Art Industry News: The High Line Wants You—Yes, You—to Help Choose Its Next Monumental Public Art Commission + Other Stories

Plus, the ICA Philadelphia names a new director, and fine and performing arts are the cultural sectors hardest hit by the shutdown.

Simone Leigh, Brick House, one of the recent High Line Art installations. Photo courtesy of the High Line.

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 Thursday, August 13.


A New Report Calculates the Damage of the Shutdown – A study by the Washington, DC-based Brookings Institution estimates that the US creative industry will suffer 2.7 million job losses and $150 billion in lost revenue as a result of the shutdown. Fine and performing arts are the hardest hit sectors, suffering 26 percent of the job losses and 29 percent of the revenue loss. The most affected arts workers are musicians, singers, and writers. (The Art Newspaper)

Art Workers Petition for Release of Queer Activist in Poland – Writer Paul B. Preciado and Nikola Dietrich, the director of the Cologne Kunstverein, are among the art workers who have signed a letter demanding the release of an activist named Margot from detention in Poland. The non-binary co-founder of the collective Stop Nonsense, which combats LGBTQ shaming, was arrested for allegedly vandalizing a van that was, according to signatories, spreading anti-LGBTQ propaganda, and for assaulting its driver. On August 7, the 22-year-old was sentenced to a two-month pretrial detention. “Margot’s arrest is part of a larger governmental and police operation to curtail and degrade the rights of sexual and gender minorities and to suppress all forms of critical antagonism,” the petition‘s authors write. (Artforum)

The High Line Democratizes Its Commissioning Process – At a time when the process of commissioning public art is under heightened scrutiny worldwide, the High Line in New York is asking the public to vet 80 proposals for works to appear on its monumental plinth in 2022 and 2024. The elevated park in Chelsea launched an online platform for artists’ proposals this week, which includes designs from such figures as Slavs and Tatars, Meriem Bennani, and Gabriel Kuri. Feedback from the public will be reviewed by the High Line curators including Cecilia Alemani, who will make the ultimate decision. (TAN)

Is Berlin’s Art Scene Really Over? – Nope! Despite the springtime stream of Berlin collectors who announced they would be exiting Berlin, including Julia Stoschek, Thomas Olbricht, and the Flick Collection, the city’s art community still very much alive. This fall, Karen and Christian Boros will partner with Berghain nightclub on an art project, while other important private institutions, like Fluentum and the Kindl Center for Contemporary Art, continue their programming. (New York Times)


Indiana Man Arrested for Stolen Art – An Indiana man is facing charges of fraud after allegedly trying to sell pricey artworks that had been stolen from a storage facility in Deerfield. Some 150 works of art and antiquities had gone missing. According to a text message cited in the legal complaint, the man was trying to sell one statue for $50,000: “[T]his guy is Saint Michael and is over 600 years old . not cheap [sic].” (Patch)

ADAA Names New Members – The Art Dealers Association of America has added six new members to its ranks: Garth Greenan Gallery (New York), Hill-Stone (South Dartmouth, MA and New York), James Barron Art (Kent, CT), Mariane Ibrahim (Chicago), Roberts Projects (Los Angeles), and Tina Kim Gallery (New York). (Press release)


The ICA Philadelphia Names a New Director – The Institute of Contemporary Art in Philadelphia has named Zoë Ryan as its new director. Ryan, who replaces former director Amy Sadao, will take up the new role on November 5. She currently serves as chair and curator of the Art Institute of Chicago’s architecture and design department. (Philadelphia Inquirer)

Dead Sea Scrolls Return to View – After a long break in storage, the Israel Museum in Jerusalem is putting the Dead Sea Scrolls back on view when the museum reopens today. Each scroll will be shown to the public for three months in rotation. (Observer)


Jewish Museum Cashes in on Trump’s “Yo Semite” Blunder – The National Museum of American Jewish History was quick to take advantage of a gaffe by president Trump after he mispronounced the name of Yosemite national park during a speech. The museum has sold more than $30,000 worth of t-shirts with the phrase “Yo Semite” since the blunder—although it had been making the sequoia-themed tees since 2011. (Hyperallergic)

Dubai Art Scene Fundraises for Beirut – In the latest effort from the cultural community to raise funds for Beirut, artists in Dubai are contributing to a benefit auction to support recovery efforts in the wake of the devastating explosion. The work of 60 artists is included in Gulf Photo Plus’s print sale, “For the Love of Beirut,” online through August 28. (Instagram)



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