From Blue Ivy’s Art-Buying Debut to the Revenge of the ‘Art Bastard’: The Best and Worst of the Art World This Week

Catch up on what you missed this week—fast.

Jay-Z and daughter Blue Ivy Carter during The 59th Grammy Awards in Los Angeles. (Photo by Christopher Polk/Getty Images for NARAS)



Blue Ivy Carter Bids to Win – The precocious daughter of Beyoncé and Jay-Z is quite the art aficionado. At a benefit auction, the six-year-old sophisticate placed a winning bid for a $10,000 artwork after going head-to-head with Tyler Perry on an earlier lot.

We’re Going to Need a Bigger Room – The National Portrait Gallery announced that, due to the humongous visitor interest in Amy Sherald’s portrait of former first lady Michelle Obama, the painting has been relocated to a more cavernous gallery. Since the Obamas’ portraits were unveiled in mid-February, the museum has reported an increase in attendance by more than 300 percent.

Amy Sherald Joins Hauser & Wirth – The international mega-gallery has added Michelle Obama’s skyrocketing portraitist to its roster. Hauser & Wirth will surely capitalize on the huge appetite for Sherald’s paintings, giving her global exposure through their eight international galleries.

Doggone Good News – Thanks to the rabid appetite in New York for last year’s dOGUMENTA, co-curators Jessica Dawson and her pup Rocky will bring the canine-tailored art fair to Los Angeles for a free public event set to open this September.

Art Basel Is Like Facebook. Discuss. – artnet News’s Andrew Goldstein spoke to Marc Spiegler about his 10 years steering the world’s biggest art-fair company toward global domination, becoming as intertwined with the gallery business as Facebook has become with media.

Lévy Gorvy Gets Ready to Ruuumble – Lévy Gorvy has hired the longtime chairman of Christie’s Switzerland, Andreas Rumbler, to join the powerhouse gallery as a partner in November. Rumbler will lead a Zürich-based office focused on private art advisory.

NYC Is Abloom With Public Art – All around the city public artwork is cropping up, with colorful renderings of Lady Liberty adorning the High Line, Banksy’s politically charged mural on the Houston Bowery Wall, and Fitzhugh Karol’s abstract steel sculptures stationed at Brooklyn’s Prospect Park.



National Geographic’s Racist Heritage – To discuss how National Geographic is finally addressing its fraught colonial past, artnet News’s Ben Davis spoke to historian John Edwin Mason. The scholar of race and photography at UVA conducted extensive research on the magazine’s archive, and weighs in powerfully on its past, and future.

Belgium Police Hunt Russian Fakes – In response to a spate of fake Russian avant-garde works flooding the market in Belgium, police are raiding the homes of suspected perpetrators. The issue has come to a head in East Flanders after the Ghent Museum shut down an exhibition of dubious Russian artwork.

Sackler Trust Is at Issue in Britain – London’s National Portrait Gallery is contemplating accepting a $1.4 million grant from the Sackler Trust, which is linked to the pharmaceutical family that has been embroiled in an international outcry related to its role in the opioid epidemic thanks to vocal critics like art-world heavyweight Nan Goldin.

The “Art Bastard” Goes to Court – Robert Cenedella will press forward with his lawsuit against five New York museums including the Met and MoMA. The New York-based artist was profiled in the documentary Art Bastard, and is stubbornly waging war against museums he has accused of rigging the institutional system, which prevents unrepresented artists, like himself, from breaking through the exclusive barriers.

Hirst Hits a Wall, Returns to His Greatest Hits – Damien Hirst is in the midst of an international revival tour, mining his own historical works in an attempt to revamp his reputation. In the new series “Colour Space,” Hirst has taken over Britain’s Houghton Hall with dot-filled canvases, kitschy sculptures, and kinetic installations—the artistic equivalent of a Hollywood franchise reboot.

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