Art Industry News: Jeff Bezos Is Having Sky-Rocketing Art Star Amoako Boafo Paint One of His Actual Rockets + Other Stories

Plus, New York's Natural History Museum is suing its insurer, and Helen Frankenthaler's foundation is pouring money into climate change.

Amoako Boafo Artist residence at the Rubell Museum 2019 Photo courtesy of Rubell Museum.

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 Thursday, July 29.


Natural History Museum Sues Its Insurance Company – New York’s American Museum of Natural History has sued its insurer for denying coverage for losses sustained during its six-month closure due to the pandemic last year. The museum says it lost more than $37 million, but the insurer, Affiliated FM Insurance Company, has capped its pay out at $200,000, citing a “contamination” exclusion. It will not cover more because it says there was no “physical loss or damage” sustained to the property. (The Art Newspaper)

Artist Helen Cammock Criticizes U.K. Arts Cuts – Turner Prize-winning artist Helen Cammock has spoken out against the U.K. government’s decision to cut in half funding for “high cost” higher education in the arts. “As far as I can see they’re trying to eradicate the subjects that encourage people to think, and the parts of culture that really loudly challenge the system that’s in place,” Cammock said, adding that the cuts will deter schools from encouraging less privileged students to pursue arts subjects. (Guardian)

Amoako Boafo’s Art Is Headed to Space – An aerospace company specializing in “technologies for a multiplanetary economy” has commissioned Ghanaian art star Amoako Boafo to paint a triptych on one of Jeff Bezos’s Blue Origin rockets“To create a painting that will launch into space is unimaginable, and frankly surreal,”  Boafo told “I wish one day to experience what my characters will see.” The Boafo rocket is scheduled for liftoff this fall. (

Thomas Heatherwick Says He’s Not Making a Pandemic Memorial – The British architect and designer Thomas Heatherwick has said he is not working on a memorial to those lost to the pandemic in the U.K., despite reports to the contrary. His studio said he was invited to advise on “appropriate ideas” for the commemoration, but that he has not been commissioned to design the memorial. (dezeen)


Nicholas Hlobo Joins Goodman Gallery – The South African artist Nicholas Hlobo has joined the roster of Goodman Gallery. Hlobo, whose multidisciplinary practice investigates the conditions of South Africa’s young democracy, will continue to be represented by Lehmann Maupin as well. (Press release)

Frankenthaler Foundation Gifts Millions for Climate Change – The Helen Frankenthaler Foundation has committed $10 million to its Frankenthaler Climate Initiative. The late painter’s foundation wants to help visual arts organizations combat climate change with the new grant-making program, and will give 79 institutions grants ranging from $7,300 to $100,000 in the first round. (NYT)

Art Basel Miami Beach Is Negotiating a Contract Extension – Art Basel Miami Beach has applied to extend its rental agreement at the Miami Beach Convention Center an additional three years, through 2026, as part of a discounted rental agreement for the fair’s 2021 edition. Miami’s City Commission is considering the agreement, which wold see the fair pay just $100,000 this year, rather than the contracted $791,000. (Re: Miami Beach)

MoMA PS1 Releases Exhibitor List for ‘Greater New York’ – MoMA PS1 has unleashed the artist list for its delayed “Greater New York” exhibition. Some 47 artists are included in the quinquennial exhibit curated by Serubiri Moses and Ruba Katrib, including 29-year-old Kristi Cavataro, and nine deceased artists, from Nicolas Moufarrege to Rosemary Mayer. (ARTnews)


TV Show Debunks Found Henry Moore Sculpture – The BBC series Fake or Fortune? has concluded that a suspected Henry Moore sculpture that was uncovered in a patch of grass on the grounds of Mergate Hall near Norwich is in fact not by the famed sculptor. The artist’s foundation inspected the work but concluded that it was not a genuine Moore. The show’s host art sleuths, Fiona Bruce and Philip Mould, point instead to local sculptor Betty Jewson, who used to live at Mergate Hall. (Instagram)

Philip visits the Henry Moore Foundation in Hertfordshire. Screenshot courtesy of BBC.

Philip visits the Henry Moore Foundation in Hertfordshire. Screenshot courtesy of BBC.

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