Art Industry News: Tate Artist-in-Residence Quits Over Director’s Comments on Women + More Must-Read Stories

Plus, the Rockefeller auction is expected to hit $1 billion and the US holocaust museum takes back Aung San Suu Kyi's human rights award.

Tate Director Maria Balshaw at Tate Britain in London on June 1, 2017. Photo by Daniel Leal-Olivas/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 8.


San Francisco to Remove “Racist” Statue of Native American – A statue depicting European explorer Sir Francis Drake and Catholic missionary Junípero Serra towering over a Native American man will be removed from San Francisco. The city’s Arts Commission voted unanimously on Monday to take down the statue, which is titled Early Days, calling it “racist.” (Smithsonian)

US Holocaust Museum Revokes Aung San Suu Kyi’s Human Rights Award – The institution has revoked the Elie Wiesel Award it gave to Myanmar’s leader in 2012, in honor of her 15-year house arrest for opposing the country’s dictatorship. She has since come under harsh criticism for her role in the mass killings of Myanmar’s Muslim Rohingya minority. (Guardian)

Tate Resident Artist Quits, Calling out Director Maria Balshaw – Liv Wynter resigned as artist in residence on the eve of International Women’s Day, in protest of the museum’s “invisible inequalities” and citing her anger at Balshaw’s recent comments, which implied that “confident” women don’t endure sexual harassment. (Guardian)

Poland Announces Plans to Open Warsaw Ghetto Museum – The Polish government has announced it will open the Warsaw Ghetto Museum in 2023 to honor the failed 1943 ghetto insurgence. The announcement comes amid tension between Poland and Israel over Poland’s recent anti-defamation law, which makes it a crime to mention the country’s culpability in the Holocaust. (Poland Radio)


Rockefeller Auction Expected to Hit $1 Billion – The estate of David Rockefeller is heading to what’s expected to be a record-breaking auction at Christie’s on May 8, with 1,500 lots that include rare Picassos, Monets, and Gauguins. The art collector died last year at age 101. (Bloomberg)

New Art Fair Coming to China Led by Ex-Bodybuilder – Former model and bodybuilding art collector Huang Yu is launching an art fair in the untapped Sichuan market. Art Chengdu will open on April 26. (South China Morning Post)

Russell Crowe Sells Bizarre Items in “Art of Divorce” Auction – The actor is auctioning off personal belongings and art at Sotheby’s on April 7 in a sale autobiographically called “The Art of Divorce.” Some lots verge on the ridiculous, like a pair of life-size prop horses from Gladiator, estimated at $2,000–$4,000 each, and a pair of dueling pistols ($5,000-$8,000). (Vulture)

Carole King’s Piano Will Be Auctioned – The constant hitmaker Carole King’s personal piano will be auctioned at Christie’s on April 20. It is the very same piano on which she wrote numerous hit songs, including You Make Me Feel Like a Natural Woman. (Press release)


Rhizome’s Nora Khan Receives $15,000 Critical Writing Grant – Rhizome editor Nora Khan has won the inaugural Visual Arts Foundation/Crossed Purposes Foundation critical writing grant for a proposal titled “Seeing, Naming, Knowing,” about machine learning and photographic imagery. The £15,000 grant is awarded through New York’s School of Visual Arts. (Artforum)

Perrotin Announces Opening of China Gallery in September – After launching outposts in Hong Kong, Korea, and Japan, in addition to the gallery’s Paris and New York spaces, art dealer Emmanuel Perrotin will open a sixth venue in Shanghai in September. (Le Monde)

Dia Acquires First Land Artwork by a Woman Nancy Holt’s 1973-76 work Sun Tunnels, in Utah’s Great Basin Desert, has been acquired by the Dia Art Foundation in a combination purchase and gift from the Holt-Smithson Foundation, marking Dia’s first piece of land art by a woman. Another Holt work purchased at the same time, Hole of Light (1973), will go on show at Dia:Chelsea in September. (New York Times)

Yesomi Umolu Named Artistic Director of the Chicago Architecture Biennial – The Chicago-based curator will art direct the city’s third architectural biennial, which runs September 17, 2019-January 5, 2020. She is currently a humanities lecturer at the University of Chicago and curator for its Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts. (dezeen)


Locations for Berlin Biennale Announced – The 10th edition of the Berlin Biennale, titled “We do not need another hero,” will take place across four permanent exhibition venues from June 9 to September 9: the KW Institute for Contemporary Art, the Academy of Arts on Hanseatenweg, the Volksbühnen Pavilion, and the ZK/U Center for Art and Urbanism. Two other artistic interventions will occur at HAU Hebbel am Ufer during the biennial. (Monopol)

Puerto Rico Museums Recover After Hurricane Devastation – Six months after Hurricane Maria and Irma hit the island, museums such as the Museo de Arte de Ponce are beginning to return to normal. The Ponce Museum has also been helping other institutions, like the museum at the Universidad de Puerto Rico, to preserve their collections. The Museo de Arte de Puerto Rico has also co-founded a Coalition for the Heritage of Puerto Rico to better prepare museums for disasters in the future. (The Art Newspaper)

Frida Kahlo’s Personal Items Go on Show at the V&A – A prosthetic leg clad in a red leather boot with bells and an eyebrow pencil are part of a trove of more than 200 items including clothes, makeup, and jewelry, which will go on show at London’s V&A on June 16. Kahlo’s belongings were sealed in her Blue House in Mexico City for half a century and were not discovered until 2004. (Guardian)

French Charity Campaign Gives Venus de Milo Prosthetic Arms – The French charity Handicap International 3D printed two prosthetic arms for a Venus de Milo replica to raise awareness of how efficient the 3D-printing of limbs can be compared to traditional prosthetic devices, part of a campaign called #BodyCantWait. Other statues across Paris have also been fitted for prosthetics, such as Charles Leboeuf’s Alexander Fighting in the Tuileries Garden.  (AFP)

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