Art Industry News: MoMA PS1 Confronts the Ghosts of America’s Gulf Wars + Other Stories

Plus, what Michael Rakowitz did instead of the Whitney Biennial and the artist who is jogging through Venice.

Guerrilla Girls, Did She Risk Her Life For Governments That Enslave Women? (1991). Courtesy of, copyright Guerrilla Girls.

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 7.


What Michael Rakowitz Is Doing Instead of the Whitney Biennial – Rakowitz has been busy since he declined an invitation to participate in this year’s Whitney Biennial in protest of controversial museum trustee Warren Kanders. For his LA debut exhibition at Redcat, CalArts’s downtown center for contemporary arts, the Chicago-based artist has made surrogates of lost or destroyed sculptures from Iraq, many of which were looted from the Iraq National Museum in Baghdad after the American invasion in 2003. The show is on view until June 2. (LA Times)

Washington’s New Spy Museum Takes on the Dark Side – The expanded International Spy Museum in Washington, DC, is opening May 12 to highlight darker parts of the spy industry, such a as torture and unchecked surveillance. The $162 million updated museum does a “remarkable” job, says the New York Times, of delving into the disparate strains of spying, from controversial methods like waterboarding to more romantic Bourne Identity-inspired narratives. (New York Times)

MoMA PS1 Is Staging a Show About the Wars in Iraq – “Theater of Operations: The Gulf Wars 1991–2011” will look at the American-led military engagement in Iraq, beginning with the Gulf War in 1991. More than 100 works will be shown, including contributions by Paul Chan, Harun Farocki, the Guerrilla Girls, Thomas Hirschhorn, and Hiwa K. The show will takeover the entire MoMA PS1 building from November 3, 2019 through February 2020. (Press release)

A Sneak Peek Inside a Reclusive Italian’s Collection – Francesco Federico Cerruti’s 1,000-work art collection will soon be open to the public, thanks to a foundation he set up before he died in 2015 and the Castello di Rivoli. Just outside Turin, the reclusive Cerruti’s collection, valued at $600 million, is a marvel of 20th-century art: even the relatively modest staircase is lined with artworks by the likes of Francis Bacon, Amedeo Modigliani, Paul Klee, Joan Miró and Fernand Léger. Shuttle buses bring tourists from the museum to his home every hour. (NYT)


A Canova Bust Sells for €2 Million – A marble portrait bust of a 16th-century Italian noblewoman by neoclassical sculptor Antonio Canova has sold at auction in Monaco for €2 million ($2.2 million). The bust of Lucrezia d’Este had not been seen by the public since it was exhibited in New York in 1928. (Antiques Trade Gazette)

Gallery Hyundai Gets a New Director – The Seoul- and New York-based gallery has announced Patrick Lee as its new executive director. He will be based in South Korea and work closely with Gallery Huyndai’s director, Do Hyung-Teh. (Press release)


Tate Plans Shows for Warhol and McQueen – The Tate has announced its 2020 exhibitions. A show about Andy Warhol’s journey from being a gay Catholic outsider to art world superstar will be a highlight of the spring, while a major survey dedicated to Steve McQueen will overlap with the artist and filmmaker‘s Tate Britain Duveen commission at Tate Britain. (Press release)

Shepard Fairey Joins the Maya Angelou Mural Fest – The Dr. Maya Angelou Community High School in south Los Angeles will be transformed by more than 20 artists who will create new murals across the campus. Artists include the all-woman art collective Ni Santas, Shepard Fairey, Faith 47, Hugeart, and Rabi of Cyrcle. (Press release)

Asian Art Biennial Announces 2019 Lineup – Artists Hsu Chia-Wei and Ho Tzu Nyen will curate the Asian Art Biennial in Taiwan, which is due to open in October. Thirty-three artists and collectives will take part in the show titled, “The Strangers from Beyond the Mountain and the Sea.” (ArtAsiaPacific)


Anti-Independence Politician Demands a Prado Barcelona – The anti-independence center-right politician Josep Bou, who is a candidate to become mayor of Barcelona, wants a branch Madrid’s Prado and the Reina Sofía in the Catalan capital to symbolize its “loyalty” to Spain. (20Minutos)

Artist Thierry Geoffroy Wants to Jog With You in Venice – The Danish-French artist and fitness enthusiast is leading 9:15 a.m. jogs through Venice. Called Critical Runs, the group debates intellectual conundrums as they go. The first, on Thursday, poses the question: “Is the title of the Venice Biennale arrogant?” (ARTnews)

Met Gala Celebs Take Camp to a New Level  – Rihanna is the “reigning champ of the Met Gala,” according to Garage, citing her 2015 and 2017 outfits, although the star was conspicuously absent from this year’s fashion fest. Taking her cue from the Costume Institute exhibition’s camp theme, Lady Gaga performed a “strip tease,” but Broadway star Billy Porter clinched gold, arriving on a gilded litter in the style of Cleopatra carried by six muscular men. Porter called the OTT outfit “Old Testament Realness.” 




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