Art Industry News: Michael Heizer’s ‘Double Negative’ Land Artwork Derails Plan to Build America’s Largest Solar Farm + Other Stories

Plus, Vienna's Spark Art Fair is cancelled and Grayson Perry's dresses go up for auction.

Double Negative by artist Michael Heizer on January 24, 2021 in Overton, Nevada. Photo by Josh Brasted/Getty Images.
Double Negative by artist Michael Heizer on January 24, 2021 in Overton, Nevada. Photo by Josh Brasted/Getty Images.

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 Monday, February 6.


Vienna’s Spark Art Fair Cancelled – The fair that was launched in Vienna in 2021 has called off its upcoming show in March, citing “conflicts of interest within the Viennese art scene” and postponing the fair till 2024. Concerns over the young fair’s standard were at play following the departure of exhibition director Renger van den Heuvel, who was previously with Spark’s main competitor fair, viennacontemporary. Questions were also raised about if Vienna can sustain itself as a viable location for trade fairs. (FAZ)

Are Art Critics a Dying Breed? – Six members, equivalent to nearly half of the board of the American chapter of the International Association of Art Critics (AICA-USA), have resigned in recent months, citing the organization’s failure in implementing a diversity plan for members. The incident also raised questions over the available career trajectories for art critics, whose opportunities keep diminishing amid the current media landscape as news outlets and publications have been axing critics’s jobs. (NYT)

Land Art Gets in the Way of Plans for Solar Farm – Many groups ranging from conservation activists to farmers have fought the construction of solar farms across the American West despite the desperate need for renewable energy sources. But one key reason that stopped a solar farm from being built on Mormon Mesa is to protect Double Negative, a work of land art by Michael Heizer who created two massive gashes on the land by blasting the rock in the 1960s. The work was acquired by the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art in 1985. (Los Angeles Times)

Critic Hates the Mini-Bean But the People Love it – Anish Kapoor’s newly installed “mini-Bean” in New York is apparently so terrible that ARTnews’s Alex Greenberger “wouldn’t mind if the building above it made good on its promise and crushed the thing altogether,” and the 19-foot-tall sculpture is “the final boss of ugly public art in New York.” But the crowd is already flocking to take pictures of this yet-to-be titled bean despite the cold weather. (ARTnews) (Hyperallergic)


Ukrainian Art Dealer Sentenced for Art Theft – The 64-year-old Vadym Huzhva was sentenced to five years behind bars by a French judge for stealing a £1.3 million ($1.7 million) Paul Signac painting and four other works as well as a rate book from French museums and auction houses. He was also ordered to pay €300,000 ($323,200) in damages. (The Art Newspaper)

Atlanta’s Bill Lowe Gallery Rebrands – It will be relaunched as Johnson Lowe Gallery as the gallery’s former co-director Donovan Johnson took over after the passing of founding director Bill Lowe in 2021. It will open with a new group show titled “The Alchemists.” (Press release)

Ensembles Designed for Grayson Perry’s Alter-Ego Hit the Block – Nearly 40 outfits designed for the UK artist’s altar-ego Claire, are hitting the block in a sale to benefit the fashion department at Central Saint Martins university. The artist has worked with students since 2004 on a project called “Make Something Gorgeous for Grayson Perry,” awarding money for fabric costs and to keep the garments. (Guardian)

Exclusive Nikes Designed for Notorious BIG Sell at Sotheby’s – Some 23 pairs of Air Jordan 13 designed for the late rap artist sold for more than $500,000 at Sotheby’s. The sale was held to benefit the Christopher Wallce Memorial Foundation. (Press release)


Anonymous Medieval Painter Gets a Museum Show – Critic Jonathan Jones argues that the name Arnold Derickson should be added to the “cultural brilliance of Elizabethan England” following the long overdue solo exhibition of this anonymous artist that is currently taking place at Compton Verney in Warwickshire. The name of Derickson, a pupil of the Flemish painter Hans Eworth, was revealed in this showcase of these mysterious paintings in which characters were depicted holding strange gazes. (Guardian)

Master of the Countess of Warwick, <i>A Group of Four Children Making Music</i>, Private Collection, photo courtesy of the Weiss Gallery.

Master of the Countess of Warwick, A Group of Four Children Making Music, Private Collection, photo courtesy of the Weiss Gallery.

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