Art Industry News: Is the Taliban Hunting Afghanistan’s Most Famous Golden Treasure? + Other Stories
Plus, MASS MoCA names a new director and New York's Port Authority will host a massive public art project inspired by JR.
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 Friday, September 24.
Port Authority Will Host a JR-Inspired Public Art Project – The massive, not-particularly-welcoming commuter hub that is Port Authority in Midtown Manhattan is getting a makeover—as an art gallery. Next month, the bus terminal will host a public art installation titled “Inside Out: NY Together,” an extension of French artist JR’s worldwide initiative. A 600-foot stretch of wall will feature black-and-white portraits of more than 1,200 everyday folks as they traverse the city. Visitors can get their own faces printed on demand at a mobile photo booth parked outside. (New York Times)
National Gallery of Australia Commissions Massive Sculpture – To celebrate its 40th anniversary, the National Gallery of Australia has enlisted artist Lindy Lee to create its largest and most expensive commission to date. The sculpture, titled Ouroboros, has a price tag of $14 million and will take the form of a 13-ton stainless steel design based on the theme of a snake eating its own tail. It will be unveiled at the main entrance of the museum in 2024. (Guardian)
Is the Taliban Hunting for Afghan Treasure? – Observers have expressed concern over the fate of Afghanistan’s rich cultural heritage and important archaeological sites following the Taliban takeover. Now, some experts are zeroing in on one particular prize: the so-called “Bactrian Treasure,” a collection of more than 20,000 largely gold artifacts found in 2,000-year-old graves in 1978. While the treasure was previously kept at the National Museum of Afghanistan, reports suggest its current whereabouts are unknown. (Live Science)
London’s National Gallery Acquires Art Once Destined for Hitler’s Museum – A Swiss landscape painting, Alexandre Calame’s Chalets at Rigi (1861), that once formed part of Hitler’s Führermuseum, is now on display at the National Gallery in London. Little is known about the provenance of the painting before it was shown at a gallery affiliated with the Nazi regime in 1943. It was later recovered by US troops in an Austrian salt mine. (The Art Newspaper)
MOVERS & SHAKERS
MASS MoCA Names Kristy Edmunds Director – After a 10-month search, Kristy Edmunds has been chosen to succeed Joe Thompson at the helm of the beloved contemporary art institution. Since 2011, she has served as director of UCLA’s Center for the Art of Performance and previously worked as artistic director for the Melbourne International Arts Festival. (Press release)
Hauser & Wirth Honchos Buy Richard Neutra House – Iwan and Manuela Wirth are the proud new owners of the $8.75 million Lovell Health House, designed by the Viennese architect in 1929 for a naturopathic doctor who gave the property his name. The Los Feliz home sprawls across more than 4,800 square feet and provides sweeping views of the city and mountains. It appears the mega-dealers got a bargain; the home had been sitting on the market for over a year at a significantly higher price. (Dirt, Wet Paint)
Future Generation Art Prize Shortlist Revealed – The PinchukArtCentre has revealed the 21 shortlisted artists for the sixth edition of its closely watched prize. Their work will be the subject of an exhibition in Kiev, and the winner will receive $100,000. The lucky artists include Wendimagegn Belete (Ethiopia), Aziz Hazara (Afghanistan), Ho Rui An (Singapore), Agata Ingarden (Poland), Rindon Johnson (USA), and Bronwyn Katz (South Africa). (Press release)
FOR ART’S SAKE
Storm King Is Getting a Martin Puryear Sculpture – The celebrated sculptor, who represented the United States at the 2019 Venice Biennale, is putting a permanent stamp on the upstate New York art mecca with his first work ever constructed from brick. Set to debut in 2023, the permanent site-specific commission will reside at the edge of the North Woods on the museum’s grounds, standing some 2o feet high and measuring 19 feet in diameter. (TAN)
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