Art Industry News: Pharrell Williams Will Succeed Virgil Abloh as Louis Vuitton Creative Director + Other Stories

Plus, local council removes part of Banksy's Valentine's Day mural and Adam Lindemann is selling works from his collection at Christie's.

Pharrell WIlliams. Photo by David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images for Selfridges.

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, February 15.


Did Maja Hoffmann Just Offload a Bunch of Roche Stock? – Swiss mega-collector and art patron Maja Hoffmann may be the unidentified descendant of Fritz Hoffman-La Roche that just sold their 2.5 percent stake in the multi-billion dollar healthcare company Roche Holding AG, according to speculation in the press. The move has shocked investors, as for five generations the family has held onto its shares, preserving a majority stake and voting as one. (Bloomberg)

The Bachelor Goes on Date at Underwater Sculpture Park – For the second straight week, Zach Shallcross spent a one-on-one at a museum, following up his overnight at Los Angeles’s Natural History Museum with a snorkeling trip to the Sir Nicholas Nuttall Coral Reef Sculpture Garden, founded by the Bahamas Reef Environmental Educational Foundation off the coast of Nassau in 2014. Eagle-eyed viewers will have spotted the world’s largest underwater sculpture, the 18-foot-tall Ocean Atlas by Jason deCaires Taylor, as well as Virtuoso Man by Bahamanian artist Willicey Tynes, who is credited as the project’s brainchild. Shallcross’s date for the day, Katherine “Kat” Izzo, described “seeing all these sculptures” as “so much fun,” and went home with a rose. (ABC)

Pharrell Tapped as LV Men’s Creative Director  Pharrell Williams is famous for his decades-long career as a rapper, singer and record producer, but less well known are his talents as a fashion designer. Named as the next men’s creative director of Louis Vuitton, Williams will fill the shoes of the late Virgil Abloh, a role to which he brings his experience founding the streetwear label Billionaire Boys Club in the early 2000s. (Wall Street Journal)

Visiting Museums as a Political Act As the collections of many Western museums increasingly come under scrutiny and the debate around the repatriation of stolen objects rages on, what ethical responsibility do everyday visitors have to put pressure on institutions? Experts on restitution weigh in. (New York Times)


Adam Lindemann Headlines Christie’s Auction – The mega-collector and owner of Manhattan gallery Venus Over Manhattan is selling works from his private collection at Christie’s this March. A rarity in the shoulder season of news-making auctions, the sale titled simply “Adam” will feature works by Jeff Koons, Jim Nutt, Damien Hirst, and Franz West, with some of the proceeds set aside to fund a seven-figure gift to the Met’s Michael C. Rockefeller wing, which holds art of sub-Saharan Africa, Oceania, and the ancient Americas. (New York Times)

Famous Box of Chocolate Sells for $25,000 – Life is like a box of chocolates, which apparently is to say, expensive. Ripley’s Believe It or Not! has acquired the prop chocolates that starred alongside Tom Hanks and Robin Wright in the 1994 film Forrest Gump. The Russell Stover gift box, signed by Hanks himself, was actually filled with sand on set, so that the actor could keep it properly balanced on his lap. (Ripley’s)

Loriel Beltrán Joins Lehmann Maupin – The Miami-based, Venezuelan-American artist has joined the gallery’s stable, making his debut at Frieze Los Angeles, followed by a solo show in New York next month. Beltrán’s practice centers on abstraction achieved through a time and labor-intensive process that results in sculptural paintings that recall practitioners of Neo-Concretism and Op Art. (Press release)

Pompidou Acquires NFTs – A long time supporter of new media art, the Centre Pompidou in Paris has acquired a collection of NFTs by 13 artists, including Larva Labs, Jonas Lund, Rafael Rozendaal and Claude Closky. These works are intended to reflect a variety of artistic practices that have made use of blockchain technology, including crypto art, net art and generative art. (Press release)


Banksy Mural Disassembled Hours After Going Up A woman dressed as an archetypal housewife but with a swollen eye and chipped tooth is the protagonist of Valentine’s day mascara, a new piece of street art by Banksy in Margate, England. In the work, which is thought to address the issue of domestic violence, the woman appeared to push her husband into a real-life freezer that had been abandoned on the street, however this item was quickly removed by the council at midday for safety reasons. Luckily for local art lovers, it may yet be returned once the necessary permissions have been granted. (Independent)


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