Art Industry News: A $15 Million Gauguin in the Tate’s Collection Might Actually Be a Worthless Faux-guin + Other Stories

Plus, Max Hetzler Gallery plans to open in Marfa, Texas and feminist art shows are coming for American museums.

Tahitians (c. 1891), attributed to Paul Gauguin. Presented by the Contemporary Art Society 1917.

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 Monday, March 9.


Can Feminist Art Shows Change the World? – More than 90 American art museums and organizations have signed up to participate in the Feminist Art Collective, an initiative that aims to correct the huge gender imbalance in museum programs. Co-founder Apsara DiQuinzio, a curator at the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, helped secure a  $50,000 grant from the Andy Warhol Foundation, which has funded the coalition and its website. In addition to more than 20 exhibitions due open under its banner in the fall, the initiative has inspired feminist rehangs of the permanent collections at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts and the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis. (New York Times)

PinchukArtCentre Accused of Union-Busting – Some 30 former part-time guides and mediators at the Kiev contemporary art space, which administers the prestigious Future Generation Art Prize, have penned an open letter complaining that they were fired after trying to form a union. They are asking for a boycott of the institution until their demands to be re-employed and to create a trade union are met. (Artforum)

Is a Gauguin in the Tate an Early Fake? – A French art dealer who helped get the Getty to downgrade its attribution of a $5 million “Gauguin” sculpture to the work of an unknown artist now has as an unfinished painting in the Tate’s collection in his sights. Fabrice Fourmanoir is questioning the attribution of Tahitiens (c. 1891), claiming it is not in Gauguin’s style. The unfinished picture of three reclining women facing a scantily clad man has been in the Tate’s collection since 1917. It has impressive provenance dating back to 1910, when the critic Roger Fry, who coined the term Post-Impressionism, bought it in a Paris gallery. (If you ask us, it doesn’t take a PhD to figure out that a picture in which all the women are clothed is not your standard Gauguin.) (Telegraph)

Court Rejects Arrest Warrant in Old Master Forgery Case – An Italian court has rejected a European-wide arrest warrant for a French dealer who is the prime suspect in an Old Master forgery ring. The ruling is blow for the French judge investigating Giuliano Ruffini and his associate, the Italian painter Lino Frongia. Several paintings that passed through Ruffini’s hands and went on to sell for millions of dollars as Old Masters are now suspected forgeries. The Milan court ruled Ruffini should stay in Italy because of an alleged tax debt, which may take years to resolve. Frongia’s arrest warrant was rejected at the end of February by a court in Bologna. (The Art Newspaper)


Max Hetzler Will Open in Marfa – Galerie Max Hetzler of Berlin and London is opening an exhibition and studio space in Marfa, Texas. The remote outpost—which enables the gallery to be closer to artists including Christopher Wool and Jeff Elrod—is due to launch in late August with an Albert Oehlen show, which will be followed by 11 months of exhibitions. (Financial Times)

Trevor Paglen Joins Pace – The American artist known for his thought-provoking work with A.I. and government surveillance will be represented internationally by Pace, which will work in tandem with Paglen’s longtime New York gallery, Metro Pictures, and Altman Siegel in San Francisco. Paglen will have a solo show at Pace London in September. (Press release)

Lisson Plans Another New York Gallery – The gallery is expanding in Chelsea—again—after signing a long-term lease for the space next door to its current space on 24th Street. The new outpost is due to open on May 5 with a Ryan Gander solo show. The new space will keep the number of Lisson New York locations at two following the planned closure of its 10th Avenue gallery, which opened in 2017. In November, both New York spaces will host an ambitious Hélio Oiticica exhibition. (TAN)

Could the Armory Show’s Move Be Bad News for Small Galleries? – News that the Armory Show will move locations and time slots beginning in 2021—to the Javits Center in September—has been greeted with trepidation from some smaller dealers, who fear it could crowd out their season-opening shows in the fall. Lower East Side gallerist Keith Schweitzer, the director of SFA Projects, fears the move could “accelerate the trend of shifting towards the art fair/popup ‘projects’ model without a permanent location.” (Observer)


National Gallery’s CASVA Gets a New Head – The National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC, has appointed Steven Nelson as dean of the Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts. Nelson will take up his post in July, succeeding Elizabeth Cropper, who will retire in late May. (Press release)

Armory Show Prizes Awarded – The $20,000 Pommery Prize was awarded to Night Gallery for its presentation of artist Christine Wang’s new “Meme Girl” painting series. Upfor from Portland won the $10,000 “Presents” prize for its solo booth of new work by artist June Edmonds. And the inaugural $10,000 Aware Prize, which recognizes exemplary solo presentations by women artists, was awarded to June Green. (ARTnews)

Artist Alan Turner Dies – The New York-based painter known for his Surrealist works tinged with Abstract Expressionism has died at age 76. The cause was progressive supra-nuclear palsy, a degenerative brain disorder. (New York Times)


Iranian Diaspora Artists Are in Demand in the United States – While the US travel ban has limited Iranian artists’ ability to visit the US, those from the country’s diaspora are getting renewed exposure. There is Shirazeh Houshiary’s show at Lehmann Maupin, which opens May 1, and Shirin Neshat‘s major show in February 2021 at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth. Many artists from this cohort left Iran and settled in the US during the late 1970s after the Iranian Revolution. (New York Times)

Kurimanzutto Goes on Strike in Solidarity With Women – The Mexico City art gallery is closed today—the day after International Women’s Day—in response to the gender violence and inequality that has prevailed in the country. “Women are 70 percent of the workforce of kurimanzutto,”  the gallery said in a statement. “Since they cannot function without us, the gallery will resume work on March 10.” The staff is joining major protests nationwide against gender-based violence. (Press release)

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