Art Industry News: Human Art Critic Jerry Saltz Angered by $432,000 Sale of AI-Generated Artwork + Other Stories

Plus, Ana Mendieta's estate settles with Amazon Studios and there's a YouTube tutorial on how to build a Banksy-style shredder.

??? ? ??? ? ?? [??? ? (?))] + ?? [???(? − ?(?(?)))], Portrait of Edmond de Belamy, from La Famille de Belamy (2018). Courtesy of Christie's Images Ltd.

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 Friday, October 26.


Ana Mendieta’s Estate Settles With Amazon – Amazon Studios has reached an undisclosed settlement with the artist’s estate, which sued for copyright infringement because elements in the upcoming film Suspiria closely resemble Mendieta’s work. The film’s director Luca Guadagnino has admitted to being “inspired” by the late Cuban-American artist. Suspiria will be released this weekend in New York and Los Angeles before its worldwide drop next week. (Variety)

How Museums Are Trying to Get Young People Into Old Art – Costumes at the CloistersKoons at the Getty Villa? Get used to it. Curators are increasingly mixing their historical collections with contemporary works in a bid to draw in new audiences. “Visitors may be more inclined to want to see contemporary art, but we have a mission to our collections,” says Christina Nielsen, a former curator at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. (New York Times)

Why the AI-Generated Art Sale Is Upsetting – The first-ever auction of a work generated by AI—which flew past its $10,000 high estimate to sell for $432,000 at Christie’s yesterday—has evoked the ire of Jerry Saltz. Referencing the Salvator Mundi sale, the critic writes that the auction house has sold yet another “iffy object for an astronomical price.” He points out that the work from the collective Obvious was “falsely touted” as the first of its kind—but there have been numerous examples of similar works made using the same open source code. (Vulture)

How to Build a Banksy Shredder Frame – Fab Lab Irbid, a workshop for personal digital fabrication, has provided a handy, if rather technical, how-to guide for doing a Banksy better than the artist managed at Sotheby’s. To help you build your own “Banksy’s Self-Destruct Artwork Frame,” the workshop has posted a list of parts, a step-by-step guide, and an instructional video. (Instructables, YouTube)


Signal Gallery’s Cofounder on Why It Closed – How hard is it to run an experimental gallery? According to Signal Gallery’s cofounder Kyle Jacques, it’s almost impossible. The dealer spoke frankly about his motivations for closing his beloved project space after six-and-a-half years. “Why would I keep spending time on the business end when I wasn’t excited by or necessarily good at it? Why would I invest even more money when I’d never wanted to interact with art and artists via a professionalized gallery?” (Artspace)

HBO Screens Art Market Documentary – The cable channel has screened Nathaniel Kahn’s cynical art-world documentary The Price of Everything ahead of its official November 12 release on HBO. The film frowns upon the commodification of the contemporary art, with Jeff Koons and Sotheby’s chair Amy Cappellazzo framed as villains and the more reclusive artist Larry Poons providing their foil. Stay tuned for our own review of the film next week. (Boston Globe)

Iznik Ceramic Sells for £4 Million – The Debbane Charger, a 15th-century Iznik dish sold for £4.55 million ($5.82 million) at Sotheby’s, the fourth highest result ever achieved for Islamic art at auction. Twelve bidders competed for the rare object before an unnamed institutional buyer won the lot. (Antiques Trade Gazette)


The Cartier-Bresson Foundation Moves to a New Home – The foundation’s new space near the Centre Pompidou in Paris, which opens November 6, will double its exhibition space and triple its archive space. Moving forward, Cartier-Bresson’s photographs will also now always be on display, which was not the case in the foundation’s old home in Montparnasse. (NYT)

MFA Houston Completes Phase Two of a $450 Million Upgrade – The Houston museum has completed its Sarah Campbell Blaffer Foundation Center for Conservation, part of a four-pronged ambitious renovation of its campus. The museum’s $450 million redevelopment is due to be complete in 2020 with the addition of a Steven Holl-designed building for Modern and contemporary art. (Forbes)

William T. Williams Receives the Pratt Award – The artist, who studied at New York’s Pratt Institute, received its 2018 Legends Award at a gala this week. The event helps raise money for scholarships. Previous Legends recipients include Laurie Anderson, Ellsworth Kelly, and Kehinde Wiley. (Press release)

Moscow’s Garage Announces Land Art Award – The Garage Museum has awarded its Signet Land Art grant to Maria Plaksina. The award comes with a commission to create a work of land art in Moscow’s nearby Gorky Park. (Calvert Journal)


A New Model for Serving Underserved Communities With Art – The Manhattan nonprofit Broadway Housing Communities built the Sugar Hill Children’s Museum of Art & Storytelling three years ago in a neighborhood where more 70 percent of children are born into poverty. The $84 million project, designed by leading architect David Adjaye, includes a low-income housing development and a free preschool. It was funded using tax incentives for investing in impoverished communities, which may provide a model for more museums like it to be built in the future. (New York Times)

Bank of America Offers $ for Conservation – Bank of America has announced the recipients of its 2018 art conservation grants, which fund the restoration of significant works of art and cultural heritage. This year’s winners include Coronation of the Virgin with Saints (c. 1492) by Sandro Botticelli and Domenico Ghirlandaio at the Bass and the 12-panel screen Spring Morning in the Han Palaces at the Freer-Sackler in Washington, DC. (Press release)

Meet Artists’ Beloved Pets – “All artists have pet projects, but not all of them take on the project of a pet,” ARTnews notes. The magazine visited a few well-connected animals, including Sydney Shen’s tarantula and Cindy Sherman’s uppity macaw, Mister Frieda. “He’s been the longest companion I’ve ever had, although it’s like having a perpetual 2-year-old,” Sherman says. (ARTnews)

See Studio Drift’s Drone Flight Over Burning Man – If you were not in the Nevada desert for this year’s Burning Man in August, here’s a chance to see Studio Drift’s awesome flying sculpture Franchise Freedom. Set to piano music, the Amsterdam-based collective’s footage of the 100 illuminated drones dancing in the night sky deserves a round of applause. (YouTube)



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