Art Industry News: Mega-Collector Steve Cohen Is Trying to Buy the New York Mets + Other Stories

Plus, the Louvre's endowment reaches $277 million and Forensic Architecture is challenging a police report on a shooting in London.

The New York Mets. Courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons.

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 5.


Tate Trustees Gave Green Light to the Turner Prize Nominees – The Tate’s trustees discussed whether the four Turner nominees could share the 2019 Turner Prize award and Tate Britain’s director was aware of the proposal this summer. The prize’s jury members were kept in the dark until the last minute, however. The Turner Prize co-winner Tai Shani revealed to the Guardian’s Charlotte Higgins that it was “quite a bureaucratic process.” The artists’ proposal to form a collective went before the Tate trustees this summer. The four jury members heard of the artists proposal last month. “There wasn’t much moral wriggle-room,” for them, Higgins writes. The director of Tate Britain, Alex Farquharson, is the chair of the Turner Prize jury. (Guardian)

The Louvre’s Endowment Tops $277 Million – Thanks to the Louvre Abu Dhabi and a global network of patrons the Paris museum’s endowment is now worth €250 million ($277 million). The state-funded museum has grown its reserves steadily since the fund was created in 2009. The Louvre Abu Dhabi has so far boosted the Paris museum’s coffers to the tune of  €170 million, with further payments pending. The rest has come from donations from individuals and businesses. Among the Louvre’s biggest patrons are 15 Americans and two Asian philanthropists, AFP reports. (OuestFrance)

Collector Steve Cohen Is Trying to Buy the New York Mets – The billionaire hedge-fund manager Steve Cohen, who famously bought Pablo Picasso’s painting La Reve (previously owned by casino magnate Steve Wynn) for $155 million, is negotiating with the Wilpon family to buy a majority stake in the New York baseball team the Mets. Cohen already owns a minority share in the team; he is seeking a deal that would give him an 80 percent stake, according to reports. Any deal will ultimately be subject to approval by Major League Baseball owners. (NYT)

Forensic Architecture Challenges the Police Over Fatal Shooting – The Turner Prize-nominated collective has challenged the official report into the police shooting of a man whose death sparked riots in London. Forensic Architecture’s virtual 3D model of the shooting is based on evidence gathered by an official inquiry that found the police action in 2011 was lawful. Eyal Weizman of Forensic Architecture says the group’s research undermines the investigation’s findings that Mark Duggan was still holding a gun when he was shot, and that officers would not have seen he had thrown it away. (Guardian)


Virgil Abloh Opening Off-White Store in Miami – The fashion designer and artist is opening a flagship store in Miami’s Design District. Abloh has teamed up with the star architect Rem Koolhaas’s OMA practice to design Off-White’s new space, which is due to open in January 2020. (Complex)

Travis Scott Takes an Interest in a Tom Sachs Painting at Art Basel – The rapper was photographed posing with the artist’s painting of the Simpsons character Krusty the Clown, which is reportedly being sold for $225,000 by Acquavella gallery. He also eyed a 1983 Jean-Michel Basquiat work titled Krong Thip (Torso). (New York Post)


Warhol Foundation Writers’ Awards Announced – The Andy Warhol Foundation has announced 19 art writers who will receive grants for its 2019 cycle. A total of $680,000 will be awarded to new projects by writers including Elvia Wilk, Jill Steinhauer, and Aruna D’Souza. (ARTnews)

Another Portrait of Stormzy Added to National Portrait Gallery – London’s National Portrait Gallery has included a photographic portrait of the British rapper Stormzy in its halls, in what director Nicholas Cullinan describes as a “contemporary intervention.” Two other photographs of the rapper are already in the collection, both by Olivia Rose. In the new portrait by Mark Mattock, Stormzy is pictured gazing down at the Banksy-designed stab-proof vest he wore on stage at the Glastonbury Festival this summer. (Guardian)

Fondazione Prada Announces New Programs Leader – Chiara Costa has been named the new head of programs at the foundation, where she will take up her post immediately. Costa, who has been editor of Fondazione Prada’s publications in Milan and Venice since 2012, succeeds Astrid Welter. (Press release

New Director of National Museums of Scotland – Christopher Breward, former head of Edinburgh College of Art, will take over leading the National Museums of Scotland. He succeeds Gordon Rintoul, who is stepping down after 18 years at the helm. (Scotsman)


A #MeToo-Themed Show Opens in China – An art exhibition about the #MeToo movement in China went ahead in Shanghai, having been forced to close early elsewhere. Activists feared that “The Voiceless Rise Up” would be targeted again by the authorities but the backing of the consulates of the UK, Canada, Czech Republic, Norway, and Sweden seems to have helped their cause. Police confiscated materials as well as hard drives at the Chengdu iteration of the show, says an anonymous organizer. “The government feels that anything destabilizing is not worth allowing.” The five-day exhibition took place at the British Centre Shanghai. (The Art Newspaper)

Artadia Is Expanding Its Grant Programs – The New York nonprofit will be growing its grant-making platform next year to include three awards to artists based in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Atlanta, and Houston, as compared to previous years which budgeted two artists per city. Applications for the next year’s $10,000 annual grants round begins in Los Angeles in January, in New York in March, in Chicago in May, in San Francisco in July, in Atlanta in September, and in Houston in October. (ARTnews)

The City of New York Is Opening a New Art Space – New York’s department of cultural affairs and its economic development corporation have broken ground on a major new project in Fort Greene, Brooklyn. The L10 Arts and Cultural Center will be in a 32-story mixed-use tower and will house several key cultural institutions, including the Brooklyn Academy of Music and a new branch of the Brooklyn Public Library. (Press release)

Spindletop Flag Flies During a Climate Change Summit  – Irish artist John Gerrard has taken over the courtyard of the Museo Nacional Thyssen-Bornemisza in Madrid with his work Western Flag (Spindletop, Texas) 2017. The smoking flag sculpture, which references the US’s first oil field, acknowledges the critical discussions underway at the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP25) that are being held in Madrid until December 13. Brought to the Spanish capital by TBA21, here’s the video work in Texas and Madrid. (Press release)

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