Art Industry News: Frieze Art Fair Is Exploring a New Edition in Seoul as a Way to Break Into Asia’s Market + Other Stories

Plus, Yayoi Kusama's Thanksgiving Day Parade balloon finally gets to fly and Artcurial is selling a piece of the Eiffel Tower.

Visitors look at Do Ho Suh's site-specific work Home Within Home at the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Korea in Seoul. Photo Jung Yeon-Je/AFP/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 on this Monday, November 30.


Meet a New Generation of African Museums – Africa’s new museums are not pinning all their hopes on European institutions restituting African heritage taken during the colonial era. Instead, they are focused on fostering local artistic scenes, supporting emerging production, and sharing Africa’s living heritage through ceremonial and ritual objects that are in use today. “When people say 89 percent of African artifacts are outside the continent, it is not true,” says Hamady Bocoum, director of the Museum of Black Civilizations in Senegal. “We cannot reduce the history of Africa to the history of colonization.” (The Art Newspaper)

How the Pandemic Is Forcing Museums to Reinvent Themselves – The Atlantic offers a useful summary of the current pressure cooker shaking US museums and the long-gestating changes that might actually be realized. Museum directors are improving hiring practices, training staff in inclusion and diversity, and expanding the stories they tell in the galleries. The executive director of the Oakland Museum of California, Lori Fogarty, says that where collecting used to be guided by curatorial expertise and artistic intent, museums are now thinking about the visitor experience and relevance to the community as a priority. “I think we are at a moment of complete reimagination for museums,” she says. (The Atlantic)

Is Frieze Coming to Seoul? – Most art fairs may have ground to a halt this year, but that doesn’t mean expansions are off the table. As it turns out, Frieze may be laying the groundwork to launch a fair in Seoul in the fall of 2022. Korean media reported that Frieze signed a memo of understanding with the Galleries Association of Korea to develop a new fair that would run concurrently with the Korea International Art Fair (KIAF), which the association organizes each fall. “We are always looking at potential new opportunities and have a great relationship with the Korean galleries, institutions, and collectors,” a Frieze spokesperson said. “Anything is possible, but there’s nothing to report at this stage.” (ARTnews)

British Culture Minister Weighs in on The Crown – The British culture minister Oliver Dowden plans to write to Netflix warning that its hit show about the royals, The Crown, should come with a clearer disclaimer about its factual accuracy so as not to confuse viewers who might think it is more documentary than historical fiction. “It’s a beautifully produced work of fiction,” Dowden says. “So as with other TV productions, Netflix should be very clear at the beginning it is just that.” (Washington Post)


Artcurial Is Selling a Piece of the Eiffel Tower – The French auction house Artcurial is selling a section of the Eiffel Tower’s staircase that was removed from the national monument when it was undergoing renovation in 1983. The coveted piece of French national history, which dates to the monument’s original construction in 1889, will hit the block on December 1 and carries an estimate of between €30,000 and €40,000. (Le Parisien

Could the Cancellation of Art Basel Be Good for Miami? – While the cancellation of Art Basel Miami Beach—and the millions of dollars it pours into the city’s arts ecosystem—is hard to spin positively, some some are hoping it will present an opportunity to showcase the local art scene. Miami Art Week is forging ahead, and the city’s cultural affairs manager Brandi Reddick says: “The overall message is we’re still celebrating art and culture but in a very safe and socially distanced way.” (Miami Herald)


National Gallery Welcomes First Artist in Residence – London’s National Gallery has introduced a new display by Rosalind Nashashibi, the institution’s first-ever artist in residence. “An Overflow of Passion and Sentiment,” on view from December 3 through February 21, presents four new canvases by the artist alongside the gallery’s collection of 17th-century Spanish paintings. (Press release)

London’s COVID Victims Get a Memorial – London is creating a memorial garden for those who have died from COVID-19. Located in the Olympic Park, some 33 blossom trees will represent the losses incurred in the 33 London boroughs. (Evening Standard)


Marina Abramović Advises People to Complain to a Tree – The performance artist is promoting a new method for coping with stress. Talk to a tree, she says: “They are perfectly silent listeners.” The technique is the latest component of the “Abramović Method,” the artist’s master class on being present, which she will discuss in a five-hour Sky Arts program about performance art on December 5. (TAN)

Yayoi Kusama’s Balloon Finally Flies – The Japanese artist’s Thanksgiving Day Parade balloon finally took flight in New York last week. The spotted spectacle had been scheduled to take off last year, but was grounded due to high winds. It is the first balloon designed by a female artist to enter the parade, which this year was watched by many on TV but had reduced attendance in person. (New York Post)

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