Art Industry News: Elton John Is Selling His Australian Art Collection + More Must-Read Stories

Plus, Italian police release a new list of stolen art, and a Washington artist trolls Trump with slogans projected onto his hotel.

Elton John Photo: Jimi Celeste/Patrick McMullan.

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 16th.


New Renzo Piano-Designed Photography Space Opens in South of France – The starchitect has designed a Pavilion of Photography for the vineyard Château La Coste, which spans a 500-acre campus and includes jewel-box spaces for contemporary art. Other Pritzker laureates who have designed structures for the vineyard include Tadao Ando, Frank Gehry, Jean Nouvel, and Renzo Piano. (Design Boom)

Artist Projects Anti-Trump Messages on President’s D.C. Hotel – On Monday night, artist Robin Bell projected a series of messages onto the façade of the Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C.—such as “Pay Trump Bribes Here”—to highlight the President’s business ties with foreign governments. The projections were eventually shut down by hotel security—but not before spreading like wildfire on Twitter. (HuffPost)

Pumps Drained the Sea for Six Years to Create the Louvre Abu Dhabi – The Jean Nouvel-designed museum, which could be ready to open this fall, may look like it floats on water—but in order to build this extension of Saadiyat Island, pumps ran for six whole years to moor the construction to the drained seafloor. (WIRED)

Chilean Architects to Design Qatar’s Art Mill Gallery – The Chilean architectural practice Elemental won a competition to transform a former flour mill into an art gallery for Qatar Museums, beating out eight other finalists. (The Art Newspaper)

The Institute of Arab and Islamic Art’s Director Speaks  Director Mohammed Rashid Al-Thani discusses the new Manhattan institution and its unprecedented dedication to Arab and Islamic Modern and contemporary art. “The question I hate most is, ‘What has inspired you to do this?'” he says. “There’s really no platform [in New York]!” (ARTnews)


The Australian Art Market Is Apparently Blowing Up – The Australian art market has had its biggest year since 2008, making just shy of $50 million Australian dollars to date in 2017. (Art Market Monitor)

Elton John to Sell Indigenous Artwork – In other news from Down Under, the legendary music star is set to auction Australian Aboriginal artwork he and his husband have collected over the years. The sale at Bonhams Sydney will include the landscape My Country by Emily Kame Kngwarreye, which he bought for $46,000 Australian dollars in 1997. (The Australian)

The Italian Carabinieri Release List of Stolen Art – In a tradition begun in 1972, Italy’s Carabinieri posted its 38th edition of a bulletin of stolen artworks online, called “Art Held Hostage,” in hopes of raising awareness and combatting trafficking and theft of art. (


Cuban Gallerist Luis Miret Dies at 58 – As the longtime director of Galería Habana, Miret was a key figure in the promotion of Cuba’s art scene. He also served as director of Cuba’s Department of International Relations of the National Council of Visual Arts and the Department of Economics at the Fondo Cubano de Bienes Culturales. He passed away on May 11. (ARTnews)

Eli Broad’s PR Head Leaves to Join a Discount Tool Company – Karen Denne, the Chief Communications Officer for art-loving real estate magnate Eli Broad’s Broad Foundations for the past 13 years, has announced that she is leaving to take over communications at Harbor Freight Tools, a California company that offers “quality tools at ridiculously low prices.” (Press Release)

Alabama’s Birmingham Museum Names New Curator – Katelyn D. Crawford joins the Birmingham Museum of Art this summer as its new curator of American art after a three-year stint at the Nelson-Atkins Museum in Missouri, where she curated the first major exhibition of works on Thomas Hart Benton in more than 25 years. (


Alex Melamid Blames Art for Trump’s Rise – Writing for TIME, the Russian conceptual artist goes back to the 1960s to cite Andy Warhol’s work as a corrupting influence, quoting the artist when he said, “Publicity is like eating peanuts. Once you start, you can’t stop.” (TIME)

I.M. Pei’s Miho Museum in Japan Hosts Louis Vuitton Resort Collection – Can you think of a more impressive backdrop for a runway show than a museum carved into a mountain overlooking a lush forest? Designer Nicolas Ghesquiére presented his Japan-inspired resort collection 2018 at the iconic I.M. Pei-designed site near Kyoto this weekend. Here’s a short video from Louis Vuitton’s Instagram, which has the best footage of the extravaganza:

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