Art Industry News: Now a Curator Too, Tilda Swinton Will Open Her First Exhibition in New York + Other Stories

Plus, Sotheby's will hold aboriginal Australian art sales in New York and Francois Pinault hires Macron's spin doctor to lead his art collection.

The actress and artist Tilda Swinton at the Museum of Islamic Art in Doha, Qatar. (Photo by Tim P. Whitby/Getty Images for Doha Film Institute)

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 Thursday, May 23.


An American Will Design the New Eiffel Tower Park – The American-born, London-based landscape architect Kathryn Gustafson has been selected to create a new park surrounding the Eiffel Tower ahead of the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris. The €72 million ($80 million) project seeks to transform the stretch of land around the tower into an “amphitheater of greenery.” The ambitious redesign aims not only to enhance tourists’ experiences, but also to re-engage Parisian residents who tend to avoid the area. (Times)

CBD Mogul Restores a Lloyd Wright House – The Mayan-revival mansion in Los Angeles designed by Frank Lloyd Wright’s son, Lloyd Wright, is being renovated by an unlikely patron: a CBD mogul. Dan Goldfarb founded Canna-Pet, which sells hemp-derived products for cats and dogs, and hopes to transform the 1926 Sowden House in Los Feliz into a “cultural hub for cannabis.” The space, now frequently used for photo shoots and even as a venue for a Gagosian show, has a storied history: it was implicated in the unsolved “Black Dahlia” murder of a young actress in 1947. (New York Times)

Tilda Swinton Is a Curator Now – The actress has organized her first art exhibition, “Orlando,” which opens tomorrow at the Aperture Foundation in New York and features nearly five-dozen works by 11 artists. The photographs in the show, some of which were commissioned for the occasion, explore the themes of identity and transformation in Virginia Woolf’s 1928 novel “Orlando” and Sally Potter’s 1992 film adaptation, which starred Swinton. “She has a great eye,” Mickalene Thomas, one of the artists included in the exhibition, said of the actress. Asked if she herself is a collector, Swinton said: “I’m not really rich enough to collect what I’d like to collect.” (New York Times)

The Prado Upgrades Its Emergency Plans – The Madrid museum is launching its first ever large-scale disaster plan. The process is forcing staff to make difficult decisions, like which paintings they would save first in the event of an emergency. With the help of a specialist in heritage risk protection, the museum is assembling a list of its 250 most important pieces, such as Velázquez’s Las Meninas and Bosch’s Garden of Earthly Delights. The €55,600 ($62,000) project also requires the museum to assemble internal teams of security guards and conservators who will be responsible for the care and rescue of each work. (El Pais)


Which Mega-Gallery Has Poached the Most Artists? – On the heels of news that Hauser & Wirth nabbed the John Chamberlain estate from Gagosian, ARTnews calculated which mega-gallery has taken on the most new artists over the past three years. The answer, unsurprisingly, is Hauser, which has added 24 artists and estates since 2016. Gagosian comes in second place, having taken on on 21; David Zwirner added 15. (ARTnews)

Sotheby’s Will Hold an Aboriginal Art Sale in New York – Sotheby’s plans to move its Aboriginal art sale from London to New York in November, becoming the first international auction house to offer Australian indigenous art outside Australia and Europe. The move, which coincides with an exhibition of the material at Gagosian in New York drawn from Steve Martin’s collection, comes at a time when interest in the sector is growing in the United States. (The Art Newspaper)

Lisa Schiff Reveals the Inaugural Show in her Tribeca Space – The New York-based art advisor will launch her new space in Tribeca on May 29 with a solo show by the 40-year-old artist Nicholas Galanin, whose work is also included in this year’s Whitney Biennial. The exhibition will be curated by Neville Wakefield, who has just organized the second edition of Desert X. (ARTnews)

Tech Entrepreneur Launches Platform for Artists – Serial tech and marketing entrepreneur Everette Taylor is launching ArtX, a new platform for artists that seeks to create a centralized platform for them to promote their work and connect with collectors. Taylor sees the art gallery model as being ripe for reorganization and plans to focus on elevating underrepresented artists of color. (Business Insider)


François Pinault Hires Macron’s “Spin Doctor” – Sylvain Fort has been named the new director of the Pinault Collection, which operates a vast exhibition space in Venice and plans to open a Paris museum. Fort was previously an advisor and “spin doctor” to President Emmanuel Macron. She replaces Jean-Jacques Aillagon, the former French politician who controversially suggested donors to the Notre Dame restoration should receive a 90 percent tax break. He remains Pinault’s special advisor. (Press release)

Swiss Bank Opens a Gallery in New York – UBS has opened a gallery in the lobby of its New York headquarters to display art from its 30,000-work-strong corporate collection. The permanent display includes work by Fred Eversley, Sarah Morris, and Eva Rothschild, among others. An Ed Ruscha show is planned in the fall. The bank plans to partner with nonprofit institutions for exhibitions and projects beginning next year. (Barrons)

The Knight Foundation Funds PBS Art Coverage – The American public broadcaster will grow its arts coverage thanks to a $1.7 million gift from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. The grant will enable PBS NewsHour to expand its broadcast and digital arts reporting initiative, Canvas. (ARTnews)

Istanbul’s Biennial Heads to Historic Shipyards – The 16th Istanbul Biennial, which is curated by Nicolas Bourriaud, will be held in the city’s historic shipyards. The exhibition, titled “The Seventh Continent,is due to run from September 14 through November 10. (Press release)


San Francisco Launches Free Museum Admission for Low-Income Residents – San Francisco residents receiving public benefits will now be able to visit more than 15 museums for free during the summer. The program, which includes the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the de Young, and the Legion of Honor, is the brainchild of San Francisco Mayor London Breed’s office. (SF Weekly)

The Met Will Get More Contemporary – The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s director Max Hollein has offered more details about the first annual contemporary commissions for two prominent spaces at the institution. The Cree Canadian artist Kent Monkman will create a monumental work for the museum’s Great Hall, while the Kenya-born artist Wangechi Mutu will create a piece for its Fifth Avenue façade. (TAN)

JR Unveils a Giant Portrait of San Francisco – The French artist, who is based in New York, has unveiled a giant new digital work in the lobby of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. Called The Chronicles of San Francisco, it measures 210 feet long and features the words and portraits of 1,200 people interviewed and photographed by the artist and his team. JR likens the epic project to the murals of Mexican artist Diego Rivera. (Instagram)


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