Art World

Pharrell’s Online Auction House Is Offering Millions of Dollars Worth of Celebrity-Worn Bling + Other Stories

Art Industry News is a daily digest of the most consequential developments coming out of the art world and art market. Here’s what you need to know on this Friday, March 24.


V&A Show of Chanel to Feature 200 Looks From 70 Years – London’s Victoria and Albert Museum will exhibit the work of Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel, showcasing how she revolutionized women’s fashion across seven decades. The exhibition will feature her signature tweed suits, little black dresses, jewelry, and archive materials. “Fashion Manifesto” opens September 16. (Guardian)

Natural History Museums Band Together to do Inventory – Seventy-three museums in 28 countries are centralizing their collections via a shared digital platform, allowing anyone to access and study artifacts and specimens without physically visiting the museums. The online collections, which has amassed 1.1 billion objects includes detailed information, high-quality images, and interactive education. (New York Times)

Pharrell’s Joopiter Launches Lorraine Schwartz Sale – Pharrell Williams’s online auction house Joopiter is partnering with the iconic U.S. high jewelry designer Lorraine Schwartz on a new sale. “A Journey Through Gems” including 26 of Schwartz’s bespoke jewelry pieces is now online. Schwartz is known for bedazzling celebrities including Beyonce with custom designs. (Robb Report)

NYC Teenagers Show Work at the Met – Hundreds of New York parents can now confidently point at paintings in the Met and say “my kid could do that.” The museum’s exhibition “P.S. Art 2021” opens today, March 24, featuring artwork from hundreds of 12th graders who received the 2023 Scholastic Art and Writing Awards. The exhibition includes a wide array of media, from painting to digital art. It runs until May 21. (Hyperallergic)


Met Announces New African Art Residency – Eileen Musundi, head of exhibitions at the National Museums of Kenya, has been appointed to a four-month residency program at the museum’s Michael C. Rockefeller Wing, beginning this month. Musundi will work on developing a proposal for an exhibition of loaned works from The Met’s collection to Nairobi, and develop a public education program focused on East Africa. (Press release)

Director Decamps From Academy Museum to Lucas Museum – Bernardo Rondeau is leaving his post as the senior director of film programs at the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures to take on the role of curator of film programs at the forthcoming Lucas Museum of Narrative Art. Rondeau is working to plan future programming at the famous director’s museum, which is set to open in 2025. (Variety)

Hirshhorn’s Kusama Show Extended – The wildly-popular exhibition dedicated to the Japanese artist has been extended for the second time at the Washington, D.C.-based museum. The announcement from the institution coincided with Kusama’s 94th birthday on March 22; the show will remain open through July 16. (ARTnews)


Hokusai ‘Great Wave’ Print Sets Record – The iconic 19th century image depicted as a woodblock print, Under the Well of the Great Wave off Kanagawa, sold for $2.8 million at Christie’s, far exceeding its high estimate of $700,000. The sale is now the most expensive auction record for a print of the image, with the second priciest coming in at $1.5 million, sold at Christie’s in 2021. (Wall Street Journal)

Katsushika Hokusai, Kanagawa oki nami ura (Under the well of the Great Wave off Kanagawa) [“Great Wave”]. Courtesy of Christie's Images, Ltd.

Katsushika Hokusai, Kanagawa oki nami ura (Under the well of the Great Wave off Kanagawa) [“Great Wave”]. Courtesy of Christie’s Images, Ltd.

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Nepali Officials Claim Works on Display at the Art Institute of Chicago Were Stolen + Other Stories

Art Industry News is a daily digest of the most consequential developments coming out of the art world and art market. Here’s what you need to know on this Thursday, March 23.


Heiress Sues Pearl Lam Over Banksy Work – Karen Lo, an heiress of Hong Kong beverage empire Vitasoy International is taking the prominent gallery owner to court, alleging that Lam did not deliver Banksy’s 2005 painting Show Me The Monet that she had purchased for £500,000 ($613,000) from her. Lo accused Lam of falsely representing that she had bought the work on Lo’s behalf, according to court documents. (Reuters)

Ezra Chowaiki on the Art World’s “Gorgeous Cesspool” – In this first person account, the New York art dealer who was sentenced to prison for wire fraud dishes the dirty secrets in the art business and life behind bars. “The business is so secretive, and so opaque, that even though lies and fraud are rampant, no one gets in trouble,” he wrote. (Airmail)

