Art Industry News: A CIA Agent’s Memoir Details Her Life Undercover as a Shanghai Art Dealer + Other Stories
Plus, Polish institutions are at risk after nationalist election win and Éric Baudelaire wins France’s Prix Marcel Duchamp.
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 Tuesday, October 15.
Hundreds of Protesters Hit New York Museums for Anti-Columbus Day Tour – The activist group Decolonize This Place took to the streets to protest Columbus Day during the US national holiday yesterday. After being blocked from entering the American Museum of Natural History, nearly 500 demonstrators, including many artists, marched to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, where they gathered on the institution’s steps. The group called for the abolition of prisons, the liberation of Palestine, the removal of Teddy Roosevelt’s statue at the American Museum of Natural History, and the end of capitalism. (The Art Newspaper)
Polish Art Institutions Fear ‘Destruction’ After Nationalist Election Win – Members of the art community are reeling after Poland’s conservative-nationalist party, Law and Justice (PiS), scored another victory in the country’s elections on October 13, winning 45.2 percent of the vote. Michał Grzegorzek, curator at the CCA Ujazdowski Castle in Warsaw, worries that the party’s victory could censor minority voices. (TAN)
A CIA Agent’s Memoir Details Life Undercover as a Shanghai Art Dealer – In her soon-to-published memoir Life Undercover: Coming of Age in the C.I.A., Amaryllis Fox says that she posed as an art dealer while conducting an intelligence operation in Shanghai. Fox describes how her she and her then-husband, who was also a CIA officer, pretended to be members of the art industry in the early 2000s. She has said that life in the CIA takes you to “the most dangerous places the planet has to offer,” and recalls how the Chinese government gave them a live-in housekeeper to monitor the art world husband and wife. (ARTnews)
Gavin Turk Talks Extinction Rebellion – As London bans Extinction Rebellion from protesting in the city, the artist Gavin Turk, who has ben dubbed the “the laureate of waste,” is putting UK plastic garbage on view in Amsterdam. In his new exhibition “Letting Go” at Reflex gallery in Amsterdam, Turk is displaying 500 water bottles he gathered from the streets of London inside plywood cases. Should you be buying this garbage? “The thing about these bottles is that they’ve become so socially unacceptable they’re going to disappear,” Turk says. “At which point, my collection will become valuable.” (Guardian)
Galerie Eva Presenhuber Announces a New Partner – Former director of sales Markus Rischgasser has been made a partner at the Swiss gallery. “Markus’s professionalism, dedication, and loyalty towards our artists, clients, and the gallery are legendary,” Presenhuber says in a statement. (Press release)
Russian Investment Fund Hosts Kandinsky Show in Saudi Arabia – Russia has sent 19 early works by Wassily Kandinsky from St. Petersburg’s State Russian Museum to Riyadh to go on view during Vladimir Putin’s first visit to Saudi Arabia in 12 years, which begins today. The show “Kandinsky in Russia” will run through November 14, and is organized by the Russian Direct Investment Fund, which opened its first satellite in Saudi Arabia last week. (TAN)
COMINGS & GOINGS
Melissa Chiu Will Curate the 2021 Honolulu Biennial – The Hirshhorn director will be the curator for the third edition of the Honolulu Biennial, which is slated to take place from February to April of 2021. The multi-venue exhibition is one of the largest in the world to focus on the contemporary art practices of the Pacific. (Press release)
Éric Baudelaire Wins France’s Prix Marcel Duchamp – The French filmmaker has won France’s biggest art prize, the €35,000 (about $38,600) Prix Marcel Duchamp. He beat out fellow nominees Katinka Bock, Marguerite Humeau, as well as the duo Ida Tursic and Wilfried Mille, and is the second filmmaker ever to win the prize, which historically has gone to painters and sculptors. (ARTnews)
FOR ART’S SAKE
Richard Prince’s Pot Brand Has Secured an LA Distributor – Richard Prince’s cannabis strain, Katz + Dogg, will be distributed at the luxury dispensary MedMen, which has outposts outside its Los Angeles flagship in Arizona, California, Florida, Illinois, Massachusetts, Nevada, and New York. Galleries Blum & Poe and Gagosian have both presented the product alongside exhibitions of the artist’s work. His “Hippie” drawings are featured on the packaging, and he will release a capsule collection of furniture with the streetwear designer Darren Romanelli for select distributors. (ARTnews)
See Photos of MoMA’s New Expansion – Ahead of MoMA’s planned opening of its expanded campus on October 21, architecture firm Diller Scofidio + Renfro, in collaboration with Gensler, has released new images of the building. See how more than 40,000 square feet of gallery space has been added, including a space called the Studio (known to staffers as “the Stack”) in the museum’s heart, a new Creativity Lab on the second floor, and free-admission street-level galleries. (Press release)
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