Art Industry News: Meet the Fun-Loving Japanese Billionaire Who Bought the $111 Million Basquiat + More Must-Read Stories

Plus, Art Cologne will clash with the art fairs in Brussels next year and Metro Pictures to collaborate with 47 Canal.

Yusaku Maezawa. Photo © Yusaku Maezawa.

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 Friday, May 19.


Rachel Rose Nabs New Philadelphia Museum Commission – The institution will purchase time-based media artworks every two years in a joint initiative by the museum and the Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo in Turin—and Rose, a rising star in the art world, has already started working on the inaugural piece, which will be set in 16th-century agrarian Britain. (The New York Times)

The Trend of New LA Art Museums in Old Buildings – The Marciano Art Foundation, set to open on May 25 in a former Masonic temple, is just one of many art institutions in the city to discover the glory of old buildings—and LA’s 20th-century history—rather than build new state-of-the-art edifices. (NYT)

Alejandro G. Iñárritu Made Cannes’s First VR Art Film – The prestigious film festival opened in the French Riviera yesterday, where the Oscar-winning Mexican director is presenting the festival’s first VR short, putting viewers in the shoes of immigrants trying to cross the US border. The work will make its art-world debut at the Prada Foundation in Milan in June. (Variety)


A Jean-Michel Basquiat Painting Rocketed to $110.5 Million at Sotheby’s – The auction saw the artist’s previous record double, and carried the house to a $319.2 million total. Japanese collector Yusaku Maezawa, founder of e-commerce giant Start Today and virtual mall ZOZOTOWN, announced via Instagram that he had bought the painting. (artnet News)

Who Bought the Basquiat? This Onetime Japanese Pop Star Did – Get to know the 41-year-old musician who built a $3.6 billion fortune in the online fashion industry and has been buying up contemporary art trophies, including the previous record-setting Basquiat for $57.3 million last May. (CNN)

Art Cologne Will Clash With Competitors, Again – After overlapping with the dates of Berlin Gallery Weekend in 2017, Art Cologne rushed to announce its dates for 2018 ahead of competitors, moving their public days to April 19-22—which just so happens to be the slot traditionally taken by Art Brussels and, for the past two years, by Independent Brussels, too. Will the fairs join forces and shuttle collectors between the two cities? Watch this space. (Press release)

Controversial Novelist Michel Houellebecq Is Coming to NYC – Following the author’s participation in Europe’s roving Manifesta 11 biennale and his major show at Paris’s Palais de Tokyo last June, American fans will finally get a chance to see the French novelist’s artworks at Adam Lindemann’s Venus Over Manhattan gallery in New York this summer. (The Art Newspaper)

Metro Pictures and 47 Canal to Collaborate – The two New York galleries will jointly present a work by Anicka Yi at Art Basel in Basel’s Unlimited section, and are in discussions about further collaborations on special projects to “expand the reach of both 47 Canal and Metro Pictures.” (ARTnews)


Pasadena Museum of California Art Gets New Executive Director – Dr. Susana Smith Bautista, author of the 2013 book “Museums in the Digital Age,” will take up the post on May 23. (Art Fix Daily)

Curator Appointed for Contour Biennale 9 – Nataša Petrešin-Bachelez, an independent curator, editor, and writer, will curate the 2019 “Biennale of the Moving Image” in Mechelen, Belgium. (Artforum)

Virginia Commonwealth University’s School of the Arts Names New Dean – Sean Brixley, outgoing dean of York University in Toronto’s School of the Arts, Media, Performance, and Design, will take the post at the Richmond, Virginia, university on July 1st. (Press release)

Herb Alpert Foundation Announces 2017 Arts Award Winners – The $75,000 prize for mid-career artists, which has previously gone to Tania Bruguera, Roni Horn, and Kerry James Marshall, has been awarded to Luciana Achugar for dance, Kerry Tribe for film/video, Eve Beglarian for music, Daniel Fish for theater, and Amy Franceschini for visual arts. (ARTnews)


Rijksmuseum Buys the First-Ever Photo Book, by the First-Ever Female Photographer – The book is one of around 20 created by Anna Atkins, a botanist and photographer who made pictures of British algae in the mid-19th century, and it cost the museum $500,000. (Art Daily)

Rare Kabakov Maquettes to Go on Display at the Hirshhorn – Twenty two “whimsical models” for realized and unrealized installations and environments by Ilya and Emilia Kabakov will be on show in Washington, DC, starting September 7, preceeding a Tate retrospective of the conceptual artist duo. (ARTnews)

UCLA Awards Medal to Raphael Montañez Ortiz – The artist, associated with the Destructivist art movement of the 1960s and known for founding the first Latino museum in the US, will be honored at a ceremony celebrating Chicano art and culture in LA. (UCLA)

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Raphael Montañez Ortiz, “Piano Destruction Concert: Dance Number One. Mudam Luxembourg,” July 11, 2014. Photo courtesy Remi Villaggi/UCLA.

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