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 Tuesday, June 8.
Campaigners Try to Sabotage Edward Colson Exhibition – Members of the “Save Our Statues” campaign are lobbying for a statue of the 17th-century slave trader Edward Colston to be put back on its plinth in Bristol, U.K. The monument, which was torn down during a Black Lives Matter protest last year, is now on view at M Shed museum. The protestors are attempting to derail the exhibition by booking up time-slotted tickets to prevent others from attending. (Evening Standard)
Tel Aviv Museum Gets $15 Million – The Paulson Family Foundation has donated $15 million to the Tel Aviv Museum of Art to support an overhaul of its main building, which opened in 1971. The gift, given in honor of the museum’s 90th anniversary, will finance the installation of new technology and environmentally efficient upgrades. In recognition of the donation, the central building will be renamed the Paulson Family Foundation Building. (Press release)
Anthony Weiner Wants to Get Into NFTs – The former Congressman and New York mayoral candidate is a pariah in politics (he’s currently running an environmentally sustainable countertop company in Brooklyn). But he has been watching the rise of NFTs with interest. He has even considered making an NFT of the errant tweet that set his career on fire in 2011, or of the search warrant for his laptop. “Cashing in would be nice,” Weiner said. Perhaps he could even “create a new category that lets people buy and sell political collectibles as a form of political fundraising and contributing.”(New York Times)
Protestors Topple Statue of Repressive Canadian Educator – Protestors have vandalized and toppled a statue of Egerton Ryerson, one of the architects of Canada’s residential school system. Around 1,000 people marched outside Ryerson University in Toronto following the discovery last month of the bones of 215 children at a former residential school in Kamloops, on Canada’s west coast. Residential schools were government-run boarding schools that attempted to assimilate Indigenous children and were known for rampant abuse. Ryerson says the statue of its namesake “will not be restored or replaced.” (CBC)
Tokyo Makes a Bid for Asia’s Art Market – Alongside Seoul and Singapore, Tokyo is vying for a corner of the Asian art market that has long been dominated by Hong Kong. Japan has loosened some of its tax rules to make it easier to trade art and, in 2023, will unveil a gallery hub five minutes from Tokyo’s Haneda airport that is inside a free trade zone. (TAN)
Greene Naftali to Open East Hampton Space – The New York gallery is the latest to pop up in East Hampton. The gallery will open a summer group show on June 12 featuring the work of 26 artists including Tony Cokes, Monika Baer, and Jana Euler. (Press release)
COMINGS & GOINGS
Maxxi L’Aquila Opens – Twelve years after an earthquake devastated the central Italian town of L’Aquila, a new contemporary art museum has taken shape there. Maxxi L’Aquila, a sister museum of the larger Maxxi Rome, debuted on May 28 with works by Maurizio Cattelan, William Kentridge, Anish Kapoor, and more. (NYT)
Virginia Supreme Court to Hear Case Over Confederate Statue Removal – The Supreme Court of Virginia will hear legal challenges to Governor Ralph Northam’s plan to take down a statue of the Confederate general Robert E. Lee. At issue is whether Virginia is bound to a decision made more than 130 years ago to accept and maintain the statue, or if this agreement can be discarded due to the wishes of the public. (Guardian)
FOR ART’S SAKE
Museum Endowments Aren’t Doing So Great – According to writer Clark Filio, returns on museum endowments generally lag about five percent behind a standard balanced portfolio. How is this possible, when museum boards are stacked with some of the top financiers on the planet? One research paper speculates it is because large endowments are vulnerable to “predatory sales pitches” from fund managers. (Hyperallergic)
Check Out the London Design Biennale’s Empathy Chamber – Can sitting inside a mirrored room make you more empathetic? That’s the idea behind The Empathy Echo Chamber, designed by Finnish artist Enni Kukka. The (literally) reflective space, which seeks to encourage visitors to echo one another’s experiences, is on view at Somerset House as part of the Es Devlin-curated London Design Biennale through June 27, 2021. (Instagram)
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