Art Industry News: Have Cell Phones Ruined Art Museums for Everyone? + More Must-Read Stories

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Image: David Hockney takes a cell-phone photo at London’s Royal Academy of Arts. (Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images)


San Francisco Backs Pro-Immigrant Art – The San Francisco Arts Commission has teamed up with the city’s Office of Immigrant Affairs to promote the city’s sanctuary status. Artists are invited to create street posters in San Francisco that protest Donald Trump’s anti-immigrant stance and contrast it with the city’s own. (The Art Newspaper)

Chicago to Get Calatrava Sculpture – Move over, Bean—there’s a new public sculpture in town. The architect Santiago Calatrava is due to build a 30-foot-tall red spiral sculpture on Chicago’s riverfront. The flashy metal sculpture is expected to take 14 months to complete; installation is planned for summer 2019. (Curbed)

Are Cell Phones Ruining Museums? – One critic thinks so. The problem, she says, is not the new ways that viewers interact with art, but the way they interact with one another when their phones are held aloft in front of their faces: “It’s about the role technology is playing in our human—not digital—interactions.” (Washington Post)

Kanye West Is Branching Out Into Architecture – The potential durational performance artist is diversifying his fashion brand by adding a furniture and architecture component. Yesterday, he announced plans to launch “Yeezy Home,” tweeting that the brand is now “looking for architects and industrial designers who want to make the world better.” (Independent)


Is Art Actually Underutilized as an Investment? – The total value of art owned by wealthy investors will rise to $2.6 trillion by 2026, according to a new study from Deloitte and ArtTactic. But there is considerable room to grow: two-thirds of financial advisors say their clients still don’t know much about treating art as an investment. (Wall Street Journal)

Rockwell Leads Sotheby’s American Art Sale – The spring sale of American art at Sotheby’s on May 23 will be led by 13 Norman Rockwellworks from various periods of his career, including the Berkshire Museum’s Blacksmith’s Boy – Heel and Toe, which carries an estimate of $7 million to $10 million. (Press release)

You Want to Buy Art. Where Do You Start? – Top Chinese contemporary art collector Uli Sigg advises new collectors to do their homework before buying (and suggests you play around on artnet’s Price Database, too). Meanwhile, Filipino collectors Kim and Lito Camacho say that if you truly fall in love with an artist, you should buy as much of their work as you can. (Bloomberg)


Miracle Workers to Represent Finland in Venice – The collective of artists, filmmakers, writers, performers, and activists will reimagine the Finnish pavilion at the 2019 Venice Biennale. Curator Bonaventure Soh Bejeng Ndikung promises to address urgent global issues and offer a collision of “aesthetics and ethics.” (Press release)

Printed Matter Heads to East Village – The Chelsea-based nonprofit will launch a second store inside the Swiss Institute’s new space at 38 St. Mark’s Place on June 21. Printed Matter/St. Mark’s will sell artists’ books, prints, and posters as well as the Swiss Institute’s own publications. (ARTnews)

New York City Launches Disability Art Fund – New York’s arts organizations can bid for grants of $10,000 to $35,000 to fund programs designed to help them better engage people with disabilities. But they need to apply quickly: The deadline for the new $350,000 Create New York Disability Forward Fund is June 1. (Press release)


Looted Work From Max Stern’s Collection Found – The foundation of the late Jewish art dealer has identified a 17th-century Dutch painting by Gerrit Claesz Bleker that had been looted during WWII and has been proudly displayed in the city of Weinsberg, Germany, for the past 30 years. The foundation has now sold the painting back to Weinsberg for an undisclosed price, and will donate the money to Canadian universities. (Montreal Gazette)

Agnes Martin Biography Explores Artist’s Bisexuality – A new biography of the artist delves into her burning ambition, struggles with schizophrenia, and bisexual affairs. The most significant was the one she had with gallerist Betty Parsons, who convinced Martin to come to New York in the 1950s. “I’m going to make it—I don’t care who I have to fuck,” a friend recalls Martin declaring. (Santa Fe ChronicleThe Times)

Toronto Is Getting a Major Banksy Show – The Art of Banksy will open on June 13 and feature 80 works by the ubiquitous street artist. The majority of the works were originally shown in Banksy’s landmark “Turf Wars” exhibition in East London in 2003 and “Barely Legal” in Los Angeles in 2006. (Blog TO)

Canada’s National Gallery Director Gets Chagall-ed in Cartoon – It’s not every day the director of a major museum is the subject of a political cartoon. But Marc Mayer, the director and CEO of the National Gallery of Canada, was tickled by his recent caricature, which pokes fun at the brouhaha surrounding the institution’s abandoned plan to deaccession Chagall’s La Tour Eiffel. (Instagram)