Art Industry News: London’s National Gallery to raise colossal $50 million to buy ‘Portrait of Omai’ + Other News


Art Industry News is a daily summary of the most important developments in the art world and the art market. Here’s what you need to know this Wednesday, August 31.


A podcast on the death of Ana Mendieta – In an upcoming Pushkin and Somethin’ Else podcast titled “Death of an Artist,” former LA MOCA curator Helen Molesworth investigates the preparations for the famous performance artist’s death, the trial of her husband Carl Andre and the consequences of his acquittal. It will be presented on September 23. (vanity lounge)

Wolfgang Tillmans weighs running for office –In an interview about his upcoming 35-year retrospective at MoMA, which opens Sept. 13, the famed photographer says he’s spoken with lawmakers about his candidacy for the Bundestag, the lower house of Germany’s parliament. “If you are a strong advocate of democracy, then you really should consider being a candidate,” says Tillmans, adding that he only ruled out working with Germany’s left-wing party, Die Linke, and instead wanted “have so many ears” with conservative politicians and voters. (New York Times)

The National Gallery wants to raise £50m for a painting – London’s National Portrait Gallery wants to raise eye-popping sum for Joshua Reynolds Portrait of Omai. If successful, it would be the most expensive acquisition ever made by a British museum. The work, which dates from around 1776, belongs to horse-breeding millionaire John Magnier. An export ban has been imposed on the work, but it risks leaving the UK if a buyer is not found. (The arts journal)

Columbus Museum of Art workers plan to unionize – Museum staff are working to form a union, citing concerns over treatment and retention, especially in the wake of the pandemic. After significant layoffs, the remaining staff face increased mental and physical stress. The museum has yet to confirm whether it will voluntarily recognize the union.(Columbus Expedition)


Prospect.6 Announces Custody Team – Ebony G. Patterson will serve as co-artistic director with curator Miranda Lash for the sixth edition of Prospect New Orleans, slated to open fall 2024. Patterson is the first artist to take on the role, although she owns extensive work experience. with Prospect, as an artist and member of the triennial’s curatorial board. Lash and Patterson first met in 2017 when Lash was curator at the Speed ​​Art Museum and curated an exhibition of Patterson’s work. “I have always been moved by the history and culture of New Orleans,” Patterson said in a statement, “it occupies a unique space in the United States, as a much closer reflection of the richness of the world’s majority”. (Press release)

Dallas Museum of Art Appoints New Curator of Asian Art – Jacqueline Chao joins the DMA from the Crow Museum of Asian Art in Dallas, where she has worked since 2016. She specializes in traditional and contemporary Chinese ink painting and visual culture. (Press release)

Francis Alÿs wins Museum Ludwig’s Wolfgang Hahn Prize – The Belgian-born, Mexico City-based artist is the recipient of the $100,000 cash prize. He will also have his work acquired by the Museum Ludwig in Cologne, and will have an exhibition there in the fall of 2023. (art forum)

John Lennon’s mother’s house goes up for auction – The Liverpool house where the famous musician’s mother lived is going under the hammer at Omega Auctions and could fetch up to £250,000. The house in Blomfield Road, dubbed “the house of sin” by Lennon’s aunt, served as a base camp for the young musician and his bandmates, including the future Sir Paul McCartney. Although John himself lived down the road with his aunt, he and his friends used the house’s detached garage for jam sessions. (evening standard)


Elizabeth Peyton designs Timothee Chalamet movie poster – The American artist, whose subjects have included celebrities and historical figures ranging from Napoleon and Marie Antoinette to Kurt Cobain and Ed Sheeran, has painted the cover image for actor Timothee Chalamet’s upcoming film, bones and all. Directed by Luca Guadagnino (whose 2017 film call me by your nameshot Chalamet to stardom) follows two young lovers as they travel 3,000 miles of American backwoods. (instagram)

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