Art Industry News: MoMA PS1 Removed an Artist’s Works From Display After He Called on the Public to Destroy Them + Other Stories

Plus, Maurizio Cattelan is collaborating with Iggy Pop and Damien Hirst says being a superstar ain't easy.

MoMA PS1. Photo courtesy of MoMA PS1.

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 3.


Dominican Artists Stage a ‘Vigil for Democracy’ – An all-female group of Dominican artists helped organize a protest in New York after municipal elections were suspended in the Dominican Republic last month due to alleged technical failures with an electronic voting system. Around 70 protesters gathered near the embassy of the Dominican Republic in Times Square last week to demand electoral transparency. As part of the demonstration, protestors formed a circle around red, white, and blue candles and flowers. (Hyperallergic)

Damien Hirst Has a Millionaire’s Moan – The artist unburdens himself in an interview with Idler magazine, complaining about the problems of his rock-star lifestyle. Even after money rushed in, cashflow became an issue, and Hirst says he had to raise money to pay his army of assistants by selling works from his collection. “You start by thinking you’ll get one assistant, and before you know it you’ve got biographers, fire eaters, jugglers, fucking minstrels, and lyre players all wandering around. They’re all saying they aren’t being paid enough and they all need assistants.” (In 2018, Hirst let go of 50 employees to “focus on his art.”) (Idler)

MoMA PS1 Removes an Artist’s Work – MoMA PS1 thwarted a call by the artist Ali Yass for the public to destroy his works by removing them from public display. The Berlin-based artist, who is included in the museum’s controversial exhibition about the Gulf wars, says the institution stifled his voice. But the museum sees it differently. “There are no circumstances under which MoMA PS1 would accept the destruction of artworks or aggression towards our staff or visitors,” a spokesperson said. Yass was unable to travel to New York to see the show because of the US travel ban. (ARTnews)


A Dealer Says Mega-Galleries Should ‘Foot the Bill’ for Smaller Ones –  Candice Madey, who closed her Lower East Side gallery, On Stellar Rays, in 2017, to shift her business into a more “nimble” one, has some modest proposals. Among them is the suggestion that mega-galleries should consider making “investments” in gallery-share business models for their smaller competitors in New York, where real estate costs are a killer. The WeWork-like concept for dealers would allow them to share exhibition, storage, and meeting spaces that could be rented for a reasonable fee. (ARTnews)

TEFAF Maastricht Goes Ahead – The organizers of the fine art and antiques fair in the Dutch city of Maastricht are going ahead this week amid the coronavirus crisis. As of Tuesday, three dealers had pulled out, and the 208 remaining exhibitors expected to see fewer older collectors and smaller museum groups from the US. (The Art Newspaper)

Bernard Arnault Wants to Buy the Ritz – The billionaire French art collector is in the running to buy the Ritz Hotel in London. The head of the LVMH group is reported to be competing with the Qatari royal family and a Saudi Arabian consortium for the luxury hotel, which has price tag in the neighborhood of $1 billion. (Times)


Jewish History Museum Files for Bankruptcy – Philadelphia’s National Museum of American Jewish History, which was founded in 1976, has filed for bankruptcy. The institution, wracked by $30 million in unpaid debt taken on in 2008 to fund its new building, will stay open while it is reorganized, and has promised not to layoff staff. (CNN)

German Painter Peter Dreher Dies at 87 – The German postwar painter Peter Dreher died on February 18, aged 87. Dreher was best known for his observational painting series depicting a solitary empty glass. (ARTnews)

Jay McKean Fisher Leaves the Baltimore Museum of Art – The longstanding curator at the BMA is retiring on March 31 after 45 years at the institution. Fisher will be named the institution’s emeritus senior curator for prints, drawings, and photographs as of April 1. (Press release)


Iggy Pop and Maurizio Cattelan Make a Record – Iggy Pop is releasing a limited-edition vinyl album titled FREE, which features cover art by Maurizio Cattelan. Both artists will sign copies of the limited 340-edition run at Perrotin in New York on Saturday, March 7. The record includes two new tracks, an a capella version of Brahms’s “Lullaby,” and an ode to Iggy Pop’s dead dog, “Epistle to Tromba.” (Press release)

Harvey Weinstein’s Severed Head Shows Up in New York – The New York street artist SacSix has painted a mural in the East Village depicting the comedian Kathy Griffin holding up the severed head of the convicted rapist and former Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein. The painting was inspired by a highly controversial 2017 photoshoot in which Griffin held up the bloody head of Donald Trump. (Patch)


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