Art Industry News: Art Basel Orders NFT Platform ‘Digital Basel’ to Stop Associating Itself With Its Brand + Other Stories

Plus a Van Gogh ownership dispute is resolved in Detroit and Sarah Lucas wins the New Museum's sculpture prize.

Visitors take photos of an NFT displayed on a screen. Photo by Miguel Candela/Anadolu Agency via 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 on this Wednesday, March 29.


Deal Reached Over Contested Van Gogh at Detroit Museum – An ownership dispute over a Van Gogh painting on view at the Detroit Institute of Arts has been resolved out of court. In January, the museum was ordered to hold onto the work, which had been on loan for an exhibition, until the matter was resolved. DIA is now petitioning the court to render its January injunction invalid so it cannot be used as a precedent in future, which could deter owners from lending works that could be subject to ownership disputes to museums. (The Art Newspaper)

Germany and Italy Return Artifacts to Mexico – The governments of both countries have returned more than 80 pre-Columbian artifacts to Mexico. The Mexico cultural authorities have stepped up their effort in protecting its cultural heritage abroad in recent years. (Monopol)

Art Basel Accuses Digital Platform of Copyright Infringement – The Swiss art fair giant has accused an online platform known as Digital Basel of copyright infringement and has issued a cease-and-desist letter to the platform. According to the letter, the platform poses “as the digital extension of Art Basel” and “offers digital reproductions or NFTs of original artworks,” and it has no connection with Art Basel. It also claimed to be associated with Art Basel exhibitors and offered thousands of represented artists’ works for sale in Ethereum. (ARTnews)

Sarah Lucas Wins New Museum Prize – Artist Sarah Lucas has been named the inaugural winner of the Manhattan-based museum’s new biennial award honoring women artists, the Hostetler/Wrigley Sculpture Award. A jury consisting of artists Teresita Fernández, Joan Jonas, Julie Mehretu, Cindy Sherman, and Kiki Smith selected Lucas, whose new work Venus Victoria will be made possible through the $400,000 grant, and will be exhibited at the museum to coincide with its forthcoming expansion. (Press release)


1-54 Names Participating Galleries – The forthcoming New York edition of the Contemporary African Art Fair is slated to take place at Malt House in the Manhattanville Factory District from May 18–21. The fair will welcome 26 galleries from Africa, Europe, and the U.S., with more than half of the exhibitors making their debut, including DADA Gallery (Lagos, London); Spinello Projects (Miami); and kó (Lagos). (Press release)

New Auction Record Set in Africa – Children Reading the Koran, a 1939 painting by South African modernist Irma Stern, has become the priciest work by an African artist sold at an auction in Africa. The work sold for $1.23 million at a Strauss & Co. sale held in Cape Town on Tuesday. (Press release)

Dominique White Wins Max Mara Prize – The ninth edition of the prize dedicated to women artists was announced by Max Mara, London’s Whitechapel Gallery, and Collezione Maramotti. White has been awarded a six month residency in Italy, and a solo exhibition to debut at Whitechapel Gallery and travel to the Collezione Maramotti. (Guardian)

Paddington Bear Immersive Experience Planned for London – The loveable talking bear is set to be the newest star of an immersive experience at County Hall in London’s Southbank later in 2023. The show will be staged across 26,000-square-feet and will feature “ground-breaking design, live performance and video to capture the hearts of the entire family.” (Evening Standard)


How French Street Artist Bisk Is Using Paris Protests for Art – Piles of garbage accumulated in the streets of the French capital amid waste collectors’s strike protesting proposals to raise the national retirement age have become creative materials for the urban artist, who turned them into “monster” street installations. (Le Monde)

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