Daily Links: Jan – Mar 04 2021 (archive)

January 3rd 2022
Image: Star Wars Stormtrooper helmet nft via @ArtWarsNFT on Twitter.
  1. Art by Anish Kapoor and David Bailey Sold as NFTs Without Their ConsentStar Wars Stormtrooper helmets made by artists have been photographed and sold as NFTs without their consent, with images selling for millions of pounds. About 12 artists are considering legal action against the project, according to legal representatives – Read more on FT
  2. Jailed Art Dealer Inigo Philbrick Has Pleaded Guilty to Fraud and Will Turn Over More Than $86 Million in Funds Linked to His Crimes – Disgraced art dealer Inigo Philbrick pleaded guilty to a criminal charge of wire fraud in a federal court in Manhattan this afternoon. He faces up to 20 years in prison when he is sentenced next March – Read more on Artnet News
  3. A Monumental KAWS Installation in Singapore Can Proceed, Court Says, After a Dispute With a Collector’s FoundationA wildly popular traveling public art show by KAWS is back on track in Singapore after a legal challenge by the Ryan Foundation temporarily halted the display. The non-profit claims it was part of the initial concept and planning for the show – Read more on Artnet
  4. Credit Suisse Claims It Closed Ai Weiwei’s Account Over Missing PaperworkCredit Suisse has said it shuttered Ai Weiwei’s account because the artist failed to supply the necessary paperwork, despite repeated requests. The bank in September had said that it terminated the account of the Fart Foundation, which Ai set up in 2016 to lobby for free speech, in accordance with its recently established policy of closing accounts belonging to those with criminal records – Read more on Artforum
  5. Artists Are Skeptical About the COP26 Climate Conference – Though a multitude of artists (Jenny HolzerBrian Eno, and Wayne Binitie) are activating around town for COP26, many have expressed skepticism–and outright anger–about how politicians are responding. Ai Weiwei has cautioned against viewing the conference as an end-all-be-all – Read more on Surface Mag

MARCH 2ND 2021

Image: courtesy Bruce Mau Design
  1. With Galleries Closed, Art Dealers Rethink Their Real Estate Needs“You have to do things that are different from before, be original and distinguish yourself from your competitors,” said Stefan Ratibor, director of the London branch of Gagosian. “You can’t just take 10 images and put them on your O.V.R.” Gagosian has invited Damien Hirst and his studio to take control of one of its London spaces for an entire year – Read more on NY Times
  2. Paris Is Once Again a Buzzing Capital of the Contemporary Art Market. Here’s How It Regained Its Glory – UK-based galleries such as White Cube, which announced it would open a Paris space in 2019, are also moving in, especially after Brexit. Having a space inside the EU ensures minimum business interruption, and Paris was particularly attractive as an entry point because of France’s low import taxes on art – Read more on Artnet
  3. A $6.6 Million Sale of Beeple’s NFT Art Raises Expectations for Christie’s AuctionThe meteoric rise of NFT art, accompanied by Beeple’s status in the press as a main representative of the art form, has culminated in a rare streak of auction wins that has everyone in the auction world Googling what exactly NFT stands for – Read more on Observer
  4. Banksy’s Latest Work May Have Appeared on the Side of a U.K. Prison WallAlthough the artist himself has not yet confirmed authorship of the work via his Instagram account, as is his usual custom, several outlets are reporting that Banksy has perhaps debuted his latest artwork on the side of Reading Prison in southern England – Read more on Observer
  5. Pulane Kingston on Collecting Black African Female ArtistsThe South African businesswoman and lawyer discusses seeking out works by women from across the continent – Read more on The Financial Times

MARCH 1ST 2021

Image: Miami Museum Garage Design Model | Work AC
  1. The Wealthy are Borrowing Billions Against Their Art Collections and Lenders are Reselling the DebtThe value of privately held art is estimated at more than $2 trillion, and the potential market for art loans could easily top $400 billion, one expert said. While the big banks dominate art lending because of lower rates, more art finance firms and auction houses are expanding their loan business to attract more clients. Lenders say the big opportunity — and the new risk — is in the business of reselling art loans to investors – Read more on CNBC
  2. Conducting High-Stakes Art Sales From Arm’s Length – Christie’s had to find ways to verify condition and assess authenticity of incoming art during lockdown periods when specialists could not readily inspect items firsthand. In some cases, items were shipped to a third-party location in Delaware to be photographed, allowing Christie’s specialists to analyze high-resolution images. In other cases, artwork remained with the seller when shipping companies couldn’t access a client’s home. That required the Christie’s legal team to draft documents to account for different regulations in each state – Read more on Vanguard Law
  3. NFT’s and Digital Art Blockchain: Is Blockchain’s Digital Token New Frontier Its Brightest? – Are these, as their makers, minters or promoters may say, simply assets, bought and sold like one would a digital print? Or digital tokens, as the SEC evaluated in 2019, an investment contract – AKA a security? Without any apparent regulatory pronouncement on the industry, perhaps a measure of caution is the best medicine for now – Read more on FAL
  4. San Diego Schools Sued Over ‘Insult’ Of Mural DestructionArtist and Chicano-rights activist Salvador Torres has accused the San Diego Unified School District and a contractor of violating federal copyright and California state art-protection law when they destroyed a mural he painted for the school district in 1988 – Read more on Law 360
  5. Biden Revokes Trump’s Executive Order Mandating “Beautiful” Classical Architecture Trump’s E.O. attacked contemporary architectural designs that had been approved by the General Services Administration (GSA) as “unappealing,” “lack[ing] dignity,” and straight-up “ugly.” Biden’s decision to scrap the order might put him in a conflict with Justin Shubow, the Trump-appointed chairman of the US Commission of Fine Arts and driving force behind Trump’s executive orderRead more on Hyperallergic

February 26th 2021

Image: Jeff Koonsʼ “Made in Heaven” series | courtesy Luxembourg co
  1. Jeff Koons, Centre Pompidou Lose Appeal on French Fashion Ad Plagiarism Suit – The Centre Pompidou in Paris and artist Jeff Koons have lost an appeal on a copyright infringement lawsuit that was brought by photographer Franck Davidovici, which claimed in a 2015 lawsuit that Koons had copied an image that Davidovici shot for the French clothing brand Naf Naf in 1985 – Read more on Artnews
  2. How Museums Use – and Misuse – Corporate Consultants as a Band aid to Address Diversity and Solve Their Biggest Problems – a series of missteps and hollow promises from institutions that have relied on third-party advice are bringing new scrutiny to the influx of for-profit strategies in a non-profit world. And when those plans go awry, it’s often the museum executives who pay the price, while consultants simply move on to the next job – Read more on Artnet News
  3. “Black Arts’ Blackout”: Who’s Absent from HBO’s Survey of “Today’s Top African American Artists”?the last words of the widely praised HBO documentary, Black Art: In the Absence of Light were spoken by the late art historian and artist David Driskell, whose landmark 1976 exhibition, Two Centuries of Black American Art, inspired the new film, which was released to coincide with Black History Month. The film is dedicated to Driskell – Read more on Arts Journal
  4. After Canceling Controversial Deaccessioning, Baltimore Museum Receives Over $1M for Equity Initiatives“I knew the BMA was unable to accommodate an increase in the minimum wage this year so I decided to help them until they could afford it,” said Legum, who served on the BMA’s board for 23 years “I am glad that so many people on the staff will immediately benefit from this gift – Read more on Hyperallergic
  5. Can Artists Use Their Sale Contracts to Game the System? – “Little has been done to destabilize the perpetual concentration of wealth that necessitates redistribution in the first place. Rather than meet precarity with provisional solutions, what will sustain us through the next emergency? How else can the art market’s financial flows – and the legal instruments guiding them – be redirected? The redistribution of power and resources requires one party to give something up. Looking back, it begs the question: was 15 percent ever enough?” – Read more on Frieze
  6. How the Chinese Government is Using Art as Soft Power – Such cancellations at the behest of Chinese authorities are disturbingly common. In other media, like cinema, they can be even more costly. Despite passing numerous rounds of censorship, the patriotic Chinese war film The Eight Hundred (2020) was pulled from the high-profile opening slot at the 2019 Shanghai International Film Festival and had its nationwide release abruptly scrapped – Read more on Frieze

February 25th 2021

  1. ASIA: Japanese Copyright Infringement Proceedings Over Contemporary Art and the Amicus Curiae System in the United States – The Japan Patent Office is considering introducing the Amicus Curiae system for trials of patent infringement lawsuits by amending the Patent Law – Read more on Art Law World Japan
  2. Are Museums as Covid-Risky as Saunas? Culture Leaders Outraged Over Late Reopening of English Art SpacesCulture leaders have vented their frustration at the UK government’s decision to reopen museums across England on 17 May (at the earliest), questioning why non-essential retail, including commercial galleries, and other public buildings such as libraries can open five weeks earlier on 12 April – Read more on The Art Newspaper
  3. Beeple Brings Crypto to Christie’s – Beeple is selling these works as NFTs — nonfungible tokens — digital collectibles that use blockchain technology as authentication. The speculative market for NFTs has skyrocketed in the last 12 months, and continues to grow. According to the NFT Report 2020, the value of the NFT market tripled in 2020, putting its current value over $250 million – Read more on The New York Times
  4. An Opportunity for the UK to Acknowledge That in the 21st Century, Video and Light Art Installations Can Be Imported as Works of Art – The answer to the question “what is art?” has evolved over time to reflect the reality that art takes a multitude of forms. The law can be slow to adjust to that reality; legal disputes over the definition of art have arisen in the context of the tax treatment of art – Read more on Art at Law
  5. Scandal in AmsterdamIn 2018, the Dutch Restitution Committee decided that Wassily Kandinsky’s $22M. painting “Picture with Houses” , which was stolen from its Jewish owners by the Nazis, should remain the property of the Amsterdam Stedelijk Museum. The committee’s decision was severely criticized internationally and […] Now Amsterdam’s mayor, Femke Halsema, has been asked to reconsider and “reassess” the decision – Read more on Tachles

February 24th 2021

Image: LOVE stamp, 1973, designed by Robert Indiana | courtesy Wikimedia Commons
  1. Former Lawyer for Robert Indiana Wants to See Artwork Under New OwnershipSpencer, who represented Indiana for a decade worries key pieces of Indiana’s artistic legacy are at risk because Brannan offered 19 of them as collateral for a $5 million bank loan he secured to help pay the estate’s legal fees. The loan originated Sept. 18, 2020, and has a one-year term, meaning it is due in full this fall. If it’s not paid, some of Indiana’s most important and personal paintings are in play – Read more on Press Herald
  2. Nazi Plunder: A History of Missing and Recovered Art Treasures – Of all dishonourable art thefts in history, the one perpetrated by the Third Reich has been the most monumental, involving the looting of over 20% of Europe’s art by the end of World War II. Partly due to the systematic assault on modernism, partly deriving from Hitler’s desire to open a “Führermuseum” in his hometown of Linz, Austria – Read more on Artland
  3. Arturo Di Modica, Sculptor of the ‘Charging Bull’, Dies at 80 – A Sicilian-born artist, he installed the artwork in Lower Manhattan without permission. The outpouring of public support persuaded the city to keep it – Read more on The New York Times
  4. How to Responsibly Collect the Work of Black ArtistsIn the past few years, many deep-rooted ideas and systems have been exposed, and the art world has not remained untouched by these revelations. We are getting glimpses into the inner workings of the world’s institutions, and the people, structures, and social constructs that hold them up – Read more on Artsy
  5. Certificates of Authenticity, Explained“While certificates of authenticity are often debatable and of little actual worth on their own—having no financial backing or warranty—they can become much more valuable when coupled with provenance and technical investigation: scientific analysis put into context with technical art history” – Read more on Artsy

