Art Industry News: Sam Durant Opens Up About His Scaffold Controversy + More Must-Read Stories

Plus, the Victoria & Albert gets a huge expansion and a thief swipes $12 million in art from Queens storage facility.

The artist Sam Durant at LACMA's 2015 Art+Film Gala. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images for LACMA)

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 Monday, June 19.


London’s V&A Unveils Biggest Extension in a Century — The $69 million face-lift of the Victoria & Albert Museum, set to open later this month, will feature a new courtyard entrance and foyer, as well as the inauguration of a new exhibition gallery designed by British architect Amanda Levete. (New York Times)

Thief Swipes $12 Million in Art From Queens Storage Facility — The crook made off with 22 works kept at a storage unit that belonged to a retiree, including paintings by Frank Stella and Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec. The locker was emptied of all but five works—evidence of a bandit with discerning taste. (New York Daily News)

Another Noose Found Outside DC Museum — For the third time in recent weeks, a noose has been found hanging from a lamppost on the National Mall (this time, near the National Gallery of Art). The police department is keen for information, saying they “will not tolerate” illegal activity in the nation’s capital. (Huffington Post)

Sam Durant Discusses His Scaffold Controversy — In a lengthy interview, the artist denies that the removal of his work Scaffold—which came after protests from local Native American groups—was an instance of censorship. “Censorship is when a more powerful group or individual removes speech or images from a less powerful party,” he says. “That wasn’t the case.” (Los Angeles Times)


Charting the Rise and Fall of Prices for Gutai — The seemingly unstoppable rise of the market for postwar Japanese art by the Gutai group has begun to falter. But experts disagree on what is driving the dip in interest in the movement, and whether things could turn around again. (The Art Newspaper)

Easter Uprising Order Sparks Bidding War at Bonhams — Following a ferocious bidding war, a typed Order of Surrender from the 1916 Easter Uprising signed by Patrick Pearse sold for £263,000 at Bonhams London last week, more than twice its pre-sale estimate of £80,000—120,000. (Art Daily)

Rashid Johnson to Organize Show for Joel Mesler’s Rental Gallery — The New York-based artist will organize a show, titled “Color People,” at the dealer’s new Hamptons gallery. It will feature work by artists including Marina Adams, Sam Gilliam, and Stanley Whitney. (Press release)


Museum of Sex Appoints New Artistic Director — Serge Becker, creator of New York hospitality and entertainment venues including Joe’s Pub and The Box, has been appointed the new creative and artistic director of Daniel Gluck’s Museum of Sex ahead of the institution’s 15-year anniversary. (Press release)


Cisneros Collection Donates 119 Works to Five Museums — Four museums in the United States and one in Peru will receive  Latin American colonial art from the Colección Patricia Phelps de Cisneros. The collector and her partner Gustavo A. Cisneros also gifted New York’s Museum of Modern Art 102 works of Latin American Modernist art last year. (ARTnews)

Research Project Launched to Authenticate El Greco Painting — Leading art historians have launched a collaborative research project into one of Glasgow’s most cherished paintings, The Lady in a Fur Wrap. The portrait’s frame has linked it to El Greco, but its informal style is a rarity in a Spanish context, which has led scholars to question its true creator. (Press release)

MCA Australia and Tate Jointly Buy Five Works — The Museum of Contemporary Art, Australia, and London’s Tate have acquired five works of contemporary Australian art through their international joint acquisitions program. The new additions are: three paintings by Helen Johnson, an installation by Richard Bell, and a video by Peter Kennedy with John Hughes. (Press release)

See the Crazy Bamboo Forms in the Met’s New Show — “Japanese Bamboo Art: The Abbey Collection” at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art showcases bamboo sculpture dating from the Japanese periods of Meiji and Taishō. See some of these stunning works below. How did they do that? (Press release)

Honma Hideaki, Japanese, born 1959. Flowing pattern Japan, Heisei period (1989–present), 2014 Timber bamboo, men’yadake, dwarf bamboo, rattan, and lacque. 25 1/2 x 10 1/16 in. Promised Gift of Diane and Arthur Abbey. Image courtesy The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Honda Syōryū, Japanese, born 1951, Dance Japan, Heisei period (1989-present), 2000. Timber bamboo, and rattn, 18 1/2 x 24 x 19 in. Image courtesy The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

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.