Art Industry News: Bill Gates Is Sending His Famed da Vinci Codex to Italy + More Must-Read Stories

Plus, Jack Pierson teams up with the house of Dior and David Zwirner plans a blockbuster 25th anniversary exhibition.

Bill Gates. (Photo by Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images for Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation)

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 Friday, December 1.


New Museum Launches Citywide Video Project – To mark its 40th anniversary, the museum has teamed up with creative agency Droga5—the masterminds behind Christie’s Salvator Mundi marketing campaign—to launch “New Museum LIVE.” Until December 31, the museum will live stream exhibitions and events online and in diverse locations around New York City, including Times Square and downtown rooftop bar Mr. Purple. (Press release)

Toronto Will Get a Biennial of Its Own – After gaining city council support and securing funding, the Toronto Biennial is a go. The exhibition will open in fall 2019 and run for 90 days. “I feel like the city, and the art community, have been wanting a biennial for decades,” says its director Patrizia Libralato. (The Star)

Bill Gates Sends Leonardo’s Codex to the Uffizi – The tech billionaire has offered his rare Leonardo manuscript, known as Codex Leicester, to be exhibited in Florence for the first time in 35 years. The scientific writings, compiled between 1504 and 1508, will be loaned to the Uffizi between October 29, 2018, and January 20, 2019, to mark the 500th anniversary of the master’s death. (The Art Newspaper)

Jack Pierson Teams Up with Dior – In the latest art/fashion collaboration, Dior has invited the word-loving artist to place his stamp on a handbag. His silvery patterned design, which is in stores now, was inspired by bike rides around Paris. Perhaps thinking of Jeff Koons’s latest for Louis Vuitton, Pierson told the fashion house, “Don’t let me do some nerdy thing that isn’t chic.” (New York Times)


David Zwirner Plans 25th Anniversary Show – In January, the gallery will present an exhibition of work by artists who have shaped its programming over the years, with new commissions and never-before-seen works staged across its Chelsea spaces in New York. “David Zwirner: 25 Years” will be accompanied by a catalogue revisiting the gallery’s nearly 400 exhibitions to date. (Press release)

Bonhams Refunds Buyer of Antique Sculpture – The Dallouls, a prominent Lebanese collecting family, have been scouring their massive collection for suspect works. Following doubts about the authenticity of an Egyptian Modernist sculpture attributed to Mahmoud Moussa, which they acquired at auction in October 2015, Bonhams has refunded £176,500 to Ramzi Dalloul. (TAN)

McNay Art Museum Buys African American Art – The San Antonio museum has acquired three collages by Benny Andrews, McArthur Binion, and Rashaad Newsome. Purchased by the museum and the McNay Contemporary Collectors Forum, the works will be included in an exhibition on 100 years of African American art due to open on February 8. (Press release)


Cathy Opie Joins the Mike Kelley Foundation’s Board – The LA-based artist Catherine Opie is joining the board of the Mike Kelley Foundation for the Arts, which supports cutting-edge arts organizations and emerging or underrepresented artists. Opie and the late Kelley first met when she was a graduate student at CalArts in the 1980s. (Press release)

Creative Capital Writing Grants Announced – Twenty-three writers will get a total of $760,000 from the Creative Capital/Andy Warhol Foundation. Winners of the grants, which range from $15,000 to $50,000, include the UK artist Hannah Black (for a book), João Enxuto and Erica Love (for their blog), and the curator Omar Kholeif (for short-form writing). (Press release)

ADAA Sends Relief Funds to Puerto Rico – The Artist Emergency Fund will receive $15,000 to support Puerto Rico-based artists in the wake of Hurricane Maria. It is the Art Dealers Association of America Relief Fund’s first grant to the island. The fund was created in 2012 initially to help New York galleries and non-profit art organizations recover from Hurricane Sandy. (Press release)


The Alt-Right Just Discovered Modern Art – Right-wing British YouTube personality and InfoWars editor Paul Joseph Watson is upset about what he calls the “latest atrocities in modern art.” Cy Twombly’s Untitled, an abstract painting that sold last month for $46 million, “resembles what would probably happen if a two-year-old toddler was left on its own with a bottle of ketchup,” he opines (unoriginally). (W Magazine)

Artist Outraged by LA Street Lamp Removal – LA-based artist Sheila Klein is upset that Vermonica, her installation of 25 historic streets lights, has been moved two blocks away in East Hollywood and reconfigured without her knowledge or consent. The 1993 work predates Chris Burden’s illuminated LA landmark Urban Light and had been in place for more than two decades. (LA Times)

SFMoMA Prepares to Overhaul Fisher Galleries – The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art is planning new presentations of work from the Doris and Donald Fisher Collection. Perhaps in response to criticism of the underrepresentation of female artists in the first iteration, new additions include sculptures by Louise Bourgeois and kinetic installations by Rebecca Horn. (Press release)

National Gallery in DC Beefs Up Collection – The Washington, DC, institution added a handful of works to its holdings at its October trustees meeting, including Sub-Marine (1948), an early work by Morris Louis; Torso and Head of Two Figures (1928) by Stuart Davis; and two complete bound volumes by 18th century Venetian architect Giovanni Francesco Costa. (Press release)​


Watch a video of the artist Johan Wahlstrom in his studio that was filmed to mark the occasion of his show at Georges Bergès Gallery this summer.

Follow Artnet News on Facebook:

Want to stay ahead of the art world? Subscribe to our newsletter to get the breaking news, eye-opening interviews, and incisive critical takes that drive the conversation forward.