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 Thursday, March 11.
More Insight Into Metro Pictures’ Closure – A fuller story behind the bombshell closing of Metro Pictures gallery is coming into focus. ARTnews reports that gallery founders Helene Winer and Janelle Reiring began discussions with Friedrich Petzel about his gallery essentially absorbing Metro, but the negotiations fell apart because they “couldn’t predetermine that the artists that he very much wanted would go with him.” Meanwhile, the announcement of the closure was hastened after Cindy Sherman secured new representation with Hauser & Wirth, departing not only Metro but also Sprüth Magers. (ARTnews)
Artist Wins Suit Over “Distorted” Image of Her Work – A New York court has ruled in favor of artist Pat Lipsky in her fight against a gallery that she claimed damaged her reputation by uploading a manipulated image of her 1969 painting, Bright Music II, to the online sales platform Artspace. Lipsky filed suit against both Artspace and the gallery last year under the rarely used 1980 Artist Authorship Rights Act. While Artspace settled out of court, no one from Spanierman Gallery ever responded to the lawsuit. Owner Ira Spanierman died in 2019. (TAN)
German Museum Servers Crash Under Demand for Tickets – Turns out, people really want to see art! After news broke that German museums would be permitted to reopen on March 9, considerably earlier than expected, demand for tickets was so high that it crashed the servers at the Kunsthalle Karlsruhe and the Museum Ludwig in Cologne. Attendance remains extremely limited per government rules. (Monopol)
Meet the Real Melly Shum – When she was an art student in 1989, Canadian Melly Shum had her photograph taken by her professor, celebrated Canadian photographer Ken Lum. Little did she know that the image—reconfigured into a diptych titled Melly Shum Hates Her Job—would go on to become a famous work that sparked conversations about workers’ rights, women’s rights, and the lived experiences of people of color. Shum, who couldn’t find a job in the art world and now works in retail, was surprised to find out that an entire institution, formerly Witte de With, was recently named after her in the Netherlands. (CBC)
Christie’s Sets Records at Contemporary Sale – Christie’s mid-season “Postwar to Present” auction generated $23 million with fees and an 86 percent sell-through rate across 120 lots on Tuesday. The sale saw records set for Derrick Adams, Elaine de Kooning, Lucas Samaras, and Jammie Holmes. With a total on par with last year’s sale, the results suggest demand is stable in the middle market. (ARTnews)
Taipei Dangdai Cancels July Fair – After several postponements, Taipei Dangdai has called off its physical event, which was due to run from July 2–4 at the Taipei Nangang Exhibition Center. Organizers did not cite an official reason, but said they plan to hold a smaller-scale event instead. More detail will be announced in the coming weeks. (ArtAsiaPacific)
COMINGS & GOINGS
The Imperial War Museums Spend Big on New Commissions – The institution, which has five locations in England, has announced a £2 million initiative to commission and acquire art that depicts conflict. The project is funded by royalties from star director Peter Jackson’s film They Shall Not Grow Old, which was also commissioned by Imperial War Museums. The 20 awards will range from £20,000 to £250,000. (Guardian)
Arizona Officials Return Pre-Colombian Artifacts to Mexico – Officials from the US Homeland Security Investigations unit returned 277 pre-Columbian objects to the Mexican consulate in Nogales, Arizona, this week. The majority of the haul—267 items, including tools and carvings dating back as far as 5,000 years, estimated to be worth $124,000—was found by Customs and Border Patrol in 2012. Another ten 1,500-year-old ceramic figures were uncovered the following year, estimated to be worth between $26,100 and $45,700. (TAN)
Judy Chicago Inducted Into National Women’s Hall of Fame – Alongside Michelle Obama, Octavia Butler, and Mia Hamm, artist Judy Chicago will be inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame as part of the 2021 class. A ceremony will be held on October 2. (AP)
FOR ART’S SAKE
The Netherlands Forges Ahead With Restitution Plans – The Netherlands is cementing its reputation as one of the leading nations confronting the colonial history of its museums. The Dutch government has become the first to establish an independent committee to assess requests for the return of objects in national collections on the basis of provenance research. Now, a research consortium of nine museums and an Amsterdam university is also preparing to launch a €4.5 million project to develop practical guidance for museums on how to approach their colonial collections. (TAN)
In-Demand Artists Donate Works to Arts Education Fundraiser – Sought-after artists including Jadé Fadojutimi, Donna Huanca, and Cassi Namoda have donated works to a charity auction benefitting the Whitechapel Gallery’s education and community programs. The online sale, hosted by Phillips, runs from March 15–23. (Press release)
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