February 23rd 2021

Bradesco Bank ATM, Rio de Janeiro | © Jon Hicks/Corbis
  1. Facebook “Unfriends” Australian Arts Organizations – Over 300 arts organizations discovered their Facebook pages had been removed as a result of the site’s reaction to a recent regulation over media guidelines. The social media giant introduced the snap ban in response to the proposed News Media and Digital Platforms Mandatory Bargaining Code, which had been passed by the lower house of the Australian government the night before – Read more on Hyperallergic
  2. Auction House Suspends Sale of 19th-Century Jewish Burial RecordsIn a letter to the auction house earlier this month, Schwartz described the manuscript — which was estimated to fetch between $5,000 and $7,000 — as “very precious for the history of our community” and said it was “appropriated illegally by persons who have not been identified.” – Read more on The New York Times
  3. Meet Our Guest: Yayoi Shionoiri – ““Art law” as we know it is not a singular body of law. One needs to have fluency in a wide range of legal fields, bringing these areas of law together based upon who or what entity you are serving. It continues to be a rewarding intellectual challenge to serve as a generalist in the field of art lawRead more on Guest Work Agency
  4. The Art Law Review: Recent Development in the Art MarketWhile the UK government has taken steps under its EU Settlement Scheme to protect the status of EU citizens wishing to remain in the UK at the end of 2020, it remains to be seen whether the London art world will be able to maintain the flow from the EU of culturally well-informed talent coming to work in London in the years ahead – Read more on The Law Reviews
  5. In New York, ATM Gallery Reacts to The Moment – “I never wanted to be a gallerist,” Leung says. “I never wanted to represent artists. I wanted to help artists.” Even while Leung became something like unwitting gallerist, ATM does not have a roster and instead functioning like a “launching pad for emerging artists,” who generally don’t have representation – Read more on Cultured Mag

February 22nd 2021

Image: The Michael Jordan 1986 Fleer rookie card sold for $738K. in Feb at Goldin Auctions.
  1. Risky Business: How New US Sanctions Regulations Will Actually Impact the Art Market – Some participants have established voluntary AML procedures including working only with vetted counterparties, conducting due diligence, prohibiting cash transactions and only transacting through reputable banks. However, these procedures may not be enough for purposes of OFAC – Read more on The Art Newspaper
  2. Dutch Officials Urge New Look at Claim on Painting by Jewish Heirs – The heirs have argued that the work by Wassily Kandinsky was sold under duress by its Jewish owners after the Nazi invasion of the Netherlands – Read more on NY Times
  3. Kevin Durant and Logan Paul Agree: Sports Trading Cards Are the Future – Ken Goldin has made millions selling the sports trading cards of Mike Trout, Michael Jordan and Patrick Mahomes. Now LA Investment firm Chernin Group, who boast a wealthy group of investors, will invest a $40M majority stake in Goldin Auctions to help the company become the dominant player in the booming market for sports-trading cards – Read more on Bloomberg
  4. Huge Fee Hikes for EU students Who Want to Study Art in the UK Come into Force from September – From September 2021, EU students will be charged fees at the international student rate for both undergraduate and postgraduate courses (previously EU students were charged the same as UK home students) and will no longer be able to apply for UK student loans. As an example, tuition fees on Goldsmiths MA History of Art will jump from £11,000 to £23,000 for EU students – Read more on The Art Newspaper
  5. In France The Prints and Multiples Market Resists the Crisis – The sector, whose sales revenue fell only 7% in 2020 according to Artprice, is driven by a large volume of sales. It represents nearly a quarter of the lots sold at auction: 23%, against 4% for photography. A unique hand-enhanced David Hockney edition takes the lead in auctions with $ 6.3 million – Read more on La Gazette Drouot

February 19th 2021

Image: Cryptoart + NFT | courtesy art.art
  1. Christie’s to Accept Cryptocurrency for First Time – The auction house will allow the Ether cryptocurrency to be used to buy Beeple’s Everydays: The First 5000 Days (2021). This makes the sale a double game-changer for Christie’s as it is also the first major auction house to be offering a standalone NFT (Non-Fungible Token) work of art – Read more on The Art Newspaper
  2. Independent Art Finds Room to Flourish in Hong Kong as Young Artists and Creatives Grab Retail Spaces Left Empty By The Pandemic – Many younger artists and creatives are moving into retail spaces left empty by the Covid-19 pandemic. They’re taking the opportunity to collaborate and experiment on their own terms, free of the creative confines of commercial galleries, international art fairs and cultural institutions that have long defined the local art scene – Read more on SCMP
  3. ‘This Is Something We Can Handle Professionally’: Met Director Max Hollein Defends His Controversial Deaccessioning Proposal – Many in the art industry are up in arms over the world’s richest museum possibly using funds from the sale of artworks to shore up revenue losses – Read more on Artnet
  4. Met Director Max Hollein on Building and Caring for The Met Collection – “In sum, The Met is considering a policy change that would allow us temporarily to direct funds from deaccession sales to collection care costs.  We would still have more than sufficient dedicated endowment funds for acquisition activities during that period, and the amount of our deaccessioning would not be unusually large, yet revenue from these sales, which is traditionally used to purchase art, could instead be devoted toward salaries and other direct collection care costs in light of the historic crisis we face – Read more on Met Museum
  5. Judge Dismisses Defamation Claims Surrounding Coverage of Suspected Art Forgery Case – “organizations had reported on the legal fight over paintings that the Gascards had sold to art collector Andy Hall, purported to be by well-respected figurative painter Leon Golub. The legal case culminated in a December 2018 ruling by a U.S. District Court jury in Concord that ordered the Gascards to pay Hall about $500,000. The jury agreed with Hall that the paintings were fakes” – Read more on Concord Monitor

February 18th 2021

Image: Cy Twombly paintings on display in Brussels, Sven Laurent | © Sven Laurent
  1. Cy Twombly Foundation Calls Louvre Restoration of Bronze Room an “Odious Affront” – The Cy Twombly Foundation has denounced the Louvre’s restoration of its Bronze Room and claims that it was never contacted about the changes, which it calls an “odious affront” that is “in violation of the artist’s moral rights.” New York attorney David R. Baum, acting as legal adviser to Twombly Foundation president Nicola del Roscio, emailed Louvre director Jean-Luc Martinez condemning the changes to the room and asking that they be corrected “immediately,” or at least before the space is reopened to the public – Read more on Art Forum
  2. Notorious Arts Scammer Anna Sorokin Has Been Released from Prison Early – In 2019, Sorokin was found guilty of theft of services, second-degree grand larceny and first-degree grand larceny, and she was sentenced to four to 12 years in prison. Now, Sorokin has been released early from prison on parole – Read more on Observer
  3. Creator of Much-Mocked Romania Statue Accused of Fraud – A Romanian sculptor has been charged with fraud after a much-mocked sculpture of the Emperor Trajan — and ten others — turned out to be made of brass and not bronze as claimed, police said – Read more on France 24
  4. Medieval Treasure, Nazi Pressure: Germany Struggles to Keep Up with Demands of its Past – The sale of a precious medieval collection by a group of tradesmen to the Prussian government in 1935 was notable not only for its treasured contents, but also for its participants. The sellers were Jewish, a fact that defined their fate in Nazi Germany and hangs over the transaction to this day – Read more on NBC news
  5. Battle of Trafalgar Square: another makeover for London’s National Gallery – An international competition has been announced today to upgrade the gallery’s Sainsbury Wing – Read more on FT

February 17th 2021

Image: A collective painting organized by Khin Zaw Latt supporting Myanmar’s Civil Disobedience Movement. Photo courtesy of the artist | via Artnet
  1. Can’t Fool Artificial Intelligence – Detecting art forgeries is hard and expensive. Art historians might bring a suspect work into a lab for infrared spectroscopy, radiometric dating, gas chromatography, or a combination of such tests. AI, it turns out, doesn’t need all that: it can spot a fake just by looking at the strokes used to compose a piece – Read more on Pocket
  2. Radical plan could move UK’s national art collections into former IKEA store in Coventry – Under the plans, Coventry City Council will buy the former five-storey IKEA store in the city centre and transform it to create a multi-purpose collections and cultural facility. If the scheme is approved, the 8,000-strong Arts Council Collection would relocate from two current collection stores: Kennington Park in South London and Longside on the Yorkshire Sculpture Park estate.  Coventry City Council is due to vote on the proposal on 23 February – Read more on The Art Newspaper
  3. A French Court Has Ordered a Far-Right Mayor to Close the Local Museums He Opened Last Week in Defiance of the National Lockdown – The populist mayor of the southern French city of Perpignan must re-close the four museums he opened earlier this month in defiance of the national lockdown, a Montpellier administrative court ruled Monday – Read more on Artnet
  4. Guggenheim Museum Reaches Agreement With New Union – After nearly 18 months of negotiations, the three-year collective bargaining agreement covers 22 full-time employees and 145 on-call staffers who make up the museum’s facilities, maintenance and art handling crews – Read more on The New York Times
  5. After a Military Coup, Artists Across Myanmar Are Making Protest Art to Share Their Struggle for Democracy With the World – Myanmar has been engulfed in protest since February 1, when Burmese army general Min Aung Hlaing seized control of the government in a military coup. In the face of internet outages, heavy military presence, and nighttime raids and arrests, artists are using their skills to share the message of the opposition Civil Disobedience Movement – Read more on Artnet</li >

