Art Industry News: Jerry Saltz Dresses Up as Salvator Dalí to Teach You How to Become an Artist + Other Stories
Plus, the National Gallery's freelance workers get their day in court and Sotheby's becomes the latest auction house to ban rhino sales.
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 26.
How Instagram Transformed Architecture – The social media platform used by more than one-tenth of the world’s population is influencing how architects design new buildings. Being “Instagrammable” is no longer an afterthought, but a primary factor driving design—even if that means compromising the quality of the build. The Guardian’s architecture critic Oliver Wainwright attests that the “stained, peeling facades of the last decade stand as a grim testament to prioritizing photographability over function.” But while it’s easy to despair, the trend could also encourage cutting-edge design as architects innovate to keep up with the pace of Instagram culture. (Guardian)
Looking Beneath the Surface of Bruegel – New imaging technology has revealed a darker side of Bruegel’s mysterious work. Below-surface layers of the 1559 painting The Battle Between Carnival and Lent show a number of corpses were originally in the festival scene, but they were covered up sometime in the 17th or 18th centuries. The “Inside Bruegel” project was developed by the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna for an exhibition running through January 13. You can check out 12 paintings in-depth at InsideBruegel.net. (New York Times)
Jerry Saltz Gets the Artist Treatment for New York – You know what they say: Those who can’t do, teach. Art critic Jerry Saltz won a Pulitzer Prize in part for a feature on his life as a failed artist. Now, he graces the cover of New York magazine for a new feature on how to be an artist, in six steps and 33 rules. “In a 36-hour straight fever dream this summer I wrote a 26-page single-space memo about all this and sent it unread to my editor,” he recalled. “Luckily I wasn’t fired. We just boiled it all down.” On three different covers, Saltz poses very convincingly as artists Frida Kahlo, Salvador Dalí, and Andy Warhol. He says he liked dressing up as Dalí best: “It gets something of my inner ham and outer crazy that feels close to the bone.” Scroll down to see the other two covers, and stay tuned for the story on newsstands and online this week. (New York Magazine)
National Gallery Educators Get Their Day in Court – An employment tribunal beginning today will determine whether the National Gallery in London owes 27 freelance educators the same rights as full-time staff members. The members of the group—a mix of artists, historians, and lecturers—say they were unfairly dismissed by the gallery in October last year. The museum maintains it acted “both lawfully and fairly.” (The Art Newspaper)
See Early Sketches of Star Wars Characters – Bonhams will auction the famous sketchbooks of John Mollo—the illustrator who designed the futuristic costume concepts for Han Solo, Chewbacca, and Darth Vader in the 1970s—on December 11. The first film’s sketchbooks are estimated between $130,000 to $190,000 and the sequel’s range from $100,000 to $160,000. Mollo, who died last year, said he aimed to follow instructions from director George Lucas, who “said in a memorable understatement, ‘I don’t want anyone to notice the costumes.’” (NYT)
Christie’s Nabs Monet’s Son’s Monet – A Monet that was once owned by Claude Monet’s son, Michel, will be included in a sale at Christie’s London in February 2019. Monet’s Saule pleureur et basin de nymphéas (1916–19) is a rare example from the famous “Water Lilies” series, which has never been exhibited publicly. (Art Market Monitor)
Sotheby’s to End Rhino Horn Sales – After Bonhams called off a planned sale of rhino artifacts in Hong Kong last week and vowed never to sell them again, Sotheby’s has become the third auction house (after Christie’s and Bonhams) to change its policy toward the material. Sotheby’s Asia’s chairman Nicolas Chow said, “Sotheby’s deplores any illegal slaughter and trading of endangered wildlife, and strongly supports conservation efforts from the global community.” (South China Morning Post)
COMINGS & GOINGS
A Rossetti Drawing Found in a Bookshop Goes on Display – The drawing, a study for the Pre-Raphaelite’s most famous painting, Pia de’ Tolomei, will go on public display for the first time since it was found in a bookshop in Edinburgh in 1956. The large drawing by Dante Gabriel Rossetti was purchased at the time for £75. The work, still in its original frame, will be on view at the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge. (Guardian)
Design Miami/ Names Curatorial Director – The design fair has named Aric Chen, the Shanghai-based former lead curator of Hong Kong’s M+ museum, as its curatorial director for 2019. Now a curator-at-large for M+, Chen also served as creative director of Beijing Design Week. He succeeds designer Rodman Primack, who was previously chief creative officer of the fair. (Press release)
A German Radio Station Gets Back a Stolen Painting 40 Years Later – A 1926 painting by German-Danish painter Emil Nolde has resurfaced after it disappeared from a radio station’s headquarters in Hamburg forty years ago. Sotheby’s estimates the oil painting is now worth around €1 million ($1.14 million). A watercolor by the painter that also went missing from the radio station around the same time is still at large. (Monopol)
FOR ART’S SAKE
VR Allows You to Tour Ancient Rome – Want to travel back in time and visit ancient Rome? Just grab your VR goggles. A new project called “Rome Reborn” has digitally restored 7,000 buildings and monuments to bring the Roman capital circa 320AD back to life in virtual reality. The digital archeologist Bernard Frischer says he has been dreaming of the project since the 1970s, but that the technology to create it did not exist until now. (South China Morning Post)
Cologne Receives a Trove by Artist Otto Schloss – The heirs of the Jewish painter have donated 438 works to the German city. The collection includes paintings, drawings, watercolors, and prints by Schloss, who fled from Germany to Sweden during World War II. (Monopol)
How Iraqi Artists Are Working in Baghdad – Artists in Iraq are tackling major topics—including emigration, the aftermath of the Islamic State, poverty, and pollution—with few resources. They are trying to make ends meet with small initiatives like walking cultural tours, but the capital remains deeply scarred after 15 years of war. “War, after war, after war—history is stronger than art,” commented a bystander near an art installation on one of the artist-led walks. (AFP)
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