Art Industry News: A Top German Museum Lost Two CryptoPunks Forever Because of a Cut-and-Paste Error + Other Stories

Plus, Pace founder Arne Glimcher is opening a project space in Tribeca, and artist Bjarne Melgaard's metaverse rave was a dud.

A visitor of the Karlsruhe Centre for Arts and Media (ZKM) passes by a 1926 video installation by Marcel Duchamp. Photo: Uli Deck/picture alliance via Getty Images
A visitor at the Karlsruhe Centre for Arts and Media (ZKM) passes by a 1926 video installation by Marcel Duchamp. Photo: Uli Deck/picture alliance via 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 this Friday, January 21.


Students Launch Shocking Complaint Against Art School – Dozens of graduates from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts have lodged a 236-page complaint claiming they were abused sexually, emotionally, and physically by teachers and administrators. Accounts from a total of 56 former students spanning more than 40 years point to a range of assaults, including rape. The lawsuit against the well-known art school was filed late last year. (New York Times)

Arne Glimcher Launches Project Space – Retire? No thanks, says the founder of Pace. Arne Glimcher will instead helm a new Tribeca project space, called Gallery 125 Newbury, set to open in fall 2022. The space is named after the address of Pace’s first gallery, which opened in Boston in 1960. It will operate somewhat independently from the mega-gallery, through it exists under its umbrella. (Press release)

A German Museum Accidentally Lost Two Valuable NFTs – One of Germany’s most prominent media museums, the ZKM Center for Art and Media in Karlsruhe, has revealed it accidentally lost access to two CryptoPunks worth nearly $400,000. Software programmer Daniel Heiss acquired the works in 2017 for around $100 each. Last spring, as he tried to move them to another wallet, a cut and paste error led him to send them to a wallet address that nobody has keys for, leaving them inaccessible. (The Art NewspaperArtnet News Pro)

How Françoise Gilot Keeps It Real at 100 – “I see life as a labyrinth. You don’t fight it. You go where it takes you,” said the painter, writer, and only woman who have walked out on Picasso as she celebrated her 100th birthday. Gilot’s advice for how to remain vital after nearly a century? Love the way you look, hone a sense of personal style, and cultivate naïveté. “It’s important to be a bit naïve, to be spontaneous,” she said. “Often the first thought that comes to mind is the right one.” (NYT)


Clare Lilley Named Head of YSP – Yorkshire Sculpture Park’s current program director will become the institution’s second director in 45 years. She succeeds founding director Peter Murray, who is retiring in March. Lilley is currently preparing the late Robert Indiana’s first major U.K. sculpture exhibition, which opens at YSP on March 12. (Press release)

Stanford Taps Deborah Cullinan as Vice President for Arts – The respected museum veteran and current CEO of Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco has been appointed vice president for the arts at Stanford. She will oversee a central arts office as well as the university’s non-departmental and public-facing arts programs. (Press release)

RIBOCA Announces Exhibition Details – The third edition of the Riga International Biennial of Contemporary Art, titled “Exercises in Respect,” will present the work of 63 artists including Alicja Kwade, Superflex, Ayşe Erkmen, and Tamar Harpaz. More than half the works in the show will be new commissions, with a special emphasis on Latvian artists. It runs from July 15 to October 2. (Press release)


Bjarne Melgaard’s Metaverse Rave Sucked – A virtual techno rave on Decentraland featuring live music from several Norwegian DJs to celebrate the release of artist Bjarne Melgaard’s new NFTs “felt like a game without anything to do,” wrote Ben Gilbert. Billed as a scaled-down version of Travis Scott and Ariana Grande’s virtual live music events in Fortnite, Melgaard’s version “wasn’t very participatory.” In fact, he said, it was sort of boring. (Business Insider)

See the New Digital Artwork on the M+ Museum’s Façade – Hong Kong’s visual culture museum M+ has commissioned Moniker, an Amsterdam-based media and design studio, to create Touch for Luck, the recently-opened mega-museum‘s first digital commission. The auspicious, interactive work launched ahead of the upcoming Lunar New Year and can be accessed on mobile phones and online, connecting players who are touching their own screens. (Press release)

Touch for Luck Courtesy of M+, Hong Kong

Touch for Luck. Courtesy of M+, Hong Kong

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