Art Industry News: The British Museum Backs Out of Its Abu Dhabi Partnership + More Must-Read Stories

Plus, Alejandro Iñárritu's VR installation wins an Oscar and Chicago launches a citywide public art plan.

Rendering of Abu Dhabi's Zayed National Museum. Image: ©Foster + Partners.

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 Monday, October 30.


Chicago Launches Public Art Initiative  Chicago’s mayor, Rahm Emanuel, has announced the city’s first comprehensive plan for public art. He wants to spread funding from the Percent for Art program more fairly across Chicago’s 50 neighborhoods, expand the definition of public art, and involve artists from the get-go in projects wholly or partially supported by public money. (City of Chicago)

New York Artist Upsets Anti-Cruelty Activist  The rodents in the installation are happy and well fed, claims artist Joseph Grazi. But his project, The Social Network, has upset Natasha Millikan, a rodent anti-cruelty campaigner, who says the mice are being tortured while on view under the floor of Castle Fitzjohns Gallery in the Lower East Side. (New York Times)

British Museum Stops Work in Abu Dhabi – Citing construction delays, the British Museum has ended its lucrative partnership with Abu Dhabi. A team in London had been tasked with helping to build the collection of the National Zayed Museum and providing 500 prestigious loans for the inaugural displays. But eight years in, work has not yet started on the building. (The Art Newspaper)

Special Oscar for VR Migrant Installation  The Mexican director Alejandro G. Iñárritu will collect a special Academy Award on November 11 for his first virtual reality installation, CARNE y ARENA, which puts viewers in the shoes of migrants crossing the US-Mexico border. The immersive experience has been shown at LACMA and Milan’s Fondazione Prada. (Variety


Sotheby’s Wins Martin Zweig Collection – The auction house will sell the $25 million art collection of the stock market sage, which includes a rare Cézanne, two works by Degas, and three Renoirs. (Art Market Monitor)

How Galleries Are Rethinking Old Strategies – Robin Pogrebin examines how galleries are looking for sustainable models amid spiraling overheads and costly art-fair schedules. The answer? As artnet News has reported in the past, dealers are pursuing pop-up, itinerant, and online-only spaces, as well as co-operative models that involve sharing spaces and representation. (NYT)

New Lyndsey Ingram Gallery for London – The blue-chip Modern and contemporary print dealer will open her first permanent space in a converted Victorian stable in Mayfair on November 7. Collectors can pick up original prints by Modern masters like David Hockney, Jonas Wood, Grayson Perry, and Peter Doig. (Press release)


Minneapolis Institute of Art Taps Chipperfield for Revamp – The London-based architect David Chipperfield has been hired to improve visitor experience at the museum. The architect is working on a “master plan” for renovations, meant to be ready by fall 2018. (Star Tribune)

New Board Chair for Perez Museum – Financial advisor Gregory Ferrero has been named the president of the museum’s board, succeeding Jeff Krinsky, who is at the end of his three-year term. In addition, Alia Tutor has been named a new trustee. (Press release)

V&A Acquires Music Hall Archive – The Wilton’s Music Hall, the oldest Victorian venue of its kind, is nearing collapse. But its archive, which traces the building’s glorious history, has been saved and will become part of the V&A’s theater collection. (Guardian)

These UK Cities Want to Be Europe’s Capital of Culture – Despite Brexit, four UK cities—Dundee, Leeds, Nottingham, and Milton Keynes—are among those competing to be the 2023 European City of Culture. The UK is expected to have exited the European Union by then. (BBC)


Chinatown Fast Show Closes with a Bang  Anti-gentrification campaigners from Chinatown and beyond bid a noisy farewell to Omer Fast’s controversial installation at James Cohan’s Lower East Side gallery. (Hyperallergic)

Female Chefs Create a Judy Chicago-Style Banquet  How many chefs does it take to cook a Sunday night feast inspired by Judy Chicago’s The Dinner Party? In Toronto, a 29-strong, all-female team of cooks created a banquet to honor great women, hosted by chef Alexandra Feswick. (Globe and Mail)

The Man Who Bought Ab Exes for a Bargain  Pioneering collector Ben Heller recalls paying in installments for a big canvas by his friend Jackson Pollock. The painting, among other great Ab Ex works, has since been sold, but check out how the collection looked in Heller’s New York apartment back in the day. (The Cut)

See Jonas Mekas’s Homage to NYC at Missoni Boutique – The Lithuanian poet and filmmaker has dedicated a new visual poem, “Blue, Yellow, Red, Purple,”  to New York, the city that welcomed him as a refugee in 1949. A series of cinematographic works and photographs that highlight the seasonal cycles of the metropolis will be on show at the Missoni Boutique until January next year. (Press release)

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