Art Industry News: Damien Hirst Accused of Cultural Appropriation + More Must-Read Stories

Plus, the White House curator resigns after four decades and Rudolf Stingel's work is poised to set a new auction record.

Damien Hirst's sculpture photographed by Nigerian artist Victor Ehikhamenor an posted to his Instagram

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 Thursday, May 11th.


Damien Hirst Accused of Cultural Appropriation – Victor Ehikhamenor, who is representing Nigeria in its first-ever national pavilion at the Venice Biennale, called out the YBA for copying an iconic ancient Nigerian artwork, Head of Ife, without proper credit in his comeback show, “Treasures from the Wreck of the Unbelievable.” (The New York Times)

Will the Louvre Abu Dhabi Finally Open in November? – After multiple delays and false starts, the €1-billion Louvre outpost in the Emirates could finally be ready for a public opening this fall—at least according to an internal letter that has circulated inside the Parisian museum telling departments to prepare to send artworks to the Gulf this summer. (The Art Newspaper)

King Tut’s Treasures Carefully Prepared for Transport – With the widely ridiculed damage to the relic’s golden mask looming in their minds, an international group of experts met in Cairo to plan the delicate relocation of King Tutankhamun’s throne, chests, and bed from the Egyptian Museum in Cairo to the new Giza museum, which is set to open near the Giza Pyramids at the end of this year. (Time)


The Family Feud Behind Dueling $160 Million Auctions – Two feuding siblings are selling more than $160 million worth of art from their late parents’ art collection next week at—fittingly—rival auction houses Christie’s and Sotheby’s. The collection includes work by Jean-Michel Basquiat, Julian Schnabel and Jeff Koons. (Bloomberg)

The Exhibitors for Liste Art Fair in Basel Is Out – The satellite fair, which is considered a springboard for young galleries presenting emerging artists, has released its list of 79 exhibitors, including 15 new arrivals. (ARTnews)

A New Auction Record for Rudolf Stingel? – Sotheby’s, Christie’s, and Phillips all have works by the Italian-born artist in their sales next week, including pieces from the same series that now holds Stingel’s auction record ($4.7 million) as well as works included in his seminal 2007 Whitney show. It’s safe to assume that a new record will be set. (Art Maket Monitor)


Andy Warhol Museum Names José Carlos Diaz Chief Curator – In a series of internal promotions, Diaz, who joined the museum in 2016 as its Milton Fine curator of art, has been promoted to chief curator, while Jessica Beck, associate curator of art, will take over Diaz’s previous role. Rachel Baron-Horn has been named deputy director. (

White House Curator Resigns – Was Trump just too much? Ending four decades of service, William Allman, who is in charge of preserving the art and furnishings of the presidential residence, will retire on June 1. (The Washington Post)

Founding Curator at New York’s Center for Photography Has Died – Miles Barth, a distinguished figure in the photography world, served a nearly 20-year tenure as founding curator of the permanent collection at the International Center for Photography in New York. Barth also spent several years as a Senior Specialist with artnet’s online Auctions. He passed away on April 24. (Artnet)


Free Admission on Art Museum Day – On May 18, to mark the eighth Art Museum Day, over 140 museums across North America will offer free or reduced admission, including the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles, the Pérez Art Museum in Miami, New York’s MoMA, and many more. See the full list here. (AAMD)

Artist Enoc Perez Paints American Embassies – For his upcoming show at the UTA Artist Space in LA, Perez—an artist known for his depictions of architecture—will exhibit paintings of US embassies in cities around the world, tracing how the newer ones are constructed like security bunkers. (Forbes)

An Instagram Sensation in Venice – Māori artist Lisa Reihana’s panoramic video, In Pursuit of Venus, which is included in Christine Macel’s 57th Venice Biennale, takes the classic French scenic wallpaper Les Sauvages de la Mer Pacifique (1804—1805) and reimagines it with real and invented narratives. (Maori Television)

See the work here:

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.