Art Industry News: Apparently Europe’s Most Unlikely Bromance Is Between… Emmanuel Macron and Anselm Kiefer? + Other Stories

Plus, Sally Mann wins photography's biggest prize, and the Venice Architecture Biennale names a new leader.

Anselm Kiefer in his studio, photo © Georges Poncet.
Anselm Kiefer in his studio. Photo © Georges Poncet.

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, December 16.


Venice Architecture Biennale Names New Director – Architect Lesley Lokko has been tapped to curate the 2023 Venice Architecture Biennale. Lokko, who is known for influential scholarship connecting architecture to race and founded architecture schools in Accra and Johannesburg, will be the first Black curator of the event. “After two of the most difficult and divisive years in living memory, architects have a unique opportunity to show the world what we do best: put forward ambitious and creative ideas that help us imagine a more equitable and optimistic future in common,” Lokko said in a statement. (ARTnews)

The Bromance Between Emmanuel Macron and Anselm Kiefer – The French president has been championing contemporary art since he took office in 2017, but he has a particular affinity for the work of the German artist Anselm Kiefer. He hosted the artist among other art-world luminaries at the Élysée Palace on the occasion of FIAC earlier this year. The pair spoke to journalist Roxana Azimi about their friendship, cemented by a shared an interest in literature and European politics, particularly the work of interwar author Paul Valéry. (Le Monde)

bell hooks Dies at 69 – The celebrated writer and thinker bell hooks, who shaped two generations of cultural critics and makers, has died at the age of 69, reportedly from end-stage renal failure. Her elegant writings on Black art, intersectional feminism, and identity—often combining theory with poetry—have influenced scholarship since the 1970s. Check back later this week for a full appreciation on Artnet News. (ARTnews)


Brooklyn Museum Gets a Buddhist Art Gallery – A new gallery dedicated to the arts of Buddhism will be unveiled at the Brooklyn Museum on January 21. The second-floor space will feature 70 objects dating from the second century C.E. to the early millennia from 14 countries. Rare treasures on view include a pair of 14th-century Japanese mandala paintings that have not been seen in public for 25 years. (ARTnews)

Israel Museum Taps New Leader – Denis Weil is the new director of the Israel Museum in Jerusalem. Currently dean of the Institute of Design at the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago, he will begin his new role on March 1, succeeding Ido Bruno. (Press release)

Brazil Names Venice Biennale Pick – Jonathas de Andrade will represent Brazil at the 2022 Venice Art Biennale, slated to take place in April. De Andrade is known for work that addresses the histories and legacies of colonialism and enslavement in Brazil and how they impact contemporary national identity and labor practices. The pavilion will be curated by Jacopo Crivelli Visconti. (Press release)

Australia Taps Venice Artist – In other Venice news, artist and noise musician Marco Fusinato, who is known for creating environments combining intense walls of sound with imagery, has been tapped to represent Australia at the Biennale. Alexie Glass-Kantor, the director of Artspace in Sydney, will curate the pavilion. (Press release)



Sally Mann Wins the Prix Pictet – American artist Sally Mann has been awarded the $100,000 Prix Pictet, the world’s top photography prize, given to artists whose work communicates messages about sustainability. Mann was recognized for her “Blackwater” series (2008–12), which captures the devastating wildfires around the Great Dismal Swamp in southeastern Virginia. The series that evokes parallels between the wildfires there—where the first ships carrying enslaved people came to the U.S.—and the history of racial conflict in America. (Guardian)


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