February 16th 2021

Image: Exhibited at “Ai Weiwei. Free’ | Florence, 2017
  1. The Art Market is Susceptible to Whistleblower Claims. Is it Paying Attention? – The NDAA covers a wide range of issues, including the passing of the Anti-Money Laundering Act 2020 (“AMLA”). The AMLA contains a provision entitled “updating whistleblower incentives and protection”, which updated a whistleblower program already in place to encourage reporting of violations of anti-money laundering regulations to the US Government – Read more on Art at Law
  2. Art Dealer Denies Liability In Fund’s £1.6M Fake Statue Suit – A Swiss antiques dealer has told a London court that it cannot be held liable for the authenticity of a Roman statue after it was sued by a private Qatari investment fund for £1.6 million ($2.2 million) – Read more on Law360
  3. Stop Auctioning! – A New York attorney representing himself accuses the state of letting at least three museums unload artwork to raise operating funds — a violation of laws put in place after the Great Recession led to similar auctions that deprived New Yorkers of enjoying cultural treasures – Read more on Courthouse News
  4. San Francisco Museum Agrees to Return Thai Relics – San Francisco’s Asian Art Museum will return two religious relics to Thailand under a settlement announced by the U.S. Department of Justice – Read more on Courthouse News
  5. Keep Problematic Monuments and ‘Explain Them’, UK Government to Tell Cultural Leaders – The UK culture secretary Oliver Dowden will stoke the debate raging over controversial historic monuments by telling museum and heritage leaders later this month that they “must defend our culture and history from the noisy minority of activists constantly trying to do Britain down” – Read more on The Art Newspaper

February 15th 2021

Image: An art deco-style armchair by Pleyel and Hampatong Dayak sculptures will go under the hammer on 11 May © Pearl Metalia – Thomas Hennocque
  1. Art World’s Culture of Secrecy Targeted as US, EU Crack Down on Money Laundering – “Sometimes very wealthy collectors use telephone bidders that imply a certain nationality just to guarantee their own anonymity … to throw us off the scent”. New anti-money-laundering rules mean art and antiquities dealers in Britain and the EU must now record the actual beneficiaries of their sales for the first time. The US Congress approved similar legislation last month that should be in place by 2022 – Read more on SCMP
  2. New Twist in the Wildenstein Trial Series – On January 6, the Court of Cassation overturned the acquittal of the heirs of the merchant family, prosecuted for tax evasion valued at several hundred million euros, and ordered a new trial – Read more on Gazette Drouot
  3. OP-ED: While the Met Contemplates Selling its Treasured Art, Rich Trustees Sit Idle – New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art is mulling whether to sell off art objects in order to help pay off a projected $150 million operating deficit. Wow! Not wow to the size of the museum’s expected deficit, which we’ve known about since April. But a definite wow to the possible plan for settling it, a scheme the Met has hitherto always opposed – Read more on LA Times
  4. Pandemic Opens a New Niche for Museums: Private Virtual Tours and Group Virtual Visits They Can Charge Money For – Interactive walks, video games and podcasts are some of the free innovations museums have launched to try to mitigate the effects of closures and a slump in visitors caused by coronavirus. But more and more institutions are now pushing paid options – Read more on SCMP
  5. Own a Piece of Kenzo Takada History – Takada spent more than 50 years collecting pieces for the house, and some 600 items from this personal trove will be auctioned on 11 May by Artcurial in Paris. The items span furniture and decorative objects, as well as sculptures, paintings and other artworks – Read more on Financial Times

February 12th 2021

Image: The Barack Obama PE nike Hyperdunks. Courtesy Sothebys.
  1. New Jersey Family Sued for Alleged Conspiracy to Sell Rembrandt Painting – The sale of an early Rembrandt (1606-1669) painting has sparked a family feud in New Jersey, US, after several heirs of its former owner were accused of conspiracy and deception in New York State Supreme Court – Read more on Art Law & More
  2. Christie’s is Cutting Off Public Access to Its Extensive Auction Archive in London – “As a courtesy Christie’s has previously supplied complimentary archival information for the purposes of research, a Christie’s spokesperson told The Art Newspaper in a statement. “However, with regret, the archives team has had to be reduced and can now only serve the needs of our own specialist teams.” – Read more on The Observer
  3. French Mayor Opens Museums, Defying Coronavirus Orders – But then an unlikely savior came to the rescue — for museums in the city of Perpignan, in southern France, at least. Louis Aliot, Perpignan’s mayor, became the unlikely champion of culture when he defied the national government and passed a decree allowing the city’s four museums to welcome visitors for the first time in over three months – Read more on The New York Times
  4. Nike Sneakers Designed in Honor of Obama Withdrawn From Sotheby’s Sale – An exclusive pair of Nike Hyperdunks designed in honor of former President Barack Obama that was set to go on sale Friday at 4:44 p.m. ET for the price of $25,000 were pulled from the luxury auctioneer’s anticipated sale. No reason was immediately given as to why – Read more on CNN
  5. Kanye West’s Teenage Artwork Was Reportedly Purchased by an Art Collector – The collector can’t reveal how much he paid for the art because of a non-disclosure agreement, but when the portfolio was originally appraised on the PBS show it was valued at between 16,000 and $23,000 – Read more on Vanity Fair

February 11th 2021

Christies Catalog via FreeportPress
  1. The CASE Act Promises Copyright Infringement Remedies for Content Creators: But Will It Deliver? – The intent behind the CASE Act is commendable. There are issues, however, that threaten to undermine its effectiveness: 1) the process is voluntary; 2) the process is new and unpredictable; 3) claims board decisions are not precedent; 4) the claims board process could be subject to constitutional challenge – Read more on Sullivan Law
  2. Auction Catalogue Symbols, Decoded – Discovering their true meaning can require flipping to the fine print at the end or beginning of an auction catalogue, or navigating auction house websites’ “frequently asked questions” pages. In the era of more sophisticated digital auction catalogues, discovering symbols’ meanings has gotten a bit easier – Read more on Artsy
  3. Crypto Art: How Artists Are Selling Their Work on Blockchain – Remember that ledger that makes it easy to track transactions? That same practice means that a piece of digital art can be tracked as it exchanges hands and can be traced back to the original artist who created it. Its changing value over time can also be tracked – My Modern Met
  4. Populist Leaders in Central and Eastern Europe Have a New Target in Their Fight Against Liberalism: Art Museum Directors – Since coming to power in March 2020, Slovenia’s ruling right-wing SDS party, led by populist prime minister Janez Janša, has been accused of eroding media and artistic freedoms, while swapping out cultural leaders at an alarming rate – Read more on Artnet
  5. Deteriorating Outlook on Contemporary Art – The latest ArtTactic report on art market confidence finds more than a third of the expert participants surveyed expect a fall in the contemporary art market in the next six months. The greatest pessimism is in the $50,000-$100,000 price range – Read more on The Financial Times

February 10th 2021

Image: TAIAOS digital artwork by Simon de la Rouviere via thisartworkisalwaysonsale.com
  1. France Passes Law Protecting Sounds and Smells of Countryside – France has passed a law protecting the “sensory heritage” of its rural areas, in the face of complaints about the noises and smells typical of the countryside. Giraud said he celebrated the adoption of the law, which aims to “define and protect the sensory heritage of the French countryside.” – Read more on CNN
  2. How Are Black Artists Influencing The Art Markets We Love? – The Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago announced Naomi Beckwith as Deputy Director and Chief Curator of the prestigious Guggenheim Museum.She also will be forwarding Black arts and artists to the art market and art world entirely. Beckwith will be helping as part of a plan to diversify, curate Black art, and grow the Guggenheim catalog – Read more on Reverie
  3. Should You Care About Competition Law? – Competition laws apply across all sectors of the economy to prevent and penalise anti-competitive behaviour (whether or not such was the intent of the parties involved). Art market participants must exercise caution in their interactions with competitors and business partners to ensure that joint ventures or other forms of cooperation do not amount to anti-competitive coordination – Read more on Art at Law
  4. EU Commission Proposes New Rules to Ban Trade in Ivory – On 28 January 2021, the European Commission published a draft regulation and guidance to ban the EU trade in ivory, subject to limited exceptions. Both instruments are open for final public feedback until 25 February 2021 on the Commission’s ‘Have your say’ page – Read more on Art at Law
  5. SFMOMA Director to Step Down After Tumultuous Year at Museum – In an internal all-staff meeting today, Neal Benezra announced that he will step down from his role as Director of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) after 19 years at the museum – Read more on Hyperallergic

February 9th 2021

Image: “The Smintons”, Nifty Gateway
  1. As Museums Push to Sell Art, Competing Ideas About Deaccessioning Are Playing Out in Public – However the Baltimore case settles, it has already lent new candor to discussions about deaccessioning—and about how museums prioritize their interests. columnist Carolina A. Miranda wrote in an L.A. Times column opposing the sales that “museums officers and trustees should be embarrassed.” Museum collections have long skewed white and male, and wages have long been low. Is selling art the best course for correcting that? – Read more on Artnews
  2. ‘Very Few People Work in Solitude’: Designer Dries Van Noten and Artist Adam Tullie on How Creatives Can Collaborate Across Disciplines – Dries van Noten on Art + Fashion: What I’m trying to do is make clothes that are a part of expressing who you are. I don’t want to make clothes to conjure a set personality. I want to give people tools to communicate on their own – Read more on Artnet
  3. A Lawyer Cracked a Hidden Room in His Office and Found a Cache of Historic Photography – A lawyer looking for a new office stumbled upon a trove of historic photographs when he discovered a secret attic in the three-story building he bought last December in Geneva, New York. Among the finds in the hidden trove was a rare portrait of suffragist Susan B. Anthony – Read more on Artnet
  4. Rick & Morty Creator Sells Ethereum Art for $1.65 Million – Justin Roiland’s first foray into the non-fungible token (NFT) art scene ended up with a bang as his debut crypto art collection was sold for roughly $1.65 million in total yesterday – Read more on Decrypt
  5. How Can a Museum Think It Owns Too Much Work By Important Artists? Ask This One – When an art museum collects an artist’s work in depth, that’s a virtue, not a vice. No artist is known by a single work of art, major or minor; no cultural milieu deeply illuminated by one of this, one of that. But you wouldn’t know it from the Museum of Latin American Art in Long Beach, which just tried to auction almost five dozen works from its permanent collection through an online e-commerce site – Read more on LA Times

February 8th 2021

Image: ‘Birkinstocks’ by NY art collective MSCHF
  1. How to Navigate the New Copyright Small Claims Court – This new forum’s creation is a potentially groundbreaking move, but it also has a loophole leaving its true impact uncertain: Participation is entirely voluntary. Within a prescribed time frame, respondents may opt out of the tribunal for any reason. Claimants and respondents alike will be able to decide whether to proceed in the tribunal or go the traditional course – Read more on Bloomberg Law
  2. ASIA: “Shibuya Boxing Art” Similar To The Work Of NY-based Artist Ushio Shinohara –  “SHIBUYA BOXING ART” did not mention Shinohara, and there was no prior consultation with ANOMALY, Shinohara’s gallery. After being contacted after the fact, the gallery requested that the posting be withdrawn immediately at the end of last year, considering that Shinohara himself did not admit it although there was an explanation of the circumstances – Read more on Bijutsutecho
  3. Despite Government Bailouts, Nearly 80 Percent of French Galleries Saw Their Income Decline in 2020, a New Report Shows – To shelter business, a quarter of all galleries had to make cuts to staff, despite the fact that more than two thirds employed fewer than four people, and just four percent had a staff of more than 10. The worst affected were galleries at both ends of the market spectrum: galleries with an annual income of less than €500,000 or more than €3 million – Read more on Artnet
  4. MSCHF Drops the “Most Exclusive Sandals Ever Made,” They’re Called Birkinstocks – A mashup between a Birkin bag and a Birkenstock, MSCHF’s “Birkinstocks” [incorporate] more than $122,500 worth of genuine Hermès Birkin bags. But the drop is hardly be the first time that MSCHF’s goods have posed legal questions (e.g. the 88 individual dots that the company cut out of a limited Damien Hirst print  – Read more on The Fashion Law
  5. Cuban Artists File Legal Motion to Remove Culture Minister – Artist activist group 27N has filed a legal motion for the dismissal of Minister of Culture Alpidio Alonso, who on January 27 was one of a number of government officials who physically confronted a group of peaceful protesters demonstrating in support of free speech – Read more on Art Forum
  6. High Court Nazi Art Rulings Impede Restorative Justice – “The U.S. Supreme Court’s recent rulings in favor of the sovereigns in two cases involving art stolen by the Nazis, Germany v. Philipp and Hungary v. Simon, deprive victims of a domestic forum for restitution and leave them with the untested alternative of international arbitration” – Read more on Law360

