Art Industry News is a daily round-up of the most momentous developments in the art world and art market. Here’s what you need to know this Monday, July 18th.
Behind the Scenes of the Culture War in Ukraine – Art critic Jason Farago traveled to Ukraine to report on the ground that culture is at the crosshairs of a war in which not only power but also identity is at stake. The creative professionals he met “make no distinction between the survival of the people and the land of Ukraine and the survival of its history and ideas. As Russia is actively trying to erase Ukraine’s national identity, this country’s music, literature, films and monuments are not replicas. They are battlefields.” (New York Times)
Indigenous artists are calling on the Canadian government to tighten regulation of the art market – Artists are urging the Canadian government to tighten regulations to stop the import and sale of counterfeit Indigenous art from Eastern Europe and Asia. Artists want to be able to use the Digital Millennium Copyright Act to stop counterfeiters, and want more laws that would redress affected Indigenous artists who they say have lost millions of dollars in sales. (The art newspaper)
Collector Lily Safra dies at 87 The Brazilian-born socialite and philanthropist, “with enough highs and tragic lows to fill a dozen Danielle Steel novels,” died of pancreatic cancer at home in Geneva on July 9. Her collection included works by Alberto Giacometti, Gerhard Richter and other masters of the 19th and 20th centuries. She sold some of her artwork and jewelry to benefit charities including museums, medical institutions and children’s charities. And she made international headlines when her fourth husband, banker Edmond J. Safra, died in a fire in their Monaco penthouse in 1999 after locking himself and a nurse in a bathroom that doubled as a security room. (New York Times)
What’s going on in Pace’s Discord? – As part of his foray into the NFT world, Pace has launched his own blue chip Discord channel. Attempting to build a community there reveals a clash between ordinary NFT investors and elite art collectors, while Pace’s presenters try to generate excitement for Jeff Koons’ $2 million-a-piece “Moon Phases” series. “No one on the Discord seems to care about putting a Jeff Koons sculpture on the moon – they are interested in placing something you own on the moon,” writes Sean Kennedy. (Outland)
movers & shakers
Russian artist-activist acquitted of ‘pornography’ allegations Yulia Tsvetkova, a 29-year-old feminist and LGBTQ+ activist and artist, has been cleared of pornography allegations related to female genitalia illustrations she posted on her social media page, Vagina Monologues. She was under house arrest after authorities opened a criminal case in the remote town of Komsomolsk-on-Amur in 2019 over her alleged distribution of “pornographic material.” She faced up to six years in prison. (Moscow times)
Maryland Institute College of Art lays off staff amid union movements Citing budget deficits, the Baltimore art school has laid off staff just weeks after its staff voted on May 24 to join the SEIU Local 500 union. Union officials asked the administration to start negotiations before changing workers’ working conditions, but the administration said the changes were necessary. (art forum)
Academy Museum voluntarily recognizes Union – In other news from the museum union, The Academy Museum of Motion Pictures in Los Angeles voluntarily recognized its employees’ union two months after a group of museum employees declared their intention to join the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees. The Academy Museum Union represents around 160 employees in 17 different departments. (hyperallergic)
Santa Barbara Museum of Contemporary Art is Closing – The Southern California museum plans to close permanently on August 28. After years of financial pressure, the pandemic was the final nail in its coffin. Founded in 1976, the museum has been in its current location in the Paseo Nuevo shopping center since 1990. (Santa Barbara independent)
O’Flaherty’s massive art opening shut down by police The opening of an open-call group show at the unorthodox Manhattan art gallery co-chaired by artist Jamian Juliano-Villani was so crowded that it was closed by police at 8:30 p.m. The Patriot”, a parodic version of the summer group show. (ARTnews)
Frank Bowling’s little-known sculptures on display – At the Stephen Lawrence Gallery in London, a new exhibition (until 3 September) by acclaimed painter Frank Bowling focuses on his lesser-known sculptures. Often composed of steel and other flotsam the artist has collected over the years, these abstract works follow the same logic as his paintings, with a strong focus on geometry. (Guardian)
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