Art Industry News: A Second Steve Wynn Picasso Is Suddenly Yanked From Christie’s + More Must-Read Stories

Plus, Yorkshire locals are unhappy with Rachel Whiteread's public sculpture and Germany seeks a big boost in arts funding.

A man stands next to Pablo Picasso's Femme au chat assise dans un fauteuil during a media preview of Christie's Hong Kong Spring Sales in Hong Kong on March 30, 2018. Photo by Philip Fong/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 Tuesday, May 15.


Minister Seeks Huge Hike in Germany’s Arts Budget – America, eat your heart out: The German culture minister’s draft budget for next year includes a 23 percent increase in federal arts funding, reaching a total of around €1.67 billion ($2 billion). Monika Grütters is also seeking an additional €3.7 million ($4.4 million) for Berlin’s Humboldt Forum, the massive ethnographic museum due to open in 2019. (Monopol)

Stop Obama Center Activists Go to Court – Opponents of the Obama Presidential Center are suing the City of Chicago and its park district in an effort to halt construction of the complex’s museum, public meeting spaces, and athletic center. They are upset that the Obama Foundation is leasing the land to build its $500 million campus for just $1. The plaintiffs describe the deal a “short-con shell game.” (Courthouse News)

Another Steve Wynn Picasso Is Pulled From Christie’s – A second Picasso owned by the beleaguered Las Vegas casino mogul was pulled on Monday from Christie’s auction on May 17. Picasso’s portrait of a woman with a cat, Femme au chat assise dans un fauteuil (1964), had an estimate of $25 million to $35 million. The first $70 million Picasso was withdrawn due to unspecified damage; the second was pulled by mutual agreement. (Bloomberg)

Whiteread’s Nissen Hut Upsets Locals – Residents of a village in the North York Moors don’t want Rachel Whiteread’s sculpture of a military-style Nissen Hut in their backyard. The commission to mark the end of World War I is due to arrive this fall. The public artwork would increase visitor numbers to the national park—and, they claim, it would also be historically inaccurate. The first steel huts didn’t arrive in the area until the 1930s. (Northern Echo)


Meet Christie’s Leonardo Guy, Loïc Gouzer – The man who had the $450 million idea of putting Salvator Mundi in a contemporary auction reveals that non-art hobbies and meditation help him think unconventionally. Gouzer, the co-chairman of contemporary art at Christie’s, compares artists’ reputations to a tornado—and it’s his job to predict where they are heading. “Right now, you could say the tornado is going into Guston and Hockney,” he says. (Cultured)

Cui Jie Is Snapped Up by Three Galleries – The Shanghai-based artist is now represented by New York’s Metro Pictures, Pilar Corrias in London, and Shanghai’s Antenna Space. The painter and sculptor, whose work offers a futuristic view of China, was previously represented by Leo Xu, who closed his gallery to join David Zwirner’s growing operation in Hong Kong. (ARTnews)

Madonna Checks Out Lisbon’s Gallery Scene – Madonna now has a home in Lisbon and is reportedly touring its burgeoning galleries. Other collectors will be heading to the city this week for the third edition of ArcoLisboa, which arrives at a time of expansion for the scene. The Brazilian gallery Fortes D’Aloia & Gabriel, for one, has opened an office in Portugal’s capital—a first for a South American dealer. (The Art Newspaper)

Darren Almond Self-Curates Photo London Show – The artist Darren Almond has organized a presentation of his own work at Photo London, which opens this week. The fair’s 2018 photographer of the year is showing images from his ongoing “Fullmoon” series, which he began in 1998. (British Journal of Photography)


Design Museum Wins Euro Museum of the Year Prize – London’s Design Museum has been named the 2018 European Museum of the Year. The judges praised its social awareness and its newly expanded home in west London. The Lascaux International Center for Cave Art in France was among those who receive special commendation. (Guardian)

SITELines Details Revealed – SITE Santa Fe’s biennial dedicated to contemporary art of the Americas opens on August 3. Titled “Casa Tomada” and organized by LACMA curator José Luis Blondet, Candice Hopkins, and MoMA PS1’s Ruba Katrib, the biennial will present new commissions from 10 participants including Lutz Bacher, Eduardo Navarro, and Sable Elyse Smith. (ARTnews)

Expanded Hood Museum Gets Opening Date – The museum at Dartmouth College will reopen on January 26, 2019 after two years and $50 million worth of renovations by Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects. It will boast a new entrance and is now double its original size. (Artforum)

MFAH Opens Art School – The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, is inaugurating the Steven Holl-designed Glassell School of Art on May 20, completing the campus’s first phase of redevelopment. Classes in the new building are slated to begin June 4, and the rest of the 14-acre campus is due to be ready by 2020. (Press release)



Instagram U-Turn Over Artist’s Self-Censored Nudes – Despite censoring her model’s bare breasts with a leaf, the artist Dragana Jurisic’s photographs were abruptly banned from Instagram and her posts on Facebook blocked until she and supporters complained the images were no more revealing than Kim Kardashian’s. Instagram relented and apologized. (TAN)

Lunder Foundation Grants $600,000 for New Taos Art Center – The Portland, Maine-based Lunder Foundation is offering the Couse Foundation cash to support the conversion of the Mission Gallery building into an archive and research center for the Taos Society of Artists. The building will be known as the Lunder Research Center. (Taos News)

Cambridge’s New Soccer Sculpture Called a Monstrosity – A sculpture marking the birthplace of the rules of football (also known as soccer) 170 years ago on Parker’s Piece in Cambridge, England, has been derided as “ugly” by local residents. The four stone pillars engraved with the game’s rules in different languages, titled Cambridge Rules 1848, was commissioned by the city for more than $135,000. (Mail Online)

See Stunning Portraits of Women in the Arts – Ahead of tomorrow’s opening of her show “Artfully Dressed” at London’s Weiss Gallery, the Dutch photographer Carla van de Puttelaar is sharing portraits of her new series of women in the art world. Check out Tate director Maria Balshaw in a dress by Roksanda and a scarf by Duro Olowu; V&A curator Marta Weiss; and the Rijksmuseum’s development manager Valentina Salmeri-Bijzet—all dressed to the nines. (Instagram)

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