This Week’s 10 Most Important Art News Stories

Artsy Editorial
Sep 4, 2015 6:44PM

Catch up on the latest art news with our rundown of the 10 stories you need to know this week.


On Wednesday, Christie’s revealed that its major evening sales this fall would be held over a single week rather than the usual two, following the success of the same structure this past spring when Picasso’s Les femmes d’Alger (Version “O”) (1955) for a record $179 million. The auction house also announced that a Modigliani painting estimated to bring in $100 million will act as the centerpiece of the auction week in early November. (via the New York Times)


After years of student protests, New York’s Attorney General and Cooper Union’s Board of Trustees have settled the lawsuit brought against the school after it started charging tuition. According to the agreement, the school will be allowed to charge tuition, but students, alumni, and faculty will join the Board of Trustees. A committee charged with the task of helping the institution return to a tuition-free status will also be set up. (via Hyperallergic)  


ISIS has continued bombing ancient temples in Palmyra, wiping out the main room of the ancient Temple of Bel less than a week after the destruction of the 2,000-year-old Temple of Baal Shamin. The militant group also continues to inundate the international market with artifacts looted from the region. The FBI has issued a flyer asking for collectors’ and dealers’ help in stopping the illegal trade. (via The Art Newspaper, Hyperallergic)


On September 1st, Sotheby’s opened a new office in Mumbai in order to capitalize on a growing collector base in the region. Edward Gibbs has been hired as Sotheby’s India, Middle East, and North Africa chairman, with Priyanka Mathew given the role of regional director of Sotheby’s India. The auction house has also revealed that it will be selling former chairman A. Alfred Taubman’s collection of 500 pieces, cumulatively valued north of $500 million, in November and January. (via artnet News, the New York Times)


Singapore Art Fair’s second edition, set for November, has been cancelled. The contemporary fair is in discussions with partners in Singapore to resolve various issues and to meet the needs of the regional market for a potential re-launch in 2016. (via The Art Newspaper)


Dealers Stefan Simchowitz and Ellis King have filed a lawsuit against Ghanaian artist Ibrahim Mahama. The dealers claim that the 28-year-old artist breached contract when he claimed that hundreds of his own signed works were inauthentic—a declaration that, if upheld, would cost King and Simchowitz $4.45 million. Mahama’s current installation in Okwui Enwezor’s Venice Biennale exhibition is one of the works affected by the artist’s claims. (via Art Media Agency)


Following the abrupt dismissal of Nicolas Bourriaud by French culture secretary Fleur Pellerin, artist Jean-Marc Bustamante has been named the new director of Paris’s École Nationale supérieure des beaux-arts. Bustamante has taught at ENSBA since 1998, in addition to working in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Tate. He also represented France at the Venice Biennale in 2003. (via Artforum) 


A judge has dismissed the lawsuit filed by relatives of heiress Huguette Clark in 2013 against Beth Israel Medical Center, which claimed that the center manipulated Clark into donating artworks worth $4 million. The judgment holds that a separate case can continue against the two doctors and nurse who took care of the heiress, and who obtained $3.6 million in gifts from her before she died. (via Artforum)


On Sunday, hundreds of St. Petersburg citizens converged to protest the demolition of a bas-relief sculpture of Mephistopheles after it was forcibly removed from its home in a private apartment building last week. According to a letter sent to Russian media, those involved in the sculpture’s removal claim it is offensive to Russian Orthodox believers. Pieces of the sculpture have been found in construction trash and a criminal case has been opened. (via the New York Times)


Collector and billionaire Adrian Cheng has announced plans to build seventeen malls in China, each of which would also include exhibition space. A spokesperson for Cheng stated that the projects mostly included “museum-retail art malls”—similar to those already in operation in Shanghai and Hong Kong, which feature works by Olafur Eliasson, Yoshitomo Nara, and Damien Hirst, among others. (via The Art Newspaper) 

In other news...

The Missing Link 2, 2013
Roberts & Tilton
The Missing Link 4, 2013
Roberts & Tilton

Mexico City art fair Zona Maco has named Daniel Garza-Usabiaga their new artistic director. (via Artforum)

Noah Davis, artist and founder of the Underground Museum, died at age 32 this week due to cancer. (via the New York Times)

Artist Nelson Shanks, best known for his portraits of key players in arts and politics, died on Friday at the age of 77. (via the New York Times)

Pérez Art Museum has announced that Franklin Sirmans will serve as its new director. (via Artforum)

Accentuating the auction house’s modern and contemporary department, Phillips has announced that Hugues Joffre and Jean-Paul Egelen will serve as new senior executives. (via ARTnews)

Abstract artist Hugh Scott-Douglas is now represented by New York gallery Casey Kaplan. (via ARTnews)

Antoni Gaudí’s first house, designed in 1888 and located in Barcelona, is opening to the public for the first time in fall 2016, following its renovation/conversion into a museum. (via the Art Newspaper)

Min Jung Kim, the current deputy director for external relations at the Broad Art Museum, has been hired by the New Britain Museum of American Art as its new director. (via Artforum)

The winners of the 2015 Tanne Foundation Awards have been announced, five of whom are visual artists. (via Artforum)

ArtPrize is partnering with Habitat for Humanity for a $21 million urban development project that will focus on an area in the Roosevelt Park neighborhood in Michigan. (via Artforum)

The British Museum has announced a deal with La Caixa Bank’s foundation that will send around 700 objects to Spain for 16 exhibitions over the course of the next five years, in return for $2.2 million. (via the Art Newspaper)

New tests run by German scientists have determined that the oldest extant wood carving, Shigir Idol, which was thought to be 9,500 years old, is actually 11,000 years old. (via Hyperallergic)

INDEX:, the world’s most expensive design prize, has unveiled its five 2015 winners, which include Ocean Cleanup Array, Peek Retina, and Duolingo, and who receive €100,000 each. (via the New York Times)

Harold Koda has revealed that he will be retiring early next year, leaving his position as the curator of the Costume Institute of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. (via Artforum)

A $4.99 thrift store painting, purchased by Sean Riley, a L.A. resident who works at the Recording Academy, turned out to be Lorenzo Hurtado Segovia’s Luchadorapart of his series “Segundas,” works inspired by thrift store paintings and then donated to those same thrift stores. (via the Los Angeles Times)

Make your weekend plans with our preview of exhibitions on view in cities across the globe.

Artsy Editorial