Art Industry News: Inside Christie’s Emergency Turnaround Operation + More Must-Read Stories

Plus, a new director for El Museo del Barrio and an exhibition in honor of the Pulse nightclub massacre victims.

Loic Gouzer, deputy chairman of Post-War and Contemporary at Christie's, stands next to Untitled by Jean-Michel Basquiat at the auction house. Courtesy of KENA BETANCUR/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 Tuesday, May 2nd.


Tiananmen Square Museum Reopens in Hong Kong – As Hong Kong prepares to welcome Chinese president Xi Jinping for celebrations marking the 20th anniversary of the city’s handover from Britain to China, a museum dedicated to the June 4th student massacre—the biggest no-go subject in Chinese society—will reappear in a temporary venue in the city. (The Star)

Hirshhorn Reborn – Washington, DC, didn’t exactly welcome Melissa Chiu with open arms in her first year as director of the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden. But as her Kusama exhibition continues to draw lines around the block, this profile says she’s finally won the city over—and substantially filled the museum’s coffers. (Washington Post)

Smithsonian Gets $$$ to Enhance Its Black Art History – The Henry Luce Foundation has given $575,000 to the Smithsonian’s Archives of American Art to acquire more art and archival works by Black American artists, and to create a new curatorial post dedicated to traveling the country to build the collection. (Burnaway)

New Orlando Show Commemorates Pulse Shooting Victims – An exhibition of 49 portraits in tribute to the 49 people who died in the Pulse nightclub massacre has opened at Orlando City Hall. (Wesh 2 News)


Inside the High-Stakes Turnaround Operation at Christie’s –  ARTnews’s Nate Freeman does a deep dive into the change of strategy at Christie’s, which in recent years found itself unexpectedly equalled—and sometimes overtaken—by arch-rival Sotheby’s. (ARTnews)

Christie’s Amsterdam Postwar/Contemp Auction Made $8.4 Million – Amid consolidation of the company’s overall sales in the Dutch capital, the hottest auction in the house’s repertoire was a big success, with 90 percent of the lots sold. (Art Market Monitor)


El Museo Del Barrio Hires New Director – The revolving-door institution has tapped Mexico City-based curator Patrick Charpenel as its new executive director, making him the fourth to head the New York museum of Latino and Latin American art in five years. (Press Release)

St. Louis Museum Replaces Controversial Curator – The Contemporary Art museum St. Louis has hired Wassan Al-Khudhairi, a curator at the Birmingham Museum of Art, to step in after former chief curator Jeffrey Uslip resigned in the wake of accusations his Kelley Walker show was racially insensitive. (ARTnews)

The Art Institute of Chicago Hires Documenta 14 Curator –  Hendrik Folkerts, who was also curator of performance, film, and programs at Amsterdam’s Stedelijk Museum between 2010 and 2015, has been named Dittmer Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at the American museum. (Artforum)

Modigliani’s Head (circa 1913) has joined the Kimbell Art Museum.

Modigliani’s Head (circa 1913) has joined the Kimbell Art Museum.


See the Best Protest Signs From the Climate March – Trenchant, funny, harrowing, and altogether arresting, these signs that thousands of demonstrators used in their march on Saturday to mark Trump’s 100th day in office show why museum curators see these placards as one of the most urgent art forms of the present day. (Huffington Post)

Rare Modigliani Bust Donated to the Kimbell Art Museum – Below is the alluring circa 1913 limestone sculpture that Fort Worth art collectors Ted and Lucile Weiner gave their local museum. (New York Times)

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