Art Industry News: Is Tate Modern Becoming an Oversized Playground? + More Must-Read Stories

Plus, locals raise money to keep Nicole Eisenman’s sculpture in Münster and French President Emmanuel Macron cuts the ribbon on a major Picasso show in Paris.

Hyundai Commission: SUPERFLEX, One Two Three Swing! (2017). Image courtesy of Tate Photography.

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, October 10.


Inside the Politics of the Queens Museum – Robin Pogrebin profiles Queens Museum director Laura Raicovich, the rare museum leader who is unafraid to take political positions, particularly on immigration and DACA. Raicovich has also been accused of anti-Semitism over the cancelation and reinstatement of an Israel-sponsored event. (New York Times)

London’s Imperial War Museum Intervenes in Memorial Plan – The London museum is asking for the planned £50 million Holocaust memorial and educational center to be reconsidered because it might pose too much competition with its own Holocaust center, slated to open nearby in 2020. (The Guardian)

Is Tate Becoming an Oversized Playground? – Michael Glover feels ambivalent about the “noisy mayhem” that is SUPERFLEX’s playground installation at Tate Modern’s Turbine Hall. A successor to Anish Kapoor’s comical trumpet installation in 2002 and Carsten Höller’s unforgettable 2007 slide project, SUPERFLEX’s creation, he writes, is “infantilism writ large.” (Independent)

V&A Director Proposes Pedestrianizing Exhibition Road – Following a traffic accident that left 11 people injured last Saturday, Tristram Hunt is calling for the full pedestrianization of Exhibition Road, which is home to the V&A, the Science Museum, and many other institutions. The current traffic arrangements are “confusing, dangerous, and unsatisfactory,” he says. (The Art Newspaper)


Artists Team Up for ‘Lottery’ Hepatitis C Trust Auction – The UK national charity is holding a mystery auction of 1,250 postcards created by both emerging photographers and photography legends such as Martin Parr and Wolfgang Tillmans. At an exhibition ahead of the sale, members of the public can buy a £50 lottery ticket for a chance to win a work by one of the greats. (designboom)

Heritage Auctions Expands San Francisco Office – The collectibles giant—the world’s third-largest auction house—will expand its San Francisco office to accommodate its expanded staff and services. Comics, comic art, and coins are particular growth areas for the region. (Press release)


Holly Block, Bronx Museum Director, Has Died  The longtime executive director of the Bronx Museum in New York, who was behind its 2012 decision to stop charging admission and the resultant quadrupling of attendance, as well as the campaign to expand the museum by 2020, died on Friday of cancer-related causes. She will be remembered as an unfailing champion of equality and diversity at a memorial on November 5. (ARTnews)

Desert X Will Be Back in 2019 – The art biennial that drew over 200,000 people to the Coachella Valley for its inaugural edition this year will return in 2019 (February 9–April). This time, the free exhibition will be led by artistic director Neville Wakefield, LA MOCA’s Museum of Contemporary Art education director Amanda Hunt, and independent curator Matthew Schum. (LA Times)

The ICP Is Relocating (Again) – The 43-year-old International Center of Photography will leave its $23.5 million home on the Bowery—which it moved into just over a year ago—and head to Essex Crossing, also on the Lower East Side. The new 40,000-square-foot building will house both the ICP’s school and exhibition space. (Commercial Observer)


Can Crowdfunding Clean Michelangelo’s Tomb? – Following the success of the 2014 “Crazy for Pazzi” crowdfunding campaign, the Opera di Santa Croce in Florence is raising funds to clean and restore the Michelangelo’s tomb and the Buonarroti family altarpiece. “In the Name of Michelangelo” aims to raise €100,000 by October 30. (Press release)

Peter Schjeldahl on David Hammons’s Public Art Proposal – The New Yorker critic offers a rousing endorsement—and art-historical analysis—of the reclusive artist’s plan to create a monumental sculpture in the Hudson River. The idea is, in fact, so good that Schjeldahl worries someone will manage to squash it. (New Yorker)

Locals Fundraise to Keep Eisenman’s Münster Sculpture – Although Nicole Eisenman’s Sketch for a Fountain was repeatedly vandalized, it apparently struck a chord with the town of Münster. Residents are now raising money to have the sculpture installed permanently—which would involve recasting it in more durable (and, ideally, graffiti-resistant) materials. (TAN)

French President Inaugurates Picasso Show in Paris – On Sunday, Emmanuel Macron and his wife Brigitte visited a major show at the Picasso Museum in Paris focusing on 1932, his “erotic year.” There, they met Maya Widmaier-Picasso, the daughter the artist conceived with mistress and muse Marie-Thérèse Walter. The show will run until February 11 in Paris and then travel to Tate Modern in London. See images of the visit below. (Washington Post)

French President Emmanuel Macron, his wife Brigitte Macron, and French Culture Minister Francoise Nyssen view Pablo Picasso’s 1932 painting “Figures by the Sea” during the opening of the “Picasso 1932: Erotic Year” exhibition at the Picasso museum in Paris on October 8. Photo: Ian Langsdon/AFP/Getty Images.

French President Emmanuel Macron listens to curator Laurence Madeline during the opening of the “Picasso 1932: Erotic Year” exhibition at the Picasso Museum in Paris. Photo: Ian Langsdon/AFP/Getty Images.

French President’s wife Brigitte Macron, daughter of late Spanish painter Pablo Picasso, Maya Picasso, and Maya’s daughter Diana Widmaier Picasso view Picasso’s 1932 painting “The Dream” during the opening of “Picasso 1932: Erotic Year” at the Picasso Museum in Paris on October 8. Photo: Ian Langsdon/AFP/Getty Images.

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