Art Industry News: How to Understand the Art World’s New Medicis + More Must-Read Stories

Plus, Claudia Comte brings a funfair to Basel and Mnuchin Gallery plans Sam Gilliam's first New York show in 25 years.

Courtesy of #stefansimchowitz @stefansimchowitz

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 18.


The Bauhaus Foundation Has Started a Residency in Historic Dessau Buildings – In the 1920s, artists populated the ensemble of experimental houses designed by Bauhaus masters. For the first time in over 80 years, the Bauhaus Foundation has opened the Oskar Schlemmer and Georg Muche houses for contemporary artist residencies. An exhibition of works by the current resident, painter Clemens Krauss, opens May 22. (Bauhaus Foundation)

These Are the Many Faces of Art Patronage in the 21st Century – The Times surveys how individual patrons are supporting artists holistically, from traditional Renaissance-style benefaction, to online crowdfunding, to Simchowitz-style flipping. (New York Times)

Claudia Comte Will Install a Funfair in Basel – For this year’s Art Basel, Comte will create a fully functioning funfair, complete with darts, bowling, arm wrestling, mini golf, drinking games, and dancing competitions. The prizes? Original artworks. (Press Release)


Christie’s Postwar and Contemporary Sale Rakes in $448 Million – Despite the withdrawal of Willem de Kooning‘s Untitled II, which had a hefty estimate of $25–35 million, the total landed within revised expectations of $339–462 million, and exceeded the sale’s original, higher estimate “in excess of $370 million.” (artnet News)

Wall Street Jitters May Have Impacted the Auction – The crisis in the White House and the dampening mood on Wall Street seems to have undercut Christie’s high-flying ambitions for their sale. (NYT)

Mnuchin Gallery Gives Sam Gilliam First New York Exhibition in 25 Years – The gallery, best known nowadays for its odd mix of ties to David Hammons and the Trump administration (via Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, the dealer’s son), will build the show around works from the 1960s and ’70s, in addition to new “Homage to the Square” paintings that have never been exhibited before. (Press Release)

Forgotten Edward Steichen Photographs Will Be Sold in Massachusetts – Photos and blueprints for the New York pavilion at the 1933 Chicago World’s Fair by Edward Steichen and Eugene Schoen—once rescued from a trash heap and then hidden in a Newton, Massachusetts basement for decades—will hit the auction block on June 4. (NYT)


Roster Shakeup at Luhring Augustine – Staggeringly prolific painter Josh Smith has “parted ways” with the gallery, according to a spokesperson, while another painter whose star is rising, Sanya Kantarovsky, has been taken on board. (ARTnews)

Painter and Writer Lee Hall Has Died – The artist and author of a controversial biography about painters Elaine and Willem de Kooning passed away at age 82. (NYT)

Renate Bertlmann Wins the Prestigious 2017 Grand Austrian State Prize – The feminist avant-garde visual artist is only the third woman to win the award in the prize’s history, following Brigitte Kowanz in 2009 and Maria Lassnig in 1988. (Press Release)


Hal Foster Will Give the 2018 Mellon Lectures in Washington, DC – The lectures, a tradition of the Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts at the National Gallery of Art, will be titled “Positive Barbarism: Brutal Aesthetics in the Wake of World War II,” and will take place in April and May of next year. (National Gallery of Art)

Shia LeBeouf Resurfaces at a Museum in Finland – The actor-slash-performance artist made his first public outing since his most recent project—which involved living alone in a cabin in the Finnish wilderness—at the Kiasma Museum in Helsinki, where a visitor caught him on camera dancing like mad in a Hito Steyerl installation. (NYMag)

Museumgoer Makes Sad Portraits Smile at the Rijksmuseum – Olly Gibbs used FaceApp to add artificial smiles to pictures of paintings and sculpures he thought looked “miserable” at the Amsterdam museum. (Huffington Post)

Image SWNS via Huffington Post


Image SWNS via Huffington Post

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