Art Industry News: Art Dealer Who Had an Affair With Princess Diana Dies + Other Stories

Plus, the Tate outsources artists' biographies to Wikipedia and Qatar's royal family eyes a Paris exhibition space.

Princess Diana. Photo PATRICK RIVIERE/AFP/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 Tuesday, September 11.


Tate Criticized for Using Wikipedia Biographies – Many of the artists’ biographies on the Tate’s website—including those of William Hogarth, Henry Moore, Lucien Freud, David Hockney, and Damien Hirst—are by Wikipedia authors, errors and all. The broadcaster and art dealer Bendor Grosvenor has complained about inaccuracies and a focus on trivial facts, such as a reference to the “Van Dyke [sic] beard” named after the Flemish artist. Only around 100 biographies are by the Tate’s staff due to “the constraints of our resources,” a spokeswoman says. (The Art Newspaper)

Qatar Ponders Paris Exhibition Space – Qatar’s Al-Thani family—the dynasty largely behind the Qatar Museums Authority, the Museum of Islamic Art, and Mathaf—is in negotiations to open a space in Paris by 2020 to show highlights from its collection. Le Monde reports that the favored site for the temporary exhibition space overlooks the Place de la Concorde in the 8th Arrondissement. For around €20 million ($23 million), the Qatari royals would secure the space in L’hôtel de la Marine for 20 years. (Art Market Monitor)

Art Dealer Who Was Princess Diana’s Lover Has Died – Oliver Hoare, the dealer in Islamic art who hit the headlines when it emerged that he had had an affair with Princess Diana, has died at age 73. She reportedly bombarded him with calls when their relationship cooled. Married to the French oil heiress Diane de Waldner, Hoare made a fortune selling art to Sheik Saud Al Thani, the extravagant cousin of the Emir of Qatar. (Daily Mail)

Pussy Riot Members Arrested Yet Again – Two members of the activist collective were arrested in Moscow after being stopped by police over the weekend while driving. Veronika Nikulshina, who gatecrashed the FIFA World Cup Final, and a friend were detained after they refused to agree to a “terrorist check” of their car. Meanwhile, artist and Pussy Riot spokesman Peter Verzilov was taken into custody for unspecified reasons. The group tweeted: “Moscow police is still mad after the World Cup action.” (Dazed)


Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Blockchain – Hype or Holy Grail? Georgina Adam analyzes the central players and the myriad applications of blockchain to the art market. Her takeaway? A secure database of information about provenance, authenticity, and ownership is a good thing—but those interested in buying fractional art ownerhip should beware. (TAN)

Company Offers Collectors Loans to Buy Art – The Australian company Art Money, which offers collectors installment loans to buy art and pays galleries and dealers up front—is expanding to the US and Europe. CEO Paul Becker says that last year, the company facilitated about A$5 million ($3.5 million) in sales and that 30 percent of borrowers were making their first purchase from a gallery. (Arts Hub)

Art Dusseldorf Announces Exhibitors – The second edition of the fair in November includes 41 newcomers, among them Eigen + Art, Société, Kadel Willborn, Akinci, and TKG* from Taipei. A jury of curators will choose the best booth in Post-Lehman, the section for young galleries, and the winner will receive an additional 50 percent discount on their booth fee. (Press release)


MassArt Gets $12.6 Million for New Exhibition Space – The Massachusetts College of Art and Design has raised $12.6 million to update its Bakalar & Paine Galleries thanks to contributions from 424 donors. Alumnus Arne Glimcher, the founder of Pace Gallery, donated $1 million. (ARTnews)

Tate Names New International Photography Curator – Yasufumi Nakamori has been named Tate Modern’s new international curator of photography, replacing Simon Baker. Nakamori previously led the photography departments at the Minneapolis Institute of Art and Houston’s Museum of Fine Arts. (British Journal of Photography)

LarbitsSisters Win New Media Prize – The Brussels-based duo have won the NOVA New Media Interactive Art Prize for emerging artists working with technology. The $16,000 award is an initiative by the Beijing Contemporary Art Foundation and the Big House Contemporary Art Center in Wuhan, China. (Artforum)

David and Yuko Juda Foundation First Prize Winner Announced – Irish artist Kathy Prendergast is the inaugural recipient of the new award of £50,000 ($65,210). The prize, established by the foundation of the London-based dealer David Juda and his partner, the artist Yuko Shiraishi, aims to give artists financial freedom to focus on their work. (Press release)


AI Can Read Medieval Graffiti – National Technical University of Ukraine and Huizhou University’s School of Information Science and Technology in China have joined forces to create artificial intelligence that can detect and classify ancient graffiti scrawled on the St. Sophia in Kiev, Ukraine. The 11th-century church has 300 pieces of medieval graffiti on its walls. (Smithsonian)

Mandela Foundation Is Upset by Nazi Artwork – The Mandela Foundation has condemned a work by the controversial South African artist Ayanda Mabulu that was on view at the FNB Joburg Art Fair last weekend. The work depicts Nelson Mandela giving the Nazi salute, overlaid with a Swastika. (Eyewitness News)

Critics Bemoan Absence of Portuguese Artists in the São Paulo Biennial – For the first time in its 67-year history, there are no Portuguese artists in the São Paulo Biennial, which runs through December 9. Some critics lamented the absence, which has yet to be confirmed as intentional. The curatorial duties were distributed among autonomous artist-curators, creating what our critic Ben Davis called an “Exquisite Corpse take on a biennial.” (Diaro de Noticias, Publico)

Manics’ Bassist Gets an Art Show – The Manic Street Preachers’ bassist, Nicky Wire, who was performing on Sunday in London’s Hyde Park, is getting his first solo show at Tenby Museum & Art Gallery. The small gallery in South Wales is opening “Paintings and Polaroids” on September 15. Wire says he is proud to follow “a fine tradition of bass-playing artists: The Clash’s Paul Simonon, Sonic Youth’s Kim Gordon, and Paul McCartney.” The museum’s collection manager, Mark Lewis, has offered a sneak peek via Instagram. (Wales Online)

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