The art market is one of the attention-getting elements of the art world, but a new book focuses on a part of the market that is often invisible. Latinx Art: Artists/Markets/Politics by Arlene Dávila—an anthropology professor at New York University and the founder of the school’s Latinx Project—considers why Latinx art continues to be undervalued and how racism figures in the market around it. In her book, published by Duke University Press, Dávila writes about what is meant by the term “Latinx art,” how it is distinct from Latin American art (and why the coupling of the two can be problematic), and how the exhibiting of art in general feeds into the creation a market—or a lack of one. As she writes, “The invisibility of Latinx artists is everyone’s concern.” ARTnews spoke with Dávila to learn more about the book.

ARTnews: When did you start thinking that Latinx Read the rest

In another world, Black artist would be able to create, primarily, for audiences with whom they share a culture. But today, more often than not, they are assimilated into, and made legible within, the Western visual regime. This has certainly been the case for the Congolese Plantation Workers Art League (abbreviated CATPC for the group’s French name, Cercle d’Art des Travailleurs de Plantation Congolaise), a collective, established in 2014, of artists and agricultural workers who create sculptures made of chocolate; a number of them are employed on plantations owned by the multinational corporation Unilever, where they grow cacao. Their sculptures are made of material at once ready-at-hand and powerfully symbolic. The specter of the non-native cacao plant’s violent history haunts the region, and also the use of chocolate in CATPC’s work.

Congolese cacao has been used to produce Belgian chocolate since the nineteenth century, though Europeans were first introduced to … Read the rest

At its newly merged 20th/21st century art department’s first major evening sale this fall, Christie’s will sell Pablo Picasso’s Femme dans un fauteuil (1941) as the leading lot. Expected to fetch between $20 million–$30 million, the work will go up for sale at Christie’s New York location on October 6 alongside recently unveiled works by Paul Cézanne, Jean-Michel Basquiat, and Joan Mitchell.

At 51⅛ inches by 38 inches, the work features one of Picasso’s three muses, the Surrealist photographer and artist Dora Maar, whom he met in 1936. The Christie’s sale marks its first time at auction.

The piece is a seminal example of Picassos’ wartime artistic developments, according to a statement from Conor Jordan, Christie’s deputy chairman of Impressionist and modern art. Completed in 1941 following the Nazi regime’s occupation in Paris, it is from a series of works featuring Maar Picasso made in his Paris studio as … Read the rest

For the past decade, Vogue covers have followed an overall formula: dress up a celebrity or model in flowing designer fashion, arrange them into an angular pose, and then center their face on the magazine for maximum newsstand visibility. The results look like so many repetitive royal portraits in a museum wing. But for this year’s September issue, always the year’s biggest, the magazine worked with two painters to create a pair of covers. Kerry James Marshall’s imagined model wears an asymmetrical Off-White evening dress while Jordan Casteel’s portrait of Aurora James presents the designer on a Brooklyn rooftop in an avalanche of blue silk. Both paintings are remarkable in and of themselves, but they stand out even more against that staid photographic cover formula. They’re textured, evocative, and exciting, turning the magazine into a collectible art object.

On top of everything else, the pandemic has … Read the rest

Portrait of Mark Bradford, 2020.

End papers, small rectangular sheets of translucent paper that protect hair during the perm process, are the basis of Los Angeles–based painter Mark Bradford’s early artworks. While working in his mother’s beauty salon, Bradford began integrating the papers into abstract paintings, creating a layered scrim through which the paint emerges. The artist, guided by an interest in common materials, has incorporated items from around Los Angeles—including fragments of posters, broadsides, and billboards—to tackle issues of civil unrest. His painting Kingdom Day (2003), appropriating advertisements and other images, refers to the 1992 edition of the annual Los Angeles parade honoring the birth of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. In an attempt to help alleviate racial tensions, it recalls the first year a Korean-born parade grand master was appointed, following the fatal 1991 shooting of Black teenager Latasha Harlins by a Korean storeowner and the brutal Read the rest

Erich Marx, a well-known art collector and patron whose decision in the 1990s to donate the bulk of his esteemed collection of contemporary art to the German state transformed the public display of contemporary art in the country, died on Wednesday, September 9, at age 99. The news was announced by the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation, which runs Berlin’s art museums, and was first reported by the Art Newspaper.

Marx, who was named on the ARTnews Top 200 Collectors list each year between 1990 (when it launched) and 1996, might best be remembered for his decision to give the Nationalgalerie (also known as the Berlin State Museums) much of the work in his key collection of postwar art, centered around the work of Joseph Beuys, Anselm Kiefer, Robert Rauschenberg, Cy Twombly, and Andy Warhol, whom Marx collected in depth.

When Marx gave the works to the … Read the rest

With some 50 days until the presidential election in November, one artist group has announced its latest project—an open call to artists and everyday citizens alike to get involved, not just in the upcoming vote but beyond. The organization For Freedoms, cofounded by artists Hank Willis Thomas, Eric Gottesman, and Michelle Woo, as super PAC in 2016, has released “Infinite Playbook,” a digital publication intended to spur its readers to action using arts and culture.

In this handsome online publication, For Freedoms writes, “Now, we invite you to awaken with us. This fall presents us with imminent possibility, a chance to commit to a world of healing, listening, and justice. The first step is to participate in political processes now, to count yourself in the census, and to vote or to help someone to vote.”

In an interview with ARTnews, Willis Thomas … Read the rest

Curator José Roca, who serves as artistic director for the Bogotá-based nonprofit contemporary art space Flora Ars+Natura, has been named artistic director of the 23rd Biennale of Sydney in Australia. Set to take place from March 12 to June 13, 2022, the exhibition will have a “strong focus on sustainability and collaboration,” according to a release.

From 2012 to 2015, Roca worked as adjunct curator of Latin American art for the Tate in London, and he previously helmed the arts program at the Museo del Banco de la República in his hometown of Bogotá. He has also served as chief curator of the 8th Bienal do Mercosul in Porto Alegre, Brazil, in 2011; co-curator of the I Poly/graphic Triennial in San Juan, Puerto Rico, in 2004; and the 27th Bienal de São Paulo in 2006. He was also artistic director of Philadelphia’s triennial Philagrafika in 2010.

The team of curators … Read the rest

For the first time in its 150-year history, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York has hired a full-time Native American art curator. Staring on September 14, Patricia Marroquin Norby (Purépecha) will be the Met’s inaugural associate curator of Native American art. She will work in the museum’s famed American Wing and report to Sylvia Yount, who oversees the presentations put on in that department of the Met.

Norby has previously served as senior executive and assistant director of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian-New York. She has also been the director of the D’Arcy McNickle Center for American Indian and Indigenous Studies at the Newberry, a research library in Chicago, and written scholarship on self-representation in Indigenous art.

“Historical and contemporary Native American art embodies and confronts the environmental, religious, and economic disruptions that Indigenous communities have so powerfully negotiated—and still negotiate—through a balance of beauty, … Read the rest

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The Everson Museum of Art in Syracuse New York will deaccession Jackson Pollock’s 1946 painting Red Composition, which is valued between $12 million and $18 million, as part of an effort to diversify its collection. [Art Market Monitor]

Following a pause due to the pandemic, a New York residency for Russian artists is planning for its fall cycle. The initiative was organized in a collaboration between the Moscow-based art collective AES+F and the International Studio & Curatorial Program. [The Art Newspaper]

The contemporary art scene in Athens is flourishing, according to a new report by the Financial Times. [Financial Times]


Vanity Fair has a piece on the U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee’s 2018 deposition of Leon Black, who has appeared on ARTnews‘s … Read the rest