Art Industry News: A Landmark Italian Art Show in Washington, DC, Has Been Called Off by Italy’s Lockdown + Other Stories

Plus, Emma Talbot wins the Max Mara Art Prize for Women and Berlin Gallery Weekend downsizes its May event.

The Prodigal Son Expelled From the Tavern (1630/1635) by Cornelis de Wael, one of the works slated to be included in the National Gallery of Art’s exhibition. (Musei di Strada Nuova, Palazzo Bianco, Genoa)
The Prodigal Son Expelled From the Tavern (1630/1635) by Cornelis de Wael, one of the works slated to be included in the National Gallery of Art’s exhibition. (Musei di Strada Nuova, Palazzo Bianco, Genoa)

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 Wednesday, March 11.


Philadelphia Museum Resets After Controversies – The esteemed museum has been beleaguered by controversy in recent months, with two former employees having been accused of abuse, and the museum accused of not doing enough to address the staff’s concern. Now, the institution is trying to move forward through a range of “thoughtful and deliberate actions” including holding staff meetings, hiring a consultant to conduct a “cultural assessment” of the workplace, and creating an anonymous hotline for HR concerns. Some employees, however, are distrustful of the museum’s motives given that it is in the midst of fundraising for a $228 million renovation. (New York Times)

Prominent Street Artist Is Charged With Rape – The Sydney-based street artist Anthony Lister, who was named by Complex magazine as one of the most influential street artists of all time, is behind bars for the next eight weeks after police raided his home. He has been charged with raping four women, including three of his art students, between 2015 and 2018. He also allegedly tattooed one of the students without her consent. Lister denies the charges. (Guardian)

Coronavirus in Italy Delays Transportation for National Gallery Artwork – A landmark exhibition on Italian art, “A Superb Baroque: Art in Genoa, 1600–1750,” is caught in the ripple effects of Italy’s coronavirus lockdown. The show will not open at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC, as planned on May 3 because the museum cannot bring the artworks out of museums in Rome and Genoa. The show was expected to be the first major exploration of Genoese Baroque art in the United States. A new date has not yet been set, but the museum says it could be rescheduled as early as next year. (Washington Post)

Max Mara Prize Winner Revealed – The British artist Emma Talbot has won the Max Mara Art Prize for Women, which comes with a six-month bespoke residency in Italy (presumably, after the lockdown is over) to create a new body of work that will be exhibited at the Whitechapel Gallery in London and the Collezione Maramotti in Reggio Emilia, Italy. Talbot won the prestigious prize with a proposal that questions depictions of women, particularly elderly women, in art history, beginning with a close look at Gustav Klimt’s painting Three Ages of Woman (1905), which is in Rome’s Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Moderna. (Press release)


Berlin Gallery Weekend Downsizes – A smaller version of the annual citywide art festival will go forward as scheduled during the first weekend of May, but gatherings such as receptions and dinners will be pushed to a onetime event in September. The fall edition of the event will feature the same participating galleries as the May version and will include exhibitions by such artists as Andreas Gursky, Katharina Grosse, and Cathy Wilkes. (Press release)

Marian Goodman to Rep Tavares Strachan – Marian Goodman Gallery has added multimedia artist Tavares Strachan—who has long avoided formal gallery representation—to its roster. The Bahamian artist once hauled a several-ton block of arctic ice to his birthplace, where it was exhibited in a solar-powered freezer chamber. (Press release)

New York Galleries Could Get Coronavirus Funds – Small New York City galleries may be eligible to receive interest-free loans and cash grants amid the coronavirus outbreak and the subsequent stock-market decline. The city’s multimillion-dollar initiative to support small businesses is targeted at small enterprises, particularly those with fewer than 100 employees that have seen their sales decrease by 25 percent or more since the outbreak. (ARTnews)


Aspen Art Museum Names New Director – Nicola Lees has been named the new Nancy and Bob Magoon director at the Aspen Art Museum. She replaces Heidi Zuckerman, who stepped down abruptly last fall. Lees, who begins her new role on April 6, has been director and curator of NYU’s 80 Washington Square East Galleries since 2016, and previously held curatorial positions at Frieze Foundation and the Serpentine Gallery in London. (Press release)

Alfredo Jaar Wins Major Photo Prize – The Chilean artist has won the Hasselblad Foundation’s international award in photography, one of the largest awards in the field. Endowed with one million Swedish krona (approximately $106,000), the award will be granted at a ceremony in Gothenburg, Sweden, on October 19 ahead of an exhibition of Jaar’s work at the Hasselblad Center. (Press release)

Influential Brazilian Artist Nelson Leirner Has Died – The Brazilian painter, who was known for needling the art world through his ironic, pop culture-inflected work, has died at 88. Museu de Arte de São Paulo artistic director Adriano Pedrosa said he was among “the most influential names in contemporary art in Brazil.” (ARTnews)


The Prado Caps Visitor Numbers Due to Coronavirus – The Prado Museum in Madrid has placed a cap on the number of people allowed free entry to the museum (500 at a time) in an effort to avoid overcrowding during the coronavirus outbreak. The museum is also establishing a capacity-control system to monitor the number of people present in a single room at any given time. (El Confidential)

Woman Discovers a Salvador Dalí in a Thrift Shop – An original work by the Surrealist artist surfaced at a thrift shop in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. A volunteer spotted the painted wood engraving, which is from his 100-image series “The Divine Comedy.” A couple purchased the appraised work for $1,200. (WRAL)

Andy Warhol’s Wigs Star in Tate Show – The Andy Warhol blockbuster at Tate Modern includes three of Warhol’s “fright wigs,” which are going on view in the UK for the first time. The artist was bald from his 20s onward, and became known for his wild, silvery wigs. (Guardian)

A Jacob Lawrence Series Gets Reunited – A multi-panel series by the famed artist Jacob Lawrence that examines early American history has been reunited after roughly 60 years. The 30-panel series created between 1954 and 1956, titled “Struggle: From the History of the American People,” was purchased by a private collector who resold the panels separately. Now, almost all of them are going on view all together in an exhibition at the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, Massachusetts, through April 26. (New York Times)


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