Art Industry News: Paris Hilton Really Wants to Buy Bansky’s Savage Takedown Artwork About Her, But It’s Too Rare + Other Stories
Plus, the scandal-plagued Montreal Museum of Fine Arts names a new director and a top art collector is running for mayor of New York City.
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 Friday, October 16.
Studio Museum Chair Is Running for Mayor of New York City – The art collector and chair of the Studio Museum in Harlem, Raymond J. McGuire, is seeking the Democratic nomination for mayor of New York City. McGuire, who collects African American and African contemporary art, will leave his position as vice chairman of Citigroup to run. “New York gave me the opportunity to be enormously successful,” McGuire, who is one of Wall Street’s top Black executives, says. “Now New York is in a financial crisis that has exploded into a whole bunch of crises—educational, health, and criminal justice. If there is a moment in history where my skill set can help lead, this is it.” (New York Times)
Everson Museum Chair Defends Deaccessioning a Pollock – The Everson Museum of Art’s board president, Jessica Arb Danial, has penned an op-ed defending the Syracuse institution’s decision to deaccession a Jackson Pollock in order to raise money to diversify its collection. Pollock’s Red Composition (1946) sold at Christie’s on October 6 for $12 million. “At their best, our museums are, and always have been, cultural institutions serving our communities, and to that end carry an obligation to both mirror and support the advance of the communities they serve and benefit,” Arb Danial writes. (The Art Newspaper)
Paris Hilton Wants to Talk to Banksy – Paris Hilton wants to get her hands on a piece of one particular Banksy project: 500 fake CDs modeled after Paris Hilton’s debut album that the anonymous artist planted in record stores across the UK in 2006. One copy of the CD, which contains tracks like “Why Am I Famous?”, sold at TateWard Auctions on October 14 for £8,750 ($11,300). “I’ve actually been trying to buy one,” Hilton said to Dazed magazine. “I’m trying to wait for another one [to become available] because they’re very limited edition. But I thought it was awesome that he did that.” (Dazed)
The Louvre Teams Up With Alibaba – Chinese consumers can now stock up on objects inspired by the Louvre’s collection thanks to a partnership between the museum and the e-commerce giant. Alibaba identified the most popular works in the Louvre’s holdings and then developed products inspired by the works—ranging from lipsticks in the shape of the Winged Victory of Samothrace to satchels bearing the likeness of the Mona Lisa—in collaboration with Chinese brands. For museums looking for new revenue streams amid the shutdown, Alibaba may offer one answer. (Jing Travel)
Princess Beatrice’s Husband Commissioned a Sculpture for Her Birthday – The princess and Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi, who wed in a private ceremony in July, visited the artist David Williams-Ellis (who also happens to be Mozzi’s stepfather) in his studio daily to witness the creation of the figurative bronze. Mozzi, a real-estate developer, also collects work by Nick Knight, Nikolai von Bismarck, and David Yarrow. Christopher Wool and Jean-Michel Basquiat are on his wish list. (Financial Times)
Blum & Poe Now Represents March Avery – The gallery has announced representation of New York-based artist March Avery, who will present new works in a solo show this November at the gallery’s Los Angeles outpost. The daughter of painters Milton Avery and Sally Michel, March creates scenes of domesticity with flat colors reminiscent of her father’s palette. (Press release)
Taylor Swift and Dolly Parton’s Guitars Are Hitting the Block – Later this month, Christie’s will host an online auction featuring instruments and ephemera once owned by some of country music’s biggest stars. The sale includes Dolly Parton’s Swarovski-bedazzled dulcimer and the guitar Bradley Cooper used in the movie A Star Is Born. Proceeds from the sale, organized by the Academy of Country Music’s philanthropic arm, will go toward frontline workers. (Press release)
COMINGS & GOINGS
Nazi-Looted Painting From New York Museum Is Returned – A painting of two skaters by the American artist Gari Melchers that was seized from the Arkell Museum in New York in 2017 has been restituted to the heirs of its former owners, a Jewish family whose art collection was looted by the Nazis in 1933. The Mosse family is expected to sell the painting, called Winter, at Sotheby’s. (Independent)
Montreal Museum of Fine Arts Names New Director – Stéphane Aquin, the chief curator at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington, DC, has been named director of the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. He is a Montreal native and a veteran of the museum, having worked there between 1990 to 1992, and again as contemporary art curator from 1998 to 2015. The institution has been plagued with controversy following the departure of his predecessor, Nathalie Bondil. (Press release)
Jeff Koons Re-Ups His Lease in Hudson Yards – Donald Trump may say New York is dead, but Jeff Koons sure doesn’t think so. The artist—who laid off dozens of studio assistants before moving to the new space last year—extended his lease at 475 10th Avenue in Hudson Yards for another two years. The artist’s company occupies 7,400 square feet of the building. (Commercial Observer)
FOR ART’S SAKE
Howardena Pindell’s New Show Is a Must-See – Howardena Pindell’s first video work in 25 years, on view at the Shed in New York, draws on a traumatizing childhood memory when, while visiting a friend’s house, Pindell says she saw an image of a Black man being burned on a log inside a copy of Life magazine. Her friend’s mother was cooking meat at the time. “That image and the smell made it so real that I couldn’t eat meat for about a year,” the artist recalls. The work and the exhibition, both called Rope/Fire/Water, unflinchingly confront the history of violence against African Americans in the US. (New York Times)
French Culture Minister Pushes for Exceptions to Curfew – The French culture minister Roselyne Bachelot is pushing for a reprieve on Paris’s new 9 p.m. curfew for the city’s arts institutions. To help boost theaters and performing arts institutions reeling from prolonged closures, Bachelot has suggested that 9 p.m. be the end of show time for ticket holders, rather than the time visitors must be home. (Le Parisien)
Atelier des Lumières Plans a Show Dedicated to Indigenous Peoples – The experience art company famous for its immersive light projections is putting Indigenous people front and center in its new exhibition in Paris. Projections of the photographer Jimmy Nelson’s images of the world’s last remaining Indigenous peoples will be on view in the exhibition “The Last Sentinels” through November 15. (Le Parisien, Instagram)
See Titus Kaphar’s Work in a Medieval Church – Titus Kaphar’s latest exhibition with Maruani Mercier gallery has opened inside a medieval church in Brussels. “The Evidence of Things Unseen” draws on the systemic injustices embedded within Catholic and Renaissance iconography by questioning the absence of Black angels and saints. (Press release)
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