A weekly update of art world news.
Spain’s Largest Art Fair Accused of Censorship
Artist Santiago Sierra’s Political Prisoners in Contemporary Spain was removed from Helga de Alvear’s booth at the ARCOmadrid art fair before the VIP preview on February 21. The work features 24 black and white photographs of obscured activists’ faces in support of Catalan Independence. The request to remove the work came from Eduardo López-Puertas, the president of IFEMA—the company that manages all fairs in Madrid as they pertain to the community—in an effort to avoid controversy. The censorship has sparked a controversy of its own, inspiring Sierra to make a post on Facebook stating, “Acts of this type give sense and reason to a piece like this, which precisely denounced the climate of persecution that cultural workers are suffering in recent times. It constitutes a lack of respect for a gallerist like Helga de Alvear, who participated in the launch of the fair, as well as to the maturity and intelligence of the public.” Political Prisoners in Contemporary Spain had already been sold for €80,000 to an anonymous collector.
Read the full story (Artnet News)
Google Removes “View Image” Button from Search
In an effort to protect photographers’ copyrights, Google has removed the “View Image” button from its image search function. The “View Image” button allowed users to view an original image without visiting the host’s web page, making it easier to download photos without addressing their copyright. The hope is that this change will make it difficult for users to steal images and protect photographers who have work on the web. This change came about as the result of a settlement with Getty over copyright violations.
Read the full story (PetaPixel)
Frieze Announces 2019 Los Angeles Art Fair
Announced earlier this week, the inaugural edition of Frieze LA will take place February 14-17 at Paramount Pictures Studios. Executive Director Bettina Korek and Frieze LA Curator Ali Subotnick have selected around 60 dealers to exhibit the first year (for comparison, Frieze London exhibits 300 dealers). Korek commented on Frieze’s new development by saying, “Frieze is in a unique position to create a successful fair in LA because of our experience in London and New York and our partnership with Endeavor, who have deep roots in LA and will work with us to bring a fantastic audience to the fair.”
Read the full story (Artnews)