Art Industry News: Collector Pulls Loans From Museum Amid Mapplethorpe Censorship Battle + Others Stories

Plus, Tania Bruguera brings a meditation on the refugee crisis to Tate Modern and Shanghai gets yet another private museum.

João Ribas has resigned as artistic director of Serralves in row over Mapplethorpe censorship. Image, Serralves Museum.

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, October 1.


Tania Bruguera Brings the Migrant Crisis to Tate Modern – The Cuban artist has transformed Tate’s Turbine Hall into a giant interactive work about the refugee crisis. The work’s title will change daily as the number of migrants, and migrant fatalities, rises. Bruguera has filled the space with an organic compound that induces tears, which she hopes will result in “a shared emotional response.” During the project’s run, Turbine Hall will also host other “stealth interventions” by leading artists. (Guardian

Mattress Factory Director Placed on Leave – The director of the Pittsburgh non-profit art organization Michael Olijnyk has been placed on temporary paid leave following news that four female employees filed a complaint with the National Labor Relations Board about the museum’s handling of their sexual misconduct allegations against a fellow employee. The women claim that the art center retaliated or discriminated against them after they voiced their concerns. An interim director is due to be appointed soon. (ARTnews)

Collector Pulls Loans in Mapplethorpe Dispute – The ongoing dispute over a Mapplethorpe exhibition in Porto is getting even more heated. Now, the Portuguese collector Luiz Teixeira de Freitas has announced that he plans to withdraw 700 drawings that were on a 10-year loan to the Serralves Museum. The collector’s daughter said the move was in solidarity with the museum’s artistic director João Ribas, who resigned after he claimed the museum had censored 20 photographs that were originally due to be included in his Mapplethorpe exhibition. The Porto museum has denied any censorship. (Publico, Artforum)

Roberta Smith Names the Best Painters in New York – The New York Times’s co-chief art critic says that a number of shows on view now at New York’s galleries provide “a new visibility” to painting’s present and recent past. The seven best painting shows in the city, according to Smith, include Frank Bowling’s at Alexander Gray, Joan Mitchell’s at Cheim & Read, Elizabeth Neel’s at Mary Boone, as well as those by Mary Weatherford, Larry Poons, Ed Clark, and Vivian Springford. (New York Times)


Christie’s to Sell Art From Major LACMA Donor – Media mogul and major LACMA supporter Jerrold “Jerry” Perenchio is selling 44 works by Henry Moore, Rodin, Diego Rivera, Camille Pissarro, Edvard Munch, Picasso, and George Grosz across Christie’s November Impressionist and Modern sales in New York. Moore’s Reclining Figure has a high estimate of $12 million, while a posthumous bronze of Eve by Rodin has a high estimate of $8 million. (Press release)

Berkshire Museum Sales Continue – The museum is sending Hunter in the Winter Wood by George Henry Durrie and The Last Arrow by Thomas Moran to Sotheby’s in November. As its controversial collection sell-off continues, the Berkshire has also begun the search for a new director. Headhunter Brent D. Glass is identifying candidates who would be willing to work with trustees to spend the $55 million they aim to raise through deaccessioning. (Press release)

1-54 African Fair Moves to Manhattan – The contemporary African art fair, which runs alongside Frieze New York in May, is moving. The fair will relocate from Red Hook in Brooklyn to the event venue Industria in Manhattan’s West Village for its 2019 New York outing. (ARTnews)

British Collectors Vie for South African Art – Meanwhile, 1-54’s London edition has noted an uptick in work by artists from South Africa. One local gallerist suggests that the country benefits from a constitution that protects artistic freedom, which makes it easier for artists to explore complex issues than in Nigeria or Zimbabwe. But local collectors are still the minority; dealers estimate they account for just 10 percent of the buyers for modern South African art. (FT)


Sobey Art Award Spreads to Europe – Canada’s most prestigious art prize, which grants an emerging artist $100,000, is extending its platform to Europe. The award now includes three fully funded international residencies in addition to the big cash prize. Artists will work at the Delfina Foundation in London, the International Studio & Curatorial Program in Brooklyn, and the Künstlerhaus Bethanien in Berlin. (Press release)

Shanghai Gets Another Private Museum – A former trading company’s building in Shanghai is getting an art makeover. The Jardine Matheson Building will soon be home to the Shanghai Jiushi Bund Art Museum on the sixth floor. The museum is founded by Shanghai Jiushi Group, which is working to create a string of art museums in historic Bund buildings in Shanghai. (Shine)

Dallas Museum Announces $3 Million Endowment – The Texas institution has received a generous gift to endow its deputy director position, which is held by Tamara Wootton Forsyth. She is now the first Marcus-Rose Family Deputy Director, named after Catherine Marcus and Will Rose, who gave the $3 million donation. (Press release)

PinchukArtCentre Names Prize Nominees – The 2018 Future Generation Art Prize, given to artists 35 years old and under, has announced this year’s shortlist. The Ukraine-based institution’s list of finalists will all be commissioned to create new work for an exhibition that coincides with the Venice Biennale next year. The shortlist includes French-born, London-based Marguerite Humeau and American artist Sondra Perry. (ARTnews)


Tate Launches Search for Female Artist’s Masterwork – Angelica Kauffman’s greatest work, Religion Attended by the Virtues, has not been seen since 1941—but Tate Britain is not giving up hope. The 19th-century painting by the Swiss artist who helped found the Royal Academy of Art remains undocumented, but records show that the work was in Plymouth during heavy bombing there in World War II.  (Guardian)

The High Line Is Getting a Mile-Long Opera – Some 1,000 singers will perform along the High Line for a new opera on October 3 through 8. “The Mile-Long Opera: a biography of 7 o’clock” was created by High Line architect Liz Diller of Diller Scofidio + Renfro and composer David Lang, with text written by Anne Carson and Claudia Rankine. (ARTnews)

Louvre Abu Dhabi Hosts Saudi Treasures Show – The exhibition on early prehistoric settlements in the Arabian Peninsula, titled “Roads of Arabia: Archaeological Treasures of Saudi Arabia,” is heading to the Louvre Abu Dhabi. A number of previously unseen pieces will be on display, including a pearl that dates back to 5,500 BC. (National)

Lee Bul’s Zeppelin Arrives in Berlin – Bul’s feminist and conceptual installations, including a silver airship, have arrived at the historic Gropius Bau in Berlin just in time for Berlin Art Week. The highly anticipated show marks the programming debut of the institution’s new director Stephanie Rosenthal, who was previously chief curator at London’s Hayward Gallery. (Press release)

Lee Bul, Titan (2013) and Willing To Be Vulnerable – Metalized Balloon (2015–2016).
Exhibition view “Lee Bul: Crash”, Gropius Bau. Photo: Mathias Völzke.

Lee Bul, Willing To Be Vulnerable – Metalized Balloon (2015–2016). Photo: Mathias Völzke

Artist Lee Bul and Gropius Bau director Stephanie Rosenthal. Photo: Mathias Voelzke.

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