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ARTISTS UPDATES. Artist and director Martine Syms’s feature film, The African Desperate, will be released in New York in September, and has been acquired for global streaming by Mubi, Deadline reports. Artist Diamond Stingily stars. Meanwhile, the video art duo the Otolith Group talked to the Guardian about their upcoming show at the Irish Museum of Modern Art in Dublin. Video is “an entity that invites you into the reprogramming of your neural networks,” cofounder Kodwo Eshun proposed. And David Hockney also chatted with the Guardian, and declared that his era “was the freest time, probably ever. I now realize it’s over, so I’ve locked myself away in a nice house in Normandy where I can smoke and do what I want.” It seems to be working for him! Hockney currently has three shows on this summer in the U.K.
AUCTION ACTION. The New York Times reports on an art collector who sent a Marc Chagall watercolor she owns to be authenticated by a panel in France, which declared it a fake and announced it would destroy it. The collector, Stephanie Clegg, purchased the piece through Sotheby’s years ago for $90,000 and planned to sell it through the house, which told her to submit it for authentication, she says. The auction firm says that its warranty on authorship lasts only five years, and has offered Clegg a $18,500 credit on future sales fees. She wants $175,000. Meanwhile, some Australian corporations are selling their art collections, the Art Newspaper reports.
South Korea’s KIAF art fair, which is set to run in early September alongside the inaugural Frieze Seoul at the Coex convention center, announced its 164 exhibitors, which include first-time participants Rachel Uffner Gallery, Cristea Roberts Gallery, and Anat Ebgi. [ARTnews]
A bizarre Georgia monument built in 1980 that has been the subject of right-wing conspiracy theories—and a target for vandalism—was damaged in a middle-of-the-night bombing on Wednesday and subsequently demolished by government officials, citing safety concerns. Law enforcement is investing. [NPR/WNYC]
Indigenous Australian activists are campaigning to protect ancient rock art in Western Australia that they say is being damaged by pollution and that is threatened by a gas project. Located at Murujuga, about 800 miles north of Perth, the art is believed to date back some 40,000 years. [AFP/France 24]
Jacqueline Stewart has been named director and president of the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures in Los Angeles. Previously a historian of American film at the University of Chicago, Stewart was named chief artistic and programming officer at the museum in 2020. [Los Angeles Times]
Four Norman Rockwells that had been on view at the White House since 1978 have been replaced with photographs of President Biden. The family that had loaned the works—descendants of Steve Early, President Franklin Roosevelt’s press secretary—reportedly asked for them to be returned. [Politico]
Demand was strong for merchandise on opening day of the Virgil Abloh retrospective at the Brooklyn Museum, with both fervent fans and resellers making purchases. [The New York Times]
PEP TALK. Are you an art student wracked with self-doubt? Let this story that artist Robert Longo shared with T: The New York Times Style Magazine comfort and inspire you. When Longo was enrolled at North Texas State University (he got in to play football), he took an art class at a community college, but when a teacher encouraged him to pursue art, he was hesitant. “To be honest, I don’t quite have the courage to be an artist,” the future superstar told his instructor. Longo also offers some advice in the interview: “What’s really important to try to explain to young artists is that it’s a long-distance run,” he said. [T]