Art Industry News: A Show in Miami Asks If Black Artists Really Benefit From the Rising Sales of Their Work + Other Stories

Plus, Andrea Fraser offers tips for art students and a deep dive into the shocking story behind beleaguered art dealer Inigo Philbrick.

The auction of Kerry James Marshall's Past Times. Courtesy of Sotheby's.

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 4.


Who Is the Real Inigo Philbrick? – The beleaguered art dealer has reportedly stopped communicating with his lawyers and unhappy clients. As pending lawsuits pile up against Inigo Philbrick, ARTnews does a deep dive, asking people who got to know the young dealer when he cut a swashbuckling figure at the top end of the art market. His former boss turned backer, White Cube’s Jay Jopling, is disappointed by his former protege, revealing that he applied for an injunction against Philbrick. Artnet News’s Kenny Schachter says that he is working on a screenplay about the young dealer. (ARTnews)

Are We Finally Catching Up With Andrea Fraser? – The artist and academic has been a fierce and funny critic of art museums since the late 1980s and now her fusion of archival research, performance, and humor exposing the art world’s power structures is more topical than ever. New works include an updated spoof docent’s tour at the Art Institute of Chicago. In an in-depth profile, the UCLA art professor shares her warning to students aiming to subvert the system. In art it is best to avoid, she says, “Cute animals, babies and young children, popular music, sex and certain kinds of violence,” because they tend to overwhelm viewers’ ability to think about art in nuanced or complex ways. (New York Times)

A Miami Exhibition Asks: “Who Owns Black Art?” – Work by black artists is in demand but are they getting a bad deal? Like black musicians in the past, visual artists are often not the main beneficiaries of the work they produce. A three-day satellite exhibition in Miami of work by emerging artists puts the question more bluntly: “Who Owns Black Art?” Its organizers aim to highlight the under representation of black dealers and curators in the industry—”black-owned or operated galleries are virtually absent among the exhibitors” at Art Basel, the New York Times notes—and how that affects the ways black artists are shown. (NYT)

Robert Indiana’s Estate Could Be Worth $100 Million – The value of the late artist’s estate continues to soar, and could top $100 million. James Brannan, the attorney representing the estate, said that since Indiana’s death, he has recovered more than $5 million worth of art. Indiana left nearly his entire estate to the nonprofit Star of Hope, which will turn his home and studio into a museum. The artist’s former caretaker, who is due to run the museum, has been embroiled in a legal battle with the estate and others since Indiana’s death. The estate’s legal fees have so far totaled $4 million, court papers reveal. (Village Soup)


Gauguin’s Te Bouaro II Sells for $10.5 Million A late Tahitian landscape by Paul Gauguin sold for $10.5 million at Artcurial in Paris. The buyer said he they plan to keep the 1897 canvas in France. (Press release)

Mickalene Thomas Will Customize a Rolls-Royce for Charity – The artist will customize a Rolls-Royce Red Phantom for whoever wins an online auction organized by Sotheby’s. Proceeds will support the AIDS-eradication charity RED. The auction is being launched in Miami today. (Observer)

Galleries Gamble on Big Art Fairs – Smaller galleries pay a fortune to take part in a big fair, which may be great for kudos and contacts but not necessarily for the bottom line. Art Basel supremo Marc Spiegler says the fair recognizes the problem and as responded by cutting booth fees to help smaller galleries. Spiegler explains they give dealers two years to “find out how to do the sort of booth we would hope for and make the finances add up.” (NYT)


The First Getty Museum Director Has Died – The veteran museum director Stephen Garrett has died, aged 96. Garrett was the first director of the Getty Museum in Los Angeles and the Getty Villa in Malibu after the death of its billionaire founder J. Paul Getty, and also served as director of the Hammer Museum and the Long Beach Museum of Art. (ARTnews)

Byron Kim Wins Robert De Niro Sr. Prize – The abstract painter Byron Kim has won the $25,000 Robert De Niro, Sr. Prize for mid-career US painters. “Byron Kim’s dedication to his art and his deep commitment to teaching resonates with my father’s own commitment,” the actor Robert De Niro, son of the prize’s founder, said in a statement. “I am therefore especially pleased with the selection committee’s choice this year as it truly honors my father’s memory.”  (ARTnews)

Jewyo Rhii Wins Korea Artist Prize 2019 – The multimedia artist Jewyo Rhii has won the 2019 Korea Artist Prize. The prize was awarded for her installation Love Your Depot, a prototype art storage system and collaborative studio meant to help in “delaying the death of work by artists,” which was funded by a $35,400 grant from the prize. (Artforum)


LOEWE Foundation Launches Exhibition in Miami – Fashion designer Jonathan Anderson of the Spanish brand LOEWE debuted the fifth edition of his Chance Encounters exhibition series, which brings together an unlikely pair of artists working in different disciplines to spark meaningful conversation between their seemingly dissimilar work. This year, British artist Hilary Lloyd will present a site-specific textile, sound, and video installation alongside work by the late ceramics-artist James Ewen Henderson. “The Chance Encounters exhibitions are an opportunity to create conversations across time, between artists whose work resonates strongly with my own creative approach,” Anderson says. “Hilary Lloyd’s work is perfectly attuned to the contemporary moment and the way in which we engage with the visual world around us. It will stage a striking dialogue with Ewen Henderson’s bold materially-rich work.” (Architectural Digest)

Controversial Monument Containing Ashes from the Holocaust Installed in Berlin – Holocaust survivors are upset by a temporary monument in Berlin by the art collective the Centre for Political Beauty, which contains the ashes of Jewish Holocaust victims. The provocative art group says the work, installed near the Reichstag, is meant to target conservative politicians who have been seduced by the idea of a coalition with the far right party AfD. (The Art Newspaper)

Revelations About the Life of Marco Polo Come to Light – Researchers have uncovered a previously unseen document relating to the Venetian explorer Marco Polo. The explorer was witness to a 1323 bequest left by Giovanni dalle Boccole to the Dominican friars of a Venetian convent, supporting the theory that Marco Polo was involved in religious life once he returned to Venice after his travels. (Archaeology Newsroom)

How One Artist Is Embroidering the Past – See the artist Diane Meyer’s new series “Berlin,” in which she has embroidered 43 photographs of public spaces. Her embroidery pixelates with stitches the places where the former Berlin Wall would have bisected or blocked what is visible in the photograph. (Colassal

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.