Art Industry News: A Selfie-Taking Girl Squad Knocks Over an Entire Wall of Artworks at a Russian Museum + Other Stories

Plus, Richard Prince launches a Stormy Daniels top with Supreme and Qatar's National Museum gets an opening date.

A woman takes a selfie by a bust at the Ryazan art museum on this year's Museum Selfie Day. (Photo by Alexander RyuminTASS 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 this Monday, November 5.


Pussy Riot Members Show Solidarity with Hong Kong Protestors – Two members of the Pussy Riot punk group spoke in Hong Kong about freedom of expression. Olga Kuracheva and Veronika Nikulshina took part in a pro-democracy panel accompanying an exhibition of work by the Chinese political cartoonist Badiucao. The show was ultimately canceled, however, because of threats made by the Chinese authorities, according to the organizers. (AFP)

Agnes Gund Gets the Profile Treatment – To coincide with her award from the Getty Center for achievements in philanthropy, the collector and benefactor has been on a bit of a press tour. (The New York Times wins best headline with “Is Agnes Gund the Last Good Rich Person?”) The stories include tributes from friends and colleagues like the Ford Foundation’s Darren Walker and artist Julie Mehretu, as well as a few voices we hear from less often—but who are no less infatuated with Gund. “I have never met anyone like Aggie,” says MoMA security chief Tunji Adeniji. “She sees a security guard before she sees a director.” (New York TimesWall Street Journal)

Selfie-Taking Visitors Damage Goya and Dalí Works – A group of four girls taking selfies damaged works by Salvador Dalí and Francisco Goya at a Russian museum. The selfie-takers knocked down a temporary wall, shattering the glass on both frames and causing damage to the Dalí work. The scene was captured on security cameras. This isn’t the first (or even the second) time a selfie-taking visitor has caused damage to a work of art. We’re mostly surprised anyone would want to take a selfie with a Goya work—that stuff is not exactly photogenic! (Metro)

Investigator Says He Has a “Gut Feeling” the Gardner Paintings Are in Ireland – A former detective with the Metropolitan police force in the UK, Charles Hill, has shared his theory that the Irish-American mobster who was murdered in prison last week, James “Whitey” Bulger, gave the infamously stolen art to the Irish Republican Army. Despite a lack of firm evidence, Hill joins the ranks of several private investigators who believe “viscerally” that Bulger, a known IRA sympathizer, shipped the paintings to Ireland in a deal with a gang associated with the terrorist organization. (Guardian)


Bastian Gallery to Open in London – The Berlin gallery is expanding to London’s tony Mayfair neighborhood in January. Director Aeneas Bastian will open the gallery at 8 Davies Street, near Gagosian and Phillips auction house, with a Warhol Polaroid show. Bastian says there is no “real market” in Berlin, and he is only “a bit concerned” about Brexit. The gallery is donating its David Chipperfield building in Berlin to the city’s state-run museums organization but keeping a Berlin presence. (Financial Times)

Ropac to Represent Donald Judd in Europe – Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac now represents Donald Judd and the Judd Foundation in Europe. The gallery will host its first first solo show of the artist’s work in April 2019 at its Paris location in the Marais. It will be the first Judd solo in France in two decades, and will be curated by Judd’s son, Flavin, the artistic director of the Judd Foundation. David Zwirner Gallery also continues to represent the Minimalist artist’s foundation. (Press release)

TEFAF Drops Dealers and Auction-House Experts From Vetting Panels – Experts on the art fair’s vetting committees must have as little vested commercial interest in the art market as possible, a new global policy dictates. Art dealers and auction house specialists are out, and academics, curators, and conservators are in. (Press release)


Qatar’s Vast National Museum Gets an Opening Date – The vast Qatar National Museum designed by Jean Nouvel will open on March 28, 2019, the museum announced today. The French architect’s spectacular 430,000-square-foot building is nearly twice the size of his Louvre Abu Dhabi, incorporates a historic palace, and houses 11 galleries that trace the rise of the oil-rich state. The artist Jean-Michel Othoniel has also created 114 fountains set within a nearby lagoon. (Press release)

Honolulu Biennial Releases Artist List – The Hawaiian biennial in March 2019 will feature artists from across the Pacific, including the Pacific Northwest, Mexico, and Central America. They range from Hawaii-born, Filipino-American artist Paul Pfeiffer to the Mata Aho Collective from New Zealand. The Honolulu Biennial, which is called “To Make Wrong / Right / Now,” will explore themes including indigenous knowledge, decolonization, survival in the face of intergenerational trauma, and mana wāhine (female empowerment). (Press release)

LACMA’s Art + Film Gala Raises $4.5 Million – The museum’s starry Art + Film gala raised more than  $4.5 million this year. Photographer (and MOCA board member) Catherine Opie and director Guillermo del Toro were the honorees at the event co-chaired by Leonardo DiCaprio. The funds will go towards the Los Angeles museum’s film initiatives, exhibitions, and acquisitions. (Press release)


LA Philharmonic Takes Fluxus Opera to Hollywood – The LA Phil is performing works by Yoko Ono, John Cage, and Nam June Paik, among others, as part of its centennial season’s Fluxus Festival. John Cage’s opera Europeras 1 & 2 will take over a soundstage at Sony Studios in Hollywood on November 6, 10, and 11. The 1987 opera, Cage’s first, mixes up and layers fragments from 64 European operas. The full season is supported by LA’s Getty Research Institute. (Press release)

Richard Prince and Supreme Launch Stormy Daniels Top – The American artist has teamed up with the brand Supreme to create a shirt featuring the artist’s composite portrait of Stormy Daniels and the 18 women who have accused President Trump of sexual misconduct. Proceeds of the 18 & Stormy T-shirt, which was launched ahead of the midterm elections on Tuesday, will support the organization Downtown for Democracy. (Garage)

Armistice Candles Illuminate the Tower of London – Around 10,000 candles will flicker in the moat of the London landmark every night this week in a spectacular commemoration of World War I ending 100 years ago. The event is being repeated every night until Sunday, November 11. See it here. (Guardian, YouTube)

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