Art Industry News: Big-Money Art Flippers Have Surged Back Into the Market + More Must-Read Stories

Plus, Damien Hirst's new paintings sell out in LA and Pepe the Frog's artist sues sues Infowars for copyright infringement.

The art of flipping (pancakes) in London. Photo: Adrian Dennis/AFP/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, March 7.


France Announces Repatriation Plans for African Artifacts – After meeting with the president of Benin, Patrice Talon, the French president Emmanuel Macron has appointed two experts, Senegalese writer and economist Felwine Sarr and French art historian Bénédicte Savoy, to consult on the repatriation of African artifacts held in French museums. (New York Times)

Steve McQueen and Quincy Jones to Headline The Shed’s Opening – The first commissions for The Shed, the 200,000-square-foot art space opening on Manhattan’s High Line in 2019, will include a live show directed and developed by artist and filmmaker Steve McQueen and producer Quincy Jones celebrating African American music, and a performance based on a Greek tragedy by Euripides, among other events. (Guardian)

Flippers Storm the London Art Auctions – Peter Doig’s The Architect’s Home in the Ravine is going up for sale for the fifth time since 2002 (when it sold for under half a million dollars) at Sotheby’s London this week, with a $25 million estimate. Fueled by increased demand for artists such as Andy Warhol, Louise Bourgeois, and Martin Kippenberger, London auction houses are filled with works being resold, with 23 percent of the lots in the evening auctions at Christie’s, Sotheby’s, and Phillips, having been previously bought in the past six years. (Bloomberg)

‘Pepe the Frog’ Artist Sues InfoWars for Copyright Infringement – Illustrator Matt Furie couldn’t have imagined in 2005 that the grumpy frog he created would turn into a fascist symbol. Furie is now suing InfoWars, the conspiracy site favored by the alt-right, for copyright infringement after it included the frog in a MAGA poster, appearing alongside the likes of Donald Trump, Milo Yiannopoulous, and site owner Alex Jones. Furie “does not want people to profit from sales of images and merchandise that use Pepe the Frog in connections with ideas or symbols of hate,” his lawyer said. (Hyperallergic)


David Zwirner Books Publishes Luc Tuymans Catalogue Raisonné – David Zwirner’s publishing house has put out the first volume of the Belgian artist’s catalogue raisonné, which covers the years 1972 through 1994. It was edited by art historian Eva Meyer-Hermann and published in partnership with Yale University Press. (Press release)

Damien Hirst’s Sell-Out Spotted Show Opens in Beverly Hills – The heavily instagrammed new paintings were a fast sell-out at their big debut at Gagosian in Los Angeles last week. By the end of the opening, only three of the 24 paintings were still available, and all were sold by dinnertime. Prices ranged from $400,000 to $1.6 million. (Artsy)

TEFAF Builds its Global Brand, Undertakes Extreme Vetting – In the two days before the preeminent art fair opens in the Netherlands, dealers are barred from entering the premise as 190 vetters scrutinize all the works on sale for authenticity. TEFAF is also following in the footsteps of Basel and Frieze in expanding to New York in recent years, part of a broader move to become a global brand. (NYT)

Four Artists Join Galerie Eva Presenhuber – Jean-Marie Appriou, Lucas Blalock, Shara Hughes, and Magali Reus are now being represented by the Swiss dealer, who has galleries in both Switzerland and New York. With these new additions, Presenhuber’s power roster now includes a total of 46 artists. (ARTnews)


Italian Artist and Writer Gillo Dorfles Dies – The esteemed artist and philosopher has died at age 107. Dorfles was an art critic who wrote The Becoming of the Arts (1959) and The Becoming of Criticism (1976). In 1948 he also became one of the founders of the Concrete Art movement in Milan. (Art Review)

Yusaku Maezawa’s Basquiat Is Going to Seattle –  The blockbuster work that was purchased by the Japanese collector for $110.5 million is on its way from the Brooklyn Museum to the Seattle Art Museum. It will be on view there from March 21 through August 13, the second stop on its world tour. (Press release)

Swiss Institute Raises $3.5 Million – The contemporary art nonprofit in New York has raised $3.5 million of its $5 million fundraising goal and is set to open its doors at its new location on Manhattan’s St. Marks Place on June 21. (Press release)


Sara Kay Gallery Launches Residency – New York gallerist Sara Kay has inaugurated a six-week working residency for artists. Once a year, Kay will invite an artist to expand their practice at the gallery. The first recipient is the young mixed media artist Victoria Manganiello. (Press release)

The Frick and Museo de Art de Ponce Partner for Show in Puerto Rico – The upcoming show “Small Treasures from The Frick Collection” opens on March 17, featuring ten works, mostly on paper, that cover four centuries of art history. It includes Albrecht Dürer’s 1514 engraving Melencolia I and an 1843 oil sketch by Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot. (Press release)

Rave Previews for Tate’s ‘Picasso 1932’ – Tate Modern’s latest Picasso exhibition, which opens to the public tomorrow and runs through September 9, is centered around the artist’s “wildest year.” In 1932, Picasso was prolific and spent a lot of time painting his muse Marie-Thérèse Walter, who features heavily in sleeping and erotic poses. So far, it has received rave reviews from critics, with Guardian writer Adrian Searle giving it five stars. (Guardian)



Setareh Gallery at the Armory Show
Booth 302

With the Armory Show opening today on New York’s Hudson River, Düsseldorf’s Setareh Gallery is presenting a curated selection of work by living and historical artists, ranging from Christopher Wool and Georg Baselitz to Sigmar Polke and Hans Hartung. Below, see a selection of the gallery’s artworks on offer at the fair.

Hans Hartung’s T1985-H23
(1985), available for $580,000.

Christopher Wool’s Untitled (2004), available for $2.2 million.

Sigmar Polke’s Untitled (Mönchengladbach 1987) (1987), available for $220,000.


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