Art Industry News: Contemporary Artists Reflect on the Complicated Legacy of Picasso + Other Stories
Plus, the National Portrait Gallery acquires Michael Armitage’s ode to essential workers and the largest ruby could fetch $30 million.
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 Friday, April 7.
Documentary on Romero Britto in Production – An upcoming feature titled The Britto Doc is in production from Muse Storytelling about the so-called “most collected and licensed artist in history.” The Brazilian-born, Florida-based artist, whose style has been described as “Matisse channeling Picasso by way of Hello Kitty,” will feature celebrities including DJ Khaled, Gloria Estefan, Andrea Bocelli, and Arnold Schwarzenegger extolling the virtues of the founder of the Happy Art Movement. (ARTnews)
Artists Weigh In On Picasso’s Impact – As museums around the world celebrate Picasso, a slate of contemporary artists including Faith Ringgold, Derrick Adams, George Condo, and Rachel Harrison discuss his legacy. Fifty years since his death, “Picasso has come down to human scale in the 21st century—and yet his influence lingers everywhere, from the fractured forms of contemporary portraiture to the digital collages of TikTok.” (New York Times)
Rare Hammershøi Painting Could Set Auction Record – The most expensive Danish artist to sell at auction may make history again at Sotheby’s forthcoming modern art evening sale on May 16. Interior. The Music Room, Strandgade 30 carries a presale estimate of $3 million to $5 million. (The Art Newspaper)
MOVERS & SHAKERS
Vagina Museum Crowdfunds for New Location – The London-based institution launched a £30,000 ($37,328) campaign to raise money and relocate to a permanent location. Dedicated to the female anatomy, the ‘world’s first brick-and-mortar museum dedicated to vaginas’ shuttered abruptly in February 2023. (Evening Standard)
Largest Ruby Could Fetch $30 Million – The largest blood-red gemstone is hitting the auction block in June, with a presale estimate of $30 million. The 55.25 carat ‘Estrela de Fura’ is heading on a touring exhibition to Singapore, Geneva, Dubai, and beyond, before being sold in New York. (Barron’s)
UNESCO Pledges $10M to Ukraine – Audrey Azoulay, director general of UNESCO promised $10 million to help rebuild Ukraine’s cultural sector with a recovery plan that spans ten years. The early stages will take stock of damage, documentation, and “immediate conservation to prevent further loss and looting.” (TAN)
FOR ART’S SAKE
Michael Armitage Tapestry Acquired by NPG – The Kenyan-born artist’s tapestry John Barry, O Kelly, Sonny and Richard Moore, which depicts essential workers throwing trash into a truck, and transferring patients amid a health crisis, has joined the permanent collection of the National Portrait Gallery. “This tapestry is about community and the workers in the community that go largely unseen,” Armitage said. “It gives me great pleasure to know that these workers will be recognized in a public space in the heart of London.” The tapestry will go on view when the refurbished museum opens in June. (Guardian)
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