Questionable Works Donated to Chicago Museum – Some 24 objects in the Art Institute of Chicago’s Alsdorf collection were found to have incomplete provenance by today’s standards according to a national online registry of museum pieces, including four that were believed to have been stolen from Nepal and exported illegally. The Nepal Heritage Recovery Campaign is seeking repatriation of the artifacts but they believed that the Art Institute is stalling the process. (ProPublica)

Expo Chicago Launches Blockchain App – Blockchain company Valence has teamed up with the Chicago fair to launch Valence Wallet, a new app that will allow collectors to purchase works and other services, including certificates of authenticity, insurance, shipping, and payment documents. (ARTnews)


Liverpool Biennial Announces Program – Running from June 10 through September 17, the 12th edition of the biennial will be staged across the port city in northern England at new sites and venues including the historic buildings of Tobacco Warehouse and Cotton Exchange, as well as shopping mall Liverpool One, in addition to existing cultural venues. The full program comes with free events and performances. (Press release)

Pace Takes on Estates of Claes Oldenburg & Coosje van Bruggen – The mega-gallery will now exclusively represent the late artist duo and Pop Art pioneers. A major exhibition featuring Oldenburg’s drawings and sculptures along with a catalogue raisonné is slated for 2024. (ARTnews)

NADA Gets New Members – 18 galleries from 5 countries have joined the New Art Dealer’s Alliance ahead of the ninth edition of the NADA New York art fair this May. The new members include Marta (Los Angeles), The Watermill Center (Water Mill), Storm King Art Center (New York), O Gallery (Tehran), Xxijra Hii (London), and Saenger Galería (Mexico City). (Press release)

London Assembly Calls for New Statue of the Queen – City Hall politicians have unanimously agreed that a new monument honoring the late monarch should be erected in a “prominent, public location.” Earlier proposals suggested using the Fourth Plinth as a site of the monument. (Evening Standard)


We Want This Rose Wylie Streetwear – The celebrated British painter has teamed up with art marketplace Platform to launch a limited edition “ugly” hoodie featuring a screenprint of the artist’s work Black Cat (Bones) (Study). A total of 150 hoodies will go on sale on April 4. (Surface)

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Elizabeth Peyton Painted Lucas Zwirner’s Portrait for Her Debut Outing With His Dad’s Gallery + Other Stories

Art Industry News is a daily digest of the most consequential developments coming out of the art world and art market. Here’s what you need to know on this Tuesday, March 21.


Do George Bush’s Paintings Show More Regret Than He Admits? –  Two decades after he ordered the U.S.’s invasion of Iraq and took down Saddam Hussein, former President George W. Bush remains quiet, but critics are looking at his paintings to try to get a clue about how he felt about the war. “On the one hand, he appears to believe that his decision to invade Iraq was correct,” writes historian Melvyn P. Leffler. “On the other hand, looking at his book of paintings, you have to imagine that deep in his soul he feels a great deal of agony, of responsibility, of regret for those whose lives were scarred forever and for those who perished.” (The New York Times)

Elizabeth Peyton Makes Debut With David Zwirner – For its inaugural display of the artist’s work at an art fair, Zwirner has brought two portraits of the mega-gallerists heir apparent, each titled simply Lucas Zwirner (2022) to Art Basel in Hong Kong. Back in February, Petyon’s rumored defection from longtime gallerist Gladstone Gallery sparked chatter within the art world; her first solo show at the gallery’s London outpost is slated to take place in June. (ARTnews)

Will AI Make Human Art More Valuable? – The rise of generative AI model might have led some to believe that AI will make better art than most humans, but McGill University’s international political economy professor Krzysztof Pelc doesn’t think so. Pelc argues that the definition of “better” changes over time, as demonstrated over the course of history, and human artists will also win as our tastes evolve. (Wired)

Museum Planned for Mayan Complex – Chichén Itzá, the most visited archeological site in Mexico, is expecting a new museum to showcase the region’s latest archaeological discoveries. The yet-to-be named museum is still in the planning stage and is likely to follow the site museum model at other complexes. (The Art Newspaper)


Museum Closed Over Anticipated Climate Protests – The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston opted not to open after it was informed that activists were planning a protest that could potentially damage artworks and put staff and visitors at risk. The planned demonstration was set to take place on March 18, the 33rd anniversary of the infamous, and still unsolved heist, at the museum. (Press release)

