Art Industry News: Public Art Campaign in Palermo Seeks to Deter Residents from Joining the Mafia + Other Stories

Art Industry News is a daily summary of the most important developments in the art world and the art market. Here’s what you need to know this Thursday, May 26.


Médecins Sans Frontières under fire for using exploitative images – Nearly 50 current and former staff, along with doctors, photographers and activists, have signed an open letter accusing aid organization Doctors Without Borders of ‘selling human misery’ by selling exploitative photographs of vulnerable victims to raise funds. A spokesperson for the organization said its aim is to raise awareness of under-reported crises, but will seek to address and possibly remove images that do not meet its current standards. (Guardian)

NEA awards $91 million to arts organizations – The latest round of grants from the National Endowment for the Arts will benefit 1,240 organizations in the United States. Prizes include $20,000 to the Pittsburgh Glass Center for a residency program designed to introduce artists to the medium of glass, and $40,000 to New Mexico State University for an exhibition of Mexican works. ex voto, or Catholic devotional paintings. (Hyperallergic)

Palermo public art initiative targets mafia – To mark the 30th anniversary of the murder of Giovanni Falcone, a judge who fought against Mafia influence, the city of Palermo, Sicily, unveiled a series of art installations to remind residents of the city’s dark years under crowd control. “We have always known that culture is one of the best weapons against the mafia,” said Maria Falcone, Giovanni’s sister. The works include everyone’s tree by Gregor Prugger, a fir tree with mob victims carved into its branches. (New York Times)

Morozov’s masterpieces have (almost all) been returned – Masterpieces from the Morozov collection returned safely to Russia after a high profile exhibition at the Fondation Louis Vuitton in Paris coinciding with the war in Ukraine. The return trip was strewn with pitfalls: five convoys of six trucks crossed Belgium and Germany before taking the ferry to Helsinki and finally Russia. Each truck could carry works of art worth $200 million. Three works from the exhibition, one of which belongs to Ukraine and two to the Russian oligarchs, remained in France. (The arts journal)


Tate curator moves to LA MOCA – Seoul-born Clara Kim will return to Los Angeles, where she grew up, to assume the role of Chief Curator and Director of Curatorial Affairs at the Museum of Contemporary Art Los Angeles. She’s the first big, high-profile hire for Johanna Burton, the oft-beleaguered institution’s new headmistress. Kim previously served as Senior Curator of International Art at Tate Modern in London. (Los Angeles Time)

Smithsonian Nabs Met’s Star Curator of Modern Art – Lots of job news today! Randall Griffey has been appointed chief curator of the Smithsonian American Art Museum, overseeing the institution’s curatorial program, as well as research, acquisitions, and collections. Since 2013, he has been Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. (ArtFixDaily)

Speed ​​Art Museum appoints new contemporary curator – Tyler Blackwell will join the Speed ​​Art Museum of Kentucky as Curator of Contemporary Art beginning August 1. He was previously associate curator at the Blaffer Art Museum in Houston, Texas. (Press release)

Main Dak’Art Prize awarded to Tegene Kunbi – Ethiopian artist Tengene Kunbi received the Grand Prix Léopold Sédar Senghor from the Dakar Biennale 2022, endowed with a grant of 20 million FCfa ($32,500). (Contemporary&)


Thomas Heatherwick unveils a sculpture in honor of the Queen – The famous designer tree of trees, a 69ft-tall living sculpture of 350 trees grown in Britain, has been installed outside Buckingham Palace as the centerpiece of the Platinum Jubilee celebration next week. The trees, all planted in aluminum pots, will be donated to community groups after the Jubilee. (evening standard)

LONDON, ENGLAND – MAY 24: A team of workers add the final pieces to the Queen’s Green Canopy ahead of the Platinum Jubilee on May 24, 2022 in London, England. (Photo by Peter Nicholls – WPA Pool/Getty Images)

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