Art Industry News: Deadly Malibu Fire Destroys Paramount Ranch and Imperils Other Cultural Sites + Other Stories

Plus, Steve McQueen's new project is called out for resembling another artist's work and Jerry Saltz interviews his old friend Willem Dafoe.

Hundreds of LA homes lie in the path of Woolsey Fire, which has engulfed parts of Malibu. Photo by David McNew/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, November 12.


Salvator Mundi Is Missing from Louvre Abu Dhabi 2019 Shows – The Louvre Abu Dhabi, which attracted one million visitors in its first year, has announced its 2019-20 program. While it includes Rembrandt, but the list does not feature the much-anticipated unveiling of Salvator Mundi. Instead of the $450 million painting attributed to Leonardo da Vinci, the Louvre in the Gulf will present shows on luxury and the artist who made Paris the center of the art world in the early 20th century. In 2020, it will celebrate Charlie Chaplin. (Press release)

Did Steve McQueen Copy Another Artist’s School Project? – The Oscar and Turner Prize winner’s idea to photograph every 7-year-old school pupil in London for a major project at Tate Briton closely resembles another artist’s project. The photographer Julian Germain, who launched his own school-chronicling project in 2004, says that he feels “uncomfortable” with McQueen’s initiative due to the “striking similarities” between the two undertakings. Andrea Rose, the former director of visual arts at the British Council, has supported Germain’s complaint. (The Art Newspaper)

Cultural Sites Are Imperiled by the Malibu Fire – The deadly forest fires in California have had a horrifying impact in both the state’s North and South, mercilessly tearing through towns and evicting hundreds of thousands of people from their homes. Cultural sites have also fallen to the blaze in Malibu. Paramount Ranch, for instance, the historic movie compound in Agoura Hills that most know as the set for Westworld (and art-worlders know for its short-lived but beloved art fair), has been nearly totally destroyed. The status of many significant Modernist homes by architects like Frank Gehry and John Lautner, meanwhile, remains unknown, as well as the fate of hundreds of private art collections. The Getty Villa was closed too, since the Pacific Coast Highway has been sealed to all but emergency vehicles. (Curbed)

Jerry Saltz Catches Up With Willem “Willy” Dafoe – The art critic sat down with his old friend (the two knew each other in the 1980s) to discuss Dafoe’s leading role as Vincent van Gogh in Julian Schnabel film At Eternity’s Gate. Dafoe discusses learning how to paint in order to get to know the artist and about his favorite Van Gogh painting, Shoes. (Vulture)


Christie’s All-Female Charity Sale Gets a Female Auctioneer – Munich’s prestigious Pinakothek of Modern Art is readying to host Germany’s largest and most significant museum charity auction on November 24. For the first time, the 16-year-old sale will be led by Christie’s auctioneer Lydia Fenet, and will feature female-focused lots by artists including Isa Genzken. (Press release)

Michael Jackson’s Jacket Sells for $298,000 – The King of Pop’s signed leather jacket from his epic “Bad” world tour dominated Julien’s rock-and-roll auction at the Hard Rock Café Times Square this past weekend. It sold for $298,000, three times its estimate. The fan-frenzying sale featured items from Prince, Madonna, John Lennon, among others. (ArtDaily)

Paula Cooper to Represent Bernd and Hilla Becher’s Estate – The New York gallerist promises to be collaborative with the galleries that are already working with the estate of the German conceptual photographers, which includes Germany gallerists Sprüth Magers and Konrad Fischer. Cooper is planning a major exhibition of the influential photographers’ work in 2020. (Financial Times)


Dissident Soviet Artist Oskar Rabin Has Died – The painter who defied the Soviet authorities in the 1960s and ’70s has died, aged 90. Rubin created still lifes and landscapes that were a wry critique of Soviet life. Rubin was in Florence for a solo exhibition, which opened at the  I. Repin St. Petersburg Art Academy the day before he died. (NYT)

Berkshire Museum Seeks a New Director for Downsized Revamp – The Berkshire Museum’s multimillion-dollar “New Vision,” which was cited as a reason for selling off works of art, is missing from the recruitment ad for a new director. Instead they will oversee a more modest revamp, including the addition of a bigger aquarium. It is unclear whether the planned two-story atrium is going ahead. (Berkshire Eagle)

Adrian Cheng Joins MOCA LA Board – The art-patron heir to the Cheng family fortune has joined the board of another leading museum. The newly Klaus Biesenbach-led MOCA LA has announced that Hong Kong-based Adrian Cheng is joining its board, along with the German collector Julia Stoschek, Marina Kellen French, Simon Mordant, and Napster’s Sean Parker. (Press release)

Sondra Perry Wins the 2018 Nam June Paik Award – The US artist has won the prestigious Nam June Paik award, which is given biennially to an artist working with moving images and new technology. Perry will receive €25,000 ($28,300). Her work, along with that of the 2018 shortlisted artists Andreas Angelidakis, Melanie Bonajo, Antoine Catala, and Hanne Lippard, is on show at the Westfälischer Kunstverein in Münster, Germany. (ARTnews)


David Hockney to Go Head-to-Head With Van Gogh – Next spring, the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam opens “Hockney – Van Gogh: The Joy of Nature.” The British artist’s landscape paintings, sketchbooks and iPad drawings will be displayed alongside the Dutch artist’s paintings and works on paper. Photographer Rineke Dijkstra has created a portrait of the 81-year-old Hockney, who last week was received a lifetime achievement award from the Queen of Norway. (Press release)

Countdown Begins for Trevor Paglen’s $1.5 Million Liftoff – On November 19, the Nevada Museum of Art will launch Paglen’s $1.5 million satellite-sculpture Orbital Reflector. The controversial work is due to blast off in a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Vandenberg Air Force Base near Santa Barbara, California. (Reno Gazette)

Danny Boyle’s WW1 Portraits Are Washed Away in the Tide – Spectacular portraits of men and women killed in World War I appeared briefly on 32 beaches around the UK. The idea of the filmmaker Danny Boyle, the project to mark centenary of the Armistice was commissioned by 14-18 NOW. Volunteers organized by the group Sand in Your Eye created the work and handed out a war poem by Carol Ann Duffy. Boyle was in Folkestone, where the sun shone after heavy rain threatened the ephemeral portrait of the war poet Wilfred Owen. (Daily Mail) (Instagram)


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