canadian couple Blema and H. Arnold Steinberg destined to go under the hammer in a series of sales this year. Sotheby’s expects to generate more than $40 million from the collection, which includes paintings by Agnes Martin, Robert Motherwell, Helen Frankenthaler, and Kenneth Noland. (Press release)

Sotheby’s Beefs Up Its Middle East Presence – The auction house has appointed watch specialist Frederic Watrelot, the former head of the watch department for Christie’s Hong Kong, and jewelry specialist Sophie Stevens, who previously worked at Bonhams, to advise Middle Eastern collectors. Both new hires will be based in Dubai. (Press release)

TEFAF Dealers Shrug Off Savoy-Sarr Restitution Report – Belgian dealer Didier Claes, who was consulted for the bombshell restitution report commissioned by French President Emmanuel Macron, claims it has invigorated the African art market ahead of the opening of TEFAF Maastricht this week. With these debates about restitution, we have never spoken so much about African art,” he says. Fellow Belgian and TEFAF exhibitor Bernard de Grunne says Savoy-Sarr’s report is a “French problem” and isn’t having a negative impact on the market. (The Art Newspaper)

i8 Gallery Now Represents B. Ingrid Olson – Reykjavik’s leading gallery now represents the Chicago-based artist B. Ingrid Olson, a graduate of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Her first solo show at the gallery will open in June. (Press release)


Daido Moriyama Wins the Hasselblad Award – The Japanese photographer has won the 2019 Hasselblad Foundation International Award in Photography, which comes with $110,000 in cash. Previous winners include Wolfgang Tillmans (2015) and Ishiuchi Miyako (2014). (Art Asia Pacific)

Hirshhorn Plans Overhaul of Sculpture Garden – The Washington, DC, museum will redesign its sunken sculpture garden to create an expanded entrance on the National Mall and reconnect the space to the museum’s main plaza. The goal is to create “a new front door” for the museum, says its board chairman Dan Sallick. The new garden will be designed by artist and architect Hiroshi Sugimoto, who recently overhauled the museum’s lobby. (Washington Post)

Jorge Pérez Donates $1.5 Million to the Reina Sofía – The Miami-based collector and real estate billionaire has donated $1.5 million in art and money to the Museo Reina Sofía in Madrid. The gift includes 50 artworks and two cash gifts to support the museum in making acquisitions of work by contemporary emerging artists: $200,000 for work by artists from Spain and $300,000 for work by artists from Latin America. (ARTnews)


Collector to Build a Private Mega-Museum in Paris – French real estate developer Laurent Dumas offered new details on his plan to open a private museum on the Île Seguin in Paris in a 54,000-square-foot former Renault car factory. The institution, due to debut in 2022, will host his collection of more than 1,000 artworks, with a focus on French artists. Other elements sound… unorthodox. “We are currently considering having free entry and a light touch for security; we want the visitors to feel responsible for the art, to appeal to their civic sense,” he says. (Financial Times)

Artists Remember George Michael’s Buying Spree – Ahead of Christie’s mega-sale of about 200 works from George Michael’s holdings on Thursday, artists, including his close friend Tracey Emin, remember the superstar. Several noted that the force behind his collection was his former partner Kenny Goss, who runs the Goss-Michael Foundation in Dallas. “Kenny had the enthusiasm, George had the money,” one dealer says. The sale includes works by Emin, Damien Hirst, Jake and Dinos Chapman, Michael Craig-Martin, and Marc Quinn. (Sunday Times)

New York Real Estate Mogul Professes His Love With a 42-Foot-Tall Photo – Harry Macklowe calls the massive photograph of himself and his new wife, which he hung from the side of a Park Avenue building, “a proclamation of love.” He recently wed Patricia Landeau, president of the French Friends of the Israel Museum, after a heated divorce from Linda Macklowe, his wife of 50 years and an honorary trustee of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and vice president and trustee of the Guggenheim Museum. They will divide their $2 billion fortune, and sell off much of their art collection of Basquiats and Picassos. But hey, what’s the point of heated divorce if you can’t taunt your former wife with an enormous, public portrait of yourself with your new one? (NYT)


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To mark their wedding, New York developer Harry Macklowe of @mackloweproperties and new wife @patricialandeau have installed a massive, black-and-white portrait of themselves on the northwest corner of @432parkavenue, the ultra-luxury condominium Macklowe developed with @cimgroup. The polyester-mesh installation measures 42 by 24 feet. “Our smiling faces will be on a building that I built,” the developer told @nypost. “I am proud of my wife, my life, my friends and colleagues,” he said, adding that it gives him a “great thrill” to share his joy. Macklowe’s acrimonious divorce trial with his wife of 57 years, Linda, ended in December with the former couple divvying up their assets. ?What do you think? Is the portrait too much ?- or just enough? ? Tell us in the comments ? (? @paulpurcellnyc) #nyc #nycskyline #432parkavenue #skyscrapers #rafaelvinoly #archidaily #realestate #nycrealestate

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