Art Industry News: Cindy Sherman Is So Insanely Successful That She Can Only See Her Jealous Friends at Christmas + Other Stories

Plus, Egypt investigates a 3,000-year-old King Tut sculpture headed to auction at Christie's and an artist sues the Frida Kahlo Corporation.

Cindy Sherman attends the Tiepolo Ball Dior dinner at Palazzo Labia in Venice on May 11, 2019. (Photo by Luc Castel/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 Monday, June 10.


Can Egypt Demand the Return of That King Tut Sculpture? – Egypt’s former antiquities minister Zahi Hawass claims that the 3,000-year-old sculpture of King Tutankhamen that is due to be sold at Christie’s in London next month was looted from Luxor’s Karnak Temple. The sculpture is being sold by the private Resandro Collection and is expected to sell for £4 million (about $5 million) on July 4. The Egyptian ministry of state antiquities has launched an investigation into the planned sale; a spokesperson for Christie’s said the auction house is cooperating but maintained that “we would not offer for sale any object where there was concern over ownership or export.” (ABC)

YouTube Pulls Nazi Propaganda Film Triumph of the Will The video-sharing platform has removed clips of Leni Riefenstahl’s 1935 propaganda film—often studied in art and film history classes—because it violates the site’s new hate speech policy. The move raises questions about how YouTube will treat art and other items of historical and academic value in its bid to grapple with the rise of the far right and limit the spread of supremacist and hateful content. (IndieWire)

Cindy Sherman on Coping With Success – The artist gives a rare interview to the Guardian ahead of her upcoming retrospective at London’s National Portrait Gallery. The elusive artist—who a friend once described as having “the banality of a great actress”—recounts her childhood fascination with photography and her rise to fame and market success in the ’90s. Her financial success, which she says she sometimes feels “guilty” about, has caused some friction with those in her life. “There are a couple of friends I only see once a year when I have a Christmas party,” she says. “Otherwise, I don’t have anything to do with them because I can feel their resentment so strongly. Even one of my family members is that way.” (Guardian)

Artist Sues the Frida Kahlo Corporation – An American artist is suing the Frida Kahlo Corporation after it successfully lobbied the e-commerce site Etsy to remove her folk art dolls inspired by the Mexican artist from its website. Nina Shope, who also sells work by Mexican artists who create folksy homages to Kahlo, alleges the Panamanian-registered company has engaged in “interference with prospective business advantage” and “deceptive and unfair trade practices.” Last year, Kahlo’s niece, Isolda Pinedo Kahlo, placed a trademark on the name “Frida Kahlo,” which she assigned to the family company that sells Kahlo tequila and corsets. (ARTnews)


Jo Baer Will Be Represented by Pace – The veteran US-born, Amsterdam-based artist known for her role in the Minimalist movement will now be represented by international powerhouse Pace Gallery. For the past year and a a half, the 89-year-old painter worked with Art Agency Partners to create a long-term strategic for her life’s work and to plan her legacy. (Press release)

Rochelle Feinstein Joins Sperone Westwater Gallery – New York’s Sperone Westwater now represents the artist, who is best known for her abstract paintings informed by contemporary culture. Her work will be on view at the gallery’s Art Basel booth this week, and she will have her first solo show at Sperone Westwater in New York in 2020. Feinstein was previously represented by On Stellar Rays in New York and Vilma Gold in London, both of which have closed. (ARTnews)

Alison Jacques Now Represents the Gordon Parks Foundation – The London-based gallery will present work by the photographer known for his documentation of the Civil Rights era at Art Basel and is planning an exhibition in London in 2020. (Press release)


Curator Richard Flood Retires From the New Museum – The New Museum’s director of special projects and curator at large has retired after 14 years with the institution. Flood, who organized the museum’s 2007 Rivane Neuenschwander retrospective and helped oversee the design-focused IdeasCity initiative, will now become a member of the museum’s International Leadership Council. (ARTnews)

Rachel Whiteread Becomes a Dame – The decorated British sculptor has been made a dame as part of the Queen’s Birthday Honors list, which was revealed on Friday and recognizes individuals for their contributions to the UK. The 2019 Venice Biennale curator and Hayward Gallery director Ralph Rugoff and the painter Glenn Brown were named Officers of the British Empire. (ARTnews)

Novelist Ismail Kadare’s Home Becomes a Museum – The former Tirana home of the Albanian novelist who wrote The Palace of Dreams reopened last month as a museum called Kadare House Studio. The building’s architect Maks Velo was imprisoned for eight years under the communist dictator Enver Hoxha for the building’s cubist design, which deviated from socialist aesthetics. (AFP)


What Do Whitney Biennial Participants Have in Common? – We’ve broken down which galleries this year’s Whitney Biennial participants show with, where they are from, and how old they are. Now, Hyperallergic has crunched the numbers to find other commonalities. Considered together, they offer insight into the way the art world’s networks can propel careers forward. Fourteen of the artists participating in this year’s show have shown, spoken, or had a residency at the Studio Museum in Harlem, while 16 have participated in or taught at Skowhegan. Eight earned their MFAs from Yale; six attended UCLA. (Hyperallergic)

A Major Picasso Show Opens in China – Beijing’s Ullens Center for Contemporary Art will show 103 Picasso paintings, sculptures, and works on paper borrowed from the National Picasso Museum in Paris in what has been billed as the most extensive exhibition of work by the master in China to date. The center’s director Philip Tinari says the exhibition aims to raise awareness in China of the factors that contributed to the artist’s rise to success. “Picasso—Birth of a Genius” runs from June 15 to September 1. (South China Morning Post)

Ai Weiwei Supports the Protests in Hong Kong – The exiled Chinese artist has shown solidarity with the massive protests in Hong Kong—which reportedly drew more than one million people carrying signs and dressed in white—against a controversial proposed law that would allow fugitives to be extradited to mainland China. Ai posted a selfie from a companion protest over the weekend held outside China’s embassy in London. (Instagram)



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