Art Industry News: A Warhol Painting Is Now Being Sold in the First-Ever Blockchain Art Auction + More Must-Read Stories

Plus, the Whitney Museum will be open seven days a week in July and August and ArtPrize is becoming a biannual event.

Andy Warhol, Self-Portrait in Fright Wig (1986). Photo: The Andy Warhol Foundation

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 Friday, June 22.


What Oprah’s Museum Show Gets Right – A new show at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture dedicated to the phenomenon and impact of Oprah Winfrey might have the appearance of pay-for-play, since the mogul donated $20 million to the museum. But Wesley Morris explains why the show is a deserved and dynamic tribute to the world’s most influential talk show host. (New York Times)

ArtPrize Goes Biennial – The annual prize will shift to a biannual schedule after its 10th edition this year; the 11th edition is slated for 2020. ArtPrize has also introduced a new biennial public art project in Grand Rapids called Project 1, which will debut in September 2019 and invite artists to respond to the city’s history and community. (Press release)  

A Cryptocurrency Auction Is Selling Shares for a Warhol – The first blockchain art auction began on June 20, and a 1980 Andy Warhol silkscreen was up for sale. The work, 14 Small Electric Chairs, is being auctioned off in shares, with 51 percent of the painting remaining under the control of its current owner, gallerist Eleesa Dadiani. (Quartz)

Share Your Thoughts on David Hammons’s Public Art – The proposal for a permanent sculpture by David Hammons called Day’s End on the Hudson River is now under public review, so members of the community have been invited to have their say. The work, an outline of a lost warehouse made in steel, will be overseen by the Whitney and is expected to cost around $5 million. (The Art Newspaper)



On the Ground at Beijing Gallery Weekend – The second edition of gallery weekend in the Chinese capital took place this past March, with 22 participating galleries and more than 1,000 VIPs in attendance. Despite a housing crisis for artists and rapidly rising gallery rents, Beijing is giving Shanghai a run for its money as an international art and culture capital. (ARTnews)

White Cube to Represent Park Seo-Bo – The veteran South Korean painter will now be represented by the international powerhouse gallery White Cube. The 87-year old artist is best known for his “Ecritures” series of paintings that feature pencil and oil on canvas. (Press release)

Commercial Graffiti Is Good Business in Beijing – Graffiti is relatively new in the Chinese capital—but local street artists are quick learners. Graffiti artists are now taking on corporate clients to help produce and maintain their murals, an upstart business growing in tandem with the city’s rapidly commercializing art scene. (South China Morning Post)



Wexner Center Names Deputy Director – Lindsay Cooper Martin, who has been the director of administration at the Hammer Museum in LA for the past three years, will take over the art center at Ohio State University beginning July 10. She succeeds Jack Jackson, who retired in April after a 13-year stint at the Wex. (Artforum)

Whitney to Open Seven Days a Week for Summer – The New York museum announced it will be open to the public seven days a week during July and August. (The museum is normally closed on Tuesdays.) This gives visitors more changes to see its summer exhibitions, including shows dedicated to Mary Corse and David Wojnarowicz. (Artforum)

Berlin Museum Gets Major Gift from Saudi Arabia – The charitable foundation Alwaleed Philanthropies, which is run by a Saudi royal, Prince Al-Waleed Bin Talal, is donating €9 million ($10.5 million) to the Berlin Museum of Islamic Art to support its operations, including an initiative to train Syrian and Iraqi refugees as museum guides. (TAN)

Virginia Museum Director to Retire – Debi Gray, who has been executive director of the contemporary art museum since 2009, will retire in January 2019. “MOCA is on an upward trajectory with a skilled staff, a strong board, financial stability, and the support of the city,” Gray says. “We are poised to reach even greater heights.” (Artforum)



Top Clichés the Art World Loves to Hate – For a new group show at Almine Rech in New York, Rech and Bill Powers invited more than 40 artists—including Jeff Koons, Richard Prince, and George Condo—to contribute work that toys with the most common art clichés, from skulls to so-called “kid art.” (W)

Photographer Busted for Passing Off Stock Photos as His Own – A Singapore-based Instagram star, Daryl Aiden Yow, has been called out online for photoshopping himself into uncredited stock images and implying in captions that he took the photographs himself. He has since apologized for misleading his followers. (Peta Pixel)

Beijing Launches Art Museums Alliance – The Silk Road International Alliance of Art Museums and Galleries launched earlier this week as a platform for international institutions and galleries to communicate. The kickoff ceremony was attended by 24 museums from 18 countries as well as representatives from China’s Ministry of Culture and Tourism. (China Daily)

Anti-Trump Cartoons by Fired Cartoonist Are Going Viral – Political cartoons by Rob Rogers are making the rounds on social media after he was fired from a 25-year career at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette for his unflattering portrayals of Donald Trump. In a recent interview, Rogers said: “You want to have as many voices as you can and they are starting to have only one voice of the paper, and I think that goes against what a free press is all about—especially when silencing that voice is because of the president.” (GuardianTwitter)

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