Art Industry News: Top MoMA PS1 Curator Peter Eleey Abruptly Steps Down Due to the ‘Many Impacts’ of the Lockdown Era + Other News

Plus, Tim Griffin steps down as director of the Kitchen in New York and a new online auction house wants to thwart flippers.

Peter Eleey, the former chief curator of MoMA PS1, has been named curator-at-large of UCCA Center for Contemporary Art, with locations in Beijing, Shanghai and Qinhuangdao. (Photo by WILL RAGOZZINO/Patrick McMullan via 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 Thursday, October 1.


Art Survey Reveals Westminster’s Links to the Slave Trade – A review of the UK parliament’s art collection in Westminster has revealed 232 objects that can be linked to the transatlantic slave trade. The inquiry turned up 189 works depicting people who had ties to the trade and 40 depicting abolitionists. Only two of the 300 statues on the parliamentary estate depict Black, Asian, or minority ethnic people (a bust of the first Black peer, Learie Constantine, and one of the 18th-century abolitionist Olaudah Equiano). A parliamentary spokesman said that it is looking at ways to “better explain and contextualize works in the collection” and “better shine a light on the people in parliament who worked hard to abolish slavery.” (Guardian)

Greenhouse Auctions Aims to Thwart Flippers – Former Christie’s vice president Shlomi Rabi has founded an online auction house called Greenhouse that will take consignments valued at under $20,000 from small and mid-sized galleries, as well as directly from artists. In a bid to stamp out speculation, it will not publish final sales prices. “I am all for transparency in the marketplace and auctions are key to that,” Rabi says. “But in the contemporary market, there are major loopholes that are often taken advantage of.” The founder also says he will donate five percent of every sale to a scholarship for Black students studying art history. (The Art Newspaper)

PS1 Chief Curator Peter Eleey Steps Down – The tastemaking Peter Eleey, who has shaped MoMA PS1’s program for more than 10 years and has served as chief curator since 2016, is leaving the institution at the end of the year. “The many impacts of the pandemic—on the museum, on the city, and on all of us—have moved me to think about the next chapters in my work and my life,” he said in an email to the museum’s staff. Eleey will continue to work on upcoming exhibitions of artist and activist Gregg Bordowitz and photographer Deana Lawson. (Press release)

LACMA Downsizes on Director’s $6.6 Million House – One of the biggest perks of being director of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art is getting a bit more modest. LACMA is selling the director’s home, owned by Museum Associates, for $6.6 million. The property comes with a pool, six bedrooms, seven bathrooms, and (naturally) a Dan Flavin sculpture. Director Michael Govan found a more quaint home, which the Museum Associates bought instead for $2.2 million. (LA Times)


Sanyu Nude Hits the Block at Christie’s – A nude by the Chinese-French painter is coming to Christie’s Hong Kong on October 5. The work dates from the 1950s or ’60s and carries a low estimate of $12.9 million. The house hopes it can replicate the success of Sanyu’s very similar Nu (1965), which sold for $25.5 million at Sotheby’s last year. (Art Market Monitor)

Art Basel Hosts a Scaled-Back Physical Fair in Hong Kong – Art Basel Hong Kong is teaming up with Fine Art Asia to host a small fair within a fair in November. Art Basel will show work from around 20 galleries with spaces in Hong Kong who have previously participated in Art Basel Hong Kong in a new section called Hong Kong Spotlight. The presentation will accompany the broader fair at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Center. (Financial TimesArtnet News)


David Adjaye Wins RIBA Medal – For the first time in its 173-year history, the 2021 Royal Institute of British Architects its giving its gold medal—one of the world’s top prizes in the field—to a Black architect. (Guardian)

Tim Griffin Is Leaving the Kitchen – After nine years helming the experimental New York art space, Griffin is stepping down. The former editor-in-chief of Artforum is taking on a visiting professorship in art history and English at Ohio State University in Columbus. (Artforum)


A German Museum Mounts a Show of Fakes – A new show at the Museum Ludwig in Cologne, Germany, looks at the institution’s collection of fake Russian avant-garde works. The museum analyzed 49 of the 100 paintings from this era in its collection and found that 22 are not genuine. (DW)

KAWS Work Raffled Off for $100 – Now’s your chance to win a KAWS for a cause. A $100 ticket will enter you into a raffle for the chance to win the artist’s work What Party (2019). All proceeds go directly to Free Arts New York, a mentorship program for underserved young people in the city. (Complex)

Nicole Eisenman’s Fountain Comes to Somerset – Hauser & Wirth has installed an edition of Nicole Eisenman’s popular—and much beleagueredSketch for a Fountain outside its Durslade Farmhouse in Somerset. Originally created for Skulptur Projekte Münster in 2017, the bronze work depicts an ensemble of figures in repose. It is part of Eisenman’s debut exhibition with the mega-gallery, “Where I was, It Shall Be,” which runs through January 2021. (Press release)

Installation view, Nicole Eisenman Fountain (2017), Hauser & Wirth Somerset 2020. ©Nicole Eisenman. Courtesy the artist and Hauser & Wirth. Photo by Ken Adlard.

Installation view, Nicole Eisenman Fountain (2017), Hauser & Wirth Somerset 2020. © Nicole Eisenman. Courtesy the artist and Hauser & Wirth.
Photo by Ken Adlard.

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