Art Industry News: The Louvre Opens a Lost-and-Found for Its Nazi Art Loot + More Must-Read Stories

Plus, the Serpentine plans a pavilion in Beijing and Martha Stewart is coming to the Saint Louis Art Museum.

The Louvre on November 30, 2016. Photo courtesy Frederic Stevens/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 Wednesday, January 31.


Serpentine Gallery Plans Beijing Pavilion – The London gallery is taking its popular Pavilion program on the road. The Serpentine will debut the first Serpentine Pavilion Beijing, designed by Jiakun Architects, from May to October. The temporary space in the Wangfujing neighborhood, whose design is inspired by Confucianism, will host cultural and social events. (The Art Newspaper)

Bronx Museum Dedicates Martí Monument in Cuba – A statue of the Cuban writer and national hero was unveiled in Havana’s Parque Central by representatives from New York City and the Bronx Museum. But what was originally intended as a celebration of warming relations between Cuba and the US became a sober affair due to the Trump Administration’s rollback of Obama-era policies. (Reuters)

The Louvre Seeks Rightful Heirs to Nazi-Looted Art – Thirty-one looted paintings went on permanent display in two new showrooms at the Paris museum with the goal of finding their original owners. The museum has nearly 300 works in storage that were stolen by the Nazis during WWII and remain unclaimed. (AP) 

New Company Uses Blockchain for Authentication – A new startup, Codex, wants to use the technology behind cryptocurrencies to track the provenance and copyright of artworks. The company has partnered with 5,000 auction houses to create a database that can store a wide variety of information about an artwork but does not require buyers’ identification. (TAN)


Nazi Art Goes to Auction in Switzerland – Items from the Nazi-looted holdings of Jewish collector Emma Budge will be returned to her heirs at the end of the month after an exhibition at the historical and folklore museum in St Gallen. Two 17th century silver and gold-plated ships will then go to auction at Sotheby’s in London. (Swissinfo)

This Gallery Will Only Accept Bitcoin at the Armory Show – It may be a publicity stunt, but it’s a good one: London’s Ronchini Gallery will accept payment for an edition of the photograph Nimbus Powerstation by Dutch artist Berndnaut Smilde only through the digital cryptocurrency. (Press release)

Singapore Left Out of Asian Art-Market Boom – While several galleries are opening high-profile Asian outposts in Hong Kong, Singapore seems to be falling further and further away from the spotlight. Lorenzo Rudolf, the founder and president of the fair Art Stage Singapore, has blamed high rents and censorship for the city’s stagnated art market. (South China Morning Post)

Phillips Hires New Regional Director in Shanghai – Zhang Wenjia has been appointed regional director and will be responsible for building the company’s client base in China and the wider region. The house has been on an Asian hiring spree as of late: Zhang’s appointment follows hires in Taiwan, Korea, and Japan. (Press release)


FRONT Triennial Announces Commissions – The inaugural Cleveland triennial has announced its latest round of commissions, which will unfold at museums across the city. Highlights include a 3-D audio and visual installation by Cyprien Gaillard at the Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland. The footage was shot in Berlin, Los Angeles, and Cleveland. (Press release)

LACMA’s Satellite Plan Approved – The city council has cleared the way for the museum to rehabilitate a disused 84,000-square-foot building in the nine-acre South LA Wetlands Park. The official permission provides LACMA a rent-free, 35-year lease for its satellite campus, which will house exhibition space, storage, and a center for education and arts programming. (TAN)

Martha Stewart Is Coming to the Saint Louis Art Museum – The museum’s Art in Bloom festival, which brings together fine art and flowers, will host America’s famous crafty gardener this March. Stewart will give a talk about her book Martha’s Flowers: A Practical Guide to Growing, Gathering, and Enjoying. (Riverfront Times)

Headlands Center Launches New Residency – The residency program has announced the lucky 54 recipients of its sponsored, live-in fellowships, including Frances Whitehead, Simone Forti, and Anicka Yi. Each artist receives an average value of $25,000 and a private studio space at the California center’s historic Fort Barry campus. (Press release)


A Romp Through PST’s Performance Festival – Catherine Wagley offers a critic’s take on the weeklong “Live LA/LA” performance festival that closed PST: LA/LA. The festival resonated well locally, she writes, given that LA “used to be Mexico” and 40 percent of the population speaks Spanish. The project may herald the beginning of “an exciting new chapter in the region’s art ecosystem.” (ARTnews)

Tania Bruguera’s Controversial Performance Comes to MoMA – Bruguera’s Untitled (Havana, 2000) performance, which debuted at the 7th Havana Biennial and was acquired by MoMA in 2015, is coming to New York this weekend. The performance, which deals with issues of political corruption and censorship, was banned in Cuba. (TAN)

The Basquiat Craze Hits Missouri in September – Basquiat is having a museum moment. The Contemporary Art Museum in St. Louis will host “Basquiat Before Basquiat: East 12th Street, 1979–1980” from September 7 through December 30. The show, organized by the Museum of Contemporary Art Denver, will show early Basquiat works made in his East Village apartment. (Riverfront Times)

Artist’s Emotional Support Peacock Denied Boarding – In yet another PR nightmare for United Airlines, Dexter the peacock was denied permission to board a flight to Los Angeles with his photographer and performance artist owner, Ventiko. The airline said the peacock couldn’t take the flight from New Jersey because of its size and weight. His owner is instead driving him across the country. (Business Insider)

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