Art Industry News: Two Climate Activists Slapped With a Nominal Fine for Gluing a Dystopian Image Onto a Famous Constable Painting + Other Stories

Plus, Sotheby's rainmaker Patti Wong steps down after 30 years, and an artist was kicked out of a Miami fair for a breast milk performance.

Activists from the 'Just Stop Oil' campaign group, with hands glued to the frame of the painting 'The Hay Wain' by English artist John Constable, but covered in a mock 'undated' version including roads and aircraft, protest against the use of fossil fuels, in the National Gallery in London on July 4, 2022. (Photo by CARLOS JASSO / AFP) (Photo by CARLOS JASSO/AFP via 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 Wednesday, December 7.


Miami Beach Sculpture Sparks Controversy – The public is debating whether the government should use city funds to buy art after Miami Beach bought a $80,000 installation by Cuban artist Juana Valdés consisting of 12 porcelain rags. (Axios)

Breast Milk Performance Gets Artist Kicked Out of Fair – Anonymous conceptual artist OONA was kicked out of Scope Art Show for staging a guerilla performance entitled MILKING THE ARTIST, in which they produced breast milk in front of an audience and then put glasses of milk up for auction. The piece instead took place at Satellite Art Show. (Paper)

Climate Activists Found Guilty in Glue Stunt – A U.K. district judge has convicted two Just Stop Oil protesters of causing criminal damage to John Constable’s The Hay Wain at the National Gallery in London. The activists, who taped posters of a dystopian version of the painting over its vitrine before gluing themselves to the frame, must pay £1,000 in damages. (Evening Standard)

Patti Wong Steps Down at Sotheby’s – After more than 30 years, Sotheby’s international chairman is retiring. She helped grow the auction house’s business in Asia to more than $1 billion annually. “Though I am stepping down—I will never go far,” Wong said. “Sotheby’s runs in my blood; we will always stay close.” (The Value)


Met Gets $10 Million Donation – Philanthropist Adrienne Arsht donated $10 million to the Metropolitan Museum of Art to benefit the Met Live Art series, which is dedicated to contemporary performance. She gifted the department $5 million in 2020. (The Art Newspaper)

Estonia Unveils Plans for 2024 Venice Biennale Pavilion – Sculptor Edith Karlson will represent Estonia at the 2024 Venice Biennale. Maria Arusoo, director of the Estonian Center for Contemporary Art in Tallinn, is commissioning the pavilion. (ARTnews)

Toronto Biennial of Art Names Curatorial Team – Dominique Fontaine and Miguel A. López will co-curate the forthcoming biennial, slated to take place September 21 through December 1, 2024. (Press release)

Inaugural Prince Claus Impact Awardees Announced – The recipients of the first-ever impact awards include dissident Cuban artist Luis Manuel Otero Alcántara, Moroccan artist Hassan Darsi, Argentinian writer and prison abolition activist María Medrano, and Egyptian architect May al-Ibrashy. (Contemporary&)


Damien Hirst Sculptures Decorate New Mayfair Restaurant – Five monumental statues by Hirst decorate the trendy new London eatery, including a winged lion, a unicorn, a Medusa, and a Bacchus. Accompanying murals by artist Gary Myatt put a White Lotus-style twist on Thomas Couture’s 1847 painting Romans in their Decadence. (dezeen)


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