Art Industry News: Why Parents Should Toss Their Kids’ Art in the Trash + Other Stories

Plus, artist Cory Arcangel opens a surfware shop in Norway and why a new law is stifling the German art market.

Enjoy it, but don’t save it. (Photo by Chris Hondros/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 18.


Cory Arcangel Launches a “Surf” Store in Norway – The artist has quietly launched a concept store in the coastal town of Stavanger in Norway. Called Arcangel Surfware Flagship, it looks a bit like a cell phone store and offers new pieces Arcangel made in collaboration with local fabricators, as well as items from his merchandise and software company Arcangel Surfware. Offerings include sweatpants, bedsheets, and fidget spinners. (ARTnews)

Artist Hangs a Painting of Putin in Trump’s Hotel – In a critique of Trump’s “cult of authoritarianism,” the artist Brian Whiteley sneakily hung a portrait of Vladimir Putin sitting in front of the White House on the wall of a room in the Trump Hotel in Washington, DC. Whiteley says that the painting hung there undisturbed for almost a month in August—but the hotel denies the painting was ever left on display. (Hyperallergic)

Why You Should Junk Your Kid’s Art – What’s more delightful than a refrigerator full of bright, oneiric artworks by your own adorable little Picasso or Cassat? Well, parents shouldn’t try to save them, Mary Townsend writes in a tough-love Atlantic essay decrying the impulse toward homegrown museology. “Don’t fall for it. You’re only trying to make yourself feel better,” she writes. “Childhood is made from a thousand moments just like this…. If it’s the act of making the art that’s useful and good for children, then let this part of the art live, and then let its results die.” (The Atlantic)

San Francisco Removes Racist Statue – The controversial monument Early Days, which depicts a missionary with a Native American groveling at his feet, has been removed after a decades-long battle. The bronze 2,000-pound statue was taken down Friday morning. It will be held at a fine arts storage facility until the city’s arts commission can make a final decision about its fate. (San Francisco Chronicle)


Bureaucracy Stifles German Auctions – Since a new cultural heritage protection law took effect in 2016 in Germany, German collectors have increasingly been selling consignments at auction houses outside the country. Despite being one of the world’s strongest economies, Germany has a relatively small share of the art market. In a ranking of total sales at European auction houses in the first months of 2018, produced by artnet Analytics in June, no German house figures into the top ten. (The Art Newspaper)

Street Artists Sell Work for Men’s Health – A charity auction called Against the Wall, which includes works by artists including Shepard Fairey, D*Face, and Invader, will benefit Movember, the annual men’s mental health charity that raises money throughout November. The sale will be held at Sotheby’s London on November 20. (Guardian)

Novelist Sells Presidential Portrait Collection – Writer Rumaan Alam and his husband, the photographer David Land, have amassed a hefty collection of amateur paintings of President George Washington. The couple are now seeking a buyer for 22 renditions of Gilbert Stuart’s famous Athenaeum portrait of George Washington, which ended up on the dollar bill. (New Yorker)

Barcelona Gallery Weekend Gets More Social – Some 28 art galleries will open their spaces for Barcelona Gallery Weekend, which launches on September 26. This year, the four-day event introduces a new program of meetings, visits, and social activities called Artévete. If successful, the initiative aimed at widening the city’s collector base could become a year-round fixture. (art-agenda)


Director Fired Ahead of Political Art Show – Cal State Long Beach’s College of the Arts has dismissed Kimberli Meyer, the director of the university’s art museum. Meyer, who for 15 years ran the MAK Center for Art and Architecture in Los Angeles, was about to open a solo show by lauren woods (who spells her name in lower case). It features a work about African Americans who have died due to police violence. Meyer has not commented on her abrupt departure. (Long Beach Post)

Norton Museum Names Director – Elliot Bostwick Davis is leaving the MFA Boston, where she is a curator, to become the director and CEO of the Norton Museum of Art in West Palm Beach. She succeeds Hope Alswang, who will retire in March 2019, one month after the Florida museum’s major expansion is complete. (ARTnews)

Liverpool Biennial Curator Named – The Ecuador-born, Mexico-based curator Manuela Moscoso will organize the 2020 edition of the Liverpool Biennial in the North West of England. The senior curator of the Museo Tamayo in Mexico City, Moscoso worked on the 2011 edition of the Queens Museum’s biennial. (ARTnews)

Knight Launches $5 Million Art-Tech Initiative – The Knight Foundation has launched $5 million initiative to boost digital development at two Philadelphia institutions: the Barnes Foundation and the Philadelphia Museum of Art. The Barnes will use the money to create a digital engagement center, while the PMA will work to improve its visitor experience both in the galleries and online. (Press release)


Gallerist Avoids Jail for Anti-Opioid Spoon – A Stamford judge has approved accelerated rehabilitation for Fernando Alvarez, who was arrested when he helped install a sculpture of a giant drug spoon outside Purdue Pharma’s headquarters. The Connecticut gallerist will serve a one-year period of probation. He was convicted of a misdemeanor for obstructing free passage during the anti-Opioid protest in June. (Idaho Statesman)

The Prado Launches First Acquisition Campaign – The Madrid museum hopes to widen its donor base by launching its first public appeal to raise funds for an acquisition. It aims to raise €200,000 ($234,000) toward the purchase of  the French artist Simon Vouet’s Portrait of a Child (1620-22). (El Confidential)

Steve McQueen Will Create a Monumental School Photo – The mystery artist who is planning to photograph every seven-year-old schoolchild in London has been revealed as Steve McQueen. Work has begun on the Tate and Art Angel co-commission featuring every Year 3 class in each of London’s 2,410 primary schools. The epic portrait is due to fill Tate Britain’s Duveen Galleries in the fall of 2019. In 2020, the Turner Prize-winning artist will get a major survey at Tate Modern. (Press release)

PsychoBarn Arrives in London – A sculpture last seen on the roof of the Met in New York has arrived at the Royal Academy of Arts in London. The artist Cornelia Parker’s installation, which was inspired by both the Bates House in Alfred Hitchcock’s film Psycho and an Edward Hopper painting, will be on view for the next six months. The future of the first Met roof commission by a female artist was in doubt before funds for dismantling and storing the salvaged timber were secured. (Press release)



Follow Artnet News on Facebook:

Want to stay ahead of the art world? Subscribe to our newsletter to get the breaking news, eye-opening interviews, and incisive critical takes that drive the conversation forward.