Art Industry News: Cindy Sherman Says That Posting Selfies on Instagram Is a ‘Cry for Help’ + Other Stories

Plus, another London arts institution spurns Sackler money and an art historian says only 23 percent of MoMA's new display is by women artists.

One of Cindy Sherman's many faces, screenshot via Instagram @_cindysherman_.

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 on this Thursday, November 1.


Another London Arts Venue Turns Down Sackler Money – The Roundhouse, an arts venue in London where the Doors once played, is the latest UK institution to turn down Sackler money. It decided against accepting a $1.3 million grant from the Sackler Trust, with a Roadhouse spokeswoman explaining that the growing OxyContin scandal surrounding the Purdue Pharma family “risks distracting from our work with young people.” The Victoria & Albert Museum, however, is standing by its Sackler funding, though trustee Theresa Sackler is due to step down after a decade on the V&A board. (The Art Newspaper)

Moscow Biennial Opening Marred by Controversy – A group of artists have signed an open letter calling for a boycott of the Moscow Biennale, alleging that its president behaved abusively towards artists and violated her financial obligations by refusing to correctly pay technicians in the aftermath of the 2017 edition of the exhibition. (TAN)

Why Cindy Sherman Hates Selfies – The artist, whose Sherman’s parody selfies on social media are now followed by 300,000 people, has opened up about her love/hate relationship with Instagram, where she thinks many real selfies are “a call for help,” she says. “I have friends I follow [on Instagram] who I can sort of tell when they’re feeling vulnerable or insecure because that’s when suddenly they’re posting all of these pretty photos of themselves.” Sherman uses the app Facetune, which is popular with self-obsessed influencers, to show that “it’s OK to say ugly.” But she does love how Instagram offers a window on subcultures that explore transgender society, plus she has a soft spot for all those  extreme makeup tutorials on offer. (WSJ)

MoMA’s Rehang Includes Less Than 25 Percent Women – When the art historian Maura Reilly worked at MoMA in New York three decades ago, there were only eight works by female artists on view. Now, while the museum’s expansion and rehang have made the gallery walls more diverse than ever before, she says there is still room to grow—since works by women still only account for a non-representative 23 percent of the art on show. She notes that while it purports to be a non-chronological hang, “the traditional narrative of modernism is left intact.” Reilly argues that a detailed critique and more radical approach, rather than tokenistic and confusing juxtapositions, would have really marked a new beginning for the museum. (ARTnews)


Christie’s Seeks Relief From Trump Tariffs – Christie’s is filing for exclusion from Donald Trump’s tariffs on Chinese imports, a 15 percent duty on seven types of art works and antiques. The auction house argues that the duties will hurt its business and the art market in the US. (Bloomberg)

Arrest Warrant Contested for Dealer Involved in Forgery Case – An Italian painter who has been linked to the high-profile forgery of an El Greco painting in 2016 is appealing a warrant for his arrest and transfer to Paris from a French judge. An Italian court has postponed its ruling for four months, deciding that the artist, Lino Frongia, was not a flight risk. (TAN)


Philanthropist Donates $10 Million to Jefferson Memorial Museum – The philanthropist and Smithsonian Institution Board of Regents member David Rubenstein is giving $10 million to the Jefferson Memorial in Washington, DC. The gift will pay for upgrades and improvements, and also fund the creation of a state-of-the-art underground museum that should be completed by 2023, the memorial’s 80th anniversary. (Smithsonian)

Albright-Knox Prepares to Close – On Monday, November 4, the Albright-Knox Art Gallery will close its doors to the public for two years while it undergoes construction on a new expansion adding 30,000 square feet of museum space. In the meantime, the museum will open a satellite branch in January, on Buffalo’s East Side. (The Spectrum)


Pokémon Trading Card Fetched $224,250 at Auction – A rare Pokémon card, a Nintendo collectible featuring fan-favorite Pikachu as an illustrator, fetched a whopping $224,250 at Upstate New York’s Weiss Auctions on October 23. No more that 39 copies of the card were ever issued, as the rare edition was never available commercially but was instead awarded as a prize for a 1998 comic-illustration contest in Japan. (Press release)

See the Winning Design Chosen for Controversial Pulse Memorial – A design has been chosen for the controversial memorial to the victims of the 2016 Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando. The National Pulse Memorial & Museum will be built by team comprised of Coldefy & Associés with RDAI, Orlando-based HHCP Architects, Xavier Veilhan, Ducks Scéno, Agence TER, and professor Laila Farah of DePaul University, after their design won a competition. The proposal is for a vast complex with a spiral ramp where 49 trees, one for each of the victims, will be planted, but the OnePulse Foundation, aware that some find the idea for the memorial inappropriate, will involve the community in the development of the project, which they hope to break ground on in 2021. (Architectural Digest)

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