February 5th 2021

Image: Zaha Hadid Architects, Mobile Art, Paris
  1. For Some Small Arts Groups in CA, Adhering to Labor Law Means Not Paying Artists – Used to hiring artists who work as independent contractors in exchange for program or project fees, it’s been tough for these small nonprofit arts groups in particular to adapt to AB5, the labor law intended to give the state’s workers more benefits by preventing employers from misclassifying them as contractors in order to save money – Read more on KQED
  2. What a $92 Million Painting Says About New Art Market Values – When Salvator Mundi sold for $450M. at Christie’s in 2017, it became the most expensive painting to ever sell at auction. Moreover, it was a lesson to art dealers everywhere: A select group of very, very wealthy people are willing to pay for the best—or at least, the best-available—example of an artist’s work, assuming of course the artist is famous. The only question, then, is how convincingly sellers can make the case – Read more on Bloomberg
  3. The German Government Has Agreed to Roll Out Another €1 Billion in Aid to Its Ailing Cultural Sector – This marks the second chapter of the so-called “Neustart Kultur” program (New Start Culture), which was first launched last July with a bailout of €1 billion dispersed across cultural sectors in the nation of 83 million – Read more on Artnet
  4. Facing Deficit, Met Considers Selling Art to Help Pay the Bills – Like many institutions, the Met is looking to take advantage of a two-year window in which the Association of Art Museum Directors — a professional organization that guides its members’ best practices — has relaxed the guidelines that govern how proceeds from sales of works in a collection (known as deaccessioning) can be directed – Read more on The New York Times
  5. ASIA: Zaha Hadid Tapped To Design Phase Two of Beijing’s International Exhibition Centre – Zaha Hadid Architects (ZHA), founded by Pritzker Architecture awardee Zaha Hadid, triumphed in the design competition to build phase two of Beijing‘s International Exhibition Centre. The announcement comes just weeks after it was confirmed that the architects will be working on two new projects: the HKUST Student Residence in Hong Kong and Tower C at Shenzhen Bay – Read more on Tatler HK

February 4th 2021

Image: After Faberge by Jonathan Monaghan | via Design Collector
  1. Artist Nick Cave Just Won a Bizarre Legal Fight Over Whether His Political Mural in a New York Village Is Actually Art – Ultimately, the board ruled that Cave’s words were “were displayed as a political message and art for a temporary period of time” and that the town’s code “does not apply to regulate the exhibit as a sign.” – Read more on Artnet
  2. A Lawyer Writes: Dealers Beware – the High Court Could Override Your Attempts to Keep Buyers Unidentified –  The fundamental lesson for those in the trade is that, if a good case is made out and various technical hurdles are crossed, and justice requires it, the court will order disclosure of the identity of a purchaser, even though the day-to-day practice in the art world may be that this is kept strictly confidential – Read more on Antiques Trade Gazette
  3. UK Not Adopting EU Art and Antiquities Import Rules – At least for now, UK dealers will not be burdened by regulations similar to the Regulation on the introduction and import of cultural goods[ii] recently adopted by the EU that severely restrict the importation of cultural objects over 250 years old. The EU rules require a special license for import of certain values and types of art and antiques and for all ‘archaeological materials.’ – Read more on Cultural Property News
  4. The Case of the Receding Art Fairs – Art Basel— regarded as the most important fair on the Modern and contemporary circuit — again postponed its 51st in-person edition in Switzerland from June to September (23-26); Tefaf Maastricht moved its 34th edition to September 11-19; while Art Basel’s real-life fair in Hong Kong is still on the cards (May 21-23) – Read more on The Financial Times
  5. Russian Fabergé Exhibition Contains ‘At Least 20 Fakes’, Expert Says – A Russian museum has been asked to close a Fabergé exhibition that contains items loaned from the personal collection of a billionaire, after a prominent expert said it contained more than a dozen fakes – Read more on The Guardian</li style=”padding-bottom: 16px; padding-left: 10px; padding-right: 35px;”>

February 3rd 2021

Image: Daniel Arsham
Eroded Basketball, 2020
U Square
  1. Supreme Court Says Germany Can’t Be Sued In Nazi-Era Art Case – The U.S. Supreme Court unanimously rejected a lower court ruling that had allowed the heirs of the onetime owners to proceed with their claim that the sale had been coerced. [Alex Herman on Twitter:  “Germany is immune from claims by heirs since takings by Nazi Germany from own citizens is not a “violation of international law” for purposes of the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act”] – Read more on NPR
  2. Superstar Artists Are Marketing Themselves Like Pro Athletes and Musicians – The benefits of these multivalent partnerships for artists are numerous, according to Stark, including new audiences, new revenue and royalty streams, and enhanced trademark protections. The growing prevalence of artists engaging in merchandising in addition to their studio practices is a testament to the penetration and acceptance of these types of partnerships in the contemporary art world at large – Read more on Artsy
  3. A New Report Suggests that UK Art Businesses Are Begrudgingly Adapting to New Money-Laundering Regulations – The report found that asking art buyers for personal information—including identity documents and proof of address— remains art business’s biggest concern. [And], while many reported that clients quickly became used to the new laws, compliance remains an administrative hassle – Read more on Artnet
  4. King George III’s Watch at Risk of Leaving the UK – Valued at £2M., could this be the item that triggers the first use of the UK’s ‘binding offer mechanism’ for exports (introduced 1 Jan 2021)? The decision on the export licence application for the watch will be deferred until 28 April 2021. This may be extended until 28 September – Read more on Gov UK
  5. The Law of Prepatory and Unfinished Works in France – So what happens to preparatory or unfinished “works” when the status of a work of art and its legal protection seem to be reserved only for creations “completed” at the end of a singular intellectual and material process? – Read more on La Gazette Drouot

February 2nd 2021

Image: Taschen Books courtesy of Hypebeast
  1. The Black Lives Matter Movement Is Nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize – Norwegian MP Petter Eide has nominated the Black Lives Matter movement for the 2021 Nobel Peace Prize, citing “a tremendous achievement in raising global awareness and consciousness about racial injustice.” Eide praised the movement’s inclusive and transnational call to action as one of its most distinguishing factors compared to its predecessors – Read more on Hypebeast
  2. For Britain’s Art Dealers, Post-Brexit Trade Isn’t So Free – VAT — a tax on goods and services that is usually paid by consumers — is now payable when importing artworks into Britain from the European Union, and vice versa. Dealers at every level of the trade are also encountering unforeseen administrative and transportation costs that are damaging their profitability – Read more on The New York Times
  3. Activist Artists Cite Novel N.Y. Win to Sue Over Threats to Work – The Visual Artists Rights Act of 1990 is now “understood by many artists as a powerful tool of resistance to the hegemony of western, white power structures,” said art expert Renée Vara, who testified in the 5Pointz case. And legal action is becoming an “alternative path” to the ultimate goal of some artists—changing society – Read more on Bloomberg Law
  4. Richard L. Feigen (1930–2021) – Legendary Art Dealer Whose Own Private Collection Was the Toast of New York – The renowned art dealer Richard L. Feigen has died at the age of 90. Feigen set up his first gallery in Chicago in 1957, later opening in New York where he forged a reputation as one of the world’s leading dealers of Old Master paintings – Read more on Apollo Mag
  5. Destinee Ross-Sutton Is Empowering Artists to Take Control of Their Markets – Last month, Sutton opened her own space, Ross-Sutton Gallery, with “Black Voices: Friend of My Mind,” taking over a vast storefront in Manhattan’s SoHo district. Once again, any collector making a purchase is required to sign the same contract, now dubbed the “Ross-Sutton Agreement.” – Read more on Artsy
  6. Update Your Coffee Table Reading Thanks to TASCHEN’s January Book Sale – Following its release of Nike and Virgil Abloh’s ICONS book earlier this month, TASCHEN has given art book collectors and fanatics alike the opportunity to fill shelves and cover coffee tables, by announcing its four-day long sale – Read more on Hypebeast

February 1st 2021

Image: Marcellina Akpojotor’s “Rhythm of Evolving Story (Conversation Series)”, 2020. Courtesy Marcellina and Rele Gallery.
  1. On Angela Gulbenkian & The Art Scandal That Rocked European Society – Fraud is not unusual in the $64B. global art market. The buyer “didn’t send the payment to an escrow account – which was not unusual, given the old-fashioned agreements the art world still relies on”. The buyer explains that this choice was due to “the strong referral from a trusted friend, the need to act quickly”. The art dealer “lied, fabricated email correspondence, and faked bank transfers, but she also made real payment of deposit and restoration, and shipping costs” – Read more on Town & Country Mag
  2. Will Israel’s High Court of Justice Manage to Stop one of the Largest Museum Deaccession Sales in the Country’s History? – Israel’s High Court of Justice delivered a ruling temporarily postponing the sale of 258 lots from Jerusalem’s L.A. Mayer Museum of Islamic Art at Sotheby’s London auction house. The cases focus on the Museum’s alleged noncompliance with Israeli law regulating deaccessions and sales from museum collections, as well as claims that the government has mismanaged its oversight of museums – Read more on Institute of Art & Law
  3. Do Museums Need a Shopping Network for Art Donations? – Curators are cautiously optimistic about the potential of a new venture, the Museum Exchange, a subscription online catalog of works up for donation that aims to put collectors looking to find homes for their possessions in touch with museums looking for items that support their mission – Read more on The New York Times
  4. The Man Who Helped Create the Modern Art Market Has a Few Regrets – The scope of the art market might have changed, Rudolf Zwirner continues, but its formula for success isn’t that different from when he began. “The future of the gallery lies especially in the realm of the analog, in smaller events on site, in personal conversations,” – Read more on Bloomberg
  5. Nigerian Gallery Sets Up Shop on Melrose Avenue – The young Rele gallery, founded in Lagos in 2015, inaugurates a new space in Los Angeles on February 1st. Its base: the most popular avenue in Beverly Hills, where it will present an inaugural exhibition bringing together works by Nigerian artists  – Read more on Cultured Magazine

