Art Industry News: A Bored British Filmmaker Just Created a Star-Studded Art Exhibition for His Chickens + Other Stories

Plus, Brazilian kinetic art pioneer Abraham Palatnik dies at 92 and Art Basel announces the details of its next online viewing room.

A chicken like this one enjoyed a recent art show in Kent, England. (Rene Johnston/Toronto Star via Getty Images)
A chicken like this one enjoyed a recent art show in Kent, England. (Rene Johnston/Toronto Star via 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 on this Tuesday, May 12.


Introducing the Drive-By Art Gallery – An exhibition in South Fork, Long Island, is giving people the chance to see art without risking getting sick. “Drive-By-Art (Public Art in This Moment of Social Distancing)” features work by 52 artists, including Joan Jonas and Eric Fischl, installed on lawns, porches, driveways, and garage doors from Hampton Bays to Montauk. Conceived by artist Warren Neidich, the show was designed as a way to “show empathy and solidarity in this new age that is lacking in emotional solidarity.” Neidich has planned another drive-by exhibition in Los Angeles for Memorial Day weekend. (New York Times)

V&A to Collect Signs Made During Lockdown – The V&A has issued a public call for donations of homemade signs created during the social-distancing era, from handmade rainbow window crafts to store notices. Curators have not set out strict criteria as they hope to acquire a true picture of the world under lockdown. “Some signs will resort to humor, but then some of them will be incredibly prosaic and boring—and we need to reflect that,” says design curator Brendan Cormier. (Guardian)

A Filmmaker Created a Star-Studded Art Show for Chickens – They say necessity is the mother of invention, and it seems to be true. Would anything but total lockdown have inspired a filmmaker to create an extensive art exhibition for his chickens? Some 50 artists—including Richard Wentworth, Goshka Macuga, Amalia Pica, and George Shaw—contributed to Jared Schiller’s open-call exhibition for the animals on his farm in Kent, southeast England. (The works were solicited on Instagram, submitted digitally, and then printed out.) The show, which closes today, has received mixed reviews from the chickens themselves, some of whom have taken to shredding the works to pieces. Tough crowd. (The Art Newspaper)

New York Public Library Acquires Martha Graham Archive – Filling a significant gap in its story of early modern dance in America, the New York Public Library has acquired Martha Graham’s archive, which captures the history of her influential company, the oldest in the country. The archive, which comprises photographs and films (the sets and costumes are still in use), includes rare footage of Graham dancing, a set drawing by sculptor and collaborator Isamu Noguchi, and notes written to composer William Schuman. (New York Times)


Gallery Weekend Beijing Will Return – The fourth edition of Gallery Weekend Beijing, which was originally set to take place in March, will now be held the week from May 22 through May 31. Some 22 galleries and institutions will present solo and group exhibitions, public art installations, and events. Philip Tinari, director of the UCCA Center for Contemporary Art, says it signals a “return of cultural life to our city.” (Artforum)

Art Basel Announces June Viewing Room – Are you just hankering for another online fair? Never fear: the next edition of Art Basel’s Online Viewing Room will be held from June 19 to June 26, with VIP preview days beginning June 17. Galleries accepted to this year’s Art Basel fair, now rescheduled for September, can participate at no extra cost. The platform will boast improvements from the March version that coincided with Art Basel Hong Kong including the option to integrate YouTube or Vimeo videos and flexible ordering of artworks. (Press release)


Kinetic Artist Abraham Palatnik Has Died – The Brazilian artist known for his visually striking geometric forms died on Saturday in Rio at age 92 from complications relating to the coronavirus. Palatnik was a pioneer of kinetic art who influenced the Brazilian art scene’s pivot towards abstraction in the mid-20th century. (ARTnews)

National Trust Scotland Could Could Axe 50 Percent of Staff – The Prospect union is confronting the Scottish government following news that the heritage body National Trust Scotland is considering making half of its workforce redundant. “NTS has custodianship of many of Scotland’s iconic landscapes and locations which are key to rebuilding and recovering our economic and cultural life, they can’t do that if they are closed,” a union rep says in a statement. (Press release)

Berlin Museums Are Now Open – Berlin’s Museum Island, home to six museums including the Pergamon, Alte Nationalgalerie, and the Neues Museum, is opening its doors to the public after prolonged closure due to the public health crisis. The museums will operate with strict social-distancing measures in place, including a one-way foot traffic system and online booking for timed entry. (Monopol)


A Hotel Blocking the Acropolis Must Demolish Its Top Floors – A five-star hotel in Athens has been ordered by Greece’s central archaeological council to demolish its top two floors because they were blocking views of the Acropolis. The ruing was made after enraged citizens took their concerns to the country’s highest court. (Guardian)

See Goshka Macuga’s Satirical Instagram Account – The London-based artist has kept herself busy during lockdown by creating a satirical Instagram account that captures life from the perspective of her dog, Greka. “I went into it with the aim of entertaining people, sharing, doing something that existed outside the art market,” Macuga says. “I think of it in the tradition of the political cartoon.” (Guardian)

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