Art Industry News: Who Said Head Sculptures Were a Bust? Suddenly Everyone Is Buying Above-the-Shoulder Statues + Other Stories

Plus, a Dutch court rules that the Rijksmuseum can keep a contested painting, and the Castello di Rivoli gives Beeple his first-ever museum show.

A replica of the Nefertiti bust. Photo: Bernd von Jutrczenka/picture alliance via Getty Images)
A replica of the Nefertiti bust. Photo: Bernd von Jutrczenka/picture alliance via Getty Images)

Art Industry News is a daily digest of the most consequential developments coming out of the art world and art market. Here’s what you need to know on this Tuesday, April 12.


Bored Ape NFT Owners Sue OpenSea – Three former owners of Bored Ape Yacht Club NFTs are suing the OpenSea marketplace for alleged negligence after they lost access to their Apes due to cyber attacks. Two plaintiffs claim to have lost their NFTs in a hack that exploited a known security vulnerability in the platform’s code, and the third fell victim to a social engineering attack. (ARTnews)

How Will French Elections Affect the Culture Industry? – Cultural policy and the arts have largely taken a backseat in the forthcoming French presidential election that pits front-runners Emmanuel Macron against far-right opponent Marine Le Pen. Macron has pledged to extend his contentious “culture pass” for young people, and proposed creating a “European metaverse” to support artists’ creativity and authorship. Le Pen, who shot one of her campaign videos in front of the Louvre, has emphasized “national heritage,” promising to double the budget to restore historical monuments and to privatize French public broadcasting. (Little has been said about her earlier proposals to ban sales of artistic treasures to “foreign interests” or to lower subsidies for theaters and cultural institutions). (The Art Newspaper

Rijksmuseum Wins Lawsuit Against Donor’s Children – The Rijksmuseum won a lawsuit to keep a painting by Bart van der Leck that was donated by an 81-year-old woman in 2013. The woman’s sons took the museum to court, arguing that she sold the painting to them in 2003, and therefore was not able to make the donation. The woman, according to documents, warned the museum at the time of the donation that her sons disagreed with her decision. A judge ruled that the museum had obtained the painting lawfully and in good faith. (NL Times)

Why Are Busts So Popular All of a Sudden? – Trend experts have identified a booming interest in busts and statues made of concrete, cement, ceramic, clay, or marble. Online retailers are upping their offerings to meet the demand at more affordable prices than ever. “I think there’s been a real trend in the decorating world to take things that are traditionally very serious and to slightly deface them,” potter Jonathan Adler said. (New York Times)


Solange Teams Up With WeTransfer – Solange Knowles will partner with WePresent, WeTransfer’s digital arts platform, for a year long collaboration as a guest curator. She is taking the helm from Marina Abramović, and her project begins with a spotlight four on artists from around the world: Dozie Kanu, Elliott Jerome Brown Jr., Autumn Knight and Jacolby Satterwhite. (Press release)

The Castello di Rivoli Museum Mounts Beeple Exhibition – NFT sensation Beeple is getting his museum debut at none other than the Castello di Rivoli in Turin. The artist’s Human One sculpture will be included in “Expressions with Fractures,” a survey of how technology and social ills impact the human experience. The museum’s director, Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev, has been having meetings with Beeple every six weeks or so (which she wryly called their “everymonths”) to discuss the project. (Wall Street Journal)

Amy Sherald Funds Scholarships Named for Breonna Taylor – The artist has donated $1 million to the University of Louisville to fund two scholarships named after Breonna Taylor. The trust has been funded by the sale of Sherald’s portrait of Taylor, which appeared on the cover of Vanity Fair in September 2020. (UofL News)


Anish Kapoor Is Bringing VantaBlack Sculpture to Venice – British artist Anish Kapoor is showing sculptures made using VantaBlack, which he calls the world’s “blackest black,” as part of a two-venue retrospective opening in Venice later this month. (TAN)

Anish Kapoor with his monumental work Symphony for a Beloved Daughter at the Royal Academy of Arts, London, 2018. Photo by Tim P. Whitby Getty Images for the RA.

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