Art Industry News: Has Banksy Brought London’s Graffiti War to Brooklyn? + More Must-Read Stories

Plus, Turkey picks a feminist artist for the Venice Biennale and Helen Molesworth's comments critical of museums are scrutinized.

King Robbo? Photo: JONATHAN NACKSTRAND/AFP/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 Thursday, March 22.


Helen Molesworth’s Critical Comments Scrutinized – Amid silence from MOCA, Los Angeles, and its fired chief curator, critical comments Molesworth has made about museum practices, and about MOCA itself, are being scrutinized. At an event at UCLA in January, she said: “I don’t think there’s any way for MOCA to not be a white space…. The DNA is too deep.” (ARTnews)

Anti-Trump Mural’s Owner Could be Jailed – New Orleans-based property developer Neal Morris could go to jail or be fined for an anti-Trump mural painted on his property by the artist Cashy-D. The city is demanding he remove the work, which quotes Trump’s notorious Access Hollywood tape, because he does not have the proper permit. Morris points out that Yoko Ono’s mural at the Ogden Museum didn’t, either. (The Art Newspaper)

London’s Graffiti War Comes to Brooklyn – Banksy’s anti-capitalist mural in Brooklyn has been covered in spray paint. Nearby, a woman was heard shouting “Robbo’s revenge!” prompting speculation that the vandalism was an act to avenge the late British street artist “King Robbo,” who famously feuded with Banksy in London. Meanwhile, a New York senator is calling on the owner of the building who removed Banksy’s 14th Street rat to put the work back on view. (Page SixHyperallergic)

UK Dealers Face Tougher Data Regulations – After May 25, citizens of the European Union will have the right to see all the data that UK galleries and auction houses keep about them—and businesses face major fines if they breach the new rules. That means that galleries’ “black lists” of collectors to whom they won’t sell will need to be kept in their heads. (Financial Times)​


Interest in African Art Grows in Dubai – Art Dubai opened yesterday with nine galleries from Africa and a considerable number of works by African artists. Modern and contemporary African art is making a strong showing to accommodate a “huge swell” of Middle Eastern interest in both North African and sub-Saharan art. Demand has been stoked by the Sharjah Art Foundation and fairs like 1-54 in Marrakech. (TAN)

Germany Repatriates Ancient Mexican Sculptures – After a decade-long legal battle, Germany has returned two Olmec wooden busts from art collector Leonardo Patterson to authorities in Mexico. The two pieces were stolen in the 1980s after they were excavated from a site in Veracruz. Patterson, who has been under house arrest, denies buying them on the black market. (Telesur)

Christie’s to Offer Restituted Cranach – A painting by Lucas Cranach the Elder that had been missing for 80 years and was recently restituted to the heirs of its pre-war Dutch owners will go under the hammer at Christie’s on April 19 with an estimate of $1–2 million. The painting depicts the Elector of Saxony, John Frederick I. (Art Market Monitor)


Director Nominated for Berlin’s Humboldt Forum – Hartmut Dorgerloh, who has been in charge of the Prussian Palaces and Gardens Foundation since 2002, has been nominated by the German culture minister to direct the new Humboldt Forum, which is scheduled to open at the end of 2019. If approved by the board, Dorgerloh will replace the three founding directors: Horst Bredekamp, Hermann Parzinger, and Neil MacGregor. (TAN)

Turkey Announces Its Artist for 2019 Venice Bienniale – İnci Eviner has been chosen to represent Turkey at the 58th Venice Biennale. A prominent Istanbul-based artist and professor, she is known for her fantastical drawings, paintings, and multimedia work that addresses gender, sexuality, and Turkey’s current political climate. (ArtAsiaPacific)

Artists Shortlisted for Hepworth Prize – Micheal Dean, Mona Hatoum, Phillip Lai, Magali Reus, and Cerith Wyn Evans are in the running for the second biennial sculpture prize. The award will be announced in November; the winner receives £30,000. Last year’s winner, Helen Marten, split the money with her fellow shortlisted artists. (BBC)

Saudi Foundation Greets Crown Prince’s US Visit  – Misk, the Saudi Arabian nonprofit established by Prince Mohammed bin Salman Al Saud, will host events in six US cities during the prince’s royal visit over the next three weeks. Talks and cultural events will take place in Washington DC, New York, Seattle, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Houston. (Press release)


Lost Mural Uncovered Behind a Castle Wall – During a $4.2 million restoration of the Lindisfarne Castle on the North Sea in the UK, conservators discovered a mural depicting flower motifs. The charcoal wall painting has led experts to believe that the castle might have been more than just a military base, as was originally thought. (Daily Mail)

Bowie Gets the Augmented Reality Treatment – The New York Times is stepping further into the future with its latest augmented reality feature dedicated to David Bowie, created in conjunction with his exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum. Readers can use their phones to project life-sized versions of Bowie’s most iconic costumes into their own space. (Press release)

Art Night Moves to South London – Twelve leading artists, including Jeremy Deller, Anthea Hamilton, and Cécile B. Evans, will create site-specific works and performances on July 7 for Art Night, which is teaming up with the Hayward Gallery and moving from the East End to south London this summer. (Press release)

Tate Britain Unveils High-Fashion Commission – Anthea Hamilton’s new work in the Duveen Galleries, The Squash, features several figures with gourd-like heads set against a tiled landscape. Each day for the next six months, a performer will select one of the costumes on display and animate the space. The seven costumes were created with the fashion brand Loewe. (Vogue)


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