Art Industry News: Johnny Depp Offers to Sell Art to Pay His Colossal Debts + More Must-Read Stories

Plus, Jeff Koons's flower sculpture hits a roadblock and New York's envoy enterprises closes after a decade on the Lower East Side.

Johnny Depp at the Premiere of “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales,” Photo: Rich Polk, courtesy 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 Wednesday, June 21.


Jeff Koons’s Flower Sculpture for Paris Hits a Roadblock – Seven months after the artist gifted the 40-foot-tall sculpture to the city to honor the 2015 terror attack victims, Paris is struggling to raise the estimated $3.9 million needed to make and install the colossal work. Meanwhile, the plaza selected for the display can’t currently support its 30-ton weight. (The New York Times)

Surprise Exodus from Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art – Nearly every staff museum member walked out en masse last week after their appeal for better working conditions was rejected by the museum’s board of directors. (The New York Times)

Tate Shows Art of a Grenfell Tower Fire Victim – Tate Britain will show a silk-screen print of a photograph by the late 24-year-old British artist Khadije Saye, who died in the Grenfell Tower fire. The original photograph is on view at the Diaspora Pavilion of the Venice Biennale. (The New York Times)

Johnny Depp Offers to Sell Art to Pay Debts in Leaked Email – In a newly leaked 2009 email exchange with his business manager, the financially troubled actor writes that it would be difficult to “take it easy” on holiday spending, but offers to “sell some art” to cover the shortfall. Depp filed a lawsuit in January alleging his ex-business managers neglected his financial interests and left him deep in debt. (The Independent)


New York’s envoy enterprises to Close – The Lower East side gallery, which has shown work by artists including Gary Indiana and Alex Rose, announced plans to close its doors on August 4. The reason, owner Jimi Dams wrote a shock email blast? “It is not fun anymore.” (ARTnews)

Court Dismisses Collector’s Claim Against Art Expert – A St. Petersburg court has dismissed a $280,000 lawsuit filed by collector Andrey Vasilyev against expert Yelena Basner. Although previously charged with large-scale fraud in 2009 over the alleged sale of a counterfeit work, the expert was this time acquitted on the grounds that she had sold the painting through a third party. (RAPSI

Crossroads Art Fair to Relaunch in London – The Crossroads fair, which focuses on emerging and mid-market galleries, will relaunch this year with a new director, Liv Vaisberg. The fair will run ahead of Frieze, from September 30–October 4 at Victoria House Basement in London. (Press release)


Sylvie Patry Returns to the Musée D’Orsay – The Barnes Foundation’s chief curator Sylvie Patry is returning to her former employer, the Musée d’Orsay in Paris, where she worked until 2016. She will serve as its new deputy director of curatorial affairs and collections. (Press release)

Hyde Collection Director Stepping Down – The New York museum’s director Erin B. Coe will depart in late July to direct the Palmer Museum of Art at Penn State University. Anne Saile has been named interim director while a nationwide search is conducted for Coe’s replacement. (Press release)

Idris Khan Appointed OBE – The London-based artist, known for his large scale sculptural and haunting photographic works, was appointed an OBE in the Queen’s 2017 Birthday Honors list over the weekend. (Press release)

Hans Breder is Dead at 81 – The celebrated photographer, painter, sculptor and conceptual artist passed away following an illness. The University of Iowa professor emeritus was known for his formative influence on Ana Mendieta during their decade-long relationship in the 70s. (Iowa Press Citizen)


Painting of Nursing Mother Wins BP Portrait Award – The £30,000 prize for the National Portrait Gallery’s annual competition had been awarded to Benjamin Sullivan, for a portrait of his wife and baby daughter. The British artist beat out 2,580 other entries from 87 countries for first place. (The Guardian)

Olu Oguibe Wins Prestigious Kassel Prize – This year’s Arnold Bode Award, named after the founder of documenta and accompanied by a €100,000 cash prize, was given to the Nigerian-American artist Olu Oguibe. For documenta 14, Oguibe erected an obelisk in Kassel. (Deutsche Presse Agentur)

Pinakothek der Moderne Acquires Five Works by Anselm Kiefer – Kiefer’s arresting painting The Sand from the Urns (2009) as well as two large wall pieces and two display cases will significantly expand the Munich museum’s holdings of the artist’s work. (Press release)

Emmanuel Macron Meets David Hockney at Pompidou – The French President received a personal tour of the David Hockney retrospective at the Centre Pompidou—led by the artist himself. See his effusive tweet about the experience below. (Press release)

Un immense merci à David Hockney et aux équipes du Centre Pompidou pour ce voyage à rebours, déconstruisant la perspective, les codes. Merci pour la vision, l’ironie et la liberté… LOVE LIFE!

Posted by Emmanuel Macron on Friday, 16 June 2017



Margaret Bowland
RJD Gallery
Bridgehampton, NY
July 8th and onward

Activating RJD Gallery’s new 3,000-square-foot space, the artist Margaret Bowland will be debuting eight paintings, including her new painting titled 2020. See this new artwork below.

Margaret Bowland's <em>2020</em> (2017). Courtesy of the artist.

Margaret Bowland’s 2020 (2017). Courtesy of the artist.

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.