Art Industry News: Kurt Cobain’s Art Scorched in Museum Fire + More Must-Read Stories

Plus, the Fyre Festival scammer sold fake tickets to the Met Gala and an artist has painted Dana Schutz's son.

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 Thursday, June 14.


An Artist Painted Dana Schutz’s Son – Hamishi Farah, an artist who objected to Dana Schutz’s painting of the murdered black teenager Emmett Till, has used a photograph of the artist’s young son to paint the portrait Representation of Arlo (2018). Farah is showing the work at Liste in Basel and says it is due to travel to the Frans Hals Museum in the Netherlands this fall. (The Art Newspaper)

Fyre Festival Scammer Sold Fake Met Gala Tickets – Billy McFarland, who pleaded guilty to defrauding investors after the disastrous music festival in the Bahamas, has been accused by prosecutors in New York of selling fake tickets to the 2018 Met Gala, Burning Man, Coachella, and the Grammy Awards, among other exclusive events, while out on bail. (Buzzfeed)

Kurt Cobain Relics Destroyed in Museum Fire – A fire has devastated the Aberdeen Museum of History in Washington, which was showing an exhibition of Kurt Cobain memorabilia. It is feared that several items on loan to the museum in the late Nirvana frontman’s hometown are lost, including his original artwork, a couch he slept on in 1985, and band posters and T-shirts. (NME)

Former Reina Sofía Chief Named Spain’s New Culture Minister – After Spain’s minister of culture and sport resigned a week into the job due to tax evasion, the country’s new Socialist government has named José Guirao as a replacement. Guirao was the director of the Museo Reina Sofía from 1994 to 2001 and oversaw its Jean Nouvel-designed expansion. (El Mundo)​


Collectors Are Quick to Cash in on Museum Loans – Show-and-sell situations are on the rise as private lenders have increasingly begun cashing in after major museum shows. A Modigliani nude recently lent to the Tate and a Hockney work lent to the Met are two big-ticket works that went to auction within weeks of the shows closing. Now, a Jasper Johns work recently borrowed by London’s Royal Academy and The Broad in LA has appeared at Di Donna’s booth at Art Basel. (TAN)

Paris Contemporary Auctions Exceed Expectations – Star lots helped gave a boost to contemporary auctions at Sotheby’s, Christie’s, and Artcurial in Paris. They included Nicolas de Staël’s Flowers at Christie’s and Kazuo Shiraga’s Takao, which each sold for more than $9 million. (Art Market Monitor)

India’s Contemporary Market Bounces Back – Indian gallerists at Art Basel are cautiously optimistic that the market for contemporary art is growing again at home and abroad after the global financial crisis of 2008, when speculators inflated prices that then slumped. Analysts point to the success of the India Art Fair and a younger generation of collectors who were not devastated by the crash. (New York Times)

Censored-Art Collector Buys Obscene Sculpture of Spanish King – A controversial sculpture by Ines Doujak depicting the former King Juan Carlos being sodomized has been acquired by the Spanish social media mogul Tatxo Benet. He’s adding it to his collection of censored art. The work, which is a comment on colonialism, led to the departure of Bartomeu Marí as director of Barcelona’s museum of contemporary art, Macba, where the work was shown in 2015. (El Espanol)​


Mitchell-Innes & Nash Will Represent the Kiki Kogelnik Foundation – The late Austrian artist’s foundation has been added to the gallery’s roster just in time for Art Basel, where it is offering two Kogelnik works at its booth. Simone Subal Gallery will also continue to work with the foundation. (ARTnews)

Aguas Will Guest-Curate Untitled Miami Beach – The artist-run curatorial platform that connects European and Latin American artists will organize a series of special projects at the seventh edition of the fair, running December 5-9, along with executive director Manuela Mozo and artistic director Omar Lopez-Chahoud. (ARTnews)

Royal Portrait Painter Michael Noakes Has Died – The portraitist of Britain’s royalty, politicians, and celebrities has died at age 84. Noakes painted former British prime minister Margaret Thatcher as well as seven members of the royal family, including Queen Elizabeth. (The Guardian)

American Express Gives $1 Million to Monuments Fund – Eight sites on the watchlist of the World Monuments Fund will receive grants from the American Express Foundation. The money will go toward offsetting future damage, particularly aspects that are at risk because of climate change, as well as to public outreach and scientific studies. (TAN)


Tauba Auerbach Launches a Kickstarter for Her Dazzle Ship – New York’s Public Art Fund and the UK’s public art program for the centenary of World War I, 14-18 NOW, are seeking to raise $10,000 to support a public art project in which Auerbach turns a historic boat into a 21st-century dazzle ship. The crowdfunding campaign will be live for 30 days and special-edition artworks are among the perks offered to backers. (Press release)

The Cat Art Show Opens in Los Angeles – The third edition of the feline-themed biennial exhibition opens today in Los Angeles and will be up for the next ten days. The event features 140 works by 100 artists, including Raymond Pettibon​, Ellen von Unwerth, ​and Casey Weldon. (Press release)

Art Collective Challenges Dublin’s Removal of Street Murals – A collective called SUBSET is challenging Dublin’s city council by painting large-scale murals—despite planning laws that ban all street art because it constitutes a “major alteration” to the outside of a building. As part of this “Grey Area” project, the group has proposed legislation that would allow artists to work on the streets without permission. (Independent)

The V&A Goes Frida Kahlo Crazy – With help from actress Salma Hayek, who played Kahlo in a biopic, London’s Victoria and Albert Museum has launched its much hyped show “Frida Kahlo: Making Herself Up” last night. Many turned up dressed like Kahlo. The exhibition includes the artist’s personal items, including a glass bottle of morphine, lipstick, and her false leg, all of which have never traveled outside her home in Mexico. (Forbes)

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