Art Industry News: Elizabeth Peyton Painted Lucas Zwirner’s Portrait for Her Debut Outing With His Dad’s Gallery + Other Stories

Plus, the Gardner museum closed in fear of climate protests and Thaddaeus Ropac now represents Zadie Xa.

Elizabeth Peyton, Lucas Zwirner (2022). Courtesy of David Zwirner.

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, March 21.


Do George Bush’s Paintings Show More Regret Than He Admits? –  Two decades after he ordered the U.S.’s invasion of Iraq and took down Saddam Hussein, former President George W. Bush remains quiet, but critics are looking at his paintings to try to get a clue about how he felt about the war. “On the one hand, he appears to believe that his decision to invade Iraq was correct,” writes historian Melvyn P. Leffler. “On the other hand, looking at his book of paintings, you have to imagine that deep in his soul he feels a great deal of agony, of responsibility, of regret for those whose lives were scarred forever and for those who perished.” (The New York Times)

Elizabeth Peyton Makes Debut With David Zwirner – For its inaugural display of the artist’s work at an art fair, Zwirner has brought a portrait of the mega-gallerist’s heir apparent, each titled simply Lucas Zwirner (2022) to Art Basel in Hong Kong. Back in February, Petyon’s rumored defection from longtime gallerist Gladstone Gallery sparked chatter within the art world; her first solo show at the gallery’s London outpost is slated to take place in June. (ARTnews)

Will AI Make Human Art More Valuable? – The rise of generative AI model might have led some to believe that AI will make better art than most humans, but McGill University’s international political economy professor Krzysztof Pelc doesn’t think so. Pelc argues that the definition of “better” changes over time, as demonstrated over the course of history, and human artists will also win as our tastes evolve. (Wired)

Museum Planned for Mayan Complex – Chichén Itzá, the most visited archeological site in Mexico, is expecting a new museum to showcase the region’s latest archaeological discoveries. The yet-to-be named museum is still in the planning stage and is likely to follow the site museum model at other complexes. (The Art Newspaper)


Museum Closed Over Anticipated Climate Protests – The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston opted not to open after it was informed that activists were planning a protest that could potentially damage artworks and put staff and visitors at risk. The planned demonstration was set to take place on March 18, the 33rd anniversary of the infamous, still-unsolved heist at the museum. (Press release)

Thaddaeus Ropac Now Reps Zadie Xa – The gallery has taken over exclusive representation of the buzzy artist, whose work is currently on display at London’s Whitechapel Gallery through the end of April. The Korean-Canadian artist’s work explores themes of personal and global identities in fantastical installations and mixed media works. The gallery sold two works by Xa each priced £22,000 ($27,013) on the first day of Art Basel Hong Kong. (Press release)

Peres Projects Seoul New Space Opening – After its first year with an Asian outpost, Peres Projects is expanding with a second gallery in the Sagan-dong neighborhood of Seoul. The four-floor space will open on April 28, 2023 with two inaugural exhibitions: a solo show of London-based Cece Phillips and a group show including Manuel Solano, Austin Lee, and Rafa Silvares, among others. (Press release)


Museums Reattribute Artworks Classified as Russian – Museums are renaming artworks and artists previously attributed as Russian into Ukrainian to reflect the roots of the works and the artists. Edgar Degas’s Russian Dancers at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, for example, is now called Dancers in Ukrainian Dress. (NYT)

Edgar Degas, Ukrainian Dancers. Photo by: Picturenow/Universal Images Group via Getty Images.

Edgar Degas, Dancers in Ukrainian Dress. Photo by Picturenow/Universal Images Group via Getty Images.

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