Art Industry News: Mega-Collector Steve Cohen Just Bought the World’s Leading Auction House… for Baseball Cards + Other Stories

Plus, the New Museum taps a new leader for its incubator New Inc, and a blockbuster Van Gogh show is heading to London.

Steven Cohen. Courtesy photographer Billy Farrell, © Patrick McMullan.

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, July 2.


Cuban Artist Remains Behind Bars – The artist Hamlet Lavastida is still in prison following his arrest on June 28, days after returning from an artist residency in Berlin. According to his most recent hearing, he is being accused of the “crime of instigation to commit a crime.” His family and legal team claim he is being denied habeas corpus. Lavastida is a member of 27N, a group of artists pushing for freedom of expression in the increasingly oppressive Caribbean nation. (Press release)

2021 Rabkin Prize Winners Announced – The Dorothea and Leo Rabkin Foundation has named the eight visual arts journalists awarded the 2021 Rabkin Prize, which comes with a $50,000 purse. The winners are Jasmine Weber and John Yau (both editors at Hyperallergic); Raquel Gutiérrez; Aruna D’Souza; Jarrett Earnest; Yinka Elujoba; Jennifer Huberdeau; and Mark Lamster. (Hyperallergic)

Steve Cohen Buys Goldin Auctions – An investment group led by the mega-collector and Mets owner Steve Cohen is buying Goldin Auctions, the leading auction house for sports collectibles. The acquisition by Collectors Holdings—which Cohen owns with fellow collector Dan Sundheim and healthcare entrepreneur Nat Turner—comes as the market for baseball cards and other sports memorabilia has grown red hot. Earlier this year, Goldin sold a majority stake to a group of investors in a deal that valued the firm at more than $40 million. (Bloomberg)

Jonathan Jones Hates the Diana Sculpture The sculpture of the late Princess Diana, unveiled yesterday at the sunken garden in Kensington Palace, is not a fitting tribute to the so-called “people’s princess,” according to critic Jonathan Jones. “The sentiment splurges across the flower beds like an uncontrolled wail of artistically absurd pathos,” Jones writes of the bronze Diana, whose arms are extended toward three children in a nod to her devotion to youth in dire circumstances around the world. (Guardian)


FEWOCiOUS Fetches $2.2 Million at Christie’s – Christie’s sold five NFTs and physical artworks by 18-year-old digital-art phenom Victor Langlois, otherwise known as FEWOCiOUS, generating a total of $2.16 million after competition from 20 bidders. Langlois is the youngest artist to have a sale at Christie’s. (Reuters)

Pace Now Represents Latifa Echakhch – The Moroccan-born, Switzerland-based artist, who is representing Switzerland at the next Venice Biennale and specializes in large-scape interventions, has joined Pace. Previously represented by the soon-to-close Metro Pictures, she will continue to be repped by Kamel Mennour, Kaufmann Repetto, and Dvir Gallery. Pace will present her first solo show in London in 2022. (Press release)


New Museum Names New Inc Leader – Salome Asega has been appointed the new director of New Inc, the incubator associated with the New Museum for art, design, and technology. Asega, who previously served as the technology fellow in the Ford Foundation’s Creativity and Free Expression program, succeeds Stephanie Pereira. (Artforum)

Curator at Palm Springs Art Museum Resigns – Something is up at the Palm Springs Art Museum—and it’s not just Marilyn Monroe’s skirt. Rochelle Steiner has resigned from her position as chief curator and director of curatorial affairs and programs. Her departure follows the resignation of director and CEO Louis Grachos in March. (Desert Sun)


Chicago Gets a Monument to Ida B Wells – The city of Chicago, which has offered a leading example for how to reassess public monuments and sculptures, has revealed plans for a new statue of Ida B. Wells, the anti-lynching and suffrage activist. It is the city’s first sculpture honoring a Black woman. (Smithsonian)

Major Van Gogh Show Comes to London – Immersive Van Gogh…who? An exhibition of the real Vincent van Gogh’s real-life self-portraits will debut at the Courtauld Gallery in London in February 2022. It is expected to be the most comprehensive show of its kind, bringing together 15 works the artist made of his likeness during his short life. (The Art Newspaper)

Vincent van Gogh <i>Self-Portrait with Bandaged Ear</i> (1889) The Courtauld London Samuel Courtauld Trust © The Courtauld.

Vincent van Gogh Self-Portrait with Bandaged Ear (1889) The Courtauld London Samuel Courtauld Trust © The Courtauld.

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