Art Industry News: Gagosian Invites Gary Garrels, Who Left SFMOMA Amid a Staff Revolt, to Curate a Major Show of Abstract Art + Other Stories
Plus, Welsh police seized a Banksy artwork worth $260,000 and Otobong Nkanga has joined the fold at Lisson Gallery.
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 8.
Is This Picasso Painting Looted Art? – Madame Soler, the painting from Picasso’s Blue Period housed in the Bavarian State Painting Collections, is at the center of an ownership dispute as the heirs of Jewish banker and art collector Paul von Mendelssohn-Bartholdy claim that they are the rightful owners. The case remains unresolved as it could not be determined whether the painting was sold under duress amid Nazi Germany’s persecution of Jewish people. (DW)
Otobong Nkanga Joins Lisson – The Nigerian-born Antwerp-based artist has left Mendes Wood DM to join the roster at Lisson Gallery, attributing the move as a “question of growing with another team” and with “a gallery that I’ve always had great admiration for.” The artist’s multidisciplinary works, spanning painting, textiles, sculpture, and film, reference the history and legacy of colonialism, will go on view in a show at the gallery’s London outpost in May. Nkanga will continue to be represented by Lumen Travo in Amsterdam and Galerie In Situ-Fabienne Leclerc in Paris. (The Art Newspaper)
Gagosian to Mount Major Abstraction Show – The gallery will be staging “To Bend the Ear from the Outer World: Conversations on contemporary abstract painting,” an expansive show featuring more than 40 artists curated by Gary Garrels, the former senior curator at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art who resigned in 2020 amid a row with staff about systemic inequality. It will be mounted across two of its London locations, at Grosvenor Hill and Davies Street. (Press release)
Police Seize Banksy Works in Criminal Investigation – Three works by the elusive artist—his sculpture Grappling Hook, a work titled White Tower, and Monkey Queen, a satirical portrait of the late monarch—have been in the custody of Gwent police in Wales since March 2021 as part of an investigation into a 35-year-old man, court documents revealed. The works are suspected proceeds from a crime. (Evening Standard)
MOVERS & SHAKERS
Jaune Quick-to-See Smith to Curate National Gallery Show – The Native American painter is the first artist to curate a show at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.. The show will feature around 50 living Indigenous artists. (The Art Newspaper)
Andy Warhol’s Watch Sells for $101,600 – A Rare Patek Philippe Ref. 2526 pink gold wristwatch with a first-series enamel dial exceeded its presale estimate of $80,000 at Sotheby’s Fine Watches sale, fetching more than $100,000 on Tuesday. The timepiece was first auctioned at Sotheby’s in 1988 after a secret compartment in the late artist’s bedroom cabinet was discovered holding a veritable treasure trove of watches, gemstones, and designer jewels. (Sotheby’s)
LACMA Building Campaign Nears Completion – The fundraising campaign for the controversial new building designed by starchitect Peter Zumthor is 98 percent complete with more than $735 million raised for the project. (LA Times)
Robert Indiana’s Foundation Adds Bold Names to Board – The Star of Hope Foundation, created by the late artist to support the visual arts in his home state of Maine, has finalized its Board of Directors. Appointees include art-world heavyweights Mark Bessire, director of the Portland Museum of Art; Sharon Corwin, President & CEO of Chicago’s Terra Foundation for American Art; and Adam Weinberg, director of Manhattan’s Whitney Museum of American Art. (Press release)
FOR ARTS SAKE
Madame Tussauds Creates Wax Figure of Emmeline Pankhurst – More than a century after co-founding the Women’s Social and Political Union (WSPU), Pankhurst has been immortalized as a new wax statue in London’s Madame Tussauds to mark International Women’s Day. Pankhurst was a leading member of the suffragettes who fought for women’s right to vote in the early 20th century in the U.K. A panel discussion about Pankhurst’s impact was held at London wax museum. (Evening Standard)
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