Art Industry News: Solange Challenges Art Museums Over Racial Bias + More Must-Read Stories

Plus, Wolfgang Tillmans launched a new poster campaign ahead of German elections and Kevin Spacey will play J. Paul Getty.

Singer Solange Knowles attends the Maryam Nassir Zadeh fashion show during New York Fashion Week on September 12, 2017. Photo: Mireya Acierto/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 Friday, September 15.


Is Arte Povera Having a Moment in Manhattan? – German collector Ingvild Goetz speaks about the major show she curated of 150 works by key Arte Povera figures. The exhibition takes place at Hauser & Wirth’s pop-up location—the old Dia building on West 22nd Street in Manhattan—and is on view through October 28. Goetz hopes to bring more attention to the movement on its 50th anniversary year. (ARTnews)

Madonna Might Never Have Opened Tupac’s Love Letter – According to a recent deposition reported on by Page Six, the letter from Shakur at the center of the controversial Darlene Lutz auction may never have been opened by the singer, who was unable to recall whether she had given her ex-assistant discretion over what to do with her fan mail at the time. It remains to be decided whether the letter is Lutz’s to sell. (Page Six)

Solange Challenges Museums’ Racial Bias – Over the past few years, Beyoncé’s sister has been breaking into the art world as a performance artist, but in a recent talk at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago she criticized (without naming names) a prevailing institutional prejudice that says “as a black artist, you should just be happy to be here.” (ARTnews)

Remembering the Time When Dealers Could be Dreamers – Art critic Karen Rosenberg reviews Peter Freeman, Inc.’s tribute exhibition to charismatic 1960s dealer Richard Bellamy, on view through October 28. Bellamy’s Green Gallery launched the solo debuts of artists like Donald Judd and Claes Oldenburg, but if the dealer were working today, his relaxed business model might not have been enough to keep the gallery afloat in today’s art market. (New York Times)


London’s Summer Sales, Analyzed – Art Market Monitor publisher Marion Maneker assesses that this summer’s contemporary art sales saw few high-value lots and no dominant story. Together, Sotheby’s, Phillips, and Bonhams sold 392 of 470 lots, totaling just £114 million. The low yield suggests buyers are looking for lower price points in perhaps undervalued artists or established artists’ work that’s overlooked by the market. (Art Market Monitor)

Do the Rybolovlev Texts Reveal Corruption in Monaco? – A DVD containing hundreds of texts messages from the phone of Dmitri Rybolovlev’s lawyer is at the heart of a Monegasque scandal that might implicate police officers and magistrates in corruption. The text messages reportedly contradict the Russian billionaire’s court testimony that he was not in touch with Monaco judiciary during the arrest of Yves Bouvier. (Le Monde)

Andy Warhol Coke Bottle to Lead Christie’s Frieze Week Auction – The iconic Coke Bottle (1962) is the centerpiece of “Up Close,” the specially curated evening auction to take place on October 3 during London’s Frieze Week. The early silkscreen will carry an estimate of £1,800,000 – £2,500,000 ($2,442,987 – $3,393,037). (Press release)


Chinese Artist Huang Rui’s Studio to be Demolished – The Chinese government notified Huang that his studio, which is located in Beijing’s 798 Art Zone, will be torn down to make room for billions of trees, in order to fulfill a campaign promise made by Chinese president Xi Jinping. The artist has written to the local government to request that the studio be turned into a cultural center, but has yet to receive a response. (Artforum)

Collectors to Found Eastern European Art Organization – This October collectors Irmina Nazar and Artur Trawinski will establish the European ArtEast Foundation, an organization that will benefit exhibitions of Eastern European Art. The foundation will be London-based, with director Jonathan Tybel timing its launch to coincide with Frieze Art Fair. (ARTnews)

Painter Axel Kasseböhmer Has Died – Sprüth Magers, which has represented the artist since 1984, confirmed the passing of painter Axel Kasseböhmer, whose landscape paintings can be found in the Museum für Moderne Kunst in Frankfurt, the Bundeskunsthalle in Bonn, and the Museum of Modern Art in New York. (Artforum)


Kevin Spacey to Play J. Paul Getty in Ridley Scott’s New Film – The Oscar-winning actor is nearly unrecognizable in his role as J. Paul Getty in All the Money in the World, which tells the story of the 1973 kidnap of John Paul Getty III in Italy. The movie opens on December 8. (Variety)

The New Yorker Unveils Cover Art It Planned Had Hillary Clinton Won – Amid the promotional tour of her new book, which details her defeat in the 2016 US Presidential Election, The New Yorker has revealed the cover it would have published had she won: a painting by French illustrator Malika Favre titled The First. The haunting image shows a depiction of Clinton in the Oval Office gazing out at a bright moon. (Independent)

Rare Roman Relics Unearthed Along Hadrian’s Wall – A bevy of treasures has been discovered by researchers in Vindolanda, a Roman cavalry fort along Hadrian’s Wall in Northumberland, England. Included among the artifacts are rare cavalry swords, two toy wooden swords, ballista bolts, brooches, arrowheads, leather shoes, knives, bath clogs, writing tablets and pens, and cavalry lances. (Smithsonian Mag)

Wolfgang Tillmans Launches New Poster Campaign  Following the artist’s viral posters that warned of the impending threat of Brexit last year, Tillmans has created a new series of seven placards calling out the rising tide of German nationalism and the country’s new right-wing nationalist party Alternativ für Deustchland (Alternative for Germany). Tillmans’s posters are available for download on his website. (Monopol)

Image: Courtesy Wolfgang Tillmans.

Image: Courtesy Wolfgang Tillmans.

Image: Courtesy Wolfgang Tillmans.

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