Art Industry News: California Man Sentenced to Prison for Forging Paintings by Cult ‘Shadowman’ Artist Richard Hambleton + Other Stories

Plus, Uli Sigg says no works were censored in the exhibition of his collection at M+, and the founders of Metro Pictures look back.

Richard Hambleton attends Fashion's Night Out: Dinner to Preview the Richard Hambleton Exhibition at the Armani Ristorante on September 10, 2009 in New York City. (Photo by Neil Rasmus/Patrick McMullan 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 this Monday, December 13.


Uli Sigg Addresses M+ Censorship Row – The Swiss mega-collector claims the lineup for the exhibition of his collection of Chinese contemporary art at the newly opened M+ was decided before the implementation of the Hong Kong’s national security law last year, and that nothing was removed from the original checklist. He discussed the list with the city’s chief executive Carrie Lam, he said. He hopes the first M+ Sigg Collection exhibition will be extended so that international visitors can see the display once stringent travel restrictions are lifted. (Citizen News

Metro Pictures Looks Back – In a must-read exit interview, Janelle Reiring and Helene Winer, the pair who launched Metro Pictures and helped forge the movement known as the Pictures Generation, speak about the struggle to make their artists be seen as artists rather than “merely” photographers. Amid the rise of the mega-gallery, they reflect on how artists’ expectations of galleries changed. “They want and need us to perform for them and if that can’t happen we’re blamed just like you blame your parents for all your failures,” Winer said. One of the first artists they lost to Gagosian was Mike Kelly. “People do not understand what happened with Mike,” Reiring said. “He went with Gagosian because he wanted to be Jeff Koons, and he went there and he did not become Jeff Koons. And that was why he was unhappy.” (New York Times)

California Man Sentenced to Prison for Forging Art – Jason Harrington, who pleaded guilty earlier this year to selling $1.1 million in forged art, was sentenced to 36 months in prison. The 38-year-old sold works he claimed were by the late New York City artist Richard Hambleton to at least 15 galleries between 2018 and 2020. (ABC News)

Oscar Murillo Gets the Profile Treatment – The New York Times charts the rise of the Colombian-born artist, who comes from humble roots—his parents moved to London when he was 11 and worked as office cleaners. While he has gained worldwide success with works that explore labor, social inequities, and post-colonialism, he remains relatively unknown in his native country. Now, that may be set to change: The National University of Colombia in Bogotá opened a show of his work in October. (New York Times)


Restituted Priester Collection Fetches £1.5 Million – Three artworks that originated in the collection of the prolific art-collecting Priester family fetched £1.5 million ($2 million) at Christie’s last week. The paintings were among more than 80 Old Master works confiscated by the Gestapo after the family fled Vienna in 1938. Among those restituted to the family’s heirs was an early El Greco painting that hammered at £1 million ($1.3 million). (Antiques Trade Gazette)

Former Whitney Curator Lands at New L.A. Foundation – Christopher Y. Lew, a former curator at the Whitney Museum, will helm a new art foundation focused on supporting emerging and mid-career artists in Los Angeles. The Horizon Foundation, established by the young L.A. collectors Jason Li and Harry Hu, launches next February. Also on the team is May Xue, former director of educational and institutional relations at the Hong Kong K11 Art Foundation. (The Art Newspaper)

Patron Makes Big Hires – The Chicago gallery Patron is staffing up. The five-year-old gallery has hired two new directors: Briana Lynn Pickens, who previously worked at Rhona Hoffman Gallery, and Kristin Korolowicz, an independent curator and writer who has held positions at the Hirshhorn, the Bass, and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago. (Press release)

Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary Teams Up With Córdoba – Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary (TBA21) has inked an agreement to display highlights from its enviable art collection in the Spanish city of Córdoba over the next three years, beginning in 2022. The exhibitions will be held at Córdoba’s Center for Contemporary Creation of Andalusia (C3A). (ARTnews)


Simon Fujiwara Teams Up With High Snobiety – The artist Simon Fujiwara’s latest series, which has found fans in Milan, Miami Beach, and beyond, chronicles the adventures of a character called Who the Baer (yes, the spelling is intentional). Ahead of the debut of a “Whotique” at Esther Schipper in Berlin next year, Fujiwara has released a range of baer-branded products on HighSnobiety’s art-merch platform High Art. (High Snobiety)

Highsnobiety x Simon Fujiwara Mona Lisa long sleeve shirt. Courtesy the artist Highsnobiety and Esther Schipper Berlin. Photo © Volker Conradus

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