Art Industry News: Marina Abramović’s Naked Doorway, a Blushworthy Metaphor for Brexit, Is Heading to London + Other Stories

Plus, it is not looking good for the 5Pointz appeal and German fashion photographer Peter Lindbergh has died.

A woman enters the reenactment of the performance Imponderabilia (1997/2017) by walking in between a naked man and a naked woman at the art exhibition "Marina Abramovic - The Cleaner" in the Bundeskunsthalle. (Photo by Marius Becker/picture alliance via 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 on this Wednesday, September 4.


David Bowie’s Tintoretto Returns to Venice – The Belgian collector Marnix Neerman has been revealed as the buyer of the late musician’s Tintoretto in the white-glove auction of Bowie’s collection following his death in 2016. Neerman emerged as the owner of the altarpiece of Saint Catherine, which he had acquired from Sotheby’s for £191,000 ($237,432), after he lent it to the Palazzo Ducale for an exhibition of Flemish and Italian Old Masters. The painting was originally made for the church of San Geminiano in St. Mark’s Square around 1560, but it was taken out of Venice more than 200 years ago. The Tintoretto masterpiece was one of Bowie’s first art acquisitions in 1987, although he went on to build up a strong collection of Modern and contemporary works before he died. (The Art Newspaper)

Greece Will Make a Formal Loan Request for the Parthenon Marbles – Greek culture minister Lina Mendoni says her ministry is drafting an official proposal for the loan of the Parthenon Marbles from the British Museum for its 2021 bicentennial of Greece’s 1821 revolution. Mendoni told Skai TV that Greece may lend the London museum antiquities, but no further details were given. The plan is for Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis to give the proposal to the UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson. (Ekathimerini)

Marina Abramović’s Naked Doorway Is Coming to the RA – Britain currently has one narrow, discomfiting passage that it needs to squeeze through with Brexit, the fate of which is now again up in the air as Boris Johnson’s backfiring prorogue gambit seems likely to lead to snap elections. Soon it will get another discomfiting passage, with performance-art pioneer Marina Abramović’s 1977 masterpiece Imponderabilia heading to the Royal Academy in London as part of a retrospective exhibition planned for fall 2020. The installation features two naked performers (usually one man and one woman) who stand facing each other in a doorway while red-faced visitors negotiate the slender gap between them. The RA is currently recruiting people to perform in the piece, which was originally done by Abramović and her partner at the time, the artist Ulay, in 1977. The planned exhibition at RA, which was a smash hit when it showed earlier this year at the Palazzo Strozzi in Florence (and even more so when it appeared at MoMA nearly a decade ago), will feature more than 50 works, including photographs, videos, installations, and re-creations of other performances. (Guardian

It’s Not Looking Good for the 5Pointz Appeal – A property developer is making the case that graffiti art is not protected under the 1990 Visual Artists’ Rights Act as he tries to appeal an earlier court decision from the Second Circuit. Gerald Wolkoff was ordered to pay $7 million in damages after he whitewashed murals adorning the 5Pointz warehouse in Queens. Wolkoff’s lawyer is making the case that other artists who paint over each other’s work would also be in violation of VARA, but the appeals court is not sympathetic to his arguments because of the implication that temporary or ephemeral art is less worthy of protection than permanent installations. (Courthouse News)


Frieze London Names New Artistic Director – Frieze London has hired Eva Langret, a curator who comes from Tiwani Contemporary, to be its new artistic director, taking up her new role in November and working with Frieze global director Victoria Siddall. (Artforum)

Chinese Tariffs Expand to Books and Maps – Trump has raised the tariff imposed on Chinese art by another 5 percent this August. The new tariff, which is now 15 percent, came into effect on September 1, and it will extends to antiques including as books, manuscripts, and maps. The tariff hike has further frustrated antiques dealing between traders in China and the US. (TAN)

Art Encounter Director Named – The first executive director of the Chicago arts-education organization Art Encounter is now Lea Pinsky. The artist has been teaching at the nonprofit since 2002. (Artforum)

Alma Thomas Show Coming to Mnuchin – The painter Alma Thomas is about to receive a major survey at Mnuchin Gallery in New York. “Alma Thomas: Resurrection,” which runs September 10 through October 19, is named after a painting by the abstract artist that hung in the White House dining room during Barack Obama’s presidency. (ARTnews)


German Photographer Peter Lindbergh Has Died – The family of the legendary photographer Peter Lindbergh has announced that 74-year-old artist has passed away. Renowned for his ambient, black-and-white editorial images, Lindbergh  captured indelible photographs of celebrities including Kate Moss, Emma Watson, and Penelope Cruz over the years. (Bild)

Christian Dior Show Breaks Attendance Record at V&A – Nearly 595,000 people came to see the Victoria & Albert Museum’s exhibition “Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams,” which ran from February 2 to September 1. The V&A’s “Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty” exhibition had previously held the record, seeing over 480,000 visitors when it ran in 2015. (The McQueen show’s run, however, was two months shorter.) V&A director Tristram Hunt said the institution is “overwhelmed by the phenomenal visitor response” to the show dedicated to the French fashion designer. (BBC)


Barenaked Ladies Band Member Settles a Lawsuit Over a Forged Painting – Canadian musician Kevin Hearn, the keyboard player from the Barenaked Ladies, has settled a lawsuit for a $20,000 painting he purchased from the Maslak McLeod Gallery in Toronto that turned out to be a fake. It was alleged to be by the celebrated Anishinaabe artist Norval Morrisseau, but when Hearn loaned it to the Art Gallery of Ontario, it was declared fake and the musician sued the gallery. A top court of appeal awarded him $60,000. (CTV)

Jennifer Lawrence Visits the Met – Gladstone gallery director Cooke Maroney and his fiancée, the actress Jennifer Lawrence, were spotted visiting the Metropolitan Museum of Art on Labor Day weekend. The couple is engaged to marry, and Lawrence has called Maroney “the best person I’ve ever met in my whole life.” They seem very sweet. (People)

Simone Leigh and Zendaya Team Up for the Cover of GARAGE – The Spider-Man actress Zendaya collaborated with the artist Simone Leigh to embody Leigh’s monumental sculptures, which explore black female subjectivity. The project for the upcoming issue of GARAGE was shot by Ryan McGinley and it takes its inspiration from Leigh’s 16-foot-high sculpture Brick House, which is on view at New York City’s High Line. (GARAGE)

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