Art Industry News: David Hockney Designed a Stained-Glass Window for Westminster Abbey on His iPad + Other Stories

Plus, Isa Genzken wins the $100,000 Nasher Sculpture Prize and why Roman Abramovich was denied a Swiss passport.

David Hockney, The Queen's Window, Westminster Abby, Photo by Alan Williams.

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 Wednesday, September 26.


Why Abramovich Was Denied a Swiss Passport – The Russian billionaire art collector lost a court battle against newspapers seeking to publish the confidential police information that led Swiss authorities to reject his request for a passport. After a judge granted a Swiss media consortium permission to publish, they revealed that the police had advised authorities to reject his application because of suspicions of “money laundering and presumed contact with criminal organizations.” Abramovich’s Swiss lawyer denounced the claims as “defamatory.” (New York Times)

Staff Files Complaint Against the Mattress Factory – Three former employees and one current staff member have filed a complaint with the National Labor Relations Board against the celebrated Pittsburgh institution for its handling of sexual harassment and assault allegations against a museum employee. The women say museum leadership sought to downplay the severity of their accusations and even retaliated against some of its critics. The museum’s board chair says the institution responded appropriately. (NPR)

See Hockney’s Stained Glass Window at Westminster – The artist designed the window using his trusty iPad, which he explained was helpfully backlit, just like a stained-glass window. The composition in the Abbey’s north transept will be inaugurated with a formal dedication ceremony on October 2. The Queen’s Window is David Hockney’s first work in stained glass and depicts a colorful country scene to pay tribute to the British monarch’s affection for the countryside. (Guardian)

One Art Critic Isn’t Happy With That New Theory About Courbet – The Guardian’s art critic Jonathan Jones has leapt to the defense of Joanna Hiffernan, who was previously believed to have been the model for Courbet’s Origin of the World. He is upset by a researcher’s claim that French dancer Constance Queniaux was in fact the subject of the artist’s revolutionary nude. Jones, who will soon publish his own book about Courbet, writes that Hiffernan “still has a claim to have possessed the Mona Lisa of vaginas.” (Guardian)


Trump Has Chilling Effect on Iran’s Art Market – The once-rising market for Iranian art has been stifled by the policies of US President Donald Trump. Two European companies and one American brand, for example, pulled out of plans to sponsor the 2017 Iranian Pavilion in Venice after Trump renewed economic sanctions and launched the travel ban. But not everyone is pessimistic. CAMA Gallery’s Ava Moradi says: “Regardless of anything the Iranian art market is going to [keep going] higher.” (CNN)

Marfa Gets an Art Fair – The remote Texas town that Donald Judd put on the art-world map is getting an art fair. Marfa International is due to launch in April 2019 with 10 participating galleries. The fair was founded by the artist and gallerist Michael Phelan, who runs Marfa’s United Artists Ltd., and former investment banker Kenneth Bauso. (ARTnews)

NADA Miami Exhibitors Announced – The fair has announced the 125 exhibitors heading to Ice Palace Studios in North Miami in December. Thirty-seven of them are making their NADA debuts. Solo presentations include Hamishi Farah (at Chateau Shatto), Tyree Guyton (at Martos Gallery), and Purvis Young (at James Fuentes). (Press release)

Max Hetzler Expands to London – Galerie Max Hetzler, which operates in Berlin and Paris, is opening a London space on September 29. The first-floor gallery at 41 Dover Street will launch with a 1980s-themed group show to coincide with a parallel exhibition in its Berlin space. In November, the UK gallery will host a solo show of early paintings by André Butzer. (Press release)


Getty Foundation Director to Retire – Deborah Marrow will step down at the end of December after more than 30 years in leadership roles at the J. Paul Getty Trust. She will take a year’s sabbatical and then return to assist in the transition ahead of her official retirement in January 2020. Marrow is in charge of the trust’s grant-making, played a key role in launching the influential Pacific Standard Time initiative, and introduced the Getty’s multicultural undergraduate internship program. (Press release)

Isa Genzken Wins the Nasher Sculpture Prize – The German artist known for her architectural installations and prolific, multimedia practice (and whose rose sculpture was recently erected in Lower Manhattan’s Zuccotti Park) has won the 2019 edition of the $100,000 sculpture prize given by the Nasher Sculpture Center in Dallas. She will be honored at a ceremony in Dallas in April. (NYT)

The Philanthropist Jane Fortune Has Died – The founder and president of the nonprofit Advancing Women Artists Foundation died on September 23. She was responsible for funding the restoration of 55 Italian artworks by female artists for galleries including the Uffizi, Santa Croce, the Accademia, and the San Marco Museum, and spearheaded the rediscovery of Plautilla Nelli’s oeuvre. (Press release)

Bill Cosby’s Walk of Fame Star Stays Put – Following news of the actor’s three- to 10-year prison sentence, the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce has responded to those petitioning for Cosby’s star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame to be removed. The organization says Cosby’s star will remain in place because of its policy never to remove stars, which “only commemorate the recipients’ professional accomplishments.” (Vulture)


Swedish Museums Want a Nazi-Looted-Art Panel – The outgoing director of Stockholm’s Moderna Museet, Daniel Birnbaum, is calling on the Swedish government to create an expert panel to consider Nazi-era restitution claims. “It shouldn’t be entirely up to us to interpret the Washington Principles,” he says. The museum recently returned a work by Oskar Kokoschka to the heirs of its original Jewish owners. (The Art Newspaper)

New York Plans a High-Concept Pizza Museum – The pop-up Museum of Pizza (aka MoPi) has announced the artists who will bring cheese-topped inspiration to the William Vale in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, between October 13 and 28. Commissions include a pizza beach (your guess is as good as ours) by Adam Green, a fluorescent blacklight pizza vortex by Signe Pierce and Emma Stern, and “Psychedelic Pizza Parlor,” a group show curated by RJ Supa. (Press release)

Whitechapel Presents Ulla von Brandenburg’s Candy Fest – For the artist’s latest video, she restaged an unexpected incident that occurred at the gallery during the 1973 exhibition “Sweets,” when hundreds of schoolchildren overpowered the guard on duty to gobble up all of the exhibits (candies from around Europe meant to celebrate the UK’s entry into the European Common Market). Von Brandenburg cast children from a local school for Sweet Feast, which visitors can now watch on a large colorful structure created by the artist. (Art Daily)

Meghan Markle Visits the Royal Academy – The Duchess of Sussex’s first solo royal engagement was a visit to the opening of the Royal Academy’s “Oceania” exhibition last night. The exhibition of historic artifacts—including ornaments, canoes, and images from the region lent by major museums—marks 250 years since the British explorer James Cook explored the Pacific. Markle and Prince Harry will make their first royal visit to the region next month. (Reuters)

Meghan, Duchess of Sussex is welcomed with a traditional Maori greeting of rubbing noses known as a ‘hongi’ as she opens “Oceania” at the Royal Academy of Arts on September 25, 2018, in London. “Oceania” is the first-ever major survey of Oceanic art to be held in the United Kingdom. (Photo by Arthur Edwards – WPA Pool/Getty Images)

Meghan, Duchess of Sussex views an exhibit as she opens “Oceania.” (Photo by Arthur Edwards – WPA Pool/Getty Images)

Meghan, Duchess of Sussex views an exhibit as she opens “Oceania” at the Royal Academy of Arts. (Photo by Arthur Edwards – WPA Pool/Getty Images)



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