Art Industry News: Modigliani Tried to Ghost His Ex in a Famous Painting, But Now A.I. Has Brought Her Back + Other Stories

Art Industry News is a daily summary of the most momentous developments in the art world and the art market. You need to know that this Monday, June 7th.


Academy Museum overtakes opening exhibition – The Academy Museum of Motion Pictures redesigned its galleries ahead of its (very delayed) opening in Los Angeles in September this year. The exhibition rooms now more explicitly pay tribute to the flawed history of Hollywood film and create more space for women and people of color. “What we don’t want is a place of celebration where there are no critical discussions about what we haven’t done right,” said museum director Bill Kramer. (New York Times)

Anish Kapoor Slams Plan to Bulldoz Parliament – Artist Anish Kapoor has commented on Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s decision to bulldozers the Islamic-inspired Edwin Lutyens-designed building that houses the Indian Parliament in New Delhi. Kapoor described Modi’s plan, which is part of the leader’s ongoing campaign to “de-Islamization” of India, as “an abomination”. (Guardian)

AI creates a lost lover in Modigliani painting – Scientific analysis by Modiglianis Portrait of a girl (1917) revived what he later painted over: a portrait of his ex-lover Beatrice Hastings. Experts used X-rays and analysis of the artist’s other paintings to train artificial intelligence to show what the original underpainting would have looked like. A replica of the “hidden” portrait will be on view at the Lebenson Gallery in London from Thursday to June 25th. (Guardian)

Greece will improve access to the Acropolis – Many changes are coming to the Acropolis. Nikolaos Stampolidis, currently director of the Museum of Cycladic Art, has been appointed director of the Acropolis Museum. Meanwhile, Greece is working to improve the accessibility of the site despite the backlash from some innovations, including the installation of a concrete walkway to improve wheelchair access. Braille signs and scale models of the monuments are added, as are handrails and slope warning signs. (National Herald, France 24)


Bonhams withdraws looted Nepalese sculptures The consignor of five gilded bronze sculptures from the 18th century. The auction house did not comment on whether the seller would negotiate to return the sculptures depicting Hindu gods to their original owners. (The art newspaper)

Christie’s sells restituted Dutch paintings – Christie’s is auctioning two recently restituted Nazi-looted paintings during an evening auction of the Old Masters in London on July 8th. The 17th century Dutch paintings by Jan Davidsz de Heem and Dirck Hals with Dirck van Delen are expected to put together as much as $ 8.5 million. (ARTnews)


Schomburg Center appoints director – Joy Bivins will take over the helm of the center, which is the premier archive for African, African diaspora and African American history and culture. She came to the Schomburg in 2020 as deputy head of the collection and was previously chief curator of of International African American Museum in Charleston, South Carolina. (NOW)

Donald Judd’s architectural building damaged by fire – On Friday, a fire broke out in the Donald Judd Foundation architectural office in Marfa, Texas. The cause of the fire is unknown, but the interior of the building is said to have been badly damaged. Fortunately, no casualties were reported and the building was empty and undergoing renovation at the time. (Glass hoops)


Calls to the Rescue by Keith Haring mural – A Keith Haring mural in a former Barcelona nightclub is under threat as the building’s owner tries to hollow it out to build an elderly care facility. While the owner is considering whether the work, valued at 80,000 euros, should be sold or donated to the Keith Haring Foundation, some of the artist’s former friends argue that it should remain after the reopening. (Guardian)

Watch Wu Tsang’s Hypnotic New Movie – A new film by Wu Tsang for Saint Heron, the creative agency founded by Solange, shows the actor and model Dominique Jackson, the music icon Dionne Warwick and the singer Joi. Called passage, the hypnotic film celebrates a group of artists creating sustainable fashion for the International Woolmark Prize. While Creative was directing the film, artist Tosh Basco choreographed the movement and the cast was styled by Ib Karma. See it here. (ARTnews)

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