Culture

Iranian Art Market Suffers After Oil Sanctions, Winnipeg Gallery Launches Indigenous Biennial

Purvis Young, “Sometimes I Get Emotion from the Game” (early 1980s), 12 1/4 x 17 3/4 in. Acquired by the Morgan Library & Museum from the Souls Grown Deep Foundation. (courtesy the Souls Grown Deep Foundation)

Week in Review is a weekly collection of news, developments, and stirrings in the art world. Subscribe to receive these posts as a weekly newsletter.

The Souls Grown Deep Foundation has announced an acquisition agreement with the Brooklyn Museum, Dallas Museum of Art, The Morgan Library & Museum, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and Spelman College Museum of Fine Art to help the institutions acquire works by artists of the African American South. The current acquisitions include 51 objects by 30 primarily female artists. Souls Grown Deep also announced it will sell Thornton Dial’s painting, “Fading” (2002), at Christie’s Post-War and Contemporary Art Sale on Friday, November 16. The proceeds of the sale will support the Souls Grown Deep Internship Program, which establishes paid opportunities for undergraduate students of color to work in museums. [via email announcement]

The California Historical Society received a grant of almost $100,000 from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission “to process, describe, digitize, provide access to, and promote engagement with three major contemporary collections documenting the social and political history of California in the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s.” [via email announcement]

The Shed, the NYC cultural center set to open in 2019, has announced its impending partnership with Björk. The Icelandic singer and multidisciplinary artist will work with John Tiffany, the Broadway director of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, to construct “Cornucopia,” her “most elaborate stage concert yet.” Embroidery artist James Merry and haute couture designer Iris van Herpen will be involved in the visuals, and Viibra, a seven-piece female Icelandic flute ensemble, will accompany Björk on stage. [Paper]

An artwork by Daniel Bejar has proven controversial after veterans groups complained to the Westchester Community College’s Fine Art Gallery, which subsequently closed its exhibition of Bejar’s work a week early. The offending artwork is an 8- by 12-foot American flag, on which Bejar rearranged the stars to read the word “FAKE.” The flag, titled “Rec-elections (False Flag),” was inspired by an 1864 re-election campaign banner for Abraham Lincoln, where the stars read “FREE” (a reference to the Emancipation Proclamation). Bejar calls the decision censorship but complied with the gallery director’s decision to shutter the exhibition early. [The Art Newspaper]

Complex Mask, Yup’ik, Village of Napaskiak, Kuskokwim Region, Alaska c. 1890–1905, wood, paint, sinew, vegetal fiber, cotton thread, replaced feathers, height: 34″ (courtesy Donald Ellis Gallery, New York)

The Winnipeg Art Gallery  (WAG) will launch a Winnipeg Indigenous biennial in conjunction with the WAG Inuit Art Centre. “Canada is experiencing a renaissance of Indigenous art and the gallery is honored to be part of this exciting movement,” WAG’s director and chief executive officer, Stephen Borys, said during an announcement at the Gallery. [Winnipeg Free Press]

Filmmakers Jennifer Washington and Kristian Hill are crowdfunding to complete their impending film God Said Give ’Em Drum Machines: The Story Of Detroit Techno. The feature follows the careers of Derrick May, Juan Atkins, Kevin Saunderson, Eddie Fowlkes, Blake Baxter, Santonio Echols, and others to elucidate the monumental contributions of Detroit’s 1980s Black community to create techno music. “It has been our personal mission to produce a feature-length documentary that tells an important part of Black history and American history that often gets overlooked,” Washington says. So far, they have raised over $17,000 out of their $30,000 goal. [Kickstarter]

Teresita Fernández, Eclipse, 2002. Collection Pérez Art Museum Miami, gift of the artist and Lehmann Maupin Gallery, New York. (photo by Oriol Tarridas and courtesy Pérez Art Museum Miami)

Pérez Art Museum Miami has announced the Latin American and Latinx Art Fund, an affiliate group created to support exhibitions and programming at the museum for Latin American and Latinx artists. [via email announcement]

El Museo del Barrio was bestowed a $1 million gift by the museum’s board chair, Tony Bechara. The funds will go towards the museum’s curatorial and education programs, as well as its endowment. [via email announcement]

The Guggenheim Abu Dhabi was revealed as the buyer of Yoko Ono’s painting by Jean-Michel Basquiat, “Cabra” (1981-83), which sold for $11 million at Sotheby’s last November. The painting is currently on view at the Louvre Abu Dhabi. [ARTnews]

Penske Media Corporation has purchased Art Media Holdings, LLC, formerly owned by Peter Brant. They now have control of prominent art publications ARTnewsArt in AmericaThe Magazine Antiques, and Modern Magazine. The exact amount of the exchange has not been announced, but the New York Post reports the amount is likely between $20 million and $25 million. [NY Post]

Looking for Oum Kulthum (2017), directed by Shirin Neshat in collaboration with Shoja Azari (image courtesy of Razor Film)
Looking for Oum Kulthum (2017), directed by Shirin Neshat in collaboration with Shoja Azari (image courtesy of Razor Film)

US sanctions on Iran’s oil exports, coupled with rising inflation, have been detrimental to the nation’s collectors and gallerists. Hormoz Hematian, founder of Dastan’s Basement, a contemporary art gallery in Tehran, told Bloomberg about the recent insecurity of the Iranian art market amid international economic and political instability. After Trump imposed oil sanctions in the country, the rial plummeted in worth to a third of its previous value, within months. Art dealer Leila Heller, who represents Iranian artists Y.Z. Kami and Shoja Azari, says that her gallery in Dubai “has suffered tremendously since the currency dropped,” as Iranian clients are no longer buying. [Bloomberg]

The Financial Times has launched a tool to alert journalists if their articles are not quoting enough women. After the publication discovered only 21% of people quoted in their articles are women, they developed a bot that analyzes pronoun usage and first names to warn journalists when their gender representation misses the mark. [Guardian]

Columbia University is hosting an art exhibition addressing environmental concerns called, One Tree, One City. The exhibition features 150 artworks by students in grades K-12 from 15 countries who have created artwork about their environment. Sailesh Varadan, an art teacher at Renaissance High School in the Bronx, said, “One student, Kelly Crizanto, portrayed a parent and child observing a public speaker addressing a growing crowd echoed by a large beautiful tree in the background, including flags hanging from the tree as leaves, symbolizing the various cultures of color in the neighborhoods.” The students’ artwork will be on display at Macy Gallery at Teachers College of Columbia University through November 29. [No Boundaries]

Transactions:

Edward Hopper, "Chop Suey" (1929), oil on canvas, 32 x 38 inches (image courtesy Christie's)
Edward Hopper, “Chop Suey” (1929), oil on canvas, 32 x 38 inches (image courtesy Christie’s)

Christie’s An American Place: The Barney A. Ebsworth Collection Evening Sale in New York brought in a total of $317,801,250 on November 13. The sale’s top lot, Edward Hopper’s “Chop Suey” (1929), sold for $91,875,000, setting a new auction record for Hopper and bringing in the highest amount for the week of semiannual sales in New York.

This and other notable sales and acquisitions are chronicled in our latest Transactions story.

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