Art Industry News: Is This Uncanny Hand the Oldest Bronze Sculpture in Europe? + Other Stories

Plus, a Pussy Riot member is released from the hospital after an alleged poisoning and Canada opens its first Indigenous sculpture park.

The hand of Prêles, which weighs nearly 500g, was cast in bronze with tin. The thin gold plate applied above the wrist is adorned with delicate scrolls. ©Archaeological Service of the Canton of Berne, Philippe Joner.

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 Thursday, September 27.


The Dark Side of Instagram Museums – Critic Amanda Hess visited as many pop-up “selfie” museums as she could this summer to try to understand the phenomenon. What she found in so-called experiential museums like the Color Factory and the Museum of Ice Cream was a lot of photo ops and little content. “By classifying these places as experiences, their creators seem to imply that something happens there,” she writes. “But what? Most human experiences don’t have to announce themselves as such.” (New York Times)

A New Book Revisits the Women of Ab-Ex – In the new book Ninth Street Women: Lee Krasner, Elaine de Kooning, Grace Hartigan, Joan Mitchell, and Helen Frankenthaler, author Mary Gabriel looks at the artistic legacies of a group of female painters who were central to the Modern art movement in New York alongside Jackson Pollock, Willem de Kooning, and Robert Motherwell, but who have been comparably overlooked. (NYT)

Is This Hand the Oldest Bronze Sculpture in Europe? – Archaeologists have dated a bronze hand, called “the hand of Prêles,” to be around 3,500 years old. The work was unearthed last October, but Swiss experts have recently announced that they believe the bronze, gold-cuffed hand and accompanying dagger, which was found in a grave, may be the oldest of its kind in Europe. (Popular Mechanics)

A Pussy Riot Is Member Released From Hospital – One of the activists and Pussy Riot members who stormed the FIFA World Cup final, Pyotr Verzilov, has left a Berlin hospital where he was being treated for symptoms of poisoning for the past two weeks. “I firmly believe that the Russian secret service is behind my poisoning, possibly the Russian intelligence service GRU,” Verzilov told local news. (BBC)


Art Basel Miami Beach Announces Exhibitor List – Of the 268 galleries heading to Miami Beach and its revamped convention center this year, 29 are new to the fair. Two of them, Kayne Griffin Corcoran and Cardi Gallery, are making their debut in the fair’s main section, while Carlos/Ishikawa will appear for the first time in Nova. (Press release)

David Kordansky Will Represent Fred Eversley – The artist and former NASA engineer is now represented by Los Angeles’s David Kordansky Gallery. Eversley, who is based between Los Angeles and New York, will have his first solo exhibition at the gallery in spring 2019. (Press release)

Antwerp’s Tim Van Laere Gallery Expands – Tim Van Laere Gallery is moving to a new 10,800-square-foot space in Antwerp. The Belgian gallerist calls the project a “utopic dream,” which will allow the dealer to organize more ambitious works, including installing pieces on a rooftop sculpture terrace. (ARTnews)

An Early Steve Jobs-Designed Computer Sells at Auction – A personal Apple-1 computer that helped launch the IT revolution sold for $375,000 at RR Auction in Boston. the machine is one of 60 of the original 200 designed and built by Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak and is still functioning. Wozniak, who declined to buy the same computer for $10,000 in 1982, told the BBC that it is “ghastly underpowered compared to the Apple-II.” (Daily Mail)


Scottish National Gallery Unveils Expansion Plans – Edinburgh’s Scottish National Gallery is planning a $29 million expansion designed by Hoskins Architects, which is expected to begin in October and last for two years. The addition will give more space to exhibit the national collection of Scottish art. (Artforum)

Christie’s Poaches New French President – Cécile Verdier will replace François de Ricqlès as the head of Christie’s France when de Ricqlès steps down in June 2019 after 16 years at the auction house. Verdier is currently the vice president of Sotheby’s France. The waiting period is just long enough to expire her non-compete clause. (Le Journal des Arts)

Rema Hort Mann Foundation Names Grantees – The recipients of the foundation’s $10,000 Emerging Artist Grants this year are Adama Delphine Fawundu, Cheyenne Julien, Dana Lok, Ektor Garcia, Jeannine Han, Jose Delgado Zuniga, Jules Gimbrone, and Sara Stern. Previous grant winners include artists Kehinde Wiley, Dana Schutz, and Njideka Akunyili Crosby. (ARTnews)

New Chief Curator of the Menil Drawing Institute – Edouard Kopp will take up the chief curator position at the institute in January 2019, overseeing its drawings collection and programming. For the past three years, Kopp has been the drawings curator at the Harvard Art Museums. (Glasstire)


Senga Nengudi on Being a Black American – The sculptor, whose retrospective is opening at the Henry Moore Institute in Leeds, wants to challenge people’s expectations about an artist’s identity. She has used different names, like Harriet Chan, because “If I’m supposed to be Chinese and it looks like an African-American painting, then it messes with the viewer’s mind,” she said recently. Being black in Trump’s America is scary. “There’s a climate of brutishness… that’s been sanctioned by you-know-who.” (Hyperallergic)

Obscenity Judge’s Copy of ‘Lady Chatterley’ to Be Sold – The copy of the DH Lawrence novel that was used by the judge presiding over the famous obscenity trial in 1960 is up for auction at Sotheby’s on October 30, estimated to fetch around $19,700. The trial was a pivotal moment in British literary history; the not-guilty verdict signaled a new age of liberalization. (BBC)

See Images of Canada’s First Indigenous Sculpture Parks – The ᐄᓃᐤ (ÎNÎW) River Lot 11∞—pronounced EE-NU, meaning “I am of the Earth” in Cree—opened earlier this month on sacred ancestral lands in Edmonton’s North Saskatchewan River Valley. The park is curated by Candice Hopkins and currently includes sculptures by six Indigenous Canadian artists, including Amy Malbeuf, Tiffany Shaw-Collinge, Duane Linklater, Jerry Whitehead, Mary Anne Barkhouse, and Marianne Nicolson. (Hyperallergic)

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