Art Industry News: Christie’s Hikes Up Buyers Premiums to Follow Sotheby’s + More Must-Read Stories

Plus, construction workers uncover a hidden Basquiat tag and the gargoyles of Notre-Dame need €100m to remain standing.

A sculpture by Colombian artist Fernando Botero on view outside Christies on May 24, 2017 in New York. Photo Kena Betancur/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 Wednesday, August 30.


Professor Resigns Over Support From Tate Benefactor – A professor at Oxford University’s Blavatnik School of Government has resigned after discovering that the school’s benefactor Len Blavatnik (who was also a major backer of the new Tate Modern extension) made a significant contribution to Donald Trump’s inauguration. (ArtReview)

Artist’s Rendering Mistaken for Houston Flood Aftermath – The widely circulated picture purporting to be an image of a Houston airport flooded by Hurricane Harvey is fake news. The image was actually created by a digital artist for a search engine company as part of an image series on climate change. (BGR)

Public Art Fund Strikes Back at Angry Neighbors – The president of the organization behind Ai Weiwei’s citywide public art exhibition has fired back against complaints from the president of a local neighborhood association. She points out that his disapproving letter was in “stark contrast” to previous productive conversations between the non-profit and community groups—including the association president himself. (Press release)

Did Construction Workers Uncover a Hidden Basquiat? – Workers renovating a former homeless shelter now owned by mega-collector Aby Rosen have uncovered what looks to be original graffiti by Jean-Michel Basquiat and Al Diaz. Experts deciphered a line of yellow text that reads: “SAMO© … AS AN END TO MIND-WASH RELIGIONS POLITICS AND BOGUS PHILOSOPHY.” (Hyperallergic)


Christie’s Raises Buyer’s Premiums – The auction house’s new fee structure, which echoes changes Sotheby’s announced last week, will go into effect on September 11. Prices up to $250,000 will be charged the highest levy of 25 percent, while totals over $4 million will incur a 12.5 percent fee, up from 12 percent. Unlike Sotheby’s, Christie’s will continue to charge fees for online sales. (ARTnews)

Berkshire Museum Rejects $1 Million Gift – The anonymous donation was offered on the condition that the museum postpone the planned sale of 40 works from its collection for at least one year. The board declined with thanks, saying that the sale is necessary to improve the institution’s dire financial situation. (The Berkshire Eagle)

LA Gallery Temporarily Pops Up in Berlin – For one month starting September 7, timed to coincide with the start of Berlin Art Week, the Los Angeles-based gallery Freedman Fitzpatrick will set up shop at Galerie Neu’s second space, MD72. (Email)


Underground Museum Wins Ellsworth Kelly Award – The Los Angeles space will use the $40,000 prize, dedicated to supporting shows at regional institutions, to stage the first US exhibition of the work of painter Abe Odedina. The show is slated for spring 2019. (ARTnews)

Brooks Foundation Holdings Go to Parrish Museum – The James and Charlotte Brooks Foundation, established in 2010, will transfer its entire collection of art and archives to the Parrish. Some 89 works will remain at the Hamptons institution, while the rest will be sold to set up a fund in the artists’ honor. (Press release)

TASCHEN Opens Mayfair Gallery – The glossy art-book publisher’s second outpost in London will offer some of its most popular Collector’s Edition books and signed prints by artists including Marvin E. Newman, Ellen von Unwerth, and Mick Rock. (Press release)


US Open Causes Queens Museum Closure – Citing increased security for the tournament, which takes place just a few hundred feet from its premises, the New York museum will remain closed until September 10. (dnainfo)

Dread Scott Work Acquired by Two Museums – The Whitney is in the final stages of acquiring the artist’s flag work, A Man Was Lynched by Police Yesterday, which made headlines when it hung outside Jack Shainman Gallery last year. Another edition of the work joined the collection of the Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego, in May. (ARTnews)

Notre-Dame Gargoyles Need €100 Million – The iconic Pars cathedral is in trouble: Its gargoyles and gothic arches are crumbling. The archbishop of Paris has started a major fundraising campaign to fund its restoration. (The Guardian)

Hirshhorn Acquires Japanese Photography – The Washington, DC museum has acquired 11 photographic works spanning the 1960s and ’70s by major figures including Eikoh Hosoe, Minoru Hirata, and Tatsuo Kawaguchi. See images of the stunning photographs below. (Press release)

Eikoh Hosoe, Man and Woman #24, 1960. Gelatin silver print, 16.8 x 30 cm. © Eikoh Hosoe. Courtesy of Taka Ishii Gallery New York.

Eikoh Hosoe, Man and Woman #24 (1960). ©Eikoh Hosoe, courtesy of Taka Ishii Gallery New York.

Koji Enokura, Symptom—Sea, Body (P.W.-No. 40), 1972. Gelatin silver print, 33.2 x 42 cm. © Michiyo Enokura. Courtesy: Alison Bradley Projects, New York, and Tokyo Publishing House, Tokyo.

Koji Enokura, Symptom—Sea, Body (P.W.-No. 40) (1972). ©Michiyo Enokura, courtesy Alison Bradley Projects, New York, and Tokyo Publishing House, Tokyo.

Minoru Hirata, Nakanishi Natsuyuki’s Clothespins Assert Churning Action (Street performance for Hi Red Center’s event, 6th Mixer Plan, in Tokyo, May 28, 1963), 1963, printed 2015. Gelatin silver print, 33.5 x 22.2 cm. © Minoru Hirata. Courtesy of Taka Ishii Gallery New York.

Minoru Hirata, Nakanishi Natsuyuki’s Clothespins Assert Churning Action (Street performance for Hi Red Center’s event, 6th Mixer Plan, in Tokyo, May 28, 1963), (1963, printed 2015). ©Minoru Hirata, courtesy of Taka Ishii Gallery New York.

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