Art Industry News: Anna Delvey, Who Scammed New York’s Richest With Plans for a Private Museum, Is Out of Prison Early + Other Stories

Plus, the Met picks an Instagram and critical favorite for this year's rooftop commission and Steve Martin helps launch a fund for Indigenous Australian art.

Fake German heiress Anna Sorokin is led away after being sentenced in Manhattan Supreme Court May 9, 2019. Photo by TIMOTHY A. CLARY / AFP.

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 Friday, February 12.


Met Museum Names Alex Da Corte for Next Rooftop Commission – The American artist Alex Da Corte, whose work occupies the skinny Venn diagram of Instagram-friendly and very smart, will take over the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s roof garden for its next commission. His installation, called As Long as the Sun Lasts, will be on view from April 16 through October 31. Though details have yet to be announced, the artist will be working with his usual bright color palette on plastic, stainless steel, and aluminum. (New York Times)

Robert Gentile Breaks His Silence About the Isabella Stewart Gardner Heist – The reputed New England mobster, who is believed to be the last surviving person of interest in the notorious 1990 art heist, has spoken about it publicly for the first time. He described a woman’s statement linking him to the stolen art as an “out and out lie” and that the woman in question was “out and out nuts.” (Just putting it out there, if you were responsible for an art theft worth $500 million, isn’t that exactly what you would say?) (WCVB Boston)

Socialite Scammer Anna Delvey Is Released Early – The New York State Department of Corrections has released the convicted fraudster, whose real name is Anna Sorokin, on parole. Sorokin was released Thursday from the Albion Correctional Facility in upstate New York after having been given four to 12 years in prison after a lending scheme where she pretended to be an art-collecting millionaire German heiress who was building a private museum in New York City. (Business Insider)

Steve Martin Helps to Launch Indigenous Art Fund – The American actor and art collector will help initiate a new fund for Aboriginal artists and communities that support Aboriginal art. Called the National Endowment for Indigenous Visual Arts (Neiva), the fund aims to build a sustainable market for the country’s indigenous artists through production assistance, training, and mentorship. Neiva will self-generate further income through sales. (ARTnews)


Rare Book Collection Hits the Block – A top-flight collection of rare illuminated manuscripts assembled by the late New York philanthropists Elaine and Alexander Rosenberg will be offered at Christie’s New York in April. The 17 manuscripts and more than 200 Renaissance books are expected to fetch a combined $8 million. (ARTnews)

Artnet Plans Africa Present Initiative – In partnership with Serge Tiroche, Sharon Obuobi, Paula Nascimento, and Joseph Awuah-Darko, Artnet is launching Africa Present, a new initiative to make a long-term investment into a historically underrepresented market. Artnet Galleries will create a dedicated online space and offer a free trial membership to galleries who represent African artists, while Artnet Auctions will launch the first sale in a series, live from April 15 through April 29. Please reach out to [email protected] for more. (Press release)


George Condo Launches Concert Series at Bard – The sought-after painter has made a significant gift to the school, including a dedicated $400,000 fund to help with scholarships, musical events, and exhibitions at Bard’s Conservatory of Music and the Center for Curatorial Studies. A series called “the Condo Concerts” begins February 19 with a performance by violinist Leila Josefowicz (who is also Condo’s girlfriend). (Press release)

Vancouver Art Gallery Scales Back Expansion – The size of the Vancouver Art Gallery expansion—long a subject of spirited debate—has been reduced to cut costs. The new proposal will cut the square footage by 40,000, remove a lower level, reduce ceiling heights, and eliminate a planned sunken garden. The revised budget is $355 million. (BIV)


Cuba Keeps Cultural Programming Under State Control – The Cuban government has expanded its private sector from 127 professions to more than 2,000—but the newly privatized industries will not include journalism, TV programming, and general cultural programming. That means art galleries and theaters will remain under state control. (Artforum)

UK Culture Minister Has a Lubaina Himid in His Office – The Turner Prize winner’s Le Rodeur: The Pulley hangs in Oliver Dowden’s office. The painting, which depicts two Black women against a dark sea, is part of a series whose name references the 1819 slave ship that threw enslaved people who had gone blind overboard. The 2017 work was acquired by the Government Art Collection in 2017 from Hollybush Gardens. (Guardian)

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