Art Industry News: The U.S. Justice Dept. Is Suing Mega-Collector Steve Wynn for Allegedly Being a Chinese Government Agent + Other Stories

Plus, Supreme teams up with the Roy DeCarava estate, and Hong Kong art thieves get a two-and-a-half year prison sentence.

Steve Wynn speaks at the Global Gaming Expo. Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images.
Steve Wynn speaks at the Global Gaming Expo. Photo by Ethan Miller/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, May 18.

NEED-TO-READ

Shared Los Angeles Studios Help Artists Succeed – A cohort of Latinx artists are sharing studio space at a warehouse on South Anderson Street in Los Angeles’s Boyle Heights neighborhood, and—amid skyrocketing rent and rapid gentrification—their experiment is working. “Before I didn’t feel connected with other artists,” tenant Alfonso Gonzalez, Jr. said. “Then I met these guys. They get it.” (New York Times)

Hong Kong Art Burglars Get Jail Sentences – Art thieves who targeted the Hong Kong home of Chinese collector Fu Chunxiao have been sentenced to two-and-a-half years in jail. Fu has called the sentencing “too lenient” after they stole some HK$5 billion ($637 million) in art and antiques from his flat including a calligraphy scroll by Mao Zedong. The District Court noted that the criminals were unaware of the true value of their loot. (South China Morning Post

Justice Department Sues Steve Wynn – The U.S. Justice Department has sued the mega-collector, art dealer, and casino mogul to force him to register as a lobbyist because he allegedly petitioned of Donald Trump in 2017 to secure a diplomatic favor long sought by Chinese authorities. The favor involved persuading U.S. officials to release Chinese businessman Guo Wengui, whom Chinese authorities consider a fugitive. A rep for Wynn says he never acted as an agent of the Chinese government. (Wall Street Journal)

City of Bayeux and V&A Museum Reach Agreement Over Tapestry – Researchers at London’s Victoria & Albert Museum and the City of Bayeux have agreed to share research and expertise around the treasured 11th-century Bayeux Tapestry. The priceless work is in disrepair and too fragile to travel; researchers will work on restoring it when the Bayeux Museum closes for refurbishment in 2024. (Press release

MOVERS & SHAKERS

Louis Vuitton Announces Collaboration with Yayoi Kusama – Ten years after the luxury brand first teamed up with the beloved Japanese artist, Louis Vuitton and Yayoi Kusama are bringing the band back together. The new line, inspired by the mirrored orbs in her “Infinity Mirrored Rooms,” features signature bags decorated with 3D silver balls. The collaboration was previewed during the label’s 2023 Cruise collection show in San Diego. (Highsnobiety)

Warhol Foundation Pledges $350,000 to Ukraine Relief Aid  The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts is donating $350,000 to help those working to safeguard Ukrainian culture amid the ongoing Russian invasion. The funding will be dispersed among the Emergency Support Initiative, the Ukrainian Emergency Art Fund, Perpetuum Mobile’s Artists at Risk, and the Art at Risk Connection. (ARTnews)

Jorge Pardo and Alexis Johnson Tie the Knot – Vogue got a front-row seat to the wedding of Paula Cooper Gallery partner Alexis Johnson and artist Jorge Pardo. The two married at Hacienda Tecoh, Pardo’s lush art project on the site of 17th-century ruins an hour outside of Mérida, Mexico, where the couple have a home. Johnson wore custom Christopher John Rogers. Congratulations to the happy couple! (Vogue)

Lisa Cooley Joins Various Small Fires – Lisa Cooley, who ran an eponymous gallery in downtown New York and is also a veteran of Paula Cooper, Andrea Rosen, and Nicole Klagsbrun, has joined Various Small Fires as senior director. She will help oversee the gallery’s locations in L.A., Seoul, and Dallas. (Instagram)

FOR ART’S SAKE

Supreme Teams Up With Roy DeCarava – The late photographer’s estate is collaborating with the skater brand on a capsule collection. The t-shirts and hooded sweatshirt will bear the stark black-and-white images for which DeCarava is known, including shot of Malcolm X from 1964. All profits from the drop, which goes live in the U.S. on May 19, will go to Harlem’s Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture. (Hypebeast)

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