Whitney Staffers File for Union Vote, KAWS Plans Balloon Tour, and More: Morning Links from May 18, 2021

Whitney Staffers File for Union Vote, KAWS Plans Balloon Tour, and More: Morning Links from May 18, 2021

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The Headlines

RUMORS HAVE BEEN SWIRLING SINCE LAST YEAR about Frieze starting an art fair in Seoul, South Korea. Today it made it official: the inaugural Frieze Seoul is on the calendar for September 2022 at the COEX convention center in the Gangnam section of the city. It will feature about 100 galleries, and while the focus will be on contemporary art, it will include a section for Frieze Masters , which covers material from ancient times up through the 20th century. The venture is a partnership with the Galleries Association of Korea, which will stage its annual Korea International Art Fair at the venue at the same time. The announcement comes just as Art Basel Hong Kong prepares to open its doors this week.

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THE UNION DRIVE IN THE U.S. MUSEUM WORLD shows no signs of slowing. Employees at the Whitney Museum in New York, working with the United Automobile Workers, filed paperwork on Monday to seek a union vote, the New York Times reports. The museum said it “respects the staff’s desire to engage in a dialogue about collective bargaining and remains committed to supporting all staff, regardless of union affiliation.” Staffers at institutions like the Guggenheim and New Museum have added unions in recent years. In other Whitney news, its public art piece with David Hammons was officially unveiled on Monday. On Twitter, art critic Deborah Solomon termed it “a ghost pier on the Hudson River, redolent of the past and yet barely there.”

The Digest

Cuban artists are creating work to lobby for the recognition of same-sex marriage in new legislation being considered by the country’s government. [AFPTV/Yahoo! News]

Greece will allow diving at 91 shipwrecks, as part of an effort to increase tourism. [The Art Newspaper]

Big day for South Korean news: the city of Wonju said that it will build an art museum on the site of a base formerly used by U.S. Forces Korea. Estimated to cost $13.2 million, it is scheduled to open in April of 2023. [Yonhap]

Reporter Alston Ramsay took a deep dive into the legal wrangling over the legacy, and licensing, of the late, great television painter Bob Ross. [The Daily Beast]

A painting that the Pink Floyd cofounder Syd Barrett made at the tender age of 15 is being offered at auction by Cheffins in Cambridge, England, by one of his childhood friends. The still life of flowers in a vase has a low estimate of £3,000 (about $4,250). [Classic Rock/Louder]

Critic Adrian Searle is not a fan of the Yayoi Kusama “Infinity Mirror Rooms” now on view at Tate Modern in London. “I appear to be immune to them,” he writes. “Maybe I’d appreciate them more if I visited with a small child, and could share in their easy wonderment.” [The Guardian]

A huge KAWS balloon measuring about 15 stories tall will visit cities in Australia, China, Spain, and Turkey. People who book rides inside the floating sculpture will receive “a certificate, uniform, and KAWS collectible,” according to CNN. Prices have not yet been announced, but cryptocurrency will be accepted for payment. [CNN]

The Kicker

PHOTOGRAPHER AND COLLECTOR JEAN PIGOZZI HAS A NEW BOOK out today, and as its name suggests, Jean Pigozzi: The 213 Most Important Men In My Life contains his portraits of men, many of them famous, like artist Andy Warhol, musician Lenny Kravitz, and architect Rem Koolhaas. It’s “the ultimate bromance tome,” writer Nadja Sayej declares in InsideHook. In an interview , Pigozzi dishes on his collecting habits, his artistic process, and what he learned from the gimlet-eyed photographer Helmut Newton: “That every detail counts. During one shoot with a model, he stopped everything and said: ‘We have to move the flower in the background seven centimeters to the left.’ “ [InsideHook]

Thank you for reading. We’ll see you tomorrow.

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