Art Industry News: Architect Peter Zumthor Says He ‘Doesn’t Give a [Bleep]’ About Staying on Budget for LACMA’s New Building + Other Stories

Plus, painter Dana Schutz heads to David Zwirner and the Metropolitan Museum of Art hires an education chief from the Queens Museum.

Peter Zumthor of Switzerland (L) is awarded the architecture category of the 20th Praemium Imperiale by Japan's Prince Hitachi (R) during the awarding ceremony in Tokyo on October 15, 2008. The Praemium Imperiale is a global arts prize awarded annually by the Japan Art association, first held in 1989. AFP PHOTO/Kazuhiro NOGI (Photo credit should read KAZUHIRO NOGI/AFP/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 on this Tuesday, October 6.


Philanthropists Are Offering Artists Gigs for the Social-Distancing Era – While museum board members have received criticism for not stepping up enough to support struggling art institutions, some patrons are launching initiatives of their own outside the traditional museum context to support artists creatively. Patrizia Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, for example, is now commissioning digital artworks and outdoor installations that can be viewed safely, regardless of lockdown. Francesca Thyssen-Bornemisza has also created an online commissioning platform called “st_age” (short for the Streaming Age) featuring sound pieces and short films. (Financial Times)

Walker Art Center Diverts Acquisition Funds to Support BIPOC Artists – The Walker Art Center is diverting some $120,000 from its acquisition fund to support BIPOC artists directly with individual $5,000 grants. Ten BIPOC-led arts organizations based in the Twin Cities will receive $2,000 to nominate two artists for the unrestricted grants, which can be used to support their work or simply to pay rent. (Press release)

Controversial Peter Zumthor Gets the New Yorker Treatment – Dana Goodyear follows the 77-year-old Peter Zumthor, the Swiss architect behind the new LACMA building, as he races to finalize the controversial redesign of the Los Angeles museum without busting the budget. After Zumthor submitted last-minute changes to the now $750 million project, the museum’s director Michael Govan told him the architect would personally have to raise the additional $3.3 million required. “Michael says, ‘If I’m over budget, I’m gone,'” Zumthor recounted. “He has stressed his board with money so much they have said, ‘This is it.'” In the end, Zumthor managed to make up the cost by simplifying some of the subcontractors’ contributions. But the architect wasn’t particularly perturbed either way. “I didn’t want to be on budget,” Zumthor told Govan. “I said, ‘I don’t give a f*ck if we’re on budget.’” (New Yorker)

Here Are the Secrets of Art Investing – If you are thinking about investing in art, this article is a good place to start. It summarizes some of the biggest misconceptions about the field. First, there isn’t one art market, there are many, and you can decide which one you want to participate in. Second, though it may cost more, it pays to buy work from galleries, where you know a dealer has made a decision to invest in and support an artist’s career. Looking for lesser-known bodies of a popular artist’s work and considering new models like fractional investing in more expensive works are also ways to take a stake in the market. (Bloomberg)


Painter Dana Schutz Heads to David Zwirner – David Zwirner will now represent the star painter, who has worked with New York’s Petzel gallery since 2011. Perhaps best known for the firestorm generated over her work Open Casket at the Whitney Biennial in 2017, Schutz was the subject of a career survey at the Institute of Contemporary Art Boston that same year. (ARTnews)

Sotheby’s Contemporary Curated Nets $31 Million – The auction house’s fifth Contemporary Curated sale in New York saw five works achieve more than $1 million, including Kenneth Noland’s Entrancing Ember, which sold for $2.6 million, and Kerry James Marshall’s Enigmatic The Wonderful One, which sold for $1.8 million. (Press release)


The Met Hires New Education Chief – The Met has tapped the former Queens Museum director of education, Heidi Holder, as its new Frederick P. and Sandra P. Rose Chair of Education. Holder, who is known as a champion of equity and inclusion, takes up her new role this month. She replaces Sandra Jackson-Dumont, who left the Met to become director of the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art. (Culture Type)

Goodman Gallery Founder Dies at 84 – Linda Givon founded the South African gallery in 1966 with the objective “to promote art that wasn’t desperately decorative or desperately colonial.” As one of the country’s most prominent dealers, she showed the work of artists including David Goldblatt, Zwelethu Mthethwa, and William Kentridge. (ARTnews)

Ireland Names Its Venice Biennale Pick – The Irish minister for culture has announced that the artist Niamh O’Malley will represent Ireland at the 59th Venice Biennale in 2022 with a project emphasizing the importance of the studio to artistic creation. The pavilion will be curated by Temple Bar Gallery + Studios. (Press release)


Houston Arts Organizations Get $10 Million – The Ford Foundation and Houston Endowment have donated $10 million to Black, Latinx, Asian and Indigenous arts organizations in the Texas city. The initiative aims to provide meaningful support for general operations and capacity-building, and has the potential to “transform the funding landscape and significantly advance racial equity,” according to Ann Stern, the president of Houston Endowment. (Glasstire)

Jenny Holzer Makes an App – The University of Chicago commissioned the artist to create an app that lets users project 29 thought-provoking quotes onto their surroundings through the magic of augmented reality. The project, called You Be My Ally, after a quote from Sappho, offers 29 quotes from authors in the university’s “great books” program, including W.E.B. Du Bois and Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley. (New York Times)

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