Art Industry News: A Fashion-Exec Couple’s Seductive Man Ray Could Become the Priciest Photograph Ever Sold + Other Stories

Plus, an art dealer is running for U.S. Congress and Doug Aitken opens a globe-spanning V.R. art show.

Man Ray, Le Violon d’Ingres (1924). Photo: Christie'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, February 16.


Doug Aitken Opens Four-Gallery V.R. Show – The American artist has unveiled an ambitious, four-venue exhibition that takes place largely in virtual reality, his first foray into the medium. Titled “Open,” the show is on view at 303 Gallery in New York, Galerie Eva Presenhuber in Zurich, Regen Projects in Los Angeles, and Victoria Miro in London. Visitors will be provided Oculus headsets and invited to explore the minimalist digital spaces Aitken created housing a new digital sculpture, Metallic Sleep (2022), and recreations of some of his best-known works. (ARTnews)

On Virgil Abloh – Antwaun Sargent, the curator of the forthcoming Brooklyn Museum exhibition “Virgil Abloh: Figures of Speech,” pens a profound meditation on the influence of the late designer and creative polymath for GQ in place of what was supposed to be, before his death, a profile. “By writing on mundane objects like office supplies, zip ties, flags, kites, belts, handbags (which he called sculpture), and Nike Air Force 1’s (which he called icons), he lifted them into the realm of metaphor, shot through with questions about identity, labor, and value,” Sargent writes. “It was all a way to make us reconsider contemporary culture.” (GQ)

Christie’s to Sell Iconic Man Ray Image – Christie’s will sell what is perhaps Surrealist Man Ray’s most iconic photograph—an image of a nude woman whose hourglass figure is decorated like a violin—during its New York evening sale in May. Estimated at $5 million to $7 million, Le Violon d’Ingres (1924) could become the most expensive photograph ever sold at auction. (That distinction is currently held by a $4.3 million work by Andreas Gursky.) Man Ray’s current record stands at $3.1 million. The work is being offered from the estate of New York fashion executives Melvin Jacobs and Rosalind Gersten Jacobs. (Wall Street Journal)

Lawsuit Against Dealer Edward Tyler Nahem Withdrawn – Brussels-based Galerie Jacques De La Beraudiere has withdrawn its $10 million lawsuit against Manhattan’s Edward Tyler Nahem Fine Art. De La Beraudiere had claimed he was unable to sell a 1950 Mark Rothko painting after Nahem refused to disclose the name of the person for whom he sold the work nearly 20 years ago. Shortly after the suit was filed, the gallery withdrew it, calling the situation a “misunderstanding.” In a joint statement, the pair said Nahem was under “no obligation” to divulge confidential client information, “nor has he hindered the future marketing or sale of this painting in any way.” (Press release)


Romania Announces Venice Pavilion – The artist and filmmaker Adina Pintilie will represent Romania at the Venice Biennale. Her multi-channel film installation, You Are Another Me—A Cathedral of the Body, will explore the politics and poetics of intimacy and the body. The presentation will be curated by Cosmin Costinaș and Viktor Neumann (Press release)

An Art Dealer Is Running for Congress – Art and antiques dealer Michael Steele is running for U.S. Senate in North Dakota. He is one of a pair of candidates trying to unseat Republication Senator John Hoeven, and has raised around $2,000 (not a typo) for his campaign. (U.S. News)

Jonathan Watkins Steps Down from Ikon – Ikon Gallery’s longstanding director Jonathan Watkins has announced plans to step down in October. Watkins, who has helmed the Birmingham institution since 1999, will work as an independent curator of international art projects. (Press release)

Berlin Gallery Weekend Announces Participants – Gallery Weekend Berlin has revealed the 52 galleries taking part in its 18th edition, which runs from April 29 through May 1. Highlights include a Sanya Kantarovsky show at Capitain Petzel, a group show of Petrit Halilaj & Alvaro Urbano with Annette Frick at ChertLüdde, and Luzie Meyer exhibition at Sweetwater gallery. (Press release)


See Stephen Wong Chun Hei’s Online Show – Bonhams Hong Kong is mounting an online selling exhibition of the artist Stephen Wong Chun Hei beginning March 10. “MacLehose Trail” will include more than 40 acrylic paintings and works on paper depicting the picturesque scenery of the city’s landmark long-distance hiking trail. (Press release)

Stephen Wong Chun Hei, <i> MacLehose Trail section 2</i> (2022). Courtesy Bonhams.

Stephen Wong Chun Hei, MacLehose Trail section 2 (2022). Courtesy Bonhams.

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