Artists and Museums Respond to Protests, Saudi Arabia Works to Become an Art Hub, and More: Morning Links from June 8, 2020

Artists and Museums Respond to Protests, Saudi Arabia Works to Become an Art Hub, and More: Morning Links from June 8, 2020

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A statue of a slave trader in Bristol, England, was removed by protesters this weekend. [ARTnews]

Hong Kong artists in Europe have created an online platform to show work associated with pro-democracy protests in the territory. [The Art Newspaper]

“We are part of that problem—the racism is within us—as institutions that are always telling our audience what’s good art and making choices that set up or reinforce cultural orders,” Michael Govan, director of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, told the New York Times. [The New York Times]

Banksy shared an artwork on Instagram accompanied by a statement that reads in part, “People of color are being failed by the system. The white system.” [The Guardian]

The Market

Art Basel’s Swiss edition, which had been set to take place in September, has been canceled due to “health and safety risks related to the pandemic,” among other issues. [ARTnews]

A $15 million Rembrandt self-portrait will lead Sotheby’s cross-category evening sale in July. [Art Market Monitor]

Per a report by Bloomberg, “Two blue-chip Upper East Side galleries and Sotheby’s private sales group rented adjacent spaces on Newtown Lane in East Hampton.” [Bloomberg]


Carolina A. Miranda writes on “how a project to honor Felix Gonzalez-Torres devolved into an Instagram stunt.” [Los Angeles Times]


Here’s a deep dive into Saudi Arabia’s ambitious plans for its art scene. The country reportedly plans to build a new institution to display Leonardo da Vinci’s Salvator MundiAllan Schwartzman, who formerly helmed Sotheby’s fine art division, is working with the Royal Commission for Al Ula to commission new works for the area, and more. [Wall Street Journal]

The Prado in Madrid has reopened following its longest closure since the Spanish civil war. “It is obvious we can’t open in the same conditions the museums was in March, because of the health emergency,” Miguel Falomir, the institution’s director, said. [Financial Times]

A piece on Emmanuel Kasarhérou, the newly appointed president of the Quai Branly Museum in Paris, and his views on restitution. “I feel as much the descendant of people who were colonizers of a certain place as of people who were colonized,” he said recently. [The New York Times]


What are your thoughts?