MFA Houston Director Defends Guston Postponement, Korean Art Comes to U.S., and More: Morning Links from October 21, 2020

Alex Greenberger


October 21, 2020 9:00am

Philip Guston, 'Blackboard', 1969.

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Gary Tinterow, the director of the Museum of Fine Arts Houston, has defended the delay of a Philip Guston retrospective, saying, “The vehement response, to me, corroborates that rational discourse is more difficult in this moment.” [Texas Monthly]

A new organization known as the Friday Foundation has given $9 million to Seattle-based arts organizations, including the Seattle Art Museum and the Henry Art Gallery. [The Seattle Times]

Workers at the Portland Museum of Art in Maine are pushing to unionize. Among those helping lead the effort are curators, education staff, registrars, and more. [Portland Press Herald]

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Art museums at schools around the United States are being severely impacted by many universities’ and colleges’ decisions to go fully or partially virtual this year. [The Art Newspaper]

The U.S. is about to see a lot of Korean art shows: the Guggenheim Museum is working on a major exhibition devoted to the country’s avant-garde during the 1960s and ’70s, and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art is planning the first-ever U.S. survey of Korean modern art. [The Korean Herald]

Bénédicte Savoy, the co-author of a key report about the repatriation of plundered objects in France, has called the Humboldt Forum, a controversial new museum in Berlin, “a symbol of German oppression, hegemony and colonialism.” [The Art Newspaper]


A Phillips sale in London drew $34 million in sales, with a Georg Baselitz selling for $6.5 million and a Titus Kaphar setting a record for the artist at $604,000. [ARTnews]

“We have to look in the mirror and as soon as we can begin to make these changes within the system of my gallery, then we can become an example for others,” said dealer David Kordansky in a profile of his gallery and its efforts to diversify. [The New York Times]

Are smaller art fairs more likely to thrive right now? Although the Art Basels and Friezes of the world didn’t hold in-person editions this year, smaller-scale events successfully lured galleries and buyers. [The New York Times]


Frank Horvat, a photographer known for his elegant black-and-white images of city life, has died at 92. [Le Figaro]

Lea Vergine, an Italian art historian known for her writings on body art, has died at 82, one day after her the death of her husband, the designer Enzo Mari. Vergine died of Covid-19. [Designboom]

Correction, 10/21/20, 10:15 a.m.: This article misstated which Portland museum is seeing its workers push to unionize. It is the one in Maine, not the one in Oregon.


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