Art Industry News: ‘Time’ Crowns Simone Leigh Among the Most Influential People of 2023 + Other Stories

Plus, Sotheby's relaunches its canceled glitch art sale and Cy Gavin joins Gagosian.

Simone Leigh. Photo by Shaniqwa Jarvis, courtesy of Matthew Marks Gallery, New York.
Simone Leigh. Photo by Shaniqwa Jarvis, courtesy of Matthew Marks Gallery, New York.

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 Friday, April 14.


A New Turn From Simone Leigh – The artist—whose critically acclaimed work took over the U.S. pavilion in Venice last year—has opened a major survey at the ICA Boston. A profile in the Financial Times outlines her illustrious career, from humble beginnings making pinch pots while she was a young mother and still finishing her BA. Leigh opened up about her turn away from explorations into colonial history towards rather focusing on the after-effects of colonization, and how she worked to expand her view into art worlds beyond the U.S. (Financial Times)

Sotheby’s Relaunches Glitch Sale Following Backlash – After receiving criticism for a lack of female representation in its last planned sale, “Glitch-ism,” the auction house has relaunched the sale as “Glitch: Beyond Binary.” The new more inclusive sale, which begins April 19, will feature 34 NFTs from artists in the “glitch art” movement—a movement that embraces and explores errors in art. (CoinDesk)

TIME100 Names Most Influential People of 2023 – Artists Wolfgang Tillmans, Simone Leigh, and El Anatsui are among those selected as the magazine’s “Most Influential People” of the last year. The visual artists are in good company, among other cultural luminaries like Jennifer Coolidge, Beyoncé, and Neil Gaiman. (TIME)

Roberta Smith Reevaluates Cecily Brown – After panning the New York artist’s show 23 years earlier, the art critic has had a change of view thanks, in part, to her new survey, “Cecily Brown: Death and the Maid,” at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. According to Smith, the new opinion on Brown, who has 20 paintings and 25 drawings and prints on view, is due not to the artist’s development but to the expansion of Smith’s own taste. (New York Times)


Cy Gavin Joins Gagosian – The Hudson Valley-based artist whose large-scale landscapes draws inspiration from his paternal homeland of Bermuda, has joined the roster of the mega-gallery months after it staged a solo show of his work at a New York outpost. Curator Antwaun Sargent said that the work “questions that come out of a pondering of nature, his own relationship and the historical relationship to land… and people’s connection to a land.” His next show with the gallery will take place in Rome this fall. (ARTnews)

Santa Fe Art Space Closes Permanently – The Center for Contemporary Arts Santa Fe has shuttered for good after more than four decades. The organization cited fundraising issues stemming from lockdowns of the last years as a reason for its closure. (Artforum)

National Portrait Gallery to Open a Bar – When it reopens this June, London’s National Portrait Gallery will unveil a new bar called Audrey Green, with cocktails and small bites on offer. The new watering hole is part of an initiative to put the museum at the nexus of activity, day and night, in the city’s West End. (Guardian)


Phillips to Offer Yayoi Kusama Soft Sculptures in New York – Two iconic and significant early works from 1965 are going to market: the bulbous, tubular Red Stripes and Blue Spots will be up for sale from the collection of Agnes and Frits Becht and are estimated to go for between $2.5 million and $3.5 million. They will hit the auction block on May 17 at the house’s New York Evening Sale of 20th Century & Contemporary Art. (Press release)

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