Art Industry News is a daily digest of the most important developments from the art world and the art market. Here is what you need to know on Tuesday, October 13.


The museum of the year award is shared between five institutions – The UK’s prestigious Museum of the Year award is split in five ways this year as a growing number of institutions face financial pressures from the coronavirus crisis. The Distinction and Prize Fund, which has been increased by £ 60,000 ($ 78,089) this year, will be split equally between the South London Gallery, the Science Museum in London, the Towner Art Gallery in England, the Aberdeen Art Gallery and the Gairloch Museum in Scotland. The Art Fund, which manages the prize, said it had changed course due to the “unprecedented challenges” facing museums this year and highlighted the role museums can play in rebuilding communities and building trust in a post-COVID world. This is one of the many recent awards, including the Turner Prize, to be distributed among several recipients. (BBC)

What are these African artifacts doing in a politician’s warehouse? – Hundreds of African artifacts were found in a state-funded warehouse in Houston under the direction of Harris County Commissioner Rodney Ellis. The local district attorney examines the ownership of the items, but it is not known where they came from or why they are being stored at the taxpayer’s expense. A 2018 loan agreement between the county and a private company, African Art Global, explains the presence of 14 works that were due to be exhibited at the Tom Bass Community Center, but there are hundreds more in the warehouse. The politician has reportedly admitted he needs to update the loan agreement and pledged to resolve the issue “transparently”. (BRONZER)

Leon Black paid Jeffrey Epstein at least $ 50 million – Billionaire art collector Leon Black in the wake of the late Jeffrey Epstein’s arrest for sex trafficking moved away from the man, which he says he consults “from time to time” on financial matters. But a new investigation reveals that Black, the president of the Museum of Modern Art, fired Epstein at least $ 50 million in the years following his conviction in 2008 for soliciting the prostitution of a minor. In 2014, Epstein received multi-million dollar fees from the Black Company used to purchase much of his billion-dollar art collection. (It is unclear what services he rendered in exchange for the money.) In August, Black was subpoenaed by the United States Virgin Islands in connection with the Jeffrey Epstein case. A representative for Black says he regrets his involvement with Epstein. (New York Times)

Meet the people who started collecting during the pandemic – As galleries and auction houses migrated online during the shutdown, and many once-busy people suddenly found themselves with free time, a new breed of art collectors was born. Despite an overall decline in sales, millennials have flocked to online auctions; Sotheby’s has seen its online revenues increase by $ 177 million year over year. Clients like 26-year-old fashion executive Rachel Floeder were first drawn to art-themed Instagram content and then made the leap to buying original works. “I couldn’t tell you the last time I spent so much time with my things,” she said. (ARTnews)


Senior Asian executive to leave Sotheby’s – Vinci Chang, head of the modern art department at Sotheby’s Asia, leaves the auction house. She joined Sotheby’s in 2013 as a consultant responsible for business development in Asia and led the branch through a period of remarkable growth. She will be replaced by Felix Kwok, Sales Manager for Modern Asian Art at Sotheby’s Hong Kong. (Observatory of the art market)

Bonhams appoints new non-executive chairman – Bonhams has appointed Hans-Kristian Hoejsgaard, former CEO of Baselworld, as the new non-executive chairman. He joins the auction house in the middle of a staff reshuffle: Bruno Vinciguerra has been appointed Global CEO in February, replacing longtime Bonhams veteran Matthew Girling. (Observatory of the art market)


Indigenous artists selected for the Nordic pavilion – Sami artists Pauliina Feodoroff, Máret Ánne Sara and Anders Sunna have been asked to represent their indigenous homeland of Sápmi for the Nordic pavilion at the Venice Biennale in 2022. The pavilion will become the Sami pavilion; the curator, the Office for Contemporary Art Norway, says it aims to raise the profile of Sami art practice as well as international awareness of their history. (Press release)

Queer | Art | Awarded – Radical performance artist, dancer, activist and caregiver Julie Tolentino has been named the 2020 recipient of Queer | Art’s annual $ 10,000 award for her sustained achievement. Tolentino founded the legendary Clit Club, a queer, pro-sex nightclub that sprouted in various locations in Manhattan between 1990 and 2002. (Art Forum)


Artists amplify call for reform at New Orleans museum – More than 150 artists, artists and organizers have signed a new letter to the New Orleans Museum of Art calling on the museum to implement a list of changes featured by a group of current and former staff under the title #DismandleNOMA. The Guerrilla Girls, Ebony G. Patterson, Michael Rakowitz and Xaviera Simmons are among the signatories. (Hyperallergic)

On the crisis in American museums – the Washington post examines the dual challenge that museums face simultaneously: the financial crisis induced by closure and the demand to deal with white supremacy entrenched in the way they operate. “The tension is between the traditions that must be upheld and those that prevent it from being a 21st century institution,” said Smithsonian Secretary Lonnie G. Bunch III. (Washington post)

Planned Parenthood partners with artists for anti-abortion campaign – Planned Parenthood has launched a series of arts commissions called “All Rise for Justice” which aim to draw attention to the impact of Justice Amy Coney Barrett’s confirmation to the United States Supreme Court. New works by Tiffany Alfonseca, Julian Alexander, Deva Pardue and Shepard Fairey will debut on the organization’s social media this week. Quoting author Toni Cade Bambara, Planned Parenthood President Alexis McGill Johnson said: “The purpose of the revolutionary artist is to make revolution irresistible. (Instagram)

To pursue Artnet news on Facebook:

Want to stay ahead of the art world? Subscribe to our newsletter to get the latest news, eye-opening interviews and cutting-edge reviews that keep the conversation going.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.