Art Industry News: Artist Who Gained Fame by Eating Art Basel’s Banana Is Now Collaborating With Dole on an NFT + Other News

Plus, Tate Modern's neighbors are taking the museum to the U.K.'s highest court, and Princess Diana’s wedding dress will go on public view.

Maurizio Cattelan's Comedian, for sale from Perrotin at Art Basel Miami Beach. Photo by Sarah Cascone.

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 Wednesday, April 28.


Unauthorized Basquiat NFT Pulled From Sale – A group of “digital provocateurs” made headlines with their plan to auction off an NFT of Jean-Michel Basquiat’s work on paper Free Comb with Pagoda (1986) on Opensea—and to give the winning bidder the option to destroy the original. It didn’t take long for the artist’s estate to intervene. The estate said the seller does not own the license or rights to the work, prompting it to be withdrawn. (The Art Newspaper

Jane Austen Museum Addressing Ties to Slavery – Jane Austen’s House in Chawton, U.K., has updated its displays to include details about Austen’s family’s ties to the trade of enslaved people and the broader context of the period in which people consumed products acquired through slavery such as tea, cotton, and sugar. The decision has evoked the ire of some critics, but Austen die-hards understand that it is important historical context: “Just because you involve Austen in the messiness of history doesn’t mean you don’t love her,” one expert said. (New York Times, Telegraph)

The Banana Art Prankster Is Teaming Up With Dole on an NFT — The artist David Datuna—you know, the one who ate Maurizio Cattelan’s $120,000 banana at Art Basel in 2019—is collaborating with none other than Dole on an NFT art drop. The works will be auctioned off via Rarible in two weeks to raise raise money for the Boys & Girls Clubs of America and to raise awareness about food insecurity in the U.S. (Press release)

Tate Modern Legal Fight Against Its Neighbors Heads to Supreme Court – Residents of a luxury apartment complex next to Tate Modern have taken their battle to close off part of the institution’s viewing balcony to the Supreme Court. The residents say visitors to the attraction violate their privacy by looking into their apartments, and a hearing with the U.K.’s highest court has been set for December. (TAN)


Magritte’s La Vengeance Heads to Christie’s Paris – Christie’s Paris will sell René Magritte’s 1936 painting La Vengeance at the house’s global sale of 20th-century art in June. The work, which comes from the collection of the late French businessman Francis Gross, is estimated to fetch as much as €8 million ($9.6 million). (Barron’s)

Kerry James Marshall’s Painting of Nat Turner Hits the Block – Meanwhile, in New York, Christie’s will sell Kerry James Marshall’s 1991 portrait of Nat Turner, the enslaved man who led a rebellion in 1831, during its contemporary art evening sale on May 11. The work is estimated to fetch between $6.5 million and $8.5 million. (ARTnews)


Beeple, DJ Premier, and Others Plan Their Next NFT Drops – An eclectic group of creatives, including a number of legendary DJs and musicians, are dropping NFTs this week on Nifty Gateway. They include hip-hip legend DJ Premier, DJ and producer Calvin Harris, and DJ Steve Aoki. Also on the agenda: a follow-up NFT from market darling Beeple. (Twitter

The Race Is on to Save St. Mark’s Basilica – Venice’s regular and worsening floods are damaging the marble in St. Mark’s cathedral—and the latest citywide flood barriers are not enough to protect it. Now, custodians want to implement independent flood defenses including a system of manually operated valves beneath the church and a physical barrier outside it, which could cost as much as €3.5 million ($4.2 million). (Atlas Obscura)

Colby College Unveils Arts Collaborative  The Maine college is unveiling a 25,000-square-foot facility featuring a gallery and event space, as well as studios for fellowship residents at the Colby College Museum of Art’s Lunder Institute for American Art. (Maya Lin, a senior fellow at the institute, will speak there next month.) Open only to Colby students during the soft opening, the hope is that as lockdown restrictions lift, Arts Collaborative will help turn Waterville, a former paper mill town, into an arts destination. (Central Maine)


Portland Auction House Won’t Sell Himmler’s Dagger After All – Portland’s O’Gallerie auction house has withdrawn a dagger that once belonged to the Nazi politician and military commander Heinrich Himmler. The dagger, estimated at $12,000, was removed from sale along with other Nazi memorabilia following public outcry about the listing. (Oregon Live)

Princess Diana’s Wedding Dress Will Go on Display – Princess Di’s taffeta bridal gown and iconic 25-foot sequin-encrusted train will go on view at Kensington Palace for a temporary exhibition, “Royal Style in the Making.” Princes Harry and William will loan the gown for the occasion of the show, which opens June 3. (Evening Standard)

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