Art Industry News: Serena Williams Built a Professional-Grade Art Gallery Inside Her Palatial New Miami Home + Other Stories

Plus, a Met trustee sells a tiny Rembrandt for more than $20 million and Cuban artists call for the removal of the country's culture minister.

Serena Williams attends the 2019 Met Gala at the Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 6, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for The Met Museum/Vogue)

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 5.


Cuban Artists Call for the Removal of Culture Minister – More than 1,200 Cuban artists have signed onto a motion submitted parliament to dismiss the country’s culture minister Alpidio Alonso following a peaceful protest outside the ministry last week that was met with violence from authorities. Their list of allegations against the minister include arresting peaceful demonstrators and “excess use of power.” (The Art Newspaper)

The Art That Defines the Black Renaissance – A group of leaders from the arts and entertainment industries, including filmmaker Ava DuVernay and scholar Ibram X. Kendi, selected 25 works they feel define the Black Renaissance, the surge of Black art and creativity we are seeing today. Selected work includes Kara Walker’s giant sugar sphinx, Beyoncé’s visual album Lemonade, and Amy Sherald and Kehinde Wiley’s portraits of Barack and Michelle Obama. (TIME)

See Inside Serena Williams’s Art Collection – The tennis legend offered Architectural Digest a peek inside her striking home north of Miami, which has been in the works for three years. With help from her sister Venus, who runs the design firm V Star, she transformed the foyer into a full-fledged art showroom, outfitted with works by Leonardo Drew, Radcliffe Bailey, and David Kracov. Also on hand is a Kaws x Campana Brothers chair covered in red plush Elmo toys. “When you walk in, it’s like walking into an art gallery,” Williams said of the space. “That’s my favorite part of the house. It’s so unique. I’ve never seen anything like it.” Eagle-eyed readers may also notice the red canvas in the dining room is by none other than Williams herself. (Architectural Digest)

German Museum Association Issues Guidelines to Prevent Theft – The German Museums Association has published guidelines for museum security after an extravagant break-in at the Dresden Green Vault, vandalism at the Altes Museum, and the theft of a large, gold coin from the Bode Museum. Up to €5 million is being made available from the federal government to help museums boost security measures. (Monopol)


Met Trustee’s Rembrandt Sells Privately – After it was withdrawn at the last minute from Sotheby’s Old Masters evening sale last week, Rembrandt’s small biblical scene, Abraham and the Angels, has found a home through the auction house’s private sales department. The work, which came from the collection of Met trustee Mark Fisher, sold within its presale estimate of between $20 million and $30 million, according to Sotheby’s. (ARTnews)

Consignor Named in Hobby Lobby Case – There’s a new development in the ongoing legal saga between the founders of the crafts chain Hobby Lobby and Christie’s. The previous owner of a tablet that Hobby Lobby claims Christie’s sold despite knowledge that it had been illegally imported has been identified as Joseph David Hackmey, an Israeli businessman and art collector. There is no evidence Hackmey was aware of the work’s dubious provenance. (The Art Newspaper)


Mike Kelley Foundation Awards Pandemic Relief – The Mike Kelley Foundation for the Arts will award $400,000 in organizational support to 18 LA arts groups in 2021. A pivot from the foundation’s usual strategy of providing grants for artist projects, the executive director Mary Clare Stevens says the intention was to “move into a place where we’re being as responsive as we can.” (Los Angeles Times

Artnet Launches Art of the Americas – From the top of North America to the bottom of South America and everything in between, the Artnet Auctions Team, in partnership with leading experts Raphael Castoriano and Solita Cohen, will dive into the rich history of art from the region through a series of sales, the first of which will kick off March 30–April 13. Consignments are now being accepted; reach out to [email protected] for more info. (Press release)


Beirut Pop-Up Exhibition Will Launch Non-Profit Gallery – A new digital gallery dedicated to the work of Lebanese artists will launch in March with a pop-up exhibition inside the historic Tabbal Building in Beirut, which was damaged in the devastating explosion last August. AD Leb was conceived by the Gaïa Fodoulian Foundation, an organization founded to honor the memory of a young creative who was tragically killed the blast. Proceeds from all sales will go to animal welfare charities, a cause that was close to Fodoulian’s heart. (Press release)

Awol Erizku Shoots Amanda Gorman for TIME – The in-demand photographer shot the American poet Amanda Gorman for the cover of TIME magazine’s “The Black Renaissance” issue. Inside, Michelle Obama interviews Gorman—whose reading at Joe Biden’s inauguration captured audiences around the world—about art, identity, and the future. “We’re living in an important moment in Black art because we’re living in an important moment in Black life,” Gorman says. (TIMEInstagram

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