Art Industry News: Donald Trump Ranted About Hunter Biden’s Art ‘Bribe’ at His Latest Rally + Other Stories

Plus, plans for a power plant that could have obscured a Michael Heizer work have been cancelled, and Volta will head to Miami this year.

Former U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during the Rally To Protect Our Elections conference on July 24, 2021 in Phoenix, Arizona. Photo by Brandon Bell/Getty Images.
Former U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during the Rally To Protect Our Elections conference on July 24, 2021 in Phoenix, Arizona. Photo by Brandon Bell/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 on this Tuesday, July 27.


Artist Louise Fishman Has Died – The Philadelphia-born painter Louise Fishman has died in New York at age 82. Fishman was known for her abstract modern paintings that she saw as indelibly intertwined with her identity as a lesbian Jewish feminist. In a statement on Instagram, her gallery Karma said that her “pursuit of individual freedom and personal expression” was what motivated her as an artist. Her death “leaves a tremendous void in the art world.” (ARTnews)

Michael Heizer Fans Scuttle Solar Plant Plans – Local residents of Overton, Nevada, have succeeded in their campaign to cancel plans to build a billion-dollar solar power plant near the side of Michael Heizer’s 1969 Land work Double Negative. The renewable energy companies behind the plans pulled out after residents and local activists said the plans to build the U.S.’s largest solar farm on 9,000 acres of Mormon Mesa would occlude views of the important artwork and deter tourism from the area, as well as possibly endanger local wildlife. (Artforum)

Donald Trump Weighs in on Hunter Biden Art Controversy – Former U.S. president Donald Trump is fanning the flames over Hunter Biden’s controversial decision to sell his artwork. Trump echoed concerns that buyers could potentially buy the First Son’s art in efforts to court influence at the White House. At a Turning Point USA rally on Friday, Trump ranted: “What about Hunter Biden getting a half a million dollars for painting—and he never painted before—could you imagine if my kids did that?” It was, he added, “a bribe.” (Real Clear Politics)

Workers at New York’s Hispanic Society Vote to Unionize – Employees at New York’s Hispanic Society have voted 15 to 1 in favor of joining Local 2110 of the United Automobile, Aerospace, and Agricultural Implement Workers of America. The union said museum staff were concerned about job insecurity, the loss of pensions, poor health and safety standards, and salaries that were below the median for museum employees in the area. The decision is part of a growing movement of museum and culture industry workers in the U.S. to unionize, which already includes those at the New Museum, the Whitney, Mass MoCA, MFA Boston, and others. (The Art Newspaper


‘Big Eyes’ Painting Stolen in 1974 Has Been Recovered – A painting by the U.S. artist Margaret Keane that was stolen in 1972 has been returned to its original owner. The painting, Eyes Upon You, depicts seven children, including the daughter of a local dentist the artist met while living in Hawaii. The work was missing for more than 50 years after it was stolen from the dentist’s office, and was tracked down by art detective Robert Wittman after it was recently sold by Heritage Auctions in Dallas for $35,000. (San Francisco Chronicle)

A Museum Dedicated to Apple Is Opening in Poland – Warsaw, Poland, is to be the unlikely site of a museum dedicated to Apple. Set to open this fall, the more than 1,500 exhibits will include Apple computers and accessories, as well as a working replica of the Apple I signed by Steve Wozniak. Some Polish residents seem bemused by the news, with one commentator writing online: “Well, great we have such dedicated Apple fans in Poland, but I would prefer official Apple Store, Polish siri, Apple News, or any of the 12315412345 things we don’t get from them.” (Mac Rumors)

Architect Thomas Heatherwick May Design Pandemic Memorial – Architect Thomas Heatherwick, who designed the Vessel in New York, is reportedly in talks with U.K. government officials about possibly designing an official memorial for the lives lost during the pandemic. Boris Johnson has voiced his support for installing such a memorial at St. Paul’s Cathedral in London. (The Times)

Volta to Make Delayed Miami Debut – The art fair, known for its editions in Basel and New York, will head to Florida this December, where it is set to take place in downtown Miami, near NADA and Art Miami. The former Armory Show sister fair was purchased by Ramsay Fairs in fall 2019, and replaces the long-running Pulse Art Fair. (Press release)


Yongzheng Vase Sells For 700 Times Estimate at Auction – A guan-type porcelain vase sold for a massive €365,000 ($430,000) at Dublin-based auction house Adams at the end of June, against an estimate of just €300–€500 ($350–$590). While it bears markings indicating it is from the Qing Dynasty period of emperor Yongzheng, the auction house had not authenticated it as such (and many copies of these vases were made in subsequent eras), though bidders clearly felt confident it was the real deal. (Antiques Trade Gazette)

Follow Artnet News on Facebook:

Want to stay ahead of the art world? Subscribe to our newsletter to get the breaking news, eye-opening interviews, and incisive critical takes that drive the conversation forward.