Art Industry News: Richard Prince Tells a Judge That His iPhone Is His Paintbrush + Other Stories

Plus, the most powerful woman in the art world gives a rare interview and Si Newhouse's Bacon heads to Christie's.

Donald Graham's original photograph and Richard Prince's appropriation of the photograph for his "New Portraits" series.

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 Thursday, October 11.


One of the Art World’s Most Powerful Women Gives a Rare Interview – Sheikha Al-Mayassa lets her hair down in a rare interview, although the revelations are minimal. The head of Qatar Museums, which has a reported $1 billion annual acquisition budget, predicts that “when centers of economies and powers change, then the artistic directions also change.” She is looking forward to opening the Jean Nouvel-designed National Museum next year, which will eclipse the architect’s Louvre Abu Dhabi in scale. (Harpers Bazaar)

The Duchess of Cambridge Opens the V&A Photo Galleries – Kate Middleton christened the new photography center on her first visit to the museum since becoming a royal patron. The new galleries double the space dedicated to the museum’s collection of more than 800,000 photographs; they will expand further in 2022. The inaugural exhibition, “Collecting Photography: From Daguerrotype to Digital,” opens for free to the public tomorrow. (Evening Standard)

Richard Prince Defends Appropriation in Court – The American artist Richard Prince is arguing in a Manhattan federal court that two of his Instagram-based works constitute fair use of other photographers’ images. He claims that the aggrieved photographers, Donald Graham and Eric McNatt, benefited from his appropriation—and that he would have been unable to make his point any other way. Prince, who calls his iPhone a “paintbrush,” has some heavyweights voicing support for him in legal documents, including New Museum chief Lisa Phillips and Brian Wallis, the former deputy director of the International Center of Photography. (The Art Newspaper)

When Brands Became Art Patrons – Samantha Culp, who has worked with brands including Converse and Airbnb, reveals her role involves protecting artists “who are often the most vulnerable party in the [corporate patronage] equation.” She cites her friend, the Chinese artist Cao Fei, who is a savvy collaborator with major brands. Ahead of designing her BMW Art Car, Cao insisted on visiting its Chinese factories and meeting workers to understand more about how their business works. (The Atlantic)


Si Newhouse’s Laughing Bacon Heads to Auction – The family of the late publisher is selling Bacon’s Study of Henrietta Moraes Laughing (1969) at Christie’s New York on November 15. The work, which Newhouse bought for a reported $9 million in 2007, is estimated at $14 million to $18 million. (Bloomberg)

Art Dubai Names New Director – Frieze’s head of audience development, Chloe Vaitsou, has been appointed Art Dubai’s new international director. Vaitsou and artistic director Pablo del Val will lead the 2019 edition of the fair next March. Myrna Ayad stepped down as the Gulf fair’s director this summer. (Press release)

James Cohan Now Represents Firelei Báez – The New York-based, Dominican Republic-born artist will have her first solo show at James Cohan in May 2019. Báez, whose work often refers to her Haitian roots, is featured in the Berlin Biennale this year. (ARTnews)


Mattress Factory Finds Acting Director – The former director of the Westmoreland Museum of American Art, Judith O’Toole, will take over Michael Olijnyk’s position temporarily. Olijnyk is on paid leave following complaints over the Pittsburgh museum’s handling of sexual misconduct allegations against an employee. (ARTnews)

Peabody Essex Museum Director to Retire – Dan Monroe, who put the museum on the world stage during his 25 years at the helm, will retire next year. During his tenure, the museum’s operating budget grew from $3 million to $33 million and its endowment swelled from $23 million to $500 million. (Boston Globe)

Newark Museum Names New Director – Linda Harrison, who previously served as director and CEO of the Museum of the African Diaspora in San Francisco, has been tapped to succeed Steven Kern at the helm of New Jersey’s biggest museum. She begins her new role in January 2019. (New York Times)


Pollock-Krasner Foundation Backs the US Venice Pavilion – The artists’ foundation is gifting $100,000 to the Madison Square Park Conservancy to support Martin Puryear’s commission for the US Pavilion at the 2019 Venice Biennale. All told, the foundation’s grants and awards this year total nearly $4 million. (Press release)

Bloomberg HQ Wins Riba Prize – The art-filled, $1.3 billion European headquarters of the company in London won the Royal Institute of British Architects annual prize for architecture. The “monumental achievement” of the business HQ designed by Foster + Partners, which includes three new public spaces, beat out the new Tate St Ives. (BBC)

The Hunt to Find Michael Heizer’s Lost Sculptures Is On – Experts from the Broad and Michigan State University are looking for the remains of Heizer’s This Equals That (1979), six enormous public sculptures that looked like oversize pills. The works were once installed in Lansing, but after weather damage and public backlash over their $500,000 construction cost, state officials dismantled them in 2002, possibly cutting the pieces into triangular sections. (Lansing State Journal)

Lift Off for Tom Sachs’s NASA-Nike High Tops – Following his successful 24-hour Swiss Passport Office performance at Thaddaeus Ropac, the artist has dropped his new Nikes in London. The NASA-inspired space-age “Mars Yard Overshoe,” which have been more than a decade in development, are available for £390 (around $511). Check them out below. (Boing Boing)

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