Art Industry News: A Contemporary Art Show Is Coming to the Egyptian Pyramids for the First Time Ever + Other Stories

Plus, a Marvel illustrator is accused of plagiarism (again) and the world's most expensive coin is going up for auction.

The Pyramids of Giza. Photo courtesy of Ricardo Liberato, Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license.

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 Thursday, September 3.


Marvel Illustrator Greg Land Once Again Accused of Plagiarism – Illustrator Greg Land is in hot water—again—for allegedly tracing another artist’s work to create the characters in an upcoming Marvel comic based on Alien. Fellow illustrator Tristan Jones took to Twitter after he became convinced that the hands in Land’s new designs were identical to his own drawings. “I’m 100% sure I’ve been Greg Landed,” Jones wrote, adding that “Photoshop’s snap function even locked my work in when I put it over his.” Australia-based Jones, who is struggling to find jobs amid the lockdown, said it was “infuriating” to think that Land was profiting off of his hard work. (Observer)

Tai Shani on Why Art Workers Must Demand More – The Turner Prize-winning artist recounts a recent episode in which she and her three fellow prize-winners were commissioned to create a public work at Piccadilly Circus—but withdrew from the project after organizers asked them to water down their idea. (The group had created a text work based on the history of a fountain at the site, which commemorates 7th Earl of Shaftesbury, who was instrumental in the colonization of Palestine.) In light of the experience, Shani writes, “What does solidarity mean if it is so circumscribed, managed, and abstracted to the point of refusing to acknowledge how these struggles are all connected?” (ArtReview)

Contemporary Art Will Go on View at the Pyramids of Giza – Billed as the first show of its kind, a forthcoming exhibition will bring the work of contemporary Egyptian and international artists to the Pyramids of Giza. The project—due to launch in October 2021—is supported by Egypt’s national commission for UNESCO and the Egyptian ministry of tourism and antiquities. The artists are in the process of being selected by curator Simon Watson and Nadine Abdel Ghaffar from Art D’Egypte, a company that promotes Egyptian art by way of exhibitions at historic sites around the country. The former Egyptian antiquities minister Zahi Hawass will advise on the exhibition’s route around the Giza plateau. (The Art Newspaper)

An Art Installation About Systemic Racism Comes to the National Mall – Visitors to DC’s National Mall will encounter a grim new artwork situated directly in front of the Washington Monument. Society’s Cage, created by a team from architecture firm SmithGroup, is made up of almost 500 hanging steel bars of various lengths. The longer rods reference statistics like the likelihood of Black Americans to be incarcerated; the shorter ones are based on data about the “obstacle-filled path” of Black Americans, from police killings to capital punishment. Inside the cage, a score plays in four parts, each lasting eight minutes and forty-six seconds, the length of time a police officer knelt on George Floyd’s neck. (WAMU)


The World’s Most Expensive Coin Is Up for Sale – The 1749 “Flowing Hair” silver dollar is hitting the auction block on October 9. Thought to be one of the very first coins minted in the United States, it was last purchased in 2013 for $10 million, the highest price ever paid at auction for a single coin. Considered “proof quality,” or higher than “mint” condition, the dollar also bears a silver plug, which would have been used to adjust its weight, indicating it may just be the first coin ever minted. The specimen is a highlight of the Regency Auction, which will be hosted at the Venetian in Las Vegas. (Smithsonian Magazine

What’s Next for the Marciano Foundation? – The refurbished Masonic Temple that served as home to the Marciano Foundation before its unceremonious closure last year will now host an outpost of Gagosian. A spokesperson for the gallery declined to specify whether it would be paying rent to the foundation, describing the arrangement as an “exclusive occupancy agreement.” Former union members who recently reached a settlement with the foundation over alleged labor violations greeted the news with mixed reviews. (Hyperallergic)


Speed Art Museum Director Steps Down – Stephen Reily, the fourth director of the museum on the University of Louisville campus, will depart in 2021. Formerly a business leader in the region, Reily has served as director of the Kentucky institution since 2017. A search is now underway for his replacement. (Courier Journal)

Architectural Patron Gerald D. Hines Has Died – The namesake of the University of Houston’s Gerald D. Hines College of Architecture and Design died on August 15 at age 95. Hines helped to transform the landscape of Houston with skyscrapers including the Pennzoil Place and One Shell Plaza and gifted the university’s architecture school with a $7 million endowment. (Glasstire)

Charlie Hebdo Terror Attack Suspects Go on Trial in Paris  Fourteen people went on trial this week in connection with the twin attacks against the satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo and a kosher supermarket in Paris in 2015, where 17 victims and three gunmen died. The accused individuals are being charged with helping the killers procure weapons and organize logistics. (Associated Press)


Brazil’s President Swaps Out a Painting of Afro-Brazilian Deities – A 1966 painting by Djanira da Motta e Silva depicting three Afro-Brazilian deities has been removed from the Brazilian presidential offices, reportedly at the request of President Jair Bolsonaro’s wife Michelle Bolsonaro, an evangelical Christian. The work has been replaced with another piece by the same artist. The move sparked debate about the country’s historic intolerance of non-Christian religions. (TAN)

Renovations Reveal 19th-Century Mayor’s Heart Entombed in Belgian Fountain – At least one urban legend has turned out to be true: a high-ranking official did have his heart buried inside a fountain in the Belgian town of Verviers. Pierre David was the first mayor of the town after Belgium declared independence in 1830. The city’s Museum of Fine Arts will display the zinc casket that holds the heart through September 20. (Smithsonian Magazine)

NASA Captures Stellar Phenomenon The Hubble Space Telescope has captured a surreal image of the edge of a supernova blast wave known as a Cygnus remnant. The veil-like light is a remnant from an explosion blasting apart a dying star up to 20,000 years ago, measuring about 20 times the size of the sun. See? There are some photographs you just can’t capture with an iPhone. (Daily Mail)

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