Art Industry News: Madonna Buys an Explicit Work of Canadian Feminist Street Art + Other Stories

Plus, Nan Goldin stages a protest in front of Governer Cuomo's office and Marina Abramovic inspires a new novel.

Madonna at the "Heavenly Bodies: Fashion & the Catholic Imagination" Costume Institute Gala at the Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 7, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Neilson Barnard/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 Tuesday, November 27.


Artists Survey Wreckage of California Fires – American artist Lita Albuquerque, one of the many artists who live in and around Malibu, lost her home and studio to the Woolsey Fire, as well as her entire archive of art. “We had nine structures; everything burnt to dust,” Albuquerque said. The same was true for artist Samantha Thomas, who watched her house burn on national television while sitting in another city. (The Art Newspaper)

Nan Goldin Stages a Protest in Front of the Governor’s Office – Artist and activist Nan Goldin’s P.A.I.N. group occupied the street in front of Governor Cuomo’s office in New York on Monday morning. They set up a mock safe injection site and called out Governor Cuomo for his inaction in fighting the mounting opioid crisis. Since January, Goldin has been staging direct action protests at various locations that have been known to have taken money from the Sackler family, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and the Freer-Sackler in Washington, DC. (Press release)

Madonna Buys a Street Artist’s Work – Canadian street artist MissMe has a very famous new client, having sold a six-foot-tall self-portrait from her series “Portrait of a Vandal” to Madonna, who showed it off on her Instagram stories. The work depicts the self-declared feminist artist wearing her signature Mickey Mouse balaclava, which she dons to maintain anonymity, and pulling her shirt up to expose her naked body. Madonna first encountered MissMe’s work on the streets of Lisbon in 2017, and then struck up a friendship with the artist after sharing a picture of the mural on social media. (Edmonton Sun)

Marina Abramović Inspires a Novel – Novelist Heather Rose returned to Marina Abramović’s blockbuster 2010 performance The Artist Is Present every day for three weeks, observing the people who came and watching their reactions, which inspired her part-fiction story. The Museum of Modern Love draws heavily on Abramović’s life and work, and will be published in the United States on November 27 with a launch hosted at MoMA. Abramović herself gave it a glowing review, though the two did not communicate during the writing of the book. (New York Times)


The Hottest Art Venue in Hong Kong Is… a Restaurant? – While Hong Kong has a dynamic art scene and a popular international art fair, many who live there feel the territory needs to do more to support its own emerging talent. One possible answer: the restaurant-slash-gallery Duddell’s, which has been playing host the work of renowned artists like Ai Weiwei alongside that of home-grown, younger artists. (Financial Times)

Censorship May Limit Growth of China’s Art Market – On the mainland, things are a bit dicier for China’s art world. Some say that increasing censorship under president Xi Jinping could restrict the growth of the market there. Ahead of Shanghai Art Week in November, one participating dealer said the climate had grown more conservative in the years he had shown there. “Every year, we have a few works rejected, but it is getting [to be] more and more—it makes me feel uncomfortable,” the dealer said. (The Art Newspaper)

Kohn Gallery to Rep Gonzalo Lebrija – Los Angeles’s Kohn Gallery has added the Guadalajara–based artist to its roster. The gallery will show his work in a group presentation at Art Basel in Miami Beach next week, while the abstract painter and sculptor prepares for a solo show at the gallery in January 2019. (ARTnews)


Cooper Hewitt Adds to Curatorial Staff – The writer and curator Alexandra Cunningham Cameron was appointed the Smithsonian design museum’s new curator of contemporary design as of September 20. Meanwhile, Yao-Fen You will take up the role of senior curator and head of the product design and decorative arts department in January 2019. (Press release)

Georgia Names Venice Biennale Artist – The Georgian artist Anna K.E. will represent Georgia at the Venice Biennale next year with a presentation titled “REARMIRRORVIEW, Simulation is Simulation, is Simulation, is Simulation.” The pavilion will be curated by the New Museum’s Margot Norton and commissioned by the gallery Project ArtBeat. (ARTnews)

Glasgow School of Art Gets a New Director – Professor Irene McAra-McWilliam has been named the school’s new director. McAra-McWilliam, who will begin her new role next year, has served as joint interim director with Ken Neil since October 16. She joined the school in 2005 and has seen it through devastating fires in 2014 and then again this summer. (BBC)



Rain Complicates Salvaging Effort at Brazil’s National Museum – Seasonal rain is putting a damper on recovery efforts for the fire-damaged museum in Rio. More than 90 percent of the museum’s collection was destroyed in the fire, and the water—followed quickly by the Brazilian heat—is thwarting salvaging efforts. Ceramics and metal are particularly vulnerable. (TAN)

Dispute Arises Over the Dismissal of Beirut Architect – Hala Wardé, who played a key role in Jean Nouvel’s Louvre Abu Dhabi, has been let go from her role as the architect of the Beirut Museum of Art. The news was made public in an open letter by Lebanese artist Etel Adnan, who is creating a work for the building and was disappointed that the board chose a “rising icon of international architecture, only to sweep [her] aside years later.” Wardé’s departure may have been caused by a dispute over payment. (TAN)

See This Artist Camouflage Herself – The Peruvian artist Cecilia Paredes camouflages herself against patterned backgrounds by painting her skin and wearing custom clothing for her trompe l’oeil photographs. “I wrap, cover, or paint my body with the same pattern of the material and re-present myself as part of that landscape,” explains the artist, who is the subject of a solo exhibition at the Museum of Latin American Art in LA through December 30. See some of her striking self portraits here. (Colossal)


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