January 29th 2021

  1. The Louvre Museum Launches Its Online Store – The Louvre is inaugurating an e-store to offer the public the collaborations that the institution is developing with its partners (Swatch, Bully or even Uniqlo) “who enhance the Louvre by reaching as many people as possible thanks to new online shopping practices” , underlines the deputy director of the relations of the museum – Read more on Gazette Drouot
  2. OPINION: Should Post-Brexit UK Get Rid of the Artist’s Resale Right? – In reality, ARR has all the hallmarks of a business levy and might better be called the Artist’s Resale Tax (ART). A number of factors make ARR unfair, but these two points in particular: (1) It’s charged as a percentage of the entire resale price, not just on profits, each time a work is resold; (2) The charge applies to qualifying works even when the seller makes a loss. Now that the UK is out of the EU, should we get rid of it? – Read more on The Art Newspaper
  3. Sotheby’s Brought to You by Bulgari—Product Placement at Auction Has Arrived, with Limitless Potential – The most remarkable aspect of Sotheby’s successful Old Master sale in New York yesterday was not the respectable $92m (with fees) they managed to realise for a Botticelli sold for only $1.3m in 1982, but the week of sales of classic art presented in partnership with the jewellery brand Bulgari. Product placing went into overdrive – Read more on The Art Newspaper
  4. Irish Buyers Face 15% Post-Brexit Tax Premium on Art Sold in UK – After paying the UK buyers’ premium, which is normally 25 per cent (the additional UK 5 per cent tax is now dropped), there will be an Irish customs VAT rate applied to goods coming into Ireland, which equates to 13.5 per cent on art. If Ireland is to capitalise on Brexit fallout and compete with other EU member states, auction houses here are calling for a reduction in the VAT rate on artworks in order to even out the playing field – Read more on The Irish Times
  5. Art Dealer Stefania Minutaglio Is Crazy About Crypto – One of the big things, in her opinion, that is causing the digital world to become far more stable than the traditional methods of record keeping we’ve witnessed over the past several years is the fact that blockchain technology is consistently utilized. She likes the idea of all data being recorded to the blockchain and is excited by the notion that this data cannot be deleted or tampered with – Read more on The Bitcoin News

january 28th 2021

Image: Salvador Dali’s ‘Lobster’ (1936).
  1. IP Considerations for Art-Fashion Collaborations – There are at least three primary concerns for artists and the attorneys advising them when negotiating a collaboration with a fashion company. First, artists should make sure they retain and protect their intellectual property within the context of the collaboration. Second, artists need to think creatively and protect their IP comprehensively in a manner that looks beyond traditional copyright protection. And third, artists must beware of serious pitfalls in agreeing to restrictive covenants – Read more on Law360
  2. Pittsburgh Building Agency Nears Win In Artist’s Murals Suit – A Pennsylvania federal magistrate judge recommended Wednesday tossing a Pittsburgh mural artist’s Visual Artists Rights Act suit against the city’s Urban Redevelopment Authority over his destroyed murals, after finding that the artist failed to serve the authority during nearly three years of litigation – Read more on Law360
  3. ASIA: Behind the Anime Boom Is a Fight Against Pirated Editions – In 2020, “Kimetsu no Yaiba” was a big hit. Now, non-genuine counterfeit “Kimetsu no Yaiba” figures are on the market without the permission of the copyright holder, and the publisher BANDAI SPIRITS Prize Division is calling foul – Read more on Forbes Japan
  4. Lebanon Returns Two Stolen 18th Century Icons to Greece – Lebanon handed back two 18th-century religious icons of Jesus and Mary to Greece on Tuesday after they were seized during an auction, a judicial source said – Read more on Courthouse News
  5. Export of Cultural Goods: The Value Thresholds Reassessed –  The professionals of the French art market have been heard: on December 28, after a long consultation, the French government adopted a decree aiming to raise the value thresholds beyond which a certificate is necessary for the export of cultural goods – La Gazette Drouot

january 27th 2021

Image: MoMA Sans for the Museum of Modern Art courtesy Commercial Type
  1. Geneva to Close Probe into Russian Billionaire’s Art Complaint – Swiss art dealer Yves Bouvier won another victory in his long-running feud with Russian billionaire client Dmitry Rybolovlev, after Geneva prosecutors announced their intention to close a probe into Rybolovlev’s accusations of fraud. The dispute dates from 2015 when Rybolovlev accused Bouvier of overcharging him by about $1 billion for dozens of canvasses by Leonardo da Vinci, Rene Magritte and others – Read more on Bloomberg
  2. Millions of Dollars of Artworks Left U.K. Before Brexit Cutoff – One company moved about 500 pieces for one client that has shifted about two-thirds of its stock into the EU. Another moved a quarter of its collection — about $5 million of artworks — and a third had moved smaller amounts earlier in the year – Read more on Bloomberg
  3. Business League Status Denied to Artist Organization Operating a Cooperative Summer Art Gallery (IRC §501) – The IRS denied exempt tax code Section 501 (c)(6) business league status to an artist membership organization. The requirements that members work specific shifts or lose the right to sell or display their merchandise, serve on committees, and receive most of the proceeds of items they sell in a cooperative art gallery open to the general public showed that the organization is providing particular services and convenience to its members, as opposed to their industry or trade as a whole – Read more on Bloomberg Law
  4. California CDTFA Published Information on Sales and Use Tax Application to Graphic Design, Printing, Publishing Business Operations – The publication provides information on: 1) taxable and nontaxable sales; 2) technology transfer agreements relating to artwork sold or leased to customers; 3) rules that apply to graphic designers working in the motion picture industry, sales of printed matter produced by printers in-house, sales of printed sales messages, sales of newspapers and periodicals, and a publisher’s sales of printed literature; and 4) the procedure to report sales and purchases and more – Read more on Bloomberg Law
  5. Whistleblowers Spoke Up to Hold Art Institutions Accountable. Here’s What Happened to Them Afterward – After the open letters are published, the articles are out, and the declarations are made on social media, what happens to the people behind them? Some say it strengthened their position in the art world; for others, it was a moment to bow out – Read more on Artnet

january 26th 2021

Image: ‘Da Vinci of Debt’, an installation by Natural Light currently on display at New York City’s Grand Central Terminal | via Hypebeast
  1. Amidst Ongoing Turmoil, the Guggenheim Museum Has Hired Its First Black Chief Curator – the Guggenheim Museum in Manhattan had hired Naomi Beckwith, formerly a senior curator of the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, as its new deputy director and chief curator. However, the museum’s first black curator and the first Black woman to curate an exhibition at the Guggenheim  Chaédria LaBouvier, described her time collaborating with the museum as “the most racist professional experience of [her] life.” – Read more on Observer
  2. ‘Da Vinci of Debt’ Is Now the World’s Most Expensive Artwork, Valued at $470 Million USD – The artwork is a cascading installation of 2,600 real college diplomas, which are roughly valued at a little over $180,000 each — the average cost of four-year college education in the U.S. This has made the installation valued at $470 million USD, just $20 million USD over the most expensive painting ever sold: Leonardo Da Vinci’s 600-year-old Salvator Mundi – Read more on Hypebeast
  3. Gallery Contract, Yes or No? – If it turns out that the gallerist is unwilling to enter into a written agreement with you, that does not mean you cannot work with them, but it is an important data point. Perhaps it would be wise to limit your initial commitment to them, so that you do have the maximum flexibility to “thank you next” – Read more on The Art Gorgeous
  4. Biden’s Repeal of US Travel Ban ‘Changes the Game’ for Artists Coming from Muslim-Majority Countries – New York based Artistic Freedom Initiative group says the new executive order, overturning Trump’s controversial rule, also allows artists to visit home “for the first time in years” – Read more on The Art Newspaper
  5. London Plans to Remove Slave Trade-Linked Statues, but the UK Government Might Refuse – This week, the City of London Corporation voted to remove and replace two statues of British politicians, William Beckford and Sir John Cass, who were linked to the transatlantic slave trade. However, the planned removal is directly at odds with new laws issued by the UK government intended to protect and safeguard historic monuments throughout England. These laws will take effect in March, and in general, senior governmental figures in Britain have said that statues of controversial figures should be “retained and explained” so that future generations can learn from them – Read more on Observer
  6. RELATED: UK Government Announces New Laws to Protect Controversial Historic Monuments – The legislation, if approved by Parliament, will require individuals to have listed building consent or planning permission before removing any historic statue. The law would come into effect from March and apply to England’s 12,000 statues – Read more on The Art Newspaper

January 25th 2021

Image: “Futura – The Living Legend of the Graffiti Movement” | courtesy Widewalls
  1. North Face Hit With Unfair Competition Suit For Allegedly Jacking Futuras Logo for 20M. Ad Campaign – North Face has collaborated with Leonard McGurr – aka Futura –  in the past, but failed to get his authorization “before making extensive use of his famous “atom” design in a $20 million advertising campaign,” counsel for the graffiti artist claims in a newly-filed unfair competition lawsuit – Read more on The Fashion Law
  2. Police Arrest 13, Seize Luxury Properties In AML Sting – Following December raids, European authorities have seized dozens of three luxury cars, cash, jewelry, artwork and arrested 13 people in connection with an anti-money laundering, tax evasion and corruption investigation into a convicted fraudster living in Spain who ran a network of companies through accomplices – Read more on Law360
  3. Spotting Fake IDs: A New Reality for the Art Market? –  One UK gallery that was manually conducting ‘Know Your Customer’ – or ‘Know Your Collector’ in this instance, realised that a passport provided as photo ID by a prospective new client was a fake. The international nature of the art market, in combination with an increasing number of online transactions (think: sales resulting from Instagram and transactional marketplaces), results in a need for secure and robust ID verification when it comes to AML – Read more on ArtAML
  4. Is the Curtain Coming Down on Criminal Schemes in the Art Market? – Courts and policymakers alike are increasingly determined to ensure that the art market isn’t a haven for fraudsters. Combined with the recently passed legislation allowing the U.S. to better regulate the art and antiquities market, are the days finally over when the art market was a Wild West-style grey zone allowing criminals of all stripes to flourish? – Read more on International Policy Digest
  5. France Has Revised Its System for Exporting Art and Antiquities, Removing Red Tape That Has Long Hindered Trade – France has revised its national system for exporting cultural goods, dramatically expanding the ease of trade. The move is considered a major win for the country’s art industry. The changes, which came into effect on January 1, raise the value thresholds at which an export certificate or “passport” must be obtained for a broad swathe of art, antiques, and collectibles. In some cases, the threshold has been doubled – Read more on Artnet News
  6. New York Art Dealers Charged With Fabricating Provenance Information and Impersonating Deceased Collectors – Erdal Dere and Faisal Khan of Fortuna Fine Arts Ltd (‘Fortuna’) are alleged to have concealed dubious ownership histories and misled buyers. NY authorities are now seeking further information from those who anyone who can potentially provide evidence against the two dealers – Read more on Art at Law

