Art Industry News: Tracey Emin Reveals Why She Initially Refused to Sell Her Famous ‘Bed’ Sculpture to Charles Saatchi + Other Stories

Plus, a new gallery in New York focuses on Latinx artists, and the MFA Boston names its first curator of Native American art.

Tracey Emin at her exhibition "Tracey Emin ‘My Bed’/JMW Turner" at Turner Contemporary, Margate. 13 October 2017 - 14 January 2018. Photo: Stephen White, courtesy Turner Contemporary.

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 Thursday, August 19.


Council Places Guards in Front of New Banksy Mural – An Essex council has hired security guards to watch over a mural suspected to be the handiwork of Banksy after it was criticized for painting over another one back in 2014 before the artist had a chance to claim it. (Seems like you don’t make that mistake twice.) The new mural, first spotted on Wednesday, depicts a boy holding a fishing rod with a blue face mask attached to it. The council is awaiting confirmation that it is part of the artist’s recent “Spraycation” spree. (BBC)

Leading Rembrandt Scholar Dead at 83 – Ernst van de Wetering, a Dutchman who led important research into the work of Rembrandt, has died at age 83. He worked on the Rembrandt Research Project for 47 years, radically advancing the study of the painter, though not always winning favor with this colleagues. He controversially re-attributed 70 works to the Old Master that had been demoted during the early years of the project, causing an uproar. (The Art Newspaper)

Tracey Emin Reveals How She Almost Rebuffed Saatchi – The artist Tracey Emin revealed that her most famous sale almost never happened. When she first arrived to meet the ad exec and collector Charles Saatchi (20 minutes late for their appointment), she interrogated him about his involvement with Margaret Thatcher’s campaign. (In 1979, Saatchi helped design a popular political poster that helped get her elected.) Saatchi replied that he does “ad campaigns for everything… even Tampax.” While Emin said she would have preferred he stick to tampons, the pair ultimately hit it off anyway, and cemented Emin’s first major sale. (TAN)

New Gallery Spotlights Latinx Artists – A new gallery opening in September in Manhattan’s South Street Seaport neighborhood aims to promote the work of Latinx artists. Founded by Nicole Calderón and Mike Ruiz, the 1,800-square-foot space will debut with a two-person exhibition of Southern California-based artists Jaime Muñoz and Esteban Ramón Pérez. (ARTnews)


Antiques Dealer Sells Collection at Sotheby’s – Husband-and-wife art-dealing duo Peter and Leonora Petrou are selling their own collection and some of their stock with Sotheby’s in an online sale from September 10–21. The couple’s eclectic holdings include antiquities, natural history artifacts, and even a group of 50 Japanese spearhead coverings. (TAN)

Gwangju Biennale Foundation Names President – Korea’s former minister of culture, sports, and tourism, Park Yang-woo, will become president of the Gwangju Biennale Foundation. He succeeds Sunjung Kim, who is under investigation for mismanagement and who had served a president since 2017. She departed in June. (Artforum)

MFA Boston Names First Native American Art Curator – The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, has named Marina Tyquiengco as its first-ever assistant curator of Native American art. Tyquiengco, a scholar of Native American and Aboriginal Australian art, currently works as a curatorial assistant in the museum’s department of contemporary art. (Boston Globe)


Israeli Tour Guide Discovers Cache of 1,700-Year-Old Coins – An Israeli tour guide was camping on a beach near the town of Atlit when he stumbled upon a metallic-green mass under his tent. As it turns out, it was a pile of 13 pounds of coins that date back 1,700 years. Bits of cloth within the heap suggest the money had originally been packed together in a bag for trading at the ancient mercantile site. (Smithsonian)

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