Art Industry News: Works by Rising Stars Fetch as Much as Monets as the Art Market’s Speculative Frenzy Accelerates + Other Stories

Plus, Pantone reveals their official color of 2021 and cash-strapped museums begin charging for virtual tours of exhibitions.

Auctioneer Henry Highly at the London studio where he led a transcontinental sale. Photo courtesy Phillips/Mediakite.

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, December 10.


Pantone Unveils Colors of the Year – The Pantone Color Institute has identified two complementary hues as the 2021 color of the year, Ultimate Gray and Illuminating (a sunny yellow shade). The colors were selected to send an uplifting message about emerging from the fog of 2021 into a new era of optimism and brightness. (To us, the combination looks more like a meh workout outfit, but who are we to judge?) This is only the second time that Pantone has chosen a color combination instead of a single hue: in 2015, it selected a gradient of Rose Quartz and Serenity (a tranquil blue) as a reference to gender fluidity. (ARTnews)

Court Rules Against Prague in Art Dispute – A Czech court has ruled that Prague does not own a major cycle of paintings by the Art Nouveau painter Alphonse Mucha. The artist’s grandson sued the city for not honoring the terms of the gift made 90 years ago, which was conditional on building a pavilion to house them. (ARTnews)

Can You Tell Your New From Your Blue-Chip? – The three recent evening sales at Sotheby’s, Christie’s, and Phillips had one major thing in common: a frenzy surrounding lower-priced recent paintings by artists who are just beginning to pop up on the secondary market. A 2015 painting by Amy Sherald, for example, fetched just under $4.3 million at Phillips—just a few hundred thousand dollars less than an 1894 oil painting by Claude Monet at Sotheby’s the following evening. (Bloomberg)

Would You Pay for a Virtual Museum Tour? – The National Gallery and the Design Museum in London are offering virtual tours of their marquee exhibitions online—for a fee. It’s a way to expand revenue streams and monetize museums’ digital offerings at a time when institutions are hard up financially. But in a world where so much digital content is free, it may require some convincing for visitors to take them up on the offer. (New York Times)


Goodman and Marianne Boesky Team Up for Miami Space – New York’s Marianne Boesky Gallery and Goodman Gallery of Johannesburg, Cape Town, and London will open a shared seasonal space in the Miami Design District. The temporary gallery will operate from December 12 through January 20, 2021. (Press release)

Mitchell-Innes & Nash Names New Partner – Courtney Willis Blair has been named as a partner at Mitchell-Innes & Nash gallery. Willis Blair, who is also the founder of the Black art dealer and advisor collective Entre Nous, joined the gallery as an artist liaison in 2016 and most recently served as a director. (Artforum)


The Fate of a Pissarro Hangs in the Balance – A French court will decide on December 15 whether to allow a French heiress full custody over a painting by Camille Pissarro that was taken from her ancestors during World War II. Léone-Noëlle Meyer is seeking the dissolution of a 2016 agreement with the University of Oklahoma—to which unrelated collectors had originally bequeathed the painting—that would have allowed it to travel back and forth between France and the US every three years. (La Presse)

Four Charged for Colston Toppling – Four people, ranging in age from 21 to 32, have been charged with criminal damage for their role in the toppling of a monument to slave trader Edward Colston in Bristol during a Black Lives Matter protest this summer. The defendants will appear in court on January 25 for a hearing. (Guardian)

Tate Modern Attacker Loses Appeal – The man who threw a six-year-old French boy from the balcony of Tate Modern has lost an appeal against his sentence. The attacker has been given a 15-year minimum term in prison for attempted murder. (Guardian)


Hong Kong Collectors Give Major Gift to M+ – Architect William Lim and his wife Lavina have donated 90 works by 53 artists from their Living Collection to Hong Kong’s long-delayed M+ museum. The donation also includes the historic artist project PAWN SHOP, which features the work of 46 international artists. (Press release)

Jeremy Deller Unveils Human Rights Billboard Series – The British artist unveiled his latest poster campaign, for World Human Rights Day, today. The billboards announce the fact that it is World Human Rights Day not only in the UK, where the posters are, but also in places where basic human rights have been denied to citizens, from Flint, Michigan to Xinjiang Province in China. (Instagram)


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Jeremy Deller (@jeremydeller)


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.