Art Industry News: Bitcoin Takes Baby Steps Into the Art Market + More Must-Read Stories

Plus, Beijing Gallery Weekend's CEO departs and victims of the Grenfell Tower fire are honored with a London mural.

A "physical Bitcoin" (which is sort of a gimmick, but exists). Photo Illustration by Thomas Trutschel/Photothek 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 Tuesday, July 25.


Man Hawks $600K in Stolen Art at Flea Market – The thief, who worked as an art handler for a New York-based company that manages a collection of Native American and African art, had stolen more than 70 works of art during his time there. He now faces a maximum of 10 years in prison. (Patch)

Frick Invites Famous Authors to Write on Collection – The novelist Hilary Mantel, the filmmaker James Ivory, and the artist and author Edmund de Waal are among the first participants in the new series Frick Diptychs, a new series of small books published by the museum. (The New York Times)

Critic Michael Fried Turns to Poetry – The Art and Objecthood author has published his first book of poems with David Zwirner Books and Titled Promesse du Bonheur, it features encounters with art and old friends like Clement Greenberg and Frank Stella. (The Art Newspaper)

Berkshire Museum Plans to Sell 40 Works at Auction – The 114-year-old museum in Massachusetts will auction 40 works from its collection, including two Norman Rockwell paintings, to fund a $40 million endowment and $20 million refurbishment. The American Alliance of Museums says the move violates its code of ethics. (TAN)


London’s Breese Little Gallery Shuts Down – The gallery, founded and directed by Josephine Breese and Henry Little, will close its doors permanently after seven years on July 29, coinciding with the closure of its critically acclaimed show “31 Women.” (Press release)

Is Bitcoin Infiltrating the Art Market? – Cryptocurrencies, most notably Bitcoin, are starting to be accepted in some commercial galleries, pointing to a growing acceptance of digital currencies in the $60 billion global art market. (BBC News)


Founding CEO Leaves Gallery Weekend Beijing – German artist and writer Thomas Eller, who last year founded the Chinese version of the successful Berlin event, will leave Gallery Weekend Beijing after only one iteration. In an email sent to press, Eller explained that the majority of the shareholders decided “to take the project into a different direction.” (Mass Email)

Philanthropist Robert Loder Has Died – The English collector known for promoting South African art cofounded the Triangle Network together with Anthony Caro in 1982. In 1994, he launched the London nonprofit Gasworks. He died at the age of 83. (Artforum)

BAM Names New Director of Cinema – Ashley Clark, who has been putting on cinema programs at the Brooklyn Academy of Music since 2015, has been appointed its senior programmer of cinema. (Artforum)


Tate Liverpool’s Managing Art Handler Honored With Show – As he prepares for his retirement, Ken Simons, who has worked at the museum since 1988, will get a show in the institution’s ground-floor gallery featuring his favorite pieces from the Tate’s collection. (TAN)

Inside Hong Kong’s Artist Studios – Studio visits with some of Hong Kong’s leading artists provide some insight into how they deal with the fast-changing landscape of their city. (ARTnews)

Mural Honors Victims of Grenfell Tower Fire – Street artist Ben Eine and Booker Prize-winning writer Ben Okri have collaborated on a mural in Holywell Lane, Shoreditch. The tribute, part of the Paint the Change project for street art and social justice, features the phrase “You saw it in the tears of those who survived,” taken from a poem Okri has written in response to the tragedy. (Paint the Change)

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