From Banksy’s Star Turn in Silicon Valley to the British Art World’s Gender Pay Gap: The Best and Worst of the Art World This Week

Catch up on this week's news—fast.


Koons Puts the ‘Dough’ in Play-Doh – Jeff Koons’s gargantuan, rainbow-colored pile of faux-doh could fetch up to $20 million at Christie’s spring auction. According to the artist, though, creating the 11-foot-tall aluminum sculpture was anything but child’s play, and took almost two decades to create.

An Endorsement for Spring Cleaning – A multimillion-dollar painting turned up in an Iowa-based museum’s rarely-used closet. The artwork, Apollo and Venus by the Dutch artist Otto van Veen, dates to the 16th century, and has been languishing in the cupboard for decades.

Dine on The Dinner Party – Finally, you will be able to honor feminist artist Judy Chicago, with your very own Dinner Party-themed dinner plates. Following impressive shows at the Brooklyn Museum and the National Museum of Women in the Arts, Chicago is cementing her legacy further in the everyday lives of her fans with this iconic (and price-friendly) tableware.

The Late Agnes Martin Scores a Legal Victory – A court battle that pitted scholars and authentication committees against dealers was settled, with the judge ruling in favor of Agnes Martin’s catalogue raisonné committee being able to include or reject works without legal liability. The lawsuit had been brought by London’s Mayor Gallery, which sued the committee after it refused to authenticate 13 (supposed) Martin paintings owned by the gallery, resulting in a potentially significant financial loss.

Banksy Popped Up in Silicon Valley – No, there isn’t new street art in San Jose by the anonymous artist, but he did get name-checked in a hilarious cameo in on HBO’s farcical show Silicon Valley—perhaps another sign of the art market’s West Coast crawl?

Google’s Picture-Perfect Palette – Color us shocked! In an attempt to recreate its viral success with the face-matching app, Google’s latest Art Palette tool will allow you to search for artworks across art history that correspond to your favorite color—a insanely wealthy decorator’s dream come true.

Frick’s Renovation Redemption? – After many ill-fated attempts to renovate the beloved Frick Collection, the institution is giving it another shot. Architect Annabelle Selldorf will oversee the construction to the building, which is a landmark on Manhattan’s Museum Mile.


Mind the (Considerable) Gap – Arts organizations across the UK are still paying women significantly less than their male counterparts, according to new government statistics. From art industries ranging from auction houses to internationally renowned museums, the numbers paint a grim picture of the gender pay gap.

The Sale Must Go On – Finally, after months of legal drama and public scrutiny, the end is nigh. The embattled Berkshire Museum is allowed to sell some 40 works of art from its collection, but the judge imposed a cap of $55 million, at which point the auction must cease. In February the museum reached a deal to sell Norman Rockwell’s Shuffleton Barbershop to an unnamed museum.

Biases at the Brooklyn Museum – An open letter this week called out the Brooklyn Museum’s “curatorial crisis,” in the wake of its decision to hire a white curator to preside over its African art collection. artnet News’s Tim Schneider grapples with the sticky situation, tracing the pattern of art-world scandals involving questions of diversity.

The UK’s Elephantine Ban on Ivory – The UK is on the path to passing one of the widest-ranging—and strictest—bans on ivory sales in the world. The proposed legislation attempts to combat the rampant trafficking of Elephant tusks, but does provide a few exemptions for artwork and other items of cultural significance.

Hirst’s Spot-On Style – Once again, Damien Hirst is making headlines—this time, the British artist is facing accusations of ripping off the artwork of an Aboriginal Australian artist. Hirst has pasted his newest series of dotted-canvases all over social media, and a close comparison of the works reveals uncanny similarities.

Follow Artnet News on Facebook:

Want to stay ahead of the art world? Subscribe to our newsletter to get the breaking news, eye-opening interviews, and incisive critical takes that drive the conversation forward.
Article topics