Art Industry News: The US Park Service Fears Trump’s Border Wall Could Harm Archaeological Sites + Other Stories

Plus, Fridays for Future wants your art and Grayson Perry says that, when it comes to sales, the 1 percent are an artist's best friend.

View of workers setting up the second wall in the Mexico-US border. Photo: Agustin Paullier/AFPGetty 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 on this Friday, September 20.


Women’s Increased Representation in the Art World Is an Illusion – Leading US art museums still tend to acquire work by male artists even though female artists are getting more solo shows. Research by artnet News’s executive editor Julia Halperin and Charlotte Burns, the editor of Art Agency, Partners’ In Other Words podcast, reveals that while curators are pushing for female artists’ work, museum acquisition committees are “preoccupied with name recognition,” and are still wedded to the male-dominated art market. They found that female artists’ work amounted to only 2 percent of global art sales over the past decade. (New York Times) (Guardian)

The Istanbul Biennial Makes a Splash Despite Political Unease – Turkey’s increasingly authoritarian president Recep Tayyip Erdogan has led a crackdown against freedom of expression that’s caused greater artistic self-censorship. This year’s Istanbul Biennial focused on environmental concerns and explicitly political works are conspicuously absent. But Istanbul’s new contemporary art space Arter includes a few subtly critical works. Eyebrows were raised when the new Odunpazari Modern Museum in the city of Eskisehir, which Erdogan opened, included a text-based work of art by the president himself. (New York Times)

Park Service Is Worried Trump’s Wall Could Harm Archaeology – President Trump’s planned extension of the US-Mexico border wall could damage 22 archaeological sites in the Sonoran Desert in southwestern Arizona. An internal report by the National Park Service, obtained by the Washington Post, reveals experts’ concerns about the Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument in particular. Archaeologists found ceramic shards, stone tools, and other pre-Columbian artifacts when they spent five days surveying the route of the wall and service. In public, the Park Service has been more circumspect, saying it works with the Department of Homeland Security to protect monuments and [natural] resources. (The Art Newspaper

Italy and France Settle Feud Over Leonardo and Raphael Exchanges – Italy’s new coalition government, and the return of Dario Franceschini as its culture minister, has led to the restoration of friendly cultural relations with France. Franceschini is due to sign a new agreement with his French counterpart so that loans of works by Leonardo da Vinci from Italy’s museums to the Louvre for its big show will go ahead after all. (They had been thrown in doubt by the former culture minister, a member of a populist party.) The new agreement is expected to pave the way for French museums to lend works by Raphael in 2020 when Italy marks the 500th anniversary of the Renaissance artist’s death. (The Guardian)


Thieves Target a French Chateau – A gang of masked thieves tied up the elderly owners of the 17th-century castle, Vaux-le-Vicomte, outside of Paris when they stole €2 million worth of valuables, including jewelry. The burglars ignored the works of art hanging on the walls, however. (The Local)

Camera From One of Marilyn Monroe’s Last Shoots Heads to Auction – Christie’s is auctioning the 1959 Hasselblad 500C camera used by the Hollywood photographer Douglas Kirkland in one of Marilyn Monroe’s last photo shoots. The sale, which includes prints of the star, has an upper estimate of $300,000. (Press release)

Controversial Pre-Columbian Art Auction Makes $1.3 Million – A controversial sale of pre-Columbian art went ahead although a Mayan sculpture was withdrawn after protest from Guatemala. Mexico also objected to the sale, alleging some works may have been looted. Alexandre Millon at Drouot shrugged off the negative publicity, selling 93 percent of the lots in a sale that totaled €1.2 million ($1.3 million). (TAN)

Grayson Perry Is Happy to Make Art for the 1 Percent – The artist’s new show at Victoria Miro gallery in London gently satirizes the taste of his super-rich collectors. The “tax-evading, equality-denying, planet-destroying ruling classes” are an artist’s best friend when it comes to sales, he points out. (Financial Times)


Land Art Photographer Gianfranco Gorgoni Has Died – The Italian photographer has died at age 77. Gorgoni was renowned for capturing Land Art as it evolved in the 1970s and onwards, including his iconic aerial views of Spiral Jetty by Robert Smithson, as well as for his portraits of US avant-garde artists like Robert Rauschenberg, Bruce Nauman, and Andy Warhol. (TAN)

Dia: Chelsea to Open in 2020 With Free Admission When Dia: Chelsea opens next fall with a project by Renata Lucas, it will join the four other Dia sites in New York City that have free admission. In fall 2022, it will open Dia: Soho, which will become its sixth admission-free space. The hope is that visitors will return multiple times to see the institution’s longterm projects. (Press release)

Blanton Museum Names Curator of Latin American Art – Vanessa Davidson will be the Blanton Museum of Art at the University of Texas’s new curator of Latin American art. She comes to the institution from the Phoenix Art Museum, where she worked as curator of Latin American art for eight years, and succeeds Beverly Adams, who joined the staff of the Museum of Modern Art in New York earlier this month. (Artforum)


National Portrait Gallery Adds Lin-Manuel Miranda, Anna Wintour to Collection – Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery has acquired portraits of some new faces, including Lin-Manuel Miranda, photographed by Mark Seliger, featured in his full Alexander Hamilton gear. A photograph by Annie Leibovitz captures Vogue editor Anna Wintour—without her iconic sunglasses. And Jeff Bezos looks on in a minimalist oil-on-canvas portrait by Robert McCurdy. (Vanity Fair)

Wes Anderson Brings His Kunstkammer to the Prada Foundation – Wes Anderson’s first try at curating is traveling to Milan. The exhibition, “Spitzmaus Mummy in a Coffin and Other Treasures,” was first exhibited at the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna last year, featuring an astounding 538 artworks and objects selected by the film director and his partner, the illustrator, designer, and writer Juman Malouf. The show will be on view from September 20, 2019, to January 13, 2020. (Art Daily)

Fridays for Future Wants Your Art – Major climate strikes take place the world over today as well as next Friday, September 27. Fridays for Future is inviting artists to submit works over social media with the hashtag #ArtForFuture that they will share each day during the next week of climate actions, and once a week after that. (Instagram)


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WEEK FOR CLIMATE STARTS TOMORROW! We need all of you in the streets during this week. If you are an artist or you like to paint or draw, we also need your art. Post your submission with the hashtag #ArtForFuture, and will share some of them everyday during the week of action, and once a week after that. We are looking forward to share your art with the world! ??? Earth. Gouache and pastel over paper. 2019 Ordnajela Zenitram: “This paint show the difference in scale between us and our planet. We, as individuals, may be small beings living in a big, mostly infinite, planet; but as society we are biggest, using and pressing the Earth in our own benefit, and destroying it on the path.”

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