Art Industry News: Collector Pamela Anderson Says the Art Market Is ‘a Little Corrupt’ But ‘Just Part of Living a Sexy Life’

Plus, Frieze launches a fellowship for curators of color and a top dealer and curator face charges of bribery in France.

Actress Pamela Anderson and artist David Hockney attend the opening reception for David Hockney's
Actress Pamela Anderson and artist David Hockney attend the opening reception for David Hockney's "A Bigger Book" at TASCHEN Gallery on November 28, 2016 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by David Livingston/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 on this Wednesday, September 23.


New York Museums Get a Boost From Rockefeller – The Rockefeller Brothers Fund is giving $1.5 million to New York City museums that are making efforts to show and promote artists from underrepresented groups. It is giving out six-figure grants to institutions including the Africa Center, El Museo del Barrio, and the Studio Museum to support projects helping New York creatives through education programs, residencies, or rent-free studio space. The director of the fund’s arts and culture program says that organizations have a responsibility to deconstruct the hurdles excluding BIPOC, LGBTQ+, and women artists from opportunities and to “set a model for the sector to transform its approaches to diversity and representation.” (ARTnews)

Paris Court Case Suggests a Dicey Deal Between a Gallery and Curator – A former director of Asian arts at Marlborough Gallery, Philippe Koutouzis, and a retired curator from the Guimet Museum, Jean-Paul Desroches, are due to appear in court in Paris facing charges of bribery. Prosecutors allege that Marlborough and the family of the artist Chu Teh-Chun paid the curator in exchange for an exhibition of the Chinese-born artist’s work at the museum in order to promote his market. Desroches is accused of receiving €20,000 (about $23,000) for a curatorial text about a series of 56 painted vases as well as three trips to Madrid, Beijing, and Hong Kong paid for by the gallery or Chu’s family. The curator denies the allegations of bribery. (The Art Newspaper)

Pamela Anderson on Her Relationship to the Art World – In a column for the FT‘s “How to Spend It,” the actress, creative director of social-media site Jasmin, and art collector dishes about her taste in art and her experience as a muse for Richard Prince, Ed Ruscha, and Jeff Koons. “You could say that while I collect pop art, pop artists also collect me,” she says, noting that she believes in retrospect that her many Playboy covers were also pop art. As for the art world itself, Anderson approaches it with a light touch. Unlike some of her friends, who “manipulate the market a little bit” by bidding up or offering works by artists they own at charity auctions, she doesn’t collect for investment or profit. “It is a little corrupt, I guess. But like everything else, I don’t know, it’s just part of living a sexy life,” she concludes. We couldn’t agree more. (Financial Times)

Is Manifesta a Model for Future Biennials? – The roving international biennial Manifesta went ahead with its latest edition in Marseille despite travel restrictions that prevented the majority of international visitors from seeing it. Advancing an argument for biennials becoming more relevant to their local communities, curators chose to focus on the specific struggles the city is facing, including a housing crisis. Founder Hedwig Fijen said the event is “looking for alternative relevance,” not just “having tourists attracted to a city and spending a lot of money there.” In fact, this narrowed focus may have a longer lasting impact on a city’s cultural landscape and associated economic benefits. (New York Times)


Xavier Hufkens Now Reps Huma Bhabha – The US-based Pakistani sculptor known for her monumental, totemic forms has joined the roster of the Belgian powerhouse gallery Xavier Hufkens. The artist earned the prestigious Met rooftop commission in 2018. (Press release)

A Rare Ruscha Text Work Heads to Christie’s – Christie’s is offering a text work by Ed Ruscha, City, With Marbles (1969), in its upcoming contemporary art day sale on October 7 in New York. The work, which last hit the market in 2007 and sold for $992,000, carries an upper estimate of $3.5 million. It is reportedly the last work in the series in private hands. (Art Market Monitor)


Myra Levick, Pioneer of Art Therapy,  Dies – The clinical psychologist who helped establish the field of art therapy died on September 16 at 96. At a time when women rarely worked outside the home, she helped create a graduate-level art therapy program at Hahnemann Medical College and Hospital in the 1960s. She eventually became director of the program. (Inquirer)

Frieze Launches Fellowship for POC Curators – Frieze is launching an emerging curators fellowship in partnership with Deutsche Bank and Chisenhale Gallery. The fund will be supported by sales of a sustainably made protective face mask and case designed by British artist Idris Khan. UK-based POC curators are eligible to apply for the inaugural fellowship beginning January 2021. (Press release)


Seven on Seven Gets a Makeover for the Social-Distancing Era – Rhizome’s collaborative event, which pairs artists with experts from the field of technology to create something new together, has a new format (45-minute sessions) and a new partner (Kunsthall Stavanger in Norway). The seven-day event kicks off on October 5 with a collaboration between artist Shu Lea Cheang and Kate Adamala, a synthetic biologist at the University of Minnesota. (Press release)

Artists Collab With Woman Discriminated Against at Musée d’Orsay – A French photography duo, Coste & Billy, has collaborated with @jeavnne, the woman who says she was discriminated against for her outfit on a visit to the Musée d’Orsay. Their portrait features her standing before burning images of works at the museum and is accompanied by a feminist text by Jeanne spearing the sexualization of women’s bodies. (Press release)


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