From a Glowing Report on Art Economies to a Kusama Rip-Off Museum: The Best and Worst of the Art World This Week

Plus, the best of Art Basel Hong Kong, and how data from 15 years at MOCA LA helps make sense of Helen Molesworth's dismissal.

A visitor to the Rabbit Town museum in Indonesia poses in a faux-Kusama installation. Image courtesy of Instagram.


Thanks a $764 Billion – Just how much money do art industries make for the US? According to a new study by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Bureau of Economic Analysis, it’s twice what the agricultural industry adds to the economy.

The Best of Art Basel– Couldn’t make it to Hong Kong? artnet News’s editor-in-chief rounded up the highlights from Art Basel, including a monochromatic Mark Tansey canvas and Yu Hong’s 18-foot triptych.

A Tech Billionaire’s de Kooning – Just hours into day one of Art Basel in Hong Kong, Lévy Gorvy inked a deal to sell billionaire Paul Allen’s prized Willem de Kooning painting for a cool $35 million.

The State of the Arts – Here’s a rundown of the most well-attended institutions and exhibitions around the world, from The Art Newspaper’s annual study.

WAGE Hits the ICA Philadelphia –  Tim Schneider looks at what it means for the Institute of Contemporary Art in Philadelphia to become the first museum to receive a certification from Working Artists and the Greater Economy (WAGE), and why other institutions should be paying attention.

Jose Freire’s Post-Basel Plans – Team Gallery is going out strong for its final art fair. After a candid interview with artnet News earlier this month, Freire’s booth is selling work like hotcakes, and he’s got big plans for life after the art-fair circuit.

Artists Rally Behind the EU – Rem Koolhaas and Wolfgang Tillmans want you to help brand the EU. The architect and artist, who are both staunchly opposed to Brexit, are reaching out to citizens to assist in rehabilitating the image of pro-Europe idelogy.


A Hare-Brained Idea – A museum in Indonesia called Rabbit Town is enticing visitors with the promise of Instagram-worthyart experiences. The hitch is, they are imitations of the work of other artists, such as Yayoi Kusama’s Infinity Rooms and rooms at the Museum of Ice Cream.

Trump “Eliminates Ego” by Slashing Portrait Funds – The President signed off on an act that prohibits the use of federal funds for painted portraits of government officials, claiming that it’s “narcissistic” to spring for an oil painting when a photo would do just fine.

Mona Lisa Loan? Louvre Says “Non” – If you believed rumors that the Mona Lisa might be touring outside the Louvre, think again. The museum rebuffed a suggestion by France’s culture minister to send the painting on tour, insisting that Leonardo’s masterpiece is far too fragile to travel.

A Deep Data Dive at MOCA LA – Felix Salmon looked at auction data from 15 years worth of solo shows at Los Angeles’s Museum of Contemporary Art in order to glean insight into the widely criticized dismissal of chief curator Helen Molesworth. What he found paints a compelling story.

Biennial Blues – There is one less art event on the calendar this year: Canada’s Montreal Biennial, dogged by years of financial troubles, filed for bankruptcy earlier this year.


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