Art Industry News: Meet the Teens at the Top of the NFT Art Trade (They’re as Surprised by Their Success as You Are) + Other Stories
Plus, Italian dealers are teaming up for Art Basel Hong Kong and the Chinati Foundation gets a boost from Twitter.
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 Friday, May 14.
George Michael’s Art-Dealer Ex Secures Settlement – Former art dealer Kenny Goss reached a settlement with the family of musician George Michael. The two had a relationship decades ago, and, when Michael died in 2016, Goss sued the singer’s siblings, who became heirs to Michael’s estate using the Inheritance Act, which allows individuals to pursue an inheritance even if they are left out the will. (Standard)
300 Ancient Tombs Discovered in Egypt – More than 300 cemeteries have been documented in the Al-Hamidiyah necropolis in Egypt. The tombs pay tribute to rulers and employees of the ninth region of Upper Egypt. Funerary objects, vessels, and pottery were found, as well as a round metal mirror. Archeologists also uncovered human and animal bones. (Ahram Online)
Inside the NFT Boom – Victor Langlois was a bored teen making art in his free time, and now, at 18, he is at the top of the NFT art trade. Crypto artists like him almost cannot believe the way in which NFTs have become mainstream, yet they don’t know how the market will endure. Crypto has its issues—it’s rife with criminal enterprise and demands heaps of energy. Yet, for the first time, many digital artists are making a living off of their work. Langlois, who was all but broke a few years ago, just made $300,000 in art sales in January. (New York Times)
Italian Dealers Join Forces at Art Basel Hong Kong – Eight dealers from Italy are coming together to form a single booth under the name the “Italians” at Art Basel Hong Kong, which opens on May 21 to the public. The dealers, including Rossi and Rossi and Massimo di Carlo, will present in-person works by artists such as Lucio Fontana, Paola Pivi, and Francesco Vezzoli. This year, 56 galleries out of 104 have opted to run a satellite, or ghost, booth and participate remotely rather than in person. (Financial Times)
The New Asian Art Market Powerhouse – A new art advisory is making waves in Hong Kong. Kicking off their new firm Art-Bureau, Ed Tang and Jonathan Cheung are opening an online exhibition this month to coincide with the upcoming Art Basel Hong Kong. The advisors will collaborate with Sprüth Magers to show nine young artists as well as 15 artists from the gallery’s roster in a show titled “Go Figure?!” (Financial Times)
Alice Cooper Will Auction an Unauthenticated Warhol – An unsigned work attributed to Andy Warhol that heavy metal star Alice Cooper found, will be auctioned for between an expected $2.5 million and $4.5 million via Arizona art dealer Larsen Gallery this October. Little Electric Chair is valued below other works from the series as it is not authenticated. (ARTnews)
COMINGS & GOINGS
Katerina Gregos Will Lead Athens’s Contemporary Art Museum – The Brussels-based curator will return to Athens, to become the artistic director of the National Museum of Contemporary Art. Gregos, who previously curated the Riga International Biennial of Contemporary Art, the Göteborg Biennial, and Manifesta, will take up the new post on July 1. (Press release)
E. Carmen Ramos Moves to National Gallery – The Smithsonian American Art Museum’s acting chief curator, E. Carmen Ramos, is heading to the National Gallery to become its chief curator. When she starts in August, Ramos will become the first woman and the first woman of color to take the post. The National Gallery is undergoing a large-scale rebranding and diversifying effort. (NYT)
FOR ART’S SAKE
Kunstmuseum Basel Is Given Major Beuys Works – The Swiss museum has received 11 glass cases with small sculptures and relics by Joseph Beuys, who would have turned 100 this week. The collection has been on loan from collector Maja Oeri and her family. (ARTnews)
Marfa’s Chinati Foundation Gets a Grant on Twitter – The Chinati Foundation, a contemporary art museum in Marfa, Texas, that was founded by Donald Judd, has received $1.25 million from Twitter co-founder and CEO Jack Dorsey’s pandemic relief initiative, #StartSmall. The funds will help with upkeep, job training, and outreach for the foundation’s internship program, which plans to begin paying $15 per hour, in addition to housing and full benefits to participants, who will be largely women of color. (ARTnews)
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