Art Industry News: Pace, Gagosian, and Acquavella Have Formed an Ongoing Alliance to Take On the Big Auction Houses + Other Stories

Plus, writer Roxane Gay discusses her new art-collecting hobby and Sean Scully is now represented by Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac.

From left to right: Arne Glimcher, Bill Acquavella, Larry Gagosian, and Marc Glimcher. Photo © Axel Depuex.

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, September 10.


Where Do Joe Biden and Kamala Harris Stand on the Arts? – While they have yet to release a formal agenda on arts and culture, both presidential hopefuls on the Democratic ticket have a proven relationship to the art world, especially when compared with the current Republican administration. Biden was a cosponsor of 2003 legislation that sought to establish the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, DC. Harris, meanwhile, recently co-sponsored an act to establish a Smithsonian National Museum of the American Latino. (Hyperallergic)

Christian Cooper Turns His Birding Experience Into a Graphic Novel – Comic-book author Christian Cooper, whose experience having the police called on him by a white woman in Central Park while birdwatching last year became a national story, has made a new graphic novel reflecting on the episode. It’s a Bird is out now with DC Comics. In the short story, a Black teenager realizes his bird-watching binoculars also show the images of Black people killed by police. (New York Times)

Arne Glimcher on Pace’s New Challenge – The 82-year-old founder of Pace gallery doesn’t worry about other dealers who may not survive the current downturn. “I think the galleries that should survive will survive,” he says. “They’ll make themselves survive.” His plan for survival includes AGP, a separate company he set up with Acquavella and Gagosian, with the aim of nabbing estates from auction houses. Their first get was the Donald Marron estate earlier this year—and while no others are currently confirmed, a spokesperson declined to comment to the Canvas about whether other bids are outstanding. (Wall Street JournalCanvas)

How Fingerprints Are Helping Identify Cave Artists – Scientists have been using fingerprint analysis to learn more about the prehistoric artists behind the art in the Los Machos cave in Spain. It was previously thought that men played the dominant role in producing the work, but this study suggests that it was a community effort, involving women and children. In Los Machos, the art was created by a man who was at least 36 years old and a young woman who was between the ages of 10 and 16. (The Art Newspaper)


Startup Selling Shares In Blue-Chip Art Is Doing Plenty Of Business – While many art businesses are struggling, Masterworks, a startup selling fractional ownership of artworks, is blooming, according to its founder. The company, which makes art investing a possibility for those with smaller wallets, has been gaining about 10,000 users a month. (Bloomberg)

Sean Scully Joins Ropac Gallery – Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac has announced that it will be taking over European representation of Sean Scully. The artist was previously represented by the now-defunct Blain Southern gallery, and continues to be co-represented in Europe by Kerlin Gallery (Dublin) and Kewenig Galerie (Berlin). His first show with Ropac will be in spring 2021 at its Marais gallery in Paris. (Press release)

Roxane Gay Is an Art Collector – Author Roxane Gay discusses her new hobby: art collecting. “I am a writer who writes about things like Black feminism so I won’t be getting any original Basquiats anytime soon,” she says. “Regardless, I love looking at art.” Currently, she’s particularly fascinated by the work of American fiber artist Bisa Butler. “[H]er quilts are magnificent. I would love to own one someday but until then, I am glad I can see images of her work. I am glad an artist like her is out in the world, representing.” (Vanity Fair)


Biennale of Sydney Taps an Artistic Director for 2022 – The Colombian curator José Roca has been named artistic director of the next Biennale of Sydney, scheduled for March 12 to June 13, 2022. The curator, who heads up the Bogotá nonprofit LORA ars+natura, promises the biennial will engage with issues of sustainability, nature, and the Indigenous knowledge that enables subsistence across different territories and waterways, “but also the enablers of colonial enterprise.” (Artforum)

The Dutch Royals Send Carriage to a Museum – The Dutch royal family have donated a controversial carriage adorned with a triptych depicting South Asian and African people prostrating before a bethroned white woman following public campaigning. The golden coach bearing the Homage of the Colonies triptych is being retired from official royal business, and will go on view next year at the Amsterdam Museum. (Hyperallergic)


The Wildenstein Family Is Selling Two Major Estates – The art-dealing Wildenstein clan is selling two of its luxurious properties; a family compound in Millbrook, New York, and an equestrian property in Connecticut. Both come with ample acreage and are on the market respectively for $14 million and $6.9 million, with the option to purchase additional land. (WSJ)

Magnum Photographer Accused of Plagiarism – A Chicago documentary photographer, Tonika Lewis Johnson, has accused Magnum photographer Alec Soth of copying her long-term photographic series the Folded Map Project for a New York Times commission. Johnson says Soth’s photo essay exploring the income inequality and historic segregation of her hometown echoed her work juxtaposing images of people who live at corresponding addresses on Chicago’s North and South sides. Soth says he didn’t know about Johnson’s work. (TAN)

This Sculpture Saves the Bees – A bee-saving sculpture by the artist-physicist Jasmine Pradissitto has been installed at the Horniman Museum in London. The sculpture of a sleeping woman is called Flower Girl, and is made with a polymer called NoxTek that absorbs nitrogen dioxide from the air, a toxic pollutant that also masks the scent of flowers from bees. (TAN)

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