Art Industry News: Her Sackler Crusade Won, Nan Goldin Shoots Very Nice Portraits of Met Director Max Hollein + Other Stories

Plus, the Ukraine Pavilion's organizers resume work on the Venice Biennale, and another Hermitage affiliate breaks ranks with Moscow,

Max Hollein. Photo by Nan Goldin for WSJ. Magazine, courtesy WSJ. Magazine.

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 Wednesday, March 9.


Nadya Tolokonnikova on the Future of Russian Politics – Pussy Riot’s Nadya Tolokonnikova says the $6 million she raised from her Ukraine DAO NFT has already been distributed to the organization Come Back Alive, which aids the Ukrainian army. “In situations like this, activism is the only thing that can keep you sane,” she said. She levied criticism against the “complacent” international community that continued doing business with Putin out of “greed” and “stupidity,” and said the the only way Putin could be ousted in through a mass uprising, or from the dictator’s inner circle turning against him. (Guardian)

Awol Erizku Is Ready for His Close Up – Ahead of a solo exhibition at Gagosian opening on March 10, artist Awol Erikzu spoke out about trying to dispel his image as a “photographer for hire” after he famously shot a pregnant Beyoncé in 2017. He works in painting, sculpture, and video installation as well as photography. “I want to be remembered for Black imagination,” Erizku said, “to expand the limits of Black art.” (New York Times)

Nan Goldin Shoots Max Hollein for WSJ MagIn a subtly inspired pairing, WSJ Magazine hired artist Nan Goldin—who, not too long ago, staged an unauthorized protest in the Met’s erstwhile Sackler Wing—to photograph director Max Hollein for an in-depth interview about his vision for the museum. Hollein reveals his plans to modernize the African and Oceanic galleries and finally build the long-stalled modern and contemporary wing. Ex-Guggenheim director Thomas Krens also offered some insight into how Hollein got his start. The elder director hired him as an intern because “his mother [fashion illustrator Helene Hollein] asked me to.” Ain’t that an art-world tale as old as time? (WSJ Magazine)

Hermitage Has Been “Artwashing” Russia for a Long Time – Rachel Spence explores how the Hermitage Museum, which has launched outposts and partnerships around the world, helped incorporate Putin into the “curatorial narrative of artistic liberation.” This contrasts sharply with his record: Russia detained 17 artists in 2020, only slightly better than Cuba. Hermitage director Mikhail Piotrovsky has told the media that “Putin has been my person from the early ’90s.” Since the war broke out, the Hermitage Foundation U.K. and the Hermitage Amsterdam have cut ties with their Russian namesake. (Hyperallergic, The Art Newspaper)


Ukraine Pavilion Resumes Work Amid War – The curators of the Ukrainian Pavilion at the Venice Biennale announced that they have resumed work on the project despite the ongoing war. The team has successfully evacuated fragments of artwork by artist Pavlo Makov, who will represent the country, from Kyiv. They plan to recreate the rest of the presentation in Venice. (Press release)

Iraq National Museum Reopens After Three Years – The Iraq Museum reopened to the public in Baghdad on Monday. It had been closed for three years in light of unrest in the region to avoid history repeating itself—in 2003, its collection was looted in the chaos after the U.S. invaded the country. (ARTnews)

MOCA North Miami Appoints Curator – Adeze Wilford has joined the Museum of Contemporary Art North Miami as curator. Previously, she was assistant curator at the Shed in New York. (Press release)

Gallery Pledges Fair Profit to Ukrainian Artists – Ukraine’s Lysenko Gallery has pledged to donate all profits from London’s Affordable Art Fair this weekend to six of its artists in the country. Serhiy Reznichenko, Katherine Reznichenko, Tanya Vasilenko, Nata Levitasova, Nina Murashkina, and Eduard Belsky are all “either helping refugees or with the TerDefence,” the gallery’s founder said. (Press release)


Artists Call for a No-Fly Zone at the Guggenheim – A group of 15 artists and activists staged a guerrilla action at the Guggenheim on Sunday, launching 350 paper airplanes from the top of the museum’s rotunda. The airplanes were made from flyers calling for a no-fly zone over Ukraine. Asked about the notion that such a measure would lead to an all-out world war, participant Betty Roytburd said, “A third world war could start if we don’t do anything to stop Putin.” (Hyperallergic)


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