Art Industry News: Banksy Collectors Can Bid in Ether at Sotheby’s Next Week, a First for a Live Sale + Other Stories

Plus, Benin is seeking further restitutions and Semiotext(e) founder Sylvère Lotringer has died.

Banksy, Love is in the Air (2015). Courtesy Phillips.

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 Friday, November 12.


Changing the Narrative Around Black Artist ‘Discoveries’ – Author Chibundu Onuzo is pleased to see that a number of Black artists doing better in the contemporary art market, but expresses concern over how these artists are presented. “Whenever a Black artist breaks through, their ‘newness’ is often highlighted,” she writes. “There’s an emphasis on ‘discovery’ and the ‘discoverer’ is often from outside the community of said Black artist.” In fact, there is a long history of artists who came before them, who were never acknowledged by the market. (The Art Newspaper)

Benin Asks France to Return More Objects – Benin President Patrice Talon wants to see more works taken from the country restituted—not just the 26 looted objects that France recently agreed to return. In a ceremony on Tuesday in Paris he said it was not possible to be “completely satisfied” because other important pieces, like a statue honoring the god Gou, are still in France. He hopes more returns will follow. (Monopol)

Sotheby’s Will Accept Live Bids in Ether for Banksy Paintings – The auction house will field bids in the Ether cryptocurrency for Banksy’s Trolley Hunters (estimate $5 to $7 million) and Love Is In The Air (estimate $4 to $6 million), both from 2006, when they hit the block as a part of the the “Now Evening Auction” on November 18. The sale marks the first time crypto is being accepted for bidding on physical art during a live auction. (Press release)

‘Semiotext(e)’ Founder Sylvère Lotringer Has Died — The French-born publisher and theorist who lived in New York has died at age 83 following an illness. Lotringer was born in Paris to Polish Jewish immigrants who had fled Warsaw and his early childhood was marked by the Nazi occupation. He founded Semiotext(e), an independent publishing house for works of art criticism, theory, and literature in 1974. He co-edited it with his former partner, artist and I Love Dick author Chris Kraus. (LA Times)


Dominic Chambers Joins Lehmann Maupin – Dominic Chambers has become the youngest artist on Lehmann Maupin’s roster. The St. Louis-born painter will have his first show at the gallery in the spring of 2022. (ARTnews)

Brighton Museum Uncovers Fabergé Trove – Five objects recently attributed to Carl Fabergé are on now view at Brighton Museums in the U.K. The institution is hoping the public and experts will help it identify the mysterious women depicted inside the decadent frames. (Brighton Museums)

Superblue Expands With Five New Hires – Mathieu de Fayet, a co-founder of Pokémon GO maker Niantic, will join the immersive experience company as its chief innovation officer. Max Fishko joins as senior director of exhibitions and sales; Eric Van Speights will be the head of brand and experience; and Alex Magnuson and Subhas Kim Kandasamy join as directors of sales and artist management. (Press release)

Singapore Biennale Names Four Curators for 2022 Edition – The Singapore Biennale has named four curators who will organize the 2022 edition. Binna Choi, Nida Ghouse, June Yap, and Ala Younis have said they will turn their focus away from visual spectacles in order to try to tap into other senses. The biennial is set to run from October 18, 2022, to March 19, 2023. (ARTnews)


Yale Acquires Kehinde Wiley Portrait of Lynette Yiadom-Boakye – Kehinde Wiley’s portrait of artist Lynette Yiadom-Boakye has been acquired by the Yale University Art Gallery and the Yale Center for British Art, marking the first time the museums have jointly bought a work. The 2017 portrait will be on view through the end of 2021 at the Yale Center for British Art before it travels to the Yale University Art Gallery, both in Connecticut. (ARTnews)

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