Art industry news: London’s National Gallery to raise a whopping $50m to buy ‘Portrait of Omai’ + other news

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 Wednesday, August 31st.


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

Wolfgang Tillmans weighs in for office – In an interview about his upcoming 35-year retrospective at MoMA, which opens September 13, the famous photographer says he’s been talking to lawmakers about running for the Bundestag. “If you’re a fervent advocate of democracy, then you also have to think about running for office,” says Tillmans, adding that he only rules out working with the left-wing party Die Linke and instead “want to have as many ears as possible” with conservatives politicians and voters. (New York Times)

National Gallery set to raise £50m for painting London’s National Portrait Gallery wants to raise the staggering sum for Joshua Reynolds Portrait of Omai. If successful, it would be the most expensive acquisition ever made by a British museum. The work, created around 1776, is owned by horse breeder millionaire John Magnier. The work has been placed under an export ban but risks leaving the UK if a buyer is not found. (The art newspaper)

Columbus Museum of Art Workers plans to unionize – Museum staff are working to form a union, citing concerns about treatment and retention, especially in the wake of the pandemic. After major layoffs, the remaining employees are confronted with increased mental and physical stress. The museum has not yet confirmed whether it will voluntarily recognize the union. (Columbus Shipping)

movers & shakers

Prospect.6 Announces Curatorial Team – Ebony G. Patterson, along with curator Miranda Lash, will serve as Co-Artistic Director for the sixth edition of Prospect New Orleans, scheduled to open in fall 2024. Patterson is the first artist to take on this role, although she has extensive experience working with Prospect, both as an artist and as a curatorial councilor for the Triennial. Lash and Patterson first met in 2017 when Lash was a curator at the Speed ​​Art Museum and organized 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 holds a unique place in the United States as it more closely reflects the wealth of the global majority.” (press release)

Dallas Museum of Art Appoints New Asian Art Curator – 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 receives the Wolfgang Hahn Prize from the Museum Ludwig – The Belgian-born, Mexico City-based artist is the recipient of the $100,000 award. He too will have his work acquired by the Museum Ludwig in Cologne and have an exhibition there in autumn 2023. (art forum)

John Lennon’s motherhouse hits auction block – The Liverpool home where the famous musician’s mother lived is up for auction at Omega Auctions and could fetch up to £250,000. The house on 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 lived with his aunt himself, he and his friends used the house’s detached garage for jam sessions. (evening standard)


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

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