Art Industry News: Kim Kardashian Goes on a Shopping Spree at Christie’s + More Must-Read Stories

Plus, the Walker Art Center faces a new controversy over native art, and campaigners protest "blasphemous" Andres Serrano exhibition.

Kim Kardashian at the Metropolitan Museum of Art's 2017 Costume Institute Gala. Courtesy of Sean Zanni, © Patrick McMullan.
Kim Kardashian at the Metropolitan Museum of Art's 2017 Costume Institute Gala. Courtesy of Sean Zanni, © Patrick McMullan.

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 26.


Walker Faces Controversy Over Jimmie Durham Show – Not long after the removal of Sam Durant’s divisive public sculpture Scaffold, the Minneapolis art center is once again the subject of controversy as Native American activists protest the opening of a show by sculptor Jimmie Durham. The artist, who identifies as Cherokee, is not a spokesperson for Native Americans, they say, in particular since he has not enrolled in any of the three Cherokee tribes and there is “no evidence” that he is Cherokee. “I think it was probably hurtful to him,” Edgar Heap of Birds, a friend of Durham’s, says of the long-brewing controversy. (MPR News, Star Tribune)

Sale of Edward Albee’s Art to Benefit His Foundation – The Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? playwright’s estate will auction more than 100 works from Albee’s personal collection at a late September sale at Sotheby’s. The mostly 20th-century works of fine art are expected raise more than $9 million for his foundation. (The New York Times)

Protests Over Lack of Gaelic in National Museum of Scotland Show After the national institution failed to provide Gaelic translation for a new exhibition on the Jacobites, campaigners in Edinburgh began demonstrating outside the museum and accused the institution of cultural appropriation and English-language colonization. (The Scotsman)

William Powhida on the Purpose of Political Art – The visual artist decodes his recent graphite and watercolor, Trump Regime Studies (2017) and laments art’s limited capacity to effect real change in the outside world. (Hyperallergic)

Campaigners Protest ‘Blasphemous’ Serrano Show – On Saturday, protesters converged on Houston’s Station Museum of Contemporary Art in an objection to the latest exhibition of photographs by Andres Serrano. Many of the demonstrators were Catholics offended by Serrano’s infamous photograph Piss Christ (1987). (Glasstire)


How Middle-Market Galleries Are Exploring New Models – Georgina Adam reports on mid-size galleries’ attempts at reinvention. Amid rising rents and lower foot traffic, gallerists like Thomas Dane and Maureen Paley are expanding to unusual locations to raise the profiles of their artists internationally without breaking the bank. (The Financial Times)

Kim Kardashian Buys Jackie O’s Cartier Watch – The reality star is reportedly the buyer of the former First Lady’s vintage Cartier watch, which sold for $379,500 at Christie’s New York last week (some $200,000 over estimate). While the watch is certainly a timeless fashion piece, the purchase has left many speculating whether it might be teasing a 2020 presidential run for Kanye. (Vogue)

Frieze London Exhibitor List Released – In addition to stands dedicated to 160 international galleries, we can look forward to a new themed section curated by Alison Gingeras focused on feminist art and radical politics, and Frieze Talks tackling artists’ responses to an age of ‘alternative facts.’ Frieze London will take place from 5–8 October in Regent’s Park. (Press release)

London’s White Rainbow to Close – The gallery has announced its permanent closure after just three years in action. While no future projects are yet in the cards, its research activities will continue for the time being. (Press release)


ING/Unseen Talent Award Announces Finalists – The five finalists for this year’s award for emerging photographers are Tom Callemin, Andrea Grützner, Alexandra Lethbridge, Robin Lopvet, and Stefanie Moshammer. The jury prize winner will collect €10,000 for production, while the public prize winner earns a commission for the ING Collection. (Press release)

Former KW Curator Ellen Blumenstein Heads to Hamburg – Ellen Blumenstein, who previously served as curator for Berlin’s KW Institute for Contemporary Art, will take up a newly created position as the chief curator of Hafencity, an urban development project in Hamburg, Germany, starting this August. (Press release) ​

Bonhams Appoints New Australia Director – Following the exit of former director Mark Fraser, the international auction house has selected Merryn Schriever to serve as its new Australian director. She has been a specialist in Australian and Aboriginal art at Bonhams since 2013. (Press release)

Paulus Berensohn, Dancer Turned Potter, Dies at 84 – The author of the book Finding One’s Way With Clay influenced a generation of artists who took a mindful approach to pottery. He died of a stroke on June 15 in North Carolina. (NYT)


Chris Dercon Spills the Beans on His Dark Past – “I was one of the worst artists in the world,” the incoming director of Berlin’s Volksbühne theater said in an interview. In the ’70s, he noted, he “dabbled in performance art” by tearing up all his art books, laying the pages on a bridge, and crossing back and forth until the paper turned into mush. “It quickly became clear to me that it’d be better if I worked for artists.” (Berliner Morgenpost)

Bangkok Gets Its First Biennial – Thanks to corporate support and government backing, the Thai capital will debut a contemporary art biennial next year. From November 2018 to February 2019, more than 70 artists will exhibit work on the theme Beyond Bliss. (The Art Newspaper)

MAXXI Commemorates Zaha Hadid’s Relationship to Italy – More than a year after her sudden death, Rome’s MAXXI museum remembers the influential architect by hosting the exhibition Zaha Hadid in Italy until January 28, 2018. (Design Boom)

See the Diane Arbus Photographs Acquired by Art Gallery of Ontario – A group of donors came together to help the gallery buy 522 photographs by the American photographer through the Fraenkel Gallery in San Francisco. The acquisition makes the AGO—which previously owned no work by the photographer—the world’s second largest holder of Arbus’s work. (Press release)

Diane Arbus, <em>Identical Twins, Roselle, New Jersey</em> (1967). Courtesy of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Diane Arbus, Identical Twins, Roselle, New Jersey (1967). Courtesy of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Diane Arbus, Child With Toy Hand Grenade, Central Park, NYC, 1962 (printed 1972). Courtesy of artnet Auctions.

Diane Arbus, Child With Toy Hand Grenade, Central Park, NYC, 1962 (printed 1972). Courtesy of artnet Auctions.

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