Thaddaeus Ropac Now Reps Zadie Xa – The gallery has taken over exclusive representation of the buzzy artist, whose work is currently on display at London’s Whitechapel Gallery through the end of April. The Korean-Canadian artist’s work explores themes of personal and global identities in fantastical installations and mixed media works. The gallery sold two works by Xa each priced £20,000 ($24,500) on the first day of Art Basel Hong Kong. (Press release)

Peres Projects Seoul New Space Opening – After its first year with an Asian outpost, Peres Projects is expanding with a second gallery in the Sagan-dong neighborhood of Seoul. The four-floor space will open on April 28, 2023 with two inaugural exhibitions: a solo show of London-based Cece Phillips and a group show including Manuel Solano, Austin Lee, and Rafa Silvares, among others. (Press release)


Museums Reattribute Artworks Classified as Russian – Museums are renaming artworks and artists previously attributed as Russian into Ukrainian to reflect the roots of the works and the artists. Edgar Degas’s Russian Dancers at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, for example, is now called Dancers in Ukrainian Dress. (NYT)

Edgar Degas, <i>Ukrainian Dancers</i>. Photo by: Picturenow/Universal Images Group via Getty Images.

Edgar Degas, Ukrainian Dancers. Photo by: Picturenow/Universal Images Group via Getty Images.

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Dozens More Works in the Met’s Collection Have Been Linked to Disgraced Dealer Subhash Kapoor + Other Stories

Art Industry News is a daily digest of the most consequential developments coming out of the art world and art market. Here’s what you need to know on this Monday, March 20.


NEA Report on State of the Arts – New data on the art and cultural sector shows that it had a larger impact on the U.S. GDP in 2021 than in previous years. It also grew more rapidly than the wider economy. The report was organized by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Bureau of Economic Analysis. None of the 35 cultural industries evaluated have yet bounced back to pre-pandemic levels. (The Art Newspaper)

Painters Swindled by Fake Collectors – The growing trend of fake check scams is affecting artists. In each case reported by the New York Times, artists were offered a good price for artworks by fake collectors who sent checks to cover the price of the work, plus shipping costs. The checks bounced after the artists forwarded the shipping fee by money order to a person who was arranging the delivery. (New York Times)

Antiquities Linked to Subhash Kapoor at the Met – The Indian Express has listed works of art that are still in the collection, which are linked to the disgraced dealer who is serving jail time in Tamil Nadu, India, on charges of burglary and theft of antiquities. The list includes 18 sculptures and 59 paintings. Manhattan’s district attorney has already handed back hundreds of artifacts connected to Kapoor. (Indian Express)

U.K. Museum Visitor Numbers – At U.K. museums, visitor numbers are up post-pandemic and many museums in the nation saw numbers increased by more than 200 percent in 2022, according to the annual figures from the Association of Leading Visitor Attractions. Museums and galleries in the U.K. reported an overall increase of 158 percent in footfall; heritage and cathedral sites followed with a 55 percent increase. (Museums Association)


Belgium’s AfricaMuseum Gets a New Director – Diplomat Bart Ouvry has been named head of the AfricaMuseum, whose contentious collection displays have often caused controversy due to Belgium’s egregious colonial history. He will leave his role as European Union ambassador to Mali to take up the role. (Le Journal des Arts)

Bracelet Donned by Dietrich Could Fetch $4.5M – A “Jarretière” diamond-and-ruby studded bracelet by Van Cleef & Arpels worn by Marlene Dietrich in Alfred Hitchcock’s 1950 film Stage Fright is hitting the auction block at Christie’s this June. Estimated to fetch up to $4.5 million, the bauble comes from the collection of Anne Eisenhower, granddaughter of the late president. (Robb Report)

Rachel Rossin Joins Magenta Plains – The mixed media artist, who has become a force in the realm of virtual reality has joined the gallery stable. Rossin’s work is currently on view in the Whitney Museum’s lobby as part of the exhibition Refigured. (Press release)


You Can Bring Ai Weiwei’s Middle Finger Anywhere – The Chinese  activist and artist’s famous digit is now available to superimpose anywhere on-the-go, thanks to the power of Avant Arte. The work riffs on Ai’s famous work Study of Perspective, and is on view as part of thea artist’s show at the Design Museum in London; screenprints of thea Ai Weiwei’s Middle Finger in Red (2023) are being sold for 24 hours on Avant Art’s platform starting March 30. (Press release)

Public submission. Courtesy

Public submission. Courtesy

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