Art Industry News: Actor Kevin Spacey Read a Self-Glorifying Poem at a Roman Museum in a Bizarre Comeback Effort + Other Stories

Plus, Gagosian expands its footprint in Chelsea and the Louvre will now require visitors to make reservations.

Actor Kevin Spacey attends the reading of the event The Boxer at Palazzo Massimo alle Terme, Rome, August 2, 2019. Photo by Ernesto Ruscio Getty Images.
Actor Kevin Spacey attends the reading of the event The Boxer at Palazzo Massimo alle Terme, Rome, August 2, 2019. Photo by Ernesto Ruscio Getty Images.

Art Industry News is normally 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 Monday, August 5.


The Louvre Will Make Ticket Reservations Compulsory – Starting in October, it will become “obligatory” for Louvre visitors to make advance reservations online. In the face of overcrowding, Vincent Pomarede, the deputy general administrator of the Louvre, told AFP: “We have accelerated what we wanted to put in place at the start of the 2020.” In the meantime, visitors are urged to book online rather than turn up and risk disappointment if the museum is at capacity. (AFP)

Hong Kong Culture Workers Take to the Streets – Among the throngs of Hong Kong civil servants demonstrating against a controversial extradition bill last week were numerous staff from government-funded arts organizations. Around 2,000 civil servants recently defied government pressure to take to the streets. Others have expressed solidarity anonymously with the ongoing campaign, which has seen escalating violence against protesters in recent weeks. The Hong Kong Artists Union called for state-funded arts spaces and museums to close today so staff could join a general strike. (The Art Newspaper)

Kevin Spacey Reads a Poem at a Museum in Rome – The embattled actor surfaced in Rome to read a poem next to an ancient Greek sculpture of a wounded boxer at the National Roman Museum’s Palazzo Massimo alle Terme. Poet Gabriele Tinti said he wrote the poem—part of a series inspired by ancient statues—with Spacey in mind. He asked the actor to recite an English translation of “the Boxer,” which included the phrase, “The more you are wounded the greater you are.” Spacey, who has faced allegations of sexual misconduct in the US and Britain, invited members of the press to attend the performance. A member of the audience described Spacey’s reading as “masterful,” though we might have suggested a few other adjectives instead. (Vulture, CNN)

Disgraced Dealer Shows No Remorse, Says Fraud Victim – London dealer Timothy Sammons, who was imprisoned last week for fraud after he stole millions of dollars of art from his wealthy clients, has shown no remorse for his actions, according to one of his victims. Vivian Cavalieri, who was scammed out of a million-dollar Giorgio Morandi painting given to her by her father as well as three other works, is now suing the dealer in civil court over the loss of the painting, which she claimed had sentimental as well as monetary value. (Times)


Gagosian Takes Over Mary Boone’s Chelsea Space – Larry Gagosian is expanding his footprint even further in Chelsea. The mega-dealer is renting a 7,900-square-foot space next door to his existing, 26,000-square-foot West 24th Street hub. The space was previously occupied by two different galleries: Pace, which is now consolidating on 25th Street, and Mary Boone, which had to close after its founder was sentenced to 30 months in federal prison for tax evasion. (Bloomberg)

Christie’s Offers Jeremy Lancaster Collection – Christie’s is selling the art collection of the late British businessman Jeremy Lancaster on October 1, to coincide with London’s Frieze Week. Aside from works by Josef Albers and Pablo Picasso, the collection is particularly strong on Howard Hodgkin works, with an auction house representative likening his holdings to “a near complete retrospective survey” of the artist. (Art Market Monitor)

Galleries Pay Tribute to Legendary San Francisco Space – The storied San Francisco gallery Dilexi is getting a retrospective of its own retrospective at Los Angeles’s the Landing gallery this summer as part of a wider, six-venue program dedicated to the gallery, which operated from 1958 to 1969. “Dilexi Gallery: Disparate Ontologies,” on view through August 10, celebrates the gallery’s dedication to radical political artists. (Los Angeles Times)


Turner Painting Given Temporary Export Ban – The UK has placed a temporary export ban on The Dark Rigi, the Lake of Lucerne, an 1842 painting by J. M. W. Turner. Arts minister Rebecca Pow warns its international sale would be a “terrible loss to the whole country.” The UK has until December 1 to raise the £10 million ($11 million) needed to keep the watercolor painting, which depicts dawn in the Swiss mountains. (Independent)

LA Artist Don Suggs Has Died – The renowned Los Angeles artist has died at 74, after being involved in a pedestrian traffic accident. The artist and instructor at the University of California was well-loved in the LA art scene for his vibrantly colored concentric circle paintings that defied easy categorization. (Art Daily)

Restoration of King Tut’s Coffin Begins – An eight-month restoration of King Tut’s wooden coffin has begun in Cairo after the precious artifact was removed earlier this year from Luxor’s Valley of the Kings in a very fragile state due to humidity and high temperatures. The restored coffin will go on display in the new Egyptian Museum in central Cairo alongside the two smaller concentric coffins that held the boy king. (LA Times)


Emilio Prini Gets First Major Retrospective Since His Death – A key figure of the Arte Povera movement, Prini will have a large retrospective at Turin’s Merz Foundation from October 28 to February 9, 2020. Organized by Beatrice Merz in collaboration with Emilio’s daughter Timotea, it marks the first retrospective on Prini since his death in 2016. (Press release)

Elmgreen & Dragset’s Memorial to Gay People Is Vandalized Again – The duo’s permanent film and sculpture installation in Berlin, titled Memorial for Homosexuals Persecuted Under National Socialism, has been damaged again. Vandals sprayed the screen of the monument white so that the film, which shows footage of gay couples embracing on loop, is impossible to see. The work, which is across from the Holocaust memorial, has been vandalized several times since it was installed in 2008. (Monopol)

Jeremy Deller’s New Documentary Receives Critical Acclaim While Offending a Few – The artist’s new documentary, Everybody in the Place, which aired on BBC 4 on August 2, looks at British rave culture from the mid-1980s through the early ’90s, placing acid house and club culture in the context of the major social and political change sweeping Britain at the time. But not everyone thinks it does the era justice: “I was looking forward to reliving the best days of my life and all I got was was a far left propaganda advert,” wrote one Twitter user. Deller seems unbothered; he reposted the tweet, replying, “thanks for all the kind words about the film , also nice to know that I ruined a few peoples evenings.” (Instagram)

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