Art Industry News: Former Walker Director Says Museums Need to ‘Decolonize’ + More Must-Read Stories

Plus, Jerry Saltz pinpoints the Catch 22 of art fairs and Jordon Wolfson's demonic robot makes its London debut.

Olga Viso. Courtesy Walker Art Center.

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 3.


Collectors Launch $800,000 Joint Prize – Three US collectors—Amanda Fuhrman, Glenn Fuhrman, and Suzanne Deal Booth—have joined forces to create the new prize, which will be awarded biennially until 2026. Winners will get $200,000 in cash plus a solo show at Glenn and Amanda Fuhrman’s FLAG foundation and Contemporary Austin Suzanne Deal Booth’s institution of choice, with production of the new body of work to be shown, travel, and installation costs totaling a projected $600,000. (New York Times)

Berlin Museums Hands Back Nine Looted Works – Several German cultural institutions and American heirs of the German-Jewish Mosse family have worked together to see the successful restitution of nine works from Berlin’s state museums. The institutions found among their collections works that the Nazis had looted from Berlin newspaper publisher Rudolf Mosse. (Courthouse News)

The Walker’s Former Director Urges Museums to Shape Up – Olga Viso, who stepped down at the Walker Art Center after Sam Durant’s sculpture Scaffold upset Native American activists, argues that US museums need to “decolonize,” debate with their critics and stop seeing activists as antagonists. Otherwise they risk becoming irrelevant, she says. (NYT)

Jerry Saltz Cracks the Catch 22 of Art Fairs – Like America, art fairs benefit those at the very top more than anyone else, “and this gap is only growing,” says Jerry Saltz. Let the mega-galleries pay more, he writes, or smaller and medium size galleries will remain in a Catch 22 as they try to “keep up with the Gagosians.” (Vulture)​


Another Fancy Jesus Artwork Heads to Christie’s – One of Rembrandt’s greatest prints, Christ Presented to the People (‘Ecce Homo’) (1655), is on sale at Christie’s London with an estimate of $3 million to $5 million. From the collection of the late Samuel Josefowitz, it is the only one of eight in private hands. (Art Market Monitor)

White Cube Quietly Opens Madison Avenue Office – After much expectation, Jay Jopling’s White Cube Gallery has quietly opened an office on Manhattan’s Upper East Side. The address is 699 Madison Avenue (third floor) and it’s only open by appointment. The gallery has spaces in spaces in London and Hong Kong, but its Sao Paulo outpost proved short lived. (ARTnews)

Best in Show at Frieze New York – Jhaveri Contemporary of Mumbai won Frieze New York’s prize its solo presentation in its Spotlight section of the Indian artist Mohan Samant. Nuno Centeno of Porto won the Focus Prize for its booth. (Press release)

Zwirner Now Represents Joan Mitchell – The Joan Mitchell Foundation will be represented exclusively by David Zwirner, which is planning a solo exhibition of her work for 2019 in New York. The foundation previously worked with Cheim & Read, which has organized many shows of the second-generation Ab-Ex artist. (Press release)​


MFA Boston Appoints New Chair of Contemporary Art – Reto Thüring has been named the new chair of contemporary art and curator of Modern art at the the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Thüring, who heads to Boston in the fall, is the head of the contemporary and Modern art program at the Cleveland Museum of Art. (Artforum)

Former Head of the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council Has Died – Sam Miller, the former president of the Lower Manhattan’s cultural council, has died at age 66. Miller was a key figure in New York’s arts scene as well as throughout the East Coast and abroad, where he founded the Cambodian Artists Project to preserve and present Cambodian performing arts in 1991. (Artforum)

Las Vegas Moves a Step Closer to Opening an Art Museum – The Las Vegas city council has extended an agreement to 2019 for a nonprofit group working to fundraise for the city’s first art museum. The city has contributed $2 million to the project so far, in addition to land and parking facilities. (Review Journal)

The Getty Trust Names New Communications Veep – Lisa Lapin has been named the new vice president of communications for the Getty Trust. She is currently the vice president for university communications at Stanford University, and will assume her new role this fall. (Press release)


Richard Prince Raised $150,000 for an Anti-Trump PAC – The artist pulled in the funds through sales of a new work called 18 & Stormy, which is a composite of photographs of the 19 women, including Stormy Daniels, who accused the president of sexual misconduct. Proceeds will go towards voter registration and education efforts of Downtown for Democracy. (Bedford and Bowery)

Brooklyn Museum Buys Ed Clark Work – At Frieze New York, the Brooklyn Museum announced the acquisition of Untitled (1978-80) by Ed Clark. The work will join the museum’s collection through the LIFEWTR Fund, which contributed $100,000 to support the institution’s acquisition. The work was purchased from Weiss Berlin Gallery. (Press release)

V&A Gets a Gift of Rock ‘n’ Roll Royalty – Paul McCartney has donated 63 photographs by the late Linda McCartney to London’s Victoria and Albert Museum. A selection of her portraits, which feature the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, and Jimi Hendrix, and other rock legends, will go on display when the museum’s new Photography Centre opens on October 12. (Press release)

Jordan Wolfson’s Robot Makes Its Tate Modern Debut – The Tate has acquired Wolfson scary Colored Sculpture, which goes on show in London today in Tate Modern. The robotic work, which features a puppet in chains being dragged, beaten, and otherwise abused, was bought with funds from Irish art collectors Marie and Joe Donnelly. (Guardian)



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