From a Celebration of Black Artists at Christie’s to the Death of Luchita Hurtado: The Best and Worst of the Art World This Week

Catch up on this week's news—fast.

The artist Luchita Hurtado. Photo courtesy of TIME magazine.
The artist Luchita Hurtado. Photo courtesy of TIME magazine.

BEST👍

NYC Museums OK’d to Open – Governor Cuomo announced that museums would be allowed to reopen in late August, though they will have many restrictions and safety measures in place.

Phillips Goes Out East – The auction house is opening a Hamptons location, following the moneyed collectors who have decamped from the city during the summer lockdown.

George W. Bush Paints the People – The former US president has a new book filled with his portraits of immigrants, which are also on view at his eponymous Dallas presidential center.

Christie’s Celebrates Black Creativity – A new selling exhibition curated by powerhouse Destinee Ross-Sutton shines a light on Black artists—and prevents speculators from flipping for a profit.

Artists Mobilize to Raise Money – Artists are raising emergency funds for victims in Beirut after the city was rocked by catastrophic explosions.

Museums to the Aid – The MFA Boston is the latest museum to see staff raise funds for their laid-off and furloughed colleagues, as institutions around the world face mass financial deficits.

Emperor Maximinus Was a Silver Fox – An AI tool helped one artist reveal the true faces of Roman emperors including Nero, Augustus, and Maximinus.

From Night Club to Arts Hub – Berlin’s notorious nightclub Berghain is transforming into an art space during lockdown as part of a partnership with the Boros Foundation.

Staff Members Support Ousting Museum Director – Current and former staff members at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts penned an open letter supporting the firing of director Nathalie Bondil, despite a flurry of press pushing back against the decision.

France OK’s Big Gatherings – France eased restrictions on large events, allowing more than 5,000 people to gather at a time come September, giving hope to the city’s fall art fairs.

WORST👎

Luchita Hurtado Has Died – The proto-surrealist painter died at age 99, after only finding acclaim and institutional recognition in the last decade of her life.

New Museum Union Files Complaint – The union wrote in a complaint to the National Labor Board that the museum acted in “discriminatory and retaliatory” ways when carrying out layoffs and furloughs.

New York Academy of Art Apologizes – The art school finally issued an apology to Maria Farmer, an alumna who accused it of enabling Jeffrey Epstein to have access to female students. The move came after trustees, including Naomi Watts, resigned in protest.

LISTE Gets Canceled – Following in the footsteps of Art Basel’s marquee fair, LISTE announced its 2020 edition will not go ahead as Switzerland’s health crisis worsens.

Art Advisor Claims Giuliani Owes Cash – An advisor who helped appraise former mayor Rudy Giuliani’s art collection during his divorce alleges that he owes her $15,000.

Trafalgar’s Fountains Dyed in Protest – The activist group Extinction Rebellion spilled fake blood down the steps of the National Gallery and dyed fountain water green to protest deaths of Indigenous people in Brazil.

Art Warehouse Sues Dealer – Brooklyn-based storage facility NYC Art Handlers is suing dealer Fergus McCaffrey for allegedly failing to pay more than $100,000 in fees.

Beleaguered Museum Tries to Settle Dispute – The Museum of the Bible is in talks with the Iraqi government to settle the dispute over thousands of artifacts that may have been looted; since its founding in 2017, the museum has been forced to return scores of antiquities.


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