Art Industry News: A New Eco-Friendly NFT Platform for Emerging Artists and Collectors Actually Takes Credit Cards + Other Stories

Plus, Stefan Kalmár steps down from the ICA London after five years, and celebrated Chinese artist Hung Liu dies at 73.

Images of CryptoPunks displayed on a digital billboard in Times Square on May 12, 2021 in New York City. (Photo by Alexi Rosenfeld/Getty Images)
Images of CryptoPunks displayed on a digital billboard in Times Square on May 12, 2021 in New York City. Photo by Alexi Rosenfeld/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, August 10.


Artist Hung Liu Dies at 73 – The celebrated Chinese artist, who was one of the first artists from China to build a flourishing career in the U.S., died on August 7. Using multilayered brushstrokes and linseed oil washes, she created indelible portraits of the working class, immigrants, and women that fused Chinese and Western traditions. A major exhibition of her work, “Hung Liu: Portraits of Promised Lands,” is scheduled to open at the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C., on August 27. (Artforum, Smithsonian)

Visitors Are Flocking to Berlin’s Museums – More than half of Germany is vaccinated, and museums are encouraging visitors to get back out and explore by offering free admission on Sundays (with masking and social distancing rules in place). The first Museum Sunday welcomed more than 20,000 visitors to 67 museums, and more came the following week. (Bloomberg)

Top Curators Partner on Eco-Friendly NFT Platform – Kimberly Drew, Myriam Ben Salah, and Azu Nwagbogu are among the first curatorial residents for the Voice’s new environmentally friendly NFT platform, which launches later this month. Artists are able to mint works for free and buyers can purchase them with a standard credit card. According to the platform, this approach enables it to be carbon neutral—and obviates the need for a very complicated crypto wallet to boot. (Colossal)

Melania Trump Gets in a Twitter Tiff Over DC Rose Garden – The former first lady has defended her overhaul of the White House Rose Garden after a presidential historian called her design an “evisceration” of history. On Twitter, Trump said that historian Michael Beschloss presented a disingenuous side-by-side, showing the garden in its infancy. “The Rose Garden is graced with a healthy & colorful blossoming of roses,” she wrote. (New York Post)


Stefan Kalmár Is Stepping Down from ICA – The esteemed curator, who also co-organized the most recent edition of Manifesta, is departing the Institute of Contemporary Arts, London, after five years at the helm. “Directorships should never be for life—fixed tenures should be the norm not the exception,” he said. Kalmár told Artnet News that he will leave London and be based between Berlin and Marseille. (Press release)

BBC Beefs Up Art Programming – The BBC has a bunch of arts programming lined up, including three-part documentary series “Frida & Diego,” which will explore the couple’s  personal and political lives. Also planned is a four-part series called “Black Art Matters,” which examines how African American creativity has changed popular culture. (Deadline)

Ancient Pharaonic Boat Transported to Egypt’s New Museum – A 4,600-year-old boat was transported by land from Belgium (it is on loan from the European nation) to Egypt, where it will inaugurate the long-awaited Grand Egyptian Museum, which opens in Giza in late 2021. The boat, which was built for Pharaoh Khufu, would have been put in the pits next to royal chambers to transport royals to the afterlife. The 138-foot-long, 20-ton object is “the biggest and oldest organic artifact made of wood in the history of humanity,” according to the ministry. (France24)


A View of the Autostrada Biennale – The third edition of the Kosovo biennale is now open across Pristina, Peja, and Prizren. Curated by Övül Ö. Durmuşoğlu and Joanna Warsza, the show included many site-specific installations by artists including Agnes Denes, Petrit Halilaj, and Alvaro Urbano. The show is on view until September 11. (Press release)

Hera Büyüktaşciyan's installation <i>My Eye’s Pupil Is Your Nest</i> (2021). Courtesy Autostrada Biennale.

Hera Büyüktaşciyan’s installation My Eye’s Pupil Is Your Nest (2021). Courtesy Autostrada Biennale.

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