Art Industry News: Big Banks Are Now Offering Art-Collecting Advice + Other Stories

Plus, the rise and fall of the Biennale des Antiquaires and John Giorno makes a triumphant fashion week debut.

A one-stop-shop for all your banking and art needs? (ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/AFP/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 Friday, September 7.


Yoko Ono Organizes a “Bed-In” With the Mayor of New York – The artist is bringing the John Lennon Educational Tour Bus, a mobile art studio, back to New York City on September 13. An eclectic but high-profile crew—including Beatle Ringo Starr, actor Jeff Bridges, photographer Henry Diltz, and New York City mayor Bill de Blasio—will be on hand to launch the project at City Hall next week. The goal is to inspire nonviolent student activism in the vein of Ono and Lennon’s famous protest in support of world peace. (Press release)

Gallery Pulls Alleged Neo-Nazi Artist’s Show – Greenspon Gallery in the West Village has canceled its exhibition of work by the experimental noise musician Boyd Rice following public outcry over the artist’s reputation as “a Nazi sympathizer and fascist.” In the past, Rice has collaborated with white supremacists and voiced support for the subjugation of women, although he has denied that he is a neo-Nazi. After pulling the show, gallery owner Amy Greenspon said she regrets her “oversight” in planning the exhibition and thanked the local art community for drawing her attention to the incendiary nature of Rice’s public persona. (Artforum)

Private Bankers Are Becoming Art Consultants – Would you take collecting advice from your banker? According to the FT, a growing number of specialist units at private banks and wealth management services, including Citibank and Stonehage Fleming, are offering fine art investment advice. The trend is expanding amid a recent survey that found that 35 percent of high-net-worth individuals were active in the art and collectibles market in 2017. But not everyone is excited: Artists including the V&A’s resident Rachel Ara worry that interest in the financial calculus detracts from what is actually important: whether or not you like a work of art. (Financial Times)

Is the French Antiquities Market in Trouble? – The Biennale des Antiquaires, once the world’s most prestigious art fair, is now a shadow of its former self. Since becoming an annual event in 2016, visitors have dropped by two-thirds and the number of exhibitors has shrunk by half. The fair has also been tarnished by criminal investigations into fake furniture involving two former exhibitors. The president of the fair’s organizer blames increased competition and says there is no crisis, “only nostalgia for what the Biennale was two or three decades ago.” (The Art Newspaper)


Fourteen New Galleries Join NADA – The nonprofit art organization for galleries, the New Art Dealers Alliance, has welcomed 14 more galleries into the fold. The new members hail from seven different countries and include New York’s Ed. Varie, Weiss Berlin, and Parker Gallery from Los Angeles. (Press release)

Vogt Gallery Moves Uptown – Johannes Vogt Gallery is relocating from the Lower East Side to Madison Avenue on the Upper East Side. The new space will launch with a show of work by the 70-year-old American artist Abby Leigh on September 20. “What I show is not as well-represented [on the Upper East Side], and that’s very exciting to me,” says Vogt. (ARTnews)

The Other Art Fair Heads to Chicago – The fair, which connects collectors directly with emerging artists, will come to the Windy City’s Mana Contemporary space from September 28 through 30, coinciding with Expo Chicago. Live music and DJ sets organized by the local venue Empty Bottle will fill the space, while Saatchi Art is presenting a series of panels with industry experts. (Colossal)


VCU’s ICA Names its New Director – Dominic Willsdon is leaving his role as the curator of education and public practice at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art to lead the Institute for Contemporary Art at Virginia Commonwealth University. Its previous director, Lisa Freiman, stepped down abruptly in January, ahead of the opening of its Steven Holl-designed building. Willsdon begins his new role in December. (Press release)

German Artists Take a Trip Down Memory Lane – Frankfurt’s Städel Museum is publishing interviews with 70 leading figures of the West German postwar art scene, including artists Anselm Kiefer, Georg Baselitz, and Günther Uecker; curator Kasper König; and dealer Rudolf Zwirner. Called Café Deutschland: In Conversation With the First Art Scene in the Federal Republic of Germany, the interviews have been published in print and are also available online. (The Art Newspaper)

Jameel Announces Oil-Themed Inaugural Show – The new arts center, which opens on November 11 in Dubai, will debut with a group show called “Crude” featuring 17 artists and collectives who explore the impact of oil across the Middle East. The Jameel Arts Centre will also host four focused solo shows, including a new commission by Chiharu Shiota that traces the links between Japan and the Gulf. (Art Daily)

Stolen Gold Peruvian Mask Returned by Germany –  Bavarian authorities have handed over a pre-Columbian gold funerary mask to the Peruvian embassy in Berlin, ending a 20-year legal and diplomatic battle. The eighth century Sican mask was stolen from Peru in 1999 and confiscated by Interpol in Wiesbaden, Germany. (Art Daily)


What to Do When Museums Burn – The scholar Hugh Eakin writes that the devastating fire at Brazil’s National Museum should serve as a wake-up call to museums about the importance of establishing protective measures for their collections. While some deep-pocketed institutions like the Whitney Museum in New York or the Getty in LA have invested in protective infrastructure, many museum buildings are not equipped to deal with threats and are putting their limited resources toward other priorities. Fire, earthquakes, or climate change-related threats like floods can strike at any time, Eakin notes. (Washington Post)

Red Grooms’s Ruckus Makes a New York Comeback – The veteran artist best known for his “sculpto-pictoramas” and populist public art has a riotous survey on view at Marlborough Contemporary in Chelsea. The show aims to present another side of Grooms: his skill as a master draftsman. “I admire the immersive environments. There’s nothing else like them,” says the show’s curator Dan Nadel. “But I’m interested in how much expression he gets from a single contour.” (New York Times)

Jack Kerouac’s Beat Paintings Revealed – A new book published by Skira Editore explores the author’s lesser-known history as a prolific visual artist. An exhibition of Kerouac’s rarely seen paintings and drawings at the Museo Maga in Gallarate, near Milan, presents works ranging from a self-portrait he created as the cover of On the Road to a 1963 expressionist portrait of Cardinal Giovanni Montini, who would become Pope Paul VI. (Independent)

See the Artist-Poet John Giorno as a Fashion Model – The label CDLM made a strong first impression at New York Fashion Week with the help of the veteran artist-poet John Giorno. The 81-year-old was on hand to walk the catwalk in a black trench coat and help designer Christopher Peters launch his new unisex line at Peter Freeman Gallery. (Vogue)


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