A third of French galleries could be closed by the end of 2020, according to a survey + other stories


Art Industry News is a daily digest of the most important developments in the art world and the art market. Here’s what you need to know this Thursday, April 9.


UOVO under control for dismissal of unionized workers – The major New York-based company handling and storing works of art, UOVO, asked most of its employees to stay at home with full wages during the city foreclosure, but it dismissed seven workers, including six are said to have played a key role in recent organizing efforts. The move prompted Teamsters Local 814 to file a complaint against the National Labor Relations Board against the company, saying they were trying to get rid of pro-union workers under the guise of a pandemic. ((The art journal)

Collectors Leon and Debra Black donate $ 10 million to hospital workers – Leon Black, mega-collector, MoMA board member and founder of private equity firm Apollo, and his wife Debra, a Broadway producer, donate $ 10 million to help provide food and supplies housewives to families of health care workers. The couple, who have already donated millions of dollars to MoMA, said they are ready to match $ 10 million in additional donations from others. ((NBC New York)

Kara Walker’s Tate facility to be destroyed The monumental fountain that Kara Walker created for Tate’s Turbine Hall, which closed early due to the foreclosure of London, will be dismantled, destroyed and recycled. The artist previously expressed the hope that “some aspect of this would have another life” – but instead, like his 2014 Domino installation of the sugar sphinx, it will be destroyed. Fons Americanus was specifically made from reusable cork, wood and metal so it could be recycled at the end of the display, according to a Tate spokesperson. ((BRONZER)

Brooklyn Museum Seeks Federal Bailout – Director Anne Pasternak will seek federal assistance, citing a 15% drop in the museum’s $ 108 million endowment and a loss of $ 4 million in annual revenue due to the forced closure. He joins the Jewish Museum, the Rubin Museum of Art and a number of other institutions to apply for the $ 2.2 trillion pay check protection program, which will provide $ 350 billion in salary protection loans small businesses as long as they retain or re-hire their employees. ((ARTnews)


A third of French galleries could close – A new report from the French professional association Professional Committee of Art Galleries warns that a third of French art galleries could be forced to close before the end of 2020 due to the losses suffered by COVID-19. The 168 respondents to the survey indicated that they planned to lose up to 184 million euros between March and June due to a drop in expected income from fairs and exhibitions, losses on investments and a decrease of sales. ((BRONZER)

Christie’s moves auction from Hong Kong to July – The auction calendar continues to slide and change as the coronavirus enforces worldwide lock-in and new waves of viruses take hold. Christie’s has now moved its flagship sales to Hong Kong from late May to July 5 (Art market monitor)


NEH provides $ 22.2 million in funding for US social studies projects – The National Endowment for the Humanities will provide $ 22.2 million in grants to 224 projects across the United States, in addition to the $ 75 million that the NEH obtains from the federal government under the CARES Act. Recipients include the Portland Museum of Art, the Brooklyn Museum and the Norman Rockwell Museum. ((Artforum)

The Philadelphia Museum stops construction – The renovation of the Philadelphia Art Museum is on hold after a member of the museum’s security team has tested positive for coronavirus. A local union said other people working on the site are now in danger, and construction has been put on hold “too cautiously,” said a spokeswoman for the museum. ((WHY)


Rube Goldberg’s daughter launches handwashing contest – Cartoonist Rube Goldberg’s granddaughter, Jennifer George, runs a family contest in the spirit of her grandfather’s elaborate compliments. The challenge is to build a device that drops a bar of soap into someone’s hand in 10 to 20 steps. Video submissions are accepted until May 31, winners will be posted on the Rube Goldberg website. ((New york times)

Andrea Bocelli will perform in an empty Duomo for Easter – Italian opera singer Andrea Bocelli will perform on Easter Sunday in the historic Duomo of Milan, but will sing in an empty church due to the public health emergency. The performance of spiritual music, including Ave Maria, will be broadcast live on YouTube at 7:00 p.m. CET. ((LA Times)

Zoya Cherkassky’s paintings evoke Judaism in a new virtual show – As Jews around the world celebrate Passover, tUkrainian artist Zoya Cherkassky has mounted a new virtual exhibit at the Fort Gansevoort gallery, “Lost Time”, which portrays Jewish life in the days of the coronaviruses with black humor. Curator Alison Gingeras first saw Cherkassky’s gothic reactions to the crisis on Instagram. ((NYT)

Seattle artists paint in on-board stores – Plywood may increase throughout Seattle as stores close due to the pandemic, but local artists are making sure it doesn’t stay dull. A handful of artists have coordinated with the owners to paint animated murals on the storefronts to cheer up and bring color and joy to the otherwise dark streets. ((Seattle Times)

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