Art Industry News: The Centre Pompidou Has Sealed the Deal on Its New Museum in Saudi Arabia + Other Stories

Plus, a judge dismisses the lawsuit against Peter Max's conservator and Frieze New York releases its exhibitor list.

Archaeological Site of Al-Hijr (Mada’in Saleh), or Hegra. The 2,000-year-old city is part of the nation's plans to turn AlUlah into an international destination for arts tourism. Photo © Royal Commission for AlUla.

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 15.


Judge Dismisses Suit Brought by Peter Max’s Daughter – A U.S. district judge has ruled against Libra Max, daughter of the Pop artist Peter Max, who has been fighting her father’s court-appointed steward Barbara Lissner in a long-running court battle. Max claimed Lissner was isolating her father and taking advantage of his Alzheimer’s for financial gain after Lissner racked up over $2 million in fees at around $550 per hour for her services. The judge granted Lissner’s motion to dismiss the lawsuit on technical grounds relating to jurisdiction. (ARTnews)

Museum Watch Group Raises Alarm on Russian Museum – CIMAM’s Museum Watch Committee has expressed concern over the ousting of Zelfira Tregulova, director of the Tretyakov Gallery. Earlier this year, she was replaced by Yelena Pronicheva, who has closer ties to Putin. “Art can never be an instrument for politicians and regimes to steer societies,” wrote the committee members in a group statement. The committee sees it as part of a much broader phenomenon of governments’ desiring more control over museums. (Press release)

Centre Pompidou to Officially Open in AlUla – The French museum has officially signed a long-planned deal with AlUla, the new cultural cradle of Saudi Arabia, agreeing to open an institution there in 2028 or 2029. News of the deal leaked to press in February, but Laurent Le Bon, president of the Centre Pompidou, has now signed the agreement with the Royal Commission for AlUla to create a contemporary art museum. (Press release)

Sotheby’s to Sell Jordan’s NBA Finals Sneakers – The basketball star’s 1998 NBA Finals Game 2 black-and-red Nike kicks are hitting the block at Sotheby’s memorabilia sale April 3–11. Estimated at $2 million to $4 million, the Jordan 13s worn from the player’s “Last Dance” season, could become the most expensive sneakers ever to sell at auction. (WWD)


Frieze New York Announces Line Up – The 2023 fair, set to take place from May 17 to 21, will feature over 60 galleries from 27 countries, maintaining a strong core contingent of New York-based exhibitors. Returnees include 303 Gallery, Alexander Gray Associates, Andrew and Matthew Marks Gallery. First-time participants include Arcadia Missa, Neue Alte Brücke, Silverlens, and Emalin. (Press release)

Mariane Ibrahim Announces Director of Mexico City Outpost – Paulina Torres has been named to lead the Mexico City gallery location and “further evolve the gallery’s presence in North and South America.” Torres previously served as head of the art and travel department at the company Liaisons and has been based in Mexico City since 2016. (Press release)

Fine Arts Paris & La Biennale Becomes FAB PARIS – A year after its debut in the French capital, the flagship fair created from the merger of the Biennale des Antiquaires and Fine Arts Paris has been reborn as FAB Paris. The second edition will take place at the Grand Palais Ephémère November 21–26.  (Press release)

Bill Traylor Painting Gifted to American Folk Art Museum – The famed outsider artist’s painting Untitled (Blue Construction, Figures, and Bottles; or Two Men Reaching for Bottles), (1939-42) has joined the collection of the New York-based museum. Previously in the collection of Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Lanford Wilson, the work was given by the actress Tanya Berezin, who co-founded the Circle Repertory Company with Wilson. (The Art Newspaper)


Artist Accuses Academy of Ripping Off Photography – The official pictures of Oscar winners have caused a stir on Instagram, as the images, according to some, are a little too similar to the artist duo Stefano Colombini and Alberto Albanese, known as Scandebergs. The pair made a picture of artist Marina Abramović last year, published by Italian magazine D al Repubblica, that uses the same backdrop, framing, and lighting. (Instagram)

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