Art Industry News: Banksy’s Legendary Former Dealer Quits the Gallery Biz, Lamenting the Art World’s ‘Snobbery’ + Other Stories

Plus, the Met's maintenance workers get a hefty raise and Dread Scott plans to reenact America's largest slave rebellion.

Steve Lazarides at "The Art of Banksy" opening party. Courtesy of "The Art of Banksy."

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, September 10.


Dread Scott Will Reenact America’s Largest Slave Rebellion – The artist Dread Scott’s longstanding plan to recreate America’s largest slave revolt will become a reality in November. He will lead 500 costumed rebels as they re-stage the 1811 uprising against plantation owners at a site north of New Orleans. A work in progress since 2013, Scott’s two-day artistic reenactment will be filmed by fellow artist John Akomfrah. The project has become something of popular undertaking for many in the city: all year, sewing circles have been creating costumes; a professor at Xavier University of Louisiana is teaching a course on the uprising. “The legacy of slavery should be in the way and causing trouble,” Scott says. (Vanity Fair)

Boy Thrown From Tate Modern Balcony Is Recovering – The six-year-old boy who was thrown from Tate Modern’s viewing platform is making “amazing progress,” his family says. They have posted an update on a Go Fund Me page to raise money for his recovery informing the public that although he is still unable to speak or move his body, he can understand them. The boy, who is from France and was visiting the London museum with his parents, was allegedly pushed from the 10th-story balcony on August 4 by a teenager who faces a charge of attempted murder. The teenager’s mental health is being assessed ahead of his next court hearing. Tate Modern has reopened the balcony to the public. (New York Times)

Banksy’s Former Dealer Quits His Gallery – Steve Lazarides is quitting art dealing two years after opening the contemporary art gallery Lazinc in London’s Mayfair. His first project as a solo advisor will be sorting through the around 12,000 photographs he took of a young Banksy and publishing a book called Banksy Captured next month. Lazarides predicts that 75 percent of all galleries will be forced to close in five years. “It’s too expensive,” he says. (The Art Newspaper)

Thomas Heatherwick Defends Vessel The designer of the controversial 16-story-tall staircase at the heart of Hudson Yards has hit back at its many critics. Heatherwick says the whole point of the sculpture near the Shed in New York is to increase public access, calling it a “recreation space,” like Central Park or the High Line, rather than a strictly public space. Heatherwick also defends the ban against holding protests in the space, as well as eating and drinking, saying: “We forget that you’re not allowed to protest on many parts of local authority land; you’re not allowed to drink on the streets; there are surveillance cameras.” (Dezeen)


Read artnet’s Fall 2019 Intelligence Report – A special edition of the artnet Intelligence Report marking the 30th anniversary of artnet breaks down how the art world has transformed into a full-blown industry over the past 30 years. It also includes a primer on the contemporary African art market, a look at the decline in third-party auction guarantees, and much, much more. (artnet News)

Mariane Ibrahim Clashes With Shipper Over Lost Art – The artist Clotilde Jimenez and his Chicago-based dealer are determined to pursue a complaint against the London-based shipping company British Shop for the loss of Jimenez’s collage. Mariane Ibrahim was due to show the work at her booth at Expo Chicago this month. The shipper says the work “appears to have been the unlucky victim of an extraordinary set of events,” but has not offered any compensation or detailed explanation. (ARTnews)

Sprüth Magers to Represent the Darboven Estate – The gallery will rep the German conceptual artist Hanne Darboven, who died in 2009, worldwide. The gallery’s first solo show in Berlin with the artist opens at Sprüth Magers on September 12. She was renowned for her large-scale minimalist installations featuring handwritten tables of numbers and musical arrangements. (Press release)


FBI Returns Stolen Ukrainian Painting – A painting stolen by the Nazis during World War II has been returned by the FBI’s art crime team to the Ukrainian Embassy. The painting, Secret Departure of Ivan the Terrible Before the Oprichina by Mikhail N. Panin, was located in the Dnepropetrovsk Art Museum before the Nazi regime occupied Ukraine and stole the artwork in 1941. (Press release)

Steve Cohen Donates $5 Million to the Bruce Museum – The Bruce Museum in Greenwich, Connecticut has received a $5 million donation from the Steven and Alexandra Cohen Foundation. The money from the hedge-fund billionaire and his wife will support the museum’s education program and planned expansion. (Press release)

Open Call for Caribbean Art Initiative’s 2020 Exhibition  The Caribbean Art Initiative, a Swiss nonprofit focused on supporting Caribbean art and artists, has issued an open call for a curator to organize a show set to coincide with Art Basel next June. Curators from the Caribbean region are invited to help conceptualize and curate the group exhibition that will showcase artists from the region and its diaspora. Applications are open until September 27. (Press release)


The Met’s Maintenance Workers Win a Big Raise – As many museums face off with union workers, the Met has quietly reached an agreement with its own. The workers who keep the Met’s air conditioning going at its three sites have won a 63 percent raise. After a year of negotiations, the museum has agreed to pay assistant engineers $35 per hour, up from $22. Rawle Campbell, the union head of Local 1503, said: “HVAC workers at the Met are very happy,” though they will still be paid less than the $42 industry standard. Campbell revealed that the Met originally considered contracting out the work when it had trouble retaining staff, but ultimately decided to improve pay and training instead. (Hyperallergic)

Another Art Bro Gets Engaged to a Celebrity – Is 2019 officially the year of the art bro? Actress Jenny Slate has revealed she is now engaged to her boyfriend, the artist, curator, and writer Ben Shattuck. “He took me to France and made a picnic and made me feel happy and free and then he asked me to marry him and i screamed YES,” announced the bride-to-be on Instagram. (Vulture)

Gus Van Sant on Art-World Snobbery – Gus Van Sant—not only an acclaimed film director but a painter, too—is presenting his first New York solo show of large watercolors at Vito Schnabel Projects on September 12. But the filmmaker finds the art world unwelcoming: “When you’re anchored to the world as a filmmaker, people are like, ‘Well, they’re a filmmaker,'” he says. “So their attitude is to disregard what you’re doing.” (Hollywood Reporter)

The 9/11 Tribute Lights Altered to Protect Migrating Birds – Every year on September 11, two beams light up the sky in New York as a glowing tribute. Unfortunately, the anniversary of 9/11 coincides with the migration of several bird species and, as a recent study shows, the beams are luring birds off their normal flight paths and endangering up to 160,000 a year. To protect the birds, memorial organizers are working with scientists to shut the lights off for 20 minute intervals when the number of birds trapped in the light reaches 1,000. (NYT)

The World Trade Center Annual Memorial Lights. Photo by RJ Capak/WireImage.

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