Art Industry News: Did Banksy Steal His Dramatic Art-Sabotaging Stunt From Malcolm Morley? + Other Stories

France and Saudi Arabia's multibillion-euro art collaboration seems to be moving ahead and Liam Neeson is playing a "bohemian artist" in a new movie.

The late artist Malcolm Morley at the 2012 Party In the Garden Benefit at the Museum of Modern Art. (Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images)

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 Tuesday, October 30.


French-Saudi Cultural Collaboration Moves Ahead – Just one day after Turkish officials revealed the murder of Saudi journalists Jamal Khashoggi in Istanbul on October 7, French president Emmanuel Macron officially confirmed the development of Al-Ula Province, a cultural and tourism hub that will be developed in collaboration with the two countries. Two weeks later, no Paris official would comment on the fate of the project, but a source told the Art Newspaper that the partnership is moving ahead and that crises “should not be a reason to stop cultural and scholarly projects.” (The Art Newspaper)

Classical Sculptures Weren’t White – Archaeologists have long known that the Ancient Greeks and Roman painted their sculptures—but many classical scholars and curators still prefer them scrubbed white. The issue has a growing political significance. Sarah Bond, a professor at Iowa University, received hate mail from white supremacists after she pointed out that artists in antiquity portrayed the ethnic diversity of the Roman Empire on vases and sculpture. (New Yorker)

Was Banksy Actually Just Ripping Off Another Artist? – Banksy didn’t invent this whole “attack your own art” thing. The late figurative painter Malcolm Morley also sabotaged one of his own paintings, Buckingham Palace With First Prize (1970), when it came up for auction in Paris back in 1974. Morley nailed a water gun filled with purple ink to the canvas after his attempt to spray it with ink was thwarted by tipped off auctioneers who had covered the work in plastic sheeting. Like Banksy’s shredded work, Morley’s also went up in value after the stunt. (ARTnews)

Liam Neeson Is Playing an Artist – The actor best known for his role in the action-packed “Taken” franchise is trying his hand at comedy in the new film Made in Italy. He will play Robert, a bohemian London artist who returns to Italy with his estranged son to sell the house they inherited from his late wife. The film is the directorial debut of actor James D’Arcy. (Hollywood Reporter)


AGO Makes Speedy Purchases at Art Toronto – The Art Gallery of Ontario bought several works at the fair: a work on paper by Ken Nicol for $57,000 from Olga Korper Gallery and Sonny Assu’s Re-Invaders at Equinox Gallery for $3,500. Both dealers got to hang a red balloon from their booths at Art Toronto to advertise the AGO’s speedy acquisitions. (Globe and the Mail)

Andrew Kreps Now Represents Michael Dean – Turner Prize nominee Michael Dean, who is shortlisted for this year’s Hepworth Sculpture Prize, is now represented by Andrew Kreps Gallery in New York. The young sculptor has had shows at the South London Gallery, the Nasher Sculpture Center, and took part in Skulptur Projekte Münster 2017. (ARTnews)

Catherine Deneuve Sells Her YSL Wardrobe – The French star, who was described as one of Yves Saint Laurent’s muses, is selling around 150 items, some of them unique pieces. Deneuve’s personal collection, including coats, dresses and accessories, will be auctioned off in January during haute couture Fashion Week in Paris, as well as online. (Art Daily)


Director of Contemporary Arts Museum Houston Steps Down – In a surprise move, the museum’s director Bill Arning has resigned from his post after nine years. In a Facebook post, he wrote, “the possibilities ahead of me are multiplying in a crazy way, so not looking back at all.” The museum has yet to set a timeline to find Arning’s replacement, but deputy director Christina Brungardt has stepped in as interim director. (Glasstire)

Barcelona Needs a Branch of the Prado, Mayoral Candidate Says – In his new autobiography, Manuel Valls, France’s former prime minister who is now running for mayor of Barcelona in his native Spain, suggests that the city should collaborate with Madrid on an expansion of the Prado museum like the Louvre-Lens or Pompidou-Metz in France. (El País)


Kanye West Designs Merch for an Anti-Democratic Party Campaign – Trump supporter Ye has designed shirts and hats for conservative pundit Candace Owens’s so-called “Blexit” campaign, which encourages black Americans to leave the Democratic Party. The two designs feature human figures forming the letters of the word “Blexit,” and a slogan, “We free.” (BBC)

Tate Artists Expose Gauguin’s Sexual Exploitation – Rosalind Nashashibi and Lucy Skaer’s new film, Why Are You Angry? (2017), critiques the 60-year-old French artist’s famous portraits of his teenage Tahitian “wives.” The feminist take on Gauguin’s life and art in their Tate St Ives exhibition, showing two young models looking afraid and embarrassed—implicating the viewer in Gauguin’s sexual and colonial exploitation of his underage subjects. (Financial Times)

Maurizio Cattelan’s Instagram Account Is Hacked – It looks like Cattelan’s “Single Post Instagram,” which only ever had one image that was deleted and replaced every 24 hours, was briefly hacked on Sunday. A new profile for an Omar Al Odah appeared under the handle @mauriziocattelan, confusing the account’s 130,000 followers. (Monopol)

People Are Dressing Up as Shredded Banksy for Halloween – Partygoers worldwide are keeping it topical with costumes taking on Banksy’s now-infamous prank. Executions of the shredded painting look vary in effort and skill level. But remember: If all else fails, you could always go as a sexy painting? (Mashable)


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