Art Industry News: Kanye West Tells His Art Dealer He’s Writing a Book of Philosophy + More Must-Read Stories

Plus, the Worcester Art Museum discovers a Leonardo hiding in plain sight and the Baltimore Museum will sell art to diversify its collection.

American rapper Kanye West poses before Christian Dior 2015-2016 fall/winter ready-to-wear collection fashion show on March 6, 2015 in Paris. Photo by Patrick Kovarik/AFP/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 this Monday, April 16.


Worcester Museum Discovers It Owns a Leonardo – An altarpiece panel in the collection of the Worcester Art Museum in Massachusetts has been attributed to Leonardo—or, at least, half of it has. Laurence Kanter, the chief curator of the Yale University Art Gallery, believes the Renaissance master painted one of the figures and the landscape in A Miracle of Saint Donato of Arezzo while serving as an apprentice to Lorenzo di Credi. (Guardian)

Getty Finally Admits It Bought a Fake Antiquity – The bronze sculpture known as the Getty Kouros is now in storage, having been downgraded to a modern fake, as many experts long suspected. But another controversial sculpture, Statue of a Victorious Youth, remains on display in the new-look Getty Villa. Italy has long claimed the bronze to be its own cultural property. (New York Times)

Kanye West’s Revealing Interview with Axel Vervoordt – Interviewing his Belgian “design collaborator” Axel Vervoordt, West revealed that he is writing a philosophy book called Break the Simulation, acknowledges that his wife is a “Marie Antoinette of our time,” and mentions his doctorate from the Art Institute of Chicago (but omits the word “honorary”). The music star and dealer recall experiencing “an immediate connection” when they met at the European Fine Art Fair in Maastricht in 2013. (Hollywood Reporter)

Baltimore Museum to Sell Warhol and Kline – The Baltimore Museum of Art is selling a Rauschenberg mural, two Franz Klines, Kenneth Nolands, and Warhols at Sotheby’s in May to fund the acquisition of contemporary work by more diverse artists, including Jack Whitten, Mark Bradford, and Zanele Muholi. The museum’s director Christopher Bedford says it still owns a dozen Klines and Rauschenbergs—not to mention 90 Warhols. (Baltimore Sun)​


Sotheby’s Staffs Up on the West Coast – Thomas Bompard, previously a specialist in Impressionist & Modern Art, will move from London to Los Angeles to serve as chairman of the auction house’s growing West Coast branch and a senior specialist for its fine art division. (ARTnews)

New York Property Owners Contend With Banksy’s Murals – The owners of buildings on which Banksy created murals during his recent trip to New York have been left with a conundrum: Do they leave the work up for passersby to enjoy or try to sell it to cash in? In the wake of the recent 5Pointz ruling against a local developer, some are worried the latter course of action isn’t as simple as it sounds. (New York Post)

Christie’s Nabs Another Malevich – Soon after Christie’s announced plans to sell the Russian artist’s Suprematist Composition (1916), estimated in the range of $70 million, in New York next month, it revealed it had nabbed another, earlier Malevich. Landscape (1911) will be sold in London on June 20 with an estimate of $10–14.3 million (£7–10 million). (Financial Times)


Watts Tower Arts Center Suspends Its Director – Rosie Lee Hooks has been suspended for three weeks from her role as director of the LA art center. Though the reason for the suspension has not been made public, some suspect she was disciplined for commissioning a local artist to create a mural of jazz musician and Watts hero Charles Mingus without going through the proper channels. Her supporters say the punishment did not fit the crime. (LA Times)

ArtPrize Names Its Executive Director – Jori Bennett has been chosen to take over as executive director of the annual art award, having previously served as its business development director. The annual Michigan-based prize gives away around $500,000 to participating artists. (ARTnews)

The Morgan Buys a Rare Manuscript – New York’s Morgan Library and Museum has acquired a rare manuscript leaf from the Dutch Middle Ages by the Master of Catherine of Cleves, the Netherlands’ most famous illustrator from that time. It is the first work by the artist to be discovered in more than three decades. (Press release)

Europeana Foundation Taps New Director – On May 1, Harry Verwayen will take the helm of the organization, which focuses on sharing cultural heritage across member European nations. He will succeed Jill Cousins, who stepped down this year after more than a decade in the role. (Press release)


The Clooneys’ Canine Art Collection – Amal Clooney spoke to Vogue about the couple’s home in the village of Sonning Eye in England. Their favorite painting? One of George’s late cocker spaniels, Einstein, posed as his namesake at a chalkboard. Insurance appraisers reportedly gave it a “pointedly low estimate,” saying, “it’s barely worth getting a policy.” (Vogue)

Artists March in Ireland for Abortion Rights – Artists are campaigning in Ireland to repeal the Eighth Amendment of their Constitution, which was introduced in 1983 and gives fetuses the same rights as pregnant women. The campaigners marched through the town of Limerick during the 38th EVA International Biennial ahead of a referendum that will be held on the subject on May 25. (The Art Newspaper)

Keith Haring Mural Comes to Chinatown – A recovered part of a 1984 Keith Haring mural from FDR Drive in Lower Manhattan is on show at 99 Cents Fine Art until April 30. It will be viewable 24 hours a day, just as it was when a piece of street art. (ARTnews)

Old Doors From the Chelsea Hotel Sell for $400,000 – After an evicted tenant saved them from the trash in 2012, old doors from New York’s storied hotel sold at auction at Guernsey’s on April 12. Behind the doors lived many icons, including Janis Joplin and Bob Dylan, whose “door” was a top seller at $125,000. (Press release)

Andy Warhol, Jimi Hendrix, and Jackson Pollock's doors from the Chelsea Hotel are being sold at auction. Photo courtesy of Guernsey's.

Andy Warhol, Jimi Hendrix, and Jackson Pollock’s doors from the Chelsea Hotel were sold at auction. Photo courtesy of Guernsey’s.

Jack Kerouac's door from the Chelsea Hotel is being sold at auction. Photo courtesy of Guernsey's.

Jack Kerouac’s door from the Chelsea Hotel is being sold at auction. Photo courtesy of Guernsey’s.

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.
Subscribe or log in to read the rest of this content.

You are currently logged into this Artnet News Pro account on another device. Please log off from any other devices, and then reload this page continue. To find out if you are eligible for an Artnet News Pro group subscription, please contact [email protected]. Standard subscriptions can be purchased on the subscription page.

Log In