Art Industry News: Art Critic Peter Schjeldahl Mourns the Loss of Village Voice + Other Stories

Plus, NBA stars visit Qatar's top museum and Drake wants Murakami's latest sculpture.

A Village Voice newspaper stand lays on the ground next to garbage in the East Village neighborhood in Manhattan. Photo by Drew Angerer/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 this Monday, September 3.


Mickalene Thomas Becomes her Muse’s Muse – The artist’s latest work features her many muses, including her late mother, her lovers, and now herself. For the video series “Je t’aime,” the third of which will make its debut at her solo show in October at the Wexner Center, Thomas poses for her partner, Rachel Chevremont, who is an art collector and consultant. They took turns filming each other. “We’re both nude. It’s how two lovers are seeing each other,” Thomas says. (Financial Times)

Artists and Curators Join in Protest of Shahidul Alam’s Arrest – Artists Anish Kapoor and Steve McQueen have joined those protesting at the arrest of Bangladesh’s leading photojournalist. An open letter by Shahidul Alam’s niece, the British-based architect Sofia Karim, has also been signed by the director of Tate Modern, Frances Morris, and the director of the National Portrait Gallery, Nicholas Cullinan. (Newage Bangladesh, artnet News)

Peter Schjeldahl Mourns the Loss of Village Voice The art critic of The New Yorker and Village Voice recalls the latter’s glory days, after the magazine’s owner laid off most of its remaining staff on Friday. All that is left is the archive—and fond memories. Schjeldahl recalls the 1970s and ’80s, when: “The collective mind of the city streets seemed to flow through the door to catch glimpses of itself in a magic mirror.” The last time he went to the shuttered office to delve into the archive he was reminded of the paper’s “swaggering confidence and pizzaz, instantly responsive to zigs and zags of the downtown Zeitgeist.” (New Yorker)

Sculpture by Dealer’s Daughter Among Seized Antiquities – When Swiss police seized thousands of artifacts from Ali Aboutaam, the co-founder of New York- and Geneva-based Phoenix Ancient Art, they confiscated a terracotta animal thought to have been from Mesopotamia. It was, in fact, the work of the dealer’s 11-year-old daughter, and was labelled: “With love, for Daddy.” It has been returned while Swiss authorities continue to hold 6,000 artifacts as investigations into illicit trading continues, an allegation Aboutaam’s lawyer denies. (The Art Newspaper)


Copenhagen Gets a Design Fair – The inaugural CHART Design Fair took place in Copenhagen alongside the sixth edition of CHART Art Fair. Run by a non-profit, the art fair featured 32 galleries from the Nordic region while the new design fair included 12 galleries. The fairs took place August 31–September 2 in the Kunsthal Charlottenborg and Den Frie Center of Contemporary Art respectively (Press release)

The Artist Who Loves Cryptocurrency – The London-based artist Lincoln Townley, whose fans include the actors Michael Caine and Samuel L Jackson, is a cryptocurrency enthusiast. A club promoter turned artist, Townley says he recently sidestepped the gallery system to sell an entire collection for Bitcoin, which is his preferred payment. (Daily Express)

September Art Fair Steps Up a Gear – The fair returns to the Bridge, a former race circuit turned golf course, in the Hamptons, taking place September 15-16 alongside a vintage car show. Featuring 12 galleries, which is twice more than last year, dealers include 303 Gallery, Johann König Gallery, Marlborough Contemporary, Vito Schnabel, Sies + Höke, Reyes Projects, and David Zwirner Gallery. (Art Daily)

Sydney Contemporary Announces Artists List – More than 25 artists will take part in the fourth edition of the fair slated for September 13 through 16 at the city’s Carriageworks multi-art center. Notably, the “Installation Contemporary” section is returning with artists including site-specific presentations from Penelope Davis, Lindy Lee, Jean Dubuffet and Simon Ingram. (Art Daily)


Former artnet News Writer Becomes Curator – Former art and culture critic at artnet News, Christian Viveros-Fauné, has been named curator at large at the University of South Florida Contemporary Art Museum. Viveros-Fauné’s first show at the museum, on through December 8, is devoted to the work of Israeli conceptual photographer, Miki Kratsman. (Artforum)

Curator Named at Albright College – Alana Coates will be the curator at the Freedman Gallery at the Reading, Pennsylvania, institution starting on September 12. Coates was previously associate director at Ruiz-Healy Art, a San Antonio- and New York-based gallery with a heavy focus on Latino and Latin American artist. (Glasstire)

Dallas Museum of Art Names its New Digital Head – Amir Tabei will take up the position of director of information technology and digital media from September 4. Tabei, who has 30 years experience in IT at multiple nonprofit organizations, will oversee the museums technology and digital initiatives. (Press release)

Doris Salcedo’s Migrant Memorial Comes to London – White Cube Bermondsey is installing a version of Palimpsest, the Colombian’s artist’s large-scale installation commemorating migrants who have died trying to reach Europe. First shown in Madrid’s Palacio de Cristal, the names of hundreds of victims intermittently appear as water rises through a stone floor. (Press release)


Golden Erdoğan Statue Could Return – The controversial sculpture of the Turkish President, which was removed from the Wiesbaden Biennale by authorities last Wednesday amid safety concerns, was collected from the city fire service by curators on Sunday. The art festival is over but curators Magdalena Ludewig and Martin Hammer say the project is not finished, pointing out that they still have a three-month permit to display the statue. (Monopol)

Drake Wants Murakami’s New Sculpture – The hip hop star has expressed interest in acquiring new work by Takashi Murakami after the artist unveiled his KAIKAI and KIKI sculptures on Instagram. “Um I need this if this is Keke,” writes Drake, referring to his new hit song In My Feelings, in which he addresses his friend Keke. The work is due to go on show in a newly announced Murakami show at Gagosian Hong Kong from September 20. (HypeBeast)

Spanish Town Disappointed a Mural Is Not a Banksy – The town of Ferrol’s hopes were dashed when Banksy confirmed via his website on Friday that a mural depicting two kissing Spanish police officers was not by the elusive street artist. The mural appeared in April on the wall the town had “reserved” for Banksy. (AFP)

NBA Stars Visit Qatar’s Top Museum – Carmelo Anthony, Klay Thompson, Tracy McGrady, and Luke Wilson visited Qatar’s I.M. Pei-designed Museum of Islamic Art in Doha. The basketball stars are visiting the country at the invitation of the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy, which is organizing the soccer World Cup in 2022. The VIPs took the ongoing blockade of Qatar by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates in their stride.  (I Love Qatar)

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