Art Industry News: Uber-Curator Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev Is Retiring From the Castello di Rivoli + Other Stories



How Yayoi Kusama’s Art Turned Into Instagram Traps – As the artist herself continues to recede from the public eye, a new show at David Zwirner in New York is the latest savvy move by Japanese media company Yayoi Kusama, Inc, following a high profile collaboration with Louis Vuitton. How did the avant-garde artist of the 1960s become a world famous mega-brand, whose infinity rooms rally queues around the block for a 30-second chance at a selfie? ()

Black History Monument Defaced – The public sculpture was vandalized with racist language shortly after being installed in Birmingham, England on May 13. Luckily, it only took a few minutes for the creators to remove the graffiti with sandpaper. “You can say it’s a disappointment but this public art piece was created to start that conversation, which is controversial,” said one of the organizers from Black Heritage Walks Network. (Evening Standard)

Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev Retires from Castello di Rivoli – The veteran curator is retiring from her role as director of the Turin-based institution at the end of 2023, which she has led since 2016. Before joining Castello di Rivoli, Christov-Bakargiev was chief curator at MoMA PS1 in New York, and is well-known for her role as the artistic director of documenta 13 in 2012. While director in Turin, she curated shows of artists including Anne Imhof, Franz Kline, and William Kentridge. (The Art Newspaper)

Darren Bader Is Selling His Name – It can take many decades to build a name in the art world, but are aspiring artists looking for a short cut? The New York artist and provocateur Darren Bader has apparently announced plans to drop out of the industry, and is offering up the chance to legally buy his identity as an artist. The contract offers the right to use his name and ownership of all the works he has produced to date. ()


Emmanuel Kasarhérou Renewed at Quai BranlyThe curator and president of the Paris museum joined in 2020, and has just had his term extended. Kasarhérou arrived to the museum from the Tjibaou Cultural Center in Nouméa, New Caledonia and became the first Kanak person to head a major museum in France. () 

First Tokenized Picasso Painting Sold(1964) was minted onto the blockchain in October 2021 by the fractional ownership start-up Artemundi in partnership with Sygnum Bank, which specializes in digital assets. It has now been acquired by over 60 investors who are apparently receiving an annualized return on investment of around 15 percent. () 

Art For Justice Names 2023 Grantees – The Art for Justice Fund announced the final round of grantees for the spring 2023 cycle, which include the Center for Art & Advocacy, the Cleveland Public Library Foundation, the National Institute for Criminal Justice Reform, and Worth Rises. Ten individual fellowships will also benefit formerly incarcerated artists, including Beverly Price, Louise Waakaa’igan, and Haley Greenfeather English. A4J was launched by philanthropist Agnes Gund in 2017 after seeing Ava DuVernay’s film 13th, and over the past six years has allocated over $125 million and 400 grants.  (Press release)  

Museum of Sex Names Chief Curator – Ariel Plotek will serve as the inaugural chief curator of the New York museum and helm curatorial affairs at the newly built Miami outpost, which opens to open this fall. Plotek was the curator of fine art at the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum in Santa Fe, New Mexico since 2018()


Ropac Displays 5-Meter-Long Piss Painting – The late 1970s work was part of a series of experiments by Andy Warhol into the use of bodily fluids to make art, for which he invited visitors to his studio to urinate directly onto the canvas. The painting is included in “Alchemy,” a survey exhibition of big name artists like Anselm Kiefer and Joseph Beuys whose works involved material transformation, at Thaddaeus Ropac gallery in London until July 29. () 

Andy Warhol, Piss Painting. Photo: Eva Herzog, courtesy of Thaddaeus Ropac gallery.

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