Art Industry News: Germany Rescinds a Prize for Walid Raad Over the Artist’s Political Views + Other Stories

Plus, Ronald Lauder’s museum lawsuit is tossed and Kurt Cobain’s art is now wearable.

Walid Raad in "Question the Wall Itself" at the Walker Art Center. Courtesy of Paula Cooper Gallery.

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 Wednesday, October 2. 


Ronald Lauder’s Lawsuit Against World War II Museum Tossed –  A judge dismissed billionaire Ronald Lauder’s lawsuit against the Massachusetts-based International Museum of World War II over a $25 million cache of memorabilia the collector purchased back in 2018. Lauder claimed that the museum was “stonewalling” him, by refusing to send him the property, which includes some 500,000 photographs and 1,650 posters, though he had previously agreed to loan them to the museum through 2019. (ARTnews)

Teenager Named in Tate Modern Tragedy – The teenager accused of pushing a six-year-old boy from the viewing balcony of Tate Modern has been named now that he has turned 18. Jonty Bravery, who has not entered a plea, is due to go on trial in London’s Old Bailey criminal court in February. The victim, a French boy who was visiting London with his family, survived the fall from the 10th-floor balcony. He is being treated in a London hospital. This week, his family confirmed that he cannot move his body or speak. “We see his efforts. He is very brave. He keeps on smiling, and reacting to our jokes,” they said in a statement via social media. (Daily Mail)

German City Withdraws Prize, Citing Politics – Officials in the city of Aachen, Germany, have rescinded a $10,000 prize awarded to artist Walid Raad because of his alleged ties to the controversial Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement. According to the city’s mayor, Marcel Philipp, research showed that Raad was “a supporter of the BDS movement and has been involved in various measures for the cultural boycott of Israel.” In Germany, BDS has been officially deemed anti-Semitic, though the Palestinian BDS National Committee contends that the move is unconstitutional. Raad is known to have signed an open letter in 2014 that called on artists to withdraw from a show organized by an art-related branch of the group. (ARTnews) 

The Aichi Triennale Reopens Show, But Loses Government Grant – The hits keep on coming for the Aichi Triennale, which has been dogged by controversy since it censored artworks depicting Japanese wartime “comfort women,” despite ostensibly being a show about freedom of artistic expression. The move caused many international artists to withdraw or alter their work in protest of the Triennale’s actions. The exhibition will reopen at the Aichi Prefectural Museum of Art in Nagoya, though a grant providing about $722,000 in support was revoked by the Agency for Cultural Affairs. An agency source said it was due to procedure, not content. (ArtAsiaPacifice-flux)


Victoria Beckham Hosts an Andy Warhol Show With Sotheby’s – Victoria Beckham helped wish Sotheby’s a happy 275th birthday with a party at her Dover Street store attended by high-profile guests including KAWS, Takashi Murakami, and husband David Beckham. The pop star-turned-fashion designer and art collector previously hosted a pair of Old Master sales for the auction house. This week’s selling exhibition featured a dozen works by Pop art great Andy Warhol, on view through October 4. (Press release)

eBay Launches #Artober With Sold-Out Yoshitomo Nara Print – eBay for Charity marked the start of #Artober, a month-long sales event featuring exclusive artworks, with the release of Yoshitomo Nara’s lithograph Marching on a Butterbur Leaf. The $150 limited-edition print sold out, with a portion of the proceeds going to the Dallas Contemporary. The other works coming up for sale throughout the month include a unicorn art object from Simone Legno, the Italian artist who founded Japanese clothing and accessory brand tokidoki; Carlos Rolón’s print Gild the Lily (Caribbean Azulejo); and an ALL LI ES MATTER print from Hank Willis Thomas, being sold to benefit the Public Art Fund. (eBay)

Wayne Thiebaud’s Mickey Mouse Heads to Christie’s – The art collection of Walt Disney’s only biological child, Diane Disney Miller, who died in 2003, and her husband, Ron Miller, who died in February, will come to auction at the American art sale at Christie’s New York in November. The sale will feature work by Richard Diebenkorn, Milton Avery, and Wayne Thiebaud, who were all associated with the famous animation company, including a 1988 Thiebaud canvas titled Mickey Mouse, which depicts Disney’s most famous creation. Estimated to sell for $400,000–600,000, the work bears the influence of the artist’s apprenticeship as a Walt Disney Studios animator. (Barrons)

Urs Fischer’s New Show Is Named After Leonardo DiCaprio – When the art world touches down in Paris for FIAC later this month, they’ll be treated to a new exhibition from Urs Fischer at Gagosian that’s inspired by none other than actor and art collector Leonardo DiCaprio. A source close to the gallery claims that the show is dubbed simply “Leo,” and that the titular work will likely be in the form of a candle. (ARTnews)


Aspen Art Museum Director Quietly Departs – Heidi Zuckerman has left the Aspen Art Museum after 14 years at the helm. The Aspen Times says that no reasons for the move have been offered by Zuckerman or the museum board since she announced her departure at the end of June. (Aspen Times)

Juliana Ochs Dweck Named Chief Curator of the Princeton University Art Museum – The Princeton University Art Museum has promoted Juliana Ochs Dweck, on staff since 2010, from curator of academic engagement to the newly created position of chief curator. The news comes ahead of a planned three-year closure for the institution, which is erecting a new building designed by David Adjaye. (Artforum)

Wolfgang Tillmans Named Chair of the ICA London – The former Tate artist-trustee Wolfgang Tillmans is the new chair of London’s Institute of Contemporary Art. The gallery’s director Stefan Kalmár says: “Times like these are times for artists to lead.” (Artforum)


Museo Jumex’s Duchamp/Koons Show Breaks Records  – The artistic director of the New Museum, Massimiliano Gioni, has helped smash the attendance record of the private museum in Mexico City by curating a show that pairs work by Marcel Duchamp and Jeff Koons. The exhibition drew more than 440,000 people in its five-month run. (ARTnews)

You Can Now Wear Kurt Cobain’s Art – Nirvana fans, rejoice! Kurt Cobain’s doodles, drawings, and sculptures are coming to a whole range of merchandise, including tee shirts and posters. The “Kurt Was Here” collection will be available at Barney’s New York and online, with proceeds from the going to support suicide prevention and mental health support for teenagers. (Press release)

Gucci Mane Teams up With Gucci (the Fashion Label) and Harmony Korine – How can you possibly document a collaboration as epic as Gucci Mane x Gucci? By getting none other than filmmaker Harmony Korine to shoot the photos. The two worked together on Spring Breakers back in 2012, and are joined by Sienna Miller and Iggy Pop in the Gucci Cruise 2020 ad campaign. (Instagram)

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