january 22nd 2021

Image: teamLab, ‘Autonomous Resonating Life – Liquified Light Color, Sunrise and Sunset’, Interactive Digital Installation, 2020.
  1. Why Does teamLab Need The Art World? – The largest and most prolific art collective working with interactive digital technology, teamLab has hundreds of employees, who include artists, architects, programmers, engineers, mathematicians, and CG animators. “We are redefining the relationship between artwork and visitor,” Michaela Kane, a member of teamLab, said in a recent interview. (She doesn’t have a specific job title; the organization is non-hierarchical and eschews such labels.) – Read more on Art in America
  2. RELATED: Future Art Ecosystems Report – Last summer the R&D Platform at the Serpentine Galleries in London released its first Future Art Ecosystems Report, a trend forecast detailing the latest developments in the visual art world’s engagement with advanced technologies. The report identifies teamLab as a pioneer of a model it dubs “art stacks”: artist-led collectives that produce every aspect of the art experience in-house, from code to venues, and draw revenue from ticketed experiences – Read the Report
  3. $2M. For T-Shirts? How Supreme and Nike Cracked the Auction Market – Last September, a 2017 Supreme hoodie made in partnership with Louis Vuitton sold at Sotheby’s in New York for $6,048, far more than the $935 it commanded at retail. In October at Bonhams in London, a pair of 2018 Nike x Off-White Jordan 1 sneakers fetched around $2,750, an increase of 1,347% over their $190 retail price. And in November 2019, a Supreme-branded Rimowa suitcase earned roughly $6,400 at Christie’s in Hong Kong. The suitcase had hit the retail market in 2018 at $1,800 – Read more on The Wall Street Journal
  4. To Keep Young Artists in London, an Upstart Group Is Offering Them Cut-Rate Studio Space in the City’s Ritziest Neighborhood – London—one of the priciest cities in the world—is a difficult place to live as an artist. But a semi-nomadic organization in the UK capital wants to take some of the burden off. The non-profit V.O. Curations is taking advantage of vacant spaces to make studios more affordable, especially for young, emerging, or underrepresented talents – Read more on Artnet News
  5. Artist Zonis Sued Douglas Elliman Realty But Cannot Find Publicist Yet – Peter Zonis is an artist who has sued Douglas Elliman Realty, LLC, publicist Lizzie Grubman and others for stealing his artwork. Zonis asked if he can move for default judgment. Judge Furman said Zonis has until March to show proof or service, or an order to show cause why Grubman should not be dismissed from the case – Read more on Inner City Press

january 21st 2021

Image: Dior Spring/ Summer 2021, Caravaggio Collaboration | courtesy The Art Gorgeous
  1. ASIA: What Does It Mean To “Agree”? – The most drastic shift in the rules of personal information and privacy in the 21st century is the EU’s GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation). But, that the GDPR has caused “consent fatigue” by establishing the practice of thoroughly obtaining individual consent regarding data use, and has rather lowered the quality of individual decision-making – Read more on Wired Japan
  2. UK Supreme Court Judgment on Pandemic Insurance Payouts ‘Not a Blank Cheque’ for Art Organisations – ” This ruling is not a blank cheque and everyone should check their policy wording very carefully to see if cover has been triggered.  If they are one of the lucky ones we expect the battleground to shift from getting policyholders to accept a claim, to the matter of just how much the claim is worth. There are a couple of very prominent insurers, AXA and Hiscox, who a number of art market professionals work with that we believe should now be progressing claims.” – Read more on The Art Newspaper
  3. Trump Pardons Art Dealer Helly Nahmad, Convicted of Running a Gambling Ring Out of Trump Tower, in One of His Final Presidential Acts – In an 11th-hour act, President Donald Trump has pardoned art dealer Helly Nahmad, who was caught co-organizing an illegal gambling ring worth $100 million out of Trump Tower in New York and sentenced in 2014 to a year and a day in prison after pleading guilty to a single federal gambling charge. He owns the entirety of the Tower’s 51st floor, which reportedly cost a collective $21 million – Read more on Artnet
  4. How to Tackle Career Challenges in the 2021 Art World, From Furloughs to Remote Work – Some industries have clearly established growth trajectories. The art industry is not one of them. To address these challenges, Artnet News is teaming up with Art Market Mentors—a three-month mentorship program pairing art-market professionals with established members of the industry—to hold a series of free talks about art-world careers in 2021 – Read more on Artnet News
  5. Dior Channels Caravaggio Vibes For Latest SS2021 Campaign – Dior’s recent collections stood out by collaborating with strong and artsy females, and the French fashion house’s latest campaign is no exception. For its new Spring/Summer 2021 campaign, Bulgarian photographer Elina Kechicheva was tapped to generate Hippie-meets-Old Masters feeling – Read more on The Art Gorgeous

january 20th 2021

Image: Books and Ideas after Seth Siegelaub, November 2016 | courtesy les presses du reél
  1. It Is Time for a New Artist’s Contract Supported by Blockchain Technology to Secure Artists’ Resale Royalties – While there has been no successful legislation providing for resale royalties over the last 50 years, during the same time secondary market sales of living artists’ works have soared.  Collectors, galleries and auction houses have reaped the benefits from these sales; artists have gained nothing.  Emerging technologies have made it possible for artists to track sales of their works in the secondary market, and blockchain registries allow artists to control the title to and authentication of their artworks – Read more on American Bar Association
  2. RELATED: 50 Years On: How the ARRTSA Model Continues to Influence Artist’s RightsThe Artist’s Reserved Rights Transfer and Sale Agreement, otherwise known as ARRTSA; the Siegelaub-Projansky Agreement or simply The Artist’s Contract, is a legal document designed to counter the inequity artists face in a capitalist market by strengthening the economic and authorial rights they had over the sale of their works – Read more on A+C
  3. Brexit Deal Retains Artist’s Resale Rights as Part of Level Playing Field – “The inclusion of ARR in the final Brexit deal should not come as a surprise. The UK had already stated its intention to retain ARR in UK law in the Political Declaration relating to Brexit made in October 2019 and had already put in place legal provisions for ARR to continue to fully operate in the UK, whether or not there was a deal with the EU” – Read more on Antiques Trade Gazette
  4. Are Trump Staffers Taking Home White House Artworks That Belong to the Public? – A stuffed bird, a framed photograph of the outbound US head of state meeting with the Chinese president, and a bust of Abraham Lincoln were some of the items seen carried out of the White House on Thursday, January 15, a day after the House of Representatives impeached Donald Trump for the second time – Read more on Hyperallergic
  5. The Mystery of the Painting Thieves Love – What is it about a Frans Hals painting housed at a tiny Dutch museum that has made it so popular with thieves, who have stolen it three times since 1988? The works are typically known commodities. Safe bets. Paintings whose value was established by prior thefts and by the fact that the police had tried so hard to find them. In other words, “Two Laughing Boys” may have been stolen again simply because it had been stolen before – Read more on The NY Times

january 19th 2021

Image: colour YInMn Blue (#2e5090) via Plain Background
  1. Top UK Court Rules Insurers Must Cover Lockdown Losses – The U.K. Supreme Court ruled Friday that insurers must pay out to hundreds of thousands of companies forced to close during the country’s first pandemic lockdown, ruling in favor of the Financial Conduct Authority in a landmark case over business interruption cover.The lead case was Financial Conduct Authority (Appellant) v. Arch Insurance (UK) Ltd. and others (Respondents), case number UKSC 2020/0177, in the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom – Read more on Law 360
  2. The First Blue Pigment Discovered in 200 Years Is Finally Commercially Available. Here’s Why It Already Has a Loyal Following – YInMn Blue, the brilliant pigment discovered in 2009 at an Oregon State University lab, is finally making its way to artists’ studios. The pigment—which is the first new blue discovered in 200 years—was finally approved by the EPA for use in artists’ materials last May – Read more on Artnet News
  3. Significant New Trademark and Copyright Legislation Enacted: CASE Act of 2020 and the TM Act of 2020 – On December 27, 2020, bipartisan legislation was signed into law that will usher in significant changes to copyright and trademark law. Namely, the new Copyright Alternative in Small-Claims Enforcement Act of 2020 (or CASE Act of 2020) and the Trademark Modernization Act of 2020 (or TM Act of 2020) – Read more on M.K.W. LLP
  4. ASIA: Thoughts on the Goldfish Phone Box Case Following Japan’s Osaka High Court Decision – To what extent are contemporary art works protected by copyright law? Contemporary artist Nobuki Yamamoto won a damages suit over a claim that a merchants’ association in western Japan copied one of his artworks featuring a telephone booth filled with water and goldfish. Overturning a lower court ruling, the Osaka High Court ordered the association to compensate Yamamoto with ¥550,000 ($5,200) for the infringement and destroy a similar installation in a city known for its goldfish farms – Read more on Bijutsutecho
  5. Five Top-Selling Young Artists in 2020 (and Five Who Faltered) – Last year, auction sales for artists 40 and younger at the top three houses surged 54% to $51 million, according to ArtTactic, a London-based research firm. That contrasts with 2020’s 39% drop in sales, to $857 million, for the broader swath of contemporary art auctioned at the same houses the year before, the firm said – Read more on Wall Street Journal

january 18th 2021

Image: Paolo Cirio, ‘Art Derivatives’, 2020 | courtesy Paolo Cirio
  1. Regulating the Art Market Is Good Foreign Policy – A broad effort to clean up the art market may make it costlier to do business in the art world in the short term. But the benefits outweigh the drawbacks. Tighter regulation will make the art market less vulnerable to those who would exploit it for criminal purposes. And by strengthening cultural property protections, the new administration can not only weaken terrorists and other criminal organizations but also contribute to rebuilding U.S. friendships abroad – Foreign Affairs
  2. Auction Houses Have Finally Entered the Amazon Age – and I’m Addicted – “For the first time, we can begin to imagine a purely online auction world, with no need for printed catalogues, in-person auction views, or expensive premises in central London.  Only the object and how it is presented are important; where it is being sold and who is selling it don’t matter as much as they used to” – Read more on The Art Newspaper
  3. Trump Campaign Settles With Artist Who Said He Was Assaulted – Under a settlement agreement signed on Dec. 23, the Trump campaign agreed to pay the artist, Rod Webber, $20,000 in damages. The settlement does not include an admission of wrongdoing – Read more on The New York Times
  4. OPINION: 10 Daring and Highly Specific Predictions for the Art Industry in 2021 – (1) Several 2021 art fairs will proceed as currently planned; (2) the number of fine artworks sold at auction will reach an all-time high; (3) KAWS will outsell every individual Old Master but Sandro Botticelli by value at auction worldwide; (4) we will learn of at least two lawsuits filed against insurers by dealers, institutions, or art-services providers over business losses related to lockdowns; (5) the number of spring galas in NY will surpass those cancelled or held exclusively virtually – Read more on Artnet News
  5. Trump Tried to End Federal Arts Funding. Instead, It Grew – Mr. Trump has argued that with all the financial pressures the country is facing, no federal money should be going to the arts and that it was not up to government to decide what art was important anyway. And so, it became a yearly ritual: Mr. Trump proposed taking away the agency’s funding, and Congress voted to put it back again – Read more on The New York Times

