NYPD officers at a Black Lives Matter protest in New York in May 2020 (photo by the author for Hyperallergic)

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.

At a time of increased scrutiny over the actions of police forces across the country, fueled by protests of historic proportions, the New York Police Department (NYPD) has proposed new regulations that would expand the authority of officers to seize the press credentials of journalists and bar them from crossing police lines to cover news stories.

The Tenement Museum on Manhattan’s Lower East Side laid off its entire staff of part-time educators. The group of 71 workers constitutes 92% of the museum’s education staff.

A report commissioned by the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs describes a grim landscape for the city’s cultural sector amid COVID-19. It reported over 15,000 workers have been laid off or furloughed from 810 NYC cultural organizations, and a notable difference in impact between large and small nonprofits, among other notable findings.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that some cultural attractions, including museums, malls, and indoor dining, would still not be permitted to reopen as New York City entered Phase IV this week.

The Penn Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology at the University of Pennsylvania (UPenn) announced that it will remove from view parts of its Morton Cranial Collection, which includes skulls of enslaved people. The decision marks a victory for UPenn students and local activists, who have formed the coalition Police Free Penn (PFP) to demand school-wide reforms and the removal and repatriation, but fails to address their full list of concerns and demands.

Sazón Recipe illustration by Jeremie Serrano, @lacomidadejeremie (courtesy of Jeremie Serrano)

Earlier this month, the CEO of Goya Foods publicly praised President Trump during a White House event. In the weeks since, artists have created illustrated recipes for homemade sazón, mashups of the Trump family with Francisco Goya artworks, and other noteworthy artworks.

The Marciano Art Foundation (MAF) in Los Angeles, which closed its physical space indefinitely in November 2019 and laid off all 70 of its visitor services associates after the staffers announced their intention to unionize, settled a lawsuit filed by the workers.

Hundreds of current and former staff of the Getty Museum, the Getty Trust, and the Getty Research Institute signed an open letter accusing the museum of racial insensitivity and bias.

The National Statuary Hall in the Capitol (photo by Sue Waters via Flickr)

To protest Chinese censorship around COVID-19, artist and activist Brother Nut took a vow of silence and used metal clasps, duct tape, and other props to physically seal his mouth during the entire month of June.

In an acknowledgment that the Yale Union building in Portland, Oregon sits on land belonging to several Indigenous nations, the property will be transferred to the Native Arts and Cultures Foundation.

The US House of Representatives passed a bill to remove Confederate statues from the Capitol building in Washington, DC. The bill must now get past the Republican-majority Senate and signed into law by President Trump.


Rufino Tamayo, “Dos amantes contemplando la luna” (1950) (Courtesy Christie’s Images Ltd. 2020)

Loic Gouzer, formerly Christie’s star co-chairman of postwar and contemporary art, has made several notable sales on his new app, Fair Warning. The app, which debuted in late June, is a “guerilla type of auction system” that auctions off single lots on a weekly basis. Unlike mainstream auction houses, Fair Warning relies upon a membership system that only accepts vetted collectors who won’t flip the works. So far, Gouzer has made three notable sales: a portrait by Steven Shearer which sold for $437,000, followed by a David Hammons body print that sold for $1.3 million and a painting by Steven Parrino for $977,500. Next up is a 1982 work on paper by Jean-Michel Basquiat, estimated at $8 million to $12 million. The work is on view in the garage of Gouzer’s Montauk home.

Billionaire investment banker and art collector Ronald Perelman plans to anonymously sell two paintings at Sotheby’s cross-category “Rembrandt to Richter” sale in London this month. The works heading to the auction block are Joan Miro’s “Peinture (Femme au Chapeau Rouge)” (1927), which has a high estimate of £30 million (~$38.1 million), and Henri Matisse’s “Danseuse dans un interieur, carrelage vert et noir” (1942), with a high estimate of £12 million (~$15.2 million). Perelman, who is worth $7.8 billion, is in the process of restructuring his assets. His 20th-century art collection, which includes names like Cy Twombly and Alberto Giacometti, is worth billions.

Christie’s New York is holding an online sale and a live auction of Latin American art this month. The sales span Latin American work from the 17th century to more contemporary works from the present day, with a focus on the 20th century. The two paintings leading the auctions are Wilfredo Lam’s “Femme Cheval” (1950) and Rufino Tamayo’s “Dos amantes contemplando la luna” (1950), both estimated at $2–3 million. Other notable works include a bronze Fernando Botero statue of a horse, a starkly geometric Carmen Herrera work on canvas, and a painting of ice skaters and horses by the brilliant Surrealist Leonora Carrington.

This Week in the Art World

Gavin Brown’s Enterprise is shuttering its doors and Gavin Brown will join Gladstone Gallery as a partner. | New York Times

Kader Attia’s La Colonie in Paris is closing. | Artforum

Alexis Maggiar joined Christie’s as the international director of the Department of Arts of Africa, Oceania, and the Americas. |  LiveAuctioneers

Bluestockings Bookstore has left its Lower East Side space. | Instagram

The John Giorno Foundation in New York named Elizabeth Dee as Director. | Artforum

Political cartoonist Steve Bell has parted ways with The Guardian. | Art Newspaper

Alexander Gray Associates in New York is adding an exhibition space in Hudson Valley. | Via email announcement

India’s Kochi Biennale Foundation announced a list of artists in the 2020 Kochi-Muziris Biennale. | e-flux

The Laurie M. Tisch Illumination Fund in New York granted a $1.5 million endowment to Skidmore College’s Frances Young Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery. | Albany Business Review

Martin Parr has left his role as artistic director of Bristol Photo Festival. | Art Newspaper

The Frick Madison will open in early 2021 in the building that formerly housed the Met Breuer. | Gothamist 

In Memoriam

Brigid Berlin (1939–2020), debutante star and documentarian of Andy Warhol’s Factory | Artforum

Tony Elliott (1947–2020), British founder and owner of Time Out | Guardian

Charles Evers (1922–2020), civil rights activist and former mayor of Fayette, Mississippi | PBS

Paul Fusco (1930–2020), photographer and photojournalist | ARTnews

Zizi (Renée) Jeanmaire (1924–2020), French ballet dancer, singer, and actress | Vogue

 John Lewis (1940–2020), congressperson and civil rights icon | New York Times

Andrew Mlangeni (1925–2020), South African anti-apartheid activist | New York Times

Enrico Navarra (1953–2020), art collector and gallerist | ARTnews 

Keith Sonnier (1941–2020), Postminimalist artist | ARTnews

Lucio Urtubia Jiménez (1931–2020), Spanish anarchist | La Jornada 

Rev. C.T. Vivian (1924–2020), minister and crusader for civil rights | NPR

Jerry Wolkoff (1936–2020), New York property developer and 5Pointz landlord | Commercial Observer

Cassie Packard is a Brooklyn-based art writer. (cassiepackard.com)