Art Industry News: The World’s Most Expensive Car Was Just Sold at a Secret Auction for $143 Million + Other Stories

Plus, Instagram posts from a Louise Bourgeois show are censored, and a Bogota gallery's repeat win at Frieze.

1995 Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR Uhlenhaut Coupé. Image courtesy Mercedes-Benz.

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 20.


Instituto de Visión Wins Prize at Frieze—Again – The Bogotá-based gallery Instituto de Visión has won Frieze’s 2021 Frame Stand Prize for its “poetic and political” presentation of works by Tania Candiani. The win marks the second year in a row for the gallery whose presentation of Wilson Díaz also earned it the prize last year. (Press release)

Statue of Lorraine Hansberry to Be Unveiled in Times Square – A statue of pioneering playwright Lorraine Hansberry crafted by Los Angeles-based artist Alison Saar will be installed in Times Square on June 9. The move is part of a wider celebration of Hansberry, the first Black woman to have a show produced on Broadway. (New York Times

Judge Rules Jail Demolition Can Move Forward, Putting Artwork at Risk – Artists Kit-Yin Snyder and Richard Haas were unsuccessful in their plea to halt demolition of the Manhattan Detention Complex in New York’s Chinatown, where their artwork and murals are in the path of demolition. The judge rejected their appeal to the Visual Artist Rights Act of 1990 and complaint that relocating the artworks would compromise their depiction of “the immigrant struggle and wish for justice.” Some of Snyder’s work will be relocated to a facility on Rikers Island, while all of Haas’s on-site murals will be destroyed, though administrators have suggested could be reproduced at another jail facility. (NYT)

Instagram Censors Photos Taken at Louise Bourgeois – Instagram has censored multiple Instagram posts of visitors to the Hayward Gallery’s exhibition of Louise Bourgeois. A gallery spokesperson said the tag is being automatically censored for some users and that it has reported the issue to the social media platform. What remains unclear is if this is a case of censorship related to the sexual nature of some of Bourgeois’s fabric works on view in the exhibition. (The Art Newspaper)


Souls Grown Deep Beefs Up Board of Directors  Contemporary artists Amy Sherald and Sanford Biggers have been elected to the board of directors for the Foundation, which supports the inclusion and empowerment of Black Southern artists within the wider art historical canon. Sherald and Biggers join artists Diedrick Brackens and Mary Margaret Pettway, a fourth-generation Gee’s Bend quilter. (Press release)

Sotheby’s Sells Most Expensive Car Ever at Auction – The 1995 Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR Uhlenhaut Coupé, one of just two prototypes built by the Mercedes Benz racing department, has been sold for a staggering €135 million ($143 million). The final price tops the previous high price for a car—set by a 1963 Ferrari in 2018—by €90 million. Conducted by RM Sotheby’s at the Mercedes-Benz Museum in Stuttgart on May 5, the sale of the sleek silver racer was secret until now; the buyer is unknown, though believed to be “a well-known figure from Britain’s automotive industry,” who has said he might make the car available to the public on “special occasions.” Proceeds will establish the Mercedes-Benz Fund to provide resources and scholarships for students in the fields of environmental science and decarbonisation. (Press release, Car and Driver)

Time Capsule Project Will Bury 1,000 Mini Sketchbooks in Florida Until 2072 – Colossal has partnered with the Brooklyn Art Library on a Time Capsule Project, which will see 1,000 mini sketchbooks buried in a capsule in Florida until the year 2072. They’ve invited submissions before September 16, filled with artworks and stories that offer a snapshot of this moment in history. (This Is Colossal)


Madame Tussauds Will Share Replica Dress Collection of Queen’s Garments  Seven archive outfits donned by the wax figure of Queen Elizabeth will be showcased as part of the Royal Dress Collection at the London-based tourist attraction as part of the Platinum Jubilee celebration. The replica ensembles follow a long history between Madame Tussauds and the Royal family, dating back to when King George III sat for Marie Tussaud in 1809. (Evening Standard)

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