january 15th 2021

Image: Dr Gachet by Van Gogh | courtesy Wikiart
  1. PINNED: The Art World Deals with Coronavirus – See the Latest Updates Here – With mass gathering bans, many art museums have closed, biennials and fairs have been cancelled or postponed. Here are the updates so far, and keep an eye out for more in the coming days – see updates on Widewalls
  2. Data Protection and 5MLD – 5MLD presents particular issues in relation to data protection law. This is because 5MLD calls for the collection and retention of greater amounts of personal data, whereas EU and UK data protection law essentially aims at eliminating unnecessary or excessive personal data collection and use – Read more on Stephenson Harwood LLP
  3. Art Gallery Wants Judge to Disclose Location of Art Worth $60M. – An Estonian art gallery and its lawyers — who’ve been fighting a four-year legal battle over five paintings they claim are worth roughly $60 million — want a Manhattan judge to tell them the secret location where the works are being held, new court papers show – Read more on New York Post
  4. Cardi B Headed to Trial for Putting Man’s Tattoo on Album Cover – In a summary judgment motion, Cardi B argued that the cover image is transformative fair use of Brophy’s likeness. U.S. District Court Judge Cormac Carney rejects fair use as a basis for handing Cardi B a win in the lawsuit at the pretrial stage. Cardi B’s prospective tattoo trial adds to other pending legal actions over use of tattoos including one against the WWE for copying a wrestler’s tattoo for video games – Read more on Billboard
  5. Fate of Pissarro Painting Revives Row over Nazi Loot – Two court battles are now under way over the fate of a Pissarro. The court cases in France and the US centre on an unusual agreement struck in 2016 between Ms Meyer and the University of Oklahoma, which previously had the painting on display at its Fred Jones Jr Museum of Art – Read more on The Financial Times
  6. 3 Art-World Experts on How the Art Market Will Change in 2021 – The strongest positive has been the proliferation of unprecedented collaborations—between primary and secondary markets, or the pop-up projects and hybrid models we have seen taking shape in art centers around the world, as artists, galleries, and organizations have come together to support one another – Read more on Artsy

january 14th 2021

Image: Vatican Museums’ virtual tour via museivaticani.va
  1. Digital Collections: Reflections on Copyright – Digital collections raise key questions with respect to copyright, including whether the collections/exhibitions can be owned and commercialised, and to what extent they might infringe the rights of the original artists. Clearly, if a painting or an artwork has been reproduced entirely as part of a digital collection then it is likely to have been copied. However, the position is more challenging in relation to partial or incidental copies – Read more on Stephenson Harwood LLP
  2. New Tools Are Making It Easier to Authenticate Paintings – After a scientific look at part of Museum Ludwig’s Russian avant-garde collection, the institution found that 22 of the 49 works it studied were wrongly attributed. ArtDiscovery—a consultancy that offers private laboratory services for paintings—affirmed the authenticity of 14 exhibits. Methods used include from electron microscopy to new X-ray techniques – Read more on The Economist
  3. George Floyd Billboard, Rejected Elsewhere for ‘Violence,’ Rises in West Hollywood – Don Perlis’s re-creation of the brutal killing of George Floyd has been erected in West Hollywood after being rejected in Minneapolis where George Floyd was killed – Read more on Los Angeles Times
  4. A Major Damien Hirst Exhibition to Open in St. Moritz – A major exhibition of over 40 works by Damien Hirst will open in St. Moritz, Switzerland, across four locations from 23rd January – 28th February 2021. Titled Mental Escapology and organised with the assistance of the city of St. Moritz, the exhibition will be presented in multiple venues including two historical buildings: the neo-classical Forum Paracelsus in St. Moritz Bad and the Protestant Church in the centre of St. Moritz – Read more on FAD Mag
  5. Blockchain Art Gets Rave Reviews from Cryptocurrency Executives – “Blockchain and cryptocurrency executives from across the globe stood in line to see these stunning pieces,” said Jean Marquette, the designer and producer of the Bitcoin collection. “We strongly believe these Bitcoin artworks could break contemporary art sales records – and could very well outpace the growth of the currency it represents.” – Read more on Yahoo!

january 13th 2021

Image: Sonya Clark, ‘Afro Abe II’, 2012, $5 dollar bill and hand-embroidered thread | © Sonya Y.S. Clark
  1. Gender Inequality in the UK’s Arts Industry is “Disgraceful”, says New Report – The underrepresentation of women could rise and needs to “be taken seriously”, says a new report, which urges the government’s Cultural Renewal Taskforce and Arts Council England (ACE) to rethink their strategies on tackling gender inequality – Read more on Harper’s Bazaar
  2. Diego Rivera Mural at SFAI to Receive Landmark Designation, Preventing Possible Sale – A unanimous vote by the San Francisco Board of Supervisors to initiate landmark designation for the mural addressed recent concern that the SFAI board of trustees was considering removing and selling the mural, appraised at $50 million, to cover the institution’s looming $19.7 million debt – Read more on KQED
  3. Germany Hands Over 14 Works from Trove of Nazi-Looted Art – German authorities have now handed over all 14 works from the art trove accumulated by late collector Cornelius Gurlitt that so far were proven to have been looted under Nazi rule, the government said – Read more on The Times of Israel
  4. Global Online-Only Auction Sales Surpassed US$1 Billion in 2020 – Global online-only auction sales, which encompass the three top auction houses, Sotheby’s, Christie’s, and Phillips, surged 524% year-over-year to $1.05 billion, breaking through the $1 billion mark for the first time – Read more on Barron’s
  5. Black Art Matters – Even a few decades ago, if you were an African-American artist, you could realistically expect to find your work excluded from major — i.e. white-run — museums. The same art world is now in catch-up mode, “discovering” Black talent that has always been there and acknowledging rich histories hitherto ignored – Read more on The New York Times

january 12th 2021

Image: Philip Guston, Sheriff, 1970 | © The Estate of Philip Guston
  1. UK Rejects European Union Regulations to Reduce Illegal Antiquity Trafficking – The legislation requires import licenses for art, antiques, books, and other artifacts that are more than 250 years old before they can enter any EU country. To acquire the rights, importers must prove that their goods were legally exported from the country of origin – Read more on Hyperallergic
  2. What Museums Can Learn From Philip Guston and His Frank Take on ‘White Culpability’ – It’s barely been a couple of decades since museums have more publicly acknowledged their traditionally narrowcast appeal — largely to white, wealthy audiences — as not-a-great thing. Change is hard, but also slow and very recent; the MFA hired its first-ever executive in charge of diversity initiatives, Rosa Rodriguez-Williams, only in September – Read more on The Boston Globe
  3. How Auction Houses Select Artworks for Their Sales – “Generally speaking, consignors are most keen to know the value of their works. Where it gets interesting is when they’re also sensitive to the manner in which a work will be presented for sale and if the legacy of their ownership is important. If it’s just a matter of selling it for the highest price, then it’s a shoot-out between the auction houses. However, if the work was bought from the artist or inherited from a much-loved parent or requires delicate handling in any way, then the level of celebration is important.” – Read more on Artsy
  4. Auction Software Company Targeted In Ransomware Attack – The auction software company SimpleAuctionSite was the target of a ransomware attack late in the evening on December 17, resulting in delayed and suspended sales among the company’s 150 auction house clients. began demanding separate payments in the form of Bitcoin for each of the company’s 13 servers. Freedman said the total figure paid was “well into the six figures.” The company was insured against the attack – Read more on Antiques and The Arts Weekly
  5. How Non-Fungible Tokens Blew Up in 2020 – In October, the artist Ben Gentilli sold an NFT-linked artwork for $131,250 at Sotheby’s, an influential art auction. Called Block 21, it depicted a “digital portrait” of Bitcoin creator Satoshi Nakamoto. In December, a sale of Beeple’s work on Gemini-backed art marketplace Nifty Gateway racked up an astonishing $582,000 in five minutes – Read more on Decrypt

February 11th 2021

Image: TAIAOS digital artwork by Simon de la Rouviere via thisartworkisalwaysonsale.com
  1. ASIA: Covid-19 Shut Down Auction Houses  – But Online Sales of Coveted Luxury Watches, High Jewellery and Rare Art Are Through the Roof –  “The fact that we are being forced to find new ways of engaging with our clients is something we have been able to embrace easily,” says Phillips Asia Chairman, Jonathan Crockett. “We have increased our online sale offerings dramatically. Last year we only held seven online sales whereas this year to date we have already launched more than 20 online-only auctions.” – Read more on SCMP
  2. Blue-Chip Artists Move Over, Here Come the Red Chips – This social media-driven surge of cultural amnesia could create a serious problem for the market. If buyers continue to be only interested in the latest thing—let’s call it “red-chip” art—then classic “blue-chip” art loses its value, and the whole belief system of art as an alternative investment is called into question – Read more on The Art Newspaper
  3. The immersive Grand Palais: Democratizing Art via Digital Technology – The Réunion des Musées Nationaux has just announced the creation of a subsidiary focused on innovation, responsible for producing, operating and marketing – in France and internationally – digital exhibitions, on the model of “Pompeii” . It has joined forces with Banque des Territoires and VINCI Immobilier – Read more on Gazette Drouot
  4. An Independent Curator Tries to Make Sense of Contemporary Art – With contemporary art museums and a few mega-galleries calling the shots, the apparatus of the art world has grown ever more specialized. “Since the 1990s there has been an avalanche of new MAs, not only in curating but also in art business, art management, art logistics and art theory” – Read more on The Washington Post
  5. Works by Upcoming Artists Are Rocking the Auction Market – Is the art world craving young blood? Not necessarily. This passion for the newer generation is intrinsically linked with new millennial collectors looking to acquire works from artists that are like them. This phenomenon is also linked to the shrinkage of the “blue-chip” artists market – Read more on Prestige

