From a Gallery’s Bitcoin Coup to an Icy Lawsuit Against Frieze: The Best and Worst of the Art World This Week

Catch up on what you missed this week—fast.

A visitor in front of Ron Terada's TL; DR (2017–18) at Catriona Jeffries booth in Basel. Image screenshot via Art Basel YouTube.


A Bitcoin Bonanza – An online art gallery is betting big that e-commerce and bitcoin are the future, and has already sold a work (through a series of online chat, delivery, and payment platforms) worth more than $1 million bitcoin.

Basel’s Appetite for Overlooked Artists – artnet News’s Julia Halperin reports on the rising surge in interest for African American artists among European collectors at the world’s premier art fair.

Art That’s To Die For – At Art Basel’s Unlimited sector, the American artist Robert Longo presented a massive sculpture made of 40,000 copper shell casings, representing the number of gun deaths in the US last year.

Lubaina Himid’s Market Moment – The Turner Prize-winning artist will have a solo show at the New Museum next summer. After toiling for years in relative obscurity, Himid is now highly sought after by collectors and institutions around the world.

California Dreaming – The Hammer’s biennial presentation “Made in L.A.” sets the stage for a new generation of interdisciplinary artists.

A Decade in the Garage – artnet News spoke to Kate Fowler, curator at Moscow’s Garage Museum, about the art star-studded-exhibitions and events that have raised the profile of the Russian institution.

Pornhub Becomes an Art Patron – A new exhibition sponsored by the adult website illustrates what life will be like in the year 2069: porn stars are the new presidents and government agencies are explicitly-themed interactive sites.

Not Just ‘For Your Eyes Only’ – Perched in the mountains of Austria, there is a new museum dedicated to the suavest spy around—Bond, James Bond—who will be the subject of the new 007 Elements museum, featuring stunning vistas, insight into the films’ production, and a restaurant where you can get a beverage—shaken, not stirred.

“Escher-Mania” Hits Brooklyn – A huge, Instragram-friendly show of pop-up show dedicated to master of optical illusions M.C. Escher is in Industry City. Ben Davis looks at the darker side of his life story and art.



Stedelijk Board Members Resign – The former director of the Stedelijk Museum, Beatrix Ruf, was cleared of wrongdoing in an investigation and three board members from the museum announced their immediate resignation from the institution.

Obstacles for Artists – A new survey launched by Kickstarter’s The Creative Independent found that the majority of artists are struggling on the path to financial solvency, and having a gallery doesn’t guarantee success.

Shane Campbell Sues Frieze – Shane Campbell Gallery is filing a $15 million lawsuit against Frieze for the “unbearable” temperatures at this year’s fair in New York. Despite the organization offering partial refunds to participating galleries, Shane Campbell is hoping to achieve class action status.

Daddy Not So Dearest – A woman is suing her father to the tune of $100 million after a Basquiat painting she consigned to Sotheby’s—and which he subsequently tried to claim ownership of—didn’t garner the nine-figure sum she had hoped for.

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