Art Industry News: Kendrick Lamar Settles Lawsuit With Artist Over His ‘Black Panther’ Video + Other Stories

Plus, Kanye West pays a visit to MASS MoCA and a Polish billionaire opens her new museum in the Swiss Alps.

Screenshot from Kendrick Lamar's "All the Stars" video, featuing the black and gold patterns alleged to have been stolen from Lina Iris Viktor's work.

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 Wednesday, January 2. Happy New Year!


Kanye West Visits MASS MoCA – Although the rapper has been making headlines for his latest politically divisive tirade on Twitter, he somehow found the time to look up from his phone and visit the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art in North Adams last week. On Thursday, the musician and collaborator Tyler, the Creator paid a visit to James Turrell’s installation “Into the Light.” MASS MoCA tweeted a picture of West and Turrell, along with a quote from West: “You finally got me here, bro.” The musician visited the artist’s masterwork, “Roden Crater,” in Arizona earlier this month. (Boston Globe)

Venice Flood Damages St Mark’s Basilica – The Basilica of Saint Mark’s “aged 20 years in one day” during the floods that filled Venice in October, according to officials in charge of the historic church. St. Mark’s administrators, called Procuratori, have accused the Italian government of failing to protect the medieval church after flood water covered its fragile mosaic floors and left the bricks behind its marble walls crumbling. Carlo Alberto Tesserin, the senior procuratore, says he needs $3.4 million to remedy the damage and protect the church when the water in the lagoon inevitably rises again. (The Art Newspaper)

Artist and Kendrick Lamar Settle Black Panther Case – The British-Liberian artist Lina Iris Viktor and the rapper Kendrick Lamar have settled their copyright infringement dispute on undisclosed terms. Viktor sued Lamar and his collaborator SZA in February, alleging that they plagiarized her “Constellations” series in their video for the single “All The Stars,” which is on the soundtrack of the hit film Black Panther. Representatives of the film twice approached Viktor about using her imagery, but the artist deemed the proposed agreement too restrictive. In her suit, she sought a portion of the profits from the sale of the single and the film’s soundtrack. (Pitchfork, TAN)

New Works Enter the Public Domain – Artworks created in 1923 officially entered the public domain on New Year’s Day. That means anyone can now read, cite, or republish a large number of books, songs, movies, and works of art including Marcel Duchamp’s original The Bride Stripped Bare By Her Bachelors, Even (The Large Glass) (1915–23). Other notable works now just a Google search away include Duino Elegies by Rainer Maria Rilke, Cecil B. DeMille’s The Ten Commandments, and art by M.C. Escher, Max Ernst, and George Grosz. (Hyperallergic)


Christie’s France Wins Resale Royalty Fight – The auction house has won its long-running legal campaign to shift the responsibility for resale royalties in France from sellers to buyers. The country’s Supreme Court ruled that the auction house can charge the buyer “droit de suite,” which is paid to artists or their heirs. Sotheby’s currently charges sellers the levy. After the Court of Cassation’s decision, a spokeswoman said that the auction house will announce its new policy at the beginning of 2019. (TAN)

New York’s American Medium Gallery Closes – The gallery American Medium, which specialized in web-based art, has shut down just over a year after it moved from Brooklyn to Chelsea. Founders Travis Fitzgerald, Josh Pavlacky, and Daniel Wallace first launched the gallery in 2012 in a Union Square loft with a solo show by Jon Rafman. The gallery announced its demise in an email that ended with a link to the video for the 1999 Semisonic song “Closing Time.” (ARTnews)

Call to Fight the Trade in Yemen’s Stolen Heritage – Yemen’s ambassador to the United States is demanding the US government do more to halt the country’s art market for “blood antiquities.” In an op-ed, Ahmed Awad Bin Mubarak and Deborah Lehr, the founder of the Antiquities Coalition, asked the Treasury Department to issue an emergency executive order adding Yemeni antiquities to the list of sanctioned items prevented from import to the US, as it has done with artifacts from Syria and Iraq. (Washington Post)


Polish Collector’s Museum Opens in the Alps – Grazyna Kulczyk, one of Poland’s richest women, opens her museum in a 12th century monastery in the Swiss Alps today. Muzeum Susch will focus on female perspectives in art, and the space (which cost an undisclosed sum) opens with “A Woman Looking at Men Looking at Women,” a group show including work by Louise Bourgeois, Marlene Dumas, and Maria Lassnig, among others. (TAN)

Sister Wendy Beckett Dies – The nun and art historian who became an unlikely television star on BBC died on December 27 at age 88. Sister Wendy Beckett had a unique approach to speaking about art, making it approachable to many who did not feel comfortable in museums and galleries. Her perceptive take led to her to host two extremely popular series during the 1990s: “Sister Wendy’s Odyssey” and “Sister Wendy’s Story of Painting.” (Guardian)


Louvre Plans Pierre Soulages Retrospective – The 99-year-old painter will be the subject of a major retrospective at the Louvre in Paris, he revealed in a recent interview. Another exhibition in New York is possibly in the works as well, both of which would mark the 100th birthday of the French “master of black.” (AFP)

Israeli Woman Stumbles on Roman Bust – A woman walking in Jerusalem found two limestone heads poking out of the ground near ancient ruins in Beit She’an’s national park. After reporting them to authorities, archeologists have managed to date the busts to be a staggering 1,700 years old. (AFP)

See Nancy Spector’s Political Picks of 2018 – The Guggenheim’s artistic director and chief curator posted her most popular nine Instagram posts of the year to wish her followers a “saner 2019.” Works of protest—including projects by Tania Bruguera, Pipilotti Rist, and Pussy Riot—made Spector’s top nine (as well as, to her own surprise, Jerry Saltz). “Clearly, there is a general consensus around throwing shade,” she noted. Conspicuously absent, however, was the curator’s own shade-throwing: Her inspired offer to install Maurizio Cattelan’s gold toilet in the White House. (Instagram)

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