This Week in the Art World: Top News and Good Reads to Start Your Weekend

Artsy Editorial
Jul 10, 2015 6:00PM


On the Market

Sotheby’s London set records for six artists during its Old Master Evening Sale, which grossed $60.5 million. Most notably, German master Lucas Cranach the Elder’s La Bocca della Verità (1525–28), which was on public offer for the first time, nearly doubled the artist’s previous record, selling for $14.4 million. (via ArtInfo)

ARTnews released the 25th edition of its Top 200 Collectors ranking, 90% of whom collect contemporary artworks—a jump from 58% in 1990. (via ARTnews)

Following the rejection of bailout proposals earlier this week, Greek museums and public cultural institutions are on the brink of collapse with insufficient funds to cover their operating costs. Many, including the Macedonian Museum of Contemporary Art, have been forced to close temporarily in order to avoid bankruptcy. The ministry of culture is planning to merge museums in a rescue effort. (via The Art Newspaper)  

In an attempt to alleviate Illinois’ budget problems, recently elected Governor Bruce Rauner has proposed budget cuts that would close the Illinois State Museum system and slash funding for the arts, humanities, and higher education. (via Hyperallergic)


Ai Weiwei has had four solo exhibitions in Beijing in the past month, ending the government’s implicit ban following the artist’s incarceration in 2011. (via The Art Newspaper)

Auguste Rodin’s Young Girl with Serpent, valued at $1 million, has been recovered in New York after an attempt to consign the work for sale at Christie’s The piece was stolen 24 years ago in a home robbery. (via Art Recovery International)

The organizers of the Kochi Biennale are under investigation by the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India for the unjustified use of $60,000 in the renovation of the biennale’s Mumbai office. Authorities allege that the an expenditure was unnecessary for hosting the event. (via Niti Central)

After demanding better sick pay at a protest, four cleaners at Sotheby’s have now been denied reentry into the auction house to work and are being told that engaging in the protest is considered misconduct. The peaceful protest gathered around 100 people outside the auction house on Bond Street. (via the Independent)

Two outdoor sculptures featured in Documenta in Kassel, Germany have been damaged by unidentified vandals. The acts of vandalism against the two public artworks—created by Jimmie Durham and Heini Gut, respectively—have yet to be linked as the work of a single culprit. Durham’s work will be replaced in the fall. Gut’s, however, is to be left in its damaged state as a representation of the city’s relationship with public art.  (via artnet News)

Following in the footsteps of the sixty members of the art world who voiced support last month for Andrew Ross, Ashok Sukumaran, and Walid Raad, who have been denied entry into the UAE for voicing criticism of workers’ rights violations, six of Documenta’s artistic directors have added their voices to the campaign, asking for the ban to be lifted. (via Artforum)



Performa 15 has revealed the first round of commissioned artists for this year’s edition: Robin Rhode, Pauline Curnier Jardin, Jérôme Bel, Jesper Just, and Francesco Vezzoli in collaboration with David Hallberg. (via Performa)

Eric Edwards has made the decision to build a museum in New York for his private collection, which is one of the largest collections of African art in the U.S. The collection began with the purchase of a $300 maternity figure from Mali 44 years ago, and has since expanded to house 2,500 works from all 54 of the continent’s countries. (via Art Market Monitor)

Fourteen of Timbuktu’s historic mausoleums were destroyed by hardline Islamists following the uprising in Mali in March 2012. Since, a restoration project using traditional techniques and materials has been underway, and is set to finish by the end of the month. (via The Art Newspaper)

Defne Ayas, the current director of Witte de With, will co-curate the 6th edition of the Moscow Biennale alongside MUHKA director Bard de Baere and Kunsthalle Wien director Nicolaus Schafhausen. (via Witte de With)

The Studio Museum in Harlem has announced that it will be constructing a new $122 million building, designed by British architect David Adjaye. The new museum will give the institution 10,000 more square feet and is set to finish in 2019. (via The New York Times)

In order to meet growing demand, the Hong Kong Museum of Art will be closing for the next four years while it undergoes a $120 million renovation, which will increase its exhibition space by 40 percent. (via South China Morning Post)

Cologne Fine Art is expanding from its 100 ancient art and antiques exhibitors with the launch of a contemporary branch this fall, which will add 40 to 50 galleries showing contemporary works from the region. (via Handelsblatt)

Paris Photo has revealed its exhibitor list for the 2015 edition of the fair, bringing 142 galleries and 25 book dealers together from November 12th–15th. (via ArtInfo)


Portrait Gary Carrion-Murayari and Alex Gartenfeld. Courtesy the New Museum.

Independent curator Samuel Leuenberger has been appointed as the new curator of the Parcours section at Art Basel, starting in the 2016 edition of the fair. (via ArtInfo)

When its three-year lease ends this August, White Cube will close its São Paulo location. The gallery says it will be shifting its focus in Brazil to special projects, though none have been confirmed as of yet. (via The Art Newspaper)

The French minister of culture, Fleur Pellerin, dismissed Nicolas Bourriaud from his position of director of the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts. (via Artforum)

Earlier this week, the Whitney Museum announced the promotion of five staff members into curatorial roles, including Dana Miller, who is now the Richard DeMartini Family curator and director of the collection at the museum. (via Artforum)

Max Schumann has been named the executive director of Printed Matter, which will also be moving into a larger space in Chelsea this fall. (via ARTnews)

Maria Lind, the current director of the Tensta Konsthall, has been tapped as the artistic director for the 2016 Gwangju Biennale. (via Artforum)

The Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden has made an international acquisition of new works by twelve artists and artist groups, including Monir Farmanfarmaian, Senga Nengudi, Héctor Zamora, and Charles Gaines, among others. (via ARTnews)

Kraus family curator at the New Museum Gary Carrion-Murayari and chief curator of the Institute of Contemporary Art, Miami Alex Gartenfeld have been announced as the curators of the New Museum’s 2018 Triennial. (via the New Museum)

Architect and writer Pedro Gadanho is leaving his position of curator of Architecture and Design at New York’s Museum of Modern Art to become the first artistic director at the new Museum of Art, Architecture, and Technology (MAAT) in Lisbon. (via Archinect)


R.S.V.P. Reverie "D", 2014
White Cube
Artsy Editorial