january 8th 2021

Image: Damien Hirst, Love’s Paradox (Surrender or Autonomy, Separateness as a Precondition for Connection), 2007 | Prudence Cuming Associates © Damien Hirst and Science Ltd, DACS
  1. Curators Scour Capitol for Damage to the Building or Its Art – A 19th-century marble bust of former President Zachary Taylor was flecked with what appeared to be blood. A picture frame was left lying on the floor, the image gone. One man crammed a framed photo of the Dalai Lama into his backpack, while another smoked marijuana in a room with maps of Oregon on the wall. A man in a leather jacket ripped up a scroll with Chinese characters – Read more on The New York Times
  2. Why Buying Some Conceptual Art Is Like “Owning Nothingness” – The work, “Untitled” (USA Today), 1990, by the artist Felix Gonzalez-Torres, consisted of candies individually wrapped in red, silver and blue cellophane, arranged on the floor. “In what sense was this art from MoMA? What did they own? The candies didn’t come from the Museum of Modern Art. The artist himself, who died in 1996, never touched the work that was displayed. It raised so many questions.” – Read more on Ohio State News
  3. A New Trial for the Heirs of Daniel Wildenstein – The Court of Cassation on Wednesday annulled the acquittal of the heirs of the famous line of art dealers, and their advisers, which had been pronounced at first instance in June 2018. The latter are being prosecuted for tax evasion of hundreds of millions euros – Read more on Gazette Drouot
  4. Lawsuit Claims $100M. Damages In Tangled Case of Hidden Russian Art Worth $60M. – A tangled four-year-long legal struggle over $60m worth of Russian art that the financier Rustam Iseev allegedly stole from Shchukin Gallery—which previously had galleries in New York, Paris, and Estonia—has taken a new turn – Read more on The Art Newspaper
  5. ASIA: Manga – Spoiler Issues and Japanese Copyright Law – When considering whether spoilers on the Internet are copyright infringement, the starting point is to consider whether the information posted in the spoilers is a “literary work”. Unauthorized posting of another person’s “literary work” on the Internet [..] constitutes copyright [..] infringement and is not permitted in principle – Translate to read more on Kotto Law

january 7th 2021

Image: President Trump | Pixabay
    1. Congress Steps Up Oversight of Art & Antiquities Markets – On January 1, 2021, the U.S. Senate overrode President Trump’s veto of the National Defense Authorization Act for 2021 (NDAA), a bill that (perhaps surprisingly) included rules affecting the art market. Specifically, the new law subjects antiquities dealers to the provisions of the Bank Secrecy Act, requires registration of the ultimate beneficial ownership of limited liability companies, and directs the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) at the Department of the Treasury to conduct a study of money laundering in the art market – Read more on Art Law Report
    2. UK Rejects EU’s Strict Import Rules on Cultural Property – Just days after leaving the European Union, the UK has rejected the new import licensing regulations for cultural property introduced by the EU in 2019 and due to be enforced by 2025 – Read more on The Art Newspaper
    3. Freed From the Shackles of Copyright, These Dazzling Artworks From 1925 Are Finally in the Public Domain – It’s also known, in some intellectual property circles, as Public Domain Day—the day on which, in the United States, the copyright expires on artworks created 95 years earlier. (Before the passage of the Sonny Bono Copyright Extension Act in 1998, copyright only extended for a period of 75 years.) – Read more on Artnet
    4. Art World Sets Plans for 2021 Fairs (In Pencil) – The ARCO Madrid fair has shifted from February to July, as has Frieze Los Angeles, which this year will leave Paramount Studios and be dispersed across several smaller venues in the city. Tefaf Maastricht has moved from its traditional March slot to May, as has Art Basel Hong Kong. Frieze New York says it will maintain its usual May timing, but it has cut its exhibitor list by two-thirds – Read more on The New York Times
    5. Millennial Buyers Help Global Art Market Survive the Covid Pandemic – Millennial collectors bid on everything from jewelry to Japanese whiskies to game jerseys last year, softening the blow for auction houses as the global art market shrank amid the pandemic – Read more on The Wall Street Journal

january 6th 2021

Image: Maison Martin Margiela Exhibition Catalogue at Somerset House | courtesy Boudie Fou
  1. Congress Poised to Apply Banking Regulations to Antiquities Market – The antiquities trade, which regulators have long feared provided fertile ground for money laundering and other illicit activities, will be subject to greater oversight under legislation passed by Congress on Friday when it overrode President Trump’s veto – Read more on The New York Times
  2. The Unsettling Story of a Creative Commons Photo Scam – In 2013, photographer Kyle Cassidy uploaded one of his images to Wikimedia Commons. Anyone can use it free of charge, even modify it, under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License — so long as they credit him properly. Nearly seven years later, the photo was at the center of a bizarre scam involving affiliate links, a fake copyright enforcement company, and a Wikipedia user improbably named “Aldwin Sturdivant.” – Read more on Hyperallergic
  3. In The Battle Against Antiquities Trafficking, Germany Develops App to Identify Looted Cultural Heritage – The new app, known as KIKU, uses machine learning—a subset of artificial intelligence (AI)—to identify an object from photos and to help to ascertain whether it may have been illegally looted or excavated from an archaeological site – Read more on The Art Newspaper
  4. Martin Margiela’s First-Ever Art Exhibition Scheduled for 2021 – Comprising a never-before-seen collection of the former fashion designer’s recent creations, the exhibition — appropriately dubbed Martin Margiela — will be set amongst a theatrical environment also designed by Margiela himself. Martin Margiela is schedule to run April 15 to July 25 at Lafayette Anticipations – Read more on Hypebeast
  5. Impulsive Millennial Buyers are Breathing Life into the Pandemic Art Market – In short, bulk sales of luxury fashion items can be a worthwhile buoy for huge auction houses looking to outlast an ongoing global crisis, but millennial buyers should be warned: it may be a while before anyone else in the real world sees that rare Hermès handbag – Read more on Observer

january 5th 2021

Image: Toshio Saeki’s ‘Ureshi Daruma’ (2018) | Courtesy of Jeffrey Deitch Gallery
  1. Online Sales Remain the Focus for Art and Antiques Businesses Under UK’S New Coronavirus Lockdown Restrictions – Art and antique businesses across England must close their premises to the public but can offer online-only auctions or conduct business remotely. Auction houses and valuers can also offer professional services. Details of the latest national lockdown in England can be found here on the government website – Read more on Antiques Trade Gazette
  2. Will The UK’s New Export Licensing System Save More Art Treasures For The Nation? – In a last minute Christmas gift for UK arts institutions, the Government has announced it will be bolstering the export licensing system to save more national art treasures from leaving the UK – Read more on Art Law & More
  3. RELATED: Export Certificate – Thresholds Raised in France – A decree raised the thresholds beyond which a certificate is required for the export of cultural goods. This long-requested measure, approved by Roselyne Bachelot (French Culture Minister), takes effect on January 1. Several thresholds are doubled, including paintings, old drawings or sculptures – Read more on Gazette Drouot
  4. The Great Gatsby Will Be Everywhere in 2021, Copyright Law is Why – as of January 1, 2021, the work will enter into the public domain and the exclusive rights currently held by the Fitzgerald’s literary estate will be opened up to the general public – Read more on The Fashion Law
  5. Complex UK Is Sued For Use of Skepta Photo – Marc Richardson sued Complex Media for allege copyright infringement on his rights to a photo of UK rapper Skepta – Read more Inner City Press
  6. How ‘Deaccession’ Became the Museum Buzzword of 2020 – While deaccessioning pieces from collections is not unheard of, museums have historically followed ethical guidelines and invoked the process only when art is damaged or decided to be fake, or when it no longer fits their mission. But then COVID-19 came along – Read more on LA Times

january 4th 2021

Image: Kanye West x KAWS, 808s and Heartbreak album cover | courtesy of Hypebeast
  1. Cardi B’s Sexually-Explicit Album Art Lawsuit is Headed for Trial – Cardi B, has been embroiled in a lawsuit against Kevin Brophy in the Central District of California. Brophy sued Cardi B (among others) alleging that the cover art for her 2016 album Gangsta Bitch Music, Vol. 1 (“GBMV1”) includes a photograph of his naked, tattooed back in a sexual position that “shocked, outraged, humiliated, and appalled” him. Brophy is seeking over $ 5 million in damages – Read more on Lexology
  1. California Judge Rejects Tattoo Artists’ Bid to Beat Covid-19 Closures on ‘Free Speech’ Grounds – In her Wednesday ruling, U.S. District Judge Dale Fischer said state officials did not specifically target the speech expressed by the tattooing. The state’s public health interest in containing the coronavirus trumps the tattoo parlors’ free speech interest – Read more on LA Times
  2. Amsterdam Gallery Owner Recalls How Sale of Banksy Work Saved Staff Jobs – The owner of the Moco museum in Amsterdam sold a prized Banksy painting for £1.5m to avoid laying off staff during the coronavirus pandemic. The Dutch government pays the wages of staff but companies must still pay taxes despite many earning little or no income – Read more on The Guardian
  3. When the World Reopens, Will Art Museums Still Be There? – Large galleries in cities with reliable international tourism found travel bans nearly ruinous to their business models. Smaller regional museums discovered a surprising upside as their institutions emerged as symbols of good, collaborative creativity in their communities. Here’s how some of America’s showplaces are coping with the challenges wrought by COVID-19 – Read more National Geographic
  4. Decline in Art Sales Could Actually Be Good For the Industry, Critic Says – “All sorts of people I’m talking to in the art world … are saying that things have gotten so crazy that it would be a good thing if there was a massive correction in the art market.” says Blake Gopnik, art critic and author of “Warhol” – Read more on Marketplace

january 1st 2021

Image: “NO ART HERE” by Javier Calleja | courtesy Javier Calleja
  1. The Art Market Managed to Tough It Out in 2020 – even the lower leagues of the auction market held up surprisingly well. That’s because, in 2020, two trends, both years in the making, rode to the rescue. The first was the growing market in Asia. The second was evidenced by Christie’s, who welcomes “a new generation of collectors” to its autumn auctions, classing 20% as “Millennial buyers” – Read more on Money Week
  2. The Power List: Top Female Attorneys in the Art WorldIt’s important to distinguish attorneys who are master dealmakers from those who are expert litigators when assessing the influence of art lawyers. Here is a (non-exclusive) list of powerful women in fields of their own expertise who wield increasing influence in the art world today – Read more on Art She Says
  3. A Crisis Hits the Art Market Once a Decade. What is the Difference This Time? Christie’s President Assesses the Impact – Christie’s president Dirk Boll explains what distinguishes the coronavirus crisis from the previous art market crises that have struck about once a decade over the past 30 years—in 1990, 2001, and after the financial crisis in 2009 – Read more on The Art Newspaper
  4. Bill Gross’s Playing of ‘Gilligan’s Island’ Muted by Judge – Bill Gross’s enthusiasm for playing the theme to “Gilligan’s Island” loudly outside his Southern California oceanfront home was muted by a judge who agreed with the Bond King’s neighbor that it amounted to harassment and imposed strict limits on the billionaire – Read more on Bloomberg
  5. Violin From 1710 Stolen, Possibly as Side Effect of Theft of Art Dealer’s Tesla – Inside art dealer Rowland Weinstein’s Tesla was something being transported to a secure location, as he was concerned about its safety: a 1710 Amati violin, valued at over $700,000. Instead, someone stole the car and the violin inside of it – Read more on Inside Hook