Art Industry News: Remembering John Ashbery, Innovative Poet and Late-Blooming Artist + More Must-Read Stories

Plus, Sam Durant's "Scaffold" won't be burned after all and Scotland's Inverleith House is saved from closure.

John Ashbery posing during portrait session held on February 20, 1996, in Paris. (Photo by Ulf Andersen/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 4.


Dakota Will Bury, Not Burn, Scaffold – Sam Durant’s controversial sculpture, which provoked outrage from Native Americans before being removed from the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden, will not be set alight as planned. The 51,000 pounds of wood will be buried in an undisclosed location rather than burned, as fire is sacred in the Dakota tradition. (New York Times)

British Museum Plans Sweeping Reinstallation – The museum’s director Hartwig Fischer is planning an extensive reconfiguration of its collection, which will concentrate the ancient world on the main floor and improve presentation elsewhere with less dense displays, a greater emphasis on prehistory, and more space dedicated to underserved parts of the world. (The Art Newspaper)

Newspaper Accidentally Crashed the Kusama Ticket Queue – Ticket sales for the Broad’s upcoming Yayoi Kusama exhibition were paused after users directed to the site via a link from the LA Times were confused by a page put in place to deter scalper bots. As 150,000 people scrambled for the 50,000 tickets available online, readers directed from the Times were unable to join the queue. (LA Times)

Protesters Descend on BP-Sponsored Exhibition – Last Thursday, the anti-oil group BP or Not BP? staged another protest in London, crashing the National Portrait Gallery’s BP Portrait Award exhibition. The group hung a portrait of Benny Wenda, a West Papuan independence leader and vocal opponent of the Indonesian government, with which BP works to extract West Papuan natural resources. (Hyperallergic)


Hampstead Collection to Be Sold at Sotheby’s – Works from a typically “Hampstead” collection—that is, one put together and displayed in the bohemian London borough that has provided refuge for artists and writers for centuries—will go on sale across nine auctions at Sotheby’s this fall. Highlights include a Harold Gilman at an estimate of £150,000–250,000 and a similarly priced C.R.W. Nevinson. (Press release)

Gagosian and Dia Realized Walter De Maria’s Final Work – When the celebrated American artist unexpectedly died in 2013, he had been working on a major installation called Truck Trilogy, featuring three classic Chevrolet pickup trucks. Now the Dia Art Foundation and the artist’s estate, represented by Gagosian, have completed De Maria’s plans and will unveil his final work on September 22 at Dia:Beacon. (Artsy)

‘Fake’ Tom Roberts Painting Could Sell for £300,000 – The BBC’s art detective program Fake or Fortune has once again authenticated a lost masterpiece, this time by the father of Australian Impressionism. The painting, titled Rejection, was purchased by an Australian couple for £7,500 at auction, and is now available through Philip Bacon Galleries, where it is expected to sell for in excess of £300,000. (The Guardian)


Legendary Poet and Critic John Ashbery Dies – The member of the New York School and winner of the Pulitzer Prize for for his 1975 book Self-Portrait in a Convex Mirror has passed away at 90 years old. The prolific writer was also the Paris correspondent for ARTnews in the 1960s, and received the National Humanities Medal in 2012 from former president Barack Obama. In 2008, Ashbery also made his debut as a visual artist in his own right, with a show of vividly imaginative collages at Tibor de Nagy Gallery(Artforum)

Dak’Art Biennial of Contemporary African Art Announces Curators – For its 13th edition, titled “The Red Hour,” Simon Njami will return as artistic director, with Elvira Dyangani Ose, Marisol Rodriguez, Bonaventure Soh Bejeng Ndikung, Alya Sebti, and Hou Hanru acting as guest curators. (Artforum)

Former Contemporary Arts Museum Houston Director Dies at 70 – Linda L. Cathcart, who ran the museum from 1979 to 1987, has passed away at her home in Santa Barbara, California. She is credited with beginning the museum’s “Perspectives” exhibition series, which gave Cindy Sherman her first museum show, and which still continues today. (Glasstire)

MIT List Visual Arts Center Announces Curatorial Shakeup – Henriette Huldisch has been promoted to Director of Exhibitions & Curator; Yuri Stone will now serve as Assistant Curator; and Jamin An has been selected as the List Center’s 2017–18 Curatorial Fellow. (Press release)


Edinburgh’s Inverleith Gallery Saved From Closure  The gallery, which is housed on the grounds of the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, will live to see another day. Inverleith officials decided to remain open following backlash last October against the announcement of the gallery’s closure due to the “inevitable financial risks attached to running a high-profile gallery.” The next exhibition will open in Spring. (TAN)

Restoration of Chartes Cathedral Stirs Controversy  Following a decade-long restoration—the cathedral’s most substantial renovation since the cathedral was rebuilt between 1194 and 1225—visitors to the newly-shined Chartes are not happy. The restoration is being called a “scandalous desecration of a cultural holy place,” according to architectural critic Martin Filler. (NYT)

Take a Peek Inside Downtown LA’s New Art Museum  After two years, The Santa Monica Museum of Art has been rebranded as The Institute of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles. LAT has offered a sneak peek into the new “kunsthalle,” which museum director Elsa Longhauser says is a “collection of ideas.” (LAT)

Rosa Parks House in Berlin to Return to the US  Artist Ryan Mendoza will return the house he brought to Berlin in 2016 from its original site in Detroit. The home will soon be back on its native soil, though exactly where it will go remains to be seen. Mendoza finds the return especially pertinent now, given the violence in Charlottesville and controversy over Confederate symbols. (NYT)

Artist Ryan Mendoza poses in front of Rosa Parks’ house during an AFP interview in Berlin on March 29, 2017. Photo TOBIAS SCHWARZ/AFP/Getty Images.

Artist Ryan Mendoza poses in front of Rosa Parks’ house during an AFP interview in Berlin on March 29, 2017. Photo Tobias Schwarz/AFP